(29 Feb '04)
Bharata Yatra 2004
29 February 2004 — Pune, Maharashtra
Amma’s three nights and two days of Pune programs commenced tonight at the Anna Saheb Magar Stadium. As Amma arrived at 6:30, the program literally began with a bang—as two colourful bursts of fireworks exploded just overhead the stadium.
She then walked through the crowd under a blue parasol to the dais, which was already filled with dignitaries, such as Shri. Sarad Pawar, President of the Congress Party for Maharashtra; Shri. Vijaysinh Mohite Patil, the Honourable Deputy Chief Minister of Maharashtra; Shri. Sudam Landge, the Honourable Mayor of Pune; Shri. Prakashji Rewale, the Deputy Mayor of Pune; and Shri. Gajanan Barbar of the Member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly.
At the beginning of the program, the grounds of the stadium were full and the stadium’s bleachers were steadily filling. All the devotees were provided with free food.
Before Amma’s satsang, bhajans, meditation and darshan, Shri. Sarad Pawar and Shri. Vijaysinh Mohite Patil gave speeches, and Shri. Sudam Landge gave a vote of thanks. Amma was also presented with a manapatra, or letter of recognition, by the Municipal Cooperation of Pune, which was read in Sanksrit by pundit Shri. Vighnahari Dev Maharaj. The manapatra was officially presented to Amma by Shri. Sarad Pawar and Shri. Prakashji Rewale.
Shri. Sarad Pawar also distributed certificates for free homes in the Ajanta Nagar Housing Community to destitute homeless, as part of the Mata Amritanandmayi Math’s Amritakeerti program of building 100,000 houses for the homeless. The Ajanta Nagar Project has found the Math building several phases of five-story flats on what was previously a massive slum.
Amma sang several songs in the local language of Marathi, including “Chandra Bhaga Teere,” a song in praise of Lord Vitthala, the temple deity of Pandharpur.