Kerala CM meets Amma regarding on tsunami proposal

30 January 2005 — Amritapuri

Hoping to get the reconstruction plan the Ashram has submitted to the government authorised, Amma held a meeting with Sri. Oommen Chandy, the Chief Minister of Kerala, today at Amritapuri.

Amma conveyed to the chief minister the necessity of moving forward quickly with the reconstruction, explaining to him how traumatised the villagers are. “They are still not sleeping well at night. If there is even a small power surge and the ceiling fan picks up speed, they awake with a start, thinking it is another wave,” Amma said.

Amma also went into the details of the Ashram’s plan, which includes a seven-foot foundation—two above ground and five below.
She expressed Her deep concern for the feelings of the people, and her wish to see their homes rebuilt right away.

Swami Amritaswarupananda spoke with the media after the meeting. “The Ashram has been ready to start the reconstruction of the destroyed houses, we have just been waiting for the approval of the plan by the Government of Kerala.”

“At present we have constructed nine temporary shelters, and 250 families are being accommodated there. In Alappad Panchayat, there are a total of 9,902 displaced. Of them, 6,000 are in Ashram-run relief camps. The government has not yet finished the temporary shelters it has undertaken to build. If the government had responded to the Ashram’s overture earlier, we would have 100 homes built by this time.

“In Tamil Nadu, the government is fully cooperating, and we already started the construction of 2,500 houses there, and we have adopted 350 children who lost their parents in the tsunami. We have also fully adopted two villages in Nagapattinam. In Andaman and Nicobar Islands, we have adopted three villages, as well.

“In the process of reconstruction, the government should consider the sentiments of the people. The Ashram is working hand-in-hand with the people. Hence it is able to appreciate their feelings and needs. The Ashram is willing to reconstruct all the homes in Kerala that were completely destroyed by the tsunami. It only needs the cooperation of the government.”

On Tuesday, Amma will be flying to Sri Lanka in order to uplift and console the tsunami victims there.


Ashram presents house plan to the govt

Jan 29 2005

The Ashram presented a new house plan to the Kerala Government. The plan consists of two bed rooms, a kitchen, dining hall and a toilet on the ground floor and a bed room on the first floor. The building will be built on concrete piling with belt foundation.

Turiyamritananda inaugurated the shelter built by the Ashram on the grounds of the Purakkad Devi Temple in Azhikkal. Although the temple is ready for inhabitation, the government has yet to allow anyone to move in. The total number of temporary shelters built by the ashram in Alappad is now nine.

Vocational Training

On 29 January, the Ashram started a stitching programme at its temporary shelter in Srayikkad. Using sewing machines provided by the Ashram, in the beginning some 75 ladies will learn to stitch clothes. The programme was inaugurated by Swami Krishnamrita Prana. The ladies will have two-hour-long classes for the next three months. Amma intends to start more vocational training courses so that the villagers can earn their livelihood.


The Ashram is sponsoring the paramedical-training of tsunami-affected young men and women at AIMS. They will be provided with free accommodation, food, clothing and a Rs. 500 weekly stipend through the duration of the training. Upon the successful completion of their training, they will be offered employment at the hospital, with a starting wage of Rs. 2,000. The Ashram plans to sponsor 300 tsunami-affected villagers in this fashion. Ashram is also sponsoring the training of young men as drivers at its ITC (Industrial Training Centre) in Putiyakkavu. They also will be provided with free accommodation, food, and Rs. 500 stipend during their training. Upon completion of their course, the Ashram will find jobs for them.


The Ashram is planning to start an orphanage in the Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu for some 300 children who lost their parents in the tsunami.

The Ashram has sent two boys Kannan and Aravind from Alappad who will go to the Ashram’s orphanage in Parippally. They will be joining the 7th standard in the school there. Ashram has also adopted three retarded children from the village.


The Ashram has recently sent three more women in their final stages of pregnancy to AIMS for antar-natal checkups and deliveries.

The Ashram is sponsoring the reversal of the tubal-ligation surgery for seven women who lost all of their children to the tsunami, so that they may once again know the joy of motherhood.

Cash Allotments

On 25 January, Swami Amritaswarupananda distributed cash allotments of Rs. 750 to 1,565 villagers in Arattupuzha in Kerala’s Alappuzha District. The money is to be used for the purchasing of household items.

