"I do not like wasting money..."

September 10, 1997

The students from Kerala asked Swami’s permission for flower decoration in the Mandir on the Onam day…

Students : Swami, flower carpet.

Swami : Flower carpet? No, I do not like wasting money.

Students : Please Swami.

Swami : No, do not spend money. You can do work in the hostel. (Seeing the card in which King Mahabali was drawn) Parikshit Maharaj Hai Kya? (Is this King Parikshit?)

Students : No, Swami, Mahabali.

Swami : (To a teacher) Do you know what is sweeter than death?

Teacher : No, Swami. You are the sweetest.

Swami : You do not know what is sweeter than death? Extreme ignorance is sweeter than death!! (After the interview) (To a student, who was showing a card) No flower decoration. Flower Chaahiye, Flower Tree Se Tod Deta Hai, Tree Kitna Sad Hoga. (When you pluck the flower, how sad does the tree feel?) This state of the tree is called Viyoga (separation).

Students : Please, Swami. Only one day.

Swami : No. I do not like decoration. You should decorate your heart. Flower decoration is ‘art’ and not ‘heart’. Which one do you want? Heart or art?

Students : Heart, Swami.

Swami : That’s why I said no need of decoration. (Swami called one schoolboy) What do you want?

Student : Swami, Prasadam.

Swami : Why?

Student : Fever, Swami. (Swami put His hand on the student’s forehead and throat and said) 98.5-degree temperature. 

Everybody laughed and Swami sent the boy.

After the interview, students hailing from Kerala prayed to Swami to permit them to do the floral decoration in Mandir for Onam. Swami very lovingly explained to the students the reason why they should avoid floral decorations.

Swami : Don’t pluck the flowers. When the flowers are cut and used for decoration it will become artificial. When they are on the trees it gives natural beauty. Art is outside, heart is inside. Don’t waste money, Don’t waste energy, Don’t waste time.

Then Swami moved on to the first portico and continued the same topic with Mr. V. K. Narasimhan…

Swami : See Narasimhan, boys want to do floral decorations. But I didn’t permit them.

V.K.N. : Enduku Swami? (Why Swami?)

Swami : When you pluck flowers, the trees feel bad that they are missing their children. Hurt never.

V.K.N. : But Swami it is said ‘Paropakaaraya’...

Swami : That is said, but when you pluck flowers, the natural beauty goes away. Not only that, flowers cause allergy to the body and cause cracks when you walk over them. They also contain some types of poisons in them. That is why I don’t come to hostel. Boys keep throwing flowers under my feet. Boys don’t understand this.


  1. This is interesting. Then, if Swami has clearly said this why do we persist with floral decorations everywhere? Flowers indeed do look great on the plants/trees; however, don't the garlands that adorn our Lord also look great? But Swami has said this...so we must follow.

    1. Several years after this message, the practice of floral decorations continues and that too on a very large scale. Wonder why. There must be some reason why swami allowed this. Any thoughts?

    2. as it is said by swami ..if you take away the flowers you are taking away their children ..If for some reasons we keep doing this...it is not what swami allows.. it is what we persistently keep on doing it and conveniently think why swami is allowing this..That means ..his words are NOT valued ..while our thoughts / in the form of doubt and other devotees in the form of heedless action overrules what he said.. If we follow his words ..we become peaceful.and not doing it..therefore we will not act by plucking ...Fault finding / throwing a blame on others ..is a 24 hours affair . by humans through doubting is a subtle blaming tendency..Let think of God present in the trees and flowers.. then we will cherish the feelings that comes with these thought.. otherwise we are like scientist looking at everything and experimenting and questioning EVERYTHING but never question their behaviour .of destroying the environment.. That is the difference between a sage and scientist ..one sees the flower as a heart full of god presence.. The scientist sees the flower as an art of life and subsequently cut, poke experimentkill in the name of knowledge. Character is power not knowledge. Character will save the world not knowledge.. ironically the national geographic gives a vast interesting knowledge of nature/ animals/ behaviour
      but not the character..

  2. Extreme ignorance is sweeter then death... This is good message for every body.

    Sai Krishna

  3. The tender feet of the Lord must have got hurt so many times ! Also, it is only with His students, He could share this bit about 'flowers' !


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