Amma in Delhi Ashram

29 – 30 March 2007, Brahmasthanam, New Delhi
Brahmasthanam annual festival held two days in Delhi Ashram. Amma gave satsang, bhajan & darshan both days of the program.

Wellknown world-renowned percussionist Sivamani & Talvin Singh performed for Amma. Amrita Vidyalayam children also presented diffrent dances on the stage. At the end of darshan, Amma rocked the stage singing and dancing to the tune of “Mata Rani “.

Amma s lesson: No better religion than serving poor

26 March  — New Delhi — Bharata Yatra 2007

Sri. A.K. Antony, the Honourable Minister of Defence, was one of the dignitaries to welcome Amma to New Delhi. Antony has been a supporter of Amma since his tenure serving as Kerala’s Legistative Member.

“We are all fortunate to have among us Mata Amritanandamayi Devi,” Antony said to the full hall set up in Chitaranjan Park. “The life and work of Amma need no introduction. Her teachings are of universal appeal, transcending physical and geographical barriers. Through her work she endeavours to bring a meaningful difference to the lives of many less privileged, homeless and needy people. This is during the normal times. In the wake of natural disasters like tsunami of 2004, she has really provided succour to needy people all over the country.

Amma’s dedication to humanity holds a lesson for all of us: Indeed, there is no better religion than serving the poor and feeding the starved. I sincerely ask all of you to practice Amma’s noble ideas and ideals in your real life. We must endeavour to work individually as well as collectively to make even a small difference for the betterment of those around us. There is no better example than Amma to follow in this respect.”

Antony then helped Amma distribute sewing machines to 10 impoverished women from Delhi. The Ashram has been providing these machines throughout Amma’s Bharata Yatra in order to help financially empower such women. Amma also distributed checks to new enrolees in the Ashram’s lifetime pension program for widows and disabled people—Amrita Nidhi.

—Sree

Amma is painting the picture of a new Bharat

24 March — Jaipur, Rajasthan- Bharata Yatra 2007

“Amma is the embodiment of compassion and love, and everyone is gathered here today for that love alone,” Sri. Anshuman Singh, the former Governor of Rajasthan, said to the devotees gathered for Amma’s program in Jaipur. The former governor was one of a number of dignitaries on hand to welcome Amma to the Pink City. Others included Sri. Ghanshyam Tiwari, the Honourable Minister of Higher Education for Rajasthan; Sri. Ashok Parnami, the Mayor of Jaipur; the head priest of the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain; and the Shankarcharya of Jyotir the Math.

“Today there are 360 million people in our country living below the poverty, unable to afford even two meals a day,” said former governor Singh. “They cannot even sleep due to the pangs of hunger. Yet on the other hand, there are many who are well off. Through the love that Amma teaches, it is my hope that those who have can share their good fortune with the have-nots, so that no one has to go to sleep hungry. In this way Amma is painting the picture of a new Bharat.”

Education Minister Ghanashyam Tiwari also addressed the gathering. “In today’s world the worst poverty is spiritual,” he said. “And until the humanitarian values are learned, this spiritual poverty will remain. Throughout the ages many saints and sages have spread these truths throughout Bharat, but Amma is spreading throughout the world.”

Minister Tiwari also helped Amma distribute checks to a dozen or so new enrolees in the Ashram’s lifetime pension program for widows and disabled people–Amrita Nidhi. Mayor Parnami helped Amma distribute sewing machines to 10 impoverished women from the Jaipur area. The machines are given with the intention of helping empower the women to expand their financial horizons.

—Tulasi

Related Links

Photos from Amma’s Jaipur visit 2007

Amma fills us with new inspiration: Narendra Modi

Amma’s spiritual consciousness enfolds all of humanity,the entire world is her field of action

21 March — Ahmedabad, Gujarat – Bharata Yatra 2007

Amma was welcomed to her program at Gujarat Education Society Grounds in Ahmedabad by Sri. Narendra Modi, the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat. Modi praised Amma for her service to mankind and for the inspiration she is providing to the world. He also sought her blessings for the prosperity and happiness of the people of Gujarat. “Kerala may be the centre of Amma’s activities,” Modi said, “but her spiritual consciousness enfolds all of humanity, the entire universe is her field of action.”

“The auspicious festival of Navaratri1 is currently taking place,” Modi began. “During Navaratri, we worship Shakti [the feminine aspect of God]; we offer obeisance to the Mother. And on such an auspicious occasion, Amma’s arrival in Gujarat fills us with new inspiration. On behalf of the people of Gujarat, I welcome Amma to Gujarat{sthalapurana}.”

