Xmas gifts for an Orphanage

Xmas eve, Fiji

On Christmas Day a group from Amma Fiji visited the Happy Home Orphanage in town of Domain. There they met five boys who had no family home to return to and were spending Christmas Day with a few dedicated staff. They were provided with new school bags, snacks, and items for personal hygiene. Additionally the devotees provided a rice cooker and financial support for the orphanage.


Show enthusiasm to practice the teaching of Mahatmas

December 24th, Christmas Eve, Amritapuri

Christmas Eve was celebrated this past Saturday with Amma giving darshan on stage in the Main Hall throughout the day and well past midnight. Thousands of devotees from across India and around the world had come to Amritapuri on their holiday break to be with Amma during this special time of year.

In the middle of the main hall, a makeshift stage had been erected. In what has become an annual event, International guests and residents were going to perform a play. For the past month, they had been rehearsing practically every day for the chance to perform for Amma. Huge screens were set up so that everyone could see, with the words translated into Malayalam.

Just after 9pm, the Christmas play began, ‘A Revelation.’ The play followed the life of Mr. Joe Egoman, who had been spending his entire life in the full clutches of his self image and ego.  Eventually he was fortunate enough to meet Amma and try and turn his life around.


Shortly after midnight, Amma’s Christmas message was broadcasted on the large screen while Amma was giving darshan on the stage. Amma said, “There is one thing Amma feels it is important to emphasise:In the same way you celebrate the birthdays of these Mahatmas, with so much care and enthusiasm, you should demonstrate the same care and enthusiasm in putting into practice their teachings in each and every moment of your life. It is said that Christ resurrected three days after he was crucified. The body is comprised of the five elements. It can be cut, injured and destroyed by weapons. However, just like Sri Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: ‘The Atma or the self cannot be cut by weapons. Fire cannot burn it. Water cannot wet it. The wind cannot dry it. ”It was never born and never dies. It is eternal and indestructible. ‘” Christ’s body was crucified. but his had no effect upon the Atma. If we understand that ‘My nature is that of Atma’, then there is no death.

The message was translated in to English, French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Finnish.

Afterwards, trays of Christmas cake were brought up to Amma for her to bless. The cake prasad was then distributed to everyone.

Darshan ended around 3am Christmas morning.


Christmas carol of Swiss Bala Kendra

The Bala Kendra (children’s group) in Switzerland (Kindertreff Ziegelhütte) sang and played Christmas carols for elderly people in a retirement home near the Amma Center in Germany. The old people were very moved by the concert and applauded enthusiastically at the end. They very much appreciated, that these young people came to sweeten their holiday season. It was an inspiring experience for all of them.

Swiss children
Old people

Swami Amritaswarupananda to visit Dubai

Swami Amritaswarupananda to visit Dubai from  Dec 21 to 26.
During his week long visit, he will hold Bhajans, Satsangs and retreats at different venues.

21, 23 Dec 2011
7.30 pm to 10.00 JSS Private School, Al Safa, Dubai

22 Dec  2011
5 pm onwards Foodlands banquet hall, Abudabi

24 Dec 2011

25, 26 Dec 2011
7.30 pm to 10.00 JSS Private School, Al Safa, Dubai

28Dec 2011
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m Indian Community Senior Girls School, Salmiyah, Kuwait



Contact numbers:
050 6574916 [Gopi Menon] email: ammagopi{at}hotmail.com
050 6462266 [Jeyram] email: jaimaa{at}emirates.net.ae

Gift of grace in Raichur

These are the 242 brand new pink-coloured houses, standing in all their majesty. Newly paved roads criss-cross the length and breadth of the township, connecting each house. Huge black water tanks stand on either side of the road. 800 trees lovingly planted by the brahmacharis are swaying in the breeze. Lush greenery surrounds each house.
The people here rest easy; the  Krishna river will never flood their houses and farms ever again. This stretch of land where their new homes have been constructed is far above its reach—close enough that they can pipe in its waters to quench their thirst, but far enough away that any future flooding will not touch them.

