But history can take no note of truth; history consists of facts. In India we have two different systems. One we call history; history takes note of the facts. Another we call purana, mythology; it takes note of the truth. We have not written histories about Buddha, Mahavira or Krishna, no. That would have been dragging something immensely beautiful into the muddy unconsciousness of humanity. We have not written histories about these people, we have written myths. What is a myth? A myth is a parable, a parable that only points to the moon but says nothing about it – a finger pointing to the moon, an indication, an arrow, saying nothing.
Go to a Jaina temple and you will be surprised. You will find twenty-four statues of twenty-four great enlightened masters, the twenty-four tirthankaras. And the most striking thing will be this, that they all look absolutely alike. This is impossible – there are not even two persons absolutely alike in the world, not even twins are absolutely alike. So how was it possible – and the time span is big, thousands of years – to be exactly alike?
This is not history. These statues don’t depict the real persons, no, not at all. They are not pictorial representations. Then what are they? They represent something of the inner, they represent something of meditativeness, they represent something of inner stillness, of being. Those twenty-four statues are just representations, visible representations, of something which is invisible.
Sitting before these statues, if you silently go on watching, you will be surprised. Something starts happening inside you. The form of the statue is an objective art; it synchronizes with the inner form of your being. The posture of the statue synchronizes with your posture. If you sit in the same posture – with erect spine, half-opened eyes, just looking at the tip of your nose, doing nothing, as if you are also a marble statue, all white, within and without – then you will know that you are not facing ordinary statues, you are confronting great symbols. This is mythology.
Mythology is bound to be poetic, because only poetry can give a few glimpses of the unknown.
It is said that wherever Buddha moved, trees would start blooming out of season. Now, this is poetry, pure poetry; it did not happen as a fact. But this shows something; there is no other way to say it. It says whenever Buddha is contacted, even trees start blooming out of season – so what to say about man?
It is said that wherever Mohammed would move in the desert’s hot sun – fire everywhere – a small cloud, a white cloud, would go on moving above him just to give him shade like an umbrella. This is poetry, beautiful, but it is not a historical fact. A man like Mohammed is protected by existence, a man like Mohammed is in every way cared for by existence. One who has surrendered to existence is bound to be cared for by existence. One who has trusted totally, how can existence be uncaring about him? To say this, there is this metaphor of the cloud just hanging over his head wherever he would go.