Gautam Buddha said, “It is for that purpose I have brought the rose. It is very symbolic, because the heart is so beautiful, your innermost being is beautiful as no rose can be, but the rose is the nearest symbol. And when it opens…the fragrance also is the closest symbol, because the same fragrance, similar – of a higher level, more mysterious – the rose can represent in the mundane world of our day-to-day reality.
“This rose that I have given to Mahakashyap will die. Right now it is so alive, so beautiful and so young. Just by the evening its petals will start dropping, dying. Today it is – tomorrow there will not be even a trace left behind. Tomorrow it will be impossible to think what beauty, what fragrance has been existing in reality yesterday.”
One of Gautam Buddha’s most basic philosophical standpoints is momentariness. Everything is only in the moment. It is changing. Nothing is permanent. What seems to be permanent is your inability to see the impermanence of it! Otherwise…mountains disappear, continents disappear, stars disappear, what to say about flowers? Everything that is born, dies. Only this moment is real; you cannot be certain about the next moment. The roseflower signifies his fundamental attitude of momentariness.
Nataraj has asked a question which will be very significant in this reference. It will help you to understand the mystic rose and it will help him to understand the answer to his question. He has asked:
Please speak to us on these few lines by Omar Khayyam:
Ah, fill the cup – what boots it to repeat
How time is slipping underneath our feet
Unborn, tomorrow, and dead yesterday,
Why fret about them if today be sweet!
One moment in annihilation’s waste,
One moment, of the well of life to taste –
The stars are setting and the caravan
Starts for the dawn of nothing – Oh make haste!
Before Gautam Buddha, there has not been any other mystic who has emphasized the changing reality, the momentariness of everything. After Gautam Buddha there have been a few people like Heraclitus in Greece…like Omar Khayyam, who in a poetic way is saying, Fill the cup now, time is fleeting! Yesterday is dead, who knows about tomorrow? The caravan is ready to start towards nothingness. Make haste! Don’t waste this moment, this opportunity to be your authentic self.
It is very strange that Gautam Buddha, Heraclitus, Omar Khayyam – all are very different types of persons. Their approach to reality is different. They all emphasize changingness, but if you simply understand that they are preaching change you have misunderstood them. Behind this changing phenomenon there is a flame which is eternal, which is timeless…which simply is.
That is your being, your witness.
Otherwise, who will witness the change?