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Garlands have been used in many cultures across the world as symbols of purity, beauty, peace, love and passion. Flowers, leaves and foliage, delicately strung into garlands, wreaths (circular arrangement), chaplets (flaunted on the head), etc. have been worn as adornments or hung as decorations since time immemorial.

Making a garland for Krishna is a deep meditation. 

“Mala” is a Sanskrit word for garland, usually consisting of flowers bunched together on a string. Offering flower garland is a long tradition in the Hindu customs. Flower garlands symbolise luck, parity and a new beginning. People believe it will bring a fresh start in life.

In South Asian culture, offering flower is a common holy practice. Offering fresh flower garland is more than just offering a bunch of flowers. It is an exceptional act, such as a marriage or Puja and also for a final ceremony in funerals. In that sense, the garland has a connection throughout life.

Marigold, jasmine also various colours of rose are threaded onto the beautiful garland. Lotus, lilies, Ashoka, Nerium/oleander, chrysanthemum, roses, hibiscus, pinwheel flowers are also used. Most of those in the garland-making profession have been doing it for years, even generations. Their job needs to be absolute patience. Each flower has to get connected to be one chain while still fresh.

Even in such a simple service we can reach the highest perfection.

In ancient Egypt, flowers had symbolic meaning with emphasis on religious significance; garlands of flowers were placed on the mummies as a sign of celebrating afterlife. The ancient Greeks and Romans used flowers and herbs as adornments to be worn and to decorate their homes, civic buildings, and temples. In contemporary times, the usage and production of garlands have been more elaborate in Asia than elsewhere. Like the Thai have their phuang malai and the Hawaiians, their lei; the Indians have their mala or haar.

The Vaijayanti (Vyjayanti) or Vana-mala literally means “Garland of victory”. It finds a mention in the famous Vishnu Sahasranama as vanamali(forest flowers).

The Goddess of auspiciousness, wealth, beauty and mādhurya Devi Lakshmi resides in Vaijainti.

It is said that Vaijainti reminds Sri Krishna about Radharani. This mala was presented by a gardener from Mathurā.

Even in such a simple service we can reach the highest perfection.

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