Onam brings with it many special joys. The early preparations for this happy event make it a festival of flowers. Floral decorations adorn every household. With time the fine ritual like any other begins to assume the shape of a bane practice.
Unfortunately, neglecting to grow flowers, people begin to buy flowers in huge competitive proportions. Blinded by the beauty of flowers, they sadly sever the petals from flower inflicting pain on the plant.
In Amritapuri, as per Amma’s sweet instructions, young girls of the ashram go out around the premises collecting flowers grown by the ashram. A few morning hours spent doing this was a memorable event, walking under the early morning sky as birds chirped in the trees around.
The Pookalams in front of Amma’s steps took a little time and space, but it was one of the best Pookalams which received Amma’s appreciation and pranam also!
Only humble garden flowers were used, like hibiscus, periwinkle, yellow bell, marigold and the humblest of all flowers, Lord Shiva beloved flower in the Puranas, Tumba. The tiny white tumbe flowers were given prime spot, in the middle, and a tiny tumba-twig stood upright in the very center! The longish foliage of a particular pine-tree too played a prominent role.
This time there was yet another specialty: the flowers were not inflicted any violence in the sense that their petals were not plucked off but the whole flowers were used. The girls said they understood that there was some sort of violence involved in the act of severing off the petals.
A big lesson hidden in this: Amma often reminds us that everything is pervaded by God and that we should have this awareness in each and every action we do.