ONAM CELEBRATION AT DHARMAKSHETRA
Onam will be celebrated for the first time at Dharmakshetra on The 8th September, 2003.Onam is the festival celebrated by the Malyalees welcoming their popular King who visits them to find about their well being. The festival is celebrated in a big way at Prashanti Nilayam wherein bus loads of devotees from Kerala visits and have Darshan of our beloved LORD. Swami also blesses them with a special discourse and a big feast is held for lakhs of people. In Mumbai the celebration this year will be performed with a special Bhajan from 6.00 P.M. onwards. All are welcome to attend the same.
Mahilas and Gents can dress up in
traditional Malayalee atire if they desire.
EXTRACTS FROM DIVINE DISCOURSE ON
Emperor Bali was an extremely virtuous person. Though born in a family of demons, he was filled with divine thoughts. It is the consequence of the great merits of Bali that is manifesting as the benefits that people of Kerala enjoy today. Onam does not mean merely the preparation of sweet pudding, various delicious dishes, etc., and eating ourselves to the full. We must re-live the experience of the encounter between Bali and Vamana. Today Vamana is supposed to be physically present in the land of Kerala and hence this day should be celebrated with gaiety and joy. We should lead an ethical, moral and spiritual life. Sathyam Bruyath, Priyam Bruyath, Na Bruyath Sathyamapriyam (speak the truth, speak pleasantly and do not speak unpalatable truth). These three values are the ethical, moral and spiritual, respectively. All the three values ultimately depend upon truth.
Emperor Bali attained his eternal life through truth and love only. While the body perished, the mind remained eternal. Body is like watering bubble, minding is like a mad monkey; don't follow the body, don't follow the mind; follow your conscience. This is the lesson of Bali's life.
DIVINE DISCOURSE ON AUGUST 31, 2001
EXTRACTS FROM DIVINE DISCOURSE
Kerala is the birthplace of sacrifice and the centre of devotion and surrender. No beggar is turned away empty-handed. Everyone does charity as per his capacity. It is this punya bhumi (land of merit) that gave birth to Bali. There are many in this world who perform bhudana, godana, annadana, vastradana, suvarnadana (giving away land, cows, food, clothes and gold in charity). But emperor Bali performed the supreme sacrifice by offering himself to God. With the passage of time, there might have been a few changes, but, nevertheless, Kerala continues to be the land famous for devotion and surrender. It is the birthplace of Prahlada, the great devotee of the Lord. Even as Bali disobeyed the command of his guru for the sake of God, Prahlada also went against the wishes of his father and surrendered totally to the Lord. Many such noble souls have taken birth in the sacred land of Kerala.
Kerala stands first in many respects. Even the monsoon sets in in the land of Kerala first, before spreading to the other states. Such a land is bound to be dear to God also. One can experience the presence of Divinity in the land of Kerala. Siddhashrama was the place where Emperor Bali, Lord Vamana. and Jamadagni were born. The name Siddhashrama implies that it was the place of fulfilment and success. That is why Viswamitra decided to perform penance there. Siddhashrama attained eternal glory because of his penance. Not merely that, many saints and sages were born there and performed penance. Not many are aware of this. Viswamitra was initially a king. Later on, he renounced everything and performed penance. He was called a Rajarishi. On seeing Vasishtha ,who was called a Brahmarishi, Viswamitra resolved to earn the same appellation.
--- DIVINE DISCOURSE on 21 August 2002--
Onam Festival - Posted by Angele
This day is the sacred day when the Lord as Vamana Avatar conferred liberation on Emperor Bali: Bali was a great person. But he had one weakness. He suffered from a slight sense of ego. Who is a great man? One who sees the human even in Narayana (God). But a good man is one who sees God even in man. Hence it is more important for people to be good rather than being great. Most parents these days desire that their children should become great in various ways: in scholarship, wealth, and position. This is totally misconceived. They should really desire that their children should be good. Greatness signifies quantity. Goodness is an index of quality.
Because of the undesirable quality of ego in Emperor Bali, Vamana incarnated to eradicate it. Bali was known for his love of his subjects. Poverty was unknown in his realm. He looked after the welfare of his people with an equal eye. He felt proud about his kingdom and his people. Vamana wanted to remove even this pride and redeem Bali.
Before leaving for the nether world Bali gave a promise to his people whom he loved. He said he would come back to them every year on Onam day and bless them.
Onam is celebrated as the day of advent of Vamana and Bali. It marks the beginning of a new life. That is why it is celebrated by wearing new clothes and resolving to lead a new life.