The Mustard Seed
THE FIRST SAYING
THE DISCIPLES SAID TO JESUS: TELL US WHAT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE.
HE SAID TO THEM: IT IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED - SMALLER THAN ALL SEEDS, BUT WHEN IT FALLS ON THE TILLED EARTH IT PRODUCES A LARGE TREE AND BECOMES SHELTER FOR ALL THE BIRDS OF HEAVEN.
Human relationships have changed a lot, and have changed for the worse. In all dimensions the deeper relationships have disappeared: the wife is no longer a wife, but just a girlfriend; the husband is no longer a husband, but just a boyfriend. Friendship is good, but cannot be very deep. Marriage is something which happens in depth. It is a commitment in depth, and unless you commit yourself you remain shallow. Unless you commit yourself you never take the jump. You can float on the surface, but the depths are not for you.
Of course, to go into the depths is dangerous - bound to be so, because on the surface you are very efficient. On the surface you can work like an automaton; no awareness is needed. But you will have to be more and more alert, the more you penetrate into the depths, because at every moment death is possible. Fear of depth has created a shallowness in all relationships. They have become juvenile.
A boyfriend or a girlfriend may be fun, but cannot become a door to the deepest that is hidden in each and everyone. With a girlfriend you can be sexually related, but love cannot grow. Love needs deep roots. Sexuality is possible on the surface, but sexuality is just animal, biological. It can be beautiful if it is part of a deeper love, but if it is not part of a deeper love it is the most ugly thing possible; the ugliest, because then there is no communion - you simply touch each other and separate. Only bodies meet, but not you - not I, not thou. This has happened in all relationships.
But the greatest relationship has completely disappeared, and the greatest relationship is between a master and a disciple. You will not be able to understand Jesus if you cannot understand the dimension of that relationship which exists between a master and his disciples. That has completely disappeared. The wife is substituted by a girlfriend, the husband is substituted by a boyfriend, but the master, and the relationship that exists between him and his disciples, has completely disappeared.
Or, this relationship has been substituted by a very contrary thing that exists between a psychiatrist and his patient.
Between a psychiatrist and his patient a relationship exists which is bound to be ill, pathological - because a patient comes not in search of truth, is really not in search of health.... This word health is very meaningful: it means wholeness, it means holiness, it means a deep healing in the self. A patient does not come for health, because if he comes for health he cannot be anything other than a disciple. A patient comes to get rid of the illness; the attitude is totally negative. He has come just to be forced to become normal again, just to become a working part of the normal world again. He has become maladjusted; he needs adjustment and the psychiatrist helps him to be adjusted again.
But adjusted to whom? Adjusted to this world, this society, which is absolutely ill.
What you call the 'normal' human being is nothing but normal pathology or normal madness, normal insanity. The 'normal' man is also insane, but insane within the boundaries, the accepted boundaries of the society, of the culture. Somebody sometimes trespasses, goes beyond the boundaries - then he becomes ill. Then the whole society, which is ill, says that this man is ill. And the psychiatrist exists on the boundary to help this man back, back to the crowd.
The psychiatrist cannot be the master, because he himself is not whole. And the patient cannot be the disciple, because he has not come to learn. He is disturbed, and he does not want to be disturbed; his effort is only for adjustment, not for health. The psychiatrist cannot be the master, although in the West he is pretending to be, and sooner or later he will pretend that he is the master in the East too. But he cannot be - he himself is ill. He may help others to be adjusted, and that's okay: one ill man can help another ill man, in some ways. But one ill man cannot bring another man who is ill to be whole; one madman cannot help another madman to go beyond madness.
Even your Freuds, your Jungs, your Adlers, are absolutely ill; not only ordinary psychiatrists, but the greatest of them are ill and pathological. I will tell you a few things so you can feel it. Whenever somebody mentioned anything about death, Freud would start trembling. Twice he even fainted and fell down from his chair just because somebody was talking about mummies in Egypt. He fainted!
And another time also, Jung was talking about death, corpses, and suddenly Freud trembled and fell down, fainted, became unconscious. If death was such a fear to Freud, what about his disciples?
And why should death be such a fear? Can you conceive of a buddha being afraid of death? Then he would no longer be a buddha.
Jung has reported that many times he wanted to go to Rome to visit the Vatican and particularly the library, the Vatican's library, which is the greatest, which has the secretmost records of all the religions that have existed - very rare. But whenever he went to purchase the ticket he would start trembling - just going to Rome! What will happen when you go to moksha? He would cancel the ticket and come back. He never went, never. Many times he tried, and in the end he decided, "No, I cannot go."
What is the fear, going to Rome? Why is a psychiatrist afraid of going to religion? ... Because Rome is just the symbol, the representative. And this Jung had created a philosophy around his mind, and that philosophy was afraid of being shattered. It is just as if a camel is afraid to go to the Himalayas, because when a camel comes near the Himalayas, for the first time he comes to know that he is nothing. This whole philosophy that Jung has created is just childish. Man has created such vast, cosmic systems, and all those systems are in ruins now. The fear is that going to Rome means going to the ruins of the great systems that the past has created.
What about your small system? What about this small corner that you have cleaned and decorated?
