cinema-verite-award

Cinema Verite Honours Amma

A Saint, an Angel, a Person of Goodness:
12 October 2007 — La Bastille, Paris, France

“To introduce a saint is a big job, but to film an angel is something else entirely,” said Academy Award-nominee Sharon Stone upon presenting Amma with the ‘Prix Cinéma Vérité 2007′ Award in Paris. By “filming an angel,” Stone was referring to the 2005 Jan Kounen documentary about Amma, Darshan.

“The film Darshan is extremely inspiring,” said Stone. “But the life of a person who gives themselves in service is something we can all aspire to because to do so is a choice.” Stone then continued to laud Amma’s life of love, compassion and service, referring to Amma as “a saint, angel and person of acts of goodness.”

On behalf of Cinema Verite, Stone then presented Amma with a silver necklace and locket.

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Cinema Verite is a French film organization focused on creating awareness regarding human-rights issues. The organization was honouring Amma in acknowledgment of her role as a force for world peace and harmony.

After bestowing the award, Cinema Verite requested Amma to share her thoughts about the current state of the world, with particular focus on the increasing incidents of war and natural disasters.

“There verily is no one more qualified to speak about peace than Amma. Not only is her life lived in peace, it awakens peace,” said Manuel de la Roche, the producer of Darshan, just prior to Amma’s speech.

–Tulasi

Related news link

BBC.com : Film award honours ‘hug guru’

Sri Krishna – a master for all times

Krishna Jayanti celebration in Amritapuri

3 September 2007 — Amritapuri

“Many great souls have taken birth on this earth. But Sri Krishna was a master and guide for all times, places and people,” Amma said in her Krishna Jayanti satsang. “The words and actions of many mahatmas only influenced one country or were relevant only at a particular point in time or to one particular section of society. But Sri Krishna’s life and teachings are not like that. They transcend time and space.”

Looking around Amritapuri, the culture-transcending allure of Sri Krishna was abundantly evident. The ashram was full of people of all lands and walks of life celebrating Krishna’s birth and life. And virtually everywhere one looked there were children of all nationalities dressed up as gopis, gopas, Radhas and Krishnas. Amritapuri has been transformed into a sea of colourful saris and swaying peacock feathers.

The children soon formed a procession, walking through the ashram and out into the surrounding villages—the jingle of their anklets adding to the joyous noise of their drums, horns and tambourines. Upon their return, the uriyadi [pot-striking] games began, and Amma and all the ashram residents came to watch as the children tried their best to smash open the clay pots for candy and coins.

At the end of the games, Amma burst into song, singing “Hari Bol Hari Bol!” When the song reached its climax, Amma cried out “Hari Bol!” and pointed her index fingers to skyward, a terrific smile spread across her face.

The actual time of Krishna’s birth was marked with the recital of his birth story. The lines from the Malayalam Srimad Bhagavatam were sung with true pathos, piercing everyone’s heart. Surrounding the lone voice was a pin-drop silence. Towards the end of the reading, puja was offered to a small idol of baby Krishna.

Amma also sang a number of joyous Krishna bhajans, including “Agatanayi Agatanayi Krishna Devan” and “Bolo Bolo Gokula Bala.” She also danced blissfully to “Gopala Nacho Nacho.”

In Amma’s satsang, she spoke of the glory and importance of Sri Krishna’s life and teachings. “Krishna is said to be the completeness of beauty itself,” Amma said. “But that beauty is not just the beauty of an individual; it’s the compounded beauty of the entire universe.”

“Lord Krishna’s birth itself took place in the most difficult of circumstances—in a jail cell. All the demonic forces tried everything they could to prevent Sri Krishna’s birth from taking place. But who could obstruct the glory of the Lord? It was due to the unwavering faith of Vasudeva and Devaki that the Lord took birth as their son. This teaches us that no matter how adverse our circumstance may seem, if we persist with absolute faith, we will be able to overcome them and attain the Lord.”

Amma also glorified the devotion of the gopis, saying how it is their love for Krishna that is remembered over anyone else’s, even though they were with Krishna for a relatively short amount of time. To illustrate this point, Amma told a story wherein the gopis were able to remember the precise details of every single interaction they had ever had with Krishna, no matter how long before it had transpired.

The evening ended with Amma distributing sweet payasam for one and all. It was then that a devotee offered Amma with the opportunity to play some uriyadi of her own, presenting Amma with a stick and a couple clay pots of butter and curd. But he allowed Amma to break open the pots, he wrapped her head in an orange turban, transforming her into the cowherd Krishna of Vrindavan.

—Kannadi

Go Puja & Shoba yatra – In Pictures

Celebrating Independance Day 2007 with Amma

midnight, 14  August, 2007 Independence Day celebration, Amritapuri

The 60th Independence Day of India was celebrated in Amritapuri by the students of Amrita University in the presence of Amma. This year’s Bharat Mata Puja was dedicated to the various kings of India who stood for virtue and dharma. The various cultural performances included dances, short plays and a video about the contributions of ancient India to modern society.

