It seems impossible that a little seed can be transformed into a large tree. We have always had this feeling whenever we looked at men like Krishna or Buddha. Standing near Krishna we felt that it was impossible to be like him. So we said, “You are godly, and we are just ordinary persons; we cannot be like you. You are an avatar, an incarnation, and we are just petty people who can only crawl somehow. It is not in our power to be like you.” Whenever a Buddha or a Mahavira has crossed our path, we have touched their feet and said, “You are a tirthankara, an incarnation, a son of God, and we are very ordinary people.” If a seed could speak it would say the same thing to the tree, “You are godly and I am an ordinary seed; how can I be like you?” How can a seed believe that a large tree is hidden in it?
But it is a fact that what is a large tree today was once a tiny seed, and the tiny seed of today will turn into a large tree tomorrow.
Infinite possibilities lie hidden within each of us. But so long as we remain unaware of them, no scriptures and no god-men, however loudly they declare it, can prove their existence. And that is as it should be, because it is sheer deception to believe what we don’t know. It is better for us to say that we don’t know that truth is.
But it is equally true that a few persons have known truth. And a few others have known these people, and their whole lives have been transformed through it; they have seen celestial flowers blooming all around them. But we cannot have it just by worshipping them.
Unfortunately, religions have stopped short at worshipping. But how can a seed become a tree by worshipping it? It cannot any more than a river can become an ocean by worshipping the ocean. And however much an egg worships the bird it cannot spread its wings in the sky. The egg will have to crack its shell; it will have to disappear as an egg first. When, for the first time, a chick comes out of its shell it cannot imagine that it can fly. Seeing birds on the wing, it cannot believe that it too can fly. Even as its mother flies, even as the mother urges it on to fly, it lacks confidence, it feels shaky. It sits on the edge of the bough and gathers courage. How can one who has never known flying believe that he can fly and go on a long journey in the vast sky?
I know well that for these three days you too are going to sit on the edge of the pine branches here and wonder if a journey into the unknown is possible. Howsoever loudly I urge you to jump, to leap, to fly, you will not believe that flying is possible. How can the birds that have never been on the wing believe that flying is possible? There is no way but to take a jump. For once you will have to leap without knowing what it is. There has to be a leap into the dark to begin with.