Onam as Earth Festival

  • Prasant Palakkappillil
Keywords: agri-culture, diversity, education for sustainability, responsible consumption-production, stewardship


Search for the enough that ensures peace is also the path to abundance and prosperity – often with accumulation with a few and deprivation of the many – however, deep down, human desire is for a society where all are treated equally and all have enough. This dream is partly realised in times of harvests, which are experiences of prosperity. The regional harvest festival of Onam of Keralam, in the South of India is a religious celebration of harvest-linked prosperity, into which are dreams of egalitarianism, abundance, and generosity infused through the myth of Mahabali, the benign benevolent ruler of the land. The effort is to examine Onam festival against the background of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the elements of sustainability in the celebration and in the increasingly consumerist culture of the region, and what possibly religious and educational institutions could do to reinvent the overarching virtue of sustainability through the celebration and through the platforms available to them.

Author Biography

Prasant Palakkappillil

Dr Prasant Palakkappillil is a Trained Social Worker and Social Work educator, of the catholic religious order of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate. He is interested in experimenting and promoting organic farming and food crop bio-diversity.


Abbas, M.M. and Palakkappillil, Prasant. Biodiversified and Nature Friendly Farming Practices for the Planet – for the People – for the Future. Kochi: Organic Kerala Charitable Trust. 2022.

Appaiah, Solomon. “Religion, Peace and Prosperity.” 2012.

<https://www.solomonappiah.org/relationship-between-religion-peace-and-prosperity/> 12 September 2022

Fahey, Tony. “Religion and Prosperity,” Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review. Spring (2001):39-46.

Francis, Pope. Laudato Si. Vatican: The Holy See. 2014.

Francis, Pope. Fratelli Tutti. Vatican: The Holy See. 2019.

Government of India. National Education Policy. 2020.

Kariyil, Antony. Church and Society in Kerala: A Sociological Study. New Delhi: Intercultural Press. 1995.

Kerala Tourism. “Onam” <https://www.keralatourism.org/onam/onam-rituals/thrikkakkara-appan-rituals> 2 September 2022.

Khan, Mansoor. The Third Curve: The End of Growth as We Know It. Mumbai: Mansoor Khan Production. 2012.

Meadows, Donella H. Meadows, Dennis L., Randers, Jtsrgen and Behrens III, William W. The Limit to Growth: A Report for the Club of Rome’s Project on the Predicament of Mankind. New York: Universe Press. 1972.

Nandhikkara, Jose. “Religious Interface of Sustainable Development for People.” Journal of Dharma 47.1 (2022): 3-8.

Nair, V. “Kollavarsham: An Unrevealed Heritage.” Boloji. 19.9(2022). <https://www.boloji.com/articles/16400/kolla-varsham-an-unrevealed-heritage> 1 August 2022

Sri Sri Ravisankar. “Significance of Akshaya Tritiya.” <https://wisdom.srisriravishankar.org/significance-of-akshaya-tritiya/> 5 September 2022

Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. London: Routledge. 2005 (1930)

Win-Gallup International. “Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism. 2012.” <https://www.scribd.com/document/136318147/Win-gallup-International-Global-Index-of-Religiosity-and-Atheism-2012> 22 September 2022.

How to Cite
Palakkappillil, P. (2022). CELEBRATING SUSTAINABLE PROSPERITY. Journal of Dharma, 47(3), 355-374. Retrieved from http://dvkjournals.in/index.php/jd/article/view/3815