She says, “But I can see your hands on the video. You may be able to deceive others but you cannot deceive me. I have seen you from your very childhood, and you had such a beautiful body.” And I can see tears coming into her eyes looking at my food. And don’t allow her…because she has been trying persistently for years to bring something, just a little.
I say, “No, nothing doing. My doctor does not allow it. I can take only what he prescribes, I cannot take anything else.” But again and again – and I know why, because she saw me in 1960 when I was one hundred and ninety pounds, and I had a body…. Just yesterday I was talking of Mahavira; I could have competed with Mahavira without any difficulty. Actually, people used to say that my body…because I used to sit almost half-naked. Just a small wraparound lungi, even in winter, in the coldest places, even in New Delhi. My host in New Delhi used to say, “You are the only person I have seen in New Delhi who is sitting in just a wraparound lungi, with half the body naked and the fan on full. How do you manage it?”
People used to say that my body looked as if cut out of marble. It used to look like that because I was exercising so much: eight miles in the morning I was going for a walk, eight miles in the evening – at least for twenty years, sixteen miles per day. If you add it all up I think it will come to nearabout three times around the earth or more.
I have hated milk from my very childhood, but because everybody loved my body, and my family insisted that without milk you cannot remain the way you are, I had been drinking milk against my will. That is the only thing in my life that I have done against my will. And the only way I could manage it was to stop breathing and take the whole glass in a single gulp so that I didn’t smell it, because I can’t stand it. I have tried all kinds of milks, but I can’t stand the smell.
My feeling has been always – and I told my family” – Jainas should stop using all milk products because milk is just like meat. It is not vegetarian, it is animal food; and it has a double violence in it. From where does the milk come? It is the mother’s mechanism, biological mechanism, that transforms her blood into milk. You are really drinking white blood.”
My grandmother used to close her ears, “Don’t say such words because then I will not be able to drink it. I will remember ‘white blood.’ Never do such things to an old woman like me.”
Now, Jainas cannot live without milk because that is their only vital food ingredient; otherwise, everything is just vegetable. So they eat all kinds of milk products – butter, ghee, curd – and all kinds of sweets made of milk. But I had a strong feeling from the very beginning that this was just blood. That’s why it increases your blood so quickly, and that’s why the child needs only milk; that’s enough, that is all his food. The mother’s milk provides the child all necessary food; nothing else is needed – and those are the days of its growth. So milk is a whole food.