21 Feb, Tanur, Kerala – Bharata Yatra 2009
Amma held a one-day programme in Tanur. It was Amma’s first visit here, and the large grounds were filled to overflowing–people had begun coming at 7:00 am to ensure they got a good seat for the evening programme. Onlookers could be seen spilling over into the yards of all the neighbouring houses and the neighbouring temple grounds. In the spirit of the festival atmosphere, the neighbours opened their houses and facilities to the devotees. Even before Amma’s arrival, folk dancers performed many traditional art forms in the grounds itself. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and again breakfast the following morning was served free to all who attended the programme.
Amma took the stage at 6:30 pm. Invited guests included renowned writers Akkitam Achutan Namboodiri and Srikumaran Thampi and C. Radhakrishnan.
The famous Kerala poet Akkitham Achyutan Namboodiri declared that the word Amma no longer holds meaning in Malayalam alone, but in all the languages of the world, as Amma renews the concept of the universal mother in the global consciousness.
Renowned film music lyricist Srikumaran Thampi reflected on how someone like himself who has been an avid student of science and was known as a progressive thinker had become Amma’s devotee–he said that whenever he is asked about this, he replies that Amma is the greatest progressive thinker he has ever met, that she teaches a progress which neither science nor literature, cinema nor politics can possibly impart. He declared that Amma’s life itself is an expression of this progress. “Amma is a promise – that the tears of the suffering shall be wiped and seeds of peace and truth sown in their hearts” Tampi reiterated.
Meanwhile, the great Kerala writer C. Radhakrishnan, compared Amma to the sun in her capacity to shower love and compassion endlessly and without expectation. “Amma alone is capable of giving such unconditional love. The meaning of the word Amma (Mother) encompasses both Mother and Guru. Amma is the one in whom we see the fulness of both. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi is the very embodiment of these qualities. Wherever there is sorrow Amma reaches out, giving love out of a store of love that remains undiminished even after encompassing the whole world.”
The District Collector distributed cheques to hundreds of smiling new recipients of Vidyamritam scholarships. Srikumaran Thampi helped to hand over sewing machines to new recipients of Amma’s AmritaSree economic development programme.
After the function, Amma gave satsang and led the crowd in bhajans. Throughout her talk, Amma stressed the importance of adhering to values in one’s life. Amma commented that without values, human beings become just like machines. At the conclusion of her satsang, Amma asked the crowd to reflect on how to minimize their environmental footprint. She told them to avoid using paper cups and to try their best to carpool. She also suggested that everyone could plant a vegetable garden in their own homes, and use the earnings from the sale of these vegetables to help those in need.
Amma’s darshan itself went on all night and late into the following morning. Earlier Amma had announced that for some with later tokens it would be a long night, and invited the crowd to eat the free dinner being served to one and all, and to rest in the nearby Amrita Vidyalayam school while awaiting their turn for Amma’s darshan. As this news is posted, Amma is still giving darshan. The sun rose on a new day to find Amma doing what she has done every day of her life–embracing, comforting and inspiring humankind.
Watch photos here: