Chapter title: He that heareth the word
6 November 1975 morning in Buddha Hall, Poona, India
Audio: Come Follow Me, Vol 2, 07
10 AND THE DISCIPLES CAME, AND SAID UNTO HIM, WHY SPEAKEST THOU UNTO THEM IN PARABLES?
11 HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, BECAUSE IT IS GIVEN UNTO YOU TO KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT TO THEM IT IS NOT GIVEN.
12 FOR WHOSOEVER HATH, TO HIM SHALL BE GIVEN, AND HE SHALL HAVE MORE ABUNDANCE: BUT WHOSOEVER HATH NOT, FROM HIM SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY EVEN THAT HE HATH.
18 HEAR YE THEREFORE THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER.
19 WHEN ANYONE HEARETH THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT NOT, WHEN COMETH THE WICKED ONE, AND CATCHETH AWAY THAT WHICH WAS SOWN IN HIS HEART. THIS IS HE WHICH RECEIVED SEED BY THE WAY SIDE.
20 BUT HE THAT RECEIVED THE SEED INTO STONY PLACES, THE SAME IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND ANON WITH JOY RECEIVETH IT; 21 YET HATH HE NOT ROOT IN HIMSELF, BUT DURETH FOR A WHILE: FOR WHEN TRIBULATION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH BECAUSE OF THE WORD, BY AND BY HE IS OFFENDED.
22 HE ALSO THAT RECEIVED SEED AMONG THE THORNS IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD; AND THE CARE OF THIS WORLD, AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, CHOKE THE WORD, AND HE BECOMETH UNFRUITFUL.
23 BUT HE THAT RECEIVED SEED INTO THE GOOD GROUND IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT; WHICH ALSO BEARETH FRUIT, AND BRINGETH FORTH, SOME AN HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTY, SOME THIRTY.
JESUS IS LIKE A DIAMOND. Every facet of him contributes to the brilliance of the whole. To the sorrowing, he brings solace; to seekers, he brings knowledge; to the poor, he brings the kingdom of God; to the rich, he brings poverty of the spirit; to the strong humility; to the weak, strength. He's many things, and he's different to each one who comes to him. He has many faces, many aspects, and it has to be so.
The same is with Buddha, the same is with all those who have awakened, because when they talk to YOU, or relate to YOU, they talk to you and they relate to you. They respond. They cannot give more than that which you can take: they cannot give you that for which you have not asked; they cannot give you that for which you are not ready. They can only give you that for which you have come.
It depends on you who Jesus will prove to you to be. He is a response, he reflects you. Remember this. Because of this, many complexities have arisen. Many people will give you different reports. They all are true - and no one is totally true. They all talk only of facets, parts of Jesus that have been revealed to them.
Hence so many stories....
Buddha died and immediately there was great turmoil amongst his followers.
The sangha divided into many parts. The community could not remain one because there were different reports - as if Buddha was not one man but many.
He was one, absolutely one, but he reflected so many people that they knew him in different ways - according to their capacity, according to their receptivity, according to their readiness. They all said different things. Not only different, but quite contradictory to each other. The community had to divide.
The same happened with Mahavir: the community had to divide. The same happened with Jesus: the community could not remain one. And the reason is: Jesus is different to different people. He has to be, he is just a pure mirror. You come and he reveals your face to yourself. He exists so that you can realize yourself, He has no other idea to force upon you, He has no idea at all, he is simply a helper. If you come to him in search of knowledge, he will reveal that to you. If you come to him in search of love, you will be benefitted by his compassion and love. If you come to him as a sinner, he will give you salvation.
But it depends on you; he echoes you. This has to be understood. Then these sutras will be very simple.
AND THE DISCIPLES CAME, AND SAID UNTO HIM, WHY SPEAKEST THOU UNTO THEM IN PARABLES?
The disciples were noticing that whenever he talks to the masses, he always talks in parables. Whenever he talks to them in privacy, he talks differently.
It has to be so. A disciple is different. A disciple is one who has committed his all. He's not just a follower. A follower is one who is impressed and still hesitating. And the ordinary masses are neither followers nor disciples. They may be curious to know who this man is, they may be intrigued by this man, they may be amused by this man - a few of them may become followers later on and a few of the followers may become disciples later on - but the masses are still not related to him.
They have come to him as curiosity seekers, just by the way. Somebody has told them, "Here comes Jesus. A great man, the son of God," and they got interested.
They may lose interest again, they may go on their paths and forget everything about him - or. at the most, he may remain a beautiful memory - but he will not be a transformation to them. So these are the three types of people to whom Jesus is relating: the masses, the followers, and the disciples. The disciples are a chosen few. The disciples are those who have come to decide that this man is their salvation, and they have staked all that they had. Now they are ready to die for him. If they live, they will live for him; if they die, they will die for him. Now there is no turning back. They have come to the point of no return. They watch this man, they love this man - now this man has become their very life. The innermost secrets can only be revealed to these disciples.
