Conserving the present, celebrating the future

Celebrating Earth Day in Delhi

22 April 2011

 
It was in the background of one of the worst natural disasters – the earthquake and tsunami in Japan – that this year’s Earth day arrived on the 22nd of April. This calamity of unprecedented magnitude lent added relevance and significance to this year’s Earth Day. Ayudh Delhi felt that it was high time that awareness about ever deteriorating environmental condition should be brought home to all, so as to save Earth, our ONLY home. Hence, replicating the activity undertaken during Earth Day last year, another awareness campaign about the state of our Earth and the various ways in which each individual can bring about improvement in environment was done.

The venue for this awareness campaign was Dilli Haat at INA on Aurobindo Marg, a place known as a confluence of various cultural traditions and handicrafts from different parts of the country. A large crowd of knowledgeable and passionate visitors coupled with the ambience of the place and the idea itself contributed to a truly memorable and rewarding evening.

The state of our earth was put across in the shape of a dry and barren tree atop a famished earth. People were asked to contribute their ideas, which could liven up this dying earth. The ideas were pinned up to the tree in the form of green leaves. People came in droves to contribute their ideas and suggestions. Within a few hours itself, the tree which had looked so barren in the beginning was fluttering with the green leaves of hope.

Another initiative was to get a signed commitment from the people to take up at least one of the three very simple acts to bring about a significant improvement in environmental condition. The commitments were “To save Water”, “To switch off electricity when not required” and “To turn off the engines of vehicles when at the red lights”. The response was seen to be believed. The Big Banner hosting these 3 commitments ran out of space for people to sign on in no time. People assured us that the commitment that they have done here is meant to be followed in true letter and spirit.

If the above two activities were well received, the crown jewel was the Tulsi distribution. As an extension of the Tulsi distribution done at the time of Amma’s visit to Delhi in mid-March this year, Ayudh distributed around 1000 tulsi saplings free of cost to the visitors at Dilli Haat. People were really happy to get the sapling. They assured us that they would take good care of it and nourish it with all their love and warmth. Hence it was another step in Amma’s vision of the plantation drive, in which Amma wants people to take up the responsibility to plant saplings and nurture them.

The significant lesson these activities brought home to us was that people clearly understood the deteriorating environmental condition that we are in right now, and voluntary initiatives to spread the message to save the Earth would be wholeheartedly welcomed. Obviously, there is need is to organize such initiatives so that like- minded people can come together and get to know that there are many who share their concern and that they are not alone in the fight to save the nature. This in turn would give them hope to continue their efforts at making the world a better place to live in.

– Dass

With the message of Compassion at University of Lusofona

The Department of Religions and Oriental Studies, University of Lusofona at Lisbon, Portugal invited Br. Shubamrita Chaitanya for a lecture on April 12, 2011. The topic of the lecture was ‘Religion and Compassion’ and was well attended by students and faculty members. Br. Shubamrita spoke about the emphasis of compassion in all the world religions and how important it is to go into the essence of all religions and put it into practice rather than getting stuck in the external aspects. He quoted many examples from Amma’s life, whose message of love and compassion has transcended all barriers of religion, language or nationality.

Bharata Yatra 2011 – May

Amma to visit Mangalore, Kannur and Trissur from 1st of May 2011

Mangalore Brahmasthanam festival
1st Sun, 2nd Mon of May 2011
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Brahmasthanam Temple,
Sultan Bathery Road, Boloor, Mangalore-575003, Phone: (0824) 2457 056

Kannore Brahmasthanam Consecration
4th Wed, 5th Thu of May 2011
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Brahmasthanam Temple,
Amritapuram, Panankavu, Pallikkunnu po, Kannur, North Kerala, Phone – 0497-2746371.

Trissur Brahmasthanam festival
7th Sat, 8th Sun of May 2011
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Brahmasthanam Temple,
Amrita Nagar, Ayyanthole, Panchikkal, Trissur, Kerala, India. Phone: 0487-2362700

Amma at Kochi

9 – 10 May, Brahmasthanam Festival, Ernakulam  – Bharata Yatra 2011

In addition to being home to one of Amma’s Brahmasthanam Temples, Kochi is also home to the Health Sciences campus of Amrita University. Accordingly, many students and staff of Amma’s institutions here enthusiastically play host to Amma’s annual program. Wherever one looks, students and staff can be seen doing seva–serving food, washing plates, distributing drinking water in the hot sun, helping to control the flow of pedestrian traffic, and in activities related to the Amala Bharatam Clean India Campaign–making sure that all waste is appropriately collected, sorted and recycled.

But even before Amma’s programs began, all these sevites and more were present on the grounds of the ashram/campus, waiting to welcome Amma when she arrived on the evening of the 8th. They lined the path on either side from the road all the way through the grounds until school building where Amma stays during the programs. Amma was welcomed on the verandah of the building with a pada puja and garland. The room where she stays is upstairs, and on her way she stopped at the balcony and looked down at the throng of her children below. Though they had been working throughout the day to make arrangements for the program, they were full of energy… shouting and cheering at Amma’s arrival. Many cries of “Mata Rani Ki Jai!” Amma stayed on the balcony for quite a while looking down with the eyes of a proud and loving mother. She asked them if they had eaten and joked with them. Finally she gave her own cries of “Mata Rani Ki Jai!” which were echoed by all those gathered below.

