Amma Initiates Pongala Festival at Srayikkad Temple

2 May 2014 – Srayikkad, Alappad Panchayat, Kollam

At the request of local villagers, Amma initiated the Rohini Pongala Festival at the Paschimeshwaram Temple in Srayikkad this morning.

Around 8:00 a.m. Amma walked the two kilometres up Beach Road to the Paschimeshwaram Temple in Srayikkad. The villagers had decorated the roadway with streamers, rangoli, flower petals, lit oil lamps and other decorations.

Upon arriving, Amma entered the temple, circumambulated the installed deity and then lit the fire to the first clay pot of payasam [sweet pudding]. Hundreds of village women had gathered to participate in cooking payasam as part of the festival worship, bringing the clay pots and ingredients from their own homes as per tradition.

After lighting the fire, Amma spoke about significance of temple festival:

“It is unshakable faith in God and devotion that makes the coastal people the mantel-bearers of our blessed culture,” Amma said. “Don’t forget that, don’t allow it to be destroyed. We should be dedicated to passing down this culture to our children and society.

“Pongal means ‘to overflow.’ The time when humankind’s love for nature and nature’s love for humankind overflow—that is Pongal. Human beings make nature happy by having good thoughts and doing good actions. Nature blesses humankind with a bountiful harvest. When the universal mind and the individual mind overflow and become one—that is what Pongal is symbol of.

Matru-devo bhava, Pitr-devo bhava, acharya-devo bhava atithi-devo bhava—‘May you see your mother as God, your father as God, your teacher as God, your guests as God’—this is what Sanatana Dharma teaches us. Respect everything, worship everything. Why? Because there is nothing other than God. May this Pongal Festival be an opportunity for you to instill this culture and God deeply within and spread it without.

“Temple festivals are, in fact, festivals for everyone living in the area. Even people working far away will return home in order to participate. Everyone will sit together, eat together and remember old times together. On such occasions, we experience the joy and exuberance that occur when hearts come together. These temple festivals are sacred moments that help us to establish love and unity and nourish our relationships.

“Amma would request all of you to come to this temple every day, sit together, pray together, perform archana together and circumambulate the temple a few times together without fail.”
To the delight of the villagers, this was second time in the past month that Amma has participated in the local temple functions {news}.