"You may say that progress is possible only through My Grace, but though My Heart is soft as butter, it melts only when there is some warmth in your prayer." – Sri Sathya Sai Baba
It is in the experience and practice of the citizens of Bhaarath that they generally worship God with flowers, offer puuja (ritual adoration) and make obeisance to God. But there is something which is more sacred than this. There is a distinctive type of devotion by which you worship God with a good, clean mind and good conduct. This has been given the name of Paraa Bhakthi. By worshiping God always with puuja and flowers, the saadhaka (spiritual aspirant) will remain stationary in his place. This is good in a way but to remain in one place all the time and failing to rise to a higher position is not good. It is a superior type of worship—to worship God through good qualities, good conduct, good thoughts and good company. The Shruthis (scriptures) have described this kind of worship as worship through good qualities. By offering what kind of good qualities can we please God?
The first flower with which we can worship God is ahimsa—non-violence. The second flower is Indriya Nigraham (control of senses). The third flower is Sarvabhoota Daya (compassion to all living beings). The fourth one is kshama (forbearance). The fifth flower is shaanthi (peace). The sixth flower is thapas (penance). The seventh one is the flower of Dhyaana (meditation). The eighth is the flower of Sathya (Truth). The inner meaning of this statement is that God will shower grace on you if you worship him through these eight flowers.
The flowers in nature fade always, drop down, lose fragrance and also develop an odour which is not pleasant. Instead of worshipping with such worldly flowers, which are impermanent, and receiving impermanent rewards from God, we should worship Him with what is truthful and thereby attain a stage which is higher.