Darshan in Mananthavady

Darshan in the hills

26 – 27 February 2007 — Manantavadi, Wayanad District, Kerala


In order to get to Manantavadi, in Kerala’s Wayanad District, from Amritapuri, one must traverse some rather treacherous terrain. The small town is nestled in the range of hills that separate Kerala from Mysore. To reach there from the south, one must negotiate NH 212, which twists and turns 3,000 feet up the face of very impressive hill. Ascending, one sees families of monkeys in the trees, spectacular yet vertigo-inducing views of the valley below, as well as the occasional rusted remains of some Maruti that didn’t quite make that last turn.

Amma’s ashram is even further up, amongst the coffee and tea plantations for which the area is renowned. The mornings are cold, covered in mist and in general make for easily divorcing one’s mind from the turmoil of life below.

Manantavadi has deep roots in the spiritual heritage of Bharat. Sage Valmiki, the author of the Ramayana, is believed to have had an ashram nearby, and it was there that Sita stayed during her temporary exile from Rama’s kingdom. Even Lord Brahma is said to have spent time there when first surveying his creation.

Regardless of Wayanad’s beauty and historic past, life has not been very kind to the area’s tribal population. The changes in the past couple hundred years have left the majority of them behind—undereducated, underpaid, undernourished… They have survived only by sticking together, and as such it was impossible to separate them, literally. During Amma’s programs in Manantavadi, the men and women would not leave each other, even to go for darshan, for which two lines are traditionally created—one for the men and one for the women. For Amma, it was not a problem. She instructed the people in charge of the queues to allow them to come in the same line.

During the past 15 years or so, the Ashram has initiated a vast array of programs for Wayanad’s tribal population—the Amrita Kripa Charitable Hospital for tribals in Kalpetta, outreach medical camps, village resource centres, cottage-industry cooperatives, adult education programs… But healing a people in terms of healthcare and education is only half of the battle. The emotional devastation caused by poverty and disease are not so easily remedied. For such ailments, love is the only medicine, and that is exactly what the thousands of them who came for Amma’s darshan received. Many of them—men and women—were in tears after coming out of Amma’s arms.


On the second night Amma was in Manantavadi, the tribal people performed traditional dances, set to the music of percussion and flute for Amma. Theirs is a slow, sad dance, and one cannot help but wonder if it was always that way. Their first performance took place on the dais, behind Amma as she gave darshan. But later in the evening Amma called them back for an encore—this time in front of the dais, she that she could watch them properly.

Amma has been travelling around the world almost non-stop for the past 20 years now. In the olden days, one had to come searching for the Guru. But Amma’s way is different. No matter how long or arduous the travel, she’ll come looking for her children—be it Barcelona or Manhattan, the Black Forest or the Gold Coast, the mountains of Switzerland or the hills of Wayanad.



Amma won’t let you sleep

Amma won’t let you sleep

Shivaratri Celebrations

16 February 2007 — Amritapuri


Sanatana Dharma has two types of festivals: festivals of rejoicing and festivals of austerity. Shivaratri is typically considered a festival of austerity—a night wherein food and sleep are forgone so that one can spend their time in remembrance of the divine. But with Amma, there are no black and whites. And who is to say austerity and rejoicing cannot go hand-in-hand?

It has been a long time since Amma has been in Amritapuri during Shivaratri. For the past 20 years, Amma has almost always been travelling as part of her Bharata Yatra during the festival. And Amma’s India Tour is nothing but Shivaratri after Shivaratri after Shivaratri—night after night of devotees and disciples trying to keep up with Amma as she gives darshan from dusk till dawn. As such, when Shivaratri proper comes around, not much is made of it.

This year Amma’s Bharata Yatra started a little later than usual, so the Shivaratri fell in between the first and second leg of the tour. On the auspicious night, the ashram residents assembled in the bhajan hall around 10:00 and began singing songs of Lord Shiva. It was only after a couple such songs that Amma came from her room to join everyone.

“How long is Shivaratri?” Amma asked everyone. Was Amma asking how long tradition dictates one stays physically awake on the holiday or was she asking how long her children were going to remember God?

Amma then began to lead everyone in bhajans dedicated to Lord Shiva. One of the bhajans Amma sang was “Prabhum Isham,” a very old song that Amma herself has not sung in many, many years.

After singing three or four songs about the Lord, Amma stopped and began talking about the significance of Shivaratri.

“How many days are there in one year?” Amma asked.

“365,” everyone replied.

