7 September 2014, Amritapuri, Onam Celebrations
“There are things that awaken enthusiasm and freshness whenever we think about or experience them,” Amma remarked in her Onam address this morning. This is certainly true about the annual Onam festival in Amritapuri. People from all over Kerala, India and abroad returned to their spiritual home, Amritapuri, to spend the harvest festival day in Amma’s presence, and the bhajan hall spilled over from all sides as people gathered for Amma’s morning program. Every one was seen wearing new set of dress especially teenagers in saris and dhotis.
Amma began the day with an address reminding everyone of the eternal spiritual values Onam signifies, and the importance of keeping those values alive in our daily life. Afterwards Amma led a series of bhajans, ultimately asking the devotees to stand up, forget all their sorrows and dance blissfully, imagining they were dancing with their own beloved form of the Lord. After prayer and visualization for world peace, Amma gave darshan for some time and then served a traditional Onam meal as prasad to each and every person in the hall. The serving alone took more than two hours. Amma did not forget to serve the ashram resident with the biggest appetite – Lakshmi the elephant.
Every day, for the last 10 days, the portico in front of Amma house was decorated with different designs of flower mandala (pookkalam). Today when she came to the stage for the celebration, she bowed down to the pookkalam, which was the image of baby Sri Krishna.
Later Amma returned to lead the evening bhajans, which were immediately followed by a series of cultural programs by students of Amrita University and Amrita Vidyalayam, as well as a percussion-driven performance by Amma’s western children, calling to mind the rhythm and joy of a service-oriented life. To conclude Amma sang three bhajans – Deena nathe deena vatsale, Nishayute neerava neelimayil and a new fast one Guvadi vaani sunlo, reminding us to follow the words of Great Masters.
Everyone went to bed with full bellies and full hearts, inspired and rejuvenated.