A Sannyasi’s Mind & Vision: Peace & Happiness for the Entire World
24 September 2007 — Sivagiri Math, Varkkala, Kerala
It was a historic moment. Addressing an all-India assembly of sannyasis at the Sivagiri Math of the Sri Narayana Guru Dharma Sangha in Varkkala, Amma expressed her vision of sannyasa dharma. “A real sannyasi is one who can remain content performing any action,” Amma told the gathering of several hundred sannyasis. “Atma samarpanam—Self surrender—is the secret to happiness. This means a sannyasi should be able to perform actions without attachment. Such non-attachment is only possible through surrender.
“A compassion-filled heart, the resultant readiness to sacrifice one’s comfort for the sake of others and the happiness that ensues from that sacrifice make a sannyasi’s actions unique and outstanding. Only a true sannyasi can bring about a real change in others.”
Amma then told everyone that when she says “sannyasi,” she is not limiting the term to those wearing ochre-coloured cloth. “Amma is referring to those with a sannyasi’s mind and vision—those who whole-heartedly desire peace and happiness for all beings in creation, those who are able to see the world as a flower, understanding every petal’s importance and beauty.”
Upon the conclusion of her talk, Amma was offered the traditional worship of a sannyasi—Yati Puja, her feet being reverently washed with pancha upachara. Afterwards, the same puja was offered to the congregation. It was the first time that Amma has officially been honoured as a sannyasi by sannyasins.
Swami Prakashananda, the president of the Sri Narayana Guru Dharma Sangha, also addressed the gathering, which was held as part of the Sangha’s celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Sangha’s Sivagiri Pilgrimage. In his talk, he reminisced about his first meeting with Amma, some 24 years before. “Even though this is Amma’s first official visit to Sivagiri, Amma came here years ago. I was standing in front of my hut when she walked past. She simply looked at me and smiled. Someone later told me that the lady in white had been Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi. I had heard about her before, but that was my first meeting. In front of Amma, I always feel like a child and she is the Mother of the world.
In her address, Amma also spoke about the greatness of Sri Narayana Guru, a great master who transformed Kerala at a time when it was falling plague to social malpractices in the name of caste. “When we see the untruth as truth and adharma as dharma, social life falls astray,” said Amma. “Gurudevan is a mahatma who saved an entire society that was starting to drift off course.”
Amma said that the Sri Narayana Guru’s power came from his detachment. “Because of this, he was able to start a spiritual revolution that initiated the purification and transformation of society. Only karma yogis like him can bring about a real change in society.”
Addressing the sannyasis, Amma said, “Power and position are the voice of the ego. There, not love but selfishness rules. In ego, there is no detachment, only attachment. When we perform actions without differentiating between people and seeing the goodness in one and all—that is when real change takes place. Selfless love should be the inspiring force behind action.
“There is nothing here except God—this is the truth. Therefore, how can one label some as low and others as high? If God is everything, can anything be called ‘higher’ and ‘lower’? Everything is the embodiment of the Atma, the supreme consciousness. As such, everyone is the ultimate. This was Gurudevan’s vision.”
Amma concluded her talk by stressing the importance of rooting action in spirituality. “Spirituality should be the foundation for the realm of action,” Amma said. “Only then will transformation take place. Only then will the awareness of people expand.”
“‘In the three worlds I have nothing to obtain, yet I perform actions.’ We know these words of Sri Krishna to Arjuna in the Bhagavad-Gita. Actions done without the expectation of results and with the spirit of surrender lead one to realize their union with God. That is the goal of karma yoga. Efficacy in action is being able to perform actions without attachment. To lead people and maintain social rules, position and power are needed. But we should learn to use them without attachment.”
When the function concluded, Amma offered her blessing to the eternal flame lit at the time of Sri Narayana Guru’s samadhi in Sivagiri in 1928. This flame is now being carried throughout the cities, towns and villages of Kerala by the Sri Narayana Guru Dharma Sangha.
