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August 28th

Sanskrit Pearl of the day:
अहिंसा प्रथमं पुष्पं पुष्पमिन्द्रिय निग्रहः
सर्वभूतदया पुष्पं क्षमा पुष्पं विशेषतः ।
ज्ञानं पुष्पं तपः पुष्पं शान्तिः पुष्पं तथैव च
सत्यमष्टविधं पुष्पं विष्णोः प्रीतिकरं भवेत् ॥

ahiṃsā prathamaṃ puṣpaṃ puṣpamindriya nigrahaḥ
sarvabhūtadayā puṣpaṃ kṣamā puṣpaṃ viśeṣataḥ ।
jñānaṃ puṣpaṃ tapaḥ puṣpaṃ śāntiḥ puṣpaṃ tathaiva ca
satyamaṣṭavidhaṃ puṣpaṃ viṣṇoḥ prītikaraṃ bhavet ॥

Meaning of the subhAShita:
Non-violence is the first flower, control over the senses is a flower, compassion towards all beings is a flower, forbearance is a flower especially, (right) knowledge is a flower, penance is a flower, then, also, peace is a flower, truth being the eighth flower - these are dearest to Lord viShNu.

The Lord does not ask one to worship Him lavishly in a temple or a peeTham (pedestal), with flowers of gold and silver.  He doesn't not wish to be drenched in milk and honey either!  Worshiping Him can happen anywhere, at any time.  The mode of worship is not necessarily ritualistic or religious.  If one can offer these 8 flowers to Him, He would be more than pleased with such a being!!  It's as easy as that!  What are those 8 special flowers?

1.  Non-violence:  Not just in the deeds, but in thoughts, words as well as at heart.  One has to be non-aggressive at all planes of his being.

2.  Control over the senses:  Sense organs are are like wild horses, let loose!  If one does not know how to reign them, they shall take charge and cause havoc of the most disastrous kind.

3.  Compassion towards all beings:  Be it a bird, bee, animal or human, one has to be kind, compassionate and humane towards them.  When one can see equality in all beings, that essential divinity existing in them all, that itself is a pure flower that can be offered to Him.

4.  Forbearance:  Being patient and forgiving towards all beings is an offering to the Lord.

5.  Right knowledge:  Not just knowledge of any kind, but the Right Knowledge, about the supreme truth and a quest for that truth is a sincere flower that the Lord likes.

6.  Penance:  Penance is not just of the kind where one sits under a tree without food or water for days.  Living by his dharma at every step, at every circumstance, no matter how difficult - that in itself is a penance that appeases the Lord.

7.  Peace:  Un-intrusive, non-disruptive state of everything, and leaving them that way, is peace.  If one keeps it all the time, that itself is worship.

8.  Truth:  There is nothing else equal to this!  If one has an immense thirst for attaining the ultimate truth and has succeeded in achieving too, his worship of the Lord is complete as well!

If one can offer even one of these 8 flowers with utmost respect and devotion to the Lord, he has gone that much closer to the Lord!  Then, what to say of some one who has offered all these 8!!  These are  the flowers dearest to Lord viShNu.  In whatever name or form the Lord is addressed, no other rituals nor ceremonies nor pomp and show are necessary to attain Him apart from these 8!

pada vigrahaH:
अहिंसा प्रथमं पुष्पं पुष्पम् इन्द्रिय निग्रहः
ahiṃsā prathamaṃ puṣpaṃ puṣpam indriya nigrahaḥ

सर्व-भूत-दया पुष्पं क्षमा पुष्पं विशेषतः ।
sarva-bhūta-dayā puṣpaṃ kṣamā puṣpaṃ viśeṣataḥ ।

ज्ञानं पुष्पं तपः पुष्पं शान्तिः पुष्पं तथ एव च
jñānaṃ puṣpaṃ tapaḥ puṣpaṃ śāntiḥ puṣpaṃ tatha eva ca

सत्यम् अष्ट-विधं पुष्पं विष्णोः प्रीतिकरं भवेत् ॥
satyam aṣṭa-vidhaṃ puṣpaṃ viṣṇoḥ prītikaraṃ bhavet ॥

Alternate Transliteration:
ahiMsaa prathamaM puShpaM puShpamindriya nigrahaH
sarvabhUtadayaa puShpaM kShamaa puShpaM visheShataH ।
j~naanaM puShpaM tapaH puShpaM shaantiH puShpaM tathaiva cha
satyamaShTavidhaM puShpaM viShNoH prItikaraM bhavet ॥

ahiMsaa prathamaM puShpaM puShpam indriya nigrahaH
sarva-bhUta-dayaa puShpaM kShamaa puShpaM visheShataH ।
j~naanaM puShpaM tapaH puShpaM shaantiH puShpaM tatha eva cha
satyam aShTa-vidhaM puShpaM viShNoH prItikaraM bhavet ॥

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