Chapter 2: Steeped in the Wine of Love
It is said that Judas sold Jesus to his enemies for thirty pieces of silver. We are shocked. A man like Jesus who comes only once on earth after hundreds of years, and Judas trades him off for a few pieces of silver? We find it hard to imagine. But you would have done the same. Perhaps you would have taken thirty thousand instead of thirty, but what is the difference? A measure is a measure. Note one thing: after staying with Jesus for years, Judas could not recognize Jesus, he could not see him. When someone bribed him with thirty pieces of silver, he promptly told him where Jesus could be found. The coins seemed more valuable than Jesus.
We see only what we can evaluate. We are trapped by the price of things. People come to me and ask what they will gain by meditation. How will they benefit by it? It is not that they do not know that meditation will lead them to God. They do know, but they see no profit in God. They know meditation leads to bliss, but bliss has no market value. If you try to sell it who will buy? In their own language people want to know the value, the price, of what can be attained through meditation.
They are not wrong in inquiring, for the economics of life is based on value. For one hour of meditation, how many rupees could you have earned in your shop? If you attain something of equal value or more, then meditation is worthwhile; otherwise it is poor business and useless.
Unfortunately, what you get in meditation has no value. As long as you ask the price of things you will be unable to begin meditation, for you are held in the grip of the world of values, sansara. Whereas God means to enter into pricelessness and non-value.
Priceless are His qualities, and His trading, too;
Priceless are His salesmen, and His storehouses.
Who are his salesmen? Those whom we call saints, realized men, buddhas. They have come to sell you something that you have not the courage to buy. They want to give you something priceless, but you aren’t ready to take it. You feel that which is given free is bound to be worthless. God is given free, so you aren’t interested. If a price were set on him, you would think twice. Buddha, Nanak, Kabir are his tradesmen, but their business is rather confusing and beyond your understanding. They do not appear as traders or salesmen to you.
Finding Nanak useless for any kind of work, his father began to worry what would happen to him. He exhorted him time and again to do something and not be so utterly useless. Nanak’s father didn’t have the eyes to see what was invaluable in his son. People came to tell him what a priceless son he had, but he would answer, “Priceless? My foot! He hasn’t the sense to earn a paisa. He only knows how to lose money!” What is earning in this world is losing in the other.
Nanak’s father told him that if he could do nothing else at least he should take the cattle to graze. If someone is angry with his son he tells him to go and graze cattle; it is considered the meanest of jobs for the dullest of people.
So Nanak’s father said, “Go and take the cattle to graze. Sitting as you do the whole day long with your eyes glued to the skies, how else can you make a living?” The father was a totally worldly man who worried about his son’s future.