Photo updates on 26th – Amritavarsham 63

Photo updates of the program held on 25th and 26th in connection with Amritavarhsam 63 celebrations



Amritavarsham 63, Amma’s birthday celebrations: Watch Live


27th Morning Amma’s Padapuja will be live on Amrita TV
Watch here : http://www.amritatv.com/live

Stay tuned for Amritavarsham 63 celebrations updates on http://twitter.com/AmmaChimes

We cordially invite you to the 63rd Birthday Celebrations of Her Holiness Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma), taking place at Amrita University, Amritapuri, Kerala, on Tuesday, the 27th of September 2016.

During the past 63 years, Amma has verily revitalised the spiritual ethos of modern India and strengthened the moral fabric of society through the power of her unconditional love, spiritual wisdom and transformational motherly embrace. Amma’s charitable work—providing food, shelter, medical care, education, etc, for the poor and downtrodden—is an example of selfless service, par excellence. Likewise, Amma’s No. 1-ranked private university is a wonder of scientific research that directly benefits the poor.


Amma’s birthday is a joyous celebration of all of these glories and much more—a confluence of devotees and well-wishers from around the world celebrating an embodiment of unconditional love and selfless service. It is also an occasion when many of Amma’s new humanitarian projects are unveiled and existing ones are extended. It would be wonderful if you were able to grace this event with your invaluable presence. We sincerely hope you will join us.

Programme Highlights

September 27th

5:00 a.m. : Mahaganapati Homam

5:30 a.m. :Sri Lalita Sahasranama Archana & Lighting of the Sacred Lamp

7:30 a.m. :Satsang on Amma’s Life & Teachings by Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri
Vice-Chairman of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math

8:55 a.m. :Arrival on the dais by Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

9:00 a.m. : Sri Guru Pada Puja

9:40 a.m. : Amma’s Annual Birthday Address

11:00 a.m.: Commencement of the Formal Programme

* Prayer

* Welcome Address

11:15 a.m. : Welcoming of the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Sri. Narendra Modi
(via satellite connection)

11:2o a.m. : Honourable Prime Minister of India Delivers the Inaugural Address of Amritavarsham63

11:30 a.m. : Launching of Humanitarian Initiatives

* Honourable Prime Minister Makes Announcement Regarding the Math’s Completion of 2,000 toilets in Kerala to end open defecation

* Sri. Mohan Bhagwat, Sarsanghchalak of Rashtriya Swaymsevak Sangh, to present
certicates authenticating completion of 2,000 toilets to impoverished families

* Presentation of Certificates for 400 free surgeries at Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (200 open-heart surgeries, 25 renal transplants, 75 neurosurgeries and 100 oncology surgeries)

* Presentation of Certicates of provision of water to rural villages in Bihar, Uttarakhand and Andhra Pradesh

* Mangalya Sudha: Presenting Wedding Clothing and Gold to 54 Impoverished Couples

* Presenting Keys to Beneficiaries of 100 Amrita Kuteeram Houses in Kerala

* Annual Publication Release by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math

Addresses by Dignitaries

Bestowing of the 2016 Amrita Keerti Puraskar to Sri. Ambalapuzha Gopakumar by
Honourable Governor of Kerala, Justice Sri. P. Sathasivam

Address By Justice Sri. P. Sathasivam, Hon. Governor of Kerala

Vote of Thanks




Mr Prakash Javadekar inaugurated OceanNet

26 Sep 2016, Amritapuri – Amritavasham 63 Celebrations

OceanNet is an Amrita University project offering internet connectivity for fishermen at sea to help them stay safe and provides connectivity up to 60 km -45 kilometres beyond the range of cell-phone towers.  Each boat’s coordinates, speed, course is tracked on a land-based server. SOS calls are also supported. The system will be a Godsend for commercial fishermen who regularly spend five to seven consecutive days outside the Internet range.