What about your philosophy?
Great philosophies have tumbled down and gone to dust: go to Rome, see what has happened! Go to Athens, see what has happened! Where are the schools of Aristotle and Plato and Socrates? All have disappeared into dust. The greatest systems in the end come to dust; all thoughts finally prove to be useless, because thought is just a man-created thing.
Only in 'no-thought' do you come to know the divine. Through thought you cannot come to know the eternal, because thought is of time. Thought cannot be of the eternal; no philosophy, no system of thought can be eternal. That was the fear.
At least four or five times Jung made reservations and canceled. And this man Jung is one of the greatest psychiatrists. If he was so afraid of going to Rome, what about his disciples? Even you are not afraid - not because you are better than Jung, but just because you are more unaware. He was aware that in Rome his head would come down; the moment he looked at the ruins of all the great systems, a trembling, a fear of death - that, "What will happen to my system? What will happen to me?" - would take hold. He trembles and comes back, and in his memoirs he writes: "Then finally I dropped the whole project. I am not going to Rome."
The same thing happened to Freud many times. He also tried to go to Rome - so it does not seem to be just a coincidence - and he also was afraid. Why? Freud was as angry as you can be, Freud was as sexual as you can be, as scared of death as you can be, as neurotic in his behavior as you can be, so what is the difference? He may have been a more intelligent man, may have been a genius perhaps, or he could help a little, but he was as blind as you are as far as the ultimate is concerned, as far as the secretmost, innermost core of being is concerned.
No, psychiatry cannot become religion. It may become a good hospital, but it cannot become the temple - it is not possible. And a psychiatrist may be needed because people are ill, maladjusted, but a psychiatrist is not a master and a patient is not a disciple. If you come to a master as a patient then you will miss, because a master is not a psychiatrist. I am not a psychiatrist.
People come to me and they say, "I am suffering from this mental anxiety, neurosis, this and that."
I say, "It is okay, because I am not going to treat your anxiety, I am going to treat you. I am not concerned with your diseases, I am simply concerned with you. Diseases are on the periphery, and there is no disease where you are."
Once you come to realize who you are, all diseases disappear. They exist basically because you have been hiding self-knowledge, you have been avoiding yourself; you have been avoiding the basic encounter because you don't want to look at yourself. Why don't you want to look at yourself?
What has happened to you? Unless you are ready to encounter yourself you cannot become a disciple, because a master can do nothing if you are not ready to face yourself. He can only help you to face yourself.
Why are you so afraid? ... Because something has gone wrong somewhere in the past. A child is born and he is not accepted as he is. Many things have to be changed, forced; he has to be disciplined. He has many parts which the society and his parents cannot accept, so those parts have to be denied, repressed; only a few parts can be accepted and appreciated. So the child has to work it out. He has to deny many fragments of his being which cannot be allowed manifestation.
He has to deny them so much that he himself becomes unaware of them. This is what repression is, and the whole society exists on repression.
The greater part of the being of the child has to be repressed, completely thrown into the dark. But that repressed part asserts itself, tries to rebel, react; it wants to come into the light and you have to force it back again and again. So you become afraid to encounter yourself, because what will happen to the repressed part? That will come again, that will be there. What will happen to the unconscious? If you encounter yourself the unconscious will be there, all that you have denied will be there. And that gives you fear.
Unless a child is accepted totally as he or she is, this fear is bound to remain. But no society has yet existed which accepts a child totally - and it seems that no society will ever exist which will accept a child totally, because it is almost impossible. So repression is bound to be there, more or less. And everybody has to face, some day, this problem of facing oneself. You become disciples the very day you forget about what is good, what is bad; you forget about what is accepted, what is not accepted.
You only become a disciple the day you are ready to expose your whole being to yourself.
The master is just a midwife. He helps you to pass through a new birth, to be reborn. And what is the relationship between a master and a disciple? A disciple has to trust; he cannot doubt. If he doubts, then he cannot expose himself. When you doubt somebody you shrink; you cannot expand.
When you doubt.... A stranger is there, then you close yourself; you cannot be open because you don't know what this stranger is going to do to you. You cannot be vulnerable before him; you have to protect yourself and create an armor.
With a master you have to drop the armor completely - that much is a must. Even with a lover you may carry your armor a little; before a beloved you may not be so open. But with a master the openness has to be total, otherwise nothing will happen. If you withhold even a little part of yourself the relationship is not there. Total trust is needed, only then can the secrets be revealed, only then can the keys be offered to you. But if you are hiding yourself, that means you are fighting with the master, and then nothing can be done.
Struggle is not the key with the master, surrender is the key. And surrender has disappeared from the world completely. Many things have helped it: for three or four centuries man has been taught to be individualistic, egoistic; man has been taught not to surrender but to fight; not to obey but to rebel; man has been taught not to trust but to doubt. There has been a reason for it: it is because science grows through doubt. Science is deep skepticism. It works not through trust; it works through logic, argument, doubt. The more you doubt, the more scientific you become. The path is the very opposite of the religious path.
Religion works through trust: the more you trust, the more religious you become. Science has worked miracles and those miracles are very visible. Religion has worked greater miracles, but those miracles are not so visible. Even if a buddha is there, what can you feel? What can you see?