The mysteries can be revealed only to those who are so ready that even if death is needed they will not shirk, they will not hesitate. And death is needed. To know the ultimate secret you will have to die, and until you die that ultimate secret cannot be born within you. To receive him, you will have to disappear. So only to these few disciples can the truth be revealed in its directness, in its immediacy.
To the followers: something of the truth, but not direct; something of the truth, but not immediate; something of the truth, but garbed; something of the truth, but hidden. They will have to work. Only then will they be able to know what has been said to them.
To the masses: just parables. Parables are faraway echoes of truth. If somebody insists, then there is a thread in the parable. I use the word SUTRA. It is a Sanskrit word. It means'the thread'.
It is very significant. When I say'these sutras', I mean'these threads'. If you catch hold of them, you can reach to the ultimate. They are like arrows from the ultimate which have reached to your heart. If you follow the path of the arrow backwards, you will reach to the ultimate. These are threads, sutras.
A parable is a sutra. It simply gives you a thread, a hint, an indication. A very subtle hint and a very delicate thread it gives to you. You have to be in search.
Then the parable, by and by, will reveal its treasure to you. It is not revealed on the surface. If you take the obvious as the actual, it will just be a beautiful story.
If you are deceived by the obvious, you will lose track of the hidden, The obvious is not the actual in the parable. In the parable it has many coverings. You will have to uncover; you will have to work hard.
I have heard a true story about a man who had parked his car in front of a supermarket. When he came back, his car was almost destroyed. Somebody has crashed into the car: the front was completely gone. And there was no visible sign of the other car or the other man. His heart sank.
Then he found a small piece of paper tucked under the windshield wiper. He felt happy: the man had left his address and name. He took out the.scrap with trembling hands. He opened the paper. It was written on the paper: "While am writing this note to you, at least two hundred people are watching me, They all think that I am writing my name and address. I am not! " That was all. The obvious is not the actual. And they believed, those tWo hundred persons, that he had written his address and name and tucked the paper under the windshield. The man is gone... those two hundred people are gone. Nobody bothered to see what he had written.
If you take a parable as the obvious, you will miss the whole point of it. The obvious i.s not the actual. The actual is hidden, very deeply hidden - as if a diamond has been hidden in.side an onion. You uncover, you uncover: there are layers and layers of onion, and then the diamond is revealed.
A parable is a diamond hidden in an onion. The obvious is not the actual; the actual is totally different. A parable i.s a way of saying some truth of tremendous import, but in such a way that even a child can understand, can feel that he has understood. But a parable needs deep understanding to be discovered. A child can feel he has understood and even a very mature person may feel that something goes on eluding him. A parable is both simple and very complex. It is a story on the.surface; it is a secret within.
Jesus talked to the masses in parables, small stories. Ordinary people could understand them. And if you work on them, even extraordinary intelligences may miss the point. Nobody has talked like Jesus. His parables are the most beautiful in the whole history of the human mind.
Buddha tells stories, but they cannot be compared to Jesus' parables. Buddha's stories are plain. They say something, but whatsoever they say is obvious. They are not parables, they are stories. They are to explain something. He will say something and to make it explicit, he will tell a story. The story is secondary. The story can be dropped because he has asserted the truth first and then he explains the truth by a story. It is not a parable. When the truth is hidden in the story and is not asserted outside of it. then it is a parable.
Buddha's stories can be dropped, because whatsoever he has said in the stories he has said directly also. He will always say the truth first and then he will say the story - to explain it. Buddha's stories are explanatory.
Jesus' parables are not explanatory. Whatsoever he wants to say, he says IN them. You have to dig deep, you have to move inside the story. A parable is like a Chinese box: box within box, box within box. You go on and you find another smaller box inside. A parable has many layers, as many layers as there are types of man.
Gurdjieff uses the categorization of seven types of man. The first type, number one, is body-oriented. If he listens to the parable, he will only touch the body of the parable, the surface. The obvious will be the actual for him. He will listen to the story, he will enjoy the story, he will go home and tell the story to his children. They will also enjoy, and everybody will forget about it. It is a story: to be enjoyed.
Number two, the man who lives in his feelings, will suspect something deeper than the body. He will suspect some poetry in it, some romantic dimension will open to him. The parable will not be only a parable, a story; it will be a poem, a condensed poetry. He will enjoy it deeply. He will be thrilled, tears may come to his eyes. Or he may dance to it. But that's all. A good poem is also a good poem. It does not transform you. It gives a thrill, and it is gone. It is like a breeze that comes, touches you, refreshes you, and then it is gone.
