Chapter 6: Fire of Rebellion
I have heard: One morning in a garden, a strange event happened. There were small grass flowers that had grown, well-protected by the protruding stones of a stone wall. Sheltered by the wall, those flowers never knew storms nor the light of the sun. They were living a sheltered life, not knowing the rains, nor the stars that twinkled in the night, but they were very safe, there was no danger for them.
One of the grass flowers lost his head and one day peeped out. He saw a roseflower rising upwards towards the sky. A desire arose in that grass flower, “Can I not be a roseflower? Can’t I rise upwards?” In the night he prayed to God to make him a roseflower. God told him that he should not be mad, that he was so well-protected, that the roseflower blossoms in the morning and withers in the evening and falls, whereas when he blossoms he lives on for weeks on end, he does not wither easily.
The grass flower replied, “That I understood. We stay blossoming because we don’t really blossom in the first place. And the grass flower is not so juicy from the very beginning, so we don’t wither away easily. No, I want to blossom like a roseflower, I want to have velvety petals like the roseflower. I do not want to live under the shadow of this stone wall, I want to rise up in the open sky even for a moment, but I want to rise.”
The grass flower was adamant. The neighboring grass flowers also tried to persuade it, saying, “Have you gone mad? Such a thing has never been done in our family and tradition. This is an old custom, we just live here, buried in the stones. Even our forefathers never thought of going out in the open sky, nor did their forefathers. It is not written in our scriptures. What madness! It seems you have gone crazy! You are spoiled by the company of others. Remain within your limits. It is dangerous to step out of this place. You will die. Don’t you see how much trouble roseflowers have to endure? The day before there was a storm and all the roseflowers were lying flat on the ground. One day when it was raining, all the rose petals were found weeping. If there are high-speed winds, the rosebush gets shaken to its very roots. We remain safe and happy.”
The grass flower, however, did not agree. It said, “No, even for a day, but I want to be a roseflower.” And when one does not agree, what can God do? God can do something only when one agrees. If you don’t agree, he is helpless. So in the morning the grass flower became the roseflower. Soon the sun rose, the clouds gathered in the sky, and a strong wind began to blow. All those grass flowers began to shout at the new roseflower from below: “Oh you crazy flower! Now you will die! For a moment’s happiness you lost your permanent comfort. Just for a moment, just to be a roseflower, you gave up your safety!”
Soon after, thundering rains came with very strong winds. The thin stems of the roseflower started moving this way and that, and the rose petals began to fall. Even the leaves fell off. After some time the roots of the rosebush, wet and weak, became uprooted and it fell over. While it was dying, a grass flower bent down and said, “You fool! Now have you come to your senses or not? For the sake of a moment’s experience under the sky, how much didn’t you suffer!”