Free Food

The Ashram continues to provide food three times a day at 22 counters up and down Beach Road in Alappad Panchayat.
It has also started serving at certain schools in Alappad, so that the children can have hot lunches.

The heat of fire coolsdown in Amma’s arms

29 January 2005, Amritapuri

Amma took the photograph, looked deeply into the eyes of the four-year-old boy it pictured and gently kissed his forehead. She then took the next photo—this one of a girl in pig tails—and did the same. There were around 70 in all, so it took some time. These were photographs of the children who’d burned to death in Kumbhakonam.

It made international news when it happened back in July: 92 children killed and more than 18 severely burned when the thatched roof of a nursery school caught fire in a small Tamil Nadu village.

Now, six months later, Amma’s room was packed with the mothers and siblings of these children—140 parents had come in all. Earlier that day during darshan, one of the mothers had become inconsolable in Amma’s arms.

She’d lost her son, and now she wanted Amma to turn back time. “Amma! Give me the fortune to see my child once again!” she railed. “Give me the fortune to see my son once again! Amma, I gave birth to him, I brought him up and suffered all the pain, and now he is gone. Give me the fortune to see my child once again, Amma! Give me the fortune to see my child once again!”

Amma held her for some 10 minutes, allowing the woman to exhaust herself in Her arms. The whole time Amma was wiping away both the woman’s tears and Her own.

When the tragedy occurred, Amma was in the middle of Her U.S. Tour. When She heard the news, She called Amritapuri and told a group of brahmacharinis to immediately go to Kumbhakonam to pray for the children and to console the parents.

The girls left that day and soon were visiting all the parents, as well as the survivors in the hospital. The stories they heard were heart-rending.

“My son, he came running out of the classroom, but then he remembered that his younger sister was still inside, so he ran back in to get her. But they both died,” one mother told them.

A father told the brahmacharinis how before the fire his children had not gone to school for two days. They had wanted to stay home that day as well, but he had forced them to go. “I forced them to go, and because of me, I lost both of them,” he said.

Another lady had been widowed while she was pregnant. “My life is meaningless,” she cried. “I don’t have anyone now.”

One mother told the girls that she had only been able to recognize her daughter’s body by the anklets she had put on her that morning.

The brahmacharinis chanted Amma’s 108 names and the eighth chapter of the Gita as part of the children’s funeral rites. They then brought some of the ashes back to Amritapuri, which Amma blessed and offered into the sea upon Her return from the U.S. Tour.

Today, in Amma’s room, one of the fathers reminded Amma of the brahmacharini’s visit. “Your children came and gave us peace,” he told Amma.

“We are still scared,” the mother of a boy who was burned in the fire said. “We still have fear in our hearts. The children are scared to go to school. They are scared of fire. Even if our neighbour’s light their stove, my son goes and puts it out.”

“I am willing to go to school but my mother is not willing to send me,” one little girl who’d lost her brother in the fire told Amma.

“I don’t want to lose her too!” the mother called out.

Amma told the woman not to worry, that she should send her daughter back to school as it was important for her to get an education.

Amma spoke with the mothers and children for almost one hour, listening to their stories, looking at pictures of their children and wiping the tears of one and all.


Consoling the distraught in Sri Lanka

28 January 2005 — Sri Lanka

Among the people coming for Amma’s darshan in Amritapuri have been a number from Sri Lanka, the tiny island country a stone’s throw from India’s southern tip where more than 30,000 people were killed by the tsunami. They’ve been begging Amma to come to them, to bless the half a million people who have been displaced there.

The Sri Lankans who have come to Amma tell Her of a country without hope, where, rather than face the seemingly impossible odds, many are opting for suicide. Sri. K.N. Devananda, a minister in Sri Lanka holding several offices—including that of Cooperative Development—sent Amma an official invitation (news), requesting Her to “bless Sri Lankans of all faiths and races and to bring peace and prosperity in their lives.” The minister was frank: “The devastation is unparalleled in our known history. The victims need spiritual healing, solace, succour and blessing.”

Amma promised to go in the near future [16 February] and for the time being sent Swami Ramakrishnananda, telling him to console the distraught as well as to assess the potential for the Ashram to do relief work there. Accompanied by four brahmacharis, Swami Ramakrishnananda left for the island country on 21 January.

