Spiritual investment will never go waste

23 May 2011,  Amritpauri

Every year before the USA yatra, Amma holds a meeting for all the ashramites. This is the time of the year when she shares her vision on the working of the institutions, point out shortcomings, suggesting the modus operandi we need to pursue and tips on sadhana. This year also was not different.

Meeting with Amma

The bell rang three times. Every one ran to the Kali temple. Within few miniutes Amma arrived through the balcony. She took the mic “All those who are looking after institutions, schools please stand up.” Scanning over the assembled, she said “Where are the others? Not all are here – I am going to mark them absent.” She sounded like a strict teacher.

She continued asking for the requirements concerning schools/institutions for the coming academic year. “You have to give me proper lists of requirements – with exact numbers of where you need it and its justfication. Even if you give me a list, I won’t give you straight away what you ask for. It has to be a clear detailed list. Otherwise if you are given without any proper justification, then there might not be proper accountability. You might waste and misuse. And you will come up with the same list again next year” said Amma with a smile. She was pointing out our need for awareness. “You should make enquiries about such things in other institutions also. What sort of user – computer ratios do they have? Teachers are supposed to be aware of and be thorough with what they are teaching. They should not have to rely only on computers.” Amma cautioned.

“You are all spiritual aspirants. We should have awareness in all that we do. Only then does karma become karma yoga. Strive to seek that awareness from me.” Amma started explaining about the subtle principles of spiritual life and its application.

Daily practice

“Discipline helps good thoughts and qualities to develop, which in turn leads to Shraddha or awareness in action. For one who has Shraddha, everything becomes Puja (worship). Nothing will be wasted, everything will be practical” Amma said.

“To control the mind, discipline is needed. We need to meditate, do japa, do seva. Only one who has a strong grounding in the Shastras (scriptures) can survive without this.”

“Meditate in the morning. Go for your seva after that. Read books and make notes. What is the use of showing light to a blind person! You have to awaken yourself. Only then will you have that yearning.”

Amma then started explaing how daily discipline can help us in our life quoting from her own life experiences.

“Because we had that sort of discipline during childhood – at dusk we would wash our hands and feet, light the lamp and pray. We would also place a pot of water in front of the lamp for God, so that God could wash his feet if he comes to our house! People had such innocent faith then. During prayers and bhajans, we would have to sit with folded hands as a mark of devotion and respect. Even now if I am not able to come for bhajans I sit with the tambura and sing bhajans in the room itself. Even when I had throat problems, I do still sing.”

Irrespective of the situation, you will be able to pursue your practice if you had an early discipline. To drive this point Amma quoted “When Damayanti Amma’s father died – she sat by the body and did Hari Nama Kirtanam1 – because as per her schedule it was time to do so. She used to chant the Hari Nama Kirtnam every morning.”

Mantra Japa

“During Archana, you can either chant or keep silence and imagine that you are doing an abhisheka2 with flowers to God, flowing from head to feet – that way you will be able to visualise the whole form. Archana – can be chanted together but should be in synchrony – with the same speed and shruthi3.” Amma pointed out.

Amma started explaing how practically we should live a spiritual life. “You can chant wherever you are. You can look at the sky as you travel and look into the skies and persieve the ‘Ishta devata’4 is moving with you. While travelling by road, you can imagine Devi driving in a chariot/car ahead of you. While cooking you can see Devi’s face in the fire as you blow. So you can do anything and everything anywhere with the remembrance of God.”

Intensity to know

“I am very sad when I do not see such an attitude in my children. You should have that intensity, but many of you seem to lack it. Most of you are like an ordinary bus. That goes so slow, stopping here and there again and again. Moreover, you keep on loading the bus with each and everything you see at every stop till the bus breaks down and you lose everything. Then you wait for the next bus.”

“Make a resolve; That we should reach a particular place by a particular time. It is only then that we will have the urgency to reach our destination. We should have the yearning and the Jijnasa- the desire to know” Amma inspired everyone.