“So, God is watching over you 365 days a year,” Amma said. “But Shivaratri is the one night wherein we are asked to sacrifice and watch over God, taking a vow of fasting and maintain vigil at night. God is always present within us—wide awake. We, on the other hand, are fast asleep. This is why we are unable to recognize the divine presence. All the different experiences of life are just like the dreams we experience in our sleep. If we really want to experience that divine presence, we need to forgo sleep as an act of renunciation for at least one day.”

“Food and sleep are the most important things to us. No one is ready to give them up just like that. Only when we develop a liking for remembering God will we be able to fast and forgo sleep without suffering.”

Amma then said that staying awake does not mean just merely keeping the eyes open, but means maintaining awareness of one’s thoughts, words and actions. “Ignorance disappears with the dawning of such awareness,” Amma said. “Darkness is not something that can be physically removed. But when we let in light, darkness automatically ceases to exist. In the same way, when true knowledge awakens, the darkness of ignorance disappears. Then we awaken to eternal light.”

Amma then related one of the Puranic stories from which comes the significance of staying awake all night on Shivaratri—the time the demons and the gods churned the ocean in order to obtain amrita [the nectar of immortality]. “When they did this, the first thing to come to the surface was a deadly poison,” Amma said. “It is said that Lord Shiva drank this poison in order to protect humanity from it. Here, the dreaded poison represents our prarabdha karmas1. Lord Shiva, in the form of the Guru, accepts our prarabdha and protects us.”

Amma then told another element of the story, saying that in order to protect Lord Shiva from the poison, everyone around him maintained vigil throughout the night. Amma explained how when someone is bit by a snake, the doctor will force him to stay awake as to do so lessens the effect of the poison and can ultimately save his life.

“To prevent the snake-bite victim from falling asleep, his friends and family will sing and dance and pour water over his head,” Amma said.  “They will also make him drink bitter medicines. Onlookers may feel sorry for the patient. They might even say, ‘Poor guy! Just let him close his eyes for a while! Why are you troubling him like this?’ But the doctor knows that if he is allowed to fall asleep that he may die.”

Amma said that the Guru is like this doctor. He will do anything and everything to keep us awake. We may not like it. He will make you drink bitter medicines in the form of experiences. But all this is done with the our higher good in mind—to awake us and keep us awake. Amma said that this is why people consider the guru their enemy.

“Unfortunately, many prefer to remain in darkness,” Amma said. “If God were to come before them and offer them liberation now itself, they would say, ‘Now, we want to watch TV. Will you please come later?’

Some of the devotees and disciples gathered for the holiday expressed disagreement, not wishing for Amma to think they considered her their enemy. Amma laughed and said, “We’ll see. Amma will test.” And then Amma snapped her fingers a few times, indicating how confident she was that they would consider her the enemy once she started her tests.

“Lord Shiva is the kaala-kaalan [the death of time],” Amma said. “This means that he removes the time-bound notions that ‘I was born, am growing and will die,’ and bestows the awareness of eternity.”

Amma then explained that people often turn towards God when they undergo a lot of hardship and sorrow in life. In those moments, they often come across the light of God. But to maintain this vision, we must maintain alertness,” Amma said.

Amma then explained the inner meaning to why Shiva’s eyes are always half-closed: “Even when mahatmas see the external world, their eyes remain focused on their True Self. They see the world verily as their Self. Their wisdom is clearly expressed in all their actions.”

Amma concluded by saying that Shivaratri also represent the marriage of Lord Shiva, the embodiment of knowledge, and Parvati Devi, the embodiment of pure love. “One attains completeness when knowledge and love come together. May my children’s hearts also become full of true knowledge and love. May my children be become the light of the entire world.”


When Amma finished her talk, it was almost 1:00 a.m. “What now?” Amma asked. Someone suggested that Amma should dance. But Amma had an idea of her own—the promised testing was bout to begin—”One of you should dance!” Amma said. Eventually her eyes fell on one brahmachari from Kashmir—the land of Shaivism. He agreed. He rose to his feet, stood before Amma and offered his pranam. The music started: “Bolo Bolo Sabmilla Bolo Om Namah Shivaya.” For the next 20 minutes Amma and the ashramites sang the ecstatic song in praise of Lord Shiva while the brahmachari offered his devotional dance to Amma—in front of 5,000 people. It seemed like Amma would sing the bhajan all night long. She just   kept going and going, calling out louder and louder, raising the tempo faster and faster.

It was the middle of the night, but everyone in Amritapuri was wide awake—inside and out.

