The Flower Sermon

Buddha picked a flower in front of the followers…

Toward the end of his life, the Buddha took his disciples to a quiet pond for instruction. As they had done so many times before, the Buddha’s followers sat in a small circle around him, and waited for the teaching.

But this time the Buddha had no words. He reached into the muck and pulled up a lotus flower. And he held it silently before them, its roots dripping mud and water.

The disciples were greatly confused. Buddha quietly displayed the lotus to each of them. In turn, the disciples did their best to expound upon the meaning of the flower: what it symbollized, and how it fit into the body of Buddha’s teaching.

When at last the Buddha came to his follower Mahakasyapa, the disciple suddenly understood. He smiled and began to laugh. Buddha handed the lotus to Mahakasyapa and began to speak.

“What can be said I have said to you,” smiled the Buddha, “and what cannot be said, I have given to Mahakashyapa.”

Mahakashyapa became Buddha’s successor from that day forward.

Could Buddha be expressing the manner of impermanence?  It is a key idea on Buddhist  Philosophy.  At the time of plucking the flower from its stalk, the flower shifts into another reality.  The reality hastens its life span and becomes impermanent.  It is released from the source that gives nutrients within its brothers and sisters, within its family that all shares the roots with eachother.  As Buddha plucks it out from its source, it is put into the cyclic existence.  Samsara is the cyclic existence of birth and death.  It is the living and dying.  Even though there is a kind of life before removing from the ground, there is another phase of life that hithers once pulled from its stalk.  It is out of its natural way of life.  Therefore, it is not living naturally from its original source.

The flower becomes impermanent. 

It becomes transient. 

It becomes temporary.

Nothing lasts and everything decays.

Though, amongst the followers of Buddha, there was a great lesson to learn.  In this case, the lesson resides on the those who actually knows.  The disciples understand and simply show there gesture to Buddha. 

Buddha was only helping us to know who we are.  The enlightenment process helps relieve ourselves from suffering.  How could Buddha teach us, without plucking the flower.  The point serves a great purpose.  If he did not do this sacrifice, no one would understand.

Photo by Jay Castor on Unsplash

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