Narrating the story of Kaikeyi and Manthara from Ramayana, “If within the mind, some gossip and slander finds root, God leaves, Devil will rule the mind.” Amma warned.

Center of Love

“Without a center you cannot draw a circle. Without that center of love, there won’t be fulfilment to life. That is what makes life full. Doing actions as an offering to God is karma yoga. Here, in the ashram you can do this very easily – you can think that you are doing it for Amma. Remember that Amma has offered herself to the world. Amma is always in Atma-bhava, in the state of Self. She is your Atma; She is not different from you. So if you do actions with that attitude, then it is the Self offering it to the Self.”

Attachment to the Guru

Explaing the attachment towards Guru, Amma said “Your attachment to Amma or God is like attachment to river Ganga. It will purify everything. Attachment to the world is like being attached to a dirty sewer. It will lead to many diseases.”

Cleaning the mind

Amma insisted on being selfless and performing action with that attitude. “Nishkama karma – selfless service will surely benefit us. It is like strewing seeds and moving on. You should not think that you have attained nothing, being in this spiritual path. For there is nothing to be attained. Everything is inside. We should be thinking on what we are able to do, what we are able to give to the society. That gives antahkarana shuddhi – purification of inner instruments. It is then that the gaps within us will be filled. If we do a business and lose, we lose everything. But here when you turn and look you will see a beautiful garden.”

Explaining that our spiritual investment will never go waste, but stay like gold and will benefit others, Amma said “When you pray or do japa or dhyana – it is like watering the root of a tree – you do not have to water all the leaves or flowers and such. Here in the ashram there are many brahmacharies from the same family – it is because there was a Sannyasi in their family earlier. Because of that, the samskara is still alive in their family.”

Quoting the stories of Upanishads where disciple offered himself to save the crops from flood, and the disciple boy who was asked to look after the cows, Amma said, “We should have an attitude of acceptance. We should not be perturbed when we lose position. Have the attitude of Saranagati5 to the Guru. It is invaluable.”

Selfessness is the key

Amma reinforced the attitude that we need to have as a sadhak. “When we do actions selflessly, our mind clears up the dirt and the dust, our ego, and we are able to see the Atma within. It is to clean the mind, that we are doing all this – to see our Selves. When the mind is clear, God will be revealed within.”

Amma was putting across the highest principles of spirituality and its practical execution in simple words. “We can serve everybody seeing God in all. That is Sanatana Dharma.” Amma concluded.

— Sakshi

— — — —

1 – Hari Nama Kirtanam, Ezhuthachan’s poetic composition of vedantic principles which people used to chant everyday as a prayer. Consisting 66 stanzas, each stanza starts in a descending alphabetic order with a malayalam character.

2 – Abhisheka, also called Abhishekam, is the prayer ritual where one pours libations on the form of the deity being worshipped, amidst the chanting of mantras. Amma indicated the mental action of throwing a flower in prayerful obeisance with the flower falling from head to foot, so one can visualize the form.

3. Sruti commonly refers to musical pitch.

4. ‘Ishta Devata’ refers to one’s favourite form of worship.

5. Saranagati – Complete surrender.



Masala Dosa festival at Amritapuri

23 May 2011, Amritapuri

Amma’s US tour is about to start. Before every tour, Amma makes it a point to meet each and every Ashramite. Usually it takes more than 10-12 days of continuous Darshan for Amma to meet everyone and each day Amma would have to sit more than 15 hours, receiving one and all, listening patiently, giving instructions with cajoling words and directing the path to inner peace. On the penultimate day before the tour, Amma came out into the Kali temple and like any Satsang day, Amma started directing Seva and pinpointing the need of Sadhana to the ashram residents{news}. As Amma was leaving the temple, she announced that she would come back that evening to make and serve Dosa1 to all.