Amrita OceanNet will put an end to the frustrations associated with the inability to communicate one’s location and physical-emotional conditions to relatives while at sea. Through this government authorities will be able to disseminate disaster-warning messages to all the fishing vessels.

Dr. Maneesha Sudheer, Director of Amrita Centre for Wireless Networks & Applications said the idea for Amrita OceanNet came directly from Amma. In 2010, a fishing boat in the Arabian Sea collided with a ship. Several people were injured and killed; some were never found. Saddened by this disaster, Amma asked Dr. Maneesha to develop a system to communicate, in real-time, the alerts, disaster warnings, etc. to the fishing vessels.

Amrita OceanNet comprises an onshore base-station with Internet connectivity that boosts Internet signals. This boosted signal is then captured by fishing vessels that are equipped with a low-cost Amrita OceanNet receiver-broadcaster system. In turn, these Amrita OceanNet-equipped vessels also become broadcasters. In this way, the Internet signal — through multiple boat-to-boat hops — can extend 60 km beyond the shoreline. A Wi-Fi network is provided aboard the fishing vessel to which the fishermen connect using their smart phones.

Prakash Javadekar, Union Minister of HRD while inaugurating Amrita OceanNet, in the presence of Amma, spoke Live using Ocean Net to Dhanesh, who was at that time on his boat in the Arabian Sea . Javadekar said: “Hello Dhanesh, you are 60 kms away in the ocean, but you are very close to Amma’s heart and you will always be protected by Amma”.

“Amma has brought a great service to the fisherman and the country through Ocean Net, who could not connect with anybody, once they ventured into the seas. In fact now our fishermen will become our Coast Guards, and can even inform our real Coast Guards about any suspicious movements or threats from the enemy coming to attack our country through the high seas.

“God creates, in ages, a guru like Amma,and we are here to get her blessings. Today I am blessed since I am participating in a very noble cause” said the Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar.



Sustainability a Reality: from Policy to Practice

On the eve of Amritavarsham 63, the Amritapuri campus of Amrita University hosted a High Level Panel Discussion on Making Sustainability a Reality: from Policy to Successful Practice on September 25, 2016.

Dr Venkat Rangan, Vice Chancellor, Amrita University delivered the presidential address wherein he enumerated the various missions that have been undertaken for making sustainability a reality. Amrita University is among the very few universities which follow a multi disciplinary approach, rather than a narrow-lane approach.

The Inaugural address was delivered by Dr Thomas Isaac, Finance Minister, Kerala. He said that that we should implement such sustainable projects with deep involvement of people as the chances of them succeeding is greater . He complimented the Amrita for leading the sustainability initiatives in various fora and facilitating such events.

Delivering the special address, Smt Sunita Sanghi, Advisor, NITI Ayog, informed that India is a signatory of the UN Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs). Earlier, Smt Sanghi stated that she was particularly impressed with the wide variety of work done in the area of Women Empowerment. She was happy to know the numerous initiatives that Amrita was undertaking to facilitate impoverished women to learn relevant skills, which they could utilize in their own environments, creating empowerment through employment.She is confident that institutions like Amrita could go a long way in these noble missions.

The Finance Minister launched the Amrita Vasudha initiative and gave away souvenirs to Amrita University champions who are championing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals in various campuses.



Amma receives student award winners

22 September  2016, Amritapuri

On almost every darshan day in Amritapuri many students come to meet Amma. Today was no different but all of those that came today, came to share their joy with Amma for having won various awards.


The students won several competitions on a national level in a variety of disciplines. The first winners won the Amritopanyasa Pratiyogita, an English Essay writing competition in two categories: ‘On the subjects Cultivating Strength’ and ‘Vitality, The Infinite Potential of Women.’ The second batch of winners competed in the Amrita Chitranjali, Pencil drawing competition, expressing themselves on the topic ‘An unforgettable incident in your life’.

Other winners were victorious in a Bhagavad Gita chanting competition conducted across all Kerala Amrita Vidyalayam schools. The chapter selected for the competition was 7th, Jnanavijnana yoga.