23 September 2007 — Sivagiri Matham, Varkkala, Tiruvanantapuram District, Kerala
Tomorrow, Amma will address an assembly of sannyasis from all over India at the Sivagiri Math in Varkkala, the main center of the Sri Narayana Guru Dharma Sangha. The gathering is part of the Sangha’s six-month-long celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the Sivagiri Pilgrimage, a multi-faceted event blessed by Sri Narayana Guru himself in the 1928 and commenced in 1932.
Swami Ritambharananda, the general secretary of Sri Narayana Dharma Sangha, Swami Saccidananda, the secretary of the Platinum Jubilee Celebration Committee, and other members of the Sangha came to Amritapuri earlier in the month to personally request Amma’s participation in the event.
Sri Narayana Guru often stayed in a hermitage on top of Sivagiri Hill in the seaside area of Varkkala from 1904 till his samadhi in 1928, which took place there itself. He was one of the great spiritual masters and social transformers of modern Kerala.
Amma’s Birthday is less than a week away.
The frame of the temporary shelter being built across the backwaters at Amrita University is quickly taking shape despite daily downpours.
Swami Ramakrishnanandaji and Br Shantamritaji were in Hong Kong from Friday, September 14 to Sunday, September 16, 2007.
The first programme was in the Kowloon Hindu temple and consisted of Satsang and Bhajans . The attendance was marked by enthusiasm and great devotion.
The next day, the IAM Technique was taught, after which many people asked when the next class would be held.
On Sunday, a Navagraha Homa was held in the Happy Valley Temple, followed by Satsang and Bhajans. One could hear enthusiastic requests for more Bhajans. All are now awaiting AMMA’s first visit to Hong Kong and Swamiji was flooded with requests to bring AMMA soon to this exciting city.
8-12 September 2007, Manila, Philippines
Swami Ramakrishnananda and Br. Shantamrita held a series of programmes in Manila, Philippines, from September 8-12. The programmes consisted of talks, meditation, and bhajans. Over 100 people attended in Makati, a suburb of Manila, many of whom had never met Amma before.
Well-attended Homams (fire ceremonies) were held at two separate locations in Metro Manila. An Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) course was also taught to 90 students.
Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri visited Shanghai, China on September 6th and 7th of September. It was his second visit to the city. A special ½ day IAM course was taught by Swamiji, accompanied by Br. Shantamrita.
A local person wrote in after the first evening, “Thank you for making this world we live in a better one by what you are all doing”. All programmes were well attended
18 Sep 2007, Amritapuri
During the two festivals “Raksha Bandhan (or ‘Rakhi’)” and “Bhaidooj” sisters and brothers show their love and respect for each other by tying a thread around their sibling’s right wrist.
This morning, over 400 students at Amrita University’s Engineering, Arts and Sciences, and BioTech Colleges had gathered to participate in a modified version of these traditional festivals – they would show their appreciation for Mother Nature by adopting a tree or bush on the campus by tying a ribbon around a branch or stem and taking a pledge to care for the plant by watering and nurturing it. Upon graduation, they will pass the responsibility on to a younger student who will continue the care.
Called ‘Vriksha Raksha Bandhan’, the program was initiated in response to Amma’s message that we should care for the earth. Vriksha means Tree in Sanskrit. Professor Bippin Nair began by adopting his own tree in the courtyard of the Biotech building while onlooking students chanted ‘Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.’
Immediately afterwards, students spread out over the campus, ribbons in hand, searching for a green ‘brother’ or ‘sister.’ Some had planted saplings in the weeks or days before, as had Arjun, a Junior studying Computer Science. His ‘sister’ is a small mango sapling located on the north side of the main building. “I’m doing this to help make the world greener,” he said as he gingerly placed the ribbon on one of the branches. Each tree will also have a separate tag that lists the adopting student’s name, the year of graduation, plant type, and name of the plant.
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