Amma making masala dosa


Amma had called the kitchen incharge some time earlier and had told him that some children had asked Amma for a dosa. The person first received the news without realising that Amma was serious on her plans. Amma then asked his estimates for the total number of people, logistics and time for making dosas for the entire Ashram. The kitchen incharge, realizing that Amma would really be making them, soon did his estimates. One may imagine the panic state of the kitchen incharge: a group of friends call and tell you they are coming to your place for dinner and that they need a specific menu and all that within two or three hours. Imagine the trepidation when that number is over 3000! The gas cylinders, dosa stoves, potato peeling and preparation of the masala, personnel to make dosas, batter flour, kitchen instruments and vessels, just to point a few.

They had initially planned Ghee roasts2. During the Satsang, Amma asked everyone what they would prefer and how much they would eat. To the question on what dosa they would prefer, someone said masala dosa3. Amma then asked how many dosas one would need. Many said one, some said two. So at 3 pm that day, Amma asked for masala (the spicy potato paste) that goes into the dosas to be prepared. She had estimated 3000 people. In less than 3 hours, both masala and the rice batter were kept ready.

There was a lot of excitement. The main bhajan hall already had 12 dosa stoves set up before the evening bhajans. People came and sat around them to attend the Bhajans. A 90-year old Ashram resident (a.k.a Pattiamma) had climbed up with Amma as Amma had come into the stage. As Amma entered the stage, Pattiamma had requested Amma to sing a particular song on Sri Lalita. Bhajans started and Amma’s singing took many into the earnest thoughts of unconditional joy. Amma paused the bhajans in between and asked for a microphone to be given to Pattiamma and asked her to sing a bhajan. Despite her struggle for breath, Pattiamma sang a beautiful song ‘Sivakamasundari Jagadamba’ in classical style calling out to the Divine Mother.

Amma making masala dosa

Amma’s mood and expression was so mesmerizing blissful and her eyes filled listening to Pattiamma. Immediately after that, responding to Pattiamma’s request, Amma then started singing a bhajan on Sri Lalita and after singing a few lines stopped while the music was still playing and said “Pattiamma had wanted a bhajan on Sri Lalita but it was not this one. I was enthralled in the words and bhava of her song, given her age, so I lost my mind”. Amma then started another beautiful bhajan on Lalitamba. After Arati, Amma walked right down the stage to the dosa stoves.

Amma started making Masala Dosas. What a sight! A small pan of batter, she would take and spread it thin on the hot plate, someone would sprinkle a bit of oil, another would place a bit of potato-masala in the center. Amma would then make another one just like that on the other side of the hot plate, pouring from the cup and spreading it slowly as someone would sprinkle oil and put some masala. By that time, the first dosa would be ready and Amma would take the dosa, roll it with the ladle and place it on an awaiting plate ready to be served. Someone tied a pink apron on Amma while she cooked.

She made many dosas. Amma’s handling the dosa batter, the drawing of a thin layer using the pouring cup and especially the way she rolled and ladled out the dosa seemed so uncanny and professional. On the contrary, Amma had mentioned while coming the ramp from the stage that she does not know how to make masala dosas. After making many dosas, Amma started serving them herself. Simultaneously boys and girls started making dosas in the other 12 stoves. On either side, one could notice several stoves and many ashramites making dosas. Some stoves had 2 dosas simultaneously, some others had 3 and some larger ones had upto 6 at the same time. With water sprinkled after every round, dosa stoves were creating sizzles of white vapour at random intervals. Plates were set on benches, curry ladled out and then the plates were passed to Amma.

One by one people came and got their share of Masala dosa from Amma. The whole hall had been full with visitors, devotees, students and Ashramites. Amma would ask for a show of hands to those who did not get their dosa and count them fast and send plates in that direction. Amma mentioned “Children eat well, need more take more, I want to see your stomachs full so I can be happy. If you eat, I will be full and happy tonight”. Amma said “We can sing bhajans after you all eat!”. Soon after serving all, Gita was chanted. It was so nice to also see Amma had joined us to taste the dosas. Two bramhacharins had made her big dosas. She took tiny bites relishing the taste that her children had given her from the same batter from which she had made for all her children. More than three thousand dosas were done. Amma happily said “In one hour we all did it”.

