IAM for Tamil Nadu Police

On April 26 and 27, the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) held Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique® (IAM Technique®) classes for the special police of Tamil Nadu. A total of 56 policemen participated in the training—50 constables and six officers.

IAM meditation for police

Classes were conducted by Brahmachari Ajamrita Chaitanya at the Special Police Training Centre in Avadi, Chennai. The police department requested MAM to provide the classes after leaning of MAM’s similar training of India’s military and paramilitary forces. The department believed IAM Technique® to be an affective method of relieving tension in both constables and officers. Upon the conclusion of the two-day training, one constable Thamizh Sevlan commented, “This service is essential for the betterment of the country and this is the best meditation technique”

AYUDH-Kenya cleans up slum

28 March 2009 — Nairobi, Kenya

On March 28, 2009, a few weeks prior to Amma’s Kenya programs, AYUDH-Kenya undertook its first project—cleaning up a slum. Approximately 150 young people took part in the cleanup, which took place at Maringo Estate off Jogoo Road in Eastlands, Nairobi. The clean-up was headed by Brahmachari Shantamrita Chaitanya and was done in cooperation with the World Sports Ministries Group of Kenya.

colours of joy

“The aim of the project was to enable youth from various cultures, religions, and social backgrounds to unite and collectively participate in cleaning up the Maringo Area,” said Brahmachari Shubamrita Chaitanya, another brahmachari helping with Amma’s activities in Kenya.

Participants were split into groups of eight to 10 people. They cleared blocked drainage systems, cleaned streets and collected trash. Some of the drains had been blocked for several months—a serious health threat for the many children playing near the stagnant water.

AYUDH-Kenya also spent time educating the slum’s youth regarding the importance of environmental cleanliness and protecting Mother Nature. From now on, the youth living in the slum will regularly visit the cleared areas to ensure the neighborhood remains clean and green.

– Das

Amma’s Japan, USA, Canada Yatra 2009

spainJapan Yatra 2009

KOBE, Japan
22nd, 23rd May 2009
Venue: Kobe Sanbo Hall
5-1-32 Hamabe-dori, Chuo-ku, Kobe 651-0083. (10-min. walk from Sannomiya Station, in front of Boeki Center Station (Portliner Line)
Morning program: at 10:00, Evening program: at 18:30
TOKYO, Japan
25th, 26th May 2009
Venue: Hotel, Aqua Stadium, Stellar Ball
4-10-30 Takanawa, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8611
Morning program: at 10:00, Evening program: at 18:30
for more info visit  www.amma.jp

USA Yatra 2009

Thu May 28 – Sun May 31
May 28 (10 am & 7.30 pm)
Public program venue: Seattle Center, Fisher Pavilion, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle, WA – 98109
Retreat: May 29 – May 31 (for pre registrants)
Retreat venue: Puyallup Fairgrounds, The Pavilion, Near Gold Gate entrance, 110 9th Ave. SW, Puyallup, WA 98371
May 31, 7.00 pm – Devi Bhava (at retreat venue)

San Ramon
Public Program: Wed June 3 – Wed June 10
Retreat: Thu June 11 – Sat June 13 (for pre registrants)
Devi Bhava: Sat June 6  & Sat June 13 – Evening
Venue: M.A. Center, 10200 Crow Canyon Rd, Castro Valley, CA –  94552

Los Angeles
Mon June 15 – Fri June 19
Venue: Radisson Hotel, Los Angeles Airport,  6225 West Century Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045
Devi Bhava (public program) 7.00 pm, Jun 19

Sun June 21 – Thurs June 25
Venue: Marriott Pyramid North, 5151 San Francisco Road NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109
Retreat: Jun 23 – Jun 25 (for pre registrants)
Devi Bhava (public program) 7.00 pm, Jun 25

Sat June 27 – Sun June 28
Venue: Hyatt Regency DFW, 2334 N. International Parkway, DFW Airport, TX 75261
Devi Bhava (public program) 7.00 pm, Jun 28

Tue June 30 – Wed July 1
Venue: Coralville Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, 300 East 9th St., Coralville IA 52241
Devi Bhava (public program) 7.00 pm, Jul 1

Fri July 3 – Sat July 4
Venue: The Westin Lombard, Yorktown Center, 70 Yorktown Center, Lombard, IL 60148
Devi Bhava (public program) 7.00 pm, Jul 4