“Blessed Amma’s concept of spirituality is one of selfless service to humanity,” the CM continued. “As Mahatma Gandhiji’s concept for freedom was in his cotton-spinning wheel and spool2… as Swami Vivekananda’s concept of spirituality was in seeing and serving God in the poor throughout Bharat… as Adi Shankaracharya’s concept of spirituality was in uniting all of India under one culture… In a similar way, Blessed Amma’s concept of spirituality lies in the roots of her spiritual activities [adhyatmika pravriti], her restlessness to serve God through the poor, to serve the poor and sorrowful. Every moment, throughout all of India, wherever help is needed by the poorest of the poor, Amma is providing.

“In Kutch, when the earthquake [2002] took place, under Amma’s instructions, from every nook and corner of our country, devotees and disciples landed in the land of Gujarat to help the people. And they remained here until the entire work was completed. Until the work was completed, they did not leave this land. Inspired by Amma, this entire army of sincere people dedicated to the service of mankind has arisen. People of all sections of society remain at the lotus feet of Amma.

“There was a time in this country, when there was a terrific line of distinction between higher-lower, touchable-untouchable. Today, we should take pride in the fact that a person like Amma, who was not born in one of society’s upper echelons, has become the centre of sraddha [faith] and prem [love] for even the upper echelons of society. So high must be the spiritual heights that Amma has attained! One Valmiki was born from the womb of a shudra [member of manual labour caste], regardless he became Sage Valmiki and, as such, has provided us with inspiration for thousands of years. In the same way, even though Amma born in an ordinary family, she has attained to the heights of spirituality, attained realization and with that spiritual power, has begun a seva yajña [a rite of selfless service involving the contributions of a large section of society] and awakened the consciousness of the people to the importance of such selfless service.

“At the roots of all her actions, there are schools, there are hospitals, there is the taking care of the poor and destitute mothers, of the ordinary people… In order to see that the basic requirements are met—whatever those requirements may be—she is putting forth effort without end. Kerala may be the centre of her activities, but her spiritual consciousness enfolds all of humanity, the entire universe is her field of action.

 

Kerala may be the centre of her [Amma’s] activities, but her spiritual consciousness enfolds all of humanity, the entire universe is her field of action. _ Narendra Modi

“Every year Amma arrives in this land of Gujarat and we receive her blessings. This land of Gujarat—through the help of the saints, rishis and human beings—should always progress forward. May clouds of sorrow never shroud this land of Gujarat. May our farmers be happy, may our villages always prosper, may a poor man never be forced to turn to begging, may he instead become strong and self-sufficient. May Gujarat prosper and be happy. May our citizens always be content. May there always be progress… We seek these blessings from Blessed Amma. If this is the purusartha [goal] of all of us and if we put forth effort, we can make this Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat a Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat in the true sense.3

“Once again, I welcome Amma to this land of Gujarat. We are always receiving her blessings, we are always receiving inspiration from her to serve God in the form of the poor. I offer my pranams to her divine feet. To all the karma-sevaks [people engaged in selfless service] who are accompanying Amma, to her devotees who have joined in this seva out of spiritual inclinations, this seva yajña of theirs—I appreciate them for all their efforts and the attitude of surrender in each spiritual aspirant. Amma has started a whole new parampara [line of spiritual education]. It is an addition worth worshipping. I offer my heartfelt gratitude to all the people who are accompanying her.

“Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat! Jai Jai Nirmala Gujarat!”

The CM then helped Amma distribute checks to 15 new enrolees of the Ashram’s lifetime pension program for widows and disabled people–Amrita Nidhi. He also distributed sewing machines along with Amma to 10 impoverished women with the aim of expanding their financial horizons.

Gujarat’s Honourable Minister of Industries, Sri. Anil Patel, also participated in the formal program, releasing a new Ashram publication—a Gujarati translation of Immortal Wisdom, Volume 2, a collection of Amma’s teachings.

—Tulasi

*************

1 In Gujarat, two Navaratris are celebrated—one in the month of Chaitram and one in the month of Aso. Literally meaning “nine nights,” Navaratri is a festival wherein the Divine Mother is worshipped in various forms for 10 days and nine nights.

2 A reference to Gandhi’s svadeshi movement of empowering India through self-reliance and encouraging Indians to make and buy Indian products.

3 Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat is a traditional way of referring to the state. It roughly can be translated as “This victorious and proud Gujarat.”

