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Amma in Mumbai

amma-mumbai-128 February, Bharata Yatra 2008

Bandra Public Program, Mumbai

Amma entered the Bandra Reclamation Ground for the Mumbai public program in a blast of excitement. A traditional Maharashtra welcome was given, which is a musical ensemble with large horns, along with Vedic chanting.
The program was attended by many dignitaries. The sheriff of Mumbai, Dr. Mrs. Indu Shahani said that she was honored to be called to Amma’s program. She said that she needs Amma’s shakti and love, in order to do things for the city of Mumbai.
“Amma please bless us. You are an epitome of love. Make us worthy of the love you are giving us.” She asked Amma’s blessing for her new project to uplift the women of Mumbai. She ended her speech with a shayari (a poetic saying).

Mujhe apne bulaya, ye karm nahin to kya hai?
‘Mera martaba badaya, ye karm nahin to kya hai?

(You called me here. Is this not my fate? And by calling me here, you raised my status. Is this not my fate?)

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Smt. Suryakanta Patil, Minister of State for Rural Development, Govt. of India, distributed the Amrita Nidhi pensions for 20 impoverished people. Addressing the gathering, she said, “Actually, your real darshan of Amma will come when the mother in your house is happy, and your sister and daughter are smiling and secure. When Amma holds you close to her heart, she is awakening the motherhood and fatherhood within you. That indeed is heaven.”

Then Shri Chaggan Bhujbal, Minister Public Works Department, Govt. of Maharashtra, spoke about Amma. He said, “unlike other saints who live in the Himalayas and other such places, Amma is always amongst the masses, wherever people have difficulties, sorrow, or pain… be it a tsunami, a drought, or our farmers in Maharashtra, Amma and her disciples have been right there to help them and wipe their tears.” He also said in his speech that since 1985, he has never missed a chance to see Amma in Mumbai. As part of the MAM’s self-employment scheme, Shri Chaggan Bhujbal distributed sewing machines to 10 women.

After the public program, Amma will also hold a two-day brahmasthanam festival, at Amma’s ashram in Nerul, Navi Mumbai.

-Sanjaya

click here to see the photos from Mumbai

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Vow Not to Commit Suicide

24 February, Bharata Yatra 2008
Washim, Vidarbha Region, Maharashtra

Amma’s first visit to Washim, an agricultural town in Maharashtra’s Vidarbha Region, was truly something to see. The people had never met Amma before, but they welcomed her with all the hearts and souls—filling the streets and offering her their pranams as she drove past and surrounding the house where she was staying.

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Vidarbha is the place where of India’s farmer suicide problem at its peak, with thousands upon thousands of debt-ridden farmers taking their own lives (and often the lives of their wives and children along with them). It has been reported that in 2006, farmers in Vidarbha we committing suicide at a rate of one in every eight hours. These same people were coming here for Amma’s darshan. Dressed in their simple village clothes—turbans and white hats for the men, traditional big nose ring, fluorescent green, pink and yellow saris for the women—50,000 or so came to seek Amma’s blessings. It looked like entire Washim was there.

Dr. Vijay P. Bhatkar, the famous computer engineer from Pune, addressed the people just prior to Amma’s arrival. He said to them, “Jagadamba has come to Vidarbha. You must all now take a vow that you will not commit suicide. You must take this vow on Jagadamba’s feet, which have now touched your soil.” All of the people enthusiastically shouted forth in accord, many raising their arms into the air and calling out Amma’s name.

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On the dais was a huge collection of the area’s political figures—a total of 17 Members of the Legislative Assembly and seven Members or Parliament, representing diverse political parties. They all humbly welcomed Amma with flower garlands and stayed throughout Amma’s satsang and bhajans.

Smt. Prabha Rao, the president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee, was one of those to address the people assembled. She said, “We are fortunate that Amma’s feet have blessed the land of Vidarbha.” She also spoke about the immense relief program that Amma has created to curb India’s farmer-suicide epidemic and helped Amma distribute scholarships to children of impoverished farmers from the area who had previously been forced to discontinue their educations due to their parents’ inability to pay school fees.

The leader of the opposition, Sri. Baba Saheb was also on the dais, and he similarly helped distribute scholarships.

Between the stage program and darshan, Amma distributed 5,000 such certificates throughout the night. {Read about the project announcement}

Darshan lasted until 10 am the next morning, with Amma blessing a large sack full of prasad to be distributed to latecomers.

—Sanjaya

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Mangalore Brahmasthanam Consecrated

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18 February, Bharata Yatra 2008, Mangalore

Amma consecrated the 19th Brahmasthanam Temple in Boloor, Mangalore.

In the auspicious muhurta of Punarvasu Nakshatra occurring between 11.48 am and 1.48 pm, Amma first installed the Kalasha atop the Brahmasthanam and then the Murthi inside the sanctum sanctorum.

