The Lord Mahavira said, “‘I will accept alms for breaking my fast only from a princess that has become a slave.’” He announced like that, without anyone telling Him this story. Nobody knew that Chandana was a princess in any case.
So, “Due to her sweet demeanor, Vasumati had a magical inﬂuence over the household. The fragrance of her poise and coolness of her nature inspired Dhanavah to call her Chandana (sandal wood). But his wife Mula was smitten with envy. She thought that this poisonous ﬂower should be nipped in the bud.” So, last time we read up to there, right?
“One day, the merchant Dhanavah left the town on some business errand. This was a golden opportunity for Mula. She relieved all the servants of the household and called Chandana, replaced her beautiful dress with rags, took off all her ornaments, tied her in shackles, and shaved her long silky hair. Chandana uttered in surprise, ‘Mother, what are you doing? I have done no harm to you. For what misdeed are you punishing me?’ Mula silenced Chandana, put her in a dark cell, locked it and left. Dhanavah returned on the third day. When he saw the house abandoned, he was taken aback. He called, ‘Chandana, O Chandana!’ But no one replied. He went at the back of the house and shouted once again. Chandana shouted back, ‘Father, I am here, in the cellar on the back side.’ The merchant went in and saw that the cellar was locked. Looking through the bars of the iron gate, he saw Chandana in her wretched condition and started crying, ‘What happened to my daughter? What evil soul has done this to you?’ Chandana replied calmly, ‘Father, get me out ﬁrst and then I will tell you everything.’ The merchant broke the lock and brought out Chandana. She asked, ‘Father, I have not taken even a drop of water for the last three days. Please give me something to eat and drink.’ The merchant went around the house, but everything was locked. Not even a utensil was available.” Wow. I think the wife is really something. “He saw a basket containing a handful of dried pulse-bran meant for cows. He took the basket and put it before Chandana, saying, ‘Child, eat some of this. I shall call a blacksmith to cut your shackles.’” Oh dear. Humans. Actually, this is nothing very surprising.
A long time ago, hundreds of years back, I was a Master, but not very famous, a normal Master. My so-called wife also locked me in the house and then starved me to death. Too jealous. Too much jealousy with many female disciples coming and worshipping me, like the way you do. Luckily, I was not a handsome guy. Even though some men were jealous with their wife for coming for initiation, but not to this extent, I don’t think, right? Well, I never knew. I never knew. Many times, things like that happen in the family. And, of course, there was nobody there to help me to break the lock. It happened like, we lived in a faraway area and somehow nobody came at that time. And maybe some people came and then saw the door locked, they thought Master was not home. So, they left.
So, “It was the 12th year of Lord Mahavira Swami’s spiritual practices. Spending the monsoon-stay at Vaishali, He came to a garden in Kaushambi. It was the time around which the incidents of Shatanik’s attack on Champa, fall of Champa, sacrifice of queen Dharini, auction of princess Vasumati as a slave, etc.,” same time, these things “were occurring. Lord Mahavira Swami, with His penetrating knowledge and perception, had a glimpse of all this. He made an almost impossible resolution on the first day of the dark half of the month of Paush.” What is that then? (December to January.) December to January. It’s kind of the end of winter, no, middle of winter. It’s kind of mid-winter solstice or something? Festival, no? No festival.
The Lord Mahavira said, “‘I will accept alms for breaking my fast only from a princess that has become a slave.’” He announced like that, without anyone telling Him this story. Nobody knew that Chandana was a princess in any case. She did not tell. Because for her safety also, because her parents were already being harmed and her country lost, and she ran away. So, if she had told that she was a princess, then maybe she’d been killed too. So, she didn’t say anything. It was just her demeanor sometimes gave out an air of royalty. But she did not tell anything.
Nowadays, I feel a little safer, but in these years, before these couple of years, before Supreme Master TV, I was alone in the world, and I had never told anyone that I was Supreme Master this and that, or what I do. Nothing. I had to keep a low profile for safety, so it’s a similar situation, I guess, though I wasn’t a princess. When I went out, I played stupid sometimes, talked nonsense or something. And nobody suspected anything. And if I was kind of beginning to be suspected, then I moved somewhere else. Nowadays, it feels a little safer though. Just a little safer.
