11 July 2006 — McLean Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, USA
During each of Amma’s programs, Amma has those gathered pray for the peace and happiness of everyone in the world. And in almost all of Amma’s talks, she recalls the seemingly endless list of tragedies—both natural and man-made—that the world is facing. Yesterday added yet another: the eight railway station bomb blasts that claimed at least 190 lives and wounded hundreds of others in Mumbai. The tragedy cast its pale across Amma’s evening program, causing the two ambassadors attending the program to comment on how only Amma’s message of love can overcome such senseless acts of hatred.
Ambassador Vijay Nambiar—the Under Secretary General to Kofi Anan, the Secretary General of the United Nations—was the first to garland Amma and welcome her to the Washington D.C. area. Ambassador Nambiar also serves as the Deputy National Security Advisor to the Government of India and as the Head of the National Security Council Secretariat.
“It is of course a great blessing and privilege to be here at this session,” he said, “but we speak in the shadow of a great tragedy, a sadness, a kind of bizarre epiphany of hatred and violence, which has taken place in Mumbai just a few hours ago, which has caused a lot of death and destruction. What is it that one should reflect upon on this kind of an occasion, against and opposed to the kind of message of hatred that these acts seek to project? I can only think of the message of love which Amma typifies and embodies—the spontaneity, the undiscriminating, unconditional compassion and love that she extends to everybody. I suppose we need to reflect on this to be able to project it, to be able to reflect it to the rest of our fellow human beings.
“I can only say that it is events like what happened in Mumbai which make us feel, sometimes helpless, but also responsible in each of our individual ways to spread the message of Amma’s love to all our fellow human beings.”
Bernard Gunatileke, the Sri Lankan Ambassador to the United States, agreed with his fellow diplomat. “My good friend Ambassador Vijay Nambiar mentioned about the kind of world in which we live today,” he said after garlanding Amma. “It has been a historical fact: the kind of hatred we have towards each other, the greed we have in our hearts and the suffering we have to undergo whilst we are living in this world. They are all too common to us and we know all of them. And in that kind of a background to have a holy person like Amma to provide advice to us, to convey the message of love to the people, to come to the assistance of those who are needy as a humanitarian, I think we are all blessed by her presence.”
Ambassador Gunatileke went on to speak about how Amma’s humanitarian aid came to his country’s assistance in the wake of the 2004 Asian tsunami. “The tsunami, which took place almost one and a half years ago, made it possible for many Sri Lankans to come to know who Amma is and what her mission is in this world. In the aftermath of the tsunami, she visited Sri Lanka, made considerable contributions towards alleviating the sufferings of those who have undergone untold difficulties as a result of that natural disaster. She built houses and made other contributions to make their lives a little bit better than what it was. For that contribution, I think, as a Sri Lankan and as a nation, all of us in Sri Lanka are very grateful to her.”
Ambassador Gunatileke concluded by saying that he hoped the people of America’s capitol would have many more occasions to have Amma’s blessings. “I certainly hope, there will be many other occasions where we will be able to spend time with her and get her to bless us, so that we will be as far as possible from the kind of world we are living in—where hatred is, where greed is, where we have less love than what we should display towards other human beings.”