Amma fills us with new inspiration

Amma fills us with new inspiration: Narendra Modi

Amma’s spiritual consciousness enfolds all of humanity,the entire world is her field of action

21 March — Ahmedabad, Gujarat – Bharata Yatra 2007

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Amma was welcomed to her program at Gujarat Education Society Grounds in Ahmedabad by Sri. Narendra Modi, the Honourable Chief Minister of Gujarat. Modi praised Amma for her service to mankind and for the inspiration she is providing to the world. He also sought her blessings for the prosperity and happiness of the people of Gujarat. “Kerala may be the centre of Amma’s activities,” Modi said, “but her spiritual consciousness enfolds all of humanity, the entire universe is her field of action.”

“The auspicious festival of Navaratri1 is currently taking place,” Modi began. “During Navaratri, we worship Shakti [the feminine aspect of God]; we offer obeisance to the Mother. And on such an auspicious occasion, Amma’s arrival in Gujarat fills us with new inspiration. On behalf of the people of Gujarat, I welcome Amma to Gujarat{sthalapurana}.”

“Blessed Amma’s concept of spirituality is one of selfless service to humanity,” the CM continued. “As Mahatma Gandhiji’s concept for freedom was in his cotton-spinning wheel and spool2… as Swami Vivekananda’s concept of spirituality was in seeing and serving God in the poor throughout Bharat… as Adi Shankaracharya’s concept of spirituality was in uniting all of India under one culture… In a similar way, Blessed Amma’s concept of spirituality lies in the roots of her spiritual activities [adhyatmika pravriti], her restlessness to serve God through the poor, to serve the poor and sorrowful. Every moment, throughout all of India, wherever help is needed by the poorest of the poor, Amma is providing.

“In Kutch, when the earthquake [2002] took place, under Amma’s instructions, from every nook and corner of our country, devotees and disciples landed in the land of Gujarat to help the people. And they remained here until the entire work was completed. Until the work was completed, they did not leave this land. Inspired by Amma, this entire army of sincere people dedicated to the service of mankind has arisen. People of all sections of society remain at the lotus feet of Amma.

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“There was a time in this country, when there was a terrific line of distinction between higher-lower, touchable-untouchable. Today, we should take pride in the fact that a person like Amma, who was not born in one of society’s upper echelons, has become the centre of sraddha [faith] and prem [love] for even the upper echelons of society. So high must be the spiritual heights that Amma has attained! One Valmiki was born from the womb of a shudra [member of manual labour caste], regardless he became Sage Valmiki and, as such, has provided us with inspiration for thousands of years. In the same way, even though Amma born in an ordinary family, she has attained to the heights of spirituality, attained realization and with that spiritual power, has begun a seva yajña [a rite of selfless service involving the contributions of a large section of society] and awakened the consciousness of the people to the importance of such selfless service.

“At the roots of all her actions, there are schools, there are hospitals, there is the taking care of the poor and destitute mothers, of the ordinary people… In order to see that the basic requirements are met—whatever those requirements may be—she is putting forth effort without end. Kerala may be the centre of her activities, but her spiritual consciousness enfolds all of humanity, the entire universe is her field of action.

Kerala may be the centre of her [Amma’s] activities, but her spiritual consciousness enfolds all of humanity, the entire universe is her field of action. _ Narendra Modi

“Every year Amma arrives in this land of Gujarat and we receive her blessings. This land of Gujarat—through the help of the saints, rishis and human beings—should always progress forward. May clouds of sorrow never shroud this land of Gujarat. May our farmers be happy, may our villages always prosper, may a poor man never be forced to turn to begging, may he instead become strong and self-sufficient. May Gujarat prosper and be happy. May our citizens always be content. May there always be progress… We seek these blessings from Blessed Amma. If this is the purusartha [goal] of all of us and if we put forth effort, we can make this Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat a Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat in the true sense.3

“Once again, I welcome Amma to this land of Gujarat. We are always receiving her blessings, we are always receiving inspiration from her to serve God in the form of the poor. I offer my pranams to her divine feet. To all the karma-sevaks [people engaged in selfless service] who are accompanying Amma, to her devotees who have joined in this seva out of spiritual inclinations, this seva yajña of theirs—I appreciate them for all their efforts and the attitude of surrender in each spiritual aspirant. Amma has started a whole new parampara [line of spiritual education]. It is an addition worth worshipping. I offer my heartfelt gratitude to all the people who are accompanying her.

“Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat! Jai Jai Nirmala Gujarat!”

The CM then helped Amma distribute checks to 15 new enrolees of the Ashram’s lifetime pension program for widows and disabled people–Amrita Nidhi. He also distributed sewing machines along with Amma to 10 impoverished women with the aim of expanding their financial horizons.

Gujarat’s Honourable Minister of Industries, Sri. Anil Patel, also participated in the formal program, releasing a new Ashram publication—a Gujarati translation of Immortal Wisdom, Volume 2, a collection of Amma’s teachings.

—Tulasi

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1 In Gujarat, two Navaratris are celebrated—one in the month of Chaitram and one in the month of Aso. Literally meaning “nine nights,” Navaratri is a festival wherein the Divine Mother is worshipped in various forms for 10 days and nine nights.

2 A reference to Gandhi’s svadeshi movement of empowering India through self-reliance and encouraging Indians to make and buy Indian products.

3 Jai Jai Garvi Gujarat is a traditional way of referring to the state. It roughly can be translated as “This victorious and proud Gujarat.”