24 June 2006 — Los Angeles, California, USA

Amma was only in Los Angeles for five days—20 June – 24 June—but her face blessed the city for much longer. Giant posters bearing Amma’s divine image, announcing Amma’s visit, lined the streets of the City of Angels for almost two weeks prior to her arrival.

It’s hard to believe any of L.A.’s residents were not aware of Amma’s visit. As a result, the crowds were quite large. And Devi Bhava went on until 11:30 a.m. on the 25th.

Yolanda King, the daughter of Correct Scott King and Martin Luther King Jr., attended Amma’s program on the night of the 24th, garlanding Amma upon her arrival and making a short speech {news}, proclaiming Amma an “embodiment of unconditional love.”

The first language of a large percentage of L.A.’s residents is Spanish, and Amma sang a number of bhajans in their mother tongue, including versions of “Where Can I Go?,” “Kushiyom Ki” and “Anantamami Lokathil.”

Amma’s question-and-answer session during the L.A. retreat brought forth some interesting questions from the devotees, including ones about selfless service, discriminative thinking and how to create a spiritual form of governance. Perhaps the best question came from a man in his thirties who said: “Amma, I’ve spent enough time around you to doubt my mind and dislike my ego… Where do I go from here?”

As has become tradition, on the second night of the retreat, the L.A. devotees, some of who are professional actors, put on very funny play. This year’s drama was a modernization of the story in the Yoga Vasistha of Garuda, the eagle who serves as the mount of Lord Vishnu, and Kakabhashundi, a wise old crow.

It was almost 2 a.m. when the play and darshan finished. The devotees were asking Amma to dance. She agreed on one condition: that they would not just stand there and stare but that they would dance as well. And that is exactly what happened. As Amma swayed side to side and chimed her kai-manis, the whole room jumped up and down to the rhythm. Amma was up on the bhava-darshan stage, so every one could see her. There were times when it became obvious that both of Amma’s feet were leaving the ground in her tiny dancing leaps. Each time this inspired a great cheer from the devotees.

—Tulasi

Watch Video: Amma Dance in Los Angeles

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Category : Around Amma / Yatra
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