14 April 2021, Amritapuri – Vishu celebrations
-Excerpts from Amma’s message on Vishu
Vishu is a glorious celebration of the deep connection between man and Nature. Vishukkani and the Kanikonna flowers are symbols of the bounty bestowed on us by Nature for our prosperity and happiness. All across the land, the Kanikonna blossoms spread their golden brilliance this time of the year. A feast for the eyes and the mind, they proclaim the beauty and opulence of nature.
Vishu is the time when the year’s crop seeds are sown. Along with this, we should also sow seeds of goodness in our mind. If these seeds are cared for properly, they will multiply a hundredfold.
Nature is an open book. She is an inexhaustible treasure trove of knowledge. However, her knowledge cannot be imbibed with the mere intellect. For this, the heart is also needed. Only then will that knowledge become complete.
When we see a small plant, we should be able to feel love towards it. When we see trees, we should be able to feel gratitude towards them. When we see plants and animals, we should be able to feel kinship with them. However, today, man remains only at the level of the intellect. While the heart is like a needle that can sew together and unify every torn fragment, the mind is like a pair of scissors that can only cut and divide. Even in a garden with a hundred blooming flowers, some people will only see the flowers infested with pests. They turn the simplest thing into something complex.
In many parts of India, Vishu marks the start of a new year. The day is known by different names in different states, and its traditions differ from region to region. In Kerala, we see the auspicious Kani and Lord Krishna’s beautiful form at the break of the first dawn of the new year. Giving the foremost position to God and holding God above everything else in our life is not limited to the celebration of Vishu. It is the very hallmark of Indian culture. All our festivals and celebrations, our artforms and sports, our literature and scriptures—all were conceived as a part of humankind’s journey to God. Our family life and society itself revolved around the central point of God and dharma.
The message of Vishu encompasses everything that is needed for living. It contains lessons of God-remembrance and devotion. It contains the lesson of a good daily routine. It contains the lesson of eating healthy food. It contains the lesson of living a happy family life with proper discernment. It contains the lesson of conserving the environment and protecting Nature. In this way, the festival of Vishu gives us the experience of satisfying both the body and the mind.
Care for birds
This Vishu, let us once again put out water for birds for the coming summer. A small bowl or coconut shell hung on a tree filled with water is all that is needed. Try to kiss at least one plant a day. Talk to it with love. Try to develop this attitude; this will help to open up your heart. It is like watering the seed within you to make it sprout and grow. Right now, that seed is lying in a desert. The waters of love and compassion are needed to make it sprout. Loving and serving God’s creatures is the easiest way to make our heart expansive. May we all be able to inculcate the values Vishu teaches us and make our life meaningful.
May grace bless all my children for that to happen!
Amma distributed plants and small pots to keep water for birds to Ashram children as part of Vishuthaineettam.