The team visited villages in some of the worst hit districts in Sri Lanka: Batticaloa and Ampara on the eastern coast, and Galle in the south.

In Batticaloa, they first visited Tiruchendur. This is the area where the water came as high as the coconut trees and left virtually nothing standing. Some Singhalese volunteers who were helping with relief work in the area showed them an electrical tower, by climbing which 60 villagers had been able to survive the flooding.

Amma’s disciples next went to Akkaraipattu in the Ampara District. There, they met with Minister K.N. Devananda’s offices, as well as Rama, a Malaysian HSS (Hindu Seva Sangh) coordinator, conducting relief work. Swami Ramakrishnananda told the coordinator that it was Amma’s desire to help both the Tamils and the Singhalese people of Sri Lanka.

While in Ampara, the team visited the Kannagi Ammam Temple in the Tirukovil. In this area around 700 people died and 23,000 families were affected. There, they met a group of HSS volunteers who were between the ages of 10 and 20. Many of them had been directly affected by the tsunami.

The HSS volunteers would go to the relief camps as early as 7:00 in the morning and talk with the villagers, listening to their sad stories. They would also distribute free clothes and food as well as sing bhajans with the children. Many days they would not take lunch until 5:00 in the evening, continuing to work until eight or nine at night.

“On the way to the relief camp, we drove through many deserted areas that looked as if once it had been home to a very good town,” says one of the brahmacharis. “All the houses were destroyed and only parts remained here and there. We heard that some women died because their clothes or hair got caught in thorny bushes while they were running for lives, and they drowned in the rising waters.”

At the first camp, Komari 1, they spoke to one woman who told them that many of the men in her village had drowned when they went back to collect valuables after the water from the first wave began to recede. At the second camp they visited, Komari 2, the brahmacharis distributed notebooks, pencils, erasers and scales to all the children, and taught them to sing bhajans as well “Amba Bhavani Jaya Jagadambe.”

The next day Swami Ramakrishnananda conducted a programme at Komari 2, including satsang, bhajan and meditation. At the request of local volunteers Swami installed a murti of Lord Ganesha on the top of a nearby hill.

The next day after a programme at the Gayatri camp in Ampara, Amma’s disciples spoke with the people individually. When they asked one lady from a fishing village who was dressed in a very old sari if the government was supplying her with everything she needed, she displayed a powerful faith: “Why should we get angry with others? It is He who prompts people to give to others. If He doesn’t tell them, then we will not get anything. The first time the water came, it only rose about three feet. He gave us a chance to escape. Some people went back after that first wave subsided to get their money and valuables and then died when the second, bigger wave rolled in. Now all the rich and poor are living here without any difference in status. He is the one who is giving and He is the one who is taking. It is because of His grace that others give.”

The next day there was a programme at the Music & Dance College in Payarakoil, Batticaloa, which was attended by some 400 people. After the programme one villager came to them in tears. “Having lost everything in the tsunami, I was thinking why should I live in this world and often felt that I should also die,” she confessed. “But after hearing Swamiji’s talk, I feel some kind of peace within me. I don’t know where I am getting this sense of peace. It’s a total change. I don’t have any fear anymore. I want to live.”

The team then drove back south to Colombo, where they met with Sri. K.N. Devananda, the minister who’d invited Amma to Sri Lanka. They also took the opportunity to visit a Singhalese relief camps in the district of Galle.

Now, Amma has announced (news) she is going Sri Lanka on 16 February. The prayers of her Singhalese and Tamil children there are clearly pulling Her to the island’s shores.


Advaita & the Tsunami

28 January 2005 , Amritapuri

Advaita it is such a simple word. It means “not two.” But within this simple conjunction is cradled the entirety of spirituality. It is the reminder that things are not diverse, as they seem, but One.
Man and Nature? Not two. Creator and Creation? Not two. Inside and outside? Not two.

God and devotee? Not two. Guru and disciple? Not two. Atman and jivatman? Not two. You and I? Not two.

It is this philosophy that informs all the service activities of Amma’s Ashram, for as Amma says in almost all Her satsangs: “When you accidentally poke yourself in the eye, do you punish your finger? No, you soothe both the finger and the eye because you know them both to be you.”

