8 Sep 2022, Amritapuri Ashram
Onam was celebrated at Amritapuri ashram. Swami Purnamritananda started the day’s program with his Onam talk and explained about some of the deeper significance of the holiday.
Amma came to the stage just before 9am and guided everyone through meditation and peace prayers for all creation.
Then Amma proceeded to sing- Unni Ganapatiye, Rasikaraj Braja and asked everyone to forget everything and lose themselves in the moment.
Next Amma addressed the gathering, saying:
Excerpts from Amma’s Onam Message
“Onam is not merely a festival and a celebration. It can be called an aggregate of all the values and ideals that make us who we are. Over and above all, Onam teaches the lesson of devotion and self-surrender. In the celebration of Onam, we perceive a wholesome outlook on life that celebrates the present moment based on the memory of a glorious past. Onam is able to connect the ancient and the modern. May Onam be able to restore love, friendship and values in today’s world where human relationships are drifting further and further apart!
“We have learned to fly like a bird and swim like a fish but have forgotten to walk and live like humans. Only when we realise this will our life become joyful. This is the real message of Onam.
“No one waits until they are affluent to celebrate Onam. While having nothing, we try to find a space to create love, happiness and prosperity. This is because everything exists in mind. We should try to add a little patience, a little love, a little compassion, and a little selflessness to all of our actions. Life may not always be easy and good. But if we try, we can make its content.
“There is a tradition of wearing new clothes on Thiruvonam Day. Along with this, let us try to wear a new mantle—a mantle of deciding to perform good deeds that are beneficial for society.
“There is a tradition of enjoying Onam by playing particular Onam games and singing special Onam songs. Let us keep this joy eternal by learning to live with spiritual values.
“There is a tradition of laying large and colourful pookkalams [flower-petal designs] and competing to see whose is bigger and better. Along with this, let us try to decorate our hearts with the flowers of love, patience, humility and sacrifice. Also, let us try to increase our circle of compassion and make it bigger and better. We can turn our lives into a huge Onam celebration if we do all these.”
Following her talk, Amma asked every one to get up and dance as she sang Lalle Lalle Lale.
After the bliss of dancing to Amma’s bhajan, all ladies from the ashram’s eldest residents to the smallest kids participated in traditional dance offering – ‘Thiruvathira Kali.’ Huge circles of dancers stepped in unison throughout the hall as Amma watched from the stage.
As soon as they finished, Amma responded to their dance offering with one of her own. She stood up and led all in a beautiful dance to traditional Baduga music. Amma then spent the next several hours serving an Onam Sadya prasad lunch to all present, including the ashram’s biggest resident, Lakshmi the elephant.
The following evening the Onam celebrations continued. After darshan, Amma and the rest of the ashram residents looked on while the ashram kids brought smiles to everyone’s faces as various games were played, including several electrifying rounds of musical chairs.