baby krishna and amma

Amritapuri has become Vrindavan on Sri Krishna Jayanthi

SriKrishna Jayanthi

5 September 2015 – Krishna’s Birthday Celebrations at Amritapuri

On the heels of a wonderful Onam celebration, just a week later the ashram was again in a festive mood for Krishna Jayanti. The day’s celebrations started at 7.30am with a cow procession from the kitchen area towards the front steps of the Kali Temple. A GoPuja (cow worship ritual) was performed there to the ashram cows, all adorned in beautiful colors. They were also offered fruits by devotees and children dressed like little Krishnas & Gopis.

As it was a Saturday, Amma came out to the main hall to give regular darshan at 11am. She finished early though in order to join the special traditional Uriyadi games in front of the Kali Temple.

A procession, singing the name of the Lord, coming from Sri Krishna  temple at Kuzhithura joined the celebrations in front of the Kali temple at the Ashram.  Amma enjoyed watching the children and youngsters dance & try their luck to break swinging pots, reminiscent of little Krishna’s escapades stealing pots of butter. This was followed by joyful Krishna bhajans led by Amma, surrounded by all the little Krishna’s of Amritapuri.

Straight from bhajans on the steps of the temple, at 6.30pm Amma joined the daily evening bhajans session in the main hall, till 8pm.

At 11:30pm, Amma came back to the hall to listen to the traditional reading of the Srimad Bhagavatam. The stage was adorned with beautiful Krishna statues, oil lamps, garlands, trays of flowers, and the hall was filled with devotees and ashramites. While the Bhagavatam was being read, a special puja honoring the birth of Lord Krishna was also taking place on the stage.

At the stroke of midnight, bells announced the advent of the divine moment: Lord Krishna’s birth! Amma sang one bhajan before her message for the occasion was shown on the big screen {Read Amma’s Message full}.  Speaking on the occassion she said: “Even though it has been 5,000 years since the Lord incarnated on earth, his presence continues to shine in the culture and everyday life of the people of our land. The magnetism of the Lord’s leelas and the relevance of his teachings have not diminished with time. Through his life, Sri Krishna revealed the infinite power of the universe in all its completeness. This is the reason we hail him as a purna avatara—a full incarnation. ” {Read Amma’s Message full }.

After the message, Amma led a special Krishna bhajan session. She asked people to stand, clap their hands and dance forgetting all their worries. The hall swayed with Amma as she was singing in joy.

Later, Amma gave a prasad of payasam to all those present, bringing a sweet end to the day’s festivities at almost 2am in the morning.

– Sundar



krishna- message

It is to make humankind understand truth that God incarnates in human form

6 September 2015 – Amritapuri
from Amma’s Sri Krishna Jayanthi message


At the mere thought of Lord Sri Krishna, we feel an overwhelming joy arise within us. Even though it has been 5,000 years since the Lord incarnated on earth, his presence continues to shine in the culture and everyday life of the people of our land. The magnetism of the Lord’s leelas and the relevance of his teachings have not diminished with time. Through his life, Sri Krishna revealed the infinite power of the universe in all its completeness. This is the reason we hail him as a purna avatara—a full incarnation.

The literal meaning of the name Krishna is “he who ploughs.” The Lord is he who uproots the weeds of impurities from the human mind. Another meaning of for Krishna is “he who attracts all.” Krishna drew to himself not just the gopis, but all of humankind, as well as the birds, mammals, plants, trees, stones, thorns and everything else in nature.

In response to the maternal devotion of his mother Yashoda, the Lord became a mischievous child. In response to the romantic devotion of the gopis, the Lord became the divine dancer who played his flute and danced the ­rasa-leela. In response to the devoted friendship of Arjuna, the Lord took up a whip and became a charioteer. Even though Krishna knew he would be humiliated, he went to the Kaurava court as an emissary of peace.

At the sacred fire ritual of the Rajasuya Yajna, Lord Krishna—being the chosen deity—received the worship of all the assembled kings. Later, at the ensuing feast, he showed no hesitation in clearing the soiled leaf-plates of those who had eaten. Even when he was falsely accused by his own subjects of stealing the precious Syamantaka gemstone, he remained calm and eventually proved the truth. He alternated between different roles seamlessly, with the deftness of a seasoned actor, yet never lost site of his true nature.

Whatever was his dharma at the present moment he carried that out without letting personal pride, happiness, shyness or difficulty obstruct him.

The goal of any avatara is to lead humankind to its higher self. When we attain our essence, which is hidden within us, we become dear to the Lord. This is the symbolism behind the Lord’s love for butter—which is the essence of milk. When the higher love for the Lord takes us beyond our petty likes and dislikes, then our mind becomes pure, and we become dear to the Lord. This is how the Lord becomes chitta-chora—the stealer of the mind.