Was Shivaratri in Amritapuri a festival of austerity or of rejoicing?


1 The results of our past actions that are destined to bear fruit in this life.

Arjuna Chooses Grace

Before the Mahabharata battle began, Lord Krishna gave Arjuna and Duryodhana a choice. Krishna told them, ‘I can give My entire army to one of you but I will not come. Or, I can come without any weapons as your charioteer and My army will help your foe. Which do you choose, Me or My army?’ Without hesitation Arjuna said, ‘I want you, Lord. You alone are enough. I do not need the army.’

Now within the battle itself, Arjuna had a fight with Karna who was a far superior archer. Intending to severe Arjuna’s head, Karna shot a divine missile. Lord Krishna, Arjuna’s charioteer, foresaw this great karmic danger coming towards Arjuna. Immediately, the compassionate Lord made the five horses kneel down and pushed the chariot wheels a few inches down into the earth by pressing hard with his big toe. This made the arrow take away Arjuna’s crown without injuring any part of his body.

There are a few points to remember regarding this story. First, the Lord was Arjuna’s charioteer. This means that Arjuna chose the Lord to be the one to hold the reins of his life’s chariot. Arjuna knew how to discriminate. He chose the Divine Lord alone to help him. That makes a big difference. The Grace of the Lord lets the karmic arrow pass over your head, maybe destroying an insignificant crown or something similar, but saving you from a fatal mishap.

Second, Duryodhana and the Kauravas were a much bigger and better army than Arjuna and the Pandavas. They had many great warriors and were stronger in every way. Duryodhana and his army represent human power and strength without the aspect of Grace. Thus, as a result of their arrogance, wickedness, and egotism, the Kauravas were ruined. However, Arjuna and the Pandavas were able to win the battle through effort coupled with the Grace of the Lord.

Darshan by the Sea

Darshan by the Sea

Bharata Yatra 2007

10 February 2007 — Tiruvananthapuram, Kerala


The waves were breaking just 50 feet from where Amma was giving darshan. Fishermen were hauling in their catches during bhajans. And the salty ocean air blew across the 40,000 people assembled for Amma’s program in Trivandrum all night long.

In fact it was Amma’s idea to hold the 2007 Trivandrum program in Sanka Mukham, a stretch of beach right near the international airport—a location famous for the annual ritual bathing of the Vishnu idol from the area’s ancient Padmanabhan Swami Temple.

Amma was welcomed by Gauri Lakshmi Bai, the Princess of Tranvancore, who mentioned how the land was considered sacred. “This is the place where Sri Padmanabhan takes the arattu [ritual bathing],” she said. The sweetness of motherhood, the bliss of peace, the spiritual consciousness, Oh, Mother, we welcome you.”

Amma began her satsang talking briefly about Padmanabhan—Lord Vishnu depicted reclining on Ananta Sayana, the serpent who is his eternal companion and resting place. “Talking about Padmanabhan is like talking about sugar,” Amma said. “It is sweet all around. He is lying down not to sleep, but to awaken you.”

Among the dignitaries to grace the dais were Sri. Veerendra Kumar, MP; Sri. Swarendran Pillai, MLA; Smt. Mari Viji; and Sri. K. Karunakaran.

In his talk, Veerendra Kumar said, “In a world of violence and terror, Amma has come whispering the mantra of peace and love. This is a moment for all of us to introspect. This will help us to learn about our mind. It cannot be expressed in words. It has to be experienced. Just like the bliss of the Self, it is beyond words. Wherever blessings, peace and help are needed, Amma comes. When the tsunami came, many were lost. Those who survived needed peace and consolation. What the government was not able to do, what the organizations were not able to do, Amma did—she reached out with a great peace and protection.”

Veerendra Kumar also took pride in Amma’s use of Malayalam. “At the UN—through Malayalam, with simple words—Amma opened a great vision of the world. Only Amma was able to do it. Wherever Amma goes, she only speaks in her language. Her words are not some complicated puzzle; they are like those of a mother talking to her children. Those words are the keys to the Self. Amma’s love reach into hearts, into lives, into families.”

Veerendra Kumar helped Amma distribute pension checks to new enrolees in the Ashram’s Amrita Nidhi Pension Project. These were representative of 1,000 new pensioners in the Trivandrum area. Sewing machines were also given to 100 impoverished women by Gauri Lakshmi Bai.