He is not visible - visibly, he is just a body; visibly, he is just as mortal as you are; visibly, he will become old and die one day. Invisibly, he is deathless. But you don't have the eyes to see that which is invisible, you don't have the capacity to feel the innermost, the unknown. That is why only trusting eyes, by and by, start to feel and become sensitive. When you trust, it means closing these two eyes. That is why trust is blind, just like love is blind - but trust is even more blind than love.
When you close both these eyes, what happens? An inner transformation happens. When you close these eyes which see outwardly, what happens to the energy which goes through the eyes? That energy starts moving backwards. It cannot flow from the eyes towards objects, so it starts turning, it becomes a turning. Energy has to move, energy cannot be static; if you close one outlet, it starts finding another. When both eyes are closed, the energy that was moving through these two eyes starts turning - a conversion happens. That energy hits the third eye in you. The third eye is not a physical thing: it is just that the energy that moves through the eyes towards outside objects is now returning towards the source. It becomes the third eye, the third way of seeing the world. Only through that third eye is a Buddha seen; only through that third eye is a Jesus realized. If you don't have that third eye, Jesus will be there but you will miss him - many missed him.
In his home town, people thought that Jesus was just that carpenter Joseph's son. Nobody, nobody could recognize what had happened to this man: that he was no longer the carpenter's son, that he had become God's son. That is an inner phenomenon. And when Jesus declared, "I am the son of the divine, my father is in heaven," people laughed and said, "Either you have gone mad, or you are a fool or a very cunning man. How can a carpenter's son suddenly become God's son?" But there is a way....
Only the body is born out of the body. The inner self is not born out of the body, it is born of the holy ghost, it is of the divine. But first you have to attain the eyes to see, you have to attain the ears to hear.
It is a very delicate affair to understand Jesus; you have to pass through a great training. It is just like understanding classical music. If suddenly you are allowed to listen to classical music for the first time you will feel, "What nonsense is going on?" It is so delicate, a long training is needed. You have to be an apprentice for many, many years; only then are your ears trained to catch the subtle - and then there is nothing like classical music. Then ordinary day-to-day music, like film music, is not music at all; it is just noise, and that too, foolish. Because your ears are not trained you live with that noise and you think it is music. But for classical music you need very aristocratic ears. A training is needed, and the more you are trained, the more the subtle becomes visible. But classical music is nothing before a Jesus, because that is the cosmic music. You have to be so silent that there is not a single flicker of thought, not a single movement in your being; only then can you hear Jesus, can you understand Jesus, can you know him.
Jesus goes on repeating again and again, "Those who have ears should be able to understand me.
Those who have eyes, see! I am here!" Why does he go on repeating, "Those who have eyes, see!
Those who have ears, hear!" - why? He is talking of some other dimension of understanding only a disciple can understand. Very few understood Jesus, but that is in the very nature of things and bound to be so. Very few - and who were those few? They were not learned scholars, no; they were not professors of the universities, no; they were not pundits or philosophers, no. They were ordinary people: a fisherman, a farmer, a shoemaker, a prostitute - they were very ordinary people, most ordinary, the most ordinary of ordinaries.
Why could these people understand? There must be something extraordinary in an ordinary man.
There must be something special which exists in an ordinary man and disappears in so-called 'extraordinaries'. What is this? It is a humbleness, a trust.
The more you are trained in the intellect, the less trust is possible; when you are not trained in the intellect, more trust is possible. A farmer trusts, he has no need to doubt. He sows the seeds in the field and he trusts they will come up, they will sprout when the right season comes. They will sprout. He waits and he prays, and in the right season those seeds sprout and they become plants.
He waits and he trusts. He lives with the trees, plants, rivers, mountains. There is no need to doubt:
trees are not cunning, you need no armor around you to protect yourself from them; hills are not cunning - they are not politicians, they are not criminals - you need no armor to protect yourself from them. You do not need any security there, you can be open.
That is why when you go to the hills you suddenly feel a rapture. From where does it come? From the hills? No, it comes because now you can put the armor aside, there is no need to be afraid.
When you go to a tree suddenly you feel beautiful. It is not coming from the tree, it is coming from within you. But with a tree there is no need to protect yourself, you can be at ease and at home. The flower is not going to suddenly attack you; the tree cannot be a thief, it cannot steal anything from you. So when you go to the hills, to the sea, to the trees, to the forest, you put aside your armor.
People who live with nature are more trusting. A country which is less industrialized, less mechanized, less technological, lives more with nature, has more trust in it. That is why you cannot conceive of Jesus being born in New York - almost impossible. Jesus freaks can be born there, but not Jesus. And these 'freaks' are just neurotic; Jesus is just an excuse. No, you cannot think of Jesus being born there, it is almost impossible. And even if he were born there, no one would listen to him; even if he were there, nobody would be able to recognize him. He was born in an age without technology, without science, the son of a carpenter. He lived his whole life with poor, simple people who were living with nature. They could trust.