Have vision, turn inward, Truth will shine within

In reality, we are not separate from the Lord. He is our own essential nature. We see the whole world with our eyes, yet we cannot see our own eyes. Such is our current state. If we can make our vision, which is currently focused on the external world, turn inward, then that Supreme Truth will shine forth within us. Otherwise, we will continue searching for happiness and peace in the external world like the musk deer that blindly pursues the smell of musk, not realizing that the fragrance is coming from its own body.

For the Vedantin, the Lord is the perfect role model. To understand practical Vedanta, one should study the life of Lord Krishna. He did not seek any anything for himself. Whatever others needed, he gave. He loved everyone, but was attached to no one.

Some may ask, “Why do we need to love the Lord, who is not attached to anyone?” The Lord did not see anyone as different from him. That is what he revealed to Arjuna through the vision of his cosmic form—that he is in everyone and everything and everyone is in him. Attachment comes only when you see the other person as different from you. The reason he was not attached to anything is because in his worldview there was nothing other than him.

Smile & Equanimity

The greatest message the Lord gave the world was his never-diminishing smile. Whether it was when the he incarnated on earth, when he taught the Gita, or when he watched his own Yadava clan fight and destroy themselves, his smile never wavered. His smile was the smile that rises from mental equanimity.

Equanimity of mind is being able to face opposite circumstances with the same attitude. External circumstances will keep changing. Fortune and hardship will also alternate. We should consciously cultivate the attitude of total acceptance with regards to everything. If we can do that, then peace and joy will always be there in our life.

The Mahabharata and the Bhagavatam present so many challenging incidents that took place in Krishna’s life. Regardless, the smile never faded from his face. Our lives are like the pendulum of a clock; they constantly swing from hardship to fortune, and fortune to hardship. When the pendulum swings to one side, it doesn’t remain there for long. It is just gaining enough momentum to swing back the other. Keeping this in mind, when we experience fortune or comfort in life, we must remember that it is only momentary. Hardships will soon return. We need to bring the pendulum of our lives to a standstill—a point of equilibrium. When we understand the scriptures, we will be able to keep ourselves in this point of equilibrium, like the needle of a balanced scale.

The Avatar

The manifestation of an avatara is like the full moon rising on a new-moon night. Their beauty and influence an avatara has upon the world is beyond comparison. All planes of human life are touched and nourished by their presence. We see this in all fullness in Lord Krishna. The avatara of Lord Krishna was ordinary, yet extraordinary. He was human, yet divine. He was completeness itself.

It is to make humankind understand this supreme truth that God incarnates in human form. Only if God incarnates in human form can we begin to grasp this truth. Just as a policeman disguises himself as a criminal to catch criminals, the Lord joyfully plays his divine leelas with us in order to uplift us. He comes down to each person’s individual level to uplift them.

From the moment that he was born into Kamsa’s prison, to the moment he was killed by the hunter’s arrow, every action Krishna performed was sweet, attractive and aimed at cleaning the human world of its impurities. The prison that the Lord was born into symbolizes the prison of desires that is currently binding our hearts. If we cultivate awareness of the Lord’s presence in our heart, we will be able to release ourselves from all the bonds that imprison us. May the baby Krishna forever play in our hearts. May the wisdom of his words continue to enlighten our path every day.

The above is extracted from Amma’s 2015 Krishna Jayanti message.

onam prasad

Onam celebrations at Amritapuri 2015

28 Aug 2015, Amritapuri – Onam Celebrations

Every year Onam is a time for great celebration here in Amritapuri and this year was no exception. Early in the morning the hall was full of people in anticipation for the day’s festivities. They didnt have to wait long as Amma arrived on the stage before 10am and gave her Onam message to a packed crowd.

Speaking to the assembled devotees Amma said “All of us are experiencing our own little pains and sorrows in life. Nevertheless, amidst all these, we still usher in Onam with joy. How is it possible? Happiness is a decision. If we so decide, we can create an empire of happiness. This is because happiness is our true nature. The lamp of happiness is ever aflame in our hearts. We must take care not to block this light with the closed curtain of our desires.” {read more}

At the of her talk Amma lead the hall through a joyous rendition of Bandalo Bandalo and asked everyone to clap their hands with those around them.

Then Amma served a special onasadya meal to all the thousands of people in the ashram which took several hours. All ate in the hall together as one big family…even the biggest of ashram resident. As it has become a yearly tradition, Amma served Lakshmi the elephant the large portion of Onam prasad.