At the evening program on the first day, Amma shared the dais with several dignitaries, including Kerala High Court Chief Justice Sri J Chelameshwar; Kochi Corporation Mayor Sri Tony Chammini (Mayor of Kochi); Kerala Fisheries Director Dr. Beena, IAS; Dr. Nirmala Kannan, Rear Admiral, Southern Naval Command; and Sri E. Nandakumar, Director, Cochin Refineries.

In his welcome address, the Mayor of Kochi reflected: “It is the responsibility of the government to help the common man. However because of the complications of the procedure, it doesn’t reach the expected people in time when they are in need. But Amma’s compassion is reaching out to them. What the government is supposed to do for the society, we can see that is what Amma and her institutions are doing. Amma’s touch has reached all aspects of society. This illustrates Amma’s commitment for the overall development of society. On this occasion I would like to say that the Corporation of Kochi offers its full support for all of Amma’s activities.”

As ever, Amma’s program marked the expansion of her charitable initiatives in the area, and the invited guests participated in the ceremonial distribution. The stage was filled to overflowing with project recipients New Vidyamritam scholarships for children were distributed by the Mayor of Kochi. New enrollees to lifetime pension program Amrita Nidhi received their first pension cheques from the Chief Justice. Members of AmritaSREE Women’s Self-Help Groups received their new subsidized insurance policies from the Life Insurance Corporation of India as part of the Amrita AmritaSREE program. And newly formed Self-help Groups received working capital financial grants–the cheques were handed over by the Rear Admiral.

In her remarks on both days, Amma took time out to remind all those assembled of the hardships currently faced by the people of Japan. Having received reports of her devotees who are doing relief work for the refugees there, Amma explained that even though we are not seeing it in the mainstream news, in fact they have a lot of scarcity of water both for drinking and for bathing, and that they are really suffering–and that in some places, the water contains elevated levels of radiation due to the crisis at the Fukushima Nuclear Plant, and the people are afraid to drink it. Amma then asked for two minutes of prayer for the peace and welfare of the Japanese people, for those who have lost everything and for those who are suffering.

Additionally Amma took care to personally explain the significance of the Amala Bharatam Campaign, reminding everyone to take care of natural resources. She also explained the necessity of using handkerchiefs rather than spitting on the ground. Finally Amma urged all her listeners to revive the practice of growing vegetables at home. Amma said everyone should try to cultivate at least one or two vegetables in their own garden–whether onions, tomatoes, brinjal or lady’s finger.

In addition to their sevas helping to organize the program, the students kept busy in other ways–staging cultural performances and enough bhajan sessions to last through the night on both evenings. Also, inspired by the deep commitment of Amma’s healthcare institutions to serving the poor regardless of their ability to pay, the students organized a blood drive to help raise awareness of the need to donate blood and to advocate for the introduction of free blood transfusions for the poor as a general practice in all medical institutions.

After two days of shimmering heat, Amma’s Sani Puja was followed immediately by a cool and refreshing rain. After a long night of darshan, Amma wrapped up the two days program by joyfully singing two of the year’s new bhajans, Tri Murthigala and Bandalo Bandalo. Along with her voice Amma carried all her children along with her into new heights of joy and bliss.

– Kannadi

American Yatra 2011

Amma’s 2011 American Yatra will occur between 27th May and 18th July.

Dates are tentative, subject to change and venues are to be announced later.

Seattle

Public Program: Fri May 27
Retreat: Sat May 28 – Mon May 30
Devi Bhava: Mon May 30 (Evening)

 

San Ramon

Public Program: Thu June 2 – Sun June 5
Retreat: Mon June 6 – Wed June 8
Devi Bhava: Wed June 8 (Evening)

 

Los Angeles

Public Program: Fri June 10 – Sat June 11
Retreat: Sun June 12 – Tue June 14
Devi Bhava: Tue June 14 (Evening)

 

Albuquerque

Public Program: Fri June 17
Retreat: Sat June 18 – Mon June 20
Devi Bhava: Mon June 20 (Evening)

 

Dallas

Public Program: Wed June 22 – Thu June 23
Devi Bhava: Thu June 23 (Evening)

 

Iowa

Public Program: Sat June 25 – Sun June 26
Devi Bhava: Sun June 26 (Evening)

 

Chicago

Public Program: Tue June 28 – Wed June 29
Devi Bhava: Wed June 29 (Evening)

 

New York

Public Program: Sat July 2 – Mon July 4
Devi Bhava: Mon July 4 (Evening)

 

Washington DC

Public Program: Wed July 6 -Thu July 7
Devi Bhava: Thu July 7 (Evening)

 

Boston

Public Program: Sun July 10
Retreat: Mon July 11 – Wed July 13
Devi Bhava: Wed July 13 ( Evening)

 

Toronto, Canada

Public Program:Fri July 15
Retreat: Sat July 16 – Mon July 18
Devi Bhava:Mon July 18 ( Evening)

 

Amma has been visiting USA for the last 25 years

Amma in Mauritius

1-2 April 2011, Mauritius

An auspicious rainbow was sighted upon Amma’s arrival in Mauritius in the only Brahamastanam Temple outside of India.

