My grandmother would not even allow poor tomatoes in the house, because they look like meat – just the appearance. Only when she died could tomatoes enter into the house. You will be surprised, Jainas don’t eat potatoes. Now, what have these poor potatoes done? But their ideas: anything that grows under the earth has not to be eaten, only things that grow in the open, in the sun, because anything that grows in darkness creates darkness in you. Logic! It is tamas; it will create tamasik energy in you; it will create a certain energy that will pull you towards the earth, downwards. The potato is a secret agent of the earth – beware. Eat things that grow upwards towards the sun; they will help you to be uplifted, your energy will be sattvik, pure. You will be under the law of levitation. The potato pulls you downwards, it is heavy.
And once you are conditioned from your very childhood, that’s how it starts appearing. Then eat a potato and you will feel very heavy and pulled downwards – all these things will happen and then you will know that the teaching is right.
Up to my eighteenth year I had not eaten in the night. Then I went with a few friends to see a fort, far away in the jungles. They were all Hindus, and the fort was such a beauty that the whole day they were not interested in preparing food. I was the only Jaina, and I could not insist, because thirty people were not interested in cooking food in the day. So I kept quiet. In the night they cooked food. Now, the whole day’s wandering in the forest, in the ruins of that old ancient castle – I was tired, hungry; I had never known such hunger. But my eighteen years’ conditioning – you cannot eat in the night….
And then they started preparing beautiful food, and the smell of the food and so close by…. And they all started persuading me; they said. “Nobody is here, and nobody will tell your family, your parents. Nobody will ever know.” I resisted – but the more I resisted, the more I was tempted. Finally I yielded, I ate. The food was delicious, but the whole night I suffered hell. I vomited at least seven times. That eighteen years’ conditioning is not an easy thing to get rid of. I could not digest that food; my whole body revolted. Until all the food was thrown out I could not sleep. And then it was certainly a proof that whatsoever I had been told was right.
But those thirty people, they slept well. I had only one consolation – that they would all suffer in hell. The whole night I was preparing for their hell, as bad a hell as possible. I was suffering my hell, and they were sound asleep and snoring. I was consoling myself, “It’s okay – just a few days more, then I will be in paradise and you will be in hellfire. Then you will know. The pleasures of this life are momentary,” I was telling myself.
Your so-called religions only condition you against other religions. They make you antagonistic, they create conflict. They don’t allow you to create a brotherhood, they don’t allow you to create a humanity.
Goldfarb was invited to a birthday party for the parish priest. Wanting to show his desire to be a good member of the community, he went to a jewelry store to get the good father a birthday present.
“What would you recommend?” asked Goldfarb of the store clerk.
“How about this lovely crucifix with Christ on it?”
“Do you think he would like that?”
“How much is it?”
“One hundred and fifty dollars.”