Jesus comes to the lake one day, early in the morning. The sun has not yet come up over the horizon. Two fishermen are there and they have just thrown their net to catch fish when Jesus comes and says, "Look! Why are you wasting your life? I can make you fishers of men. Why are you wasting your energy on fishing for fish? I can make you catchers of men, fishers of men. Come, follow me!"
If he had said that to you when you were sitting in your office or in your shop, you would have said, "Go away! I don't have any time. Don't waste my time!" But those two fishermen looked at Jesus; they looked at Jesus without any doubt. The sun was rising and the man was beautiful, this man Jesus. And his eyes - they were deeper than the lake, and his radiance was greater than the sun.
They threw away their nets and they followed Jesus.
This is trust. Not a single question: "Who are you, stranger?" They didn't know him, he was not of their village; they had never seen him, they had never heard him. But it was enough - the call, the invitation was enough. They heard the invitation, they looked at Jesus, felt his sincerity, and they followed him.
Just when they were going out of the town a man came running and he said to those two fishermen, "Where are you going? Your father has died suddenly. Come back!"
So they said to Jesus, "Can we go home and bury our dead father, and then we will come?"
Jesus said: "Don't worry about the dead. There are enough dead in the town; they will bury their dead. Come and follow me. You need not bother about the dead." And those two fishermen followed.
This is trust: they heard, they saw Jesus.
He meant - and he was right: "When the father is dead, what is to be done? When somebody is dead, he is dead. There is no need to go. And there are enough dead in the town; they will do the remainder, they will do the ritual, they will bury your father. You come and follow me." So they followed and they never turned back, they never looked back. Trust means not looking back. Trust means not turning back.
A doubting mind is always looking back, always thinking of the alternative, always thinking of what he has not done, always thinking whether he has done right: should he go back or follow this madman?
Who knows - he says he is the son of God, but who knows? Nobody knows about God, nobody knows about his sons - "and this man looks just like us!" But the fishermen followed Jesus.
If you follow a man like Jesus, sooner or later he will become infectious, but you have to follow in the beginning. Sooner or later you will feel that he is the son of God - and not only that, through him you will realize that you are also sons of God. But in the beginning you have to trust. If in the beginning there is doubt, doors are closed.
This relationship between master and disciple has disappeared because of three centuries of successful science. Science has succeeded so much, and it has done miracles - useless miracles of course, because they have not added a single bit to human happiness, and a miracle is useless if happiness has not increased through it. Rather, happiness has decreased. The more technology, the more comfort, but the less happiness: this is the miracle that science has done. The more things can be done by mechanical devices, the less you are needed. And the less you are needed, the more you feel futile, useless, meaningless. Sooner or later, the computer will replace you and then you will not be needed at all. Then you can go and commit suicide because the computer will do everything.
Happiness comes out of being needed. When you are needed you feel happy, because you feel your being has meaning, you feel your life has meaning; you feel that you are needed, and that without you things would be different. But now, without you, nothing will be different. Rather, things will be better without you because machines can do everything better than you. You are just a hindrance, just an out-of-date thing. Man is the most out-of-date thing today, because every year everything else comes in a new edition: a new model of Ford car comes out, a new model of everything. Only man remains an out-of-date model. Amidst so many new things, you are the only old thing.
The modern mind continuously feels a meaninglessness, because nobody needs you. Even children won't need you, because the government, the welfare state will take care of them. Your old father and mother will not need you, because there will be homes - government, state homes - which will take care. Who needs you? And when you feel nobody needs you, you are just an unnecessary burden, how can you be happy? In the old days you were needed.
Somewhere, a Jewish mystic, Hillel, who must have been a very trusting man, a very prayerful man, said to God in his prayer, "Don't think that only I need you - you also need me. You will be nothing without me. If Hillel is not there, who will pray? Who will look up to you? I am a must. So remember this: I need you, that is right, but you also need me."
When the whole universe needed you - even God - then you had a meaning, a significance, a fragrance. But now nobody needs you. You can be disposed of easily, you are nothing. Technology has created comfort and made you disposable. Technology has made you better houses, but not better men, because better men need some other dimension - and that dimension is not of mechanics. That dimension is of awareness, not of mechanicalness.
Science cannot create a Buddha or a Jesus, but science can create a society in which a Buddha will be impossible. Many people come to me and they ask why there are no more buddhas now, no more tirthankaras, no more Jesuses. Because of you! You have created such a society that it becomes more and more impossible for a simple man to exist, for an innocent man to exist. And even if he does exist you will not recognize him. It is not that buddhas are not there - it is difficult to see them but they are there. You may be passing them every day when you go to your office, but you cannot recognize them because you are blind.
Trust has disappeared. Remember this: Jesus lived in an age of trust, deep trust. His whole glory, his whole significance can be understood only through that dimension of trust. Now, we shall enter this small piece of Jesus' sayings:
THE DISCIPLES SAID TO JESUS: TELL US WHAT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE.
They were not questioners, they were not curious people, they were not going to argue. Their question was innocent. When a question is innocent, only then can a Jesus answer it. When is a question innocent, do you know? If you already have the answer then the question is not innocent.
You ask, "Is there a God?" and you already have the answer. You know that yes, there is, and you have come to me just for confirmation. Or you know that there is not, and you have come just to see whether this man knows or not. If the answer is there then the question is cunning, then it is not innocent. Then it cannot be answered by a Jesus because Jesus can answer only innocence.