The winners are as follows:
Amritopanyasa Pratiyogita – Category 1
1. Visalakshi. S Std. X of Amrita Vidyalayam, Chennai
2. A. Gopika. K.K Std. X of Amrita Vidyalayam, Kodungallur
B. Neha.M.Naijil Std. X of S.N.Vidya Bhavan, Chentrappini
3. Sravan.D.K Std. X of Amrita Vidyalayam, Davengere.

Amritopanyasa Pratiyogita – Category 2
1. Archana.R Std XII of Amrita Vidyalayam, Kannur
2. Hima.M Hari Std XII of Amrita Vidyalayam, Ernakulam
3. Akshay.C.P Std XI of Amrita Vidyalayam, Kuthuparamba

Amrita Chitranjali
1. Aparna Anil Std VII of Amrita Vidyalayam, Koyilandy
2. Adisree. K Std VII of Sree Sankara Vidyapeetam, Mattannur
3. Nihal Babu, Std VII of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Sultan Bathery

Bhagavad Gita (Amrita Vidyalayam only)
1. Devika KN – Harippad
2. Sivani B Sajeev – Talassery
3. Sreechand Kollara – Trissur


Onam celebrations at Amritapuri

4-14 Sep 2016, Onam celebrations, Amritapuri

For each of the 10 days of the annual Onam festival, ashram residents as well as students took turns making beautiful big pookkalams (floral designs) at the foot of the steps to Amma’s room. Each day when Amma came out for darshan, she would stand there for some time, bow to the pookkalam and comment about the beauty of the work–for it was not possible to say which was more beautiful.

On the final day of the Onam festival, Amma was welcomed by Panchavadyam – traditional Kerala drums – to the stage. After Amma gave her Onam message {news} , she sang two bhajans,(Bandalo Bandlo and Radhe Govinda Gopi Gopala) and asked everyone to clap and dance along with her. At the end Amma danced to the tune of Baduga music.

After giving darshan for a short time, she started giving OnaSadya – the traditional Onam feast – to all those present. Last but certainly not least to receive her OnaSadya was Lakshmi–the ashram elephant, who was fed by Amma herself. Amma gave Lakshmi giant rice balls, payasam, pappadam, and avil one by one, as well as banana clusters. Then Lakshmi played her favourite game – she was given buckets of water, from which she sprayed water on all those assembled, giving those nearby quite a bath.

That evening, Amma sang bhajans, transporting all into a realm beyond.

After dinner, ashramites staged a number of performances, including dances and dramas, for the delight of all. Amma sat for all the performances along with the rest of the ashram residents and visitors. By midnight, Amma sang “Love is the way” in English and the crescendo – “Aya he sara jaha yaham”. With prayers for peace of the whole world, this year’s Onam celebrations came to an end.


Ganesh Chaturthi Celebrations at Amritapuri Ashram

5-15 Sep 2016, Amritapuri

The Ganesh Chaturthi 10-day festival was celebrated in Amritapuri from 5th to 15th September. For 10 days, a beautiful idol of Lord Ganesh, the remover of all obstacles, was displayed at the Kalari and daily early morning Ganapathy pujas were performed. Each evening too, a special bhajans session took place in which many ashramites, visitors and most notably children participated with great devotion and enthusiasm.

In the morning of the 1st day Ganesh Chaturthi (5th September), a special puja was also performed in the main hall to the ashram elephant Lakshmi.

