Eight flowers offered to God -
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.
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").
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.
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.
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,
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.
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;
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).
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;
Namaste - Reet