Amma in London

October 23-25, London, Europe Yatra 2012

From Paris Amma crossed the English Channel and continued on to London She held three days of programs in the historic Alexandra Palace.

Amma was officially welcomed to the UK by Member of Parliament, Mr. Virendra Kumar Sharma. After garlanding Amma, Mr Sharma helped release ‘In the Shelter of Her Arms’ by Gretchen Kusuma McGregor.
Also present on the dais to welcome Amma was the renowned film director, screenwriter and producer, Alfonso Cuarón, best known for his films Children of Men, Y tu mamá también, and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Mr Cuarón officially launched Embracing the World’s new project, InDeed in the UK.

After the programs in the UK, Amma headed back to the european continent for the next stop of the tour in Holland.

 

Amma in Paris

18-20 October- Paris

During her world tours, Amma is always greeted by full halls of people, but year after year Paris traditionally attracts some of the biggest crowds. This year was no different as massive crowds filled the Parc de Expositions in Pontoise for the three days of programs.

On the first evening Amma was welcomed to France by Jean-Christophe Bas who is Senior Advisor Strategic Development and Partnerships at the United Nations secretariat of the Alliance of Civilizations.

After giving a marathon program on the last day in Paris, Amma spent the day at the French Ashram near the village of Pontgoin.  She spent time speaking and joking with all the local devotees, shared a prasad lunch, sang bhajans and danced.  Before leaving, Amma spent sometime visiting the ashram gardens and then continued on to London for the next stop on the tour.

Amma in Munich, Germany

October 13-15 Munich, Germany

This year marked Amma’s 25th visit to the city of Munich. There was a strong Bavarian spirit to the programs as each time Amma was welcomed to the stage there were rows of devotees dressed in traditional costumes of lederhosen and dirndl outfits and playing folk music.

To enter and leave the Zenith Halle, Amma walked along a long balcony above the crowd of devotees that filled the hall each day. It was always a beautiful and celebratory scene to see Amma slowly walk along the balcony looking down to all the applauding crowd, showing their appreciation to Amma.

After the last program in Munich, Amma wanted to show her appreciation to all the devotees that had worked so hard to arrange the program, so she called everyone to the MA Center Munich. She spent the evening serving dinner, sharing jokes and stories, singing bhajans, and even danced with everyone.

Early the next morning the tour group travelled on to Paris for the next stop on the tour.

Amma in Winterthur, Switzerland

October 9-11, Winterthur, Switzerland

After the long journey from Berlin, Amma arrived in Winterthur, Switzerland. She was welcomed by the sounds of a devotee playing an ‘alphorn’ (a traditional instrument used in the Alpine regions of Europe). After taking a moment to appreciate the music, Amma passed between rows of devotees that had lined Amma’s path as she entered the Eulachhallen, happy to get a glimpse of Amma even before the official programs would begin the following day. But rather than just getting a touch of Amma’s hand and a smile, Amma decided to offer them much more. Amma asked one of the local coordinators if all the devotees there had eaten dinner yet, as it was already night time. As soon as the coordinator said no one had eaten yet, Amma immediately asked where the food was and said she would serve dinner to all. Everyone then followed Amma into the dining hall and were served a prasad dinner by Amma. While eating Amma shared stories and jokes with the devotees and once all had finished eating, led everyone in singing Bandalo. Since the bhajan session was so spontaneous there were no instruments around so Amma improvised and grabbed a bucket and a spoon and began playing the beat of the song. Following her lead the Swamis then also picked up plates and utensils and added to the music. So even before the official programs actually began, Amma treated all those present to prasad, satsang and bhajan.

 

A devotee welcomes Amma to Switzerland with music from an alphorn

For the next three days devotees from all parts of Switzerland and the neighboring european countries poured into the program venue. Amma’s satsangs were translated into English, French, German and Tamil reflecting the diversity present in the hall.

 

Prayer for World Peace

During the programs the well known Swiss singer-songwriter, Tinu Heiniger came to perform for Amma. He was fortunate enough to meet Amma 25 years ago on one of Amma’s first world tours and has over the course of his career dedicated many songs to Amma. He recently released his 15th album and also a new book “Mueterland“ in which he describes his experiences with Amma. He also regularly holds benefit concerts for Embracing the World and has often dedicated the proceeds of his albums to Amma’s charities as well.

 

Singer-songwriter, Tinu Heiniger performs for Amma 

Beyond the walls of Berlin

October 5-7, Berlin, Germany
For many, the city of Berlin brings to mind division and a wall that separated a generation of people living in the same city.  But the wall has long since come down and every year the people of Germany celebrate their unity with a special holiday.  So it was only fitting that Amma would arrive for her first visit to the city of Berlin on a day celebrating unity and togetherness.

