Accept the situation, develop faith, move forward

Amma consoling a refugee at the campAmma visits tsunami relief camps in Japan

25 July, Tokyo

During the programs in Tokyo, many people from tsunami-affected areas came to seek solace and guidance from Amma. A number of them wept in her arms as they shared their grief with her. People expressed their concern over radiation threats. Some of them were anxious to know if their children and the next generation of their family members would be safe with the radiation and constant natural calamities that haunt Japan. Seeing the grief and the pain of the people, Amma decided to visit the disaster area and one of the relief camps.

After the program in Tokyo ended at 5:30 am Amma immediately left for one of the relief camps in Tagajo Sports Complex, 500 kms away. This place is currently utilised as a relief center for the displaced members of the community.

Amma was taken on a tour of the complex, and shown how the cardboard divided cubicles provided for the temporary housing of the over 200 residents.

Amma addressed the refugee residents, with the following words of inspiration, “You have just been through painful experiences, and you have yet to come out of that shock. The situation is such that no words can give you peace. Amma is here just to part take in the grief that you are going through. There are certain situations in life where you cannot do anything but accept. This is one of those situations. If you ask a musician where the music is coming from, he would say ‘its from my fingers, or from my throat, or from my heart’. If you operate the finger, the throat or the heart you will not find music. Actually music is coming from beyond. We have to understand the limitations of our actions, and the place of God’s Grace in our life. Keeping faith in that power, my children, pray for the Grace. Like any other decision, happiness is also a decision. Have a resolve, let any thing happen, I will be happy, I will be courageous. Without losing the self-confidence or faith in God, move forward”.

After a few minutes of silent meditation, Amma led the group in chanting prayers for the departed.

Amma embraced and consoled each resident, offering them Her shoulder on which they unburdened their sorrows. Amma’s face reflected their grief; tears were flowing from their eyes and also from hers. Knowing that the residents had lost everything, Amma presented household items for their material support to help improve their life at the center.

Amma offering prayers and flowers at the sea

Amma also visited the worst hit areas of Shichigahama coastal region. In some places there was complete destruction, in others one could still faintly make out the foundations of a houses where neighbourhoods once stood.

At the Shichigahama beach area, looking out at the Pacific Ocean, Amma called on all to pray for peace and for harmony in nature. She then led the group in prayers for peace, chanting Aum Shanti, Shanti, Shanti nine times, and Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu three times.

Amma offered a bouquet of flowers to the ocean, wading a few inches in, paying Her respects to it as well. She stood gazing out at the horizon for some time, then encouraged all the members of the group to follow by offering their flowers.

The pink blossoms were drawn out to sea along with everyone’s prayers for peace.

Amma in Toronto

15 -18 July Toronto, Canada

After a 9 hour drive to the border, Amma crossed over into Canada, arriving in the city of Toronto where She commenced 4 days of programs at the Double Tree Hotel and Convention Center near the international airport.

Acting Mayor Joan Robson of Halton Hills came to receive Amma’s blessing and to welcome Her to the city. She said: “Thank you, I feel truly blessed, our whole community will hear of the good works that are being done. Thank you so much everyone and thank you Amma, I feel truly blessed.”

Local satsang groups performed a variety of cultural performances whilst Amma gave darshan in the hall which was filled beyond capacity, with many devotees having to view the evening program from an overflow room by video link.
This concludes Amma’s 25th year of touring North America.

Amma announces one million for Japan tsunami relief

Tokyo, Japan, July 23

Amma announced a donation of one million US dollars towards the relief and rehabilitation of Japanese disaster victims, particularly for the education of children who lost both their parents in the devastating March 11 tsunami.

The donation will be made by Mata Amritanandamayi Center (MA Center) USA along with Amma’s global charitable network, known as ‘Embracing The World.’

The announcement was made at a crowded public program in the Grand Ballroom of Garden City Shinagawa.  Mr. Keiki Soma,representative of the Miyagi Governor also Deputy Director of the Miyagi Prefectural Government Office was present on this occasion.

You may recollect that ( read blog ) Amma’s volunteers have been actively participating in the relief work from March 13, just two days after the earthquake and tsunami. Their activities included cleaning rubble and debris from houses and agricultural land, assisting the elderly and children at relief camps, distribution of food, household utensils, medicine and other daily necessities. In addition to providing the essentials, the volunteers provided spiritual and psychological counselling to the local people in the tsunami affected areas.

Boston 2011

By dispassion, we can outlive situations

10 – 13 July,  Boston, USA Yatra 2011

Amma arrived in Boxborough, Massachusetts where she held a days public program followed by a 3 day retreat at the Royal Plaza Hotel and Convention Centre in Marlborough.

In the retreat Amma told her children that “if there is dispassion in your heart, you can certainly outlive the situations”. Amma lead those who had gathered to see Her in a guided outdoor meditation, surrounded by the lush greenery of the forest that dominates the area. She then served food to all those who came and sung Bhajans as the day drew to a close on the last retreat in the United States before she concludes her 2011 North America Yatra in Toronto, Canada in a few days time.

Mind need maintenance; awareness is the alarm

6 – 7 July, Washington DC – USA Yatra 2011

Amma arrived in Washington DC, the capital city and political hub of the United States of America. She held programs over 2 days at the Hyatt Hotel and Convention Centre where thousands came to receive Her darshan.

