In the East commentaries started for a certain historical reason. It is at least ten thousand years old – that is the very orthodox view about the history of philosophical development in the East. There are people who think it is far more ancient than ten thousand years. And because there was no writing – writing was not yet invented – every master had to speak in small maxims, not elaborate treatises, but in small sutras. The word sutra means the thread.
They are giving you the very minimum to remember, because to remember a vast amount of a great philosophical treatise will not be possible. And there is a danger of forgetting something, there is a danger of adding something of your own. So the way of the sutras was the only possibility – to write in such a condensed way that every disciple of any master can remember the small, seed-like maxims.
But they are only seeds. They indicate the way, they indicate a certain direction. Unless your heart becomes a soil for those seeds, they will not sprout into leaves, into branches, into flowers, into fruits. Those seeds contain everything that is going to happen, they have the whole inbuilt program. If you allow that seed to enter into your being, as it sinks deeper and deeper, you will realize all that is contained in it. It will become a reality in you.
But because individuals are different, because individuals are unique, each individual heart is not the same soil, not the same territory, not the same land. The seed will have to grow according to the soil. Somebody’s heart may be very fertile, creative. The tree may become very huge, the foliage may be very green, and when the spring comes there will be thousands of flowers and fruits.
But somebody’s heart may be very hard. The seed is the same, but the soil is not going to help the seed much. The seed has to grow against all odds, against all hindrances. The heart is not going to help but on the contrary it will hinder. It is just a seed which has fallen into a land full of stones. It may grow but it won’t be the same as in a fertile creative heart. It may not attain to the same height; it may even be a bit crippled; it may not have much foliage; it may come to only a few flowers.
But the uniquenesses are such – somebody is a poet and the seed may become poetry. And somebody is a musician and the seed may become music. And somebody is a sculptor and the seed may become a beauty in stone. It will all depend in which kind of heart the seed falls. And there are many more implications.
It is possible that one heart may be very fertile and it may bring thousands of flowers. And one heart may not be so fertile and it may not bring thousands of flowers but just one flower – very huge, very big. Those thousand flowers will not be in any way competitive to this one flower. In numbers they may be many, but the beauty of this one flower has almost accumulated the whole beauty of thousands of flowers.
I had one gardener with me for many years while I was teaching in the university. I had a beautiful garden. And this old man I had chosen for a certain reason – he was somebody else’s gardener, some army officer’s gardener. He was winning every year the competition for growing the biggest roses. I used to go to see because the whole city was involved in the competition.