Mahavir Jain was a great Jain master who compiled the teachings of Jainism known as the Jain Sutras. The verse begins, ‘namo arihantana’.
’Namo arihantana’ means, ‘I bow in reverence to the arihantas who achieved the highest truths.’
He is talking about the great enlightened masters. These masters not only achieve, but they radiate the truths so much that those who go near them are also inspired to achieve!
Arihanta does not mean a person who teaches. No!
Arihanta is a person who inspires. You can’t reproduce enlightenment by teaching. If we could, we would have started selling it long ago! We would have created stores like http://www.enlightenment.com. ‘Please visit our website to get enlightened!’ We would have created ‘Enlightenment Guaranteed’ shops. No!
Fortunately or unfortunately, you can’t create enlightenment in a being by teaching. You can only reproduce enlightenment by inspiring.
Arihanta is the person who is radiating the truth very powerfully, very strongly. His presence is so intense that anybody who comes near him, even if they spend a few minutes around him, they get inspired. The fire is ignited. The transmission of light happens. They start feeling that this is the best state to live in. This is the best space in which to exist. This is the best thing that can happen to me in my life. Please understand that if you go near an enlightened being, even if you spend just two to three minutes around him, suddenly you will feel that this experience is the best thing that can happen to you.
Through just his mere presence, you will feel god. He will become a fantasy in you. He will inspire you so much. He will occupy your inner space so much that either you start working towards achieving that state or you feel you are not able to. Even if you feel you are not able to, it’s okay. At least you have taken the first step. You have begun.
A conscious decision to integrate these different fragments and direct the being towards enlightenment is sannyas!
Respect towards an enlightened being is the first step towards enlightenment. It means that you want that state. Normally, you will not respect anything unless you agree with the ideology. Unless you have a little bit of attachment or feeling towards that ideology, at least a subtle feeling that you should be the same, you will not have respect for it. For example, if you are respecting somebody who is physically beautiful or handsome, be very clear, you have a subtle desire to be in that state, to have that quality. In the same way, if you respect a rich person, there is a subtle desire in you to have wealth. Anything you respect shows that it has entered your inner space.
When you say, ‘I bow in reverence to enlightened beings,’ it means you are paying your respect to enlightenment. Here you are not bowing down to someone who will help you when you are in fear. No. You are not bowing down to a king. You are not bowing down to a rich person who will give you money. No. You are not bowing down to a person who will give you logic or philosophy, mere words. No. You are not following any person here. You are merely bowing down to a person who inspires, who drops the seed of enlightenment in you, who helps you achieve enlightenment! Somewhere you feel that just being with that person is enough. Enlightenment will happen. Such is the nature of the arihanta!
There is a beautiful commentary that says when you sit in front of an arihanta, the ultimate conscious being, without your knowledge, without even your conscious understanding, your whole being integrates towards that one goal, towards enlightenment. As of now you are not one being as you think. Your head is pulling, calling you in one direction. Your eyes are pulling you in the other direction. Your ears are pulling you in a different direction. A conscious decision to integrate these different fragments and direct the being towards enlightenment is sannyas! Sannyas is the determination to transform. Then the enlightened being can help you.
When you attain sannyas, you cannot explain it to anyone! You can experience it. You can radiate it, and they will catch it in the way you walk, in the way you talk and move around. You will become a spontaneous crowd puller. You will radiate an incomprehensible charm and energy.
Grace happens naturally with sannyas, because sannyas is nothing but revealing your inner beauty. The very fragrance of sannyas is grace and bliss.
source: Living Enlightenment