Mahavira’s standpoint was: Unless you choose a single dimension of effort and unless you are totally devoted to it, without being worried that you are becoming an extremist…. Because only from the extreme point can you jump into the beyond.
Now, both are right. But if a person who has never followed any path hears that both are right, he will be simply confused. Before your enlightenment you have to choose. After your enlightenment you are absolutely free to declare that all paths lead to the same place. But while you are leading people on the path you have to be consistently insistent that except this path everything else has to be completely forgotten.
You have to be one-pointed, just like an arrow moving towards the target, not bothering about other arrows moving from different angles, different aspects. If the arrow starts thinking of different angles and different aspects it is not going to reach the target. It will be lost in utter confusion.
People who have followed Mahavira have arrived and people who have followed Gautam Buddha have also arrived. If you ask me what brings them home, it is totality, absolute dedication and unconditional commitment. It does not matter which path you are on, these conditions will have to be fulfilled. In fact, the path does not matter at all: what matters are these three conditions. If you can fulfill these three conditions, even the wrong path will lead you to the right goal. And if you cannot fulfill these three conditions, the path may be absolutely right…but you are not going anywhere!
And one thing more has to be understood. I was saying this about the enlightened ones, but there are many who are simply fakes. You cannot make the distinction.
Just a few days ago I received a big letter from one of my very learned sannyasins, Swami Doctor Amrito. He has many Ph.D.’s and D.Litt.’s, and has written many books. He has written eight books about me. Now there is some man who talks as if he were enlightened, and many sannyasins in Holland are going to him. Seeing the situation my international secretary, Prem Hasya, has announced in all the newspapers that the man is a fake and sannyasins should not go there.
Amrito himself was going there, so he was very much shocked because he was also thinking that the man seems to be enlightened. And without knowing him I know that man cannot be enlightened, because I know his master. I don’t know that man; I know his master. He used to live in Mumbai and once I went just to have a look at him.
He was known as Beedie Baba, because he was continuously smoking beedies. Great enlightenment! Except that, I could not see any indication of enlightenment. A great chain-smoker….
This Dutchman became his follower. He was surrounded by a few uneducated, uncultured Indians…because he used to smoke beedies and talk about the ultimate. In India every village has one or two idiots doing the same business. This is the country of idiots and enlightened ones!