Later in the evening after bhajans, Amma came back to the hall to participate in the cultural programs. A huge variety of performances delighted the hall performed by ashram children, residents, westerners and brahmacharis. All finally reached a crescendo when around midnight Amma led everyone in singing – La Le Lale La Le. The whole hall was cheering, singing, and swaying with the music to bring an end to amazing day.


chair cleaning Amma

Opportunity to serve is like winning a lottery

1 Sep 2015, Amritapuri

Chair Cleaning Seva

Normally when Amma arrives on the stage for bhajans, she immediately starts singing. But today she made the following announcement before she started, “A lot of the chairs in the hall need to be cleaned. Everyone should try to clean two chairs.”


So all throughout bhajans everyone kept in the mind the need to make themselves available for that seva later…at some point…maybe tomorrow…maybe the next day…but no one thought that for Amma, action goes along with words and right away!

As soon as bhajans were over, on her way to her room, Amma walked straight to the stacks of unused chairs at the back of the hall and started on her own to take the chairs down individually and pass them on to whoever was nearby. It took time for everyone to understand what was happening and what they were supposed to do with the chairs. But soon enough, buckets with water and soap showed up at the scene and were passed on. Following Amma’s lead, the seva started and quickly took over the whole hall! After taking down the chairs from the stacks, Amma took a bucket, a brush and soap and started scrubbing a chair. She stayed focused on the work, while she gave directions to the hundreds of devotees, students and Ashram residents who joined in.

The work went on well past midnight, filling up almost all the hall with chair cleaning. Everyone joined in, including small children and the elderly as well, singing bhajans to keep the enthusiasm and good spirits up. During the previous day’s satsang Amma was saying that we should never miss any opportunity to serve; that it is like winning the lottery. So how fortunate were all of us to be given such a memorable opportunity to serve and be happy, offered by Amma!



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Tying rakhi to Guru

Today is ‪RakshaBandhan‬ – a day when brothers and sisters and celebrate and honor their bond between each other by tying the traditional rakhi bracelet around each others’ wrists. In this way, the sister expresses her love for her brother, and her brother pledges to look after her in all circumstances. But the tying of a rakhi is not confined to a brother and sister but to Guru too. Many devotees celebrate Raksha Bandhan at Amritapuri today by tying a rakhi bracelet around Amma’s wrist — Amma lovingly obliges each request.


onam message

Create an empire of happiness

Onam is a Time of Joy, Love, Kinship & Devotion

August 28th 2015 — Amritapuri Ashram

The following has been extracted from Amma’s Onam message.

Onam is a festival of unity and sharing. A festival takes place when our heart overflows. Onam is a time when joy, love, kinship and devotion overflow. The breeze of Onam starts caressing us as soon as the Malayalam month of Chingam starts. In fact, people begin to feel joy even in the final days of Karkitakam. The rays of the sun start piercing the clouds in the sky. Flowers everywhere start smiling. Butterflies start flitting about. There is only joy everywhere. Here, we share that joy and love with others. Happiness increases when we share it with others.



All of us rejoice when the month of Karkitakam ends and Chingam begins. Karkitakam is a time of spiritual practice and austerities when we stay home and worship God. While the earth bathes in the monsoon, Keralites bathe in the Ganga of Wisdom that is the Ramayana. Sometimes, without thinking we may curse the rains of Karkitakam, but we must never forget that it is only because of the torrential rains of Karkitakam that we have the flowers and harvests of Chingam. Moreover, it is the month of rain that helps us to appreciate the following beauty of Nature. This shows us that behind every celebration lies a period of sacrifice and austerity.

All of us are experiencing our own little pains and sorrows in life. Nevertheless, amidst all these, we still usher in Onam with joy. How is it possible? Happiness is a decision. If we so decide, we can create an empire of happiness. This is because happiness is our true nature. The lamp of happiness is ever aflame in our hearts. We must take care not to block this light with the closed curtain of our desires.


Happiness is a decision. If we so decide, we can create an empire of happiness. This is because happiness is our true nature. – AMMA

At present, climatic patterns are changing. It is becoming hotter. There is less rain. The seasons are becoming erratic. In order to live in harmony with Nature, one should love all beings. One must uphold dharma. Dharma used to be the very heart of Onam. Our estrangement from our culture of dharma is the reason for all these irregularities. In the past, people were content with what they received. They were able to find contentment in small things. This is the very message of Onam—the message of sacrifice, simplicity and charity.

