I have heard about a man who was driving. He stopped his car and asked an old farmer who was smoking, sitting by the side of a tree, very relaxed, “How far is New Delhi?”
The farmer asked, “Are you going the way your car is facing?”
The man said, “You are strange. I am asking how far Delhi is.”
The farmer said, “Without knowing, I cannot answer. First answer my question: Are you going in the direction your car is facing? Then Delhi is really too far. I don’t think you will be able to make it.”
The man said, “I thought you were a simple farmer, but you seem to be a philosopher.”
He said, “I am a simple farmer. You have left Delhi almost fifty miles behind. If you turn your car back, Delhi is very close, but if you go in this direction then you will have to go around the whole earth, and then too there is no certainty that you will reach Delhi. There are a thousand and one ways one can go astray.”
Gautam Buddha is passing through a forest. It is fall and the whole forest is full of dry leaves and naked trees are standing against the evening sun…looking so beautiful.
Ananda, his close disciple, asked him, “I wanted to ask it many times, but other people were present. Now fortunately a few disciples have gone ahead, a few are coming behind, and this is a moment I am alone with you and I can ask a question.” And his question was: “Have you told us everything that you know or are there some secrets that you are holding back?”
Gautam Buddha bent down, filled his hand with dry leaves, showed him those dry leaves in his hand and said, “Whatever I have told you is just like these few dry leaves. What I have not told you is just like the whole forest full of dry leaves…but it is not because I am a miser, it is not because I wanted to hold it back from you. Even to say these few leaves has been such a difficult task. I have wasted my whole life in conveying something about these few leaves, but these few leaves are enough as far as understanding all the leaves of the forest are concerned. If you can understand these few leaves – just a handful – you have understood all the leaves of all the forests.”
It is a question of understanding. You do not have to know all the oceans to come to the conclusion that ocean water is salty. From anywhere, just a little taste of the ocean will give you the taste of all the oceans – which you may never visit.