This Friday, Amma was talking to all the ashramites about how imperative it is for them to go beyond their identification with their ego—their sense of being a limited mind, body and intellect existing separate from others. “We need to see ourselves in others and act accordingly,” Amma said.

As an example, Amma cited the nine temporary shelters the Ashram has constructed for tsunami victims in Srayikkad.

“The brahmacharis worked on them all day and night,” Amma said. “Amma would often call the brahmachari in charge and ask him how the work was going, and no matter what hour She would call, he would be there working—midnight, two a.m., four a.m.”

Amma said, at one point She told him to make sure and get some sleep. But he said he couldn’t, as he knew that every hour the shelters remained incomplete was another hour the evacuees had no place to rest their heads.

“Because he was so identified with the suffering of others, he was able to transcend his physical and bodily needs,” Amma said.

Amma then wondered aloud if this was the case with the paid workers? “No,” She answered Herself. “They work only eight hours a day, stopping three times to eat and two more to drink tea.”

Perhaps this is why the Ashram completed its first five shelters on January 13th and its ninth on the 25th—whereas the government has yet to finish one.

“A mother never tires of taking care of her children because she considers them here own,” Amma concluded.

She then called all the visiting devotees to come quickly for darshan, as She had much work to do and meetings to attend regarding the relief work.


“My hands have been tied”

26 January 2005 ,Amritapuri
Today marks one month. One month since the tsunami came. One month since everything changed for millions in South East Asia.