The story of Mahabali is also a tale of sacrifice and austerity. It is only because of Mahabali’s self-sacrifice and surrender that he is still remembered today. Each year, we welcome him along with the Lord. Even though Onam actually is the day when Lord Vishnu incarnated as Vamana, we think of Mahabali more than the Lord. This reveals the greatness of devotion and sacrifice. However, initially, there were flaws in Mahabali. He thought all of his accomplishments were exclusively due to his effort. Having such an attitude is like allowing salt to fall into milk; it ruins any sweetness. It is the Lord’s duty to save His devotee from such a predicament. In the end, Mahabali was discerning enough to realize his folly. With this realization came total surrender. His life also teaches us that we must realize our own follies and strive to correct ourselves.

After he had surrendered everything, all that Mahabali asked the Lord was that he be able to see his subjects happy. Mahabali’s love was not confined to words. He did not have any selfish ulterior motive. Such love is very rare in the world today. Many speak loving words but their intentions are impure.

We have heard it sung that during the time of King Mahabali’s reign, all people were considered equal, but that equality was not merely external. It indicates an internal equality—an equal vision that comes from knowledge. External circumstances will constantly change. Happiness will alternate with sorrow. We should try to cultivate an attitude of equanimity and acceptance.

As Onam approaches, we usually see the liquor sales soaring. The Kerala Government’s ban on liquor is a good step. However, this ban will only become effective and complete when there is an internal change in man.


In olden days, Onam itself was our intoxication. However, today, so many people get drunk on Onam that they consider that to be the bliss of Onam. People in Kerala annually consume more liquour than those in any other state. Alcohol is destroying our health as well as our relationships. If the person drinking is from a poor family, the family is financially ruined.

Onam celebrates the memory of a past golden age. We also have the hope that such a golden age will return in the future. However, what happens when we get into the celebratory mood of Onam? We forget both the past and the future and live completely in the moment. In fact, life exists only in the present moment. The present moment is our only wealth. We should strive to properly utilize it, with awareness and alertness. Whenever we do this, the spirit of Onam will immediately awaken within us. Any memories of the past we have should awaken only positivity in the present. This means that we should try to remember only positive things people have done for us. Remember how they may have encouraged us or helped us. Try to draw energy from such memories and live in the present moment. What is essential is to make the present moment meaningful. If we do this, our life will naturally be filled with new sprouts, flower buds, blossoms and fruits. Happiness and prosperity will pervade. The spirit of Onam will be there for us every day.

Onam is a symbol of external and internal beauty. Happiness and beauty will be present only in a mind that is devoid of negative emotions. Therefore, may the shadow of negative emotions such as hatred and sorrow leave our minds. Instead, let our minds be filled with the golden light of love and happiness. Let the dark clouds of poverty and conflict lift, and let the world awaken to a new dawn of peace and prosperity. In this way, let the true message of Onam spread all across the world. May Onam be continuously celebrated in the mind of humanity. May the Paramatman, shower grace for this to happen.


Organic Vegetables for Onam

27 Aug 2015, Amritapuri

For many years now, Amma has been encouraging all her followers around the world to grow their own organic vegetables, both for personal health and for a healthy planet. Today, Brahmacharis and Brahmacharinis and other residents of Amritapuri presented Amma organic vegetables they have lovingly cultivated by hand for use in tomorrow’s massive traditional ‪Onam‬ meal, which Amma will personally serve to each of the many thousands of people who have come from all over India and around the world to celebrate Onam at their spiritual home.



Homage to the ancestors – more than a thanks giving

14 August 2015, Amritapuri

A mass ceremony was conducted at Amritapuri this morning. Vavu Bali, as it is locally known, is a traditional ritual where oblations are offered to departed ancestors. The ceremony is performed on Amavasi (new moon) in the Hindu month of Karkidaka.


About 1500 devotees personally participated in this special Yagna, joined by thousands of others present at the ashram. Swami Turyamritananda lit the lamp to start the event, and various ceremonies were performed simultaneously in the Ashram’s Main Bhajan Hall and the Kali Temple, by Brahmacharis Tapasyamrita Chaitanya, Gurudas Chaitanya, and Shraddhamrita Chaitanya.

During the pujas, sweet rice was offered to all the departed souls, including forefathers and friends, as well as to animals and trees, along with the chanting of sacred mantras and prayers.

Step by step puja instructions were translated simultaneously into different international languages, allowing devotees from various parts of the world to participate.

After the conclusion of the ceremonies, the participants walked in a procession towards the shore to personally consign their offerings to the ocean. In this action, the fish in the ocean are also fed. Tharpanam, a ritualistic offering with water was also performed for the devatas (deities), rishis, and ancestors.

The ceremonies started at 7am and went on till around noon.



