I am reminded of a story. An old man, very rich, was puzzled because he had three sons; the problem was that all three sons were born simultaneously, their age was the same. Otherwise, in the East, the eldest son, inherits. The problem for the old man was who was going to inherit, because all these three were of the same age.
He asked a wise man, “What should I do? How should I decide who should inherit?” The old wise man gave him a certain method. The old man went home, he gave one thousand silver pieces to each son and told them, “Go to the market, purchase seeds of flowers.”
They went, they purchased seeds. Carts and carts came, full of seeds, because one thousand silver pieces in ancient days was big money, and just flower seeds …. When all the flower seeds had come, all that the three had bought, they said, “Now?”
Their father said, “I am going on a pilgrimage. It may take one year, two years, three years. You have to keep these seeds with you, and when I come back I will ask for the seeds to be given to me. And this is going to be a test also, because whosoever proves wise will inherit my whole property, so be careful.” He went on the pilgrimage.
The first son thought, “This is a strange test. If he comes after three years … these seeds will simply die, and he will ask for the living seeds. So the best way is to sell them in the market, keep the money, and when he comes back purchase new seeds again — fresh, young.” Very economical, mathematical — he did that.
The second son thought, “What this brother is doing is not right, does not seem to be right, because our father emphatically said, `These same seeds I would like to be returned.’ So I will keep these seeds.” He made arrangements in the basement of the house, put all the seeds there, locked it, and said, “Now whenever he comes I will give him the key and say, `These are the seeds.’”
But the third one had a different idea. He said, “Seeds kept in a basement will not remain alive; they need soil. By the time our father returns they will not be the same seeds because they will be dead. They cannot sprout — how can you call them the same seeds? The seeds that our father has given us can sprout, can become trees. One seed can produce millions of seeds; that is what he has given. And when he comes after three years those seeds will not be able to produce a single seed, a single sprout. This is not the way.”
He went behind their house — they had much land — and he sowed the seeds all over the land. Each year they became a thousandfold more. After three years when the father came, he could not believe his eyes — as far as he could see his whole land was full of flowers! He asked the other sons …. They had certainly failed the test. He said, “The third son inherits my property because he knows how to expand, how to increase.”
One seed can make a whole earth green.
Story told by Osho