Is Picking Flowers Bad Karma?


My pranaams to the blessed souls out there. Why do we offer flowers to God? While plucking the flowers, the plant suffers some pain? Are we not gaining negative karma by plucking flowers in the name of God? Even people on the path of realisation like you also indulge in such activities. why? Nothing can be offered to God but love. Our great masters have not forbidden us from doing such things. Why havent they forbidden us? Please clarify. Please forgive me if I am wrong.

—A, India


Dear A,

There’s a beautiful story of the Mother, the head of the Sri Aurobindo organization. She went into the garden to get vegetables for dinner. Since she was very sensitive, she could pick up the thoughts of the plants. Some plants were saying: Don’t take me, don’t take me! Other plants were saying: Take me! Take me!

It’s easy to understand why some plants said Don’t take me, but why were some plants saying: Take me?

We are here in this world to be of service. What service can a plant give other than itself? All of life, apparently, wants to serve, and the highest service is to God.

We are all going to die at some point – people, animals, plants. What we are seeking is that our life be of some meaning, be of some service to others.

By the time a flower blooms, its life is almost over. What could be a higher use of its life than to offer itself in service to God to create a beautiful altar?

This is my understanding.

In divine friendship,