On the afternoon of the last day (15th September), special bhajans were performed at the Kalari, followed by procession carrying the Ganesh idol throughout the ashram. The procession made a long stop in the main hall, facing the stage where Amma was giving darshan. After that, the procession continued towards the ocean. Students, children, ashramites and visitors danced and sang bhajans fervently, praising Lord Ganesh.  Reaching the ocean, the statue was carefully carried into the waters were it was immersed (Visarjan) as per the tradition.  Many children were crying as the idol, which they loved and worshipped is being immersed in the sea. The message in this is that ultimately, all forms have to merge into the formless…







Try to make our circle of compassion larger and more expansive

14 September 2016 — Onam Celebrations at Amritapuri Ashram

(Amma’s message on the occasion of Onam festival)

Amma is extremely happy to see all of you have gathered here to celebrate Thiruvonam with Amma. It shows the bond you have with Amma. May this bond and love be always there between all of you as well. It is said that the relative of a devotee is another devotee alone. It is this message of unity and love that Thiruvonam brings to us.

Onam presents a role model of the relationship between the government and the governed. Mahabali desired nothing but the welfare of his subjects. His people, too, loved their king. The festival of Onam presents the bond between them—their unity, love and equality—before our eyes. How should rulers be? How should citizens be? Onam presents a perfect ideal of this, which is essential in today’s world.

Onam is the celebration of human relationships. It is the time when relationships among family members, friends and relatives get strengthened. We live in an age where all human bonds have become weak. Husbands and wives are becoming estranged from one another. Mother-child relationships, father-child relationships, teacher-student relationships and relationships between neighbours are all becoming weaker. Onam comes to us bearing the message of reviving these relationships and strengthening them. Onam becomes Onam only when this is achieved.

However, Onam is not a celebration of human relationships alone. It is also a celebration of the bond between Nature and humankind. Beyond that, it is also a celebration of the bond between God and humanity. What sets Onam apart from other celebrations is its completeness. Onam is a festival that includes all aspects of life. Children, women, young people, and the elderly all have their respective roles in the festival. The celebration is relevant at the family level as well as at the societal level. Similarly, it also impacts our immediate surrounds, Nature as a whole, as well as our own bodies and minds. Onam is also the festival of cultural values and art forms.

Moreover, Onam is the story of the transformation that came over Emperor Mahabali. Although a righteous king, Bali took great pride in his own abilities and good qualities. When his guru, Sukracharya, warned him that Vamana—the dwarf boy who stood before him—was in reality Lord Vishnu, a battle ensued within him. Either adhere to truth and lose his all his name and position or try to safeguard his name and position by turning his back on truth. Mahabali chose the former path. It was the path of renunciation.

In the end, when the dwarf Vamana grew in size and measured the earth and the heavens in two strides, Mahabali’s pride crumbled to pieces. In order to keep his word and uphold the truth, he surrendered his own self. However, that defeat became his success. It is Nature’s infallible law that he who renounces everything achieves everything. Mahabali became like gold that has been purified by fire. He rose to becoming purnam—whole—and attained immortal fame.

The battle that arose in Mahabali’s heart takes place within every human being as the battle between good and evil, the battle between positive and negative emotions, the battle between selfishness and selflessness. Those who choose the path of righteousness are fortunate. Mahabali’s story is a message to the modern man who prides himself on his own abilities, yet staggers without answers when faced with life’s challenges.

Mahabali was an asura—a member of a race of demons. Prahlada was also an asura. Vibhishana was a rakshasa—a different type of demon. Regardless all three became perfect beings. This proves that goodness exists within all of us, and if we try, we can awaken it.

Today we judge people as great or otherwise based on the wealth they possess or their fame or position in society. Once these are lost, their “greatness” is also lost. This is the law of the world. But this is not true in spirituality. One becomes great only when one loses their identity with “I” and “mine” and the resulting attachments. This is when man becomes God. When Mahabali surrendered everything to the omnipresent Vishnu Consciousness, he transcended the boundaries of “I” and “mine” and attained the Supreme. This is the principle behind the story.

Discernment is the “switch” that turns on the light of knowledge.