Amma then sang a beautiful bhajan “Bandalo Bandalo”. ‘Bandalo’ talks of the joy that a devotee experiences in the company and with the arrival of the Divine Mother (Devi). Following the beats, Amma asked everyone to clap hands with each other. Many smiles bloomed as the tune grew faster. Amma then requested everyone to pray for world peace and sang the song “Kushiomke Bahar” that ends with the words “Lokah Samasthah Sukhino Bhavatu” (May there be peace to everyone in the world).

Truly, it was a spiritually enthralling Masala dosa fest.

In a few hours, Amma would leave for the US tour, to spend the next 8 weeks with her children there.

— Kannadi


1 Dosa – South Indian delicacy made from rice batter resembling a thin pancake

2 Ghee roast – Dosa made using clarified butter or ghee

3 Masala Dosa – Dosa with potato masala stuffing

Changeless in the midst of change

May 2011

While Amma herself is changeless, the Ashram is constantly in a state of flux. For those living here, the changes can be gradual. But for the occasional, annual visitor, they catch one’s eye immediately.

Arriving at the backwaters, with Amritapuri rising to the west, the first change one notices is that Amrita Setu has received a new coat of paint. The span is now mostly orange – allowing the bridge to stand out against the green palm trees, blue sky, and even darker blue backwaters.

The recycling center, previously next to the Ecology Center, has also moved to newer facilities at the end of the Girl’s Student Hostel on the north western edge of the Ashram grounds. There, a committed group of sevites sift through all the trash generated by the Ashram and separate it into various categories for recycling, re-use and disposal.

Amrita Setu is not the only part of Amritapuri with new colors. The main Temple has also received a makeover. While pink is still prominent, the various ornamentations, frescos and designs all feature brighter colors in shades of red, orange, and yellow. Krishna, Arjuna, and their chariot appear to virtually charge into battle on the roof of the entrance to the Temple.

In the courtyard in front of the temple, a new flat complex sits behind the bookstall. The walkways surrounding these flats feature columns as well as ornate wooden benches, window sills, and doors.

To the left of the Temple on the way to the Kalari, the sand path has been replaced with a mosaic of colored tiles. The same can be said for the area in front of the Western Canteen.

Two years back, a new field opened up to the west of the main hall – stretching from the south of Amma’s house to the Western Canteen and westwards to the Beach Road. This field now holds numerous gardens, extra seating for the canteen, and a small two storey flat. An additional cow shed which houses six indigenous cows is by Amma’s room now.

Additional flats have sprung up. To the far south of the Ashram, on the eastern end of the field that a few years ago held Amma’s Birthday celebrations, new flats rise two stories tall. A wide balcony promenade stretches the length of the complex on both floors. On the western end of the field just past the horticultural center are the multisided Cottages. The architectural style of these buildings reflects the tropical feel of the palm tree covered surroundings.

One of the most impressive of all the changes that have taken place is that the Ashram now has a fully developed composting system. Each day, more than one tonne of food waste is collected and brought to an area in the southeast corner of the Ashram where, over the course of two months, it is transformed into compost. Part of the fresh compost is used in the tulsi fields and gardens around the Ashram. The rest of the compost is brought to the worm farm where, in two more months, over 50,000 worms will turn it into rich soil.

Even the area surrounding the Ashram is changing. New stores have sprung up in Valikkavu, the University campus has expanded, and a few kilometers north of the Ashram, a new bridge has been completed which connects the peninsula to the mainland. Since the tsunami of 2004, four new bridges have come up connecting this island to the main land which brings the total no of bridges to five.

The more one walks around, the more one spends at Amritapuri, the more one notices these changes. While the Changeless One sits on stage in the main hall giving darshan and consoling the multitudes, the external world revolves around in all its chaos.