Man number three, the rational man, will try to understand the meaning. The parable will become philosophy to him. He will rationalize about it and around it. It will be a dry thing, but he will make a theory out of it.
These are ordinary categories: man number one, man number two, man number three. They're all here: you can find these three types everywhere. This is ordinary humanity, the masses.
Man number four is not confined to the body or to the feelings or to the reason.
Man number four has risen above them. He has become an awareness, a watcher.
He will understand the deep significance of the parable and the significance will be life-transforming, He will become a follower. He may become, later on, a disciple. He may be transformed totally.
AND THE DISCIPLES CAME. AND SAID UNTO HIM, WHY SPEAKEST THOU UNTO THEM IN PARABLES?
"Why don't you say things directly? Why are you indirect and indirect? Why do you go around and around? Why not hit them directly and say things directly? "
One very well-known Christian preacher, Harry Emerson Fosdick, has said that every man is an island. If you want to land on the island, you have to row around and around to find the right place for landing.
Yes, he's right. Every man is an island and if you want to make contact, real contact, you have to row around and around to find the right place and the right time to land. If you land from the wrong place you will be rejected; if you land in the wrong moment you will not be accepted. If you land from the right place, in the right moment, you will be a welcome guest; otherwise you will be an intruder. One h3s to wait. A parable is a going around and around the island of man to find from where to land.
But the disciples can't understand it. Why? Why does he speak in a different way to them? And whenever there are multitudes, why does he change his ways and start talking in roundabout language?
The disciples are those whose gates are open for Jesus. There is no need to go round and round. The disciples are those whose landings have been already found. They ARE in contact with Jesus; Jesus is always welcome, ALWAYS welcome. They are waiting, intensely awaiting him. They have become just a deep waiting for him. He's the bridegroom: they have become his brides. Their hearts are open. There is no need to go around and around.
But for the masses, each man is an island and the landing has to be found. And the right moment.
WHY SPEAKEST THOU UNTO THEM IN PARABLES? HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, BECAUSE IT IS GIVEN UNTO YOU TO KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT TO THEM IT IS NOT GIVEN.
To whom is it given to know the mysteries of heaven? To whom is it not given?
Those who seek, those who knock at the door of heaven - it is given for them.
Those who are standing without knocking - or those whose back is at the gate of heaven, or those who have become completely oblivious that heaven exists - for them it is not given.
Unless you are moving in the direction of God, God cannot move in your direction. If you are moving against Him, how can He reach you? If you are closed to Him. how can He open you? If you are denying Him, how can He come and become a guest in your heart? No, then it i.s not given; heaven is not given to you.
Jesus said: BECAUSE IT IS GIVEN UNTO YOU TO KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, BUT TO THEM IT IS NOT GIVEN.
But they can turn, they can start moving in the direction of God. It takes the same energy whether you move against Him Or for Him; the same effort is needed. In fact, to move against Him needs more effort because then you are moving against the current. To move towards God needs no effort because then you are flowing with the stream. There is no need for any effort.
People think that when somebody attains to God it is a miracle. That is not right.
The miracle is that which is done by you - that you have lost God. That's a miracle. That is something, a great achievement. It is so hard to go against, it needs so much effort, it needs so much struggle. And struggle for nothing, because in the end the hands are empty.
To achieve to God is to relax, to start flowing towards Him. You need not do anything. If you are just in a deep let-go, the river takes you over. God possesses you if you allow Him "Repent, return, the kingdom of God is at hand." It has always been at hand, but you have become deaf to the message. You listen to it and yet you don't hear it.
You hear it sometimes, but you don't understand it. There are a few moments when you understand it also, but you never bring it to y our life. It never becomes existential. It remains a fragrance in the mind and then disappears.
HE ANSWERED AND SAID UNTO THEM, BECAUSE IT IS GIVEN UNTO YOU TO KNOW THE MYSTERIES OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN. BUT TO THEM IT IS NOT GIVEN. "That's why I have to talk in parables to them." Only parables can they understand, only through parables will a possibility linger around them. They will remember the parable and in some moment of tranquility, calmness, collectedness, the parable may start functioning. The seed will remain with them and when the rains come, maybe it will sprout. It will wait for the right moment... and someday the right moment will be there.
They may be feeling happy, or they may be feeling very calm and quiet, or they may be feeling relaxed. Suddenly they remember the parable, and some new meaning arises. It was not there when they heard it because a meaning depends on your being; it depends on you what meaning you give to a certain thing.
I was reading a story. Two psychiatrists lived in the same building. Every evening they would come back from their offices and they often rode on the same elevator together. The elevator man was very much intrigued by one thing that happened again and again. The first psychiatrist, as he got out of the elevator, would invariably turn back and spit on the other psychiatrist. The other would smile, calmly take his handkerchief out of his pocket and wipe his face, or the tie, or the coat. Sometimes the elevator man even heard that he would chuckle to himself.
