The Scene of Christ in the Temple

The Grain of Wheat

Translated by: Christophorus, Published online: 26 Jan 2006
From: Sunday Lectures (SL), Series "Strength and Life" Vol. 1 - "Behold the Man!", Lecture 2, 23 Mar 1914
First published: Deunov, P. K., "Eto chovekat!", Sila i Jhivot, Pearva Seria, Sofia, 1915
Reference: Deunov, P. K., "Eto chovekat!", Sila i Jhivot, Pearva Seria, Pearvo phototipno izdanie (facsimile edition), Sofia, 1999, Janua-98, ISBN 954-9589-47-1
Available online in Bulgarian from ``Library "Beinsa Douno"'' or from Janua-98.

"Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24)

The grain of wheat is the emblem of the human soul. It represents a great story {istoria} in Nature's development. If you were able to open the leaves of the grain of wheat, to follow its history {istoria}, you would completely understand the history of the human soul. As the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, as it germinates, grows and bears seed, so the same happens with the human soul. It could be, that for you the grain of wheat looks like something very modest, something without much value - 1/16 thousandth part of the kilogram: what price would you give it if a kilogram costs a penny? However, the grain of wheat has power, potential and a spirit of selflessness, by means of which it feeds itself and others. And when you sit at the table, you do not think about the grain of wheat at all, you do not know what joy it brings into you, what thoughts it brings. You do not know its origin. People do not appreciate it, neither do the hens - no one appreciates it. But it is a great enigma in the world.

Now, what is hidden in this grain of wheat? It is an emblem of life. And if we take the Bulgarian letter ")|(" [1], which is at the beginning of the word ")|(ito" [Wheat] [2], it completely corresponds to the grain of wheat - two small legs below, roots, two small branches above. When it is sown, it shows us in what direction we should strive. The grain of wheat shows us that we should strive for the One from Whom we originated - for God; that in order to strive for God, we should branch out, form branches, blossom, produce food for the world, that is "to help and to sacrifice yourselves for your neighbors, as I do". And that is why Christ says in another place: "I am [the] living bread that has come down from Heaven" And what is bread made from? From the grain of wheat. Contemporary people say their life is unhappy, everyone is discontent - kings and princes alike; starting from the highest and ending with the lowest, they all want something and when they receive it, they are dissatisfied again and again want for something. Ask them why they are dissatisfied. They seek something more. But let us turn to the story of the grain of wheat. When it is sown into the ground, what would you say if you were in its place? You would say: "That is the end of us, our life has disappeared, our life has decayed!" But within the grain of wheat there is more faith than within us. When it is buried in the soil, it decays and rots, but immediately it understands the language of the Sun and, when the first sunrays appear, it says to itself: "I will not die, I will come back to life, and I will bear fruit for others", and energy flows into it, and it begins to strive toward the Sun. It bears fruit, it ripens. But people do not leave it alone: they take a sickle and cut it down.

Its sufferings have not finished yet: after they harvest it, they bind it in sheaves, then thrust a pitchfork into it and throw it in the truck, take it to the threshing-floor and heap it in piles as big as mountains. Then they thresh it with horses and boards. What would you think if you were in its place? Human life undergoes the same process. You will ask: "Why do we need to pass through this whole process?" - Man must learn from the example of the grain of wheat. The horse hoofs pass through the wheat, then it is taken and put in the barn. But this is still not the end of its sufferings: they winnow it, the bad grains fall to the bottom, the good grains stay above, they place it in bags and carry it to the mill, then these two heavy stones grind it and crush it completely. If you were in the place of the grain of wheat, what would you say? "What kind of life and what kind of world has God created?" But the grain of wheat has great patience; it says: "You are still to see my story". They take it out of the mill in the form of flour, bring it home, but still they do not leave it in peace; the woman gets busy with her bolter, she sifts the flour, part of it she throws away, part she puts in the bread-trough, adds yeast and makes dough. If you were in the place of the grain of wheat, you would say: "This is the end of our suffering". No! When the dough rises - in the oven it goes! - and when they take it out, we see these fine loaves of bread. If you were in the place of the grain of wheat, you would say: "At last, this is the end of our suffering". But after a while, they break the loaves and start eating. In this way the grain of wheat enters the stomach, juices are created that enter our mind and what happens? Great thoughts spring up in our brain, in our heart - new desires. The grain of wheat brings the garment that clothes our feelings, it pours itself out in the pen of writers and poets, it pours itself out in the bow of the violinist. This is what the grain of wheat gives. And if the grain of wheat had not undergone this process of development, you would never see these good things in Nature. Why? Because the grain of wheat gives us the strength to look and see. That is why Christ says: "I am the living bread". For man to be alive, he must communicate with his surroundings, to dive in them to help and to be helped. Just as the grain of wheat has passed through this process, so too we must sacrifice ourselves in the same way. And to offer this sacrifice is not so difficult.