– Sri


IAM Meditation camp for instructors

As per Amma’s instructions a two day All India IAM Technique Trainers’ camp was conducted on May 14th and 15th at Amritapuri. The participants were from various states, covering almost the entire geographical spread of India.

IAM Meditation

IAM Meditation camp for instructors

IAM Meditation

IAM Meditation camp for instructors

IAM Meditation

IAM Meditation camp for instructors

Devotees from all over India and faculty from all the Amrita Institutions, including the various University schools and all the Amrita Vidyalayams, attended in the hundreds. The interactive sessions included guided meditation sessions, mock teaching sessions, corporate games sessions, additional yoga sessions, informational video sessions on meditation and talks on the benefits of meditation by Dr Shanti Nair, winner of National Research award 2011 and Vandana Balakrishnan, who has done extensive research on the effect of IAM Technique on the physiological functioning of the human body.

The camp concluded with a lucid talk by Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri followed by a Question – Answer session.

Amma in Trissur

7, 8 May, Trissur, Kerala — Bhatara Yatra 2011

After many hours of travel by road through the congested roads of Kerala, Amma finally arrived at Trissur at 9.00 pm. In India mahatmas are greeted in a very traditional manner, and so is Amma, But with Amma more than tradition, it is the love that defines the relationship Amma has with her children. So on Amma’s arrival there was an uncontrollable upheaval of devotees as everyone tried to get closer, to get a glimpse of their beloved Amma. The devotees spontaneously started singing ‘Amma Amma Taye’.

As Amma was walking up the stairs she stopped once to look at her children. At times it seems like Amma is more eager to see her children than they are to see her. Even after she went up, and the devotees turned back, Amma suddenly appeared on the terrace over the portico. Again shouts of – Mata Rani Ki Jai burst out.

The next day Amma appeared on stage to be greeted by leading citizens of Trissur – Shri. Therambil Ramakrishnan MLA, Shri. I B Paul the Mayor, and Dr. B. Sandhya I.G. of Police and a prolific writer.

Therambil Ramakrishnan MLA after having bestowed the Amrita Nidhi pensions to new beneficiaries said – “The world over there are problems in that name of religion. Religions seem to be flourishing whereas spirituality is diminishing. This seems to be the malady of the present times. Amma is giving the clarion call to hold on to and awaken spiritual values. Amma has an unique ability to awaken the masses through simple parables – elucidating the subtlest spiritual truths. Though Amma has become a spiritual luminary of international fame, she is food for the hungry, knowledge for the ignorant – it is in these forms that the needy experience Amma.”

The Mayor I.B.Paul distributed Vidyamritam scholarships to 100 new deserving students. It was a pleasure to just see these children’s eyes light up as they received the first instalment of their scholarship after receiving Amma’s embrace and blessings.

Under the AmritaSREE project Amma helps women from economically weaker sections to get training in various vocations as well as remunerative occupations. The ashram also helps them start their own enterprises by providing the seed capital. Famous author and IG of police Dr. B. Sandhya bestowed these to the women Self Help Groups. A further expansion of this project is AmritaSREE Suraksha which provides insurance to the members of the SHG’s. In Amma’s presence scholarships were provided to some of the deserving children of AmritaShree SHG members.

During Amma’s darshan students from various Amrita Vidyalayams presented cultural programs. Some had the audience clapping with appreciation whereas others had everyone smiling and laughing as tiny tots vied with each other to dance and draw Amma’s attention.

There is no special day

The second day of the program happened to be on Mothers Day. Taking this up in her satsang and said: “Amma was surprised to learn that we have started celebrating Mothers Day in India too. It is unfortunate that you need a special day to remember the Mother. The Mothers Day is meant to remember the Mothers love and sacrifice. They have special days for remembering everything – Mothers Day, Fathers day, Valentines Day, etc. But our culture is different – we do not traditionally celebrate Mothers Day here, a day to remember the Mother, because here we remember our Mother each and every day. The culture of the West is different as the family ties are not so strong. The family rarely stays together. Here even if the son is 45 years of age and has no job, the mother will work to take care of her son. In today’s world everyone is so busy that they rarely have time to remember others. Maybe this is why such days to remember those who are important in our lives have come up.”

