A child can be a thief in our eyes, but a child himself is never a thief because the very concept that things belong to individuals doesn’t exist in his mind. If he takes your watch, your money, or anything, it is not a theft for him because the very notion that things belong to someone is non-existent. His theft is pure while even your non-theft is not pure – the mind is there.
Tantra says that when someone becomes again like a child, he is pure. Of course, he is not a child – only like a child. The difference is there and the similarity is there. The similarity is the innocence regained. Again someone is like a child. A child is standing naked – no one feels the nakedness because a child is still unaware of the body. His nakedness has a quality different from your nakedness. You are aware of the body.
The sage must regain this innocence. Mahavira stands again naked. That nakedness again has the same quality of innocence. He has forgotten his body; he is no longer the body. But one difference is also there, and the difference is great: the child is simply ignorant, hence the innocence. But the sage is wise, that is the reason for his innocence.
The child will one day become aware of his body and will feel the nakedness. He will try to hide, he will become guilty, and he will feel shame. He will come to be aware. So his innocence is an innocence of ignorance. Knowledge will destroy it.
That is the meaning of the biblical story of Adam and Eve being expelled from the garden of Eden. They were naked like children. They were not aware of the body; they were not aware of anger, greed, lust, sex or anything. They were unaware. They were like children, innocent.
But God had forbidden them to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge. The tree of knowledge was forbidden but they ate, because anything forbidden becomes inviting. Anything forbidden becomes attractive! They were living in a big garden with an infinite number of trees, but the tree of knowledge became the most important and significant because it was forbidden. Really, this forbiddenness became the attraction, the invitation. They were as if magnetized, hypnotized by the tree. They couldn’t escape it, they had to eat.
But this story is beautiful because the tree is named the tree of knowledge. The moment they ate the fruit of knowledge they became non-innocent. They became aware; they came to realize that they were naked. Immediately, Eve tried to hide her body. With awareness of the body they became aware of everything – anger, lust, greed, everything. They became adult, so they were expelled from the garden.
So in the Bible knowledge is sin. They were thrown out of the garden, they were punished, because of knowledge. Unless they become again like children – innocent, not-knowing – they cannot enter the garden. They can enter the kingdom of God again only if they fulfill this condition of becoming innocent again.