Now, let us turn to the history of Christ's life, to the history of the Jewish people. How can you explain this contradiction: a nation has been waiting for thousands of years for its Saviour, for its King to come and bring freedom, and when He arrives, the same Jewish high priests and princes complain against Him? You would say that, if Christ came in our time, you would act differently. I doubt it. And I will tell you a fact. Look how the husband [3] behaves with his wife [3] and vice versa and you will know how you would behave with Christ. When the Truth comes in the world, She will not wear festive clothes, but a most humble garment, and this is why Christ appeared among the Jewish people in this simple form. This is the reason why people cannot comprehend the Truth. Such are the laws of this world.

But there is another law in the world, which manifests itself in the Sunlight. When the Sun begins to shine over all embryos and beings on the Earth, this light that brings joy and delight in man will cause hate and malice in others. This light that brings good dispositions in some, makes others ferocious! The light and warmth applied to a wolf make him think about where he can find a sheep to eat; when they fall on a thief, he will start thinking how to steal money from you; when they fall on a man who strives to make good, he will think of finding a poor man to help. Give a grain of wheat to the hen and it will form good plumage. Give it to the pig, it will form good bristle; give it to the wolf, it will form good teeth and nails; give it to the fish, it will form good scales. The physiologists cannot explain this process. Every being adapts the food, the warmth and the light in accordance with its development and understanding. You can understand this law if you experience these two different worlds. It cannot be explained to you why evil exists within people, why they prefer hate before love, the lie before the truth. We cannot explain this; many questions "why?" will remain without an answer. The Bulgarian word "why" is a question mark, which implies: "I want". Why should we want? There is a law, which says that we need to strive towards progress.

