(1 Jun '00)
Before Amma left for the US tour She spoke to the ashramites about ashram dharma and asked everyone to form study groups and to discuss in depth the meaning of the scriptures for everyday life.
A plethora of classes is in full swing, and everywhere one goes, one can hear chanting or scriptural discussions at almost all times of the day. Householders, brahmacahrinis and western residents have all formed study groups.
The householders meet three times a day, sometimes in the temple, to discuss the Lalitha Sahasranama and the Bhagavatam. The classes are very animated and the temple prayer hall seems to come to life during their discussions. The westerners have chosen to study ‘surrender’, and the brahamacharis and brahamacharinis have split into small groups to discuss spiritual books of their choice. One person or team brings together different renderings on one topic, e.g. what Amma says about sraddha and what the Bhagavad Gita says. They correlate all the points and at the end the group has a much clearer understanding than if they had studied alone.
“The highlights for everyone are the formal classes on Vedanta, Carnatic Music and the Dharma of a Disciple. They provide the fuel for our discussions, which become very deep and make us all much wiser,” said one participant.