An article about the insensitive act of plucking flowers and leaves from other's garden.
|For God’s Sake
As monsoon nears to its end, the whole environment goes through a spiritual change. Long before the first solar rays touches our earth, the dawn is filled with chirping of birds, activities of bees and melodious bhajans of lord Ganpati, as if the whole universe is eagerly waiting for Ganesha. Pristine surrounding brushes our spirit. We start planning for the coming festive season comprising of Ganeshotsava, Durga-puja and Diwali to name a few. People resume to morning walk and yogic exercises which got a break due to monsoon and its maladies. It is good to see so many health-conscious souls doing pranayam along the road-side, jogging, running. Boy’s team starts playing football or cricket in open fields. But, poor me, I can’t benefit from colourful, musical and action-filled space. I can’t even sit quietly with closed eyes doing few rounds of ‘Anulom-vilom’ or ‘kapal-bhati’ and fill my lungs with life giving oxygen in my own premises. Why? I love flowers of my garden and at any moment they can be plucked. You never know when the curved end of the walking stick of an elderly would bend the branches of Oleander to fetch few yellow funnels. Some brave ones just jump over the fencing to have Balsam, rose and periwinkles in their polybag, reciting ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ to ward off dangers of snake, scorpion and aggressive landlords. Often young ones are pressed in this pious duty by their religious mothers or grandmothers. Some brotherly next doors, who own a garden of exotic English flowers, pluck the red Hibiscus from branches hanging from neighbour’s boundary as if awarding a punishment for the trespass. When you object the holy thief, replies are amusing. For example, “see, taking only few, for the God” or “you will also have the ‘punya’ when flowers of your garden would be offered to Him. I say, “I also worship Him but pluck flowers of my own garden occasionally and that too very few. Flowers have its specific purposes for plants. Butterflies and bees take nectar from them for their survival”. “We have so many deities so we require more flowers”, comes a candid reply.
So, instead of burning my heart, last year I cut some branches of flowering shrubs, dug them into mud and got them grow into new saplings. Patting myself for the solution, I tried to gift them. “Please plant these saplings of Hibiscus, oleander, swastika and bougainvillea in this rainy season and very soon you too have flowers in your own garden”.
Barring one or two people, others replied, “we don’t have so much space, or from where water will come?” or even “we don’t have the time to look after”.
Hmm, no pains but want all gains. The desire to make off the substance of others is the foremost passion nature has bred into us.
Not only the flowers but leaves of ‘bel’, ‘apta’ and banyan tree also suffer molestation in specific months. Come the month of ‘Shravan’, the ‘bel’ tree becomes naked. A laughing, swaying green ‘Apta’ tree becomes a mere skeleton by mid-morning of Vijaydashmi.
I know that since time immemorial people all over the world have used flowers to show emotion and devotion. But, nowhere the offerings are taken from other’s garden. In our society, we think it is a birthright to pluck any flower within our reach; even though they are in someone else garden.
I don’t think it is right to pluck flowers and use them as offerings to God, humans or for any other purposes. For other purposes like marriage, felicitation etc people generally buy and these are occasional event. But for regular worshiping, where consumption is far periodic and high, it must be done thoughtfully. God has created everything so what do we prove by offering Him his own creations. Instead we should offer our negative traits and bad habits. If we leave our vices and bad impulses by the way of offering, He is sure to bless.
Flowers and leaves are for pollination and photosynthesis respectively. Most of our parents and grandparents had syllabi not having so much of biology, ecology and environmental science as it is stuffed in even primary classes, now a days. Earlier natural resources were abundant compared to human population. So, we can’t reason that we are merely practicing rituals and traditions. Lots of noble practices have faded in the name of modernity but superstitions and blind faith. Let the flowers and leaves perform their important function for the plant.
So wake up and be sensitive. For God’s sake.