For almost the twenty years that he was with me, he was winning every year. But his secret was not better gardening; his secret was a deep respect for the plants, bestowing on them a dignity, communing with them as if they also were human beings. He was offered many other jobs by richer people because they wanted to win the prizes.
I told him, “You can accept if somebody is giving you more money – don’t be worried.”
He said, “That is not the question. The question is that everywhere I will be thought mad. It is only you who has never said to me that what I am doing is nonsense. You have supported me, and in my whole life you are the only person who has.”
When I came to Pune, the gardener had become very old, but he was sending messages through sannyasins that he would like to come and take care of my garden. He was worried that nobody else could take care of my garden the way it should be taken care of.
What Prince Charles is doing is perfectly right. He should be supported, but he is being condemned all over England. We are so blind towards existence that it is not surprising.
Have you ever said, “Hello,” to a tree? You yourself would think that you are going out of your mind. Have you ever touched a tree with love, the same way you would touch your beloved? Have you ever hugged a tree? You are missing a whole world of sensitivity that surrounds you, that is available.
Slowly, slowly, you will start feeling that when you say hello to a tree…of course, it cannot respond in language, but it will respond in some way. It may start swaying even though there may be no wind. When you touch it lovingly, just a little acquaintance is needed, and you can feel that on the other side there is not something insensitive, but something which is far more sensitive than people are. The tree will be sending its energy, its warmth to your hand.
If you hug a tree, the world is going to think you mad. But all the trees will know that there is still hope for man; there are still sensitive people. And hugging a tree, you will find more sensitiveness, more lovingness, than you can find even hugging your friend or your beloved, because your friend, or your beloved are full of tensions, anxieties, agonies. Trees are absolutely innocent; their consciousness is as pure as the purest sky, unclouded. We are not living in a dead world.
Although it has not been discovered yet by science, it is predictable that even in rocks you will find a consciousness deep asleep. Nothing is dead anywhere; it is whole, alive, sensitive. We are unnecessarily confining ourselves to human beings. We should spread our hands in all directions – to the animals, the trees, the birds, the rocks, the oceans…. By this expansion of your experiences, your own consciousness will be evolving more and more. This universe is not a graveyard, it is full of rejoicings; you are just deaf. It is full of beauties, but you are blind. All the birds are living in a different dimension of consciousness; you can have a communication with them.