Amrita HIS unveiled at BARC

16 January 2008 — Mumbai

Amrita University has unveiled a version of its state-of-the-art Amrita Healthcare Informatics Suite Software (Amrita HIS) crafted specifically for BARC (Babha Atomic Research Centre) Hospital in Mumbai.

AMRITA HIS manages all the patient details right from patient registration, admission to discharge.

“It is one integrated, seamless solution conforming to latest healthcare protocols, built on open-source technology covering entire hospital operations,” says Pradeep Achan, chief architect of Amrita HIS.

The main focus area is on the integration of clinical applications with a keen emphasis on the administrative requirement. AMRITA HIS has powerful reports and very easy to use user-interface. The system mainly allows for unified access to all organizational and patient data through one single-web interface for any authorized user.

“This is a great land mark for the successful deployment of AMRITA HIS at a prestigious institution of national importance such as BARC, and it represents a significant milestone for AMRITA. It also represents a consummation of one-of-a-kind research partnership between the Engineering and Medical schools of Amrita to deliver a flawless industry strength system in the Indian landscape,” said Dr. P. Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

The software was originally designed for use at AMRITA Hospital, Kochi.

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Amma arrives at Covai

17 Jan 2008, Coimbatore

Bharata Yatra 2008

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Amma arrived at 8:00 p.m. at the Amrita Vidyalayam in Coimbatore, as a start to her Tamil Nadu tour. As Amma entered, she was garlanded by a devotee, and offered a ‘purna kumbha,’ which is an auspicious pot used to welcome a holy person. Before entering her room, Amma gazed down at the hundreds of people gathered below, all with hands clasped in devotion, desperately calling out to Amma. To their delight, Amma smiled at them, and showered some flower petals down below. As Amma went to her room, the crowd resounded with the chorus, ‘Mata Rani Ki Jay!’ (Victory to the Divine Mother!).
The next two days will be the annual festival of Amma’s brahmasthanam temple, with special pujas, bhajans led by Amma and the Swamis, as well as Amma’s darshan till the early morning hours.

click here to view the pictures

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Pongal at the Ashram

15 Jan 2008, Amritapuri

Pongal was celebrated in the Ashram. Amma distributed payasam to all the residents in the afternoon.
The day on which the sun begins to move northwards is called ‘Makar Shankranti’.  In Tamil Nadu this festival is called the Pongal.

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Pongal ushers in the New Year in Tamil Nadu. Newly-harvested grains are cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home. The poor are fed and clothed. On the next day, the cow is worshipped, and birds and animals are fed. Its called Mattu pongal.

What Amma says on Pongal

“For me there is no creator and creations. Like the ocean and the waves, they are all one and the same. God is in the people or in the world, and the world is in the people. It is love that transforms into worship. Even nature is part of God. That is why we have temples even for insignificant creatures such as lizards, trees and poisonous snakes. We have ‘Mattu Pongal’, we worship the cattle. We need them for cultivation. It is a form of thanksgiving to the entire creation as that is the power that sustains life.”

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Meaning of Pongal

from the archive article

…. During Satsang on the rooftop of Amma’s Madurai ashram last night, Amma told of how over the three days of Pongal a different aspect of the Divine in Nature is worshipped, partly with the symbolic offering of payasam (sweet rice pudding).

The first day the Sun is worshipped as the embodiment and source of Life-Force, without which we could not be. Payasam is offered to the sun seeking his blessings, and then eaten as prasad; the second day, animals are venerated, usually through the worship of a representative cow, which again is offered sweet payasam; the third day sees the family relations worshipped, of course through more offering of payasam, and, more importantly, through the coming together of family members. If there have been arguments or miscommunications in the family, this is the day when the air is cleared and hearts are opened. It can be a very healing time, restoring a deep relationship with the Universe, Mother Nature and one another. Through this festival, the Creation is recognized as the miraculous divine blessing it truly is.

Amma also explained an interesting point about the intelligence behind this kind of worship, saying that it is not superstitious, but in fact very practical. During this particular festival for example, the tradition of cooking payasam and allowing it to boil over is observed all over South India. This overflowing of sweetness represents the Prema (Divine Love) that should overflow from our hearts towards all of Creation. Amma continued with a remarkable point. She said that the steam rising from the rice, jaggery, cardamom and other spices being boiled in so many households and mixed with the smoke from the firewood traditionally used, actually creates a special medicinal combination that has a very beneficial effect on the atmosphere. The collective observance of this and similar practices has a positive effect on both the ‘mental environment’, as well as the weather, climate and harmony of Nature in general. This is just one aspect of the subtle wisdom underlying these simple, elegant customs.