Many came to enjoy Amma’s bhajans and were moved deeply by their darshan, experiencing the peace and bliss found in Her presence. The venue was filled to capacity for the Atma Puja which was lead by Amma on the final night, followed by Satsang in which Amma said: “A house or car needs maintenance throughout its lifetime; only then can we use it properly. The mind is our most valuable inner equipment. Does it not need constant maintenance? Only if it is maintained well can we use it whenever we need it. How can we maintain our mind well? We should always observe our thoughts and expectations. If we do this we will be able to nourish good thoughts and reject negative ones. Most houses have fire-alarms fitted in them; when the temperature level soars, the alarms ring, the fire engine arrives and does its best to rescue people. Awareness is the fire alarm of the mind. Now we have knowledge but no awareness. We should bring awareness into our minds.”

 

Preserve water, fuel and future of our children

2 – 4 Jul, New York – USA Yatra 2011

Amma arrived in the heart of New York city, also known as the Big Apple, where she held a one day program at the Roseland Ballroom followed by 2 days of programs at the Manhattan Center with the final day falling on the 4th of July, American Independence Day.

The public holiday was celebrated with much of the city gathering to watch the dramatic fireworks display over the water surrounding the island of Manhattan, the city that never sleeps.

Thousands came to receive Amma’s darshan, with many queuing for hours on the bustling sidewalks of 34th street.

Amma said in Her satsang: “Today we see how our fuel deposits are getting depleted; we see how our water-supply is decreasing. We had not planned for this to happen. If this continues, what will happen to our future generations? Merely earning money and creating children is not enough. We should be careful to preserve their future as well- it is each of our duty to preserve this world for our children, whether it is water, or anything else. We had not planned for this to happen. Amma knows that many of her children have started carpooling. It is essential to be more vigilant about this.”

Russell Brand, a famous British actor and comedian came to receive Amma’s darshan and said: “It’s no coincidence that She is called Amma, Mother, because I suppose for the simplicity of Her message of love, She offers a rebirth, a renewal.”

Renowned singer Ramesh Narayan, disciple of the world famous Hindustani musician Pandit Jasraj came to receive Amma’s blessings and sang a number of soul stirring bhajans during darshan.

Everything is revealed in a still mind

28 – 29 Jun, Chicago – USA YAtra 2011
Amma arrived in the city of Chicago to commence 2 days of public programs at the Westin Hotel and Convention Center.
Devotees came from far and wide to receive Her darshan and to celebrate the 25th year since her first tour of North America in the summer of 1987. The halls of the convention center were overflowing with devotees, many of whom had been waiting for over an year to see Amma again, many others who came to meet Her for the first time.
Amma said in Her satsang:
Just as food and sleep are essential for the body, a healthy diet of positive thought is necessary for the mind. If the brain commands the feet to stop when walking, the feet will stop; if it asks the hands to stop clapping, the hands stop. Similarly if we ask the mind to stop, will it stop? We should be able to stop the flow of thoughts in the mind- this is meditation. We do not try to still the mind. Everything is revealed in a still mind. To paint a picture that inspires the observer, to write a touching poem, to help a student concentrate on his studies for an exam, to help a scientist ponder the mysteries of the universe, this concentration is necessary.

Time lag between action and result leads to mistakes

25 – 26 Jun, Coralville Iowa – USA Yatra 2011

Amma arrived in Coralville, located in the heart of the mid-west state of Iowa to commence 2 days of public programs at the Marriott Convention Center where thousands gathered from across the country to receive Her blessing and guidance.

Those who came for Amma’s darshan were comforted and moved to tears. One devotee said: It’s quite remarkable to see what Her program has done, it was quite simple and joyous to be here. Another local devotee said: When you’re out there in the world working, and you’re looking around and seeing how things are so difficult for so many people, and how things are falling apart, and you search for right action and right behavior, the answer will come from Amma. If you come here you will get the answer.

Many children ask Amma, “Good actions give good results and evil actions give bad results. Although we realize this, why is it that we continue to commit mistakes?”
Amma: If we touch fire once, it burns us and it teaches us not to touch fire again. But even though we know that evil actions will give bad results, this lesson does not sink in and we continue to do wrong actions. The reason why it does not sink into our brain is because of the time lag between the action and its result. There is no time lag between touching fire and burning- so it is easy to connect the action to the result. But the course of karma is beyond the mind’s understanding. This is why the awareness of righteousness that the principle of karma teaches does not sink into our brains.

– Kannadi

Nature is doing a Tandava dance, create awareness

22 – 23 Jun,Dallas, TX — USA Yatra 2011
Amma held two days programs Addison, Texas at the Intercontinental Hotel and Convention Center.

Amma was welcomed to the city by Mayor Todd Meier who said: “Welcome, we’re so glad you’re here in Adison and thank you for connecting us to your world and to the world and letting us be a part of the wonderful work that you do. Thank you so much for being with us today.”

The local affiliate of the NBC TV Channel came to interview Amma about Her message to the world.
Amma said: “My life is my message. We are not isolated islands, we are connected to each other like links on a chain. Our actions influence others whether we are aware of it or not. We should not wait for others to change- we should change first. Today the world is on the verge of doing a Tandava* dance. In nature and elsewhere, there is an increase in Aveda – lack of knowledge. We should try to inculcate patience, love and awareness and try to do whatever we can for the world.”

Amma conducted the Atma Puja for world peace and harmony, devotees came together from across the south-western States and from around the world to participate in the ceremony.

Former acclaimed actress Divya Uni’s students performed a stunning dance for Amma during the Darshan.
 

* Tandava – usually refers to Lord Siva’s dance during the destruction of the creation