Flowers and Their Messages
Flowers are Nature's purest manifestation of the Divine Consciousness. Each flower in its color, form and fragrance embodies a particular spiritual quality. Contact or meditation with a flower can help one realize the quality it represents. It is possible for us to discover the qualities of different flowers. The Mother of Sri Aurobindo Ashram has described the process and identified the spiritual qualities of over 800 varieties.
Flowers possess a psychic or spiritual presence in them which shines through the transparency of vegetal life and gives them their inexpressible splendor. It is a glimpse of the Divine manifesting as beauty. There is a spontaneous vibration or movement in a flower like the movement of a baby, neither a sensation nor a feeling, but something of both. If you contact it and feel it, it gives rise to a certain experience. If you are able to identify fully with the experience, you can perceive the quality of its vibration. Flowers can serve as a very useful aid in meditation to help one experience higher and purer states of consciousness and develop higher aspects of the personality.
Sunlight is the material symbol of the Divine Consciousness. The life of plants is a worship of light. If you have ever been in a forest at sunrise, you can feel the flowers and trees awakening to the touch of descending light, twisting and struggling to catch it. It is a movement, an aspiration for light. Look at a rose opening in the morning with the first contact of the sun--it is a magnificent self-giving aspiration. The movement is so pure and powerful that it can awaken aspiration in a human being, who is far more developed in consciousness than the plant, but less open and receptive.
The Gladiola is known as "Receptivity" for its spontaneous openness to the higher consciousness. Geraniums radiate a feeling of smiling serenity representing "Spiritual Happiness." The striking blue Passion Flower bears the quality of "Spiritual Silence". Sunflowers represent "Consciousness turned towards the Light." They invoke a thirst for light and a joyous seeking after it. Honeysuckle helps one develop "Constant Remembrance of the Divine." Crepe Myrtle brings "Intimacy with the Divine." The White Lotus is "Divine Consciousness". The Red Lotus is "The Avatar." The five petals of the Champaca or Frangipani flower represent five qualities necessary for Psychological Perfection: sincerity, faith, aspiration, devotion and surrender.
Color is a significant aspect of a flower's consciousness. Each color represents a certain aspiration and can help us discover unknown parts of our own inner being. Ivory white or light cream is the color of Divine bliss or ananda, as in the small cream-white Hibiscus. Pure white flowers generally denote purity or integrality. The white Jasmine flower - originally grown at the foot of the Himalayas - is known for its quality of purity, and the white Bougainvillea provides "Integral Protection" to the entire personality. Yellow is the color of mental aspiration and thus, the yellow Rose represents "Mental Love for the Divine." Light blue shades represent different levels of the spiritual mind. Beyond these levels is the highest supramental realm represented by golden yellow and orange.
Our emotional center, in the heart region, is expressed by light mauve or lilac pink as in "Offering of the Emotions to the Divine" (mauve-pink Hollyhock). Behind the heart center, buried deep within is the soul or psychic being, a spark of the Divine hidden from our surface consciousness but in direct contact with the Divine consciousness. Pink or pale rose are the colors of the psychic. The red Rose represents "Human Passions Turned into Love for the Divine", and the pink Edward or Country Rose emanates the spiritual quality of "Surrender to the Divine". The salmon-pink Canna represents our psychic center and can aid us in finding it. The darker blue, violet and red colors denote vibrations of the vital or nervous and physical centers in us.
Certain flowers can play a very useful role in supporting physical health. "Life Energy" (Florist's chrysanthemum) is a powerful remedy for fatigue or lack of energy. Just holding these flowers can revive one's energies quickly. Concentrating on them can relieve even a prolonged condition of exhaustion.
There are other flowers which can help attract forces of material plenty such as "Wealth" (water lily), "Material Abundance" (cotton plant), "Riches" (cactus), and "Prosperity" (Cannon-ball tree).
Gardenia has the significance of "Perfect Radiating Purity". The beautifully scented Narcissus flower, whose story was told by the Latin poet Ovid, represents the "Power of Beauty", much like its namesake in the old legend. The Tuberose, which is valued for its sweet intoxicating perfume, is the symbol of the New Creation, the new world which is emerging based on peace and human unity.
Growing flowers, keeping them in the home, meditating with them creates a purified and inspiring atmosphere. Loving flowers can be a valuable help in finding and uniting with one's true psychic being. The beauty of flowers is one of Nature's means of awakening in us the quest for our own soul.