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 only be revealed 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 those 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. It gives to you a very subtle hint and a very delicate thread. 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 be just 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.
On the paper was written: “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!”