Sai Baba Sri Sathya Sai Baba

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  Eight flowers offered to God - Ashta Pushpam

Light and Love
     Brother Bharadh asked me privately about Swami's discourses and books concern to offered to God (Eight Flowers) - an offering flowers to God.

    Below are a tiny collection Swami's quotations where He touches this theme. Probably it is interesting for other Sai devotees and followers who properly study Sai Works.
     1. The most complete explanation of Ashta Pushpam is in: 'Sathya Sai Speaks,' Vol. 15. Chapter 9, "The Flowers that God Loves." All chapter is a beautiful explanation of meaning the flowers for worship.
     2. "Of course, floral offerings are commendable. The sixteen items are good. But, one should progress from this stage to the awareness of the Aathma. Flowers fade and rot soon. The effect of offering flowers may not last long. What God loves more are the flowers blossoming on the tree of man's own life, fed and fostered by his own skill and sincerity. They are the flowers of his virtues grown in the garden of his heart." ('Sathya Sai Speaks,'  Vol. 15. Chapter 25, "The garden of the Heart").
     In this chapter Swami properly explains the properties of flowers from heart's garden.

    3. "Eight types of flowers can be offered to God, viz, (1) Ahimsa (Non-violence), (2) Indhriya  Nigraha (Control of senses), (3) Sarvabhootha Dhaya (Compassion towards all beings), (4) Sathyam (Truth), (5) Dhyaanam (Meditation), (6) Shaanhti (Peace), (7) Vinaya (Humility), (8) Bhakthi (Devotion)." ('Sathya Sai Speaks,' Vol. 16. Chapter 3, "Ceiling on Desires - 1").

     4. "Since you cannot swim across the flooded stream, you board a raft. So also, since you cannot master the Nirguna (formless), you resort to the Saguna (form with attributes) and struggle to swim across to the Nirguna through Araadhana and Upaasana (worship and contemplation). But it is not advisable to remain ever on the raft, amidst the currents and whirlpools, is it not? You must discard this conventional Araadhana some day and reach higher. Pathram, Pushpam, Phalam, Thoyam, (leaf, flower, fruit, water) - are all primers for the initial stages when children join schools. Clean the mind of all the animal and primitive impulses which has shaped it from birth to birth. Otherwise, just as milk poured into a pot used for keeping buttermilk curdles quickly, all the finer experiences of truth, beauty and goodness will get tarnished beyond recognition." (Sathya Sai Baba. Discourse " Primers of Spiritual Education." 26 Oct 1961, Prasanthi Nilayam;  http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1961/d19611026-1.htm).
     5. "How long are you to stagnate in the same primary class of Pathram, Pushpam, Phalam, and Thoyam (leaf, flower, fruit and water)? Keep in the Pathram of the body the fruit, viz., the heart, and the flower viz., the mind and the Thoyam, water, welling from the eyes; then, grace will descend on you, without fail. Let the hands be empty but the heart be full. Cultivate the kinship of the heart through devotion and faith. Reduce these external attachments and demonstrations. What I seek is your joy, your happiness, your mental peace, and your unfailing courage and resolution." (Sathya Sai Baba. Discourse " Madhura Nagara, Dashara. Oct 1961, Prasanthi Nilayam; http://askbaba.net/discourses/d1961/d19611000-1.htm).
     6. "You may go on giving examples like jewels are many, gold is one; flowers are many, pooja is one and so on. Though you offer different types of flowers to God, He likes only one flower that can never fade, that is the flower of your heart (Hridaya Pushpam). Since Hridaya is the altar of the Lord, this is what he relishes most. You need food, clothing and shelter for living. But you should not forget that the basis for all these is the Divine and constantly think of the Divine even when immersed in worldly work." (Sri Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. Divine Discourse: "Man, Truth, Love and God." April, 1998, Kodaikanal).
     7. "What is the proper offering to God? It is said, a leaf, a flower, a fruit and water (patram, pushpam, phalam, toyam). What are these? Your body is the leaf; your heart is the flower, your mind is the fruit ,and the tears of bliss is the water. Instead of attaching undue importance to this ephemeral body, emphasise on the Atmatatwa (Atmic principle). The body is also to be surrendered unto God. How? By acts of worship and other sacred deeds."  (Sri Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba. Divine Discourse: "Happiness is Union with God" August, 2001, Prasanthi Nilayam).

      8. "And, what does He ask of us? To start this very moment the discipline needed for the Good Life, the Sadhana to sublimate the impulses and the instincts.
     With what offering shall we approach Him? Not even the Pathram, Pushpam, Phalam and Thoyam, hitherto prescribed as the minimum. No. Offer Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema, or at least the effort to attain these four or any one of the four. Sincerity in the struggle to improve, that is enough. "Offer in the Pathram of the Body, the Manopushpam fragrant with Humility, the Hridayaphalam ripe with Tapas and sweet with the Rasam of Daya, Danam and Damam, and the Thoyam of Tears, welling out of Ananda. That is enough," says Baba." (N  Kasturi. Sathyam Sivam Sundaram. For You and Me;   http://askbaba.net/sathyamsivamsundaram/s1017.htm).     

 Namaste - Reet

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