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

 

 

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.

-Kannadi

av62

AmritaVarsham62 Amma’s Birthday celebrations

1 Sep 2015, Amritapuri

Amma’s upcoming 62nd birthday celebrations are to be held at the Amrita University Campus at Amritapuri, Kerala on the 26th and 27th of September, 2015.

Come join the Celebrations!!
av-62
Amma — Mother, Guru and a true role model to millions—has served the world for decades imparting wisdom, strength and inspiration. Her life is a constant reminder that peace, compassion, selflessness and the other universal values written in the hearts of humankind remain relevant. Through her extraordinary acts of love, inner-strength and self-sacrifice, she has endeared herself to millions and inspired them to follow her path of selfless service.

‪Amma‬ has also pioneered countless humanitarian and charitable programmes in India and abroad under the “‪EmbracingtheWorld‬” initiative.

As we celebrate 62 glorious years of Amma’s selfless service to contemporary society, we would be deeply honoured if you would grace the occasion with your esteemed presence and add to the beauty and grandeur of this international event.

To add beauty and grandeur to this international event, we would love you to be here.

Come, Join the celebrations.

 

 

pookkalam

Pookkalam, floral decorations for Onam

29 Aug 2015, Amritapuri

For the past ten days of Onam, portico in front of Amma’s house were daily decorated with different floral designs. Ashram residents, devotees and students did the Pookkalam.

 

 

 

 

ganesh visarjan

Ganesh Visarjan at Amritapuri

27 Aug 2015, Amritapuri
After being kept in the puja for the past 10-days, the Ganesha statue was taken in a procession. From Kalari, around the Kali Temple towards the main hall Ganesha was carried with fervent bhajans and Panchavadyam, while Amma is giving darshan. Ashram elephant Lakshi also followed. Then it was carried to the sea for immersion.

With the chants of Ganapati Bappa Moriya the idol was submerged in the ocean – reminding us that all names and forms are will merge in the consciousness ultimately.

 

 

 

Ganesh chaturthi

Ganesh Chaturthi celebration at Amritapuri

18 Aug 2015, Amritapuri

Ganesh Chaturthi festival was celebrated in the Ashram with much devotion and enthusiasm. After the Ganapati Homa in the Kalari, a special puja was held to worship the Lord in the form of an Elephant, in this case the Ashram elephant Lakshmi.

An idol of Ganesh has been kept in front of the Kalari, and daily evening bhajans are sung by a group of enthusiastic devotees after the regular ashram bhajans. On the tenth day it will be taken to the sea for Visarjan (immersion).

independence day 2015

India’s Independence Day celebrations by AYUDH

15 August 2015

AYUDH Amritapuri performed the play ‘Bharat Mata Puja 2015’ in the main hall, while Amma was giving darshan. This night play was in connection with India’s Independent day celebrations. The play was based on the un-sung heroes of the freedom struggle. After the 40 minutes of play, the hall reverberated with the chants of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

One girl dressed as Bharat Mata, took the National tri-colour flag to Amma which she accepted and waved with such joy and innocence of a child.

The youths also made an India map with lamps. This celebration of ‘Unity in Diversity’ could create respect and love the hearts for the Motherland.

Earlier in the day AYUDH also conducted Amalabharatam, a city cleaning program in Vallikkavu town.

– Das

 

 

 

 

gurupurnima blessing

Guru is the embodiment of the Scriptures

15-gurupurnima

31 July 2015, Amritapuri

Gurupurnima was celebrated with much devotion and enthusiasm at Amritapuri today. Many devotees came from different parts of India and the world to be with the Guru.

Amma’s Padapuja was performed by Swami Amritaswarupanda with the chanting of Guru Gita and 108 Names. All the swamis garlanded Amma, Amma showered blessings upon every one.

 

gurupurnima blessings

Amma addressed the overflowing hall on the significance of the principle of the Guru. The following remarks are excerpted from her address:
“The Guru tattwa (Guru principle) is eternal. Gurus lived these ideals in their lives. The disciples observed this and tried to live those ideals in their lives as well. God and the Guru are one. However, the Guru principle that elevates the soul to the state of liberation is beyond the divine principle. There is nothing whatsoever that the Guru needs to gain or do. He guides the disciple out of compassion alone.


“The disciple has innumerable weaknesses and tendencies. It takes boundless patience to lead such a disciple. Sacrifice and austerity are ever ablaze in the Guru’s life. Every word from such Gurus is scripture. Their very life is scripture. They are also the ones who impart vitality to the scriptures.

“Spirituality starts with compassion and ends in compassion. When we put a stone in a pond, ripples radiate from the stone and touch the shore. They then come back and reach the center. It begins with the center and ends with the center- the bindu. This central point is Love. ”

After the talk, Amma sang the bhajans, “Sakala Kala Devate Saraswati Devi,” and “Guruvadi vani sun lo” and at the end asked every one to dance to the last bhajan “Bolo Bolo sab mil bolo Om Namah shivaya.” She then led the assembled crowd in a silent prayer for world peace. After that, Amma started giving darshan till 10.43 pm.

Earlier, before Amma’s padapuja,  Swami Amritaswarupananda addressed the gathering, spoke about Amma’s greatness as the Guru.

pongala-amma

Pongal festival – it’s meaning and significance

Pongal is celebrated the day on which the sun begins to move northwards is called ‘Makar Shankranti’. In Tamil Nadu this festival is called the Pongal or Thai Pongal. The period is referred to as Uttarayanam and is considered auspicious. Pongal is a four-day festival.

The first day, Bhogi, is celebrated on the last day of the month of Margazhi. On this day, people decorate their homes. New vessels are bought and clean up home and environment.

