Midnight, 1 January 2006 —Amritapuri
When the clock struck midnight, Amma had been giving darshan for more than 13 hours. The New Year’s Eve dances and other cultural performances had taken place at Amma’s side. Darshan finished almost exactly with the beginning of 2006.
The thousands of devotees from all over the world who had come to Amritapuri to celebrate broke into applause. Amma led everyone in prayer:
Bhakti ta, Jagadambe
Prema ta, Jagadambe
Vishvasam tannenne rakshikyu, Jagadambe
[Mother of the Universe, give me devotion. Mother, give me Love. Protect me, Mother, through giving me faith.]
Amma then led everyone in chanting Om lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu. For five-minutes straight, the bhajan hall was filled with the resonation of the divine mantra wishing for the happiness of the entire world.
In the silence created, Amma then led everyone in the following visualization: “Imagine the sun rising in your heart. Imagine all the flower buds blossoming into beautiful flowers. There are many butterflies blissfully flying about, drinking the nectar of the flowers. Now, imagine the hearts of all beings in the world becoming filled with love, peace and happiness.”
Then Amma gave a message to all her children, in which she reflected on all the tragedies of past and asked everyone to pray for those who died or suffered due to those tragedies.
“We are entering the New Year with the hope that this year will be different and much better,” Amma said. “We hope that this coming year will bring a new dawn—one wherein we will wake to the laughter of children and the chirping of birds, instead of to the crying of children and old people and the sound of gunfire. But there is no point in just hoping. Just by the turning of a number, nothing really changes. For the fulfillment of our hopes, effort should also be there.”
Amma then stood up, called for her kai-manis (hand bells) and—to the bhajan “Bhajore Bhajo Krishna Hare Ram”—blissfully danced.
“When you dance, try to lose yourself in it,” Amma said. “Imagine that the entire creation is blissfully joining you in the dance.”
And thus 2006 was begun in celebration.