Christ says that unless a grain of wheat fallen on the ground dies, it remains alone in this world. What is loneliness in life? Loneliness is the most difficult suffering a man can experience. To multiply - this is the meaning of life. All sufferings in the world come from the fact that people wish to live for themselves only. Evil is always born out of the wish to be alone and to become the centre of the world. But, in the Divine laws this is unthinkable. Our thoughts and our feelings undergo a downfall, because we build them on sand. We can be happy in the world precisely when we live for God. And we must live for Him. We can find the explanation for this in Nature itself. When the Sun rises every morning, it rises for everyone, because it loves everyone; it is attentive to all beings, from the lowest to the highest, and that is why everyone casts their eyes towards it. From there comes this energy that resurrects and elevates you. But does the Sun tell us that we must enter it? It tells us to only make use of the good it gives to us, and, as it illuminates the world, so we must shed light and enlightenment to those around us. In our minds we have some false conceptions, which originate from our individual life. For example, if you enter a house which only has a single window and there are 20-30 visitors, you will tell them: "You have no right, only I want to look out" and when you are looking at the Sun everyone else will be deprived of its light; but you should call them so that they too can see the Sun, to show them the way out of this house so they can look at the light. That is why it is not good for man to keep too many people around him, because all of them can never make use of the sunlight and warmth at once. We have to tell them to go out. That is why Jesus says: "He who loves himself, must go out"; and in another place "Whoever loves his father and mother more than he loves Me, is not worthy of Me". So, if a being approaches the window too closely, it will obscure the entire horizon for others. Keep yourself 20-30 steps further away. This is the physical situation. Thus, Christ wishes to say that life is not in the material things; they are just a simple aid, much as textbooks, notebooks, pens are aids for the students. Do not think that God has prepared only these small things for you: He has prepared greater things for you. Ask a frog what its views of life are ; it will say: "I would like more flies flying above the marsh I live in, and want them to be nearer, so I can catch them". And when you sometimes see the frog being silent, as though it were watching philosophically, then it is observing the flies: to be able to catch them when they come closer. This is its view of life. When we travel up this ladder, we should not think that we are already at the peak of our development: in this ladder of development, there is still a long way to travel from where we are, to the path we are striving for. The distance between humans and Angels is so vast, the ratio is almost as the distance between the tadpoles and humans. From the point of view of the Angels, we are still small frogs. Some say: "People are made in the image and likeness of God, aren't they?" But they have not attained this image and likeness yet. You see how we act. In order to say: "We are made in the image and likeness of God", we should have God's qualities. And what are His qualities? They are: Virtue, Love, Wisdom and Truth. Virtue excludes evil, Love - [excludes] hate, Wisdom - [excludes] folly, Truth - [excludes] the lie. If these things are excluded - we have God's likeness; if they are not excluded - we are still small frogs. I have nothing against the frog; it has to eat flies. And why does it eat flies? I will tell you. Because the fly, as a flying being, lives one stage above the frog, so the frog, which has a striving to fly in the air, wishes to acquire the vibrations of the fly, to develop them and fly. Why does the wolf eat sheep? He has to eat sheep in order to become meek, because we become good when we eat good things. Actors have made an experiment when they needed to play the role of an ideal love, to eat sheep's meat for a long time, because this meat predisposes to such feelings. Consequently, the wolf has the right to eat sheep if he wishes to become meek. And he will certainly become such, as the wolf is now much meeker than he was before. And where people eat sheep and hens, I will tell you, that they eat sheep because they wish to become beautiful, they eat hens because they also wish to become winged like the Angels. And you have the right to use them for food. The evil is not in the eating. When a certain food is forbidden, this is so in order to not cause suffering to the being that is used for food. I say you may eat. You will go into the henhouse and when you catch the hen, if it does not make a sound, you may eat it. If it makes a sound, leave it alone. Likewise with the sheep - if it baas: it wants to live. Consequently, you have to ask them. Ask which hen and which sheep wants to live in you. Christ says: "I am the living bread and whoever eats Me, will have eternal life".