He got more and more curious. One day he could not contain himself. As he was closing the door on the first psychiatrist he asked, "For heaven's sake, doctor, tell me why your colleague goes on doing this to you."
The other psychiatrist laughed and said, "Oh, I don't know. This is his problem.
How can I know? But why should be bothered? Poor man, that is HIS problem."
Somebody spitting on your face.... Really, it is his problem; it has nothing to do with you. But you make it your problem. Then you are disturbed, then you are worried, then you start thinking of how to take revenge.
Can you see the point of the story? The meaning depends on you, the interpretation is yours. Even when somebody is spitting on your face you can laugh, you can smile - you can even feel compassion for the poor man. He must be having a great problem, otherwise why?
A parable is just a seed given to you. How to uncover it, when to uncover it, will depend on you and your moods. Sometimes it happens that you may hear something today and you may not understand it. Years will pass and then suddenly one day you have understood it. Years have passed. What has happened in those years? You have changed. You have become more mature; you have gained more experience. You are no longer the same. The parable is the same, but you are no longer the same. Every moment you are changing, and a changed you will find a different meaning in the same parable.
Jesus talks to the masses in parables because they are not yet ready. Nobody knows when they will be ready. But something has to be given to them. A gift from Jesus: a parable. Right now they may be simply amused, simply delighted in hearing a beautiful story, but while they are delighting, the parable is entering within them.
Unaware, they have opened their heart. The parable will be there then. It will wait for its timing, its season. It will wait for the man to be ready. Then one day - - after years, and sometimes even after many lives - the parable will come to a flowering, and the truth that the seed carried will be revealed.
To those who are ready, the truth can be said right now. They will hear it and they will understand it. But for those who are not ready, something has to be given to them also.
Then Jesus says a very paradoxical thing, one of the most paradoxical that he ever uttered - but very significant. Always remember, whenever you find a paradox in Jesus, Lao Tzu, Krishna, remember, something very, very significant, tremendously significant, is being asserted. The greater the truth, the more difficult it is to assert it in ordinary language. A paradox has to be used for it because a paradox is a unity of dualism. It contains the opposites. And greater truths always contain the opposites.
Jesus said: FOR WHOSOEVER HATH...
Listen to it well! FOR WHOSOEVER HATH, TO HIM SHALL BE GIVEN, AND HE SHALL HAVE MORE ABUNDANCE: BUT WHOSOEVER HATH NOT, FROM HIM SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY EVEN THAT HE HATH.
Looks very cruel - unkind, hard. We would have thought just the opposite: give to those who don't have, and if you want to take away, take away from those who already have too much. Jesus says just the reverse. He says: to those who have, more will be given: and those who have not, even that which they have will be taken away. This is one of the most fundamental laws. This is so.
In ordinary life, in the worldly life, just the opposite law functions. In ordinary life this is how we think: that a poor man should be given more. If you take away from the rich, nothing is wrong; but if you take away from the poor and give it to the rich - can you conceive anything more wrong than this? You give to the healthy and take away from the sick?
Out of this law, communism is born. Communism says: give to those who don't have and take away from those who have. As far as this world goes it is okay, but in the other world, the kingdom of God, it is totally different. Only to those who have will more be given. And from those who don't have, will be taken away even that which they have. Why?
If you meditate, more meditation will be happening to you. If you don't meditate, even those few moments which happen on their own of calm, of quiet, will be taken away. If you are getting crystallized within you, the whole existence will help you to be deeper in crystallization. Everything will help to integrate you. If you are not getting crystallized and you are becoming a bigger and bigger crowd every day, everything will help to make you become even a greater crowd.
Whatsoever is happening to you in the inner world, existence helps it.
Whatsoever. If you are growing inside, God helps you to grow more. If you are falling apart, getting split. getting fragmented, the whole helps you to become more fragmented. In the inner world you have to earn; you cannot get anything without earning it. You cannot get anything without working hard for it. You cannot get anything unless you deserve it.
FOR WHOSOEVER HATH, TO HIM SHALL BE GIVEN, AND HE SHALL HAVE MORE ABUNDANCE: BUT WHOSOEVER HATH NOT, FROM HIM SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY EVEN THAT HE HATH.
Jesus said to his disciples: "You have something. I give you more, I add more to it." More can be given only when you have something, because if you don't already have something, you will not be able to absorb the more that is given to you.
If you don't have anything of the inner consciousness and I give to you, it will be lost. It will be a wastage. To absorb that which is given by Jesus or Buddha, or by any master, you need a foundation. If you don't have the foundation already, nobody is going to give to you because that is sheer wastage. It may even prove dangerous. Whatsoever you get without earning it will be a danger to you because it will never become a part of you. It will be a burden. It can crush you, but it cannot help you to grow.
