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THE CHILDREN (February 11, 1917 in Sofia.)

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Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.35


In order to explain who can enter the Kingdom of Heaven, Christ takes as an example an ordinary form known to all—the children—a form existing since the creation of the world. The children bring happiness to the home and to the world. A home without children is a desert without a spring or grass. Why must one become as little child, if they would get to heaven? In Christ's talk the word child has a deeper meaning than we usually attach to it. Christ does not say that you will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, if you are a precious stone placed in the crown of some king or if you are a millionaire, but says, "If you do not become as a child, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven." Here He implies the idea of growing small.


The child is a symbol of a potential state, or it may be said that children represent potential energy, i.e. energy in a dormant state. This energy is not inactive because it contains all the conditions for its development. It is simultaneously in a potential and a kinetic state. The potential energy turns into kinetic and the kinetic into potential. The kinetic energy has stronger activity, but it has a smaller scope, whereas the scope of potential energy implies limitless development. The difference between the child and the adult is the same: adults are less active in that they have a smaller scope of development than children. The idea of the child contains yet another sense. If a tree does not turn into a small seed to be planted again in the soil, it cannot begin its development. The growth of trees is effected in two ways: some grow by seeds, others by sprouts or grafting. There is a big difference between a plant growing from a sprout and one growing from a seed. The plant growing from a seed contains greater force than that growing from a sprout. Christ says, "If you do not turn into a seed in life, you will not enter the Kingdom of God!" Why? Because only seeds, not plants are planted there. God does not need old people. There are no old ones in the Kingdom of God.


The word old is synonymous to a weak person, while the young, the children are the equivalent to the word rich in mind and heart. This is my interpretation. If you have not the mind and the heart, that is—the innocence and purity of a child—you cannot enter the Kingdom of God. Why? Because the conditions under which you must grow, require your mind and your heart to contain the Divine life within them. One of the greatest delusions in contemporary spiritual movements lies in considering oneself big or great. Every person, even children five or six years old, cherish the idea of greatness. I have often met children who have the idea that they are very big and have the power to do many things. I have met religious people who also think they are very big. They say, "Do not annoy me, because I can do all things just by raising my finger." If you make these children to raise a sack, they will not be able to. Why can't they raise it? Because they think they are big, but in reality they are not. If they thought they were small, they would be able to lift it. You can test this every day. Put yourself in the position of a child, deposit a thought in your mind and do not worry. If you do not worry, it will be ten times more active than if you torment yourself all the time. When you stand before the switch of an electric lamp, what is required of you? Only to turn this switch on. What do many people do? They stop before the switch and begin to philosophize. No, in this way you will not receive any Light. No philosophy is needed in this case, but a simple motion of the hand and light—the condition for reading—will shine forth.


The same Law applies to one's personal life. On waking up in the morning you turn on the switch and say, "I see!" When the soul enters the human body, she also has a switch and when she turns it on, she says, "I see the Sun!" If you forget to turn on your switch36, you will be in darkness, i.e. your mind will be muddled up, incapable of work. Some morning you get up and forget to turn on the switch of your heart and mind; then the whole day your life is in disorder, you do not find any sense in it and so on. I say, you are in the state of a child with big ideas who, thinking of the big things, forgets to do the least—to turn on the small switch from where the Light comes. I constantly meet people whose switch is not turned on, but who have big ideas, who dream of many-storied large houses, yet are blind! No, you need no such houses. First, turn on the switch and afterwards you can make your house. Become a child of obedience! Only then God will speak to you and you will understand the relations existing between Him and yourself.