 

Two More ‘Tsunami Babies’ on the Way

13 January 2007 — Amritapuri

Another one of the tsunami victims who underwent fallopian-tubal-ligation reversal is pregnant with twins. Sarita, 30, came to Amritapuri for Amma’s darshan this morning and informed Amma of her condition. She has just completed her first trimester. Sarita will be the fifth such woman to deliver, bringing the total of “tsunami babies” up to eight.

“I lost one child, but now God is giving me two,” said Sarita. “I am praying that they will be healthy and happy.”

Sarita is married to Surajit, a pujari in a Devi temple in Aiyiram Tenga, Kollam District. At the time of the tsunami, they were living in Srayikkad, Alappad Panchayat, Kollam District. Their house was partially destroyed, and one of their two children, Unni, drowned. He was literally washed out of Sarita’s arms. Their eldest son, Nath, now 8 years old, survived. He is currently studying at Amrita Vidyalayam in Putiyakav.

After the tsunami, Sarita and Surajit built a home in Clappana, as Sarita and Nath could not sleep properly on the Alappad seashore, due to fear. Their official tsunami-relief house was allocated by the Kerala Government to an NGO other than the Ashram. It has yet to be completed.

Prior to Indian Ocean Tsunami in December 2004, Sarita and the four other mothers had undergone sterilization surgeries as a form of contraception. When they lost children in the disaster, Amma offered them the opportunity to have those surgeries reversed at Amrita Hospital in Cochin, {news} with the Ashram covering all the costs.

—Kannadi

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A Miracle in Surgery

9 January 2007 – Amritapuri
On August 18, 2007, a group of children from a remote tribal village near Janakpuri in Chattisgarh went to graze the village goats in a field in the forest. It was there that three bears-a mother and two cubs-came upon them. All the children ran, but one 12-year-old girl named Kusumavati did not get away. The mother bear sunk its teeth into the girls arm, and one of the cubs went for her face.

The rest of the children ran back to the village and told Kusumavati’s father, Ghendilal Singh, 35, what had happened. He ran to the field, where he found his daughter unconscious but alive. The bears apparently had lost interest once she fell unconsciousness. Kusumavati’s arm was broken, and half of her face had been destroyed.

Ghendilal took his daughter to a local tribal hospital, but the doctors there were unable to do anything. For 13 days she simply laid there on a mat. Eventually some Forestry Department officials discovered the girl and took her to a more advanced facility. However, the doctors there were also unable to do anything. During the next two months, Kusumavati was transferred to between a total of four hospitals-all to no avail. Unable to face what had happened to her daughter, Kusumavati’s mother entered a state of shock and depression. Finally, Kusumavati was taken to a medical college in Raipur, where doctors referred the case to Amrita Hospital in Cochin.

During the past two months, reconstructive surgeons at Amrita Hospital performed a total of five surgeries on Kusumavati, including micro-surgery on nerves and blood vessels. In this way, her eye socket and lid were repaired, enabling her even to blink again. Kusumavati was fitted with an eye replacement and her nose was totally reconstructed. All of her teeth were replaced and an artificial pallet was formed.

The doctors say that since the completion of the final surgery, Kusumavati has started to come out of her shock and has begun playing with other children.

Today, Kusumavati and Ghendilal came to Amritapuri for Amma’s darshan. The swelling has yet to completely subside and the girl still has scars. But they will fade with time.

The entire time the story was relayed to Amma, Amma did not let go of Kusumavati, holding her tightly against her chest in a protective embrace.

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Amma arranged to have some money given to the father so as to help him recoup the wages he has lost during the past two months. She also made sure that the Ashram had a way of getting in touch with Ghendilal, as his village is so remote it doesn’t even have a postal code.

After darshan, Ghendilal said that he couldn’t express in words how grateful he is to Amma and the doctors at Amrita Hospital. If it wasn’t for Amma and the medical care provided at Amrita Hospital, the girl simply would have perished.

Tomorrow Ghendilal and Kusumavati will take the train back to Chattisgarh, where Kusumavati’s mother and the rest of the village are waiting anxiously for their return.

Most likely Kusumavati will be brought back to Amrita Hospital for follow-up surgeries during the next two years.

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Fill Your Hearts with Love and Gratitude

Excerpted from Amma’s 2008 New Year’s Talk
Midnight, 1 January 2008 — Amritapuri

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We are all very happy that another New Year is upon us,” Amma said. “Happiness is good for the health of the body and the mind. Our goal is to always be happy. Everyone should always be happy and rejoicing—just like a small child. That is Amma’s desire.

It was The hall was full. Around 10,000 devotees and ashramites were assembled in the hall. The hour of midnight was approaching.

Human beings are most happy in childhood. But the time considered as “childhood” is ever decreasing. Previously, one was considered a child until he was eight or nine. But today the innocence and pleasantness associated with childhood is fading faster and faster. Childhood these days is filled with seriousness and tension.

When our desires are fulfilled, when things go according to our plans, we experience happiness—but it is only temporary.