The second day is Perum Pongal, is the most important. People worship Surya, the Sun God. Women decorate the central courtyard of their homes with beautiful kolams, done with rice flour and bordered with red clay. The Pongal payasam is cooked in the early morning during the sunrise, exactly at the moment when the new month is born.

The third day is Mattu Pongal, celebrated to glorify cattle that help farmers in a myriad ways. On this day, the cows are bathed and decorated with vermilion and garlands and fed.
The last day is Kaanum Pongal. It is that part of the festival when families used to gather on the riverbanks and have a sumptuous meal. It is also time for some traditional dances such as kummi and kolattam. Special prayers are offered by women for the well-being of their brothers.

Pongal ushers in the New Year in Tamil Nadu. Newly-harvested grains are cooked for the first time on that day. Joyous festivities mark the celebration in every home. The poor are fed and clothed. On the next day, the cow is worshipped, and birds and animals are fed.

Amma says “For me there is no creator and creations. Like the ocean and the waves, they are all one and the same. God is in the people or in the world, and the world is in the people. It is love that transforms into worship. Even nature is part of God. That is why we have temples even for insignificant creatures such as lizards, trees and poisonous snakes. We have ‘Mattu Pongal’, we worship the cattle. We need them for cultivation. It is a form of thanksgiving to the entire creation as that is the power that sustains life.”

The Sun is worshipped as the embodiment and source of Life-Force, without which we could not be. Payasam is offered to the sun seeking his blessings, and then eaten as prasad; the second day, animals are venerated, usually through the worship of a representative cow, which again is offered sweet payasam; the third day sees the family relations worshipped, of course through more offering of payasam, and, more importantly, through the coming together of family members. If there have been arguments or miscommunications in the family, this is the day when the air is cleared and hearts are opened. It can be a very healing time, restoring a deep relationship with the Universe, Mother Nature and one another. Through this festival, the Creation is recognized as the miraculous divine blessing it truly is.

Amma also explained an interesting point about the intelligence behind this kind of worship, saying that it is not superstitious, but in fact very practical. During this particular festival for example, the tradition of cooking payasam and allowing it to boil over is observed all over South India. This overflowing of sweetness represents the Prema (Divine Love) that should overflow from our hearts towards all of Creation. Amma continued with a remarkable point. She said that the steam rising from the rice, jaggery, cardamom and other spices being boiled in so many households and mixed with the smoke from the firewood traditionally used, actually creates a special medicinal combination that has a very beneficial effect on the atmosphere. The collective observance of this and similar practices has a positive effect on both the ‘mental environment’, as well as the weather, climate and harmony of Nature in general. This is just one aspect of the subtle wisdom underlying these simple, elegant customs.

“Pongal means ‘to overflow.’ The time when humankind’s love for nature and nature’s love for humankind overflow—that is Pongal. Human beings make nature happy by having good thoughts and doing good actions. Nature blesses humankind with a bountiful harvest. When the universal mind and the individual mind overflow and become one—that is what Pongal is symbol of.

“Matru-devo bhava, Pitr-devo bhava, acharya-devo bhava atithi-devo bhava—‘May you see your mother as God, your father as God, your teacher as God, your guests as God’—this is what Sanatana Dharma teaches us. Respect everything, worship everything. Why? Because there is nothing other than God. May this Pongal Festival be an opportunity for you to you to instill this culture and God deeply within and spread it without.

“Festivals are, in fact for everyone living in the area. Even people working far away will return home in order to participate. Everyone will sit together, eat together and remember old times together. On such occasions, we experience the joy and exuberance that occur when hearts come together. These festivals are sacred moments that help us to establish love and unity and nourish our relationships.

2014 xmasplay

The Lord’s Prayer: a musical on the life of St. Francis

On December 24th, 2014 – Christmas Eve – the ashram celebrated Christmas in the presence of our beloved Amma by presenting the stories of St. Francis of Assisi and two of his closest companions – Priest Sylvester and St. Claire.

More than 170 ashram residents and visitors from more than 15 countries across the world worked together to perform this musical theatre piece “The Lord’s Prayer”, which included an original script, music and lyrics, dance choreography, extensive hand-painted sets, hand-made costumes, and hand-made marionettes.

This labor of love told excerpts from the lives of these three figures, framed within the context of an individual’s experience with prayer, and how prayer carries us along the spiritual path. They are examples of how an “ordinary” person can leave behind a life based on material prosperity in search of a life centered on God; a life devoted to developing humility, compassion, forgiveness and unconditional love.

The production evoked lines of the original Lord’s Prayer as a refrain, highlighting the truth that the fundamental aspects of prayer have been unchanged through the centuries; we still pray for wisdom and guidance along the spiritual path, and for the grace and strength to persevere in the face of life’s obstacles.

Interestingly Amma was also talking on the science of prayer and its importance in spiritual life {read Amma’s message here} in her Christmas message

The 90-minute production was performed as an offering to Amma and a live audience of several thousand people on the ashram’s main stage. The audience sat spellbound throughout, rapt by the beautiful choreography of dramatic, heartfelt performances, soul-stirring song and dance, and technical and artistic feats including a three-story stage as well as lifelike birds in flight. In the finale, the audience let out a collective sigh of joy and delight as Amma’s oft-visualized prayer that the world be showered with white flowers of peace was brought to life, with thousands of lifelike imitation flowers showered down onto the performers and the audience’s front rows from the rafters above the stage, more than four stories into the air. As the performers took their final bow, the audience rose to their feet and offered a standing ovation and cheers of appreciation.

– Dass

xmaspano