The more you absorb, the more will be flowing towards you. If you don't have, nothing can be added to it.
HEAR YE THEREFORE THE PARABLE OF THE SOWER.
And Jesus told them a parable: WHEN ANYONE HEARETH THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT NOT, THEN COMETH THE WICKED ONE. AND CATCHETH AWAY THAT WHICH WAS SOWN IN HIS HEART. THIS IS HE WHICH RECEIVETH SEED BY THE WAY SIDE.
Jesus is saying something which is very meaningful, but he is saying it in the language that was prevalent in those days. The language has become out of date now. But Christians go on insisting on it. That creates a very embarrassing situation. The meaning will never be obsolete, but language always becomes obsolete; it is no longer in fashion.
Jesus says: WHEN ANYONE HEARETH THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT NOT, THEN COMETH THE WICKED ONE - THE DEVIL.
That is the language of those days. I here is no devil, there is no personality.
There is neither personality in the devil, nor in God. Both are impersonal phenomena. But this is a way of saying something. And beautiful, very poetic. It is a parable.
Jesus says: "If you hear the kingdom of God" - the word, the news, the good news - "and you don't understand it, immediately the devil enters your heart and takes it away." This is just a way of saying something. Try to understand it.
Science, today's science, has come to know many mysteries of life, without understanding them. They have come to know, but they have not understood.
The secret of atomic energy was known: immediately the devil entered: it could not help humanity. Such a great secret... it could not help. On the contrary it became destructive: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. And there is every fear that it may destroy the whole humanity. A secret is known, but not understood.
Whenever you know something, you attain to some power because knowledge gives power; knowledge is power. What will you do with the power if you don't understand? If you understand it, the power will be absorbed by you; the power will give you light. The power will become silence, the power will become a deep calm. The power will become humility, humbleness - it will kill your ego.
But if you don't understand, then the power will become the ego. Then that power will become destructive to others. Then you will try to possess others; then the power will become political. That is the devil.
Let me say it in a new language. Whenever you don't understand a new secret, it becomes political: the devil enters in. When you understand. it becomes religious. Then God enters in. All that is known without understanding will always go into the hands of the politicians. They are the evilest forces in the world; they are always in search of more power. Scientists are serving politicians, not knowing what they are doing.
Unless you are deeply prayerful and meditative, any power that you attain is going to serve wrong purposes. That is the meaning of Jesus: WHEN ANYONE HEARETH THE WORD OF THE KINGDOM - the word of the kingdom is the greatest secret to penetrate to the innermost core of existence - - and understandeth it not, THEN COMETH THE WICKED ONE, AND CATCHETH AWAY THAT WHICH WAS SOWN IN HIS HEART. And he will be poorer because of it; he will be poorer than he was before. At least before, the wicked one had not entered in him. People come to me - sometimes for wrong reasons. I can understand, because people are wrong. How can they come for right reasons? I have to persuade them, by and by, to be here with me for right reasons.
Otherwise they can be here for wrong reasons. They come to me to attain more power. I have to persuade them that power is not good. "Rather, you work for silence."
Silence doesn't seem to be so attractive as power. Power is foolish but looks very attractive to the ego. They ask me, "If we meditate, will we become more powerful? If we meditate, will SIDDHIS come to us, will powers come to us?
Will we be able to do miracles?"
This is coming to me for wrong reasons. This is all foolish, because even if you can do miracles, what is going to happen? You may attract a crowd, you may be worshipped, but you will remain in the ego. Crowds may come around you, but God will be far away.
Those who have been working deeply in the world of consciousness - Patanjali or others - have always warned disciples that sometimes, even without seeking, power comes on your path. Then beware! Don't start using it, because if you start using it, you will be distracted by it. Now you are no longer moving towards God. Now your path has changed; now you have taken a different track. You will be lost there.
THIS IS HE WHICH RECEIVETH SEED BY THE WAY SIDE. If you throw seeds and they fall by the side of the road, they will not be able to sprout. People will be always walking on them; they will be destroyed.
BUT HE THAT RECEIVED THE SEED INTO STONY PLACES, THE SAME IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND ANON WITH JOY RECEIVETH IT; YET HATH HE NOT ROOT IN HIMSELF, BUT DURETH FOR A WHILE: FOR WHEN TRIBULATION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH BECAUSE OF THE WORD, BY AND BY HE IS OFFENDED.
Then there is a second type who receives the word with joy - but in a stony place. Your head is that stony place. You can listen to truth and receive it in the head. Head is very rocky, stony; it has no soil to help the seed to grow. You may rejoice that you have understood, but that understanding is not going to last very long. Sooner or later, that understanding will disappear.
Don't be intellectuals when you are near a man like Jesus or Buddha. They are not teaching philosophy and they arc not teaching any doctrine. They are teaching life... and life can be received only in the heart, not in the head.
