Remember, only nobodies are chosen – because if you are somebody in this world you are nobody in the other world. If here you are a nobody, you become somebody in the other world. Values differ. Here, gross things are valued; there, subtle things are valued. And the most subtle, the subtlest, is not to be. Subhuti lived in the crowd – nobody even knew his name – and when this news came that flowers were showering on Subhuti everybody wondered, “Who is this Subhuti? We never heard about him. Has it happened by some accident? Have the gods chosen him wrongly?” – because there were many who were higher in the hierarchy. Subhuti must have been the last. This is the only story about Subhuti.
Try to understand it well. When you are near a great master be a nobody. Gods are crazy, they will chose you only when you are not. And if you try to be, the more you succeed in being somebody, the more you will miss. This is what we are doing in the world and this we start doing around a buddha also. You crave for riches. Why? – because with riches you become someone. You crave for prestige and power. Why? – because with power and prestige you are not ordinary. You crave for learning, scholarship, knowledge. Why? – because with knowledge you have something to be proud of.
But gods will not chose you that way. They have their own way of choosing. If you are yourself beating your drum too much, there is no need for gods to shower flowers on you – you are throwing flowers upon yourself; there is no need. When you stop being proud about anything suddenly the whole existence starts being proud of you. Jesus says, “Those who are first in this world will be the last in the kingdom of my God, and those who are last will be the first.”
It happened once that a very rich man died on the same day a beggar in the town also died. The name of the beggar was Lazarus. The rich man went directly to hell and Lazarus directly to heaven. The rich man looked up and saw Lazarus sitting near God, and he cried to heaven, “It seems that something has gone wrong. I should be there and this beggar Lazarus should be here!”
God laughed and he said, “Those who are last shall become the first, and those who are first shall become the last. You have enjoyed being first enough, now let Lazarus enjoy a little.”
And the rich man was feeling very hot – of course in hell you don’t have any air-conditioning yet – burning hot. He was feeling very thirsty and there was no water. So he again cried and said, “God, please at least send Lazarus with a little water, I am feeling very thirsty.”
And God said, “Lazarus was thirsty many times, nearly dying at your door, and you never gave him anything. He was dying, hungry at your door and there was a feast every day, and many were invited, but he was always chased away from the door by your servants because guests were coming, powerful guests, politicians, diplomats, rich men, and a beggar standing there would look awkward. Your servants chased him away and he was hungry, and the people who were invited were not hungry. You never looked at Lazarus. Now it is impossible.”
And it is said Lazarus laughed.
This became a deep story for many many Christian mystics to ponder over. It became just like a Zen koan, and in monasteries Christian mystics have been asking again and again why Lazarus laughed.