No, Maneesha, he is not punished by jealousy or criticism. He is certainly punished by his own virtue – that is another thing – because he will have to do something stupid, he will have to torture himself, he will have to go against his own intelligence. Only then can he fulfill the demands of the society that he should be virtuous.
But these saints and virtuous people are not punished by jealousy and criticism. Criticism is for those who are not following the virtuous; jealousy is for those who are enjoying life and are not being ascetics. The virtuous people are punished, they are punished by their own virtue, but their egos are so immensely satisfied that they are ready to do anything – they can even commit suicide.
Jainism is the only religion in the world where even suicide is considered a virtue. Of course it has to be done in a certain methodological way: one has to fast unto death. It is a very torturous, long awaiting, because a healthy person can live without food for ninety days. And those ninety days, continuous hunger and waiting for death…and people around him are singing religious songs and worshipping him. His pictures are printed in the newspapers with great respect, as though he is doing something very spiritual; he is leaving the condemned body. And even today, people do it.
So they are punished, but by their own virtue, not by others. Do you think anybody will feel jealous that somebody is committing suicide? Do you think somebody will criticize him? His worshipers will kill whoever criticizes him.
“It is as if one is only meant to strive towards; to attain is an altogether different matter.”
That’s true. Society talks about, scriptures talk about, great virtues of truth, of love, of silence, of peace, of brotherhood. But they are only to be talked about; you are not supposed to practice them. Yes, in the name of love you can kill as many people as you want. Millions of people have been killed in the name of Christian love; millions of others have been killed in the name of peace, by the Mohammedans.
These beautiful words are just decorative. They give you a good feeling that you have such a beautiful philosophy to live by, such beautiful, distant stars to reach – but don’t try to reach to those stars, because a man of truth will not be acceptable in society!
The society lives by lies, so many lies that the man of truth is going to expose it – he is a danger. The man of love cannot be acceptable because the society lives by hate: one nation hates another, one religion hates another, one color hates another. There are so many groups, sects, cults and they are all hating each other and are ready to destroy each other. Just talk about love, write about love, but don’t practice – because a man of love is dangerous. That means he will be against you whenever he sees any hatred, any anger.
For a man of love, nationality is nothing but a beautiful name for hatred. Religious organizations are nothing but sophisticated ways of hating others who don’t belong to your organization, to your herd, to your crowd.