Cryptology workshop

10 – 12 September 2004 — Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Amritapuri Campus

Amritapuri: The Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and the Cryptology Research Society of India are jointly organizing a national workshop on cryptology on the Amritapuri campus in Kollam from September 10 to 12. The workshop will provide a platform for all Indian researchers in cryptography and cryptanalysis to come together. It will also promote young researchers by giving them an opportunity to present their work to the cryptographic community for evaluation. Jovan Golic of the Telecom Italia Lab Italia, C E Veni Madhavan of IISC in Bangalore and S S Bedi of DRDO in New Delhi are among those who will attend the workshop.

Pray one minute for world peace

10 September 2004 — Cochin, Kerala

“God’s power is the only source in which humankind can take refuge when they realize that self effort and its results are limited. In today’s world, we have reached a point where peace is no longer attainable through human effort alone. In fact, the current condition is such that we must offer our heartfelt prayers for God’s grace,” Amma said. She was talking to the thousands of devotees who were anxiously waiting to receive her blessings at the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Kunnupuram, Edappally.

Amma continued, “It is difficult for human beings to admit that the power of ego is crumbling-but it is the truth. Although human effort is necessary, we must also have faith in the Universal Power. It is this Spiritual Power we must recognize and with which we must experiment.

“We took solace in believing that the sagas of Hitler and Kamsa would never repeat themselves. We wanted to believe that the world could never again fall so far. Nonetheless, today we find those same old stories renewing themselves right in front of our eyes.

“It was only last week that terrorists in Russia killed innocent children. Is there really so much cruelty and evil in the human mind? Incidents like this prove that there is. Where is the human race heading? What do we do now? What is the cause for the current situation and what is the way out? These questions are more relevant now than ever before.

“So far, we have been searching for answers to these questions in the outside world. However, we are slowly starting to realize that the answers we’re getting there are not sufficient. In fact, the time to be open and to sincerely search within is long overdue.

“Until now, humanity has searched externally for pathways to peace, trying and testing various methods. In this fashion, is there anything we haven’t tried? No. So, it is time to turn towards God.

“The United Nations has declared 21 September as the ‘Day to Pray for World Peace.’ No matter where you are on that day at 12 noon-whether you are at home, the office, in the bathroom, the market, the shopping center-irrespective of your faith and religion, stop what you are doing, close your eyes and pray for one minute for world peace,” Amma told her devotees.

World peace is not possible by human effort alone

9 September 2004 — Cochin, Kerala

“Usually, only when our human efforts fail, do we approach God,” Amma said in Her morning satsang at the Brahmasthanam Festival in Cochin. “The current status of the world is such that world peace is not possible through human effort alone. Therefore, we have to pray for God’s grace. Collective prayers have a powerful effect. When the Sky Lab satellite was falling, scientists asked people to pray that it wouldn’t fall on land. The prayers had their effects; it fell into the sea.”

Before the 15,000 or so people gathered at the ashram, Amma repeated Her request that all Her children take part—and encourage others to take part in the International Day of Peace prayer to be held at 12:00 noon (your time) on Tuesday, 21 September.


Observe a minute of silence and prayer

7 September 2004 — Amritapuri

The 21st of September marks the 22nd Annual International Day of Peace. This year, the day’s organisers have asked Amma to participate, and She has agreed. It is the hope of the organisers that the day will find millions of people from all faiths observing a 24-hour peace vigil and a collective minute of silence. People worldwide are planning to offer prayers, ceremonies, fasts and other spiritual observations in this unified effort.

This global 24-hour spiritual observation is meant to demonstrate the power of prayer and other spiritual practices in promoting peace and preventing violent conflict. It will also help raise public awareness of the International Day of Peace and directly support the establishment of this day as one of global ceasefire, as it has already been declared by the United Nations.

On Tuesday, 7th September, at the end of the usual question-and-answer session with the ashramites, Amma gave a short but moving message on the importance of enhancing our efforts for world peace and participating in the International Day of Peace.

Amma said, “We have seen how the world situation has been bad for quite some time, and we have seen incidents of violence all over the world–in the United States, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, Israel, Spain, Japan, and most recently the attack in Russia. It was immensely painful to see innocent children become victims of terrorist activities.