In order to understand Christ's words, we have to purify ourselves: to purify our vision, also to purify our mind. Our mind is an excellent tool when we know how to apply it; but it is also a very dangerous weapon when we do not know how to use it. When you plough the land to prepare it for sowing, this is your right; you are following a natural law. But when you plough land that has already been sown, you act foolishly. Some people say: "We have to think and criticize", because science, they say, cannot do without criticism. Criticize, but how? Criticism, like surgery - to cut out a diseased part of the body, I understand, it can be good, but to remove a healthy part of the body, I do not understand. It is not difficult for man to be such a surgeon: everybody can take the saw and cut someone's leg; any one of you has this capability, but few are those who know how to make the surgical operation correctly. To learn this, the law of virtue and love must possess us. When I speak about love, do not think I am preaching a teaching of peace and tranquility; a man who wants to love must experience the greatest sufferings in the world; for he who has not suffered cannot experience this Divine principle of Love. In order to love God, we should be prepared to sacrifice ourselves, as God sacrificed Himself for us. To come to know Him, you say: "Lord! Give us what we need". "Give, give, give!" - this is the call that can be heard from one end of the world to the other. And money has never been so cheap as they are nowadays; any one of us today takes, perhaps, a salary 3-4 times larger than what people once received, and still we do not have enough. The money is inflated, because there is nothing to match them. We should have asked for wheat, corn, pears, apples. You say: "Lord! I want to be beautiful, I want to be rich". You want to obtain many things, but do you know that this is unhappiness for you, because when you become rich everybody will think how to harm you, and, to prevent this, you will have to hire people, [just] as the rich Americans hire 3-4 bodyguards for protection, because at every step they are an object of blackmail. Yet we do not need riches, but rather those basic things which make life better. We have abandoned the development of our hearts and, consequently, we must go back to this main principle - to develop and ennoble our heart. Evil has its nest not in the mind, but in the heart. Each of us has to ask his heart what it desires. It is our fault our heart is corrupted; we have forced it so many times, like the maid-servants, to lie, to think evil and so on. The Lord says in the Scripture: "My son, give Me your heart"; He knows and sees people's errors and wants of us nothing else but that we open our heart for Him to enter. You will say "how"? In the same way in which we open the window for light to enter our room. It is said: "a room, in which light enters - a doctor never enters, and illness never rules", or "where light does not enter, the doctor does not leave"; likewise in that human heart which the Lord has entered, the devil does not enter. The Lord is the doctor in this sense. When he visits, the doctor says: "You have to eat more, you have to drink more, you have to do this and that"; and we bear with this, bear until our backbone brakes. We are often like the camel driver, who traveled through the desert and his camel barely carried the luggage; when he saw a fox skin on the road he picked it up and threw it on the camel, but its backbone broke because of this and the luggage had to be left in the desert. The camel's back can carry only a certain amount of weight. The camel - this is us; we are those who travel, and if we put on more weight that we can carry, one day we will stumble in our development. With this I do not recommend poverty to you; I recommend you richness in three ways - not only physical, not only intellectual, but spiritual as well. Heaven wants such rich people, because they can be generous. And when Christ says: "Lay up for yourselves treasures", He means such treasures. Invest this capital in Heaven, so that from the interest God can feed the hungry people on Earth. It is not the Angels that earn your Salvation, we must do this ourselves. And we have all the conditions to do it. The law is not that all of us should be equally learned; everyone needs to know as much as he needs. Some say: "My brain is small"; I reply: "If you are not able to look after a small horse, how could you look after a bigger one; if you have a small heart and cannot control it, how will you rule over a bigger heart, which has bigger desires?"