“Motherhood is not just a quality that women should possess, these qualities are required to be cultivated by everybody to maintain harmony in the world” Amma told the devotees.

There were cooling showers towards the end of darshan, as if nature herself was indicating the completion of a mahayagna. Amma finished darshan at around 6 in the morning. As usual Amma does that extra bit to elevate everybody before she ends. Amma sang – a Krishna bhajan and Bandalo Bandalo – which had all her children dancing and shouting Mata Rani ki Jai and Hari Bol. The program ended and Amma left the stage but the moments with her, her smile, her touch, Mata Rani ki Jai – her love and joie de vivre – left an imprint in the hearts and minds of all her children in Trissur.

– Tulasi

Amma in Kannur

4 – 5 May, Kannur, Kerala — Bharata Yatra 2011

After a long wait and many changes in dates finally Amma had arrived in Kannur. The ashram is set in very rustic environs. There is a feel of a village – houses set close together, yards with coconut palms, mango and jackfruit laden trees, cows in most houses.

There was a huge crowd of devotees waiting to receive their beloved Amma. There were devotees from all over the world – all having come to see Amma consecrate a temple, breathe life into stone.

Amma was greeted by a tumultuous shout – Mata Rani Ki Jai. Wading her way through the crowd, Amma reached the stage where she stood showering love and grace on her children. The devotees sang a bhajan in unison and Amma waited, looking at each of the faces of her children.

Amma went up to her room but came out again over the portico – again and looked all over the ashram from there, giving directions on what was to be done for the programs for the next two days – consecration of the new Brahamasthanam {news}. Again the devotees, getting a glimpse of their Amma started shouting – Mata Rani ki Jai.

Amma appeared on stage at 10am the next morning. Amma’s satsangs made one wonder how sublime spiritual truths could be expressed through such simple, day to day happenings and examples. Amma laid stress on Dharma, on holding on to and developing values in ones life.

In the evening some of the leading citizens of Kannur had come to support the charitable activities of the ashram. AP Abdulla Kutty the local MLA after distributing Vidyamaritam scholarships, said in reference to Amma – I was taught in the Madrassa that Heaven is at the feet of the Mother, prayer alone is not enough, it is essential to serve the Mother, Islam has taught me so.

The famous writer T Padmanabhan after releasing the souvenir said – Once in an age god plants a tree so that travellers in the desert may have shade. one such rare tree is Amma, endowed with spiritual glory, giving shade to travellers in this world.

The ashrams AmritaSREE program has been promoting women’s Self Help Groups throughout India. Working capital for another 10 women SHG was given, on behalf of the ashram, by panchayat president C Radhakrishnan.

Under the Amrita Nidhi project for giving pensions to the destitute, 50 new beneficiaries were presented with the first instalment on behalf of the ashram by Smt. Sreeja, the Muncipal Chairperson.

During the two days, the children from many of the Amrita Vidyalayams presented many cultural programs – folk dances, songs, yoga, etc. Amma gave all the children who came to her for darshan, handkerchiefs as part of the Amala Bharatam Campaign.

Another Brahmasthanam and the extension of many more service projects – Amma’s gift to Her children in Kannur. It was a message to all Her children – Pray and Serve.



Installation of Brahmasthanam Temple in Kannur

5 May, Kannur Brahmasthana Pratishta, Bharata Yatra 2011

There was an air of expectancy in the air as Amma was to consecrate the temple. The pujas had already started a few days prior to Amma’s arrival. On the 4th bimba shudhi and vaastu shuddhi was completed.