Amma was welcomed to the island by several dignitaries, including the President of Mauritius, Anerud Jugnauth, Mr. Anil Bachoo, Minister for Public Infrastructure and Shipping, Mr. Madhusudan Ganapthy, the Indian High Commissioner, and Mr. Alan Ganoo, Member of Parliament

On the occasion, The President said “She is an envoy of peace and an ambassador of love to the whole world. The love that Amma radiates, is the key to her phenomenal success that she has achieved in such a short period of time. Due to this love and the purity of her purpose, she has been able to inspire so many thousands to take up the path of selfless service. I would like again to thank Amma for visiting Mauritius, and keeping this beautiful country in her embrace.”

During her visit Amma extended the ashram’s charitable activities by handing out pensions to destitute women, and launching the ‘Grow In’ program, where youngsters took a vow to grow their own vegetables.

Swami Ramakrishnananda’s book, Timeless Path was released in French with the help of the President.

During the two days of programs, all in attendance were able to enjoy Amma’s satsangs, bhajans and darshan.

 

Amrita Watoto Boma, Children’s care home inaugurated

5 April 2011, Kenya
The Vice-President of the Republic of Kenya, His Excellency Kalonzo Musyoka opened the new children’s home built by Mata Amritanandamayi Math Charitable Trust – Kenya, in Amma’s presence. In a public function organized here at Athi River, in addition to the Vice-President, several other dignitaries including the Deputy Minister for Sports and Culture, Mrs Wavinya Ndeti, several MPs, the district collector and the famous Kenyan singer Eric Wainaina were present. Initially, the children’s home will accommodate 108 children.

In addition to the children’s home, two other projects were inaugurated on this day — the Amrita Vocational Training Center and the Amrita Drinking Water Distribution Project.

The Amrita Vocational Training Center equipped with 35 computers, aims to serve the population of the nearby slum settlement Jam City. In the Centre’s first course, 50 people received training in basic computing.

The Amrita Drinking Water Distribution Project will deliver clean drinking water daily to members of the Masai tribal community in the area surrounding the Care Home, who have been severely affected by drought.

 

 

 

Amma in Reunion

27-30 March 2011, Reunion Islands

The French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Madagascar was Amma’s next stop after Singapore.

The 4 days of programs were opened by a mix of African and Indian drummers, at Salle Candin where Amma was formally welcomed by a host of dignitaries including The Consulate General of India, Mr Veloupoulle Jacques and Swami Advayananda Saraswati from Arsha Vidya Ashram of Re Union.

On the occasion of the programs, Mr Veloupoulle said “Amma is an example of one woman who made a difference. She was not born into a rich family.  The key to her success being her love and compassion, her holistic approach to life’s problems and most importantly her tireless efforts in helping others. How does she make it so effortless?  As she herself says where there is love no effort is needed.”

Large crowds attended the Satsangs, Bhajans, and Atma puja and the Devi Bhava.
– Tulasi

Amma in Singapore

22-24 March 2011, Singapore

Twenty five years ago when Amma first went beyond the shores of India to share her love and compassion with the rest of the world, the first programs were held in Singapore.

 

Amma was officially welcomed to Singapore by Mr Lim Chee Seng, Treasurer of Loyang Tua Pek Kong (Taoist Temple) and Howard Shaw, Executive Director of the Singapore Environment Council.

Inspired by Amma’s environmental drive, representatives of different countries that Amma has visited over her 25 years of touring, came to collect seeds to be grown in 49 countries.

The Amriteswari Society of Singapore launched the Amrita Bursary Award in 2007, and this year scholarships were handed out to 50 less fortunate students. Henry Lim, legal adviser and trustee of Loyang Tua Pek Kong (Taoist Temple) joined Amma in distributing the scholarships..

 

To show their appreciation of her 25th year of loving global outreach, the people of Singapore offered Amma a commemorative handmade quilt with small mosaics of hearts of 41 countries Amma visited.

The programs were held at Marina Bay Sands, Expo & Convention Centre. Large crowds were participated in the programs which over three days included a Puja, Satsang, Bhajans and Darsha.

– Tulasi

 

Panoramic view from Amrita Setu

This is the 360 degree panoramic view from Amrita Setu bridge, which connects the main land to Amritapuri Ashram land over the back waters.

[swfobj src=”/mm/amritasetu.swf” width=”600″ height=”450″]

note: Drag the mouse to your left or right to pan, scroll the mouse wheel to zoon in and out