Chapter 1: Flower Shower
It is said that whenever Buddha passed through a forest, trees would start blossoming even when it was not the season for them. It has to be so! Man can err in recognizing Buddha but how can trees err? Man has a mind and the mind may miss, but how can the trees miss? - they don’t have any minds, and when a buddha walks in a forest they start blossoming. It is natural, it has to be so! It is not a miracle. But you may not be able to see those flowers, because those flowers are not really physical. Those flowers are the feelings of the trees. When Buddha passes the tree trembles in a different way, throbs in a different way, is no longer the same. This is the meaning. The whole cares for you, the whole is your mother.
Now try to understand this parable - one of the best.
Subhuti was one of Buddha’s disciples.
Buddha had thousands of disciples. Subhuti was just one of them, nothing special about him. Really nobody knows much about Subhuti, this is the only story about him. There were great disciples, well known, famous - great scholars, princes. They had big kingdoms, and when they left them and renounced and became disciples of Buddha, they had a name around them. But flowers didn’t shower on them. Flowers chose this Subhuti who was just one of the disciples, nothing special about him.
Only then do flowers shower; otherwise you also can become special around a buddha - and you can miss! You can feel egoistic about being near a buddha too, you can create a hierarchy; you can say, “I am not an ordinary disciple, I am something special. I am just next to Buddha. Others are just ordinary, a crowd, but I am not a crowd; I have a name, an identity of my own. Even before I came to Buddha I was somebody” - and they remain somebody.
Sariputta came to Buddha. When he came it was with five hundred disciples of his own. He was a master - of course an unenlightened master, knowing nothing, and still feeling that he knew because he was a great scholar. He knew all the scriptures. He was born a brahmin and a very talented one, a genius. From his very childhood he was known for his great memory - he could memorize anything. Only once he had to read a scripture, and it was already memorized. He was known all over the country; when he came to Buddha he was somebody. That somebodiness became the barrier.
These gods seem to be very irrational - they have chosen a disciple, Subhuti, who was just one in the crowd, nothing special about him. These gods seem to be crazy! They should have chosen Sariputta, he was the man to be chosen. But they have not chosen him. They have not chosen Ananda, Buddha’s cousin-brother, Buddha’s shadow continuously for forty years - for forty years, not for a single moment was he away from Buddha. He slept in the same room; he moved with Buddha, continuously by his side. He was the most well known person. All the stories that Buddha told he starts by telling them to Ananda. He says, “Ananda, it happened this way”; “Ananda, once it happened.” “Ananda” and “Ananda” and “Ananda” - he goes on repeating his name. But these gods are crazy, they have chosen Subhuti - a nobody!