Come to Amma, go back with self-confidence

15 March — Shivaji Park, Mumbai, Maharashtra – Bharata Yatra 2007

Amma’s programs in Shivaji Park came right after the Ashram’s announcement of Amma’s spontaneous pledge of Rs. 200 crores [$45.4 million U.S] to curb suicide among farmers in Maharashtra, Kerala and other parts of India {news}. During the formal part of the program, one of Amma’s devotees shared the news of Amma’s spontaneous pledge with the 15,000 or so people gathered.
maharashtra welcomes amma

“It’s with immense joy that we announce the wonderful news that, after a discussion with the Honourable Chief Minister, Sri. Vilasrao Deshmukh, and other high government officials regarding the rising suicide rate of farmers in Maharashtra, Kerala and other parts of the country, our most beloved Amma has pledged Rs. 200 crores for the relief, rehabilitation and upliftment of affected and at-risk families. Under Amma’s guidance, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math will establish counselling centres across the country to help create awareness regarding the negative impacts of suicide and to give at-risk people the mental strength to carry on in life,” she said.

This of course was met with a large round of applause.

Among the dignitaries on hand to greet Amma to Mumbai {sthalapurana }were Sri. Chagan Bhujbal, the Honourable PWD Minister of Maharashtra; Sri. S.M. Krishna, the Honourable Governor of Maharashtra; Sri. Radhakrishnan, Honourable Chief Justice of the Mumbai High Court; and Dr. Subha Raul, the Honourable Mayor of Mumbai.
amma on screen

Sri. Chagan Bhujbal, the Honourable PWD Minister of Maharashtra, was the first to speak.  In reference to Amma’s Rs. 200 crores pledge, he said, “I am fully confident that this plan Amma has envisaged will bear fruit, unlike some of the other plans that never see the light of the day. Amma always gives love and confidence, and this is what really helps those in trouble. These people can not be helped only by money. But when they come to Amma, they go back with self-confidence.”

Governor S.M. Krishna then helped Amma distribute checks to new enrolees in the Ashram’s lifetime pension program, Amrita Nidhi, which provides financial assistance for 100,000 widows and disabled people throughout the country. Bhujbal distributed 10 sewing machines on behalf of the Ashram to local impoverished women in order to financially empower them. Chief Justice Radhakrishnan and officially released a souvenir commemorating Amma’s 2007 visit to Mumbai by handing the first copy to Mayor Subha Raul.

Many Mumbai-based musicians and singers attended the program, including santoorist Pandit Satish Vyas, musician and vocalist Sri. Uttara Kelkar, Marathi stage artist and vocalist Sri. Sudhesh Bhosale, world-renowned percussion artist Sri. Shivamani, renowned sitarist Pundit Nayan Ghosh, tablist Prafull Atle and play-back singer Smt. Anuradha Paudwal. Around midnight sitarist Pundit Nayan Ghosh, tablist Prafull Atle and Shivamani put on a small concert for Amma

—Tulasi

Related Link
Amma’s program in Sivaji Park, Mumbai Photos

Rs. 200 crore project to curb farmer suicide

Amma deeply concerned about suicide among farmers

15 March 2007 — Mumbai, Maharashtra

Chief minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh held a high-level meeting with Amma at the Sahyadri government guest house here on Thursday on the issue of suicides by farmers of Vidarbha. After the meeting Amma announced that the Ashram will undertake an Rs. 200-crore [$45.4 million U.S.] project to tackle the problem of suicides by farmers  of Maharashtra, Kerala and other states.

Amma was deeply concerned about the large number of suicides by the cotton growers of Vidarbha. During an hour-long meeting, Chief Minister Deshmukh, chief secretary D.K. Sankaran and other senior officials briefed Amma about the extent of the problem and the steps taken by the government to tackle it. Deshmukh said as a result of a series of steps taken by the state government and the Centre, the problem is now beginning to come under check. “But the problem cannot be solved through economic packages alone. What is needed is social and spiritual interventions so that the farmers realize that suicide is not the way out. In fact, it only further aggravates the problem for the families,’’ Amma commented. The CM agreed and sought Amma’s assistance in dissuading farmers from taking extreme steps. Amma stressed the need for personal counselling of the vulnerable persons. She recalled the experience of MAM volunteers in dealing with a similar problem in thw Wayanad District of Kerala.