When a disciple asks, there is no answer in his mind. He does not know, he simply does not know and that is why he is asking. Remember this: when you ask something, remember well, are you asking because you already have an answer? Are you asking through your knowledge? Then there can be no meeting. Then even if I answer, the answer will never reach you. You are not empty enough to receive the answer. The answer is already there: you are prejudiced, poisoned already.
There are two types of questioning: one is out of knowledge, and then it is useless because then only a debate is possible, not a dialogue. But when you ask out of ignorance, knowing well that you don't know, when you know that you don't know, and ask, you have become a disciple. Now it is not going to be an argument. You are just thirsty and you ask for water; you are hungry and you ask for food. You don't know and you ask; you are ready to receive. A disciple asks knowing well that he doesn't know. When you don't know you are humble. When you know you become egoistic, and a Jesus cannot talk to egos.
THE DISCIPLES SAID TO JESUS - 'disciples' means those who are fully aware that they don't know - TELL US WHAT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE.
Jesus continuously talked about the kingdom of heaven, and that created much trouble. The very terminology created much trouble, because the word kingdom is political and politicians became afraid. He was crucified because they thought, "This man is talking about some kingdom which is coming on earth, and this man is saying, 'I am the king of that kingdom.' This man is trying to create a revolution, to overthrow the government. This man wants to create another kingdom!"
The king, the viceroy, the officials, the priests, they all became scared. And this man was influential because people listened to him; and people not only listened to him - whenever they listened to him they were transformed, they became aflame, they were totally new, something happened within them. So the priests, Pontius Pilate the viceroy, Herod the king, the whole government - both the secular government and the sacred government - all became scared of this man. He seemed to be dangerous. Such an innocent man there never had been, yet he looked dangerous. He was misunderstood.
But there is always the possibility of a Jesus being misunderstood. The problem is that he has to use your language because there is no other language. Whatsoever he says he has to say in your words. There are no other words and your words are already overburdened: they carry too much meaning already, they are too loaded. He was talking simply of the kingdom of God, the kingdom of heaven. But 'kingdom'? - that word is dangerous. 'Kingdom' gives a hint of politics.
Jesus was not a revolutionary of this world. He was a revolutionary, a master revolutionary - but of the inner world. He was talking of the inner kingdom. But even the disciples were not aware of what he was saying. When you come to a master there is a meeting of two different dimensions.
The meeting is just like the meeting of the sky and the earth... just on the boundary. If trust is there you can move into the sky; if trust is not there you cling to the earth. If trust is there you can open your wings and move, but if trust is not there you cling to the earth. This man brings a danger to you. What is the kingdom of heaven? What type of kingdom? This kingdom is absolutely opposite, diametrically opposite the kingdom of this world. And Jesus explained and explained but it was difficult to make people understand. He said, "In my kingdom of God the poorest will be the richest, the last will be the first." He talked exactly like Lao Tzu, and he was a man like Lao Tzu. "The last will be the first in my kingdom of God." He was saying that the humblest will be the most significant, the poorest will be the richest, and one who is not recognized at all here will be recognized there - all upside down. It has to be so.
If you stand near a river and the river is silent, there are no ripples and you look at your reflection, it is upside down. A reflection is always upside down. In this world we are really upside down, and if we are to be put right, everything has to be put rightside up. But that will look as if everything is going to be upside down. A state of chaos is needed.
Buddha became a beggar - the last man of this world. He was a king, but the kingdom of God belongs to the last. He left the kingdom of this world, because the kingdom of this world is just useless, it is a meaningless burden. You carry it but it is not a nourishment. It destroys you. It is a poison - although it may be such a slow poison that you cannot feel it.
One man was drinking and another was passing by, a friend. So the friend said, "What are you doing? That stuff is slow poison."
The man said, "It's okay - I'm not in a hurry."
Whatsoever you call life is a slow poison because finally it comes to death. It kills you, it never does anything else. You may not be in a hurry, but that doesn't make any change in the quality of the poison. It may be slow, you may not be in a hurry, but still it will kill you. The kingdom of this world belongs to death, but the kingdom of heaven belongs to eternal life. So Jesus says: "Those who are ready, come to me. I will give you life abundant."
Jesus was passing through a village. He was thirsty and he came to a well. A woman was drawing water from the well and Jesus said, "I am thirsty, give me a little water to drink."
The woman said, "But I belong to a very low caste and it is not allowed, I cannot give you water."
Jesus said, "Don't worry. Give me water, and in exchange I will also give you water - from my well.
Once you drink out of it you will never be thirsty again."
The disciples are asking, "What is this kingdom of heaven LIKE?" - because that which is not known to us can be explained only in terms of 'like'. Hence all myth. Mythology means trying to explain things which you don't know, and cannot know in this state of mind, through something which you know. Trying to explain the unknown in terms of the known is myth - bringing some understanding to you where you are.