New York
Tue July 7 – Thur July 9
Venue: Manhattan Center, 311 W. 34th Street, New York, NY – 10001
Devi Bhava (public program) 7.00 pm, Jul 9

Washington DC
Sun July 12 -Mon July 13
Venue: Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, 7920 Jones Branch Dr, McLean, Virginia, 22102
Devi Bhava (public program) 7.00 pm, Jul 13

Wed July 15 – Sat July 18
Venue: Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel and Trade Center, 181 Boston Post Rd. West, Marlborough, MA – 01752
Retreat Jul 16 – 18 (for pre registrants)
Devi Bhava (public program) 7.00 pm, Jul 18

Canada Yatra 2009

Mon July 20 – Thur July 23
Venue: Sheraton Parkway Hotel, 600 Highway 7 East, Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 1B2, Toronto N, Canada
Retreat Jul 21 – 23 (for pre registrants)
Devi Bhava (public program) 7.00 pm, July 23

For more details visit www.amma.org

Silent Song of Amma’s Love in Trissur

23 – 24 April, Trissur – Bharata Yatra 2009

Amma held a two-day Brahmasthanam Festival here in Trissur. The Brahmasthanam Temple is situated on a plot of land that also includes ASHIS, Amma’s school for the speech- and hearing-impaired, along with an Amrita Vidyalayam school and a Working Women’s Hostel.

On the first evening, a special function included invited guests famous singer Shri. P. Jayachandran, dance maestro Smt. Kalamandalam Kshemavati,  Shri. T. Ramakrishnan, MLA and renowned writer Smt. K.B. Devi. More than 100 children took the stage to receive educational scholarships as part of the Vidyamritam project.  Shri. T. Ramakrishnan presented each child with their first cheque, and Amma embraced each one. Gathered together shoulder to shoulder, facing out toward the audience with hope sparkling in their eyes and precious scholarships clutched in their hands, the children seemed a microcosm of the 100,000 children across India who are receiving scholarships from Amma.

Presenting the scholarships, Shri. T. Ramakrishnan commented on the significance of Amma’s gifts to these children and to society in general. “In today’s society, the greatest poverty is lack of love. Even in the midst of wealth, we experience this poverty. Even though we are proud about all our material achievements, still we run here and there searching for mental peace. If unrest and conflict have become the curse of modern society, the root cause for this is the lack of love and faith. To restore that love and faith and thus restore peace in the world—this is the mission that Amma has taken. To those who are suffering, to those who are toiling, to them Amma has come as a consoling angel. Those students who are not able to study because of financial constraints, Amma is serving them the nectar of knowledge.”

Smt. K.B. Sreedevi, renowned Malayalam writer also shared her insights into the unique power of Amma’s message. “This is a moment where words are not necessary. After meeting Amma, when one’s heart becomes full, there is a scarcity of words… In order to make us understand who we are, Amma has given us a beautiful refrain: “my children.” This refrain can be interpreted in many ways. It contains eternity, the palpable sweetness of motherly love, and the intensity of responsibility. Addressing us in this way brings with it the possibility of throwing light in anyone’s heart—I know this. Amma’s voice creates an echo in our heart even after the sound diminishes. That is possible only for Amma.”

During both evening darshans, students from Amrita Vidyalayam performed various cultural presentations for Amma and the assembled devotees. One of the highlights was the dance performed by the hearing-impaired children of ASHIS. Unable to hear the music they were dancing to, they were guided by a specially trained instructor who used hand gestures to give them cues. Looking on, one never would have guessed that they were deaf to the music, as they danced for all the world like they were captivated by music—their hearts full of the song of Amma’s love.

– Tulasi

Our hearts must overflow with Love

20 – 21 April, Palakkad, Kerala – Bharata Yatra 2009

Amma held a two-day Brahmasthanam Festival here. Amma’s ashram in Pallakad is in a picturesque location, nestled among coconut palms and rice fields, the mountains of the Western Ghats rising impassively in the distant horizon. On both days, the ashram was filled to overflowing as Amma shared brief but tender moments with the thousands of devotees who came to receive her blessing.

Amma in Palakkad

During the first evening program, 100 children received  Amma’s Vidyamritam educational scholarship.

Renowned Malayalam film director Shri. A.K. Lohidas was on hand to share his thoughts on the power of Amma’s love. “Amma’s compassion is like a magnet. When we receive this magnetic power, our hearts overflow with love. This overflowing should not stop. It should continue—share it with someone else. I believe sharing like that is Amma’s greatest goal.”