The first, who Jesus calls THIS IS HE WHICH RECEIVETH SEED BY THE WAY SIDE, has not even received in the head. He simply listens. He listens from one ear and it goes out by another. He never receives anywhere; he's the worst. The second is a little better. He receives, hut receives in a stony place: in the head.
The word enters into the head and becomes his reasoning, becomes an argument, a doctrine, a belief, a philosophy. Then, too, he may rejoice in it; he may be happy that he has understood. There are many here around me who think they have understood, and the seed has fallen in a stony place....
YET HATH HE NOT ROOT IN HIMSELF - in the head there is no soil and the seed cannot find roots - BUT DURETH FOR A WHILE - the seed will remain there for a while - FOR WHEN TRIBULATION OR PERSECUTION ARISETH BECAUSE OF THE WORD, BY AND BY HE IS OFFENDED.
Sooner or later, if the word has been understood, your life will start changing.
You will become rebellious, you will start fa]ling off the society track. You will not be so much with the society as out of it. You will become a stranger in your own land. Then there is going to be trouble, persecution, tribulation.
And then... then you will betray the word. Because reason is not enough. Reason can carry the word if it is comfortable and convenient, but when trouble arises the reason will drop it and betray it. Only the heart can carry the word even when there is trouble, hardship. Even if death faces you, then too the heart will carry it. Only then can the seed have roots.
HE ALSO THAT RECEIVED SEED AMONG THE THORNS IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD; AND THE CARE OF THIS WORLD, AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, CHOKE THE WORD, AND HE BECOMETH UNFRUITFUL.
Then there is one more type who heareth the word and who understands it in the reason - or even allows a little of it to drop in the heart - but he RECEIVED SEED AMONG THE THORNS. His heart is not pure, his heart is not solely and wholly devoted to the kingdom of God. He has a thousand and one desires, and there are many weeds growing in the heart. The seed is lost in those thorny bushes.
Unless God becomes your only goal, THE only goal; unless God alone challenges you and all desires drop. He becomes the only desire: unless He is your only love and there is no competitor to it - you will lose the seed. You will not be able to grow and become a vast tree of the divine. It will not be possible.
You have many desires. Maybe God is also one desire in it. You have many loves. Maybe God is also one of them. But God cannot be one amongst many.
Either He can be the only one or He will not be. You cannot divide your heart.
Sometimes people come to me and they say they have some other master. I tell them, "It is good. You go to your master, don't come to me. Or if you come to me, then come to me. Then forget your old master. If you are happy with your old master, if things are growing, go back with my blessings. If things are not growing - as there is every possibility; otherwise why should you have come to me? - then be courageous and drop completely out of the old relationship."
To be with a master, one needs to be wholly with him. Unless your heart is available to me completely and totally, the seed will fall in a thorny bush where many other plants are growing, and the seed may not have a chance to grow. The whole soil of your heart has to be cleared and cleaned before the seed can be sown.
HE ALSO THAT RECEIVED SEED AMONG THE THORNS IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD; AND THE CARE OF THIS WORLD, AND THE DECEITFULNESS OF RICHES, CHOKE THE WORD, AND HE BECOMETH UNFRUITFUL.
BUT HE THAT RECEIVED SEED INTO THE GOOD GROUND IS HE THAT HEARETH THE WORD, AND UNDERSTANDETH IT; WHICH ALSO BEARETH FRUIT, AND BRINGETH FORTH, SOME AN HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTY, SOME THIRTY.
Then there is the right person who receives the word in the heart, where no thorns and thorny bushes are growing - where only one plant of the divine is received, where only one love exists and only one ambition and only one desire.
Then your heart has become the temple.
These are the four possibilities. Jesus says, "These are the people who come to me. I have to talk in parables so everybody receives according to his understanding." Somebody may be just enjoying the parable. Good!... but it does not go very far. Some will receive it in their reason, in their heads. Good as far as it goes, but it will not last long. Soon, whenever there is trouble, they will betray.
The last night, when Jesus took leave from his disciples, one disciple followed him. Jesus had been caught, had been made a prisoner. The enemy was taking him to prison. One disciple followed. He said, "Lord, I will come with you wherever you go."
Jesus said, "You don't know. Before the morning, before the sun rises, you will have denied me three times."
But the disciple said, "Never! I will never deny you. How can I deny you? I will never betray you. Even if I am killed, I'm ready."
Then he followed Jesus in the crowd. Somebody seeing him - that there is some stranger - asked, "Who are you?"
He said, "I come from another town."
He said, "Are you a follower of Jesus?"
The disciple said, "No, I don't know who Jesus is."
Jesus looked back and he said, "The sun has not risen yet." Nobody understood, but the disciple understood.
Then again, when they were reaching near the prison, somebody again looked at this man and said. "Why are you following us? Who are you? " They thought he was a spy or somebody.