The goddess of Kanya Kumari

The goddess of Kanya Kumari

Bharata Yatra 2007

8 February 2007 — Kanya Kumari, Tamil Nadu


Amma was welcomed to Kanyakumari by a collection of samnyasin monks and selfless-service workers, including Swami Chaitanyananda Maharaj of Vivekananda Ashram; Swami Jagadiswarananda of the Sivananda Hospital in Pattamala; Sri. Banudas, the general secretary of Kanyakumari’s Vivekananda Kendra; Sri. Muthuswami, the chief of the RSS for the Kanyakumari District; and Dr. Deiva Prakash, the secretary of Seva Bhar. The Collector of Kanyakumari District, Sri. Sunil Palival, IAS; and former Railway Minister Sri. O. Rajagopal were also on hand.

At the outset of the evening’s program, Swami Chaitanyananda welcomed Amma with an address, comparing her compassion to that of Sri Sarada Devi, the wife of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, the guru with which his parampara [line of knowledge] began. The swami told of how once when Sarada Devi was leaving Calcutta, all the disciples of Ramakrishna went to take her blessings, except one. When asked why he wasn’t going to take her blessings, the monk said, “I am a samnyasin. I have no father or mother.” Someone informed Sarada Devi about what the monk had said, and she replied, “He may not bother about mother and all, but everyone is my child. I will go to him.” When the swami saw that Sarada Devi had come to say goodbye to him, he broke down in tears and begged for her forgiveness. Having finished the story, Swami Chaitanyananda drove home his point: “Amma has not visited Kanyakumari for two years. I do not know how many of us have bothered to go to Kollam [Amritapuri] to see Amma, but Amma has come here to meet all her children. God is more compassionate than the worldly mother who feeds her child whenever the child is hungry. God is more compassionate because he attends to all the needs.”


Amma personally gave 10 new enrollees in the Ashram’s Amrita Nidhi pension program their certificates of enrolment and first checks. These were representative of 1,000 new such beneficiaries in the Kanyakumari area. Sewing machines and tailoring accessories were also distributed to 10 impoverished ladies; these were representative of a 100 such women in the area that the Ashram is trying to uplift by expanding their financial horizons.

To the delight of devotees, Amma sang “Devi Jaganmata,” a song in praise of Kanyakumari Devi, the goddess synonymous with the seaside town.

nila kadal-karayil tapam cheyyum
nitya kanyakaye mari kumari amma
enakkum vantu varam taruvai

Performing austerities on the shore of the blue sea.
Eternal virgin! Mari Kumari Amma!
Please come and give me a boon.

Then, at the very start of darshan, Amma’s Kanyakumari devotees came and bedecked her with a silk orange sari, necklace and crown in the vein of the virgin goddess who is said to eternally perform austerities on the shore of Kanyakumari. In fact, the backdrop for the dais was a photo of Vivekananda Rock, which is situated right off the shore from the Kanyakumari Temple. In the bright lights of the stage, Amma’s nose ring was shining brightly, just like that of the goddess in the legendary temple.



As With Vivekanada, So With Amma

As With Vivekanada, So With Amma

Bharata Yatra 2007

6 February 2007 — Ramnad, Tamil Nadu


After the maha-samadhi of his guru, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Swami Vivekananda wandered for several years throughout the length and breadth of India. Towards the end of this period of parikrama, the spiritual visionary met two kings who encouraged him to act upon his idea of going to America in order to propagate Vedanta—the Maharaja of Mysore, and Bhaskara Setupati, the ruler of Ramnad [a.k.a. Ramanathapuram].

Both kings offered to bear all of Vivekananda’s travel expenses. Swamiji left for America in 1893, where he won over countless hearts and minds through his discourses at the Conference of World Religions in Chicago. Swamiji returned to India in 1897. When Vivekananda came through Ramnad on his journey homeward, the horses carrying his carriage were unhitched and Bhaskara Setupati and the people of Ramnad drew Swamiji through the streets themselves—such was their respect and devotion for the dynamic samnyasin.

On 6 February 2007, during Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi’s first darshan program in Ramnad, Sri. Hassan Ali, a Ramnad MLA, addressed the 15,000-strong gathering. In the presence of Amma and the current Raja of Ramnad, Sri. Kumaran Setupatti, Hassan Ali reminded everyone of Swami Vivekananda’s historic visits to Ramnad more than 100 years prior. He also said that that Bhaskaran Setupati had deputed his grandfather to see Swami Vivekanada off to America and to welcome him upon his return to India soil.