On the second evening, Amma personally led the devotees through the Sani Puja, along with her satsang, bhajan and guided meditation. So many devotees came for the puja that the place settings even spilled out onto the adjacent driveways leading in to the ashram. Most could see Amma either directly or on one of the many closed-circuit TVs provided for the occasion. Those that could not see either closed their eyes and sat peacefully immersed in the blissful atmosphere pervading the entire grounds as they listened to Amma’s words of wisdom, the sound of her chanting sacred mantras for their upliftment, and the sweet sound of her voice leading one and all in bhajans.

AYUDH Belgium planting trees

22nd of March 2009, Knesselare, Belgium

At Knesselare in Belgium, members of AYUDH Europe worked side by side with Amma’s older devotees to plant 240 willow trees on a parcel of land appointed to Friends of Amma.

Some additional trees were also planted on a neighbouring parcel of land.

After planting all the trees, the 20 volunteers stood together and chanted Om Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu, praying for the peace and happiness of all beings everywhere.
AYUDH planting trees in Belgium

Bihar flood relief work of MAM

Flood-Relief Work — Bihar

On August 18, 2008, the Kosi River broke through a man-made embankment in Nepal. The flooding was massive and engulfed half the neighbouring state of Bihar in India. The prime minister declared it a state of national calamity. {view photos of the flood here}  According to the World Health Organization, 3.3 million people in 1,850 villages were affected, with one million rendered homeless. Crops were devastated, and there was no drinking water. In the worst-affected regions, only treetops were visible above the waterline.

findinng way in floods

On September 10, 2008, MAM began its Rs. 2 crore [$465,000 US] flood-relief program{news}. AIMS Hospital dispatched teams of specialists and paramedics who treated more than 400 patients daily, sometimes seeing to more than 500. Not only did the doctors treat wounds, respiratory problems like pneumonia and fungal growths, they also delivered several babies. {view photos of camp life}

Telemedicine ambulances

Two state–of-the art ambulances were sent to the area via rail from Kochi—a total of distance of almost 2,500 km. One of the ambulances was AIMS Hospital’s Mobile Telemedicine Unit, which includes X-ray facility, ECG scanner, pathology-lab-work facility, specialty cardiac services and a telemedicine satellite link with AIMS Hospital.{view photos of tele-medicine service here}

A temporary hospital was maintained in Supaul for one month. The medical team remained in Bihar for more than two months, treating 50,000 people through 100 medical camps. Rs. 30 lakh [$70,000 US] in medicine was provided, as well as food, clothing and other necessities.{view photos of medical service here}

Monastic disciples led the teams. The first base camp was established in Purnia. Three temporary shelters for the homeless were quickly constructed in Bhawanipur. A second camp with four shelters was established in Laharniya, Supaul District. The shelters in Purnia were completed on 16th September, and those in Supaul on 11th October. In total, 1,500 flood victims were housed in MAM shelters. Kitchens and toilets were also provided.
{view photos of food and clothing here}

Medical camp

At one point, when construction supplies were delayed, brahmacharis and MAM volunteers went to a nearby bamboo forest and fell, loaded and transported bamboo poles themselves. Having witnessed their dedicated actions, a journalist wrote in the next morning’s paper, “They do not depend on the facilities available to them. They get their work done by sheer will power.”{view photos of educational support here}

Bihar’s Minister for Labour, Avdesh Narain Singh, expressing his gratitude to MAM, said, “The people of MAM are working day and night to serve the flood victims. In fact, I wonder if they are even sleeping at night! We are very thankful to MAM for accepting our appeal and rushing to help us in this time of need.”

After three months and more the government has started on the second phase of the rehabilitation project – taking census of losses suffered by individual farmers, so that compensation can be granted under different heads. The waters have receded in most places, a majority of the people have returned to their villages, and are now immersed in efforts to rebuild their lives.
{view photos of life after 3 months}

– Dass

Simplicity of the Smile is powerful than 100 Presidents

17-18 April, Bharata Yatra 2009

Brahmasthanam Festival, Kochi

Amma’s programme here was a festival not only in name but in spirit. For two full days, the grounds were filled to overflowing with relaxed, smiling faces. An atmosphere of peace and good cheer pervaded as students and staff of Amrita University and AIMS Hospital worked side by side with local volunteers to serve the throngs of devotees and curious onlookers who attended the event.

ekm pgm

On the evening of the first day, an array of invited guests took the stage on either side of Amma. Guests included former UN undersecretary Shri. Sashi Tarur, Vice-Admiral Sunil Damle, Commander-in-Chief of the India’s Southern Naval Command, Justices Hon. P.R. Raman and Hon. K. Padmanaphan, Smt. Lakshmi Menon, Vice-President of the Indian Express Group, Shri. K. Babu, MLA and Dr. C.G. Krishnadas Nair, M.D. for Cochin International Airport.