So, Lord Mahavira had announced that He would only accept alms for breaking His fast only from a princess that has become a slave. During this monsoon retreat season, maybe He did not eat anything. So now, it was the first meal after the fast. So, He wanted a princess to feed Him. He must have had clairvoyance to see something happening to that country, to the princess. So, “‘And that too only if she has a shaven head,’” even; oh, she was shaven. She was shaven by the wife of the merchant. And, “‘her limbs are shackled,’” only then. “‘She has not eaten for three days, she is sitting on the threshold of a house, she has pulse-bran lying in a basket and she has a smile as well as tears in her eyes,’” at the same time. “‘Unless these conditions are met, I resolve to continue my practice and not to break my fast.’” Oh, what a difficult condition for breakfast! Break fast. Unless these conditions presented, He would not begin to eat again.
“Four months passed since Lord Mahavira Swami started going from door to door to beg in the town of Kaushambi.” Four months since, means He didn’t eat anything for four months. “One day, (Lord) Mahavira approached the house of the chief minister of Kaushambi, Sugupta. Sugupta’s wife, Nanda, was a devotee of Lord Parshvanath and was acquainted with the ways of ascetic Shramans. Looking at Mahashraman Vardhaman,” means Lord Mahavira, “approaching her house for alms, she became enthralled. She requested Prabhu to accept pure and ascetic food. (Lord) Mahavira turned back without accepting anything. Nanda became very disappointed. Cursing her own bad luck, she said, ‘Mahashraman Vardhaman came to my house and, what a misfortune, I could not provide Him anything.’ Nanda’s maids reassured her, ‘Lady, why are you so dejected? This ascetic has been approaching almost every household in Kaushambi for alms and without taking a single grain or uttering a word, He is just returning back.’” Not just only her house, but every house He visited, He never took anything, because it was not the condition that He had set out. He probably was looking for princess Chandana. So, “‘We have been witnessing all this for the last four months.’” So, He did not eat anything. He just went from door to door for four months, but not taking any alms, not taking any food offered to Him. Wow! This man is really tough. I don’t know if I can do that.
“‘This is nothing unique at your place, so why be so dismayed?’ The words of the maid added to Nanda’s more distress, ‘What! So, the Mahashraman is returning without alms for the last four months? That means Prabhu has been on a fast for four months and I have not been able to serve Him. How unlucky I am!’ At that moment, minister Sugupta arrived,” her husband. “Nanda told him everything. Sugupta also became worried. King Shatanik and Queen Mrigavati also got the news that Shraman Mahavira was wandering in Kaushambi without food or water for four months.” Wow! Without food, OK, but without water for four months, He must have really been sustained by extraordinary magic power that He earned all this time, being an ascetic and pure, and truthful, and determined, not wavering. So, “Everyone was sad and worried. The ruling family went for Lord Mahavira Swami’s Darshan and requested Him to accept food. But He was unmoved.” After He left His kingdom, the ruling family was still in power. So, they came and asked Him to eat something, but He still rejected.
“Five months and twenty-five days had passed since Lord Mahavira Swami had eaten anything.” He became breatharian. That is possible also. One time, I was also like that. If you have to do it, you can. But don’t try. Please. I told you already my story when I was breatharian. I was in a temple, working like a working nun, keeping the temple, cooking for everybody, and I ate once a day. And then the abbot, maybe he was joking or he was just feeling guilty, because I was the only one, the only monk, that ate only once a day there, and because his body was not well, he had to take food six times a day. So, he said to everybody at the table. He said, “Ching Hai, She eats only once a day, but it’s like more than three times a day, what She eats.” So, that was it. From that time, I didn’t eat anything anymore. And I still continued working. I did not feel I was missing anything. It’s so funny. So funny, your will power is always so strong. I don’t know if you’re destined for it or something, or it’s a part of my life that I should go through. So, I just quit eating, just like that. Nothing. I didn’t even drink for I don’t know how long. Everybody worried and people came to the temple, and looked, looked and all that, and I was feeling kind of embarrassed. And then I just started eating again. And the first mouth of food, it tasted like, if I tear this paper and eat it. Didn’t taste anything.
And during the time I did not eat or drink, I did not feel anything special. I just quit like that. Like, just like that. No preparation, no support group, nothing. I didn’t know much about anything. I just didn’t feel like eating anymore, and then, so I quit. And then I didn’t eat, didn’t drink anything, but I continued working, and I felt just like normal. I felt like before, just exactly like before. So, the abbot was very worried. He said, “You are not eating anything and You’re working like that. Is it OK?” I said, “OK.” And I told him, “I can eat if I want, and if I don’t want, I don’t eat.” I told him like that. And he was like baffled but continued to watch me, in case I dropped dead or something, and he had to be responsible. So, people tried to coax me to eat. And slowly I got fed up, so I said, “All this bothering is worse than eating and being humiliated for eating.” So, I began eating again, but I did not feel like it.
