The Guru-disciple relationship is an everlasting connection

From Amma’s Gurupurnima message

If we try to count from the beginning of the Guru-disciple tradition, tens of thousands of Gurupurnimas’ must have been celebrated by disciples. Celebrations are mere road signs, pointing us in the right direction. To understand the meaning of these celebrations, we need to go beyond the external pujas and traditional practices performed on this day.


There are many relationships in human life. But, the relationship between a Guru and disciple cannot be counted as one of these worldly relationships. In reality, the only bond of love that is eternal and indestructible is the Guru-disciple relationship. In other relationships, the predominant factor is bondage. But, there is no bondage in the Guru-disciple relationship, because the Guru is the doorway that leads us from all bondage to ultimate freedom.


All human relationships are like two small streams flowing along side of each other. The Guru-disciple relationship is entirely different. The disciple’s experience is that of a person standing under the powerful flow of the Ganges as it falls from the heavens onto the hair of Lord Shiva and from there onto Earth. The Spiritual master’s divine presence and endless flow of grace helps to purify the disciple.


In reality, the Guru is a mere presence. If someone were to ask, “Is the Master the body or the Self?” there would be no correct answer. The Guru is always in a state of oneness with the Supreme Self and hence has no feeling of ‘I’ or ‘mine’. Once the ego is destroyed then the physical body becomes like an empty shell. It has no connection with the Self. So because of this, the Guru cannot be the body. But, this is also incorrect, because we can only see the Guru’s body. The truth is that the Spiritual Master is merely a presence, like the infinite sky.


For the Guru who has gone beyond likes and dislikes, there is no thought of, “I am the Guru and you are the disciple. I am superior and you are inferior.” The Master has no demands or requirements. Looking at it in this way, we will see that there is actually only the disciple in this relationship. The Guru should become the light of the full moon that never sets within the heart of the disciple. The Guru-disciple relationship is the everlasting connection we make with this divine presence.

– excerpts from Amma’s Guru Purnima message – 19 July Tokyo 2016


Amma in Washington DC

8-9 July, Washington, D.C, America Yatra 2016

Amma held two days of programs at the Marriott Gateway in Chrystal City, Arlington, VA.

During the programs, local devotees sang bhajans, and put on a wonderful dance depicting stories from Amma’s life.



Amma in Boston

5-6 July, Boston, MA, America Yatra 2016

Amma held two days of programs of Satsang, Bhajan and Darshan at the Best Western Royal Plaza and Hotel in Marlboro, MA. During the program, local devotees sang bhajans and danced.





Amma in New York

1-3 July, New York, America Yatra 2016

Amma returned to the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City for the 5th consecutive year to hold three days of programs. Thousands of people from the metropolitan area came for Amma’s darshan. 71 students from Columbia University’s Spirituality Mind Body Institute also came to see Amma and inquired how they could help with Embracing the World.

During the programs, local devotees sang bhajans and put on traditional Indian dances.

On the road from Chicago to New York, Amma stopped with the tour group to meditate and sing. Here she is singing in praise of the Creator who is one with creation.





Amma in Chicago Ashram

27-29 June, Chicago, IL, America Yatra 2016

A freshly painted hall welcomed Amma to her Chicago Ashram as she returned for the 5th consecutive year. She led all in Meditation, Bhajans gave talks and Darshan on these two days.


During the first day of programs, area Satsangs put on a number of cultural programs. Bala Kendra students chanted Gita, put on a performance medley depicting the stories of Haunman, Ganesha, and Krishna, and sang bhajans. They also put on a performance embracing Amma’s message that kids these days are spending too much time on electronics. In the play, kids learn that playing outside, helping nature by planting trees, and doing seva together is more fun and beneficial.


Local Chicago AYUDH youth sang bhajans and put on a dance about Krishna and Radha. Members of the Chicago area satsang peformed a Kaikottikali dance, followed by a fusion of Marathi, Gugurati, and Bhangra style dancing.


At the end of the day program, Amma sang two new English bhajans and one new Punjabi bhajan, then danced briefly before leaving the stage.



Amma in Texas

24-25 Jun, Ft. Worth, Texas – America Yatra 2016

This year’s programs in Texas were held at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Ft. Worth, TX, about 45 minutes west of Dallas.

