Zarathustra laughed right at birth. Zarathustra’s religion is the only religion in the world that can be called a laughing religion…very earthy, a religion of the earth. That is why people of other religions don’t see Parsees as being religious. They see them dancing, singing, happy – Zarathustra’s religion is a laughing religion, a life-affirming religion, not life-negative. There is no place for renunciation in it. Have you ever seen a Parsi sadhu stark naked, having renounced all, standing in the hot sun, sitting facing a fire like a Hindu sannyasin? No, the Parsi religion has no interest in torturing and causing trouble to the body. Zarathustra’s whole message is this: if you can realize godliness through laughing, then why realize it crying? When you can reach to the temple dancing, why unnecessarily sow thorns on your path? When you can go with flowers, then why follow ways of pain and misery? It is right, the legend is right, that at birth Zarathustra was laughing.
Don’t look for historical facts in these stories. It is not that they happened this way – but there is a very profound meaning in these stories.
You have a seed: when you look at the seed you can find no indication of the flowers that will grow from it. There is not even a clue of what it can be. Will it be a lotus – blossoming in the water but remaining untouched by it, dancing in the rays of the sun? And the sun too may become jealous of its beauty, of its tenderness, of its incomparable glory and grace. Its perfume will fly into the sky. Looking at the seed this cannot be known. Looking at the seed one cannot even imagine, cannot even guess. But one day it happens.
So we can think in two ways. Either we can hold tight to the seed and say, “What is not visible in the seed cannot happen in the lotus either. It is an illusion, it is a trick, it is a lie.” This is the standpoint of those we call rational, skeptics. They say what is not visible in the seed cannot be present in the flower – something is wrong. Hence a skeptical person cannot believe a Buddha, cannot accept a Mahavira, cannot embrace a Jesus, because he says he already knows them.
When Jesus came to his village he was very surprised – the people of the village didn’t bother about him at all. Jesus has said a prophet is never respected in his own country. What is the reason? Why won’t the village respect its prophet? The village people have seen him as the son of the carpenter Joseph; saw him carrying wood, saw him planing wood, saw him sawing wood, saw him bathed in sweat, saw him playing and fighting in the streets. The people of the village have known him since childhood, have seen him there as a seed. How is it possible that he suddenly becomes the son of God! No, those who saw the seed cannot accept the flower. They say there must be some fraud, some cheating; this man is a hypocrite.
Buddha returned to his village. And the father…what the whole world could see, the father could not see. The world was experiencing an illumination, the news was spreading far and wide, people began coming from distant countries. But when Buddha came back to his home after twelve years, his father said, “I can still forgive you. Though what you did was wrong, you tormented us, you have certainly done a crime, I have a father’s heart – I will forgive you. The doors are open for you. Throw away this begging bowl, remove these monk’s clothes. None of this will do here. Come back – this kingdom is yours. I have become old; who is going to look after it? Enough of this childishness, now stop all this playing!”
Buddha said, “Please look at me. The one who left has not returned. Someone else has come, the one who was born in your house has not come back. Someone else is here, the seed has returned as a flower. Look deeply.”