The morning of 5th Amma appeared in a yellow shawl, with a lotus mala and hair tied up. Amma’s eyes wore an other worldly expression as if She were gazing into things unknown and unseen by us. Amma ascended to the scaffold on top of the temple and meditated there for some time. As she opened her eyes and looked into the skies and all around her, it was as if she were invoking all of natures blessings. The pratishtha is a lesson in humility for us – Amma, the master, seeks the blessings of nature and of all the devotees before doing these ceremonies.

The sun was burning down as Amma did the Kalasha Pratishtha – the Pancha vadyam players reached a crescendo – fireworks resounded in the air, there was a continuos chant of Aum Shiva Shaktyaikya Roopinyai Namah mantra. Devotees overflowing the ashram premises stand in neighbouring properties to catch a glimpse of Amma as she placed each copper kalasha one on top of the other; she filled the kalashas with paddy. An eagle, said to be an auspicious sign, soared overhead, circling above the temple. After the pratishtha Amma did abhisheka, then after garlanding the kalashas Amma postrated to the Kalashas after arati.


Amma entered the temple. The idol was carried in by brahmacharis. Amma sat on the side of the Shakti Peetham, facing East. Amma placed fully bloomed lotus flowers on the four corners of the peetham and then embraced the peetham infusing it with shakti. The doors were closed and the idol was installed after Amma infused it with her energy.

Amma said that her sankalpa in the pratishtha was world peace.

When the doors opened again at 12.38pm the expectant devotees craned forward, chanting mantras, seeking the first darshan of the Murthi. Some local devotees and ashramites carried pots with consecrated water to the temple. Amma did abhisheka to the newly installed idol with this sanctified water.

Amma went to each of the doors – bowing down to the devotees seeking their goodwill and then offered flowers to the vigraha. Four of the Swamis did arati simultaneously to the four deities. It was not only within the temple that Amma had installed God – a new faith and devotion seemed to have sprung up in the hearts of the devotees, as both Indians and Westerners jostled and reached out to get just one petal used by Amma for the puja or even a drop of the tirtham from the abhishekha.


In the satsang Amma said that the temple is like a mirror – it is meant for us to see ourselves so that we can cleanse ourselves of the dirt on us. Amma says that the suffering we undergo is a result of our past actions. To rectify the situation we need to do good karmas. Pujas conducted in brahmasthanam temples help alleviate the negative effects of our karmas. So people are encouraged to do pujas for themselves. The four facets of the single idol – Shiva, Devi, Ganapati and Rahu/Kartikeya, members of one family, also shows unity in diversity – all names and forms representing but different aspects of the one reality. The temple also embodies the concept of the world or universal family – which is represented by the Shiva Kutumba.

This is the 21st Brahmasthanam consecrated by Amma. It will definitely serve as a beacon light of faith and hope to all who come here.


Amma in Mangalore

1 -2 May, Mangalore — Bharata Yatra 2011

Amma left Amritapuri on the evening of the 29th. Nobody knew whether there would be any stops with Amma or we would drive directly to Mangalore. As we were crossing Kodungallur we were told that Amma would be stopping in the Kodungallur school. Travelling with Amma the ashram children have learnt to be ready for any eventuality – the food was pre-packed, the sound system and lights were out in a few minutes.
Everybody assembled on the terrace with Amma shining like the moon in the midst.

In some way these moments with Amma stand out – the proximity with Amma, these intimate moments, a smile, Amma’s throaty laugh, her smiling eyes as She seems to see each and everyone of us, her inspiring words which seem like She is talking to us personally. These seem like the times that bond all of us closer together – the Mother with all of Her children. Amma asked people to narrate incidents where they have reacted to criticism – what they thought then, what they think now. Amma said that if two people come together and they were to introspect and and share their experiences of how they fell short of expected standards that itself would a great satsang.

These moments also came to an end, Amma got up after making all of us laugh, sing, dance and think…
We continued on our way to Mangalore. At five in the morning we took a break for a few hours and then resumed our journey to Mangalore.

