(22 Dec '02)
20-21 Dec 2002 – Kozhikode
As always, Amma’s Kozhikode programmes are burgeoning with life and love–just like Amma Herself. Somehow, Amma found time to give a press conference in Her room, even though darshan had finished only at 4 am and She had to be back out to begin the day’s programme by 11 the same morning.
Here you will also see the crowd, which is growing larger with each passing day, and photos of devotees participating in this evening’s Mars puja. At Amma’s Brahmasthanam festivals, Mars is propitiated in a mass puja in order to alleviate suffering that can arise when a person’s life is under the influence of this planet. (Amma teaches that it is not the planet which causes the suffering, but our own past karma which bears fruit during these periods. However, by performing the Mars puja with faith and devotion we can ease the suffering experienced during these times.)
Here you can also young students of Amma’s Amrita Vidyalayam, onsite at the Kozhikode ashram, singing bhajans in earnest as Amma gives darshan before them.
On the afternoon of the last day of Amma’s programmes in Kozhikode, the queue of devotees waiting for Amma’s darshan coils tightly back and forth across the ashram grounds before stretching all the way to the highway, nearly a kilometer away. These devotees have been waiting patiently under the sun for many hours, and will have to wait many more–up to 16 hours for two seconds in Amma’s arms. Mothers wait with their children. Whole families wait together, representing three generations. Some wait by themselves–alone but for their thousands of spiritual brothers and sisters, each one waiting to see their Amma. Volunteers work tirelessly up and down the queue, offering water and providing whatever assistance they can to those in the queue. The waiting devotees show only patience, forbearance, and faith. We have seen individuals with qualities such as these, but have we ever seen a crowd endowed with this same spirit? Though each one will only spend a moment in Amma’s arms, it is clear that Amma is with them even now, and will remain with them after She physically leaves Kozhikode tomorrow morning.
Looking at the throngs of Amma’s children, it is impossible to imagine that before She leaves in the morning, She will embrace each one–all 17,000 of them. And yet She will. How could a mother do otherwise?
This evening Amma conducted a mass Sani (Saturn) puja, in which some 5,000 devotees participated. Amma has said that pujas conducted in a large group such as this are many times more beneficial than pujas conducted in small groups or alone—for the individual and the world. During the puja, devotees offer drops of water into a clay pot, while imagining that they are offering all their sorrows to the Lord. After the puja, devotees carry the pot on their heads to the Brahmasthanam temple, where the water is poured over the murti inside. In this way, through Amma’s Grace, the water acts as a medium to help the devotee’s worries and cares to reach the Lord’s feet.
Recently, Amma mentioned that we all need patience, for there will be queues even in heaven. Here in the heaven that is Amma’s presence at Her Kozhikode ashram, there is quite a queue indeed. So let us all try to develop the attitude of surrender–offering our sorrows and problems to Amma. Let us also try to cultivate patience and forgiveness, no matter how much we are jostled around in life.