What should we do? We should not think of the future, but use all the goodness that the present day provides for good deeds; the present day carries all future blessings. The law is such that God, Who has given us conditions for today, will give them for all other days also; we do not need to think what will happen to us in the future, but we must be calm; there are certain laws which regulate human relations. That someone may cause harm, this is not arbitrary; it will happen according to the relevant law. Every misfortune, however, will bring a blessing; every obstacle will open a new horizon for you. You can always check this, and that is why you should not worry about misfortunes that may befall you. Some ask me about the political life in Bulgaria: "What will happen to her?" Strange thing! So what has happened now? Bulgaria is undergoing a little massage - that is all. They took off a little from her load; they provided her with a new experience and an issue to be resolved. We do not sit to think rationally about the laws which regulate life, but seek a culprit. Who is guilty, tell me. You will not find the guilty ones. Guilty is the individual life of man. When a man wants to become a king for the people, he is guilty. And the one who wants to overthrow the king, he is guilty as well. It is of no difference to us who is the king - one or the other or a third or fourth: they all follow the same path. I am not saying that a man should not wish to become a king or queen. But king of whom? King of himself, king of his mind, his heart, his will. How are your subjects - your thoughts, feelings and desires, have you subordinated them, have you put them in order and harmony within yourself? First you give an example to the world. What kind of a preacher would I be, if I turn to the people and say: "Be generous," but I am myself covetous; if I say: "Do not steal", but I myself steal; if I say: "Do not lie", but I myself lie? A teacher who teaches the people must be a model - to give an example himself. And Jesus, when He came down to teach people, first gave them the model, and, if we absorb His teaching, the world will change immediately. There is a dynamic power hidden within us, which we do not know how to put to use, because we do not know how to work. A thorn once blocked the road and stopped people from passing; passers-by hit it with sticks, but the more they hit it the more it grew, until the carts started toppling over. Everyone found themselves in a quandary, until somebody came with a pick and said: "I, too, will show my art" and started from afar - to dig the roots from afar; at first the thorn began to laugh and to think to itself: "So many people could not do anything to me, you will not scare me either". But the pick [began to] cut deeper and after a while the thorn said: "This guy has found my weak spot". Until you put a pick to work in you also, the thorn will always laugh at you and say: "I will grow more". This is an allegory, which you need to comprehend. What is this pick? Think and find out. We should always be in the place of a judge. For example, during the Civil War in the US they brought in two criminals, one was blind, the other one without legs; their crime was the following: they were stealing apples, the gardener caught them and brought them before the judge; but the blind man began to say: "I am blind, I did not steal apples, but I stretched out my hands and took a few from the ground"; while the one without the legs began to shout: "I do not have legs and cannot go around stealing". The judge, after some consideration, said: "Mount the blind man on the shoulders of the legless one" and added: "The one that has eyes found the apples, and the one who does not have legs, but has hands, picked the apples". And really, they caught them in this way. And man is the same - every one consists of two beings, one is blind, the other without legs. When the Lord catches them at the scene of the crime, each of them begins to say: "I did not pick, I have not touched, I have not set a foot", but the Lord says: "Mount one on top of the other" and then He judges them. Who is the one without eyes? The human instinct. The one without legs? The human mind. Both say: "Let's steal a bit", they mount and go around stealing apples, and when they are caught, one says: "Why do you beat me?" and the other says: "Why do you beat me?" but both are guilty.

Evolution is necessary for us; greater blessings await us; but we must become quite clever, quite good, to grow up, so that this heritage can be entrusted to us. These three things I have just listed - virtue, righteousness and wisdom - are immense riches and when you possess them, you will be healthy and happy.

But, you will say: "How can we apply this teaching in the world?" - It is not required from us to set the world in order: the world is set correctly, there are no anomalies in the world, everything proceeds in a certain order; the phenomena, natural or political, we know why they come, we do not need to alter this flow. One thing is necessary, however - individual improvement of the personality in the world, be it a man or a woman. When the personality is straightened, her children will be straightened - sons and daughters; and when in their own turn they are straightened, their fellowmen and the whole world will be straightened by itself. Like father, like son [4]. This is the principle which Christ laid down, and Christ acts to implement this principle. And as the chrysalis takes up and organizes itself further, so the world will take up and change to the better. There is great unrest in this world because all those who cannot make a cocoon are apprehensive about how they will spend the winter which approaches. The transformation, therefore, should happen in our mind, in our heart, in our will, and, when this transformation happens, we will feel that inside us there is a certain internal strength. Then we will come into contact with those higher beings, who are advanced and whom we call Saints. When we make contact with them, our mind will be enlightened, just as students become enlightened among their teachers. The Saints are teachers of Humanity and we should learn from them - they teach the world how to live. But you will say: "Where are these teachers, in which place are they? We see their images in Church." Everything has its shadow and by means of it we can find the object itself. Your desires in the world are a shadow, your aspirations as well; you wish to understand the essence, you should follow the law - from the heart upwards, towards your mind, to think of God. How can we imagine God? We can imagine Him as the most-good, perfect Man, Who has no malice, no hatred, Who loves people as a real father loves his children - this is God's attitude toward us. How do you think, is He listening to us now or not? He listens and works in our minds. The good disposition we have every day is due to Him. As the Sun creates a good disposition in us when it rises, so the happy minutes in our life are a result of this internal Sun that shines upon us. In the spiritual life there is also a sunrise and sunset. At a ripe age the sun rises - you are in your afternoon, at old age you set, so that you can rise again. The Lord will rise in the hearts and minds of many, but for many He will not rise. Those, in whom the Lord will rise, will feel joy and delight, while those for whom He will not rise will say: "Life for us is unhappiness, sorrow and suffering". They have to wait. Why? Because the conditions for rising do not exist within them; because if it [the Sun] rises prematurely, it will be a misfortune for them. It is better if they have a rest now. I do not say they will die - not at all; I am citing a law to you.

