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Chapter 25: Bravo, America!

Just this morning I talked about Amiyo, but she could not get the point; on the contrary, she behaved exactly as one should behave in sleep. It was her question, that when I look at her she feels very happy, very blissful; and when I don’t look at her she thinks perhaps I am angry, perhaps she is not doing well - she feels sad.

I answered it, and when I went back, after the lecture, and looked at her, she closed her eyes. That’s how the sleepy mind behaves. On the one hand it asks that I should look at her, she rejoices; and when I looked at her, she was so angry, hurt, that she closed her eyes; she didn’t look at me. And it is not only the case with her, it is the case with everybody else. We are functioning out of sleep; we do not know what we are doing, why we are doing it.

A Jina is one who has conquered his sleep. Jainism has not become as famous as Buddhism because it never became a world religion; it remained a very small sect in India. There were basic reasons. First, its monks could not go out of India for the simple reason that they could not accept food from anybody who was not a Jaina.

Now, before you go to another country, you cannot expect that people, because you are coming, will turn into Jainas. They could not accept food from anybody else, not even from Hindus or Buddhists - nobody, only Jainas. So they move in a small circle; they cannot get out of it.

Secondly, the monks of their most orthodox branch live naked. They cannot go to the colder countries, they have to remain in the warmer places. They cannot eat non-vegetarian food. The whole world is non-vegetarian - Jainas are totally vegetarian.

So these restrictions did not allow them to go out of the country, and because of this, it is unfortunate; they have a great philosophy, much to contribute to human understanding, but that remained in the shadows. It never became known to the world.

Even today their scriptures are not being translated. Who cares? - they are such a small minority. Numbers play such a role - but truth has nothing to do with numbers. Because they were a very small minority, they managed many things which in India were otherwise impossible.

For example, you will not find a single beggar from their community; they are all rich. They had to be rich; otherwise survival was difficult. They were surrounded by people who would have liked to destroy them. They could not take swords in their hands because they believed in nonviolence. The only way to survive was to have as much money as possible - that was their only power.

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