Kuruvakurda is an island village encircled by two tributaries of the Krishna which have sustained and nourished it for generations. The last time the river flooded was 60 years ago; most of the villagers had heard of the flood only as a legend. Even for those who had lived through it, it was a distant enough memory that the experience was entirely devastating. Six days of unprecedented rainfall, from September 29 to October 4, 2009 caused the Krishna to overflow its banks, rushing into their villages and inundating their homes and fields. Collapsed houses, destroyed crops, lives and livestock lost – their lives were never to be the same again.

This story was repeating itself in hundreds of villages bordering the states of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Tragedy and devastation loomed large. News of the disaster brought tears to Amma’s eyes. She responded immediately, sending two contingents of medical personnel, accompanied by truckloads of medicines, blankets, garments and food. The Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s medical teams sought out those inaccessible villages that had not been reached out to by any other aid group, working to ensure that no one slipped through the cracks. While attending to the survivor’s wounds, they also worked to fight epidemic outbreaks that could prove even more deadly. {News: Karnataka and Andra flood relief photos}


The announcement

On November 27th, Amma announced a relief-and-rehabilitation package of Rs. 50 crores ($10.7 million USD) for those affected by the floods {news}. The team Amma had sent to survey the devastation brought back the name of one village which so far no aid group had offered to assist. Amma unhesitatingly offered to rehabilitate the populace of this village. That is how the construction of a thousand houses began in Dongrampura (Raichur District) replete with roads, parks, electricity, water and a community center.

On January 16th, a team of 14 brahmacharis landed in Raichur. That was an eclipse day, and though according to tradition one is not supposed to look at the sun or walk outdoors, they traversed the area without hesitation, visiting the proposed site and meeting the various district officials. The next day, the paperwork was finalized, and the very same day, the mammoth construction work commenced {news}.


Speed Mantra

Speed was their mantra; Amma’s children literally toiled nonstop, though the temperature soared up to 45o C; half the day they there would be no electricity; no water. Braving these hostile circumstances, they built the first 100 houses in less than 30 days (news) . They had fulfilled Amma’s dream of providing quick solace to those rendered homeless.

This construction miracle broke all records. Statewide, their accomplishment created ripples of awe in all circles. The government made a Powerpoint presentation of this incredible feat to other NGOs. They came in droves to see with their own eyes. Articles appeared in dailies, heaping praise. Ministers and top civil servants sang paeans from public platforms.

Keys to the houses

The keys of these houses were handed over to the grateful Chief Minister of the state of Karnataka during Amma’s Bangalore Brahmasthanam festival. {news}

New records were broken again and again after that day. 242 houses were handed over on August 4th, 2010. Today, almost all the allotted houses on the three sites stand completed, awaiting allotment by the Government for the displaced families. It is truly a gift of grace.


The villagers

In this area, the theft of construction materials by the villagers is quite common. It is such a troubled area that for the last 10 years, many officials had dared not enter. But in this area where outsiders would not step in, the brahmacharis were pleasantly surprised: there wasn’t even a single incident of theft.

The locals accepted the ashram and the ashram brahmacharis fully, and everybody mingled freely. They reciprocated the openness and the affection of the brahmacharis and the ashram. They were loving, generous and honest. Poor and illiterate they may be, but what more do they need for grace, when they have such hearts of gold?

Apart from providing shelter, Amma provided the survivors with a livelihood—hiring them in the hundreds for the house building. When they received their weekly wages, many of them would deposit a small portion of their wages in front of Amma’s photo (placed in the office cum residence of the brahmacharis), and bow in loving reverence. Amma generated so much spontaneous reverence and love in the villagers.

Volunteers from all over

Volunteers flowed in from all over India and even abroad. The whole district welcomed the two dozen Japanese student volunteers who came to help with the construction seva{news}. Amazed, even the District Collector came to see them toil. Each new group of volunteers brought a new burst of inspiration and the coolness of Amma’s love as they worked side by side with the brahmacharis in the sun and the heat. Students from Amrita University and Amrita Vidyalayam also came and contributed their help for the construction.
When some of the brahmacharis returned and visited this July, the villagers welcomed us back as if we were family members, with their heart-winning openness and warmth. Troupes of children would tag along with us from house to house, laughing and happy, sharing tidbits with us. And truly, we are family—Amma’s family. Sans race or religion, sans creed or class, defined by selflessness, and bound by love.


