Why Didn’t Mahavira Defecate?


Osho, I laughed at everything you said the other day until you said that Mahavira smelt. I felt personally offended. It hurt.

If not even being born an American Jew has helped me to drop my attachment to Mahavira, if not even your outrageous statements about him have helped, what to do?

Am I stuck with this conditioning forever? Perhaps a few more outrageous remarks from you would help. There is a part of me that goes on being identified with a Jaina part of me that I don’t even know (intellectually) anything about. I have tried all my life to hide my asceticism in hedonism, but I can see that it is still there.

Osho smiling

Satya Bharti, That asceticism is in everyone, and your insight is right that you have been hiding it behind a facade of hedonism. Millions of people are doing that. A real hedonist is not a hedonist at all. I am a real hedonist, but I am not a hedonist at all! The person who thinks he is a hedonist and tries to live the life of a hedonist is simply trying to suppress the deep-rooted asceticism, the deep-rooted sado-masochistic tendencies which have been created in the whole of humanity for millions of years.

Man has lived in such suffering that he had to start worshipping suffering, because there was no other consolation; there was no way to get rid of it. It was so much there that the only possible way was to cover it up, to give it a beautiful color, to paint it beautifully. And the best way was to worship suffering. That’s what asceticism is: worship of suffering, worship of torture. When a man starts torturing himself, people worship him; this is worshipping a very ill kind of man, a very sick mind.

This part exists in everybody; Jainism is only the full-fledged philosophy of it. But everybody carries a Jaina within himself; a part of everyone around the earth… whether you are a Jew or a Christian or a Hindu or a Mohammedan does not matter, a Jaina is bound to be there because the whole past has been one of such misery that we have all accepted misery as the way of life. And the best way to accept it as the way of life is to worship it, is to give it the color of spirituality. That’s what Jainism has done.

You say that you were shocked when I said Mahavira smelt. I am not saying it – Jaina scriptures are saying it. Of course they say it in such a way that you will not be able to discover it. They say that Mahavira did not smell at all – but why do you mention it? He did not perspire – but why do you mention it? And how is a body which is alive able not to perspire? Perspiration is an absolute necessity for an alive body because it keeps the temperature of the body at a fixed point, ninety-eight degrees or something. When it is too hot your body perspires and your perspiration evaporates; that evaporation takes the heat of the body away. It evaporates because of the heat of the body, but in the evaporation the heat is taken away and your body remains at a fixed temperature. Without perspiration you will die.

And Mahavira was not made of steel; he was made of bones, blood, skin, just as you are. He was not manufactured by a Ford company on an assembly line; he was born of a mother. He was as much a human being as you are, as I am, as everybody is. It is impossible not to perspire. But Jainas make it a point that he did not perspire for the simple reason that if he perspired and he did not take any bath, then he would smell. To avoid the fact that he smelt, all these fabrications….

I myself am shocked,
but what to do?

You will be surprised to know Jaina scriptures mention that he did not urinate, he did not defecate. What nonsense is this? I have come across a case in the medical history that seems to be the longest period of constipation: eighteen months. One man remained constipated for eighteen months; that is the record. But it seems the people who write medical history are not aware of Mahavira: for forty-two years…. That is the greatest chronic case of constipation!

Why didn’t Mahavira defecate? – because if you defecate, certainly there will be problems. It is better to deny it, because the problems will be that either he will have to use tissue paper – which Indians don’t use and at that time nobody was aware of – or he will have to use a toilet, a septic tank, but there was no septic tank in those days, and even if there were he would not have used it because the water in the septic tank, your turd falling into the water, can kill small germs in the water!

Jaina scriptures say: Never defecate on wet ground, never defecate in a river, never defecate in water! So even now Jaina monks don’t go into the toilet; in the modern toilet they cannot go. They have to go outside the city and find a dry place. In the rainy season it is very difficult to find a dry place!

He could not use water after defecating to clean himself because water… he was very much against water because water contains germs and they will be dying and that will be violence. So it is better to cut the root of the problem: he never defecated. Such control! Such discipline!

And you say Jesus did miracles! Walking on water you think is a miracle? This is a miracle: forty-two years, holding, holding, holding… twenty-four hours! – I don’t think he had any time to meditate or do anything. Even in sleep he must have been holding, holding! This is sheer greed.

And Sigmund Freud again has the insight. He says the color of shit and gold is the same, so the people who are interested in gold become constipated. Mahavira renounced gold, but must have renounced grudgingly, reluctantly. He took revenge – he gathered all the gold inside!

And, Satya, you say that you were shocked when I said Mahavira smelt. Just think of forty-two years of constipation, no urination, no bath, no cleansing of the mouth. How can you avoid smelling! But Jaina scriptures say this is the miracle a teerthankara can do. They had to invent these miracles.

There is a story that a snake bites Mahavira on his foot and instead of blood, milk comes out. And Jainas say this is a real miracle. I don’t think this can be milk. It may have looked white, but it can be only pus, it cannot be milk. How can milk come out of the feet, because milks needs a certain mechanism in the body, it exists only in the woman’s breasts. The milk has to be created, it is a chemical process. How can the feet create milk? Either he had breasts on the feet… but then the problem arises that he must have been in a very distorted state! And my feeling is, even if a snake bites on the breast of a woman, milk won’t come out, blood will come out. So it must have been pus – this man must have been full of pus. No urination, no defecation – what else can you have inside?

And, Satya Bharti, you say you were shocked. I myself am shocked, but what to do?

Osho, Philosophia Ultima, Ch 16, Q 2

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