Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, “Darshan and the unfolding soul on the (spiritual) path are like the rose. When the rose is a bud, it does not give forth a perfume. Unfoldment is just beginning. We admire the beauty of the bud, the stem and the thorns. We are aware that it has the potential of a magnificent flower. In the same way, we appreciate a beautiful soul who comes along, seeing in him the potential of a spiritual mission in this life.
“In the life of a bud, nothing happens until the unfoldment begins. The same is true for the fine soul. It happens occasionally that someone comes along and picks the bud. This means the fine soul is in the wrong company. Now, neither the bud nor the soul can unfold. But when they are well protected in a garden or ashram by a careful gardener, or guru, the bud and the soul unfold beautifully. With just their first little opening to the world, they begin to see the light of the outer and inner sun shining down into the core of their being.
“It is still too early, of course, for the rose to have a noticeable fragrance, or the soul a darshan. We might appreciate them closely, but we would detect little in this early and delicate stage of unfolding. At this time, the unfolding soul might say, ‘I can see the light in my had and in my body.’ And the sun’s rays keep pouring into the rose, penetrating into the stem and as deep as the roots. It is feeling stronger and unfolding more and more. If one picks it because of is unfolding beauty, the rose continues to unfold until it opens in to all its glory. Then, a wonderful thing happens. The delicate perfume of the rose fills the air day and night. it is the darshan
of the rose.
“To some people, the bouquet of the rose is very strong; to others, it is rather weak. Is the emanation of the rose stronger at one time than another? No. It is always the same. It goes on and on and on, maturing all the while into a deeper, richer, more potent scent. Soon it is filling the entire garden. But to the one who comes into the garden with a stuffy nose, there is only the beauty of the flower to experience.
“In the same way, once who is closed on the inside of himself misses the darshan of the awakened soul. He sees in the greater soul just another ordinary person like himself. The darshan is there, but he is too negative to feel it. But the darshan permeates him just the same. He goes away from the garden not having smelt a rose, but carrying the perfume of the rose himself. If you stand away from the rose, you smell less of its fragrance. Bring yourself really close, and more of its strong and sweet scent will penetrate your body.”
(pgs. 723-725, Merging with Siva)