Chapter 5: In the Litter of the Wayside
A sannyasin is a plant, a sprout - soft, delicate. The seed is never in danger, remember. What danger can there be for the seed? It is absolutely protected. But the plant is always in danger, the plant is very soft. The seed is like a stone, hard, hidden behind a hard crust. But the plant has to pass through a thousand and one hazards. That is the second stage: the seed dissolving into the soil, the man disappearing as an ego, disappearing as a personality, becoming a plant.
The third possibility, which is even more rare, because not all plants are going to attain to that height where they can bloom into flowers, a thousand and one flowers.. Very few human beings attain to the second stage, and very few of those who attain the second stage attain the third, the stage of the flower. Why can’t they attain the third stage, the stage of the flower? Because of greed, because of miserliness, they are not ready to share.because of a state of unlovingness.
Courage is needed to become a plant, and love is needed to become a flower. A flower means the tree is opening up its heart, releasing its perfume, giving its soul, pouring its being into existence. The seed can become a plant although it is difficult to drop the armor, but in one way it is simple. The seed will only be gathering more and more, accumulating more and more; the seed only takes from the soil. The tree only takes from the water, from the air, from the sun; its greed is not disturbed, on the contrary, its ambition is fulfilled. It goes on becoming bigger and bigger. But a moment comes when you have taken so much that now you have to share. You have been benefited so much, now you have to serve. God has given you so much, now you have to thank, be grateful - and the only way to be grateful is to shower your treasures, give them back to existence, be as unmiserly as existence has been with you. Then the tree grows into flowers, it blossoms.
And the fourth stage is that of fragrance. The flower is still gross, it is still material, but the fragrance is subtle, it is almost something nonmaterial. You cannot see it, it is invisible. You can only smell it, you cannot grab it, you cannot grasp it. A very sensitive understanding is needed to have a dialogue with the fragrance. And beyond fragrance there is nothing. The fragrance disappears into the universe, becomes one with it.
These are the four stages of the seed, and these are the four stages of man too. Don’t remain a seed. Gather courage - courage to drop the ego, courage to drop the securities, courage to drop the safeties, courage to be vulnerable. But then don’t remain a tree, because a tree without flowers is poor. A tree without flowers is empty, a tree without flowers is missing something very essential. It has no beauty - without love there is no beauty. And it is only through flowers that the tree shows its love. It has taken so much from the sun and the moon and from the earth; now it is time to give!
Life has to attain a balance always. You have taken so much, now give it. Become a flower! Only when you become a flower is there a possibility of disappearing as a fragrance. But then too, remember, don’t remain a closed flower, don’t remain a bud; otherwise your fragrance will not be released. And unless your fragrance is released, you are not free, you are in a bondage.