Today, we are having with us one of the best-born of India, he said of Amma. Ramnad has been identified as the most backward district in Tamil Naduonly in material, not in spiritual. Vivekananda came to Ramnad during the time of Bhaskar Setupatti, then King of Ramnad. And during his time, one man was deputed to send Vivekananda to America. His name was Lembe Nena Marakkayar  and I am his great grandson. He welcomed Vivekananda. Today, I welcome Mata here. Mata, welcome to our place.


Lauding Amma as a spiritual master and humanitarian, and specifically thanking her for the Amrita Kuteeram houses the Ashram has built in Rameswaram, Hassan Ali asked everyone to join with him in prayer. “May I request you all to pray with me that Mata gets the Noble Peace Prize next time,” he said.

Sri. Suba Thangavelan, Minister for Housing and Slum Clearance, Sri. Muthu Swami, the District Collector of Ramnad; and Bhavani Rajendar, MP, were also on hand to welcome Amma to Ramnad. The government officials helped distribute pension checks to widows and handicapped people as part of the Ashram’s Amrita Nidhi Project, as well as distributed sewing machines to impoverished women in order to help expand their financial horizons. This marked the inauguration of the Amrita Nidhi Project in Ramnad, with a 1,000 beneficiaries being allotted in the area. A total of 100 sewing machines and accessory kits were distributed.

Many of the devotees present for the program were from the Ashram’s Amrita Kuteeram housing colony in Rameswaram, which is situated 59 kilometres from Ramnad.

Darshan continued on until 10:45 the next morning.



Making unniyappam

Cooking her children

Bharata Yatra 2007

5 February 2007 — Madurai, Tamil Nadu


Once, a guru and his disciples were travelling by foot. There were about 40 disciples in all, and they all dressed like the guru, wearing white dhotis and shawls. The guru’s head and face were clean-shaven, and so were those of the disciples. By appearance, there was absolutely no way to tell the master from his students. A few hours before sun set, the group stepped off the dirt road they were walking down and entered a field of cool grass, where it was there intention to meditate, cook dinner and sleep for the night.

In the field, stood an old well framed with bricks. Everyone in the group was quite tired from the long day’s walk, so they quickly drew some water and set about making chai. Within a half an hour, the guru and his 40 disciples were sitting together enjoying a cup of tea. It was at this point that a lone traveller came walking down the road. When he came to the field where the guru and disciples were camped, he paused for a moment and watched them. Then suddenly, he walked over to the guru and offered his prostrations before him. As he lay at the guru’s feet, the guru leaned down and blessed him with the touch of his hand. The man then stood up, took leave and continued on his journey.

Watching this interaction, one young disciple immediately had a doubt. “We are all dressed them same. We all have shaven heads and beards. And when that man approached us, none of us were showing any external sign of reverence for our guru? How was this man able to tell him apart from the rest of us?” With this question in his mind, he put down his glass of tea and hurried after the traveller.

When the young monk caught up with the man, he expressed his doubt. The man smiled and responded, “When I first saw you, I knew that you were all monks. But, indeed, I could not tell who the Master was. But then I looked at the manner in which all of you were drinking your tea. For 40 of you, there was nothing special about it—just a group of men enjoying a cup of chai. But when my eyes fell upon your guru, it was as if I was watching something completely different. In fact, the way he held his cup of chai reminded me of the way a mother holds her child. His every action and look were full of love, reverence and compassion. It was as if he was not holding an insentient object at all, but God Himself embodied in a metal cup. Seeing this, it was infinitely clear to me that he was the master, so I walked directly up to him and offered my pranam.”

There was a special incident on the first leg of Amma’s 2007 Bharata Yatra. It took place in Amma’s Madurai ashram, in the mid-morning after the conclusion of the program there. Amma’s darshan had gone on till almost five o’clock that morning. And as such everyone was just starting to get ready to load all the buses and lorries for the trip to Ramanathapuram. It was at this time that Amma suddenly walked out of her room and up the stairs to the ashram’s roof, where all the brahmacharis were staying.

A chair was brought and Amma soon sat down, everyone filling in as close to her as possible. But Amma did not want this. She told everyone to clear a little bit of space and to remove all the straw sleeping mats that were covering the floor. A temporary thatched roof had been erected to shelter the brahmacharis from the sun, and Amma told some of them to cover the section of the thatch work above her with a sheet. Then one brahmachari came up the stairs carrying a gas cylinder and burner for cooking. He was followed by a couple of brahmacharinis carrying a large metal frying pot, a drum of cooking oil and a large bowl of batter. Amma was going to fry unni appam1.

The burner was lit and the oil poured into the pot. By now, all the 500 or so disciples and devotees helping with Amma’s tour had come to the roof.