People today have lost their relations to God. They think they are free and have the right to do anything they want to, even to criticize God. I ask such a person, "When you got up this morning did you switch on the Light?" "I did not." "Then return home and switch it on, otherwise the whole day you will be in darkness and low spirits. Up to that moment life will have no sense for you." The same Law applies to human relations: you have turned on the switch and all people love you; you have forgotten to turn it on and everything is in disharmony. You are a big person, a great one, but nobody loves you. Nobody loves people who want much. The Law of heaven is symbolized by the children, by their selflessness. To carry much on you back, but to have little in your stomach are two different things. If you carry 100 kg wheat on your back and ½ kg wheat in your stomach, where will your strength be? Contemporary economists who burden the state with big debts do this because they do not understand the Divine Law. I would rather they gave each person ½ kg of wheat in the stomach than 100 kg on the back. It is preferable to have 100 g of knowledge in the brain than a load of 100 kg on the back. Someone may have 100 volumes of books, but the 50 g of knowledge in the brain as a potential and kinetic energy are of more value than what is outside of it.


Thus by the word child Christ means a special inner state—to be in accord, in contact with the spiritual world, with all the powers and all beings. If you start thinking you are a great being, you lose all these contacts. When a great angel in heaven who has lived millions and billions of years and who has an experience greater than that of humanity and whose history is much more superior to that of humankind, decides to come to earth and be incarnated, he will take the form of a little child and humble himself—he will start his development from this point, in order to come to understand the majesty of God. That is why Christ was asked, "Can an old man enter the Kingdom of God?" Be he an angel or a God, he cannot. Those who would enter the Kingdom of God must humble themselves and become like children. Now all of you who are listening to me want to enter the Kingdom of God such as you are. No! This has never been and never will be! If you do not acquire the qualities of a child—plasticity of mind and heart—you will not understand the inner sense of life. But you are already near the Kingdom of God. The inter-space dividing this world from the other world is a hundred-millionth part of the millimeter. How small is the distance between these two worlds!


When a person starts on the way of development, they move very slowly. I notice all who start on the spiritual path resemble big people; they are not like children. If someone begins their journey with large strides, they will not attain their purpose. If you leave home running, you will not achieve anything. But if you start slowly and gradually accelerate your step, you are in the state of a child. Christ says, "Do not start your work hurriedly. Move like the small children—walk constantly and quicken your step by one, two, three, four, five, six steps, then you will find sense in your life." While you are in the state of small children, no illness will attack you, but if you are in the state of the old, an illness will come to you. Those who worry are old; also those who have a heavy heart are old, too.


Become young! You say, "I have a weight in my soul." You are old. "What shall I do?" Become young! "How?" Do not think of great things in the world. Put only half a kilo of bread in your stomach, 100 g of knowledge in your brain and five grams of feelings in your heart—that is enough for you. When ten or fifteen young men love a girl, they begin to quarrel; she feels puffed up and becomes unhappy. Some years ago a young woman was killed in Sofia by her fiance. Why do you love two people? One is enough. Every thought has its definite place. If you do not love a man, do not deceive him! Tell him the truth and he will find another girl.


In regard to religion, people suffer from the same love. You say, "Let us love!" Do you know how love is expressed? Those who desire much commit a sin and when the sin is done, they suffer. The one who sins is a bad person, but the one who sins and does not repent is worse, yet the one who sins and does not repent or pray is still worse. Everyone who prays, yet is unrepentant, is a hypocrite. A hypocrite represents the worst person in the world. There are two kinds of lies, two kinds of sins in the world. When you tell someone you love them, yet you do not, you act like the crocodiles—when they love someone, they wet her with tears to make her smoother and easier to swallow. No, people do not need such love, but the Love of the small children. Give a little, yet let it be from your heart. If men and women would apply this philosophy to their life, all homes and societies will change for the better. Fathers, mothers, children, teachers, priests, judges—all are thinking of great ideas. They all consider themselves great and fool themselves that there are no greater people than them.


