Those who say that I am against Jainism, they are right in a way – because I am against Jainism as they understand it. I am against, because that is not religion at all. A dead fossil: of course, one of the most ancient. Jainism seems to be the most ancient religion in the world, even older than Hinduism, because even in the Vedas, in the Rig Veda, Jaina tirthankaras are mentioned, and mentioned with deep reverence. That shows Jaina tirthankaras are older than the Rig Veda, the first Hindu scripture, the oldest in the world. And when a scripture talks about a master like the first tirthankara of the Jainas, Rishabh, the Vedas talk with so much reverence that it is almost certain that he was not a contemporary. He must have been dead for at least one thousand years; only then can you talk with such reverence. About contemporaries nobody talks with such reverence. Followers can talk, but Hindus are not followers of Jainas – antagonistic religions. At least one thousand years must have passed, and the man must have become a legend.
Jainas are very old. Now historians are working on the ruins and findings in Harappa and Mohenjo Daro, and they say that there is every possibility that Harappa and Mohenjo Daro were Jaina civilizations. Before Aryans came to India, India was a Jaina country – there is every possibility. A very ancient religion, and of course, very much dead. The older a religion the more dead…everything fossilized. You cannot find a more dead person than a Jaina monk. He goes on cutting his life; it is a slow suicide. And the more dead he is the more he is worshipped – because death itself seems to be like a renunciation. If he is a little alive then Jainas become afraid of him. Older religions crucify their followers, they murder them.
The older the religion the greater the weight. Like a Himalaya on the heart of a small man – burdened, crushing, you cannot move. And traditions go on gathering, they are like snowballs: they go on gathering weight, they become fatter and fatter. Dead, but still they go on gaining weight. They become monstrous, and then they kill the spirit. They always remain true to the word – and the more true to the word, the more poisonous to the spirit.
If you ask the Jainas only a few will say, “Yes, this man is a real Jaina.” Many will say, “This man is against us, the greatest enemy.” And both are right in a way – and both are wrong in a deeper way. I am a Jaina. If you look at Mahavira, I am a Jaina. Mahavira is a religious man – not because he is born in a religion. He searched, he inquired, he encountered reality. He threw all dogmas, he threw all civilization. Even clothes he threw away because they too are a part of the civilization and the culture; and they too carry the society with you. He remained naked. For twelve years he completely stopped talking, because if you go on talking you use the language of the society, and that language carries the germs of the society.
Whenever you talk immediately you become a part of a society. A silent man is not part of any society. He may be part of nature, but he’s not part of society. In fact language is the only thing that makes you human and part of human society and the human world. When you drop language, suddenly you drop out of human society and civilization. You become part of the trees, rocks, the sky.
For twelve years Mahavira would not use any language, remained completely silent. This man I love, because this is a religious man. And he started speaking only when silence was total within him. And he spoke not out of scriptures, he spoke out of himself. He spoke out of his silence, and whenever a word is born out of deep silence it is alive, throbbing with life. And those who hear it directly, they are most fortunate – because soon it will die. Everything born dies.