250,000—this is the death toll. But what about the number of people sent into mourning? What about the number of people rendered homeless? What about the number who lost their source of income? Their ability to sleep through the night? For them—the survivors—one month ago everything changed. And for one month now they’ve been waiting for it to change back.
Each day many come to Amma, and their eyes say it all.
Death does not negotiate; it forces you to accept. And this is what is happening—slowly, with each passing week, the villagers are coming more and more to terms with the empty spaces left in their lives.
Now, it’s the other things—the things that are actually possible to fight—about which they are coming to Amma.
“Amme! What should I do?” one woman asked Amma a few days back. “My daughter just had a baby. She is staying at my sister’s house now, but I am not sure how long her husband will allow it. There is no proper place for her at the shelters. There is no privacy.”
“I can’t sleep,” another told Amma. “It is just one big room there with everyone sleeping together—the men, the women, the children. We’ve never lived like this before. My daughter is all grown up; it makes me uncomfortable. How many more days will we have to stay like this? With the turning of each day, our hopes are dying. Our house is still standing, but to sleep there is terrifying; its structure is no longer sound. Everything inside was washed away. The government is not interested. Amma, you have to look after us. You have to help us. If Amma even thinks it, I know it will happen.”
Amma says that when she hears such things, it pains her.
“It’s as if someone is lying in front of me who has been in an accident and I want to rush them to the hospital, but my hands are tied behind my back,” Amma told one of the ladies. “We are ready to build any number of houses, but the government won’t give us the plan or any guidance. There is no support corresponding with the level of the Ashram’s inspiration. We just need the government to give us the plan. They are not moving fast enough according to the pain and suffering of the people.”
Since the tsunami, the Ashram has built temporary shelters for some 250 families in the Alappad Panchayat alone—and for another 300 families in Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu. It has also lent five acres of land to the Kerala government for it to build temporary shelters on as well, and is accommodating 2,000 villagers at the Amrita University engineering college—despite the fact that Christmas vacation has long since ended. Amma says she was happy that the Ashram was able to get the shelters up so quickly, but that now she is saddened to hear the sorrows of the villagers. She is impatient to get the construction of the new houses started.
The villagers’ hardships are seemingly unending. With their fishing nets and boats lost or damaged beyond repair, the fishermen have no way to work. And even the ones who have the means to fish are not going out to sea. They say the fish are not where they are supposed to be, that the sea has strange undercurrents now, and even when they make a size able catch they are not able to sell it at a decent price.
Others villagers are finding themselves in awkward social situations—such as parents who had arranged the marriage of their children but now the groom or bride-to-be is dead. In some cases, all the money and jewellery for the wedding has been lost in the flood—or even their entire home. “How can my daughter get married now?” they ask Amma. “What can we do?”
Some women are in the final stage of pregnancy but have no proper place to rest. The sick have no chairs to sit on, no cots to lie down upon at the camps.
At the shelters, many of the men have begun sleeping in the open air, out of consideration for the women. “They are trying to be strong,” Amma says, “but many are suffering from depression.” They have no work, and they don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.
If it wasn’t for the food and the roof put over the head by the Ashram, who knows what they would be doing. In fact, on January 10th, when Amma walked from the Ashram to the Azhikkal in order to offer Her prayers for the dead, she was approached by a group of strong young men who were boiling with anger at how little help they were being offered by the government. They boldly declared, “If not for what you have done, Amma, we would have simply taken to terrorism!”
The Ashram has not stopped serving food since the day the tsunami struck—first at the 12 relief camps, then at the temporary shelters and at 22 food counters up and down the Beach Road.
But it has not been easy.
There is no way to calculate how many people will come to take food on any given day. Seemingly at random, one day it’s more, one day it’s less. According to the brahmachari in charge, one of the problems is the phenomenon of what have come to be known as “tsunami tourists,” people who take drives down Beach Road to view the damage and then—having no other place to get food—eat at the Ashram counters.
The brahmacharis preparing and transporting the food are under a lot of pressure. Amma has told them to make sure that not one serving spoon of food is wasted. So they have to be very careful not to make too much. At the same time, if they make too little and run out, the villagers may have to wait for them to cook more—this is also unacceptable.
The solution is a delicate dance: they prepare a set amount of rice and then keep the water to cook more on the cusp of a boil. The brahmachari in charge of transporting the food out to the Beach Road counters carries a mobile phone, and as soon as he is sure they need more rice, he puts in the call to the kitchen. The same thing is done with the curry. After the first batch is made, a base is prepared to which the final ingredients are added only if they get the call. If more is not needed, that base can be used for the next meal’s curry.
There are other pressures too. Amma has repeatedly told the brahmacharis doing this work that they must make sure that no strangers come into the kitchen, behind the serving counters or into the vehicles transporting the food. She is worried that some malicious person may try to contaminate the food. She has also told the brahmacharis that they should not eat until all of the villagers have been served.
The other day, the brahmachari in charge of the kitchen was conveying some of these problems to Amma during darshan. Amma agreed with him that the situation was difficult. “It’s only by grace that we’ve been able to do what we are doing,” she told him. Indeed, serving all these people—every day, three times a day, for one month now—would be impossible by human effort alone.
Amma explained to him that she feels the pain of the villagers. “They’ve been put into a position where all they can do is take what is offered,” she told the brahmachari. “They are unsatisfied in so many ways. Nothing anyone is offering them in this current situation is enough—work, money, shelter… At least we can fill their stomachs. Let them at least be able to say the word ‘enough’ three times a day.”
On the medical front, the Ashram doctors continue to work around the clock. Talking with the villagers these days, it is clear that the doctors have really created awareness amongst them regarding the possibility of epidemics breaking out and the methods to safeguard themselves against them. Again, Amma says, “It is only due to grace that no diseases have broken out in the village.”
The Ashram doctors have also been sending women in the final stages of pregnancy to AIMS for antar-natal checkups and deliveries. They’ve even arranged for seven women who lost all their children in the tsunami to go to AIMS to see if doctors there can reverse their contraceptive tubal-ligation surgeries. It is the hope of the couples and of Amma that they once again will be able to know the joys of parenthood.
And it’s not only the villagers of Alappad who’ve been coming to Amritapuri seeking Amma’s help. On three different occasions, people from various villages in Nagapattinam, the hardest-hit district in Tamil Nadu, have also made the pilgrimage to the Ashram. Some of those villagers said they were told specifically by M.J. Radhakrishanan, the District Collector of Nagapattinam, to go to Amma and ask for her help. In their district, many big companies have started constructing houses, but the villagers are insisting that Amma also should build some. She has agreed—adopting two villages and promising to build 2,000 homes in three villages altogether.
People have even flown all the way from Sri Lanka to supplicate to Amma for her grace and financial assistance. The other day, one such man came for Amma’s darshan with folded hands: “So many have died in our country, and now many of the survivors are committing suicide because of the intensity of their grief,” he said. “They need peace of mind and consolation.”
Amma has even received a letter of invitation to come to Sri Lanka from Sri. K.N. Douglas Devananda, a minister holding four offices in the country. “The devastation is unparalleled in our known history,” he wrote. “The victims need spiritual healing, solace, succour and blessing.”
Amma has said that She would love to build 3,000 houses in the island country—stressing that all are Her children, not just the people of India. But it is difficult to arrange the work, as according to Indian law the Ashram cannot expend funds in another country. For the time being, She has sent Swami Ramakrishnananda, Brahmachari Vinayamrita Chaitanya and a few other brahmacharis to look into the potential for Ashram assistance in the country.
As for Amma, one has never seen Her more busy. Even as she gives darshan, she is constantly dealing with various aspects of the relief work. And when darshan is finished, She continues all night long in her room—meeting with people in person and on the phone—government officials, village leaders, brahmacharis in charge of construction… Anyone who walks by can see that her light is on all night. She takes no rest at all.
Amma is impatient. Her prayers are the same as the villagers’: she wants their houses up, she wants the men working again, she wants everyone’s life to be back on track. If everyone had this intensity…