Many people celebrate the New Year by setting off fireworks or celebrating in the ballroom of a beautifully decorated five-star hotel, exchanging New Year greetings and dancing and singing fully intoxicated. A large percentage of people then return to their home or tension-filled office without retaining even the tiniest amount of happiness or peace. What then is the point of the happiness experienced while drinking or sitting at the bar of a five-star hotel? Real happiness is something that can be experienced at any time and in any place—in family life, social life, at work and in the mind. That should be our goal. To attain this, our mind should be full of love.

May this New Year fill our hearts with love and gratitude. When we express a desire and it does not get fulfilled, we start questioning life and why it has not met our expectations. We become depressed. But there is no law that all of our desires should be fulfilled.

We should understand that life gives us what we need and not necessarily what we want. It follows its own wisdom, which is often incomprehensible to our gross minds. We should learn to accept situations in life. This attitude of acceptance is the secret to happiness.

As we enter 2008, let us pray together, “O Paramatman, let there be no wars, violence or natural disasters this year. Let there be no death due to starvation or lack of medical care. Let there be no children who are unable to continue their studies due to poverty. Let the music of peace and harmony be heard everywhere. Just as we decorate our houses and surroundings with lights, let our heart remain effulgent throughout the year with love and compassion.”

Related articles:
A Teaching in Tears
New Year celebration at Amritapuri: photos
New Year celebration at Amritapuri: video

A Teaching in Tears

1 January 2008 — Amritapuri

When Amma was delivering her New Year’s Talk, she suddenly began telling everyone about a family who had come for darshan the day before:

“A family of four came for darshan. The husband, who was an auto-rickshaw driver, had recently been paralysed by a stroke. He could no longer look after himself, much less his family. The wife had started working in different houses in order to take care of her husband and children. But she too had fallen sick and was no longer in a position to continue her work. They had taken loans from many money lenders and were in no position to pay it back. They had even borrowed money simply to come and see Amma.

“When the man and his family came up to Amma for darshan, Amma asked the man how he was doing. The man tried to tell Amma his sorrows, but every time he opened his mouth, he was choked with emotion. All he could do to express his heart was to cry.”

At this point, Amma simply stopped talking. She took a small hand cloth resting at her side, raised it to her face and pressed it to her eyes. She held it there for some time. All became silent; time seemed to stand still. Amma then removed the cloth and started to resume her talk, but the tears were too much, and she could not begin again. Amma simply sat there, allowing the tears to roll down her cheeks. Just like the man who’d come to her the day before, all Amma could do to express her heart was to cry.

For Amma, compassion is not mere rhetoric—not a flower to occasionally adorn her words. It is her very breath. From the pinnacle of Amma’s knowledge, Amma could choose to look at the happenings of this world as a mere mirage. And when it comes to herself—to her needs for food, to her needs for rest, to physical pain that Amma may be experiencing—that is exactly how Amma sees it: not real, a mere illusion. But when it comes to the suffering of the people of the world, Amma comes down to their level to hold them, dry their tears, to offer whatever is needed in terms of love and compassion.

Amma’s life is her greatest teaching—and tears are apart of that life. Just as Rama cried when Ravana kidnapped Sita, just as Krishna cried when he finally saw Sudama again, just as Jesus cried at Lazarus’ tomb, just as Buddha cried for the tiny bird, Amma’s tears are a teaching regarding the boundless love and universal compassion of a true mahatma. As Amma herself has said, “Feeling and expressing emotions and honestly sharing them without reservation only adds to an enlightened being’s spiritual splendor and glory. It is wrong to see that as a weakness. It should rather be considered as an expression of their compassion and love in a much more human way. Otherwise, how could ordinary humans understand their concern and love?”

Amma’s purpose is to pull the tide of humanity back to goodness, to dharma, to love, compassion, kindness—back to the culture of the heart. How to bring about this transformation? Amma gives the answer in sutra form: “Be compassionate.”

Eventually, Amma was able to continue. “We usually think about our own comforts, but while we enjoy pleasures in life, we should once in a while pause to think about the thousands of suffering people in this world. When we see people such as this man, we should try to reach out to them and help them. Even a smile and a few comforting words will give them so much solace. Cutting back on luxuries and, in turn, using the money saved to help such families is true worship of God. Such incidents should serve as reminders to us to have complete sraddha [awareness] in not wasting anything.”

Amma concluded her New Year’s Talk by leading the ashramites and devotees in a prayer: “O Paramatman, let there be no wars, violence or natural disasters this year. Let there be no death due to starvation or lack of medical care. Let there be no children who are unable to continue their studies due to poverty. Let the music of peace and harmony be heard everywhere. Just as we decorate our houses and surroundings with lights, let our heart remain effulgent throughout the year with love and compassion.”

—Sakshi