“Just as sweetness cannot be separated from honey, just as beauty cannot be separated from a rainbow, Onam cannot be separated from a Malayali’s heart,” said Amma, in her Onam message this year.
Not only Malayalis, devotees from all over India and the world joined in the celebrations that day.
Celebrations were also ongoing at all Amrita campuses, both in Kerala and other states.
At the Health Sciences campus in Kochi, the entire Amrita family came together in the central atrium of the hospital complex. Over 25 teams representing different departments took part in the pookkalam (flower mandala) competition.
Seen from above, flower mandalas represented smaller parts of a greater whole. They reminded one of the importance of cultivating the feeling of oneness in the heart.
“King Mahabali was famous for charity,” stated Sampoojya Swami Poornamritananda Puri, speaking at the campus. “Though he was great benefactor, he had the ego that he could provide anything his people demanded. Lord Vishnu disguised in the form of Vamana came to put an end to the king’s pride.”
Teams from the Amrita Centre for Nanosciences, Electrical Department and the Department of Head and Neck Surgery won prizes for their beautiful creations.
Elsewhere, on other campuses, pookkalam teams did not formally compete with each other. Yet there was a lot of excitement in the air as they vied to make the grandest designs.
Grand flower mandalas decorated the new academic building as well as the IT block at the Coimbatore campus.
In Bengaluru campus, as in the other campuses, students dressed in traditional attire served the Onam Sadhya to the entire Amrita family.
“Usually the festival of Onam is celebrated for ten days which bring out the best in Kerala culture and tradition,” stated MBA-MS students Subburam Nattamai and Vinod Kumar Nerella.
The students described the rest of the day’s proceedings.
“After lunch, we were fortunate to hear our Vice Chancellor speak. He shared his professional experiences with us. He also recounted his first meeting with Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, Amma.”
“Explaining the need for self-effort and god’s grace, he elaborated on several barriers that Amma faced in her life. He told us how she overcame those barriers. These stories inspired us, giving us the confidence to face challenges in our lives.”
September 20, 2011