You ask, "Why is the world suffering?" It is suffering from "great" people and ideas. People call someone an excellent preacher, because he is preaching grand ideas. Yes, we are all suffering from "great" ideas. The Jews also had great ideas— they wanted to become rich and, considering themselves chosen, they became proud. They had 33,000 promises by God; however, Christ showed them that the greatness of a person lies in becoming as small as a child. Only in this case, God will be on one's side. So far I have not seen a mother bearing an old man in her womb, even if she would be given millions. But everyone bears the small child without getting any payment. Why? Because the child holds great benefits inside. As it enters, every Divine idea, no matter how small it may be, brings peace, joy and greatness to the person who accepts it—that is why everyone can bear the small children.


Many think that big ideas bring happiness to people. Actually, this is not true. To clarify this thought, I shall tell you a legend. An impoverished German prince wanted to marry a beautiful woman. She told him, however, that she was a woman of great pretensions and she wanted him to build her a beautiful palace and supply anything she wanted of him. Only under such conditions would she marry him. He agreed to everything, thinking he would be happy with her. He married her and started looking for riches. By the powers of occultism he started calling spirits who would help him. Finally, he found a prince of the gnomes and said to him, "I have married a pretentious woman and need much money. Can you help me?" "I can, but under one condition: for every purse of money, you must give me ten hairs of your head." "I have enough hairs and can give you as many as you wish." "I shall need only ten for each bag of gold I give you." The man thought his troubles were settled and his life at home would now be happy. He started visiting the prince of the gnomes week after week, month after month, taking bags of gold and giving his hairs in return. A year, two years, three years passed and he became completely bald. He went again for gold, but had no hairs. "Shall I give you something else?" he asked. "No, I need hairs." Now the man understood that human character lies hidden in these hairs. He had sacrificed the apparently small things for presumably great things. Every hair is a noble thought sacrificed for a trifle. If you have such aspirations for ten years, you will sacrifice all that is noble in you and remain a barren desert. Then you will be turned into a big, old, dry tree which is a symbol of the degenerate human character.


Be not offended by the Truth. I know that when the Truth is spoken, many people are offended. God considers an old person everyone who is offended by the Truth. Such is the Law before God for He has never been offended until now. There is no other being to have suffered more desecration than God, but so far He has not even knitted his eyebrows. He calmly and quietly looks at us and says, "These children will understand the Law; now they are piling up sins, that is why they will bear this burden." "Our condition is very heavy: poverty, illness, what shall we do?" You should work. "Is there no other way?" No, there is no other way—you must work. "We are big." You should grow small, become like children. When you return home, try to become like children and see how you will be rejuvenated. You say you are old, but what is the reason? You are carrying the world on your back. When you board a ship which rocks and you begin to fear, what will be the use of fearing? Stay quietly, have the confidence of a child. He who has made the ship will take care of you. The ship will rock and then stop rocking. Even if there is a storm and thunder, you should not be afraid. The birds in the airy space also rock, but they understand this Law better than you. You will excuse me for all this. I say, if you are old, you will get offended; if you are young, I shall congratulate you. When I speak the Truth, let no one be insulted. I shall ask those of you who are walking barefooted over a stony place, to put on sandals, because your feet will be hurt and you will be forced to turn back midway. The sandals will protect you. If a lady is passing through such a place, she would prefer to have her feet hurt than to put on her sandals to please her loved one. Yet, it is dangerous to walk bare-footed. The children are always shod.


Look at the butterflies, these small children of God, what excellent clothing they have! If an earthly queen has such clothes, she would feel happy. Although these butterflies have a short life, how well God clothes them! Why does God clothe them so well? Because they are children. But why does God send unhappiness to people? Because they are old. Why does God send blessing to some people? Because they are small children. A mother forgives her children many mistakes, but if her husband makes the mistakes, she says, "I do not want this dotard any longer!" In the same way heaven forgives all the sins of the small children, but it is strict with the old and says, "Out with you!" Then what takes place in you? Dissatisfaction, despair and hatred of life, since you face resistance and unfavorable conditions for your development.


