There was no sin; before knowledge there is no sin. A child cannot commit sin, only an old man can be a sinner. So all sinners are old. A child cannot be a sinner – how can he be a sinner? A child is innocent be-cause a child is not aware of himself, that he is.
Adam was like a child, Eve was like a child; they enjoyed but there was no one who was enjoying. They were part of this mystery, of the miracle. When they felt hungry they ate, when they felt sleepy they slept, when they felt like loving they loved. But everything was a natural phenomenon, the mind was not there as the manipulator. They were part of this universe – flowing like rivers, flowering like trees, singing like birds – they were not separate. Separation came with the knowledge that “I am.”
The first thing Adam and Eve did was to try to hide their nakedness. The childhood was lost. Whenever a child begins to feel that he is naked…this is the point where Adam and Eve were turned out of the garden of Eden.
It has always been my feeling that the answer to the Christian story exists in Mahavira – not in Jesus, but in Mahavira. If by eating the fruit of knowledge Adam became aware and felt guilty that he was naked, then the answer exists in Mahavira. The moment Mahavira became silent the first thing he did was to become naked. And I say Mahavira entered the garden of Eden again, he became a child again. The Christian story is half, the Jaina story is the other half; they make the whole. The whole existence is a miracle; you have fallen out of it.
Bankei says, “We know only one miracle; we have entered in this great miracle again. We are no more separate as egos, we are not individuals. Hunger is there but there is no one who is hungry. Sleep comes but there is no one who is sleepy. The ego is not there to resist or to decide; we flow, we drift.” Nothing is wrong and nothing is good. This is the beyondness, the transcendental attitude where no evil exists and no good. You have become innocent. Your saints cannot be innocents because their goodness is forced too much; their goodness is already ugly. Their goodness is managed, controlled, cultivated, it is not innocent.
I have heard about one old woman. She served a Buddhist monk for thirty years, did everything for that monk; she was just like a mother and a disciple both. And the Buddhist monk meditated and meditated and meditated. The day the old woman was going to die she called a prostitute from the town and said, “Go to that monk’s hut. Enter the hut, go near him, embrace the monk, and just come and tell me how he reacts, because this night I am going to die, and I want to be certain whether I was serving a man who is innocent. I am not certain.”
The prostitute became afraid. She said, “He is such a good man, so saintly; we have never seen such a saintly man.”