On the first morning, four local civil representatives were on hand to garland Amma. Welcoming Amma to Ft. Worth, Mr. Jameson addressed Amma and the gathered crowd: ‘Amma, and all of you that have joined us here today, it is my sincere pleasure to welcome you to a city, perhaps known as a city of cowboys and culture, but I think most notably known as a city of great generosity, humanity, and a generous sense of welcome. Your message of peace and love is gratefully received here today and we are honored by your presence.’

Ms. Zadeh also spoke: ‘I know that the energy of peace and love that is generated through this event this morning will permeate our city and stay with us long after you have left.’
Attending the first evening program were two representatives from the Chinmaya Mission – Swami Sarveshananda, Resident Acharya of the Chinmayi Mission in Dallas, TX; and Abhishek Chaitanya Giri from the Chinmayi Mission in Rishikesh, India.

Devotees from regional satsangs in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and surrounding areas put on a variety of cultural performances during the programs. These included a Bharatnatyam dance depicting the form Ardhanarishwara, a veena performance, and Bhangra dancing celebrating Lord Ganesha.





Amma in Santa Fe

18-22 Jun Santa Fe, New Mexico – America Yatra 2016

Amma held two days of public programs followed by a three-day retreat and Devi Bhava at the Buffalo Thunder Resort just outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

During the retreat, there were meditation classes, talks with the Swamis, IAM classes, and a question and answer session with Amma. At the Q&A session, Amma led everyone in yoga asanas in honor of the 2nd annual International Day of Yoga. Following the Q&A session, Amma sang ‘Mukunda Murari and served everyone dinner.

Througout the programs and retreat, local satsangs sang bhajans and a group of young balakendra students sang ‘We Are All Beads’ accompanied by acting and sign language to convey Amma’s message of unity and compassion. There was also a soulful violin performance by one of Amma’s devotees and inspiring Flamenco dancing.




Partnership programs in LA

14-16 June, Los Angeles, America Yatra 2016

Amma returned to the Hilton Los Angeles Airport hotel for three days of programs on June 14th-16th.

During the first evening program, a representative of MA Center-LA announced that the Center has recently launched two Embracing the World programs in partnership with three local non-profit organizations. Through partnerships with New Directions for Veterans and with IDEPSA Community Job Center for Day Laborers , IAM classes (Integrated Amrita Meditation) will be taught to disabled war veterans and those suffering from PTSD, as well as to day laborers to help reduce stress in their daily lives as they struggle to support their families.

In an additional partnership with City Plants, MA Center – LA has committed to planting 5,000 trees in low tree canopy cover neighborhoods in Los Angeles.

Representatives from the three non-profit organizations – Veterans Services, IDEPSCA and City Plants – were on hand to garland Amma.

During the programs, local satsangs sang bhajans and local devotees danced traditional Indian dances. At the end of the second evening program, Amma delighted everyone by singing two new bhajans.



Amma in San Ramon, California

7 -12 June, San Ramon, America Yatra 2016

After Seattle, Amma headed to the San Ramon Ashram where she has been holding programs for the past 27 years.

Amma held three days of public programs followed by a retreat, concluding with Devi Bhava on June 12th.

During Amma’s darshan time, satsangs groups from around the Bay Area and Northern California region including students from the two area BalaKendra groups sang bhajans, danced to traditional Indian music, and put on plays.

During the retreat, local devotees put on a play that began with Parvati Devi asking Lord Shiva if the devotion of a true devotee is more powerful than the Lord himself. The play then depicted the story of how Hanuman’s unwavering devotion to Lord Rama turned even the most powerful of Lord Rama’s arrows into flowers. This proved Parvati’s statement true and underscored the power of devotion.

Balakendra students also put on a play based on the teachings of Adi Shankaracharya demonstrating how to be a good devotee.




Amma in Seattle Xfinity

4-5 June, Seattle, America Yatra 2016

Amma began her 30th North American tour on June 5th with two days of programs at the XFINITY Arena in Everett, WA, USA. People came from all over the world to meet Amma and receive her darshan.

Seattle Foundation Board Member and noted philanthropist Linda Parks garlanded Amma welcomed her on the first day.

During the programs, local satsangs sang bhajans. Local BalaKendra students put on a play about Sudhama and Krishna emphasizing the blessings of innocent devotion.

At the end of the first evening program, Amma delighted everyone by singing two bhajans.

The day before the programs, Amma visited the new Seattle Ashram located in Snohomish, Washington, where she served breakfast to the local devotees, meditated, and sang bhajans.