Sri Lankan government invites Amma to bring peace to the island

22 January 2005 — Colombo, Sri Lanka

Sri. K.N. Douglas Devananda—the Honourable Minister of Agricultural Marketing Development, Co-operative Development, Hindu Affairs and Minister Assisting Education and Vocational Training—invited Her Holiness Sri Mata Amritanandamayi to Sri Lanka “to bless Sri Lankans of all faiths and races and to bring peace and prosperity in their lives.”

In his letter, he requested Amma to come for four days, specifically to visit the areas of Batticaloa, Ampara, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Hambantota, Galle and Matara.

“We are deeply touched by the great spiritual and humanitarian work undertaken by Your Holiness and by your Ashram to the poor and needy people in many parts of the world,” he wrote.

“Your gesture to dedicate one billion Indian rupees for the welfare of tsunami victims will surely inspire many other organisations to do likewise.”

In response, Amma has already sent Swami Ramakrishnananda, Brahmachari Vinayamrita Chaitanya and three other brahmacharis from the Ashram.

The Honourable Minister appealed to Amma, stating how several thousand Sri Lankans died in the tsunami and several thousand others have been rendered homeless. “The devastation is unparalleled in our known history. The victims need spiritual healing, solace, succour and blessing.”


Amma, please come to Nagapattinam

20 January 2005 — Amritapuri

Some 15 villagers from the Nagapattinam District of Tamil Nadu came to Amritapuri. The fishermen asked Amma to help them overcome their fear of water and begged her to come to Nagapattinam.

Amma has donated five boat engines to Nagapattinam villagers who have lost theirs to the tsunami flood. The engines service five-man fishing boats. Thus 25 people will soon be able to restart their fishing trade.

The Ashram is also looking into replacing small fishing boats lost by local villagers as well as fishing nets.

The Ashram has agreed to finance the education of tsunami victims from Azhikkal [Alappad Panchayat, Kollam District, Kerala]. The girls will pursue their bachelor’s of education degrees at BEd College (for Teacher’s) in Mysore.

Tsunami, Population Explosion & Kali Yuga

20 January 2005 — Amritapuri

The good news is, according to some estimations, we’ve already completed 5,107 years of Kali Yuga. The bad news is we have 426,893 more to go.

In the 12th chapter of the Srimad Bhagavatam*, Suka Maharishi gives King Parikshit a detailed account of what life will be like in the age “when only a quarter of the four feet of dharma remain.” What he describes is disturbing: a world steeped in darkness, where greed, lust, thievery, poor physical and mental health and spiritual ignorance reign supreme.

Furthermore, Sage Suka says that in the Kali Yuga the harmony between man and nature will be lost, resulting in mass destruction through natural disasters and extreme weather: “Already oppressed by famine and taxation, people will perish through drought, cold, storms, sunshine, rain, snowfall and mutual conflict.”

When one reads this, it’s hard to not think of the tsunami.

Recently when asked about the cause of the tsunami, Amma pointed to man’s exploitation of nature, the cause of which is two-fold—adharmic actions stemming from lack of faith in God and the world’s population problem.

