Mahavira’s sannyas is not that complete, be cause it has freedom as its goal. Mahavira thinks sannyas is irrelevant without a goal – the goal of freedom. Mahavira’s reasoning is very scientific; he believes in causality, the law of cause and effect. According to him everything in this world is subject to the law of cause and effect. So he will not agree with Buddha that one should attain to peace for nothing, because there is a reason why one loses his peace and then seeks it once again.
Mahavira will not consent to Krishna’s choiceless acceptance of that which is. If one accepts everything as it is, he cannot attain to his self, his soul, his individuality. Then one will simply vegetate and disintegrate. According to Mahavira, discrimination is essential to the attainment of the self, of individuality.
To be oneself one must know how to discriminate between good and bad, right and wrong, virtue and vice. Discrimination is wisdom, which teaches you not only to know the black from the white, but also to choose one against the other. He says both attachment and aversion are wrong, and one who drops them attains to the state of veetrag, which is transcendence of attachment and aversion. And this transcendence is the door to moksha or liberation.
Therefore Mahavira is not only peaceful, but blissful too. The light of liberation not only illuminates his interiority, it also surrounds his exteriority. If you put Mahavira and Buddha together, you will notice that while Buddha’s silence seems to be passive, Mahavira’s silence is positive and dynamic. Together with peace a kind of blissfulness radiates around Mahavira.
But if you put Mahavira and Krishna together Mahavira’s bliss will look a shade paler than Krishna’s. While Mahavira’s bliss looks quiet and self-contained, Krishna’s is eloquent and aggressive. Krishna can dance; you cannot think of Mahavira dancing. To discover his dance one will have to look deep into his stillness, silence and bliss; it is ingrained in every breath, every fiber of his being. But he cannot dance as Krishna dances; his dance is embedded in his being, it is hidden, indirect. So while Mahavira’s transcendence outwardly radiates his bliss, Buddha’s indifference reflects only silence and nothing else.
And this indifference is well reflected in their statues. Mahavira’s statue reflects extroversion; bliss emanates from it. Buddha’s statue reflects introversion; he seems to have completely withdrawn himself from the without. Nothing seems to be going out from him. Buddha’s being looks as if it is a non-being.
Mahavira on the other hand seems to have come to his fullness; his being is complete. That is why he denies the existence of God, but cannot deny the existence of the soul. He says there is no God; God cannot be, because he himself is God. There cannot be yet another God, two Gods. Therefore he declares the self. the soul is God; each one of us is God.
There is no God other than us. In utter ecstasy Mahavira declares that he is God, there is no one above him. He contends that if there be another God, a superlord over him, then he can never be free. Then there is no way for anyone to be free in this world; then freedom is a myth.