The only way to be loved by God and by people is to adopt the Divine idea—be small before God and have a responsive heart and mind. Love has different degrees of power: you stand in front of a stove at a distance of two meters and feel a pleasant heat, but if you should put your hand on it, it will burn you. The old people are hot stoves, that is why they burn you sometimes. Usually they are mercenary. Do not think I am speaking of you; I am referring to those old men mentioned in the Scripture. Those who think they are big and great, they are old men. Beware of such people! Christ preached this when He said, "Become like little children!"


When you study Nature, you will find that the most precious things are not big. For instance, the diamond has been an airy substance in the past, occupying great space; long time had to pass before it thickened and grew hard. God has turned it into a hard substance, but at the same time, He has made its volume smaller. It has become of small volume, but of high price. Do you know how much energy, how much matter is pressed into an atom? We should grow small by the same Law, become like children, for only God is great and to be like Him, we have to learn the art of transitory things in creation, the stages of transitory life, and find out why small things pass into big ones. A ripe grain or seed, no matter how small it may be, if it finds favorable soil, it grows into a big tree. However, no matter how big a leaf or a fruit may be, if it falls in the soil, it will rot.


This is the sense of the words of Christ. Christ spoke at the time for the people of an enlightened age, for those who are able to understand Him and apply His teaching. When a great musician plays, he plays for those who have an ear to hear him; when a sculptor makes a statue, he offers it to those who understand and value it; when a writer writes a book, it has sense for those who understand it. God has made the world and inscribed His Law for those who understand Him. Those who do not understand Him will bear the burden on their back and be "great men." When God created the world, the spirits who came down to earth wanted to be big, great, that is why they had big bodies. The huge animals were created at that time as well. If the huge animals had remained on earth, they would have devastated it completely eating up everything. God was teaching those incarnated spirits that they must not have huge bodies, because the greatness of a being does not lie in the huge body. An idea is great not when it is big in volume, but when it bears something great which helps the development of all beings. If you sow a walnut, in ten or twelve years it will become a big tree, but after it dies, it assumes its original state again. Now I am telling you to become like the little children and to make an experiment in this respect.


I say, let this idea of Christ enter your mind and try to be small before God. Imagine that you are just beginning your life in the Kingdom of God. You may consider yourselves eminent people, but how many great kings, how many eminent people lived in the past, of whom there is no trace today. You deceive yourselves thinking that the people around you are eminent, famous, but you can see how eminent they are when misfortune comes to them. In a Varna village about fifty years ago, there was a very eminent son of a chorbadji37. The whole village was speaking about him. When anyone said, "Petran Chorbadji," everybody knew him. Every week he would slaughter and roast a lamb, gather people for a long and merry feast. But misfortune befell him so that he lost everything and became the last pauper. Everybody deserted him and started mocking him. That "Petran Chorbadji" thought himself an eminent man! What is an eminent person? A dead ox. When he dies, the dogs eat him up. Then they again speak of him, but only until he is all eaten up. After that nothing more is said of him.


People speak of a person so long as there is something they can take or receive from them, but as soon as the person dies and nothing remains of them, they stop talking about him. These are the misfortunes of your external life. You are very beautiful on the outside, but the beauty of the heart and the mind is important. That is why you must purify your heart and mind and do not fly at high game. Become small children that you may enter the Kingdom of God and inherit the new life. People on the Earth are dead. They are eaten up by dogs, crows and eagles, because they are "great." When you read "Revelation," you will see that God summons all eagles and says to them, "Come, you little ones, to take your share, of the flesh of kings and heroes—all "great men." What does this mean? When a big oak tree rots and turns into soil, God sends the little seeds and grasses and says to them, "Take your share of this oak, because in the past it obstructed your development." That is why Christ says, "If you do not become small children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God. God will not take your side."


Therefore, the new conditions under which you live require a new moral, new religious principles which must be more powerful and effective than the present ones. The principles you have used till now are weak and cannot endure. You have a rope which can raise ten kilograms, but you want it to raise a load of one hundred kilograms, what must you do? You will make it ten times stronger. The rope is the moral you must make ten times stronger than the previous one, in order that it may endure the new conditions. That is exactly why, according to Christ's Law, you must change your outlook.


