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Let the seed become the fragrance

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The seed can have four possibilities. The seed may remain a seed forever, closed, windowless, not in communion with existence, dead, because life means communion with existence. The seed is dead, it has not yet communicated with the earth, with the sky, with the air, with the wind, with the sun, with the stars. It has not yet made any attempt to have a dialogue with all that exists. It is utterly lonely, enclosed, encapsulated into itself, surrounded by a China Wall. The seed lives in its own grave.

The first possibility is that the seed may remain a seed. That is very unfortunate—a mChina Wallan may remain simply a seed. With all the potential at your disposal, with all the blessings ready to shower on you, you may never open your doors.

The second possibility is that the seed may be courageous enough, may dive deep into the soil, may die as an ego, may drop its armor, may start communion with existence, may become one with the earth. Great courage is needed, because who knows? This death may be ultimate, there may be no birth following it. What is the guarantee? There is no guarantee; it is a gamble. Only a few men gather courage enough to gamble, to risk.

To be a sannyasin is the beginning of the gamble. You are risking your life, you are risking your ego. You are risking because you are dropping all your securities, all your safety arrangements. You are opening windows, who knows who is going to come in—the friend or the enemy? Who knows? You are becoming vulnerable. A meditator is a plant, a sprout—soft, delicate. The seed is never in danger, remember. It is absolutely protected. But the plant is always in danger, the plant is very soft. The seed is like a stone, hard, hidden behind a hard crust. But the plant has to pass through a thousand and one hazards.

That is the second stage: the seed dissolving into the soil, the man disappearing as an ego, disappearing as a personality, becoming a plant.

The third possibility, which is even rarer, because not all plants are going to attain that height where they can bloom into flowers, a thousand and one flowers. Very few human beings attain the second stage, and very few of those who attain the second stage attain the third, the stage of the flower. Why can’t they attain the third stage, the stage of the flower? Because of greed, because of miserliness, they are not ready to share, because of a state of unlovingness.

And beyond fragrance there is nothing. The fragrance disappears into the universe, becomes one with it.


Courage is needed to become a plant, and love is needed to become a flower. A flower means the tree is opening up its heart, releasing its perfume, giving its soul, pouring its being into existence. The seed can become a plant although it is difficult to drop the armor, but in one way it is simple. The seed will only be gathering more and more, accumulating more and more; the seed only takes from the soil. The tree only takes from the water, from the air, from the sun; its greed is not disturbed, on the contrary, its ambition is fulfilled. It goes on becoming bigger and bigger. But a moment comes when you have taken so much that now you have to share. Then the tree grows into flowers, it blossoms.

And the fourth stage is that of fragrance. The flower is still gross, it is still material, but the fragrance is subtle, it is almost something nonmaterial. You cannot see it, it is invisible. You can only smell it, you cannot grab it, you cannot grasp it. A very sensitive understanding is needed to have a dialogue with the fragrance. And beyond fragrance there is nothing. The fragrance disappears into the universe, becomes one with it.

These are the four stages of the seed, and these are the four stages of man too.

Don’t remain a seed. Gather courage—courage to drop the ego, courage to drop the securities, courage to drop the safeties, courage to be vulnerable. But then don’t remain a tree, because a tree without flowers is poor. A tree without flowers is empty, a tree without flowers is missing something very essential. It has no beauty—without love, there is no beauty. And it is only through flowers that the tree shows its love. It has taken so much from the sun and the moon and from the earth; now it is time to give!

Life has to attain a balance always. You have taken so much, now give it. Become a flower!

Excerpted from The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha

Osho is known for his revolutionary contribution to the science of inner transformation, with an approach to meditation that acknowledges the accelerated pace of contemporary life.

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