In the beginning, when the West became acquainted with Mahavira, they thought it was nothing but the same story of Buddha, because the statue is the same, the philosophy is the same, the understanding is the same, the teaching is the same. So it was just the same thing, it was nothing different from Buddha; they thought Mahavira was another name for Buddha. And of course both were called Buddha's – “buddha” means “the awakened one.” So Buddha was called Buddha and Mahavira was also called Buddha. And both were called jinas – ”jina” means the “conqueror,” one who has conquered himself. Buddha is called “the jina” and Mahavira is called “the jina,” so they thought they were the same person. And the statue was a great proof: they look absolutely alike. They are not photographic, they don’t represent a person; they represent a certain state. You will have to understand it, then the thing will be explained.
In India three words are very important: one is tantra, which we are talking about, another is mantra, and the third is yantra. Tantra means techniques for expanding your consciousness. Mantra means finding your inner sound, your inner rhythm, your inner vibration. Once you have found your mantra, it is of tremendous help: just one utterance of the mantra and you are in a totally different world. That becomes the key, the passage, because once uttering that mantra, you fall into your natural vibe. And the third is yantra. These statues are yantras. Yantra means a certain figure which can create a certain state in you. A certain figure, if you look at it, is bound to create a certain state in you.
Have you not watched it? Looking at a Picasso painting you will start feeling a little uneasy. Concentrate on a Picasso painting for half an hour and you will feel very bizarre – something is going crazy. You cannot look at a Picasso painting for half an hour. If you keep Picasso paintings in your bedroom you will have nightmares, you will have very dangerous dreams: being haunted by ghosts, tortured by Adolf Hitler and things like that; a war victim in a concentration camp – things like that.
When you watch something, it is not only that the figure is outside; when you watch something, the figure creates a certain situation in you. Gurdjieff used to call this “objective art.” And you know it: listening to modern pop music, something happens in you; you become more sexually excited. There is nothing but sound outside, but the sound hits inside, creates something in you. Listening to classical music you become less sexual, less excited. In fact with great classical music you almost forget sex; you are in a tranquility, a silence, a totally different dimension of your being. You exist on another plane.
Watching a Buddha statue is watching a yantra. The figure of the statue, the geometry of the statue, creates a figure inside you. And that inside figure creates a certain vibe. It was not just imagination that happened to you, Samagra, in the Frankfurt museum; those Buddha statues created a certain vibe in you.
Watch the statue of Buddha sitting so silently in a certain yoga posture: if you go on watching the statue you will find something like that is happening within you too. If you are in company where ten persons are sad and you are the eleventh person, how long can you remain happy? Those ten persons will function like a yantra, a yantra of sadness; you will fall into sadness sooner or later. If you are unhappy and you go into company where people are joking and laughing, how long can you remain sad? Those laughing people will create laughter in you. They will change your focus, they will change your gear; you will start moving in a different direction. This happens every day – knowingly, unknowingly.