Amma appreciated the efforts made by the Maharashtra Government and said it represented the best efforts taken by any state government to deal with the problem of farmers’ suicides. She said even though in comparison to the total number of suicides taking place in the country the suicides by farmers may be less,  in absolute terms the numbers are large enough to warrant expeditious interventions at all levels. The hysteria among farmers needs to be neutralised and associated problems like alchoholism etc. need to be remedied.

Apart from the chief minister and chief secretary, others who attended the meeting included senior cabinet minister Patangrao Kadam; ministers Balasaheb Thorat and Ramraje Njmbalkar;  principal secretaries Sarogi and Pande; divisional commissioner Amravati and Goyal; and some of Amma’s disciples and devotees.

—Sree

Amma announces Rs. 200 crore project to Curb farmer suicide

Amma Deeply Concerned About Suicide Among Farmers

15 March 2007 — Mumbai, Maharashtra

Chief minister of Maharashtra Vilasrao Deshmukh held a high-level meeting with Amma at the Sahyadri government guest house here on Thursday on the issue of suicides by farmers of Vidarbha. After the meeting Amma announced that the Ashram will undertake an Rs. 200-crore [$45.4 million U.S.] project to tackle the problem of suicides by farmers  of Maharashtra, Kerala and other states.

Amma was deeply concerned about the large number of suicides by the cotton growers of Vidarbha. During an hour-long meeting, Chief Minister Deshmukh, chief secretary D.K. Sankaran and other senior officials briefed Amma about the extent of the problem and the steps taken by the government to tackle it. Deshmukh said as a result of a series of steps taken by the state government and the Center, the problem is now beginning to come under check. “But the problem cannot be solved through economic packages alone. What is needed is social and spiritual interventions so that the farmers realize that suicide is not the way out. In fact, it only further aggravates the problem for the families,” Amma commented. The CM agreed and sought Amma’s assistance in dissuading farmers from taking extreme steps. Amma stressed the need for personal counseling of the vulnerable persons. She recalled the experience of MAM volunteers in dealing with a similar problem in the Wayanad District of Kerala.

Amma appreciated the efforts made by the Maharashtra Government and said it represented the best efforts taken by any state government to deal with the problem of farmer’s suicides. She said even though in comparison to the total number of suicides taking place in the country the suicides by farmers may be less, in absolute terms the numbers are large enough to warrant expeditious interventions at all levels. The hysteria among farmers needs to be neutralized and associated problems like alcoholism etc. need to be remedied.

Apart from the chief minister and chief secretary, others who attended the meeting included senior cabinet minister Patangrao Kadam; ministers Balasaheb Thorat and Ramraje Njmbalkar;  principal secretaries Sarogi and Pande; divisional commissioner Amravati and Goyal; and some of Amma’s disciples and devotees.

—Sree

Study Amma, advises scientist Bhatkar

11 March — Sakar Nagar, Pune, Maharashtra – Bharata Yatra 2007

Padmashri Dr. Vijay P. Bhatkar, the eminent computer scientist and Chairman of ETH Ltd., was one of the dignitaries to welcome Amma to her program at Shinde High School Grounds in Sakar Nagar, Pune. In a short speech prior to Amma’s satsang, bhajans and darshan, Bhatkar spoke about the wealth of wisdom available in Sanatana Dharma’s literary canon and the place of Amma’s teachings within that canon.

“Why are all Amma’s books so important?” Bhatkar asked the approximately 10,000 people assembled. “There are lot of questions: What is liberation? What is spirituality? What is science? How can my birth be fulfilled? Why do I experience sorrow? There are a lot of such questions. And these are very important questions that need to be answered in our lives. The answers to these questions we see in various scriptures—the Vedas, the Bhagavad-Gita, etc. Amma’s disciples have asked such questions to Amma many times, and Amma has provided such simple and profound answers, illustrated with stories. And we find these answers recorded in the publications of Amma’s ashram.”

Bhatkar then compared Amma with Sant Jnaneshwar, the 12th century Maharashtran guru who took maha-samadhi in Alandi, Pune. “Just as Jnaneshwar Maharaj brought the essence of the Bhagavad-Gita, the Brahma Sutras and Vedanta in his commentary in Marathi, the Jnaneshwari, so too Amma has brought the essence of all knowledge, the essence of all devotion, through her own experience in front of us. Let us study them.”

Bhatkar then helped Amma distribute checks to new enrolees in the Ashram’s lifetime pension program for widows and disabled people, Amrita Nidhi. This was followed by the distribution of 10 sewing machines to impoverished women in the Pune area by P.P. Chabria, the chairman of Finolex, Ltd. G.P. Panse, the department chairman of NCL, then released a Marati edition of On the Road to Freedom, a book written by Swami Paramatmananda, one of Amma’s senior disciples.