Later in the day, after the meditation session with Amma, one of the international devotees thanked all those who helped to conduct the Vavu Bali ceremony. In response Amma said, “We always have a thought of only getting, never of giving to others. We grew up because our parents have been giving to us. Now whatever we may give, we cannot repay for what they have given us. Through this ritual, we are showing our respect, out gratitude, towards our departed ancestors. Giving verbal thanks only remains as words, and doesn’t get translated into action. By partaking in this ritual, we are performing action – spending some time for others, spending some money for them, and chanting mantras. We therefore get purified, creating positive vibrations.

The people who have died might have taken a new birth or attained moksha. Even the remote villagers get their mail properly if the address is correct. You are even able to call him by dialing the correct mobile number. Or if the email id is correct, it will reach him wherever he is. Similarly, if your sankalpa is pure, when making offerings towards departed souls, the result will reach him/her even if he has taken another birth. In addition, we also get the benefit of the mantras and the good actions we do.

Actually, we have to show our gratitude to our parents when they are alive. This ritual is part of Sanatana Dharma, which believes in the rebirth. Whether you believe in this or not, whether they are reborn or not, we get a punya (merit) for the actions we do.


For each action there are two types of results. Drushta Phalam and Adrusthta Phalam – the seen and the unseen results. When we feed a hungry orphan, we feel the joy when we see him enjoying the food we have offered – that is drushta phalam. The result is visible. By giving food we get some punya – merit. That is the unseen result, adrusthta phalam. If you are a sadhak, all that you are doing is done selflessly, the whole world will benefit.”

Stating the example of some of the ashramites, Amma concluded, “If there is a Sannyasi in a family, three generations before and four generations in the future will receive the merit of his Sannyas.”

– Kannadi

Amma in DC

Amma in Washington DC

5-6 July, Washington DC – America Yatra 2015

Amma held two days of programs in Washington DC., the Capital of the United States. Devotees from around the region who had been waiting for almost a year came to the Marriott Gateway Hotel in Crystal City, Arlington, just across the Potomac River from the National Mall, where the Washington Monument, US Capitol, and White House are located.


Amma sang bhajans, gave satsang, and led the gathered crowd in a prayer for world peace and harmony. While Amma was giving darshan, local devotees sang bhajans and performed traditional Indian dances.


Amma has taught us simplicity, humility and service

1-3 July, Chicago, IL – America Yatra 2015
Amma held three days of programs in her Chicago Ashram. This was Amma’s fourth annual visit to M. A. Center, Chicago.

The Chicago Ashram has seen many changes in the past year. The storage hall next to the main hall has been turned into the main dining area with seating outside. Many saplings had also been planted on the property.
The weather remained unusually cool, with days in the 70s and evenings in the mid-low 50s.


Mrs. Mazher Ahment and Mr. Hamid Ahmend, senior officials of Kane County, Illinois (where the Ashram is located) welcomed Amma on behalf of all citizens. Years ago, they had invited Amma to speak at the Parliament of World Religions in 1993{news} in Chicago. Mr. Raja Krishnamoorthi, former State Treasurer of Illinois, and candidate for US Congress, and Mr. Sunil Puri were also present.

Mr.Kakshman Agadi, Founder, President, and CEO of MedGyn Products, Inc., and trustee of the Hindu Temple of Greater Chicago, addressed the gathered crowd: “Today I am really blessed to be with Amma. For me, Amma is an incarnation of goddess Shakti. Mother Shakti has come to us on earth in the form of Mata Amritanandamayi…..Amma has taught us simplicity, humility and service. Her key observation on integral connection between religion and science are treasures that each of us and all generations to come must carry in our hearts. … Amma’s religion is love which supersedes all religions on this earth.”

Ron Gottsegen, President of M. A. Centers, spoke to the gathered crowd. Thanking Amma and everyone for their support, he went on to announce the future plans for the Center which Amma has approved and blessed. These include a school, additional housing, assisted living for elders, as well as the building of a Yajna Shala Temple. He also said that the old farm stand on the property will be reopened to sell organic products and ayurvedic herbs. The goal is to, “create a sustaining community where we can live, grow our own food, and use it as an opportunity to teach others to become self sustaining.”

At the end of the first day, Amma sang two bhajans before leaving the hall.

At the start of the second morning program, Amma was treated to a heartwarming classical flute concerto. Later, the local satsang and children of Amrita Balakendra put on many performances. Children from the Minnesota Satsang also chanted the12th chapter of Gita.

Later, as Amma was leaving the hall, the local satsang joyfully sang ‘Narayana Narayana Jay Jay Govinda Hare….” Rising to her feet, Amma began clapping her hands from side to side, keeping time with the beat. Everyone joined in as she slowly walked off the stage.

– Tulasi