A rose bud offered to God

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Another day at Prasanthi Nilayam

It was one of those days when speakers were scheduled to deliver talks before Bhagawan Baba’s divine discourse in the Sai Kulwant hall at Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi. Everyone began to assemble in the hall from 1:30 pm itself for the programme that would begin at about 4:00pm. The front blocks, as always, were occupied by the students. When Swami arrived for His darshan rounds, the hall was an epitome of discipline and devotion as more than 10,000 people drank in the nectarine bliss of simply seeing Him.

Baba arrived on the dais and the proceedings began with the mighty chanting of the Vedic hymns by students from the Sri Sathya Sai University. Ten minutes later, the first speaker for the evening was introduced. As he walked out to speak, he carried a little rose bud with him. Undoubtedly, that would be his offering to Swami before he took blessings and proceeded to the podium. That interaction lasted a few moments and soon, the speaker was standing before the microphone delivering his speech.

Seated at the center of the dais, Swami picked up the rose bud that had been offered to Him.

A new and fresh rosebud is a delight to the senses...
A new and fresh rosebud is a delight to the senses...

The bud ‘grows’

At first, He began to simply look at the little bud nestled in His hands. A sweet little smile blossomed on His face. Then, ever so gently, He began to open the closed petals of the rose flower. It had to be done slowly else the petal would get disconnected from the main stalk. He held the stalk in His left hand and was opening up the petals, one by one, with the fingers of His right hand.

The green, leafy sepals that were located at the bottom of the flower too opened. As the speaker continued to speak, it was an amazing sight to see Swami so engrossed in this ‘gardening’ task! The stalk of the flower had a few thorns which He broke off. That was quite amazing because the thorns are pretty strongly glued to the stalk. Once the few thorns were stripped away, He continued with the act of opening the petals. And again, the strength of His fingers gave way to their tenderness and gentleness.

It took about 15 minutes for the talk to conclude. In those 15 minutes, the rose bud that had been offered to Swami underwent a complete transformation. It was no longer a bud but a fully blossomed rose flower sans its thorns. As the speaker concluded, there was a thunderous applause. Swami smiled and there was a look of satisfaction on His face. For an observer who had been seeing the metamorphosis of the rose bud, it felt as if the applause was meant for Swami who had done something beautiful - blossomed a bud into a flower. And Swami seemed to simply smile it away in divine humility.

It is only the divine touch that makes a bud blossom into its fullness.
It is only the divine touch that makes a bud blossom into its fullness.

And naturally so, because day in and day out, He is engaged in exactly this. Accepting the lives that have been offered to Him as tiny buds and making them blossom with His divine, transforming touch!

Two fully blossomed roses in His hands...
Two fully blossomed roses in His hands...
A rosebud undergoing the "blossoming"process.
A rosebud undergoing the "blossoming"process.

Whatever be the objective that one wishes to achieve in life, the world believes in starting early. A child is enrolled into an arts class, gymnastics lessons, kindergarten or music at ages like 3-4. That is considered great and wonderful. However, when it comes to spirituality, the thought is to take it up after retirement at age 60!

Spirituality is not to be confused with religion. Spirituality is a way of life where one keeps in mind the impermanence of the world and everything in it.

Thus, it makes sense that one desirous of taking up spirituality should also get into it young. That was exactly what Swami told a student very poignantly in an interview -

“If anyone offers their love to God in their youth, they earn the right to demand from the Lord anything, anytime. Youth is the most sacred time in life which should be offered to the Lord.”

Many have been the 'rosebuds' that have 'blossomed' under the Divine Gardener.
Many have been the 'rosebuds' that have 'blossomed' under the Divine Gardener. | Source

An excerpt from a discourse

We offer food to God on a clean plantain leaf. But today we have to enquire what type of food is offered and to whom. The human body is the plantain leaf, the heart of man is the sacred vessel and virtues, and sacred feelings and good conduct are like the sacred food items. But to whom are these being offered? These are being offered to demons of evil qualities, wicked feelings such as anger, hatred, and jealousy. The food that is eaten and left over by these demons of hatred, anger, and jealousy is being offered to God. That is why people today are the victims of restlessness, difficulties, sorrows, and misery.

Young age is like a delicious fruit. You should offer this sweet and delicious fruit to God. It is not possible to worship God after your retirement in old age, when your body becomes weak, the sense organs lose their power, and the mind becomes feeble. Start early, drive slowly, reach safely. Start praying to God right from the early age. If you do not undertake sacred actions when your physical and mental faculties are strong, then when will you perform them? What can you do when the sense organs have lost all their power?