He said, "I am a stranger and just out of curiosity, to see what is happening, I'm following you."
"So you don't belong to Jesus? "
He said, "Who is this Jesus? I have never even heard of him.' Jesus looked back and said, "Yet the morning is far away."
Again at the gate of the prison somebody asked and the disciple again denied - three times before the sun had risen. The disciple must have understood the word in the stony place, in the head. The head cannot sacrifice. Only the heart can sacrifice.
Unless you are ready to sacrifice your all, God cannot become a truth to you. He demands all, not a small bit less. He demands you totally. That is the challenge.
Only the heart is mad enough to do that; the head is too clever. It can give a little, but it always holds much back. It can come out a little, but the major part remains inside: watching. seeing, calculating whether it is worth it. It is always ready to withdraw if things go too far.
People were with Jesus when he was hailed as the son of God and the multitudes were there. But when he was crucified, those masses disappeared. Nobody was there. Only a few disciples were there, and even those disciples were hiding in the Crowd of the enemies. When Jesus was crucified, only three women came near. That is symbolic: that only the heart can come near in such moments.
If Jesus was going to be enthroned, then all the disciples would have been near.
In fact, there would have been a great competition. They had even been asking Jesus before he died: "Lord. when you will reach heaven and sit by the right side of God, please tell us what will be our positions? Who will be sitting by your side, and who will be next?" Ambitious heads, ambitious minds, ambitious egos.
If Jesus was going to be enthroned, then they would have been in great competition to be near him.
But he was crucified. Hiding in the crowd, they were watching. If some miracle happened, then they would rush and declare that "We are the closest to him, the most intimate to him." But nothing happened. He simply died like an ordinary man, just an ordinary man. And he was so capable of curing others. He had raised the dead from the graves and he could not save himself. He had cured incurable diseases, he had done all sorts of miracles. The disciples were waiting: if some miracle happened and Jesus attained to glory and to God - if God came down and saved His son, the only begotten son; if the crucifixion became an enthronement and he was declared the king of the world - they would have rushed. But nothing happened, no miracle. Jesus died like an ordinary man.
This was the miracle: that he accepted. Whatsoever the will of God was, was going to be his will. He accepted it in totality. "If he wants me to be killed on the cross, perfect. Then that is what is to be the case. Then that has to happen."
He dropped his ego and will completely. In that moment, the greatest miracle happened.
But it was so deep, so inner, that the disciples could not see it. Only three women reached Jesus, to take his body from the cross.
This is symbolic. The heart came close even when he was dead, crucified, with nothing to give. The heart is always with. In glory, in success, in failure - the heart is always with. The head is with you when you succeed. When you fail, the head fails you. It escapes. It is cunning, it knows when to be with somebody and when not to be. It withdraws, it simply denies. "Who is this Jesus? I have not even heard the name."
Three poor women, one of them a prostitute, Mary Magdalen, came to take possession of the body. They brought down the body of Jesus from the cross.
Whether crucified or enthroned makes no difference for the heart. The heart is not a calculator, the heart is not a Jew. The heart can stake all and all. That's why the heart becomes the door of God.
That is the fourth possibility. Then the seed reaches to the right soil.
... AND BRINGETH FORTH, SOME AN HUNDREDFOLD, SOME SIXTY, SOME THIRTY.
Much harvest comes out of a single seed. Remember, when Jesus gives you something, he is just giving you a seed. If you give it a chance to grow in your heart, it will become an hundredfold, even a thousandfold.
You cannot understand whatsoever jesus is giving you until it grows in you. A seed looks just like a pebble. It does not look like a diamond - an ordinary pebble. Sometimes the pebble may even look more colorful, more precious. But the pebble remains a pebble: it has no potentiality, it is dead. Even a diamond has no potentiality. But a seed.... That is the difference. The pebble is dead, the diamond is dead, but the seed is alive. It can grow, it can become more, and more, and more. An hundredfold, a thousandfold - and then millions of seeds will come and they can again grow an hundredfold, a thousandfold.
It is said that one single seed can fill the whole earth with greenery. Just a little time is needed. And if you give more time, a single seed can fill the whole universe with greenery, with flowers. Such is the potentiality of a seed.
When Jesus talks to you, he is not giving you flowers. He's giving you seeds. You might have wanted to get flowers because their value is obvious, but he gives you seeds because he knows that a flower is just on its deathbed. A flower is at its last stage; a seed has not even begun yet. A seed is infinite potentiality; the flower is exhausted.
That is the difference between an awakened one and the so-called pundits, rabbis. They give you flowers: exhausted. You can enjoy them a little, decorate your room for a while, but the flower is exhausted. A Buddha, a Jesus, a Krishna - they giVe seeds. That's why a rabbi can be very famous in his time, but then he is forgotten. A pundit may be very famous when he is alive, but when he is gone, he is gone. Jesus lives and lives and lives; Buddha goes on living. They give seeds. Millions of flowers come out of them and millions of seeds. They continue; there is a continuum of life.