Amma reached Mangalore at about 7.30 pm at night. It is amazing how Amma always has time and energy for her children. She went to the people who had been waiting for her arrival for many hours – reaching out to her children in so many different ways. Touching them, speaking to them, picking up and cuddling a baby and before going to her room telling all those who had gathered there – in Kannada that She would be meeting all of them the next day.

The ashram wore a very festive look – the stage themes very aesthetic and appealing. A large crowd awaited Amma the next day. Amma in her talks laid a lot of stress on family relationships. How in a relationship which lacks love and sacrifice the children are like orphans though they have parents. Amma entreated everybody to re-infuse dharma into their daily lives. There was a special treat for Kannada devotees as Amma herself took the Manasa Puja in fluent Kannada.

The first day also was witness to endowments being given to ten of those who were afflicted by the side-effects of Endosulfan pesticide. As has become a regular occurrence Amma laid lots of stress on Amala Bharatam.

Amrita Nidhi pensions were also distributed. Many politicians as well as leading citizens of Mangalore were present to have Amma’s darshan and lend their support to Amma’s social initiatives.
Sri N Yogesh Bhat, Deputy Speaker, Karnataka State Legislative Assembly in his address said: “The solace and financial help given this special day to the children affected by the toxic chemical Endosulfan, and distribution of pension, and what Amma has set in motion to make clean Mangalore a part of Clean India – Amala Bharatam is an unforgettable event for Mangalore. Surely the [elected] representatives of people, officers of district administration, Municipal Corporation, and whole of this Dakshina Kannada District, will join forces to make the city into ‘Clean Mangalore’ before Amma’s visit here in the coming year.”

It is just so wonderful to see how Amma just has to initiate a project and somehow people all over seem to take up the task. Amma also instructed all of us to go out at 7am and clean up the Central Market Circle as well as the roads leading up to the circle.

At the end of darshan, at the request of the devotees, Amma sang ‘Bandalo Bandalo’ one of the latest Kannada bhajans. Amma asked every one to dance clapping hands with the person by their side. When all cheered – Mata Rani Ki Jai – there were thousands of hands in the air but the voices merged into Amma’s voice, becoming one.

– Sakshi


Relief work at Rikuzentakata, Japan

Volunteer doing hand massage for one of the refugee at the camp

Volunteers helping with the laundry

Miyoki Ochi and Minako Hayashi, washing the useable clothes

Within three days of the disaster, Embracing the World sent its first group of volunteers to the affected areas to distribute food and water for the refugees. After two additional trips to Ishinomaki, ETW’s relief teams focused their efforts on the village of Rikuzentakata, a remote coastal town of 23,000 people in dire need of volunteers and support. After their initial visit, the city’s Disaster Relief Management Office submitted an official request to ETW to continue its disaster relief efforts there. About 10% of Rikuzentakata’s population died in the disaster, including about 1/3 of the city officials. At the end of April 2011, at least 70% of the original population was spread across 88 refugee centers, as their households were damaged or destroyed. ETW volunteers worked in coordination with Rikuzentakata Disaster Volunteer Center, concentrating their efforts on whatever was deemed most urgent each day.

Their activities included: supporting the refugees in the camps by cooking and serving food; providing daycare for small children, as well as maintenance and laundry services; removing mud and debris from damaged houses; cleaning up public spaces and damaged government facilities (like the local fire department); sorting and transporting relief supplies; and distribution of clean drinking water. The volunteers also worked to clear rubble from farmers’ fields, so they could resume cultivation.

Beyond continuing to help meet the immediate needs of the people of Rikuzentakata, ETW’s plans for long-term relief include the provision of emotional support for those affected, as well as offering free courses in Amma’s Amrita Yoga and IAM Meditation Technique. ETW also plans to ship relief materials to the disaster-affected area as needed.

Read the blogs from here

July 23, 2010, Google Map

Rikuzentakata July 23, 2010, Google Maps

April 1, 2011 Google Map

Rikuzentakata April 1, 2011 Google Map