—Tulasi

Related Links

Photos from Amma’s Pune visit 2007

Amma doing what the Government dare to undertake

9 March, Mahendra Hills, Hyderabad-Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh –Bharata Yatra 2007

On the second night of Amma’s Brahmasthanam Festival in her ashram in Secunderabad, Amma was welcomed by two AP cabinet ministers and one member of parliament, all of whom praised the charitable social-welfare projects of the Ashram.

Sri. Raghuveera Reddy, the Honourable Minister of Agriculture for Andhra Pradesh praised Amma’s integration of spirituality with social service. “Amma is doing things that, in fact, the government does not dare undertake,” he said. Raghuveera Reddy then asked the people assembled to give some of the money they are spending on luxuries to organizations like Amma’s ashram.

Sri. Marappa, the Honourable Minister of Irrigation, spoke next. He praised Amma’s ability to provide needed service without the red-tape delays that plague the government. “For the government to do such projects takes a long time,” he said in reference to Ashram pension and free-housing projects. “The file has to be moved from person to person. Then only it goes the Cabinet. Then only it will come out as a Government order. And then still it has to be executed. But Amma is doing such projects alone without such difficulties. For this I offer Amma my prostrations.”

The evening’s final speaker was AP Legislative Assembly member Sri. Varadarajula Reddy. In his talk, he focused on how the Ashram makes sure all the money donated to it goes directly to projects for the poor. “In the world we see so many institutions, but most of them are bogus,” he said. “But this institution is legitimate. If they receive even one paisa, it will only go for service activities.”

Sri. Raghuveera Reddy helped Amma distribute checks to 10 new enrolees in the Ashram’s lifetime pension program, Amrita Nidhi. Sri. Marappa distributed sewing machines on behalf of the Ashram to 10 impoverished women. And Varadarajula Reddy released a souvenir book commemorating Amma’s 2007 Brahmasthanam Festival in Secunderabad.

In order to stress their faith in the Ashram’s charitable work, all three men pledged to make one-lakh donations to the Ashram. When Raghuveera Reddy made the pledge on behalf of his family, he also prayed to Amma to bless the Andhra Pradesh Government so that it is able to do more in general for the benefit of the poor.

—Tulasi

Education & heart surgeries for Hyderabad’s street kids

8 March — Mahendra Hills,  Hyderabad-Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh — Bharata Yatra 2007

Just before Amma’s first evening program in her Secunderabad ashram, she gave audience to the area’s district collector and magistrate, R.V. Chandravadan. During that meeting, Chandravadan put forth several requests to Amma on behalf of the Hyderabad District Administration—all of to which Amma readily agreed. At the start of Amma’s program, Chandravadan then shared with all the people gathered for darshan the results of his meeting—chiefly education and heart surgeries for Hyderabad’s street children.

“‘Amma’ has almost become another word for love, compassion and concern—concern for the unfortunate, for those who have been discriminated against, neglected and marginalized in society,” the district collector said from the dais. He then expressed the Government of Andhra Pradesh’s gratitude for the support Amma has given in the form of the thousands of homes the Ashram has constructed for the homeless throughout the state—including Hyderabad’s Gudimulkipur and Filim Nagar, and Cuddapah’s Pradhatur.

Chandravadan then announced that Amma had agreed to sponsor the educations of 50 children from the local street community in the local Amrita Vidyalayam as well as provide computer literacy to older street children at the ashram’s Amrita Institute of Technology (AICT). Chandravadan said that the District Administration would select the students and that the program would begin the ensuing academic year.

Finally, the district collector said that Amma had agreed to provide free heart surgeries for impoverished Hyderabad children suffering from congenital heart diseases at the Amrita Institute of Medical Science (AIMS) in Cochin. “We have around 323 children suffering from congenital heart diseases,” Chandravadan said. “We know some of the corporate hospitals have gone back on their assurance and, although the government has taken up the initiative to perform free child heart surgeries, I had requested Amma to kindly sponsor a few of the cases in her super-specialty hospital in Kerala. She has agreed to do it free of cost.”

Chandravadan concluded by saying that the Andhra Pradesh Government was grateful to Amma for all the service that she has provided in the state, referring to her as “a source of inspiration.” He said, “The District Administration is willing to support in any manner for the laudable cause that Amma has taken on. We deem it an honour and privilege.”

—Tulasi