How can you think of God when you become a decrepit old man? Offer the fragrant flowers of your mind and heart to God with total faith at a young age, when your body is strong and sense organs are powerful. This is the true naivedyam (food offering) that you have to offer to God. But people today do not make such offerings. When their senses become weak after indulging in all sorts of sensual pleasures, they offer them to God like offering leftover food.

- Divine Discourse on16th July 1996

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Comments 13 comments

aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 3 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

@Poornima Srinath - I agree that we must direct our senses towards God and God alone! :)

Thank you for the comment...

@Aarthi - Wonderful prayer that you have made - full of gratitude and love... May God bless you to be that way always...


Parmila Singh 3 years ago

Beautiful presentation and uplifting. The rose bud blossoms into flower and is so lovely and full.That is nature.It also has thongs and how swami removed the thongs when offered to him and blossomed to full.Spritually starting young also has past present karma , and offering to god from early age cleans the weed and transforms individual towards self realization and towards liberation.Thanks Aravind


Mark Aspa 3 years ago

thanks - reminds me of Geeta Ram recounting how Swami made a rose bud bloom before her eyes!


Rajeshmohanan 3 years ago

@Aravind Oh, that's interesting :) Now that I know it is you, I can say that it did appear unprepared(as you confirm in the other hub) but climax was good .I too applauded :)

I had indeed read your other hub which at that time made me remember the rosebud talk. But there was no mention of any rosebud there . Now its confirmed :)


Kokila Vaidyanathan 3 years ago

Beautiful narration. ..


poornimasrinath profile image

poornimasrinath 3 years ago from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA

When this thought was validated by Swami Himself I think our appreciations on this precious thought are valueless. I feel your sense organs were sharp and focussed to have noticed this action of Swami which really is your effort and the result of using sense organs fruitfully was given by swami in the form of beautiful lesson (wisdom). Thanks for sharing the wisdom :)


aravindb1982 profile image

aravindb1982 3 years ago from Puttaparthi, India Author

@Rajeshmohanan - I smiled as I read your comment because I was that student you mention in your comment! :) That talk was delivered on the 14th of January, 2004.

The talk that I delivered that day too has a huge history behind it and I have recorded the same in this particular hub.

http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/When-God-t...


Rajeshmohanan 3 years ago

I remember sometime in first half of 2000s a similar incident. There were talks so I assume this was a festival time. One student came and offered to Swami a rosebud and the talk began.

I don't remember anything about the talk except the last few lines. As he was about to conclude, he mentioned about the rosebud he had offered and how Swami was playing with it all the time and is now fully bloomed. 'We too have come as buds to Swami and He will play with us so that we too will be bloomed' (something in that lines) . there was a huge applause. Swami was very happy and materialized a chain/ring for him.


Kalyani 3 years ago

Truly moved by this sweet narration of how swami helps us to blossom with his guidance and teachings.. Thank you for sharing this with us Aravind. - SAI RAM-


Prashant 3 years ago

Awesome. Swamis that act signifies the reason for his incarnation and the purpose for it.


Aarthi 3 years ago

So poignant! Again reiterated the thought that is in my mind. :) I may not have had the chance to be His student in school or college. Yet, He has been my personal God from the time I can remember. He definitely entered my life before I was born and has been taking care of me. He allowed me to undergo certain events in my life all due to Karma. That way, He did the gardening and weeded out unwanted stuff and gave me (the bud) the time required to grow and mature.

Slowly but surely, subtly but powerfully Swami has pulled me back in the most crucial years of my youth - 25 to 30. He has indeed transformed my life and I am ever grateful to Him. I do not know the reason why He chose me nor why He chose this path for me, but I trust Him for He knows best. I can only say 'Thank you Swami for making me realize what gives true joy in life. Thank you for blessing me to make the right choices. Please keep me ever bound to you such that I never leave your loving grasp. I pray that you always use me as your instrument in however small a task in your mission, until I breathe my last.'


shruti 3 years ago

Really beautiful!


lrao 3 years ago

Precious thoughts... so beautifully presented. The rose buds and the fully bloomed rose - both so beautiful due to His immense grace. Swami sitting there and 'helping' the bud to bloom, with such immense concentration that only He can exhibit even while sitting in the midst of a huge gathering - lovely Form and action to visualize. Thanks so much Aravind.

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