“There are many organisations, such as the United Nations, working for peace around the world, and their efforts are very valuable. However, Amma feels that over and above all these efforts, divine help is essential. Through our sincere prayers and earnest effort, we can invoke the grace of God, the Universal Consciousness, which will bring some relief to the present situation.”

Amma has asked all Her children to participate in the collective minute of silence and prayer at 12:00 noon (your local time) on 21st September. Amma said, “It doesn’t matter where you are–whether at work, at home, traveling, or even in the bathroom–you can participate in this prayer. Just stop whatever you are doing at that time and spend one minute praying for the peace of the world. We should encourage as many people as possible to take part in this prayer.”

All ashram centres are requested to organise collective peace prayers at as many places in their vicinity as possible.


Valuable donations

Tuesday, 7 September 2004 — Amritapuri

The greatest miracle, Amma has said, is a mind desirous of helping others. The 10th standard class at Amritvidyalayam Perumbavoor is full of miracles.

Inspired by Amma’s life of selfless service, Deepu S. Raju initiated a project in his class to help Perumbavoor’s poor. The project, called Karunamrita [Immortal Compassion], found Deepu and his classmates donating money from their own pockets to help the city’s slum-dwellers. Deepu says he wanted Amritavidyalayam Perumbavoor to be “a model for all Amritavidyalams.”

The students did not stop at donating their spare change. They also donated extra pairs of clothing. Inspired by their students’ selfless actions, the teachers also started pitching in. Then it wasn’t long before the other 10th standard classes started giving donations.

At the end of two months, the students had raised more than Rs. 4,500, which they donated to Amma during the Krishnajayanti celebrations at Amritapuri. The students able to come to the ashram included Deepu, Arun Subrahmanian, Deepak Eldo Paul, Rachanna Radhakrishnan, Aswatty P. Babu, Pooja Rajan and Sreeja M.R.

Amma was so happy with their selfless behaviour. When the children asked Amma how they could further their plan, She advised them to go and visit the slum, to put in efforts to clean it up and to try to improve the general living conditions there. She said they could also plant trees and give food to those who were hungry.

Of all those who participated, Deepu believes the most valuable donations came from one of his classmates who would fast every day in order to donate the money his parents had given him for buying his lunch.

Although it was the first time that the Perumbavoor students visited Amritapuri, at the end of the four days none of them wanted to leave.

Amma has said if there are just two good people in a village, it is enough to transform the entire community.


Devi bhava ushers in Krishnajayanti

5 – 6 September 2004 — Amritapuri


When the doors to the temple opened Sunday night Amma was seated on Her chair wearing a yellow sari. Yellow is the color Krishna wore. As darshan went on way past sunrise the next morning, Krishnajayanti, it was very fitting. Throughout Devi Bhava, the swamis sang many Krishna bhajans, including “Nandakumara,” “Govardhanagiri Kudayakki,” “Adharam Madhuram,” and “Pandharivasa Srihari Vitthala.”

Not long before 10:30 a.m., when Devi Bhava finished, one devotee even put a peacock feather in Amma’s Devi Bhava crown.

For some it was like the old days when Amma gave the devotees a glimpse of both Devi and Krishna in one night.


Amrita Biotechnology and Bioinformatics

2 September 2004 — Amrita University, Amritapuri

Amrita University launched two new MSc-degree courses on 2nd September: MSc Biotechnology and MSc Bio-informatics will be conducted at the Amritapuri campus as part of the university’s School of Arts & Science. Students taking the course benefit from a tremendously high-powered faculty, including five PhD-holding professors who recently left their respected jobs in America to come to start the new programme for Amma.

On the occasion of the courses’ launch, Swami Amritaswarupananda gave an inspiring speech, encouraging students to transform themselves and to be ready to bring about a change in today’s word. Dr. P. Venkat Rangan, the vice chancellor of Amrita University, also addressed the students. He pointed out the great potential biotechnology and bioinformatics have to help humankind and encouraged the students to utilize this invaluable opportunity.