The rituals began at 11.48 with installation of Kalasha. There pots were filled with 9 different types of grains. Then Amma did Abhisekam and Arati. The eagles had already gathered earlier above temple and now one of them came down to greet Amma. The presence of eagles is considered very auspicious during a sacred ritual.

At 12.15 Amma stepped down and entered the temple. The divine rituals continued for another hour as Amma installed the sacred image followed by Abhisekas and Arati to all four faces of the Murthi after which Amma saluted all the devotees gathered to witness the historical and holy event. The atmosphere was charged with the chants of ‘Om Siva Shaktyaikyaroopinye Namah”. Fireworks were set of to add momentum to the installation ceremony.

The next day Amma led thousands in the Sani Puja, a powerful puja to ease the prarabdha of people.

The temple in Mangalore is the 3rd Brahmasthanam temple in the state of Karnataka and the 19th in total. The first Temple was inaugurated by Amma in Kodungalloor in 1988.

The 3 day festival was filled with very creative cultural performances every evening by children from the Amrita Vidyalayams of Mangalore, Karwar, Davanagere.

—- —

Read more about the history of the Brahmasthanams and the meaning of Kalasha shtapana and Prana praishta

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First time in history someone is doing like Amma

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22 February, Bharata Yatra 2008 — Secundarabad, Andhra Pradesh

“A mother gives amrita [nectar] to her children; this is indicated by Amma’s name itself,” said Dr. T. Subbirami Reddy, Union Minister for Mines. “Just by getting her darshan we are filled by that shakti [divine energy].” Dr. Reddy was addressing the 30,000 or so people who’d come for Amma’s one-night darshan program at Parade Grounds in Secundarabad on 22 February. “Beauty is not permanent, money is not permanent, but God’s shakti is permanent,” he continued. “And Amma is showing that through giving her Amrita to millions all over the world.”

Dr. Reddy also helped Amma distribute scholarship stipends to children from impoverished agricultural families living in the rural regions surrounding the Twin Cities of Secundarabad and Hyderabad. The distribution is part of the Ashram’s Vidyamritam Program—the provision of 100,000 scholarships throughout India to children of agricultural families living under the poverty line. Many of the children had previously been forced to discontinue their educations due to their parent’s inability to afford even the most basic of school fees. In response to Vidyamritam and other Ashram social-service projects, Dr. Reddy said, “It may be the first time in the history of the world someone is doing something like this.”

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Once darshan started, 1,500 Vidyamritam enrolees came forward to receive Amma’s embrace. Some came with their parents, but others came alone, as their parents had committed suicide due to due to financial despair and inability to repay agricultural loans.

Smt. Panabaka Lakshmi, the minister for Health & Family Welfare of Andhra Pradesh, was also on the dais, as was the district collector of Hyderabad, Sri. Chandravadan; the additional private secretary to the chief minister, Sri. P. Subrahmaniam; and the chairman the State Bank of India, Sri. O.P. Bhatt.

The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, was unable to attend the program as he has in the past. However he did send the following message in his absence: “Amma is translating the saying Manava seva Madhava seva [service to man is service to God] into practice in providing educational scholarships to 5,000 children drawn from families of poor and distressed farmers [from Andhra Pradesh] and inspiring the philanthropists to emulate such a noble cause.”

Darshan continued throughout the night, ending only past sunrise.

—Kannadi

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God rocks: Sculpts the image of God within

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23 February, Bharata Yatra 2008 — Biloli, Maharashtra

Not far past the border from Andhra Pradesh into Maharashtra, Amma and the caravan of busses pulled off to the side of the road. Everyone got out and sat around Amma on that quarry grounds. Granite pieces were there all around. The moon was near full and the night air was cool, a welcome respite from the hot interior of the busses. On the lot, just behind Amma, was a small shrine. There were no walls—just a 12×12-foot smooth rock floor with two or three small boulders in the centre. The boulders had been anointed with turmeric, rice powder and a garland. The shrine was to God in the form of the earth element—one of the five great elements that comprise the physical world.

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Seeing the shrine, Amma commented on its innocence and the simplicity of the sankalpa behind its creation. “When you worship God in the form of the rocks, the rough rock of one’s ego is sculpted into an image of the Lord,” Amma said. “Imagine the innocence and purity of heart needed to see Shiva or Ganesha in those rough, unchiselled rocks.”

Behind Amma’s ashram in Bangalore, where Amma had just been the week prior, there is an enormous banyan tree, which is similarly worshipped as an embodiment of the divine. And in Kumbhakonam, Tamil Nadu, where Amma had given darshan in January, there is a 6.2 acre bathing tank, bathing in which one immerses himself in God. In Chidambaram it is Akasha Deva—God as the very space in which one moves… There are countless such “living temples” throughout India, each one a testament to how, as Amma says, “The creation and the Creator are not two.”