When sunset is spoken of, everyone thinks about [the process of] dying. What is the process of dying? This is a presupposition. Every one of you must have passed through death in order to be able to tell what death is; but now one only imagines things. In one of his stories, Tolstoy says: He meets a Russian monk, 85 years old, with a white beard, and asks him: "What were the reasons which made you become a monk?" And the monk told his story in short: "I am of a noble family; when I was between 21-25 years, my father and mother wanted me to marry a princess; at this time I fell into a lethargic sleep, doctors were coming, touching my pulse - "the heart has stopped, he is dead" they noted, and said I had to be buried; I said within myself: "can this be death?" I could not give a sign that I am alive; my fiance' came with her father and I hear him tell her to cry a little - "so people can say that you loved him" - "I never loved him, I love his wealth", she replied; and I told myself: "if the Lord returns me to the world, I will take up a different life"; how difficult it is to be alive and not be able to say that you are alive; to see everyone crying and not be able to say you are alive!" And how many souls are buried like this! There is nothing worse then to be buried alive. The greatest unhappiness is to stay for days and months on Earth and not to be able to get rid of your body; this is the heaviest prison - the inferno! If we were pure, we would know when the soul has left the body and we would never have such sufferings. After the doctor says that the sick man is not alive, the people suddenly say: "Take him!" They will make him a nice coffin and with songs and music they will carry him away. Where goes their love? This is the love of the fellowmen and the society! Someone says: "I love you!" How? Like the cat loves the mouse, or the wolf loves the sheep? This also is love. But this is such love, from which the world suffers. The love that the world needs is to love others, and to help them to be happy, as we are happy. And that is why Jesus has said: "He that believes in Me, will do what I do, and whoever loves Me, will also be loved by my My Father, and He will come and will make an abode in him". You say: "What will happen with Bulgaria?" I ask you: "What will happen with you?" You do not know that the devil has taken all your possessions, has sold even your skin, and you are asking: "What will happen with Bulgaria?" Bulgaria - this is you. You must pray so that God helps you to drive out this uninvited guest within you, to preserve your possessions, your mind and your heart. The devil is to be blamed for these sufferings. You should not be angry with him. I praise him for one thing only - he is very diligent, he does not become disheartened; if you chase him out of one door, he comes back through another; if he does not succeed in one way, he will look for another, a third and a fourth. This is an excellent and commendable quality of his. And the Lord says: "Take example from him: he is a teacher of the people, he teaches them and he will teach all of them; when he lies to you and lies, at last you will say: "We have learned your lies and you cannot deceive us any more". Someone said to his friend: "You cannot deceive my monkey"; his friend approached the monkey and started to pretend that he is asleep, the monkey closed its eyes as well and the friend took the money; its master came back and gave the monkey a good beating; the second time the monkey will keeps its eyes wide open, it will not close them, because it knows that the stick will be used again. With the experience we have in the world, after sufferings, when the devil comes, we will tell him: "My eyes are open". When you start suffering, keep saying: "I have not yet passed through the whole process of the grain of wheat." And when your thoughts and your heart transform and become wonderful, then you will acquire the image and likeness of God, and then God will resurrect you, like the Sun brings back to life the planted grain of wheat.


[1] Pronounced as "J" in "Dijon".
[2] Pronounced jito where "J" is as in [1].
[3] In Bulgarian, there is a single word for "husband", "male" and "man", and similarly for "wife", "female" and "woman"
[4] literally: "like the yeast, like the dough".
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