With Amma, large crowd praying for world peace @ Berlin

Before her first public program Amma found time to sit with all the local devotees that had worked so hard to organize this program.  She served them a prasad dinner, shared stories and jokes and sang bhajans.

Over the next 3 days, large crowds filled the Velodrom, famous for its steel roof construction- with a diameter of 142 meters, it has Europe’s largest steel roof.  All the berliners came for their first chance hear Amma’s bhajans, listen to her satsang and receive her darshan.  Because of its proxmity to many neighboring countries, there were also large groups on hand from Poland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Slovakia and Hungary.

During the programs Amma was also welcomed by several local dignitaries including the well known german actor Stipe Erceg, who officially launched the InDeed Campaign in Germany; renowned artist Rebecca Horn {news} and the Deputy Chief of Mission of the Indian Embassy in Germany, Mr Ajit Gupte.

Even the well known ‘Berliner bear’ a symbolic figure of the city came to welcome Amma and receive her darshan

Amma being welcomed to Berlin by Ajit Gupte, Deputy Chief, Indian Embassy in Germany

Amma gave darshan till the early hours of Monday morning and then travelled south to her next stop on the european tour-Winterthur, Switzerland.

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Karthika in Kanni

04 Oct 2012, Amritapuri

Karthika puja was conducted today, on the birthday of Amma (according to the Indian Calender – Karthika in Kanni month) at the Kalari. Kalari used to be a cowshed where Amma used to sit and meditate. Later she used that space to receive the devotees.

Justice delayed is Justice denied

Chala is a small town in Kannur District of Kerala. In the recent past it bore witness to a catastrophic accident involving an LPG Gas Tanker Explosion. It was a cruel reminder of a similar incident which occurred in Karunagapalli (not so far from Amritapuri) which only added to the empathy that was felt for the victims. Exactly after one month, the grieving residents of Chala found themselves in the warmth of Amma’s Love. The relatives of the Chala disaster victims received aid of Rs 100000/- from the MAM to help them take care of the injured and finance the necessary requirements {news}.

Mr. Raveendran, the Panchayath President of Chala, was humbled by the extend of love and compassion that Amma shower on her children. “We use to get Amma’s darshan whenever she came to Kannur. But today was the day when we truly and whole heartedly appreciated the wonder that Amma is, and we were able to really feel her full divine blessing.”

When disasters strike it is not uncommon for governments to make promises. But it is very common that these promises go unfulfilled. That is where Amma, makes the difference. “For the first time, we are being offered help, instead of having to ask for it. The response from the Math was quick, direct and with out any kind of bureaucratic delay. The victims can receive the aid directly.” Said Mr. Abdul Sathar. On exactly one month from the disaster, being with Amma and being a part of the celebration of love was the best thing that these residents could ask for.

Rethi, a relative, was speechless as to how she felt being here in Amritapuri on this day. “There is no need for me to say anything more about Amma, the whole world knows and loves her. Even though I am sad, I am glad that I had the chance to see Amma and feel her kindness”. According to Preetha, Amma’s divine touch heals both body and mind, and all she wants and wishes is to see Amma, always. Some relatives however were unable to communicate. But a part of them was healing slowly, encouraged by the divine mother’s love and the promise that their prayers will always be heard.


Solace in Mother’s Arms

The horrific accident at a fireworks factory in Sivakasi, Tamil Nadu, crippled hundreds and scarred them for life. The relatives of the victims, however, have been offered comfort in Amma’s arms. The Math has provided around 1 lakh rupees in benefits to help take care of the victims of the fire {news}. The families who have one member injured were entitled to this aid.

Some of the family members were here in Amritapuri today, for Amma’s 59th Birthday Celebrations. They were presented the benefits by. This was the light at the end of a long and tragic tunnel for them.

Shaktivel was filled with awe and respect for Amma. “She is indeed God in human form”, he said. “She is always there to help people like us who are in need. I will be eternally grateful to Amma for her. On behalf of everyone in Sivakasi, we offer our heartfelt gratitude to Amma.”

Raman, another relative, is pleased with the benefit he has received from Amma. One of his relatives is badly injured – liver injuries and a left hand with multiple fractures. For people from a small village, the hospital costs for such injuries are unfathomable. Raman estimates a huge expense to cure his relative, and had no idea so far as to where he could finance all that. However, Amma has showered her grace on him, and his happiness is beyond words.  “I am not worthy to say anything about what I felt… except that Amma should live long, and forever. ”

“I am blessed to meet Amma, and there is nothing other than happiness in my heart and mind. I felt inner peace for the first time after I saw her smile at me. I feel much clearer now. I thank Amma for all her support.’ gushed Shankareshwari, a mother of two. She is so moved by Amma’s love, that she cannot wait to share her experience and love for Amma back home in her village.

