The word svetambara means “white clad,” and the followers of this sect believe that although Mahavira was naked he was covered by the gods in an invisible white cloth. This is a compromise just to satisfy the Hindus.
The followers of Taran Taran belong to the Digambara sect, and they are the most revolutionary of the Jainas. They don’t even worship the statues of Mahavira; their temples are empty, signifying the inner emptiness. It would have been almost impossible to have come to know Taran if not for the chance that I was born into a family who believed in him. But I thank God, it was worth the trouble to be born into that family. All the troubles can be forgiven just for this one thing, that they acquainted me with a tremendous mystic.
His book Shunya Svabhava says only one thing again and again, just like a madman. You know me, you can understand. I have been saying the same thing again and again for twenty-five years. I’ve said again and again: Awake! That’s what he does in Shunya Svabhava.
Five: The second book of Taran Taran, Siddhi Svabhava – The Nature of Ultimate Realization, a beautiful title. He says the same thing again and again: Be empty! But what can the poor fellow do? Nobody can say anything else. “Be awake, be aware….”
The English word beware is made up of two words: be aware – so don’t be afraid of the word beware, just be aware, and the moment you are aware you have come home.
There are many books by Taran Taran, but these two contain his whole message. One shows you who you are – pure emptiness; the second, how you can reach to it: by becoming aware. But they are very small books, only a few pages.
Sixth…I always wanted to talk about this book but was afraid that I was going to miss because there was no time. I did not plan, just as always I go unplanned. I had thought to talk about only fifty books, but then came the P.S. and it continued and continued. Again fifty titles were completed, but there were still so many beautiful books that I had to continue and start the P.P.S. That is why I can now talk about this book. It is Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground.
It is a very strange book, as strange as the man was. Just notes – like Devageet’s notes, fragmentary, on the surface unrelated to each other, but really related with an undercurrent of aliveness. It has to be meditated upon. I cannot say anything more than this. It is one of the most ignored great works of art. Nobody seems to take note of it, for the simple reason that it is not a novel, just notes, and they too seem to the unmeditative to be unrelated. But to my disciples it can be of great significance; they can find treasures hidden in it.