A parable is a seed. It depends on you how it will unfold itself. You can lose it like a dead thing if you hear it and don't understand. Or you can lose it if you hear it and understand only by the intellect. Then it falls on stony ground. Or you can lose it by understanding, even giving it a place in the heart, but amongst so many bushes. No, Jesus wants your whole heart. Nothing less will do. It is a total commitment.
When you come to me to be initiated, it is a total commitment. It is a risk. You are taking a jump into the unknown. So only courageous, very courageous people can move onto the path. Only those who dare. It is risky and dangerous. You have never known it before. You will be moving for the first time, so you don't know.
I was reading a story. In a desert it happened: a man came to a place where he was feeling very thirsty. There was a hand-pump by the side of the road. He went near, very hopeful, and there was a small note hanging with the handpump. On the note it was written: "Please. The road traffic is almost nil; years pass before some traveller comes by. The pump is in order, but for years nobody uses it, so first you will have to put water in it. I have hidden a big bottle full of water under the white rock. Please don't drink it. If you drink even a part of the water, then there will not be enough for the pump to start. Trust me. If you put all the water in the pump it will function and there will be enough water coming out for you. And remember, before you leave, fill the bottle again and put it under the rock." The note was signed - and the date on it was twenty years before. For twenty years....
The man ran to the white rock. The bottle was there. Many people had passed, but everybody had trusted the man. There was every possibility that you may have thought: who knows if this man is mad or crazy? Or is just a practical joker, playing a joke on you? If you put in the water, who knows? - the water may be lost and the pump may not start. You are thirsty, amidst a desert; for miles there is no town. It is dangerous and risky to trust. And it is somebody unknown. You don't know who this man is. He has signed his name, but who is he? But everybody followed. This is trust.
And this man also followed. It is moving into the unknown: he was dying of thirst - all temptation was there to drink the water first. Who knows? And this water can save him! It is absolutely clear that this water can save him. TO pour the water in the pump... maybe it will be lost, and the pump won't work. It is a desert land.... Who knows? - the pump might have been working when the last man came and it may not be working now. This is taking a risk; life is at stake.
But he poured the water. With trembling hands. with fear, with death near.
When you come to me and I.say something of the unknown. you have to trust me. There is no other way. And it is dangerous. Who knows? - this man may be just a practical joker, he may be just playing a joke. Or maybe he is mad, crazy. It is a risk.
To walk with Jesus is a risk, to go with him is a risk, because wherever he is leading you have never been. The path is unknown, the goal is unknown. Only the heart can take that much risk because the heart is innocent, innocent like a child.
BUT HE THAT RECEIVED SEED INTO THE GOOD GROUND...
The heart is the good ground. And the good news can be received only in the good ground.
Jesus says: "That's why I talk in parables." The parable can be understood according to the man. He can understand it according to himself. If he has something within him, then the parable will hit that source and will give much.
If he has nothing in him, the parable will be lost.
If you don't have the base, the parable will not reveal the source of power to you - because then the wicked one enters, and you are possessed by the devil. Then the ego becomes more strong and rather than helping, you have been harmed.
A parable is beautiful: it gives you only that much which you can take. It never gives you more. But if you are ready - or someday you will be ready - then it starts giving you more and more and more.
I have heard that when President Abraham Lincoln was choosing people for his cabinet, one of his advisors suggested the name of a certain man. Abraham declined. The advisor asked why. Lincoln said, "I don't like his face." This can't be a reason! The advisor said, "But he's not responsible for his face. At least that should not be a reason. What can he do about it? He is helpless."
Lincoln said, "No. After the age of forty, every man is responsible for his face."
I agree with him. Absolutely true. After the age of forty, you are responsible for your face. It is the way you have lived, loved, worried. It is the way that you have behaved, related. It is how miserable you have allowed yourself to be, or how ecstatic. It is your autobiography. But after the age of forty.
You are responsible for your face. But I would like to tell you something more.
You are responsible for your soul also, not only for the face. Because you are whatsoever you have chosen to be. It you are miserable, this is your choice; if you are in deep darkness, that too is your choice. Unless you choose to return, God will not be available. Not that He is not available - He is always available - but He is helpless.
Face Him, turn back, look at the source, and suddenly He showers on you. Yes, remember this fundamental law: FOR WHOSOEVER HATH, TO HIM SHALL BE GIVEN, AND HE SHALL HAVE MORE ABUNDANCE: BUT WHOSOEVER HATH NOT, FROM HIM SHALL BE TAKEN AWAY EVEN THAT HE HATH.
Enough for today
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