For these villagers, the world as they knew it was shaken up. They are still recovering from their losses and tragedies, and they felt very much like kites whose strings were cut. Even though their sorrow still lingers in their eyes, it is being overcome by a strong belief of hope and faith that they have in our beloved Amma.

  -Varsha

Amma’s 59th Birthday events – The Timeline

Here is the timeline of the events that took place for Amma’s 59th Birthday Celebrations held in Amritapuri on 27th September 2012 (start from down):

  • 2:36 pm Amma’s Darshan starts… (ending at 10am the next morning), during which Amma gave the Matruvani prizes.
  • 2:07 pm Amma initiates the free marriages of 25 impoverished couples
  • 1:58 pm Inauguration of Mobile App titled ‘Amma’ by P.C. George, Chief Whip
  • 1:52 pm Release of 3 books: Translation of Bhagavad Gita, Malayalam translation of Guru Gita and Matruvani Supplement
  • 1:50 pm Release of 2 books: ‘My Mother, My Master’ by Swami Pranavamritananda Puri and ‘In the Shelter of Her Arms’ by Gretchen Kusuma McGregor
  • 1:25 pm Inauguration of various research initiatives of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham by V.S. Shivakumar, Health Minister, who thanks Amma for undertaking the cleaning activities in Sabarimala
  • 1:11 pm Distribution of ID cards to beneficiaries under Amrita Vocational Training Centre by V.R. Krishna Iyer
  • 1:09 pm K.R. Gauri felicitating the adoption of three children under Amrita-suraksha scheme
  • 1:07 pm Central State Minister K.C. Venugopal giving Vidyamritam scholarships
  • 1:02 pm Vidyamritam scholarships for the poor to another 3,000 people by Ramesh Chennithala, KPCC President and MLA
  • 12:54 pm AmritaSREE Suraksha Insurance Scheme – distribution by State Minister Tiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan
  • 12:48 pm Amrita-santvanam: Shekhar Dutt is inaugurating a New Charitable Programme – 200 free heart surgeries and 50 free kidney transplants at Amrita Hospital.
  • 12:40 pm Distribution of compensations for the families of victims at the Sivakasi fireworks-factory explosion, by Aryadan Mohammad, Electricity Minister, Kerala – The Amrita Sahaya Nidhi program
  • 12:37 pm Inauguration of a new phase for AmritaKuteeram, homes-for-the-homeless program by K.V. Thomas, Central Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution
  • 12:33 pm Distribution of financial aid to families affected by the Kannur LPG tanker explosion by Aryadan Mohammad, Electricity Minister, Kerala
  • 12:23 pm K.M. Mani, Minister for Finance, Law & Housing, inaugurated this new phase of Amrita Nidhi pension scheme.
  • 11:47 am Awarding of Amritakeerti Puraskar 2012 to Sri. C. Radhakrishnan, renowned writer and author, presented by Shri. P.J. Kurien, Honourable Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.
  • 11:39 am Messages of birthday wishes from President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, Defense Minister, A.K. Anthony, L.K. Advani – Opposition Leader and few other ministers.
  • 11:32 am Shri. Shekhar Dutt, the Governor of Chhattisgarh arrives at the venue.
  • 11:16 am Swami Amritaswarupananda welcomes dignitaries on the dias
  • 10:41 am Village heads honor and garland Amma
  • 10:28 am Amma leads the Manasa Puja – “Let us fill our hearts with the light of love for God and all of God’s creation. Like this, may we transform this world into heaven.”
  • 9:22 am Amma delivers Her birthday message – “A kind word, a compassionate glance, a loving smile, a good deed – all these give new life to those around us… No one is free from problems. As long as there is life, there will also be problems; there is no escape from this for anyone… When we begin to fight hard only to claim our rights, we end up losing an invaluable treasure – this will only lead us irrevocable harm.”
  • 9:16 am All the Swamis garland Amma
  • 9:08 am 108 names of Amma are chanted
  • 9:04 am Guru Gita is chanted
  • 9:03 am Amma’s pada puja is performed by Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri
  • 9:00 am Amma arrived on the stage
  • 8:00 am Swami Amritaswarupananda’s satsang
  • 5:00 am (27th September) Archana and Ganapathy Homa

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On the eve of the Birthday: