You are Able to do All Things

Christmas Eve 2012 in Amritapuri was celebrated in full style. All around the Ashram one encounters sights and sounds reflective of the Holiday Season. At the base of Amma’s home, a beautifully decorated Xmas tree stands filled with festive ornaments, including a small Nativity scene, and the staircase leading up to Her room is adorned with holiday symbols. Around 10pm, Amma arrived to a packed main hall to watch a cast of 150+ from all around the globe perform in a play called ‘God is Able’.

The curtains opened to a preacher proclaiming to his flock that God is Able to do All Things. The play then went on to demonstrate this truth through three separate stories. The first was the story of how God parted the Red Sea for Moses and the Hebrews to pass without harm as they were being chased by Pharaoh and his army. The second story also came from the Bible: a young woman, suffering from a paralyzing affliction, is healed simply by touching Jesus’ robe. The last scene focused on a young homeless boy who had stolen bread to feed his hungry friends. He was brought to trial, but the charges were dropped by a sudden change of heart by the shop owner. In all cases, faith that God is Able to do all things carried the main characters through their trials and tribulations.

The performance was the culmination of almost a year’s worth of work by dozens of devotees – writing the script, scoring the music, designing and making the costumes, making the props and scenery – as well as weeks of rehearsals. Their efforts resulted in a beautiful and heart warming performance which ended with the cast singing a rapturous tune calling out to God:

Amma we stand here
in need of a blessing.
We know we are not worthy
of all you have to give.
But as God incarnate
as true compassion,
You are Able to do All Things.

Afterwards Amma gave her Xmas message. She said: “We do not know who will come knocking on our doors in search of our compassion, love and kindness. But if our mind is ruled by ego and selfishness, we will shut our doors and deny even the son of God a place to be born. Who knows on whom we are shutting our doors of compassion? Perhaps that person is destined to be our saviour in the future. On the other hand, whenever we become humble, whenever we find a place in our heart for others, there Jesus Christ is born.”

“The star and tinsel of Christmas, the cake we cut and distribute, and the gifts we exchange enhance the festivity and beauty of the occasion. But all these are external customs. All these do not make Christmas complete. What we have to do is to build a home for Christ in our hearts, with our prayers as its pillars, the sacrifice we practice as its roof. We have to make the bed of the Lord with our compassion. The food we prepare for him should be Love,” Amma reminded all. Her message was displayed on large screens in seven languages [English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Finnish, and Russian].

Amma then brought down the house with ecstatic singing. Many were on their feet dancing – Indians and Westerners alike. While Amma herself didn’t dance, her hands were clapping and arms moving with so much bliss and energy. It went on for about 1/2 hour, after which Amma led all in chanting Lokah Samastha Sukinau Bhavantu before blessing the Xmas cake which was distributed to all.

–Sri

Amrita Vidyalayam students to represent India at ISEF in USA

Two students, Nayana KR and Aishwarya CA , from Amrita Vidyalayam School, Davangere, are among 10 students who have been chosen to represent India at the International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) to be held in May 2013, in Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Nayana KR and Aishwarya CA won the IRIS 2012 Grand Award in the Senior Category for their project in which they presented Vaina’s Square Lemma: Extension of Pythagoras Theorem on Division of Equal Squares.

Award winners of Amrita Vidyalayam, Davengere with a scientist

Their project was selected from 110 others which were presented at the Initiative for Research & Innovation in Science 2012 (IRIS), one of India’s largest science initiatives for students in classes 5-12. The event was held at Bal Bhawan, New Delhi on 29th Nov to Dec. 2nd, 2012.

Hima Bindu TV & Bhargavi N Sarode (Amrita Vidyalayam, Devangere), won Silver for their presentation in Chemistry: Making Ink From Waste Tea Decoction.

Two other groups, also from Amirta Vidyalayam, Devangere, were recognized for their participation: Athreya Sharma & Bhagavathi Sharma in Medicine and Health Sciences: Crude Drugs as an Anti-Cancer Agent; and Ganga K M for her presentation in Engineering – Electrical and Mechanical: Automatic Level Crossing System & Automated Spot Lights at Railroad Junctions.

IRIS is sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Intel. The initiative promotes and nurtures science and scientific research among young Indian innovators, recognizes and rewards outstanding projects, and provides opportunites to represent India at global science competitions.

ISEF is the world’s largest pre-college science fair competition where more than 1,600 young innovators from 65 contries come together to share ideas, showcase cutting-edge independent research, and compete for over USD 4 million in awards and scholarships.