If the worst person were to become a child, you would love them because they would change. There cannot exist a struggle between an oak and grass, but there will always be a struggle between two oaks. Plant them next to each other, you will see the struggle between them—which should grow taller and see the Sunbeams. The one that grows higher will succeed, but the one that remains below will say, "I remained small." Small but with big ideas. It is not that you have remained small, but that you should wait for your turn, then you will say to the big oak, "I shall become your son, an acorn". It will answer, "I, on my part, am your father." "Thank you, father, for your care which you will take of me." One day this acorn will grow big and exchange its role with its father. Christ requires every one of us to become a tree which will bear fruit, a seed upon which the Kingdom of God may be laid.


You will say, "These are abstract things." No, they are not. Deposit in your mind the thought, "I want to become a small Divine child. God, help me realize this thought." Think upon this though for twelve months and you will see how your life will change. However, do not blaze forth this idea; I can see that you are small. When a big beech tree comes and says, "I am small" it is not speaking the Truth. When a rich man says he has no money, he is afraid of being robbed. When a poor man says he has money, he does not speak the Truth. Let everyone speak what is right. Have faith in this great Divine Law of this child and God will be with you. If God credits you, He will make you great. But if you make yourself great, you are in the state of a lying merchant who says he has money when he has not.


This is the deep sense of the verse, "Become like small children." I do not want you to think, "Are we really nothing?" Leave this thought aside. What you have been until now is not important; the thing that counts is what you will be from now on. It is well known what people have been like until now—let sleeping dogs lie. The future ideal is—be Divine small children. I wish you to be children of God and use all the great blessings the Kingdom of God is giving you. I wish you all to be wise, happy and good. As you see, I am telling you the way you can be such. You will say, "How will we regard the small drop of water?" Be not troubled, it will grow. The rain does not pour down at once, but drop by drop and gradually it rains harder. However, the small drops benefit the world. The small children do not know what fear is, but the grandmas frighten them, "The big, bad goblin will eat you up!" The same way the maid-servants frighten the children with the goblin to make them fall asleep, so that they can go out and have a date with some young man. In order to be free to go to a ball, some mothers also fool and frighten their children with something awful and mysterious. Down with your goblins! Deceive neither the children, nor yourselves! Be sincere with yourselves and others—this is the only way you can be rejuvenated and become beautiful. As soon as the divine idea takes possession of your mind, everything will change—your lips, eyebrows, nose and forehead. In Europe women paint their lips red, because the red color shows wealth and pure blood. Let this be done naturally. To become small children means to stop lying to God. Someone does not believe in God—they may have serious reasons for their disbelief. Another person says, "There is no God." I say, you have not turned on the switch. "Life has no sense." You have not turned on the switch. "People are bad." You have not turned on the switch. The small child's switch is inside of them. There is no more beautiful or greater idea than this. Some want to know who Christ is. The power of life is not in the letter, but in the spirit of things. I am careful in always conforming to the Divine Truth, speaking only what is true.


You must not play the role of one of the disciples of Socrates who, desiring to show himself humble, went one day to his master in torn pants. However, his master told him his pride could be seen through his torn pants. You must be careful and you see I am careful with your hearts and have never said what is true. Everything I say to you is a Truth which you can verify. If you have no results, I am ready to start working with you. Only say to yourself, "This year I want to be a small Divine child!"


This is the idea I want you to go away with—to be small Divine children. All the European nations to be such children too. Then the real Divine peace will come into the world.


Sermon held on February 11, 1917 in Sofia.



35. Matt. 18:3.

36. The formulae in the previous lecture are one effective method of turning on this switch of our hearts and minds, of revitalizing the connection with our Creator and harmonizing ourselves with the Cosmic rhythms (ed. note).

37. (Turkish) A well-to-do person. The word was also used to refer to Bulgarian wealthy people during the Turkish domination (1396-1878) (ed. note).

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