So Shankara says: Don’t get deceived by someone who has long hair on his head. Long hair doesn’t make any difference. Don’t get deceived by anyone whose head is shaven. The shaving of the head, keeping long hair or pulling out the hair doesn’t make any difference, it just doesn’t matter. So don’t get deceived by seeing such people. Jaina Digambara munis pull out their hair – don’t get deceived. There are people who wear ochre robes – don’t get deceived by them. Don’t worry if the other is deceived, but you should not get deceived, because it is very easy to wear ochre robes or to pull out one’s hair; only a little experience is needed. What is the difficulty in shaving the head or in keeping long hair? Only a little experience is needed. But try to see what is going on inside the mind. Under these various garbs of sannyas they are just carrying on business to fill their stomachs.
Ninety percent of sannyasins are only filling their stomachs. If only the stomach had to be filled up then the world would be a better place. Then at least one would be honest – then your shop could be run as a shop without any deception; there would be no need to pollute the temple. Ordinary clothes would be alright, there would be no need to pollute the ochre robes. What would be the need to pull your hair out? – the barber could have cut your hair. All these outer things don’t matter if your mind is involved in doing business: if your mind is involved in “running the shop,” then this is just a deception.
I received the news a few months before that two Jaina munis – they live naked, they have given up everything and possess nothing – went out of the village to answer the call of nature and they started quarreling. They were master and disciple. They attacked each other. Because of this quarrel and fighting their secret was out. Both of them had hidden money in the hollow stick of the pichie they were carrying; the fight was over the distribution of the money. Both of them were caught and brought to the police station. Their disciples in the village became worried and were unhappy, because it was also a question of their prestige. Somehow they quieted the matter down by bribing the police so that this news didn’t spread to other places.
The naked man is also doing the same thing as the shopkeeper is doing. Then isn’t it better for him to sit in a shop? Then at least the nudity will not be polluted.
Nobody is forcing you to give up the world. Give it up only when you feel like it. Otherwise this pretense of giving up the world is nothing but deception.
One who has long hair on his head, one who has shaved his head, one who has pulled his hair from the roots, one who is wearing ochre robes, or is dressed up in a variety of ways, that fool, in spite of having eyes, is blind.
Why does Shankara say,…that fool, in spite of having eyes, is blind? Whom is he deceiving? It is not a question of deceiving others; the other is not concerned about him. He is only deceiving himself. The final conclusion is based on what you are inside, it is not based on what you are outside. Life is motivated with what you are inside, not with what you are outside.