In his speech, Justice P.R. Raman reflected on the importance of Amma’s focus and message in today’s world. “Spirituality is the basis of the greatness of a human being. We must have values in our life. Whatever be our field of action, value-based life is what is important.” Justice. K. Padmanabhan added, “Amma’s compassion and love is the catalyst for great and positive changes taking place in the world today. If we translate Amma’s teachings into our life, we can attain Realization.”

Shri. Sashi Tarur shared his insights about what in fact draws people to Amma from all over the world and from all walks of life. “Not just here but in a thousand places across the world the name of Amma is honoured and respected. Not because of any ideology, not because of any religious faith, not because of any cult but quite simply because of the power of love. We sit before her to gain from her  the strength that comes from purity and simplicity of her smile and her hug.  Through that, we find within ourselves the strength to rise above all the limitations of our daily lives to something higher than ourselves, something purer than the rest of the world offers. That is where her power lies and it is greater than the power of a hundred kings, of a hundred prime ministers, of a hundred presidents. The simple power of love is the power of Amma and like all of you, I too bow tonight before her strength, her simplicity, and her love.”

Smt. Lakshmi Menon officially released the Program Souvenir.

The speeches were followed by an expansion of both the Vidyamritam and Amrita Sree projects. Over 100 children received scholarships to cover their educational expenses under Amma’s Vidyamritam project. The scholarships were presented by Vice-Admiral Damle and Dr. Krishnadas Nair.

Justices Raman and Padmanabhan presented 10 new AmritaSree Self-Help Groups (women’s cooperative home-based businesses) with microcredit bank loans as start-up capital for their new businesses. The loans were negotiated and guaranteed by the Math. These new groups (each comprised of 20 women undergoing financial hardship) join 100 existing AmritaSree SHGs in Cochin.

Both days of programmes saw a litany of talented and captivating performances by students of both Amma’s Amrita Vidyalayam school and Amrita University Kochi Campus.

On the second evening of the programmes, Amma personally led the devotees through the Sani Puja, along with satsang, bhajan, and darshan for one and all.

watch photos of Kochi brahmasthanam festival here:

Amma, ‘Mother of the Nation’ for the Masai

14 April 2009, Nairobi, Kenya
During Amma’s programme in Kenya, members of the Masai Tribe presented Amma with the title of Elder of their tribe. As part of this process, they dressed Amma in the traditional regalia of their Elders.

They also presented Amma with the following message:

“Amma, the Title of the ‘Elder’ comes with a great responsibility. The elder is a mother to community and to Nation! The mother has to look after her children now, as an Elder of Masai. We want you to know that you have to take care of not only Masais but all Kenyans. All Kenyans now seek your guidance to a world of love, peace, harmony and happiness. We love you. Have a wonderful, memorable stay in Kenya.”
children with amma

The significance of the Elder’s attire follows here:

The attire and the Regalia of Elder consists of 5 items.  Each of these 5 items has a very special significance.

Blue skirt:
The Blue skirt the blue skirt, signifies a female Masai Elder. Only the female Elder wears a blue skirt.

White top:
Spiritual Leaders / Elders wear white top, white signifies purity, peace but most of all spirituality.

The ornaments consist of necklace, headgear and wrists or arm bracelets. Each ornament is decorated with a large number of very colourful beads.  The beads symbolize people of different origin, different beliefs, different faith, different religion. All brought together to make a unique, and colourful item to show unity and harmony.

Masai Milk Gourd:
Milk is a basic but most significant of all Masai foods.  The colour of milk – white once again — signifies purity and peace. We understand that no Masai ritual is complete without milk being part of it.

Leather Sandals:
This is to assist you to walk long distances and to take you wherever you need to go far and Wide. To spread your message of love, compassion, empathy and tolerance.