The kingdom of heaven cannot be explained directly, immediately. It is impossible. Unless you enter it there is no way to say anything about it. Whatsoever is said will be wrong. The truth cannot be said. Then what are Jesus, Lao Tzu and Buddha doing continuously, for years? If the truth cannot be said, what are they doing? They are trying to explain something to you which cannot be explained, through some symbols which you know; trying to explain the unknown through the known. This is the most difficult thing in the world - parables, myths, stories.
And there are foolish people who try to analyze a myth, dissect it and say, "This is a myth, this is not truth." They analyze and dissect, they do surgery on the myth and then they say, "This is a myth, this is not history." But nobody has ever said that myth is history. And myth cannot be dissected because it is simply symbolic. It is just as if there is a milestone on which there is an arrow and by the arrow it is written 'Delhi', and you dissect the stone, you dissect the arrow, the ink, the chemicals and everything, and you say, "Some fool has done this - there is no 'Delhi' in it!"
Myths are milestones, arrows towards the unknown. They are not the goal, they simply indicate.
That is the meaning of the disciples' question: TELL US WHAT THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE. We cannot ask what the kingdom of heaven is. Look at the quality of the question: we cannot ask what the kingdom of heaven is - that would be too much. We cannot expect the answer for that either. We can only ask what it is like, which means: "Say something which we know; make some indications through it so we can have a glimpse."
It is just like a blind man asking what light is like. How can you ask what light is when you are blind?
If you ask, the very asking debars the answer. It cannot be answered. Light can be known, but you need eyes. But "What is light like?" means: "Say something in the language of the blind."
All parables are truths in the language of the blind; all mythologies are truths garbed in the language of the blind. So don't dissect them; you will not find anything there. They are just indications. And if you have trust, indications are wonderful.
In one temple in Japan there is no statue of Buddha. People go inside and they ask, "Where is the statue?" There is no statue, but on the pedestal there is just one finger pointing towards heaven - and this is Buddha. The priest will say, "This is Buddha." I don't know whether the priest understands it or not - this finger pointing to the moon. What is a buddha? Just a finger pointing to the moon!
The disciples ask what the kingdom of heaven is like: "Tell us, tell us in a parable, in a story that we children can understand. We don't know, we don't have any experience. Say something which can give us a glimpse."
JESUS SAID TO THEM: IT IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED - SMALLER THAN ALL SEEDS, BUT WHEN IT FALLS ON THE TILLED EARTH IT PRODUCES A LARGE TREE AND BECOMES SHELTER FOR ALL THE BIRDS OF HEAVEN.
Jesus has used this mustard seed very often, for many reasons. One: the mustard seed is the smallest seed. God is invisible, smaller than the smallest, so how can you indicate him? At the boundary of sight is the mustard seed, the smallest thing.... Beyond that you will not be able to understand because beyond is the invisible. The mustard seed is the boundary, the smallest thing in the world of the visible - you can see it but it is very small. If you go beyond you enter the world of the subtle, that which is smaller than the smallest. This mustard seed exists on the boundary.
And this mustard seed is not only the smallest visible thing, it also has a very mysterious quality:
when it grows it becomes the biggest of plants. So it is a paradox: the seed is the smallest and the plant is the biggest. God is the invisible and the universe is the most visible; the universe is the tree, the plant, and God is the seed; God is the unmanifest and the universe is the manifest.
If you break down a seed you will not find the tree there; you can dissect it but you will not find a tree hidden there. And you can say there is no tree and people were just foolish saying that a great tree is hidden in this seed when there is nothing. This is what analysts have always been doing. You tell them that this flower is beautiful; they will take it to the lab and they will dissect it to find where the beauty is. They will come upon chemicals and other things, they will dissect it and analyze it, and they will label different fragments of the flower in many bottles - but there will not be a single bottle in which they will find beauty. No, they will come out of the lab and they will say, "You must have been under some illusion, you were dreaming - there is no beauty. We have dissected the whole flower, nothing has been left, and there is no beauty."
There are things which are known only in their wholeness; you cannot dissect them. They are greater than their parts, this is the problem - a basic problem for those who are in search of truth.
Truth is greater than all the parts joined together. It is not just the sum of the parts, it is greater than the parts. A melody is not just the sum of all the notes, of all the sounds. No, it is something greater.
When all the notes meet, a harmony is created, a harmony becomes manifest which was not there in single notes. I am speaking to you: you can dissect my words, they will all be found in a dictionary, but you cannot find me in the dictionary. And you can say, "All the words are here, so why bother?"
It happened once that Mark Twain went to listen to a friend who was a priest - the friend had been insisting for many, many days. He was one of the greatest orators, a very poetic orator, and he was very highly appreciated. Whenever he spoke the church would be overcrowded, but Mark Twain never came to listen to him. The friend insisted again and again until Mark Twain said, "Okay, I am coming this weekend."
For the Sunday the priest prepared his best; he arranged all that was beautiful in his mind because Mark Twain was coming. Mark Twain sat right in the front and the priest delivered his best speech ever. He brought his whole energy to it and it was really beautiful; it was a symphony, it was poetry.
But by and by he became afraid, apprehensive, because Mark Twain was sitting there as if dead.