Amma tested the heat of the oil by dropping a small piece of batter into the pot and seeing how quickly it rose to the surface. “These are my children,” Amma joked, referring to how the guru uses the heat of experiences to prepare the mind of the disciple. When she felt the oil was ready, Amma began placing scoop after scoop of batter into the oil. And for some time, she continued her joke, naming the different balls of batter after various brahmacharis and brahmacharinis. As the appams became ready, two or three brahmacharinis sitting near Amma began removing them from the oil using metal sticks. These were then place into a bowl for Amma to distribute by hand later.

For the next half an hour or so, 500 grown people simply watched Amma cook unni appam. Not much was said—not by Amma, nor by her children. Yet everyone was riveted. They hung on Amma’s every movement, every gesture. What was so fascinating about it? Ostensibly, it was nothing but a woman cooking snacks. So why was everyone so engrossed? Spellbound even? The answer lies in the way Amma scooped the batter, the way she poured it into the oil, the way she watched the appam transform from the inedible to the edible. Her actions were so full of love, so full of compassion, so full of knowledge. It truly was as if the appam were, as Amma had said—her children. For a mahatma like Amma, there is no such thing as the insentient. Everything is steeped in consciousness. It is this knowledge that reflects in Amma’s actions. It lends them a beauty and grace that can keep mankind fascinated for an eternity.


1 Unni appam is a ball-shaped fried sweet of Kerala, containing shredded coconut, banana, fried sesame seeds, liquid palm sugar, rice powder, ghee and coconut oil.

This government needs your blessings

“This Government Needs Your Blessings,” Says DMK Health Minister
2 February 2007 — Madurai, Tamil Nadu -Bharata Yatra 2007


Currently, the Tamil Nadu Government is headed by the DMK, a party known for being anti-religion in general and anti-Hinduism in specific. The party’s current leader, Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi, once even said that party members wearing the tilak mark on their foreheads were insulting the DMK’s founding father. As such, the fact that Karunanidhi participated in Amma’s program in Nagapattinam on the 31st has created quite a stir amongst India’s political pundits. During that program, the CM even referred to Amma as “a pearl among human beings,” praising her wisdom, love, compassion and selfless service.
need your blessings

Tonight at Medical College Grounds in Madurai, DMK party-member Sri. K.K.S.S.R. Ramachandran, the Honourable Minister for Health & Hygiene of Tamil Nadu, went even further in lauding Amma. “Amma is not cheating anyone in the name of God,” he said. “Our party’s founding father told people to ‘See God in the smile of poor.’ Today, we see Amma distributing all the money her Ashram receives to the poor, and she becomes happy seeing the joy of poor. Maybe that is why all of us see her as another form of God. Our religion says ‘Anbe Shivam’ [Love is God]. Today we can say ‘Anbe Amma’ [Love is Amma]. Such is the extent of the good she is doing to the society.”

The Health Minister continued, “Amma was not born in a fortunate, progressive community. We all know that she has treaded a difficult path and, looking at the amount of service she is doing to the society, we see her as God.”

“Karunanidhi has never spoken badly about spiritual people,” he said. “But when spiritual people were doing wrong things in the name of God, he pointed it out. Karunanidhi is the leader of the party and the leader of the state. So it was his duty to point out such faults. Amma spends all the money for giving medical help, educational support and for the programs like pension one that we have started here today. Amma is doing the work that God has to do.”

He then went on to speak specifically about the Ashram’s tsunami rehabilitation work: “When the tsunami came, religious people just prayed, ‘Oh, God, please save us!’ and then walked away. But Amma didn’t stop with prayer. She spent as much as 200 crores to help tsunami victims wiping their tears. This shows us how expansive Amma’s heart is.”
amma is love


Saying that Amma was “ruling the hearts of Tamil Nadu with her love,” Ramachandran requested Amma to extend the Ashram’s humanitarian works in the state and added that Karunanidhi and the Tamil Nadu Government would support the Ashram in all such endeavours. He specifically asked for the Ashram’s help in terms of education and healthcare.

“This land will never forget your help. This land needs your blessing. This government needs your blessing. These people need your blessing,” he said.

On behalf of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Ramachandran then inaugurated the Amrita Nidhi pension program in Madurai, handing out certificates of enrolment and checks to 10 widows and handicapped people. These were representative of 100 such new beneficiaries in the Madurai area. Sewing machines were also given to impoverished women by the Mayor of Madurai, Smt. Tenmozhi.