9 November 2003,Holland
For the third year in a row, our beloved Amma graced Holland with Her Presence. On the first day, the crowds started to get in line as early as 8 a.m., and by 9 a.m. the hall was already filled with people. It was the first sign that last year’s record of almost 10,000 visitors would be easily broken. On that first morning, numbers had already gone up to 2,000.
Mother appeared fresh and radiant at 10 in the morning, as if She had just returned from a 6-week holiday instead of an intense European tour. That first morning Holland’s major television channel completed a portrait of one of Amma’s Dutch followers by filming him in Mother’s loving arms. The news program was shown that very night, and also featured stories on Amritavarsham50 and the speech of Yolanda King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, who describes Amma as ‘the real thing’ who made her ‘feel fulfilled in a way she had not experienced before’.
In the back of the hall, the Belgian devotees had built a life-size Amrita Kuteeram house, inside of which were displayed photographs and information was given on Amma’s world-renowned housing scheme. Children performed a little play based on the real-life experiences of the slum inhabitants in Hyderabad, India, who are now benefiting from the renovation of their neighborhood through Amma’s grace. Many visitors were so inspired they subscribed to monthly donations for the project.
During the evening programs, Amma surprised everyone by singing two bhajans in perfectly understandable Dutch. They were Ishwar Tumi Daya Karo and Ananta Mami that had been translated by Lakshmi Akka, Mother’s Dutch personal assistant for over 16 years. It brought tears of joy to the eyes of the people, bringing Mother even closer to the hearts of all present and making their devotion flow even easier, as Mother sang with the innocence of a child the last lines: ” Zonder mijn God, waar kan ik heen?” (Without my Lord, where can I go?). Loud applause followed the songs.
On the last day, Amma’s Devi Bhava coincided with a lunar eclipse. Crowds walked between this wondrous miracle of nature, and the miracle that was taking place inside the hall where the Mother of the Universe was hugging almost 5,000 people. When Amma finally got up to shower us all with rose petals it was well over ten o’clock in the morning.