Jesus said, The kingdom is like a man who had a hidden treasure in his field without knowing it. And after he died, he left it to his son. The son did not know (about the treasure). He inherited the field and sold it. And the one who bought it went plowing and found the treasure. He began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished. (109)
This is an allegory of a person’s awakening to the divine consciousness inherent in each one of us. The three people in the story are really incarnations of a single person and should be understood accordingly. In the Bhagavad Gita the thirteenth chapter is entitled: The Field and Its Knower. The body is said to be the field and the Self is its knower, or rather “the knower in the field.” For the Self is the hidden treasure.
The kingdom is like a man who had a hidden treasure in his field without knowing it. And after he died, he left it to his son. The son did not know (about the treasure). He inherited the field and sold it.
For many incarnations we have no idea of the Self. We may believe that there is an immortal part or “something” to us, but a comprehension of the Self is completely absent from our minds. So we keep passing on the subtle bodies which make up the field from incarnation to incarnation, to our various reincarnations–our “descendants.” Often knowledge from our past lives exists to be carried over as a subconscious knowledge in each incarnation.
And the one who bought it went plowing and found the treasure. Finally in one incarnation we decide to “buy” the field. That is, we decide to control it, understand its purpose, master it and bring some order and even happiness and fulfillment into our life. Our motivation may not be completely spiritual, but we intuit that there must be a purpose for “all this” and decide to make an attempt at figuring things out.
This goes on for some lives, until in one life we begin looking inward, feeling that “something” must be there to find. After a number of more lives, trying this and that in our search, we have the good karma to discover an actual spiritual methodology that will reveal what we are seeking if we apply it correctly and diligently. In other words: we learn yoga and become a yogi.
“Plowing” the field through yoga practice, according to our persistence and fervor we eventually find the treasure–the Self. And we not only “see” it, we possess it and identify with it fully. That is, we come to know the Self and thereby know God.
He began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished. Having found the treasure we share it with others whom we feel are truly interested and capable of finding the Self. The “interest” exacted of them is faithful practice and the conforming of their life to the yogic principles of yama and niyama. In time they, too, gain the treasure hidden in their field and can also share it with others as we shared with them.
And so the story ends as Eternity begins.
“Therefore, become a yogi” (Bhagavad Gita 6:46).
Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Having Come to the End