Not even a glimpse of appreciation came to his face. The people clapped so many times, they were ecstatic, but Mark Twain just sat there not giving any indication at all that he had been impressed this way or that, neither negative nor positive. He remained indifferent - and indifference is more deadly than negative attitudes, because if you are against something, at least you have some attitude towards it; if you are against you give some meaning to it. But if you are indifferent you say that this is absolutely useless, not even worth being against.
When the speech finished, Mark Twain went back in the car with the priest. The priest could not ask anything and they remained silent. Just when Mark Twain was getting out of the car the priest said.
"You have not said anything about my lecture."
Mark Twain replied, "It is nothing new. I have a book in my house and you have simply copied from it. This lecture is borrowed and you cannot fool me. You can fool those fools there in the church, but I am a man of letters and I study. By chance, only last night I was reading that book."
The priest couldn't believe it. He said, "What are you saying? I have not copied it from anywhere. It is impossible!"
Mark Twain said, "Every word that you said is there. And tomorrow I will send the book." Tomorrow came; he sent him a copy of a big dictionary and he said, "You can find all the words here!"
This is the mind of the analyst. He can kill poetry immediately. He can say it is just words joined together. He cannot see between the words, he cannot see between the lines - and the poetry exists there. The beauty exists there, and the ecstasy and God and all that is significant always exists between the words, between the lines.
The mustard seed is the smallest and contains the biggest. You cannot see God because he is the smallest - the mustard seed - but you can see the universe. And if the universe is there the seed must be there. How can there be a tree without the seed? Can there be a tree without a seed? Whether or not you can see it is not the point. Can this universe exist without a final cause, a source? The Ganges is there - can the Ganges be there without a source? This vast universe - and you think it can exist without a source? And this universe is not only vast, there is also such a harmony in it, such a universal symphony, such a universal system. It is not a chaos - so much discipline in it, everything in the right place. And those who know well, they say that this is the best of all possible worlds, that nothing can be better than this.
There must be a seed, but the seed is very small, smaller than the mustard seed. The mustard seed is used as a myth, to indicate. These were fishermen and farmers and gardeners who were asking, and they would understand the parable, the parable of the mustard seed. If you dissect it you miss.
If you dissect religion you miss; either you can see it directly without dissecting it, or you cannot see it.
There is one way which trust uses: in the seed you cannot see the tree, but you can go and sow the seed in the ground - this is what trust will do. He will say, "Okay, this is a seed; I trust it will become a tree, and I will go and put it in the field. I will find suitable soil and I will protect this seed. I will wait and pray, I will love and hope, and I will dream...."
What else can you do? You can sow the seed and wait and dream, and hope and pray. What else can you do? Then suddenly one day, one morning, you awake and the seed has become a new thing, new sprouts are coming out of the earth. Now the seed is no longer a seed - it is becoming a tree, it is blooming.
What happens when a seed becomes a tree? That too is part of the parable. The seed has to die - only then does it become a tree. God has died into this universe; he cannot remain aloof, he is in it, he is lost in it. That is why you cannot find God. You can go to the Himalayas, to Mecca, to Kashi, or anywhere you like, but you will not find him anywhere, because he is here, everywhere, just as the seed is now in the whole tree. You cannot find the seed; the seed has died into the tree and become the tree. God has died into this universe, into this existence, and has become the cosmos.
He is not a separate thing. He is not like a carpenter who makes something and remains separate.
That is not possible. He is like a seed: the tree grows out of it, but then it disappears into the tree.
You can find God again only when this tree disappears.
Hindus have been saying that you can find God either in the beginning of creation or you can find him at the end of creation. In the beginning, when the world is not, the seed is there, but you are not there to find him - because you are part of the tree, you are leaves of the tree. Or, he will be there in pralaya, when the whole world dissolves, when the tree becomes old and dies. And this happens with every tree: when the tree becomes old, new seeds come again - millions of seeds.
In pralaya you will find millions of gods again - but then you will not be there, that's the problem.
There is only one way to find God: you can find him only if you can find him here and now, on every leaf. If you are looking for a particular image, a Krishna, a Rama, then you will not find him. They are also leaves - more beautiful, of course, more alive and more green, because they have realized God, realized that he is everywhere.
When Jesus says, "The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed," he is saying millions of things.
That's the beauty of a parable: you say almost nothing, you say nothing much, and yet you say many things. When the seed dies the universe is there; when the seed dies the tree is there. This is the kingdom of God; here is the kingdom of heaven. And if you are looking for it somewhere else, you are looking in vain. If you want to look into the kingdom of God, you also have to become like a seed and die: and suddenly the tree is there - you are no more and God is there. You will never encounter God. If you are there, God is not there because the seed is there. When you disappear, God is there; so there is no encounter really.
When you are not, God is there; emptiness in your hand, then God is there. When you are no more, then God is there. Again a paradox: the seed contains the tree, but the seed can also kill the tree.
If the seed becomes too egoistic, if the seed thinks, "I am enough," and if the seed becomes afraid of death, then the very container will become the prison; the very shell that was protecting the tree before it reached the right soil will become the prison - and then the tree will die in the seed.
You are like seeds which have become prisons. A Buddha is a seed, a Jesus is a seed, which is not a prison: the seed, the cell has died, and now the tree has sprouted.
