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Amma’s Vishu 2024 Message
Johnny Appleseed

Vishu is a festival that marks the beginning of the new harvest year in Kerala, India. It celebrates the timeless belief that 'wealth shared with others will grow and multiply in abundance.' Amma’s Vishu message carried prayers for joy, beauty and prosperity to all of humankind and nature.

"On this auspicious day, may we dedicate ourselves to displaying compassion towards all living beings and restoring the Earth’s beauty adorned with lush plants and trees," said Amma. "May the grace of the Divine bless us with the wisdom to discern rightly and to exert the right effort towards this."

Amma began Vishuthaineetham (where 'thai' means 'seedling' or 'sapling' in Malayalam) in 2015 with the aim of reviving and deepening respect and love for Mother Nature. In addition to Vishu Taineetham, the tradition of receiving money from family elders, youth receive the gift of a sapling for Vishu to promote tree planting and ecological restoration for future generations.

Amma blesses Vishu sapling
Amma blesses Vishu sapling

"In Sanatana Dharma, we can see that all the festivals signify the connection between these three aspects—humankind, Mother Nature, and the Divine. If we can take all these three in a unified way, then peace and happiness will prevail everywhere", said Amma. "First, we should create awareness of the Atman, the True Self. Then we will be able to understand the qualities of nature, and this will eventually lead us to be thankful to the Creator."

Amma shared how in Sanatana Dharma, the Creator and creation are not two, but one. There is nothing other than God - not only that there is only one God, but that everything is God. Amma also said that in creation, humankind cannot exist without nature. Yet, if humankind ceases to exist, nature will thrive.

"Only after the last tree is cut down, only after the last river is poisoned, and only after the last fish is caught - only then will we realise that we cannot eat money", said Amma, sharing a well-known prophecy by the Cree First Nations in Canada.

Amma continued to explain that there are three kinds of people: prakriti, vikriti and samskriti. Prakriti people take only their share but do not concern themselves with the needs of others. People of vikriti nature not only eat their own share, but they also snatch as much as they can from others.

Swamini Ambikamrita Prana gifts saplings to a young devotee
Swamini Ambikamrita Prana gifts saplings to a young devotee at the MA Center Chicago Vishu celebration
Samskriti people are those who take as little as possible and then share as much as they can. Since Mother Nature is demonstrating the quality of samskriti, we should also elevate ourselves to that state.

"As an example, if you own land, you could make a 6’x6’ or a 3’x3’ pit, to serve as a rainwater harvesting point. You could raise fish there, as well, or could take baths in the pure waters without adding chlorine", said Amma, about a practical level of action.

"You could also grow organic vegetables around these ponds to provide food for family and friends. We have begun to do waste management everywhere, but we can raise the bar so that nothing goes to waste."

In addition to tree planting, Amma also spoke about the Global Seedball Campaign, initiated by Amma, Chair of C20 2023. Seedballs are an ancient technique for reforestation and soil restoration. A seedball is made up of soil and seeds, often mixed with clay and other organic materials to hold the ball together. They are then scattered in local ecosystems as a low-cost restoration solution, since they only need natural rainfall to germinate and grow into mature plants.

"With the help of various Navy and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) units, along with our volunteers, millions of trees and plants have been sown around the world", said Amma.

"Even if we have medicine for diabetes, if we don’t follow the diet and prescription, it will worsen the situation. In a similar way, awareness regarding how we must now support Mother Nature is crucial. Only then will humankind wake up and we will uplift ourselves.

"Amma is happy to see people becoming more aware about nature. If everyone develops such an attitude, we can make this world a beautiful garden. Amma prays to the Paramatman for everyone to receive the Grace to come forward and undertake such actions. Amma bows down again in gratitude for these efforts."

Youth receiving flower seedlings

Youth receiving flower seedlings from Dr. M.N. Namboodiri, a long-time devotee, at the MA Center San Ramon Vishu celebration


Read about the life and legacy of Johnny Appleseed in the Q2 2024 Newsletter >>

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