11 January, 2004 – Kanya Kumari
Just a few hours after Amma hugged Her last Thiruvananthapuram child, the first fully loaded bus set out for the next stop on the 2004 Dakshina Bharata Yatra — the holy city of Kanya Kumari.
This famous pilgrimage centre is located at the southernmost tip of the Indian sub-continent, where the Bay of Bengal, Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean mingle their waters. Kanya Kumari has been home to many Mahatmas, like the avadhuta Mayiamma, who Amma met here many years back (which is described in Amma’s biography, and footage of which can be found in the ‘Vintage Scenes’ video). It’s also home to the famous Kanya Kumari Devi Temple and the Swami Vivekananda Memorial Monument, which occupies a small island just a few hundred meters off the coast.
Amma’s programs were to be held at the Vivekananda Kendra, situated right on the beach and enjoying a spectacular view of the Vivekananda island shrine. Both the president and vice-president of this respected cultural organization, which is dedicated to the upliftment of Indian society via the spiritual teachings of Sw. Vivekananda, are devotees of Amma, and were special guests at the Amritavarsham50 Celebrations in Kochi this past Fall. Sister Nivedita, the organization’s vice-president, granted Amritapuri.org an inspiring interview just before Amma’s Jubilee, and its president, Shri. Parameshwaran, was a speaker on both the Interfaith and Women’s Summit panels during the Birthday event. This evening’s program gave Mr. Parameshwaran the opportunity to speak once more.
“Parvati Devi is in Kanya Kumari, just as Shiva is in Kailash. Devi is looking north and Shiva is looking south.” Mt. Kailash as the abode of Shiva in the Himalayas, which borders India to the north, and Parvati in the form of Kanya Kumari Devi in the south, and together they cast over India their protective grace, like a divine sentinel gazing over the breadth of the land.
“It took three days of intense tapas in Kanya Kumari where his monument stands today, before Sw. Vivekananda had his famous vision of how to spread India’s spiritual message of peace. But now, to this place the greatest Tapasvini has come!”
He then spoke about India’s President APJ Abdul Kalam’s PURA vision, and its ideas regarding various connectivities — social, economic, technological, etc. President Kalam had presented his ideas to Amma some time back, who in turn asked, “What about spiritual connectivity?” She said that without this, the other connectivities wouldn’t work. The President responded favorably to this idea, and included it into his overall concept. Parameshwaran continued, “Amma is the Powerhouse of that connectivity, connecting the whole world. How blessed we are to sit at the Feet of Amma, to listen to Her bhajans and immortal words.”
One of the members of Parliament from Tamil Nadu, Mr. Pon Radhakrishnan was also here to welcome Amma. He said, “I am seeing that India is awakening through Amma. India will become the Jagat Guru (World Teacher) and leading Light, and Amma is the Parashakti.”
After the talks, Amma came out to give satsang, opening in a soft voice with Her oft heard mantra, “Shivane, Shivane, Shivane…” She then led bhajans and sat giving darshan until 8:30 the following morning, as the early sun’s golden rays flooded the hall with a fresh brilliance. Amma hugged over 32,000 people this night. Afterwards, as 12 January is Vivekananda Jayanti, the Vivekananda Kendra made the request to Amma that She might light the sacred lamp to commemorate the occasion. Amma readily agreed.
Standing up from Her darshan seat, Amma turned to the lamp behind Her on the stage. Still in Her sari with its stained shoulder, Amma lit the wicks and led the chanting of “Om lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu” (may all beings in all worlds be happy). Then, in Her ever-unpredictable mystery, Amma entered into samadhi on stage as She stood, with Her hands forming sacred mudras. In the utter stillness that followed, one sensed the holy fullness of the moment.
“I don’t see into the future, nor do I care to see. But one vision I see clear as life before me, that ancient Mother has awakened once more, sitting on Her throne – rejuvenated more glorious than ever. Proclaim Her to all the world with the voice of peace and benediction.” – thus declared Swami Vivekananda in January of 1897.
Isn’t this vision unfolding before us?