This house will remain with us

Eeramma lives in house #250 with her son Shekharappa and her 21-year-old grandson, who is working on his B.Ed. and already dreaming of a teacher’s job in the government. Before the flood, they were living in a slum. They say their new house is stronger. Eeramma is illiterate, but even at 65 years of age she exudes a certain vigour. Her feeling toward her new house is summed up when she states simply, “One might give lakhs (hundreds of thousands) rupees but it would not last. But this house will remain with us.”

Happy here
Though none of them can say exactly how old they are, the occupants of House # 232 are all quite young. Suryaprakash, the man of the house, guesses that he might be 23 or 24 years old. The couple have a little girl, Mahalakshmi, who they say is about a year old. With smiles ever-present, this small family has a roof over their heads, and they are happy here.

Ready smile
Shankaramma and Sannabasappa’s is a large family; nine of them are staying in the house, including their daughter-in-law and three children. Their extended family members have also been given new homes, situated nearby. On the corner near where their house stands, they have erected a shop to sell bananas, beedis, and small household items. Shankaramma, the head shopkeeper, has a ready smile.
The house is good
“The house is good and the courtyard is spacious” comments 50-year-old Sharanappa approvingly as he gestures toward his new home. Sharanappa is the Chairman of the Atkur Gram Panchayat (community). His wife Parvatamma, like most people in this area, is not sure about her age. Also like most people here, she is more at home speaking in Telugu. Andhra Pradesh is just a few kilometers away.
When will Amma come?
If one were to close one’s eyes and just listen to her speak, one would never guess she was 85 years old or anything close to it. That’s Eeramma.
Her children live on the other side of the island. Her husband passed away five years ago, Eeramma says with a twinge of sorrow. Both speech and thoughts are crystal clear. Neatly dressed, she looks fresh. Only her deeply lined face betrays her age.
In a clear voice she says, “Amma is blessing me all the time; I’m always praying to her.” Then she muses wistfully, “Amma comes to me in my dreams and wakes me up. But when I wake up, she’s not there.”
“I want to meet Amma, when will she come to Raichur?” she asks us keenly. What can we say? We console her saying, “Pray to Amma—she will definitely respond.” This much we know is true.

– Das

Amma in Michigan

Nov-27-Dec-1, Michigan – USA Yatra 2011

During the 5 day visit to Dearborn, Michigan, Amma conducted two days of public programs as well as a 3 day retreat.

On the first day of her visit, Amma was welcomed by several local dignitaries including the Mayor of Southfield, Michigan Ms. Brenda Lawrence and Michigan State Representative Mr. Phil Cabinot. Representative Cabinot stated, “I just wanted to say what an honor it is for me to be here and welcome her holiness Mata Amritanandamayi Devi. I can feel the love, peace, and tranquility as well as the unity and harmony in this room and I am moved by it.”

Amma in San Ramon

Nov  20 -25,  San Ramon, California – America Yatra 2011

After departing Europe, Amma flew over 5000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean to Her ashram situated in the rolling hills of San Ramon, California for a week long program.

Thousands of devotees braved the rain showers and the cold weather to come and receive Amma’s blessings. Hollywood actor Kurt Russell made his way to Amma’s ashram. He too, was eager to find out what was drawing such large crowds on one of the biggest American holidays, Thanksgiving.
In addition, Leland H. Hartwell, winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, came to discover the true peace that one feels while being in Amma’s arms. He said, ” It was very nice to meet Amma because I have heard so much about her and have seen the result of her work. It was a great honor to spend so much time with her.”

Amma served a Thanksgiving dinner to all her children present on Thursday night, leaving the devotees filled with happiness and gratitude.

Amma arrives at Amritapuri

4 Dec 2011, Amritapuri.

Amma arrived at Amritapuri at 11.52 am after her Europe and USA yatra. Smiling and spreading joy she walked slowly to her room, touching some, gesturing to others and glancing all. A lot of new people from India and abroad were there to get a glimpse of Amma. Some of them were tiny tots who came with their parents.

Amma’s Darshan starts from 10 Dec.

See  photos