In the Jaina mythology creation is a circle. Just like day and night, one creation is followed by another creation, and this goes on. Jaina mythology is far more scientific than any other religion’s. It has no creator, because there is no creation. It is simply an autonomous process: existence goes on creating itself again and again. And because everything moves in circles, each circle has twenty-four tirthankaras, great masters.
Although Goshalak betrayed him, his response was that “Goshalak is going to be the first tirthankara of the coming creation – at the next creation he is going to be the first tirthankara, because he has become articulate enough. It is just that he is a little foolish. He does not understand that he does not know anything about what he is saying. He has heard, he has not experienced.
“But he is a man capable of it. The day he becomes realized there will be a great master, not just a mystic. Right now he is just making a laughingstock of himself and of those who are following him. He knows nothing. He talks too much. He talks well, he argues profoundly, but there is no experienced content in it. But it is only a question of time. One thing is certain: that whenever he realizes he will become a master.
“And I am happy that he has left, because this will give him more chances to be articulate, to express, because under a big tree, small trees cannot grow – and I am a big tree.” Mahavira had ten thousand disciples always following him, and millions of other disciples.
He said, “It is good that he has left me. This will give him a chance to be more sharp, more expressive. And I hope that one day he also realizes that what he is talking is just talk; inside he is empty.”
So it is possible: a mystic is full inside but he cannot talk; and a pundit, a scholar, a pope, a shankaracharya, an Ayatollah Khomeini –these kinds of people who go on talking about God, about soul, about religion – have no experience at all.
It was in Bombay, just twenty-five years ago; I had come for the first time to this city. The man who invited me was a very rare man, rare in the sense that there was not a single important person in India who was not respectful towards that old man. And the reason was that that old man…his name was Chiranjilal Badjate, and he was the manager for Jamnalal Bajaj. Jamnalal Bajaj had invited Mahatma Gandhi from Sabarmati, Gujarat, to his own place in Wardha, and had made a beautiful ashram for him there.
He gave Gandhi a blank check; whatever he wanted to spend, whatever he wanted to do with the money, he could do. He never asked, “Where does the money go? What happens to it?” And because Mahatma Gandhi was in Wardha, all the great freedom fighters in India, writers, poets, were going to see Gandhi, to meet Gandhi. And for them Jamnalal Bajaj had made a special guest house for five hundred people to stay together at one time. Chiranjilal was his manager, so he was the link between Mahatma Gandhi and Jamnalal Bajaj. Jawaharlal Nehru, Motilal Nehru, Madan Mohan Malaviya, all these people were respectful towards the old man. He was the man who invited me to Bombay.