“The Srimad Bhagavatam gives a clear picture of Kali Yuga,” Amma said. “In Kali Yuga, man will cut trees and build houses. Houses will become business centres. Temples will be exploited for material gains. All these have become true these days. By developing faith in God, the lost harmony can be regained. Faith in God indicates abiding in a dharmic way of life. Traffic rules help to maintain order on roads. Similarly, living a dharmic life will help us to bring harmony in our lives. These days, suppose a family is comprised of three people—all three of them will live like isolated islands. Sanatana Dharma says that we are all links on the same chain, but today everybody wants to grab as much as they can. Readiness to give is most needed.”

“Now there is no longer any rain when it is supposed to rain. If it does rain, there is either too little or too much, and it comes too early or too late. It is the same with sunshine. Nowadays humans are trying to exploit nature. This is why there are floods, draughts and earthquakes, and everything is being destroyed. There is a tremendous decline in the quality of life. Many people have lost faith. They do not feel any love and compassion, and the spirit of working together, hand in hand, for the good of all, has been lost. This will have a bad effect on nature. Nature will withdraw all her blessings and turn against man. Unimaginable will be nature’s reaction if man continues like this.”


–Amma, from “Man & Nature” (1994)

“We are taking three times more than what we need from Nature,” Amma said. “We cut trees, dig bore wells, build dams against free-flowing water, cut stones from the mountains—thus goes on the list of exploitation.”

This was the third time in the past year that Amma had spoken to the ashramites about the growing disharmony between man and Mother Nature—each time focusing on the population problem:

“Controlling the population explosion is the best way to control the exploitation of nature,” Amma said. “It is enough to have just one child. In case a couple needs more, they can adopt an orphan.”

Amma said that the world’s birth-rate is continually increasing and its death-rate decreasing. She has specifically mentioned India and Bangladesh as being places where this problem is particularly out of hand. “If things continue the way they are, in 30 years India will have the No.1 population problem,” Amma said.

“Population has increased by hundreds of millions, but the size of the earth has not increased,” Amma said. “Because of this, man has started exploiting the eco-system. Trees that purify the atmosphere are mercilessly cut down and factories are built in order to cater to our ever-increasing needs.”

Amma said we must control the population and make others aware about the problem. “It is best if couples have just one child,” Amma said. “We should create this awareness in India. This will save us from poverty, hunger and the loss of our culture.”

“Some religions are against controlling the population,” Amma said. “This may be in some religious texts, but if so then the texts need to be changed.”

Amma admitted that limiting the number of children they have could be difficult for some couples because of the strength of their vasanas [tendencies]. “But it can be done,” She said, citing for example the sacrifice some Indian families make when the husband temporarily relocates to a Gulf country in order to make more money. “For everything, we need control,” Amma said. The implication was clear: we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of our immediate family; we need to become more expansive and become willing to make such sacrifices for the sake of this one-world family.

Reading the Bhagavatam, one realizes the horror of Kali Yuga is not a thing of the future. True, things can get even worse, but we are already very much in the Age of Kali. Almost all of Sage Suka’s predictions have already come true.

Since the tsunami, many TV reporters and newspaper journalists have asked Amma about its cause and how to prevent such tragedies from repeating. Amma has been telling them that we must stop our exploitation: “Go back to your dharma. When we lose our dharma, nature also loses its dharma. The harmony is lost.”

With regard to population problem, Amma said, “On one side, we are free to create as many children as we want. But on the other side, nature can destroy all of them in one fell swoop.”

“The tsunami was a warning, but no one heard it,” Amma said. “It is easy to wake up someone who is sleeping, but difficult to wake up someone who is pretending to be asleep.”



*Srimad Bhagavatam is a text written at least 5,000 years ago by Sage Veda Vyasa. It details the incarnations of Lord Vishnu and details many aspects of the modern world.

Ashram continues money distribution

18 January 2005

Ashram continued its distribution of Rs. 1,000 to families of Alappad today, serving the remaining six wards of the panchayat.

At the request of tsunami volunters from Sri Lanka, Amma has sent Swami Ramakrishnananda to the island country.

Ashram has completed a total of eight temporary-shelter halls in Srayikkad, housing some 200 families.

From of some of the government relief camps, 2,000 more evacuees have come to Amma’s camp at Amrita University.