There is only one beautiful sentence in it, that’s all, so I can quote it. It says: God is terrible. He is not your uncle, he is not nice. Only this sentence: God is not nice, and is not your uncle – this I love. This is really great. Otherwise the whole book is gibberish. It is altogether very primitive, to be thrown away. Just save this one sentence when you are throwing it away. Write it in your bedroom: God is not your uncle, he is not nice – remember! That will bring you back to your senses when you start doing stupid things to your wife or to your husband, your children, to your servants…or even to yourself.
Fourth: I was born in a family which belongs to a very small section of Jainism. It follows a madman who must have been just a little bit less mad than me. I cannot say more mad than me!
I am going to talk about his two books, which are not trans lated in English, not even into Hindi, because they are untranslatable. I don’t think that he is ever going to have any international audience – impossible. He believes in no language, no grammar, nothing whatsoever. He speaks exactly like a madman. The fourth is his book, Shunya Svabhava – The Nature of Emptiness.
It is just a few pages, but of tremendous significance. Each sentence contains scriptures, but very difficult to understand. You will naturally ask how I could understand him. In the first place, just as Martin Buber was born into a Hassid family, I was born into this madman’s tradition. His name is Taran Taran. It is not his real name, but nobody knows his real name. Taran taran simply means The Savior. That has become his name.
I have breathed him from my very childhood, listened to his songs, wondered what he meant. But a child never cares about the meaning. The song was beautiful, the rhythm was beautiful, the dance was beautiful, and it is enough. One needs to understand such people only if one is grown up; otherwise, if from their very childhood they are surrounded by the milieu, they will not need to understand and yet deep down in their guts they will understand.
I understand Taran Taran – not intellectually, but existentially. Moreover I also know what he is talking about. Even if I had not been born into a family of his followers I would have understood him. I have understood so many different traditions – and it is not that I have been born into all of them. I have understood so many madmen that anybody could go mad just by making an effort to understand them! But just look at me: they have not affected me at all. They have remained somewhere below me. I have remained transcendental to them all.
Still I would have understood Taran Taran. I may not have come into contact with him, that is possible, because his followers are very few, just a few thousand, and found only in the middle parts of India. And they are so afraid because of their being in such a minority that they don’t call themselves thefollowers of Taran Taran, they call themselves Jainas. Secretly they believe, not in Mahavira as the rest of the Jainas believe, but in Taran Taran, the founder of their sect.
Jainism itself is a very small religion; only three million people believe in it. There are two main sects: the Digambaras, and the Svetambaras. The Digambaras believe that Mahavira lived naked, and was naked – the word digambara means “sky clad”; metaphorically it means “the naked.” This is the oldest sect.