HE SAID TO THEM: IT IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED - SMALLER THAN ALL SEEDS, BUT WHEN IT FALLS ON THE TILLED EARTH IT PRODUCES A LARGE TREE AND BECOMES SHELTER FOR ALL THE BIRDS OF HEAVEN.
... BUT WHEN IT FALLS ON THE TILLED EARTH.... Right earth is needed. Just a dying of the seed won't do, because you can die on a stone and then there will be no tree, there will be simple death. You have to find right soil, right earth - and that is the meaning of discipleship. It is a training.
Discipleship is a training, a learning to become a tilled, right earth. The seed is there but the right earth has to be found. You have the tree within you; the master can only give you the right earth. He can till you, he can throw the weeds out, he can make the soil worthy to receive. He can make the soil rich with fertilizers - he is a gardener.
You contain all, but still you will need a gardener; otherwise you will go on throwing the seeds anywhere. They may fall on a cement road and they will die there, or they will fall on a path and people will walk over them and they will die. Somebody is needed when you are dying who can protect you. Look: when a child is born you need a midwife. Nobody says that without a midwife it would be good.... A midwife is needed because the moment is very delicate. But greater is the moment when the truth is born; greater is the moment when God is born in you - greater than all births.
The master is nothing but a midwife. Otherwise, without a master many things are possible: a miscarriage may happen and the child may die before it is born. A master is needed to protect you, because the new sprout is very delicate, helpless - anything can happen to it. It is very dangerous.
But if you trust - and trust is needed, there is no other way, for if you doubt then you will shrink and the seed will never die - but if you trust, the seed dies. The seed cannot know the tree, that is the problem. The seed wants to be certain,"If I die I will become the tree." But how can you make the seed certain?
This is the absurdity of faith. Faith is absurd. You want to be certain that, "I can become a sannyasin, I can renounce all, I am ready to die, but what is the guarantee that when the seed is no more, the tree will be there?" Who can give you the guarantee and how can the guarantee be given? And even if the guarantee is given, the seed to whom it is given will not be there. And what guarantee can prove to the seed that when it is not there the tree will be there? No guarantee is possible.
That's why faith is absurd. Believing in that which cannot be believed is the meaning of faith - believing in that which cannot be believed; there is no way to believe it and still you believe it. The seed dies in deep trust and the tree is born. But a 'tilled earth' is needed, a right ground is needed.
The whole of discipleship is just to become a tilled ground.
... IT PRODUCES A LARGE TREE AND BECOMES SHELTER FOR ALL THE BIRDS OF HEAVEN.
And when your tree has really grown, when it has become a Buddha-tree, then millions of birds who are in search come and take shelter. Under Jesus many 'birds of heaven' take shelter; under Buddha many 'birds of heaven' take shelter. To those who are in search of the deepest, that tree - the Buddha-tree, the Jesus-tree - becomes a shelter and there they can feel the unknown throbbing.
There they can trust, there they can come to an understanding with the unknown, and there they can take the jump.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED....
You are the kingdom of heaven, you are like a mustard seed. Be ready to die, prepare for your death!
Of course there will be trembling and fear and apprehension. The jump is going to be difficult. Many times you may come back, many times you will go to the very brink and turn back and escape, because there is an abyss. The seed can only know the abyss, the seed cannot know the tree.
There is no way that the seed can witness the sprouting tree - there is no way. The seed has to die and trust in the unknown - that it will happen.
If you are ready to die, it happens. Go and sow seeds in the ground: when the tree has come, then dig the ground again and see where the seed is. It will have disappeared, it will not be there. Go and dig in a Buddha, in a Jesus - you will not find the man, the seed. This is the meaning of Jesus being the son of God, no more the son of Joseph the carpenter - because the seed came from Joseph the carpenter and Mary, but now the seed has disappeared, the shell has disappeared. This tree never came from the visible, it is from the invisible.
Look at Jesus: the seed is no longer there, only God is there. Be ready to die so that you can be reborn. Drop the mind, the body, the ego, the identity. Suddenly you will find that something new is growing within you: you have become a womb, you are pregnant. And to be spiritually pregnant is the peak of creation, because you are creating yourself through it. Nothing is comparable to it.
You may create a great painting or a great sculpture, but nothing is to be compared with when you create yourself, when you 'self-create' yourself.
BUT WHEN IT FALLS ON THE TILLED EARTH....
Be ready to die! But before you are ready to take the jump, become 'the tilled earth' - become a disciple, become a learner, become humble; become as if you are not. Soon you really will not be - but get ready for it, behave as if you are not. Then:
... IT PRODUCES A LARGE TREE AND BECOMES SHELTER FOR ALL THE BIRDS OF HEAVEN.
It has always been happening so. You are here near me; my seed is dead - that is why you are here. It is not because of you that you are here, it is because of me that you are here. But to say 'because of me' is not correct because there is no 'me'; the seed has disappeared and now it is just a tree. And if you get a glimpse of your own possibility through me, the work is done.
THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS LIKE A MUSTARD SEED....
You are the seeds, you are the possibility of that kingdom. Get ready to die, because that is the only way to be reborn.
Enough for today.