(5 Jul '02)
5 July 2002, Iowa
Amma visited Iowa for the first time on the fifth of July, a Friday, the day after America’s Independence Day. Of the people who filled the hall, many had met Amma before, but the majority had not, and almost a thousand new children came to Mother that morning.
Most of Mother’s new children looked very much like Americans all over the country, but one stood out dramatically because of what he wore on his head: the full, formal feather head-dress of a Native American Indian Chief.
And that’s exactly what he was: Chief Wambli Sah Pah, whose name means Black Eagle, had come to present Her with an eagle feather from the Indian people. The eagle feather is one of the greatest honours that we give to a person, the Chief explained, for it represents the eagle that goes to the Great Creator for help and healing.
Sah Pah, Chief of the Ponca tribe from the Nebraska/Missouri area, has worked very hard for his people: thirty years ago, the American government terminated his tribe, but he underwent severe austerities and sacrifices and interacted with the government in Washington DC to restore recognition for his tribe; this recognition was ultimately received in 1990.
And now he had come to meet Amma. We’re developing our spirituality like it used to be in our culture, and I just came to present this (eagle feather) from the Indian people in honour of Her being here, and to ask that the Spirits continue helping Her as She helps the people.
So saying, he approached Amma for Her darshan. Standing, he leaned forward and held out to Her the single black and white eagle feather. She took it, touched it to Her forehead and kissed it, and then opened Her arms to him. He leaned down for Her embrace, and two great hearts touched.
After his darshan, the Chief drew a comparison between Amma and the highly respected healers and spiritual leaders of his tradition: You look at our spirituality and this spirituality and it’s very similar, because you have holy people that can heal and they can bring together people, and our medicine people can do the same.
Chief Sah Pah was clear about his respect for his own people and tradition, and for Amma: I think we’re all one people, we all believe in the Great Creator. She’s like one of our Medicine People. You know we have Medicine People that heal within our tribes, and that’s the honour we give to Her, as a person that brings enlightenment and healing —spiritual healing and physical healing and mental healing to the people around the world. So we’re thankful for that.