Amma launches orphanage in Kenya

14-15 April, Nairobi, Kenya
Six years after Amma first visited Kenya, Amma returned for her first official programme. Treated as a state guest, she was accorded a warm welcome by Kenya’s previous Vice President, His Excellency Hon. Mr. Moody Awori. Amma held a press conference where she explained about her service projects in Kenya. During the conference, Amma was flanked by Masai tribesmen, who came to express their gratitude for Amma visiting Kenya. Rangers of the Kenya Wildlife Service brought in an adult cheetah that had been orphaned two weeks after birth. Amma spent some time with the cheetah and petted it.

The public programmes were held in the SSD Temple. The crowd consisted of a diverse mix of cultures, tribes, religious groups and nationalities. Upon Amma’s arrival, traditional dancers presented a welcome dance full of joy and enthusiasm. Amma was officially welcomed to Kenya by the Indian Deputy High Commissioner, Dr. Ketan Shukla, who refelected, “I am sure that with Amma’s coming, peace will prevail in Kenya.”

The renowned advocate and human rights defender Dr. P.L.O Lumumba delivered a rousing speech, highlighting Amma’s humanitarian work and the blessing Kenya was receiving through her visit. He shared the following sentiment to thunderous applause: “Seldom in the history of this country do we have a personality such as this. We come to celebrate and acknowledge a personification of love; we come here to ask ourselves whether there is love in our hearts. I know that all religions believe in Avatars of God, I suspect Mama (Mother) that you are such an avatar. Your selfless desire, your selfless action in finding 54 young Kenyans, whose parents, whose mothers and fathers you do not know and to decide to help them is your greatest testament and commitment to man.”

Ms. Naomi Cibi, Managing Director of Kenya Film Corporation, also welcomed Amma and thanked her for all the social service she has already inspired people to do in Kenya. Ms. Cidi commented, “I have been watching what she has been doing around the world and she has only one message: Love and compassion.”

Masai tribeswomen then bedecked Amma with their traditional blue and white, beaded regalia, crowning her as an elder of their tribe.

Amma’s biography in Swahili was released from Deputy High Commissioner Shukla to Dr. Lumumba.

Children from the Kabete Children’s Home, an orphanage where Amma’s devotees have conducted weekly feedings for the past 5 years, welcomed Amma to Kenya, by singing her bhajan “Amma, Amma, Amma”.

Amma inaugurated Amrita Watoto Boma, or Amrita Children’s Home. Spread over 11 acres on the banks of the Athi River, this orphanage will ultimately be home to 108 children, providing them with shelter, food, education and healthcare. During the inauguration, Amma distributed new sets of clothing and school supplies to the first 54 children (between the ages of 6 and 14), who are now staying at the orphanage.

After Amma’s spiritual discourse and bhajans, the day’s cultural programs including more devotional singing by the children of Kabete Children’s Home, as well as various Indian dances.

On the second day of the Nairobi program, Amma was welcomed by High Court Justice Kassanga Mulwa, and the Brazilian Ambassador to Kenya, Ms. Ana Maria Sampaio. Amma launched the second of her new humanitarian projects in Kenya, a scholarship program for 54 children across the country. On this occasion, the first 20 of the 54 students received their scholarship certificates from Amma’s hands. The scholarship of 24,000 shillings per student will be enough to cover their educational expenses for a full year.

Members of the Kenya branch of Amma’s international youth organization, AYUDH Kenya, donated the first books for the library at the orphanage. During the programme they received Amma’s blessings for seeds to plant in the orphanage vegetable garden, and brought a number of tulasi plants for Amma to bless for Green Friends Kenya.

After Amma’s spiritual discourse and devotional singing, there was a cultural performance from the Maringo area of Nairobi, where AYUDH members had recently come together with local youngsters to conduct a cleanup day. Along with the drums, dance and singing, a group of young acrobats, Zam Zam, performed amazing stunts onstage.

The highlight of the cultural programs was a spectacular performance by Eric Wainaina, a UN Ambassador for Peace, regarded by many to be Africa’s top musician of the day. Mr. Wainaina had met Amma 7 years ago for the first time and says he is very inspired by her.

After the day’s darshan was over, Amma visited a dome that had been on display before the hall, to show how the structures will look at the orphanage site. Amma gave a lot of detailed instructions about how to manage the orphanage, including ameliorations to make to the structure of the beds.

Before leaving Nairobi, Amma visited a small local hospital. There she visited the maternity ward and kissed the newborn babies.

– Tulasi

watch photos