—Sakshi

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Karunya in Kannur

amma-kannur18 Feb 2008, Kannur, North Kerala, Bharata Yatra

The program in Kannur was held at the Jawahar Municipal Stadium which was crowded with devotees from all parts of the district. This was the second time Amma’s program was held in this venue.
Amma was welcomed with a ‘poornakumbham’ ceremony performed by Jayasuryan Bhattatirippad, and a padapuja by the film actor Vineeth along with his wife.
Present on the stage were the following dignitaries:
K. Sudhakaran, MLA; Bharatiya Janata Party State president P.K. Krishnadas; Kannur municipal chairman K. Upendran; Inspector-General of Police (North Range) A. Hemachandaran.

Scholarships were accorded by M.A.M. to as many as 4,000 farmer’s children between 10 and 15 from the districts of Kannur and Kasargod as part of the Vidyamritam scheme.

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In her address Amma spoke about the need for love and compassion to bring about peace in one’s mind. She spoke of how people are afraid* when they hear of Kannur and how that should not be the case. She also reminded everyone of the fruitlessness of material achievement.

Darshan lasted until 11 am with people eagerly waiting all through the night to receive Amma’s blessings.

– Tulasi

Related Links

Amma in Kannur

Vidyamritam distribution

(*Political violence is common in the Kannur district and is highest in the state. )

Amma in Bengaluru for Brahmasthanam festival

13 Feb, Bengaluru, Bharata Yatra 2008

When Amma arrived at the ashram in Bangalore from Talassery at 2.a.m. At the request of her children she sang two lines of ‘Mata Rani’ from her balcony

Amma conducted Brahmasthanam festival for two days with Satsang, bhajan, meditation and Darshan.
During the course of the program, Amrita Vidyalayam children presented different cultural programs for Amma including chanting of Vedic mantras. Amrita University students also offered wonderful dance & drama performance for Amma.

We can change

“If we have discrimination we can improve our actions. When we have the right attitude, we can change our actions and experiences for the better.

“One of Amma’s spiritual sons who had dreamt of becoming a doctor, had studied hard for the examinations, but had missed getting into medical school by just one mark. So, he had no choice but to choose another profession. It so happened that he got a job working in a bank. But he could never bring himself do the job wholeheartedly because he was upset about not being able to become a doctor.

“He felt a lot of resentment and frustration inside, which started to reflect upon his performance at work. He would get mad and yell at his customers, especially on crowded and busy days. He asked Amma what he should do to change his attitude at work. Amma told him to imagine what he would do if one of his best friends were to send someone to see him at the bank. Wouldn’t he greet this person with a smile, and give him very good service? Or, how would he treat someone Amma Herself sent to see him? Similarly, he should imagine that each and every one of the bank customers were people sent to him by Amma. Doing so, the boy was able to change his attitude to one of love and respect.

“Children, we should try to perform all of our actions as sacred jobs entrusted to us by God. Then all of our actions will be transformed into devotional worship of God, and thus give us fulfilment. See all work as coming from God and our attitude will change and we will change”

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101 Self Help Groups Given Capital

Part of Ashram’s Fight Against Farmer Suicide
5 February 2008 — Amritapuri

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Working capital was distributed to 101 women’s self-help groups as part of the Ashram’s Amrita Self-Reliance Employment & Empowerment Program (Amrita SREE). Amrita SREE is part of the Ashram’s multi-pronged effort to fight suicide amongst farmers in India.

The capital was distributed by Opposition Leader Oommen Chandy in the presence of Amma. M.P. Veerendrakumar, MP, distributed the working capital to a self-help group for starting a fashion-designing institution.

In his inaugural address, Oommen Chandy said that during the last three years Kerala has faced two major crises: tsunami and farmers suicide. He said that Amma’s Ashram has come forward to that support the dependents of both sets of victims.

In his address, Veerendrakumar said that Amma was “lifting the 100,000 families to a ‘zone of hope’ by providing them employment opportunities.

Dhana Lakshmi Bank chief manager M. Muralidharan also attended the function.
Furthermore, Olympic bronze medalist P.T. Usha distributed the annual grant for 18 village libraries and arts and sports clubs.

— Tulasi

Kalam Launches School Network

elearningKochi, Kerala, February 4th, 2008

A new eLearning and collaborative learning environment called Amrita Learning was launched by Dr A.P.J. Kalam, Former President of India, on 4th Feb, 2008 at Kochi.

This network will host multimedia educational content, provide links to subject-specific websites, allow sharing of teacher training material, place for exchange of school projects, career counselling tips and the websites of various schools.

This Amrita Learning content has an assessment and learning programme which adapts automatically to a student’s learning level. A unique phonics-based learning programme is included for the primary classes. The core content will cover a number of subject areas including Maths, English and Science.

The network would also provide students with safe internet by allowing them to browse, offline, pre-approved educational web sites.

“The coming academic year will see schools moving more towards IT-enabled Learning”, said Prema Nedungadi, an IT executive from USA who directs the Amrita Learning Computer Aided programme. “We are linking all the 53 Amrita Vidyalayams in the nation through broadband to create a Knowledge Network” says Prema.

for more visit http://www.amritalearning.com/