Jai Sri Hari !
Today 11th MAY is the most auspicious and blessed day. This is the day that Swami ji had a vision of Lord SriNarayana’s Chakradhari Darshan, The primordial energy, the one who is the most glorious and pristine and who is the source of all magnificence in this Universe. All glories to the ever smiling and gracious Bhagwan Sri Hari. Link: https://youtu.be/POkf-1dhw0A
PUSHPAM: In bhakti yoga, puja is an essential stage. The word puja has two root word. ‘Pu’ refers to ‘pushpam’ or flowers. ‘Ja’ refers to japa or japam. ‘Ja’ can also mean water. Jalam’ or water. Water sipped during puja is anchamanam. It is hence said that puja may be a process during which flowers and water is offered to God as prasada along with recitation of His name.
During the puja rituals, pushpam have their own significance along with kumkum, gandam -sandalwood paste, phalam – fruits, akshata, naivedyam –food, jalam – water and milk. It is said that subtle frequencies of Deities which are active in the atmosphere are attracted towards certain flowers. This is known as ‘pavitrak’.
In bhakti one approaches the Deity for peace, harmony and well being. The positive energy in Deities is sattva predominant and is called ‘chaitanya’ – divine consciousness, ‘ananda’ – bliss or even ‘shanti’ – peace. Sattvik flowers form part of this positive energy. Flowers attract and emit energy. The attracted energy gets converted to chaitanya or Shakti. It reduces negative effects. During prayers there is a formation of chaitanya in the heart of the devotee.
GUNAS and PRAKRITI: Pushpanjali is the offering of flowers in ritualistic worship. Flowers are part of prakriti and it is classified into sattva, rajas and tamas. This classification is based on color, fragrance, shape and origin. Tamas flowers are avoided in prayers. Sattva flowers are used in puja and for all auspicious events. To a certain extent rajas flowers are also used in puja. Generally flowers with strong odor, stale or those without fragrance are not used. Mutilated flowers and those eaten by insects are also avoided. Home grown flowers are considered to be most suitable.
Flowers with mild smell are generally offered; strongly scented or scentless flowers are avoided. Fully blossomed flowers are only selected while mutilated flowers are done away with. Forests and garden area flowers are considered best for the pujas.
As mentioned above that in ancient scriptures, the flowers are also categorized into Sattva, Rajas and Tamas.
Sattva flowers – Nandyavattam, Arka, Drona, Jasmine, Coral tree, White lotus flowers.Flowers are representative of nature or prakriti. The sage Narada, in Devi Bhagavatam, fragments the word ‘prakriti’ wherein ‘Pra’ means ‘exalted or superior’ and Kriti denotes Creation. So, Mother Goddess Devi whose material energy moves creation is referred as Devi Prakriti. ‘Pra’ is symbolic of sattva guna and the most exalted quality. ‘Ti’ denotes tamo guna. Offering sattva guna flowers is the highest as they do not contain impurities. Offering sattva guna flowers is also symbolic of bhaktas giving up tamo and rajo guna. This is conducive to flowering of consciousness. Offering flowers is a way to transmit devotional bhava-emotion and requesting blessings. Yad Bhava is the bhava of saranagati or surrender and faith.
Flowers are the most beautiful things found in nature, they have been offered to Gods during their worship. Some people also believe that by offering flowers, the deity grants good health, wealth and prosperity. When one offers flowers to Gods, he/she transmits his devotional ‘bhava‘ or emotion and requests the almighty to grant him health, wealth and happiness. It’s a natural tendency to keep the atmosphere of the place of worship welcoming, flowers are used for their good fragrance and aesthetic appeal.
Lord Krishna has also said in Bhagwad Gita 9:26
पत्रं पुष्पं फलं तोयं यो मे भक्त्या प्रयच्छति |
तदहं भक्त्युपहृतमश्नामि प्रयतात्मन: || 26||
patraṁ puṣhpaṁ phalaṁ toyaṁ yo me bhaktyā prayachchhati
tadahaṁ bhaktyupahṛitam aśhnāmi prayatātmanaḥ
BG 9.26: If one offers to Me with devotion a leaf, a flower, a fruit, or even water, I delightfully partake of that article offered with love by My devotee in pure consciousness..
Flowers are used during puja at home, temples and at sacred places. Deities are decorated with loose flowers or garlands made of flowers and leaves. Flowers are also offered and placed at the feet of deities. Flower ‘showers’ brighten all prayers and the feet of holy men.
Deities have their connection with flowers. The most quoted one is the lotus, which albeit, is the symbol of detachment, eternity, purity and divinity. Its metaphysical analogy is its perennial rise to faultless beauty from a muddy environment – symbolic of the evolution of man’s consciousness. In Hatha Yoga, the padmasana pose is adopted by those striving to reach the highest level of consciousness. In Kundalini each chakra is described as lotus and petals.
Flowers such as arka, nandyavartham ,drone, white lotus, jasmine, coral tree flowers are considered satvix.
The rajas flowers include red lotus, trumpet flowers, white thorn apple flowers. Ketaki, china rose, cottant plant and kasa grass are tamas flowers.
COSMETICS: The Indian women and flowers are a inseparable lot. Flowers in the hair is a pleasant ornamental sight throughout human evolution. They double up as fragrance and beauty enhancing the appearance of the wearer. Jasmine for instance announces from far. Its smell is feminine. The human body is a temple and flowers add nature and divinity to it. This is deitification of body and sharing rituals owed to any deity.
‘Flowers’ it is often said ‘is the way to a woman’s heart’ and there you have the social element. Stringed flowers and bridal corsage is a must in Indian weddings. In the Southern tradition, hair is said to be an erotic part of a woman. The Thiruvilayadal Purana has a debate on fragrance from Mother’s Parvati’s hair. In the South, decorating the hair is indeed ritualistic. It uplifts the wearer’s spirit and inner beauty.
Healing Blossoms: Flowers Are A Dose Of Wellnes. In Ayurveda, the flower’s pharmacopeia (a book of medicinal drugs, its effect and directions for their use) is used to treat hypertension, fevers, urinary problems, bronchitis and venereal diseases.
Lotus raw seeds are used for strength and vigor; Kewda oil is for respiratory problems, provides vitality; Rose reduces heat in intestines and stomach; Champa kills germs in the blood; Aniseed flowers reduces stomach; Marigold flower is beneficial in liver diseases; Jasmine flower reduces burning sensation; Sunflower contains Vitamin A and D; Chameli oil used for skin diseases; Saffron reduces anxiety and stress; Ashok flower is used to cure diseases related to women; Palash or forest flame flower cures stomach problems; China rose flower cures mouth ulcers; Shankhpushi is good for refreshing the mind; Acacia helps in ringword problem; Need flower isn anticeptic and purifies the blood; Clove destroys bacteria; Juhi Jasmine treats mouth ulcers; Madhawi helps arthritis; Swallo-wart removes phlegm; Kadamba flowers helps cattle diseases; Kachnar controls loose bowel movements; Shrishflower eases the mind; Naagkesar destroys itching sensations; Bakul flower oil is applied to the skin; Pomegranate cures conjunctivitis and mouth ulcers.
Ayurveda (like the Charaka Samhita)and modern science recognise the positive effects of fragrances – longevity, mental rejuvenation, improved concentration, enhanced memory and restoration of immunity suppressed by stress.
My infinite salutations and obiseance at thy DIVINE LOTUS feet. Offering flowers of love and devotion at your Divine Lotus feet in Immense Gratitude.
Source : Web and Wiki