But after I ate the first meal, even though it didn’t taste a lot – I didn’t eat a lot and it didn’t taste at all – after the first meal, I felt like I was dropping from, physically speaking, as if you’re from the fifth floor and drop down gently to the first floor, like that. You feel dropping, really. I don’t know, you just feel like that. I don’t know how to describe it. When I was not eating, I felt like I was walking on the clouds. My body was light; my mind was free. I felt happier than before. I felt just so free. And I first ate the first few mouthfuls, and then I felt like I was dropping down. It’s just a feeling; you cannot describe it. Very gently like you’re floating from the fifth floor, at least, all the way down to the first floor – that’s the way it felt. My first meal after spontaneous breatharian.
I guess if some of you tried breatharian before and the first meal you ate, maybe you felt like that too or not? (Yes.) You do? You did? Then why bother eating? If you could go without food, just go. But only if you’re healthy still, continue the same like before, then you should continue.
And now I know why I had to eat – make more karma, more affinity – so that I can do a different job, instead of just a cleaning nun in a small temple. Even then, I didn’t think of being a Master, nothing. Just one day, a group of African Americans came knocking at my door and said they’re looking for Master Ching. And then after that, I still ran away, and I went to Germany, I went to Taiwan (Formosa). No, Taiwan (Formosa) knocked first, Americans knocked after. They were always chasing after me. And so afterwards, I said, “Oh, then, what the hair.” I went out preaching, helping people.
The thing is this group of African Americans, they knew nothing about the (inner Heavenly) Light and (inner Heavenly) Sound. They were practicing an African kind of spiritual tradition, and they really practiced very hard, so that they became more clairvoyant. They could go into a trance and tell people about what happened to them, and what they should do to remedy their maybe trouble at that time, the other people. I saw her one time in a trance. And she was so big like this. And then her husband was so big like this, only one-third of her size or one-fourth or one-fifth even, very skinny and young. But when she was in a trance, she could fall and he could hold her like I hold a piece of paper. It was funny. And she kept telling people what’s this and what’s that, without knowing what she was saying. Afterwards, she woke up, she didn’t remember what she had been saying. And people came to her and then sought her help and that. And she was anointed as a queen. Queen Azula was her name. It was not her name, it was just the spiritual name given to her after she practiced in her tradition, in the African tradition. And then in certain times, she had to lay down flat on the floor and then she had to lay on a stone, a stone as a pillow. Not a pillow, not soft, not soft ground, just a stone for her head. For nine days long, no eating, no drinking. And they fasted sometimes, if they wanted to request something from the gods. So, nine days long, nine days and nights, she had to lay absolutely immobile, and people walked around her chanting or reciting their mysterious mantras and all that. And after nine days, she came back and she told the vision that she saw during these nine days. Then according to that, you either became queen or princess, or just some other kind of title. So, she got the title of queen, “Queen Azula.” That was from Heaven, given to her.
And this type of people came to me for initiation. The queen came to my house. The heavenly queen came to my house, not a normal queen. She had to tell her vision to the council, elder council of her faith, then they decided what title, what level she had attained. And they all knew, so she could not lie. These are elders, they are much more powerful, more clairvoyant, and more telepathic than her, of course. So, there’s no lying there, cannot. So that’s how she became queen. And then this type of queen came to my temple, for a humble nun, cleaning toilets at that time, to request initiation. I said, “How did you know this place?” She said it was told to her in her vision. She forgot “Ching Hai.” She only remembered “Ching,” but she remembered the address OK. Came with a group of her followers, and also, I don’t remember, king or queen, whatever, princess. And I said, “I don’t believe how you know all this. Maybe somebody told you.” She said, “No, nobody told me.” Only the inner guide told her to go to this address.
This temple is not… it doesn’t look like a normal Buddhist temple. It’s just a building, a part of a building attached to the whole long block, and it’s just one part of it. It’s been made into a temple. And the master at that time, he bought that temple just to teach the American disciples. Every three months, he went there. And his disciples, I count on my finger, maybe about 30, 40, a small temple. And they came every Sunday to listen to him and he made retreat with them sometimes. And the retreat had maybe 20 or 20-something people. So, it’s not like a temple that is famous. It doesn’t look like a temple outside. It’s just a normal apartment.