Prayer Message for Newtown

Amma’s message and prayer for the victims of the school shooting in Connecticut

“The whole world has been shaken by the gruesome act of violence that happened at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Twenty innocent little angels with their whole lives in front of them and six staff members who did their best to protect the children are no longer with us today.

No words can console the parents and the near and dear ones of those lost in the tragedy. We can only embrace them and shed tears along with them. Let us assure them that our hearts, spirits and thoughts are with them in these most difficult moments of their lives.

Let us pray for the departed souls to rest in eternal peace; let us pray for the parents and the family members to find the inner strength to accept the situation and face these difficult times without breaking down. Let us visualize flowers of peace being showered on the whole world; let us wholeheartedly pray that such incidents never occur again in the future in any part of the world.

Also, Amma would like to see parents embrace their children with compassion and care, letting them know that you are there for them. Make sure they have the right kind of values in their life, values that will give them mental strength and peace. Let us try our best to weed out the seeds of negativity and violence from sprouting in young minds.”

|| ॐ लोकाः समस्ता: सुखिनो भवन्तु ||
Aum Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
May all beings everywhere live in peace and happiness.

—Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma)

Engage others with respect, understanding and acceptance

Amma addressing United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

29-30 Nov 2012, Shanghai, China

“When we engage others with respect, understanding and acceptance, then we will be able to communicate at the level of the heart” said Amma in her address at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations’ (UNAOC) Regional Consultations for Asia-South Pacific, being held in Shanghai.

 

Amma, the only spiritual leader invited to the conference, gave her speech on the subject of “Coexistence and Engagement Between Cultures.”
Amma explained how globalization has affected our coexistence both positively and negatively, emphasizing that “coexistence is possible only when culture and modernisation are in balance.” She warned that “efforts at coexistence fail when we claim ‘We are all one,’ but we disrespect each other’s ancient customs and traditions.” Proceeding to offer solutions, as well, Amma spoke, “we have to acknowledge the fact that even though we are one in essence, externally, we are different,” then she urged the assembly to respect diversity — “An awareness of the need for coexistence amidst diversity is the only way to alleviate the suffering of others.”

Supporting her points with practical examples and suggestions based on decades of humanitarian work in culturally diverse regions, Amma invited everyone to contribute to the global conversation on coexistence by setting an example of respect and tolerance.
Amma also called for a balance of rights and respect. saying that “when we engage others with respect, understanding and acceptance, then we will be able to communicate at the level of the heart.”

Amma brought her speech to a conclusion by focusing on the power of love. “For the past 40 years, I have been communicating with people of all languages, races, colors, castes and religions, from the very poorest to the rich and famous, through the language of Love. There are no barriers for love. I have full faith in the transformational power of Love to unite all hearts.”

“Our focus today should neither be on dependence nor on non-dependence, but on interdependence. This is because the human race, the animal and plant kingdoms and the whole universe are all interdependent.

“Reverence and respect are rare qualities in today’s world, leaving us with a society lacking in proper maturity. Education, acquisition of knowledge, science and technology may help us advance to unimaginable levels, but if the result is a mentally and emotionally immature generation with no sense of discrimination, it would be truly catastrophic.”

“Respect the Earth, nature and all our fellow living beings. Realise that we truly need to acknowledge the differences between race, religion, color and creed. When we approach others with respect that is firmly established in a deep understanding and acceptance of all our differences, then we will be able to communicate at the level of the heart” Amma concluded.

Amma was speaking in her native tongue Malayalam, and it was simultaneously translated into English.

The Shanghai event, titled “Harmony Through Diversity and Dialogue”, is jointly organized by the UNAOC and the UN Association of China.

 

More than 150 delegates from throughout Asia and the South Pacific- representing governments, academia, corporations, NGOs and cultural organizations – are taking part in the two-day Shanghai Consultations. The Guest of Honor was Cui Tiankai, Vice Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Other dignitaries participating were Jean-Christophe Bas, Senior Advisor, Strategic Development and Partnerships UNAOC; Ambassador Chen Jian, President of the UN Association of China; Tu Guangshao, Vice Mayor of Shanghai Municipal Government; and Jorge Sampaio, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations and former President of Portugal.

This was Amma’s first  visit to China. She has addressed United Nations at it’s International Celebrations for the 50th Anniversary in New York, the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the UN in Geneva, the Summit of the Global Peace Initiative of Women in Jaipur, twice at the Parliament of World’s Religions, and as well as at many other international platforms.