Mahabali’s reign marked a golden era where people didn’t tell lies and there was no deceit or slander. However, today, the situation is the complete opposite. The age we live in seems to have only one slogan, “My own happiness! My own gain!” This attitude will only lead us to darkness and sorrow. There is a belief that King Mahabali visits his subjects on Thiruvonam and enquires about their welfare. The real principle behind this belief is that we should awaken from our stupor of selfishness and view the world around us through the eyes of Mahabali. It is the little acts of love and respect that we show towards our fellow beings that fill our lives with joy. When each one of us thinks what we can do to make others happy, then naturally our hearts will fill with joy. This was all Mahabali really wished for. He just wanted to his subjects experience peace, prosperity, happiness and contentment. He never wished anything for himself. Mahabali’s vision for his subjects was like a mahatma’s vision for the world as a whole. It was a vision devoid of selfishness.

There is a lesson to be learned from each and every experience in life. But we need sraddha and viveka—attentiveness and discernment—to be able to recognise the lessons life is trying to teach us. Discernment is the “switch” that turns on the light of knowledge. Those with discernment are able to understand the message behind each positive and negative experience in life and accept everything that comes their way with a smile.

For Onam we have the tradition of wearing new clothes. Along with that, let us adopt the tradition of making new decisions that are for social good. Children, you enjoy traditional Onam songs and games for Onam. Make this joy permanent by learning to live a life founded on spiritual principles. For Onam, we compete to make the largest and most beautiful pookkalams. At the same time, let us also make a floral design in our heart using flowers of love, flowers of patience, flowers of self-sacrifice and flowers of humility. Let us try to make our circle of compassion larger and more expansive. If we do this, we can make life itself a huge Onam celebration.

-Excerpts from Amma’s Thiruvonam Message


Sri Krishna Jayanthi at Amritapuri

24 Aug 2016, Amritapuri
The festivities began at 7:30 in the morning with a special procession from the Ashram’s cowshed to the front steps of the Kali Temple where the Go Puja was performed showing reverence to all cows. A large number of Ashramites, devotees and visitors took part in the procession and puja, singing Krishna bhajans, clapping hands and dancing. The cows were beautifully decorated as were the children living at Amritapuri who were all dressed up like little Krishnas and gopis!

In the afternoon, after the procession from Kuzhithura Sri Krishna Temple, everyone gathered in front of the Kali Temple, where Amma joined at approximately 4.30pm. She had been giving darshan from 11am till 3pm. Taking her seat on the steps of the Temple, Amma watched children play Uriyadi – a game where they try to break a pot of clay with a stick in remembrance of Krishna’s escapades of stealing pots of butter. First the little children tried their luck, followed by those a bit bigger, then by Amrita University students. Amma watched the fun, laughing often and pointing out the most adorable scenes. As the games were ending, Amma sang two joyful Krishna songs (Radhe Govinda Gopi Gopala, Narayana Narayana jaya Govind hare) for a long time, waving her arms with joy and looking at the sky.


After the games, Mother immediately headed to the main hall for the evening bhajans filled with Krishna bhajans. Dinner followed, and everyone was excited with anticipation of the special program that was still in store for the day. At about 11:30pm, Amma returned to the beautifully decorated stage where a reading of the Srimad Bhagavatam was taking place, along with the special Balagopala Puja honouring the birth of Krishna. The stage was decorated with many beautiful Krishna statues, oil lamps, garlands and trays of flowers.

At the stroke of midnight, Amma started singing special Krishna bhajans. She sang Agatanayi Agatani, and two others, clapping her hands, smiling and creating a lively and playful atmosphere. Amma then delivered her message {news} which included a beautiful presentation of the essence of Krishna’s life, teachings and practical guidance for our lives and struggles.
After the address, Amma sang 2 more bhajans, asking all those present to stand and wave their arms in joy to the tune of ‘Bolo bolo gokula pala’. She then led everyone in chanting Lokah Samastha Sukino Bhavantu – the prayer for universal peace. At around 1:30am, Amma began distributing sweet payasam Prasad. She handed a cup of the blessed gift to every single person. At 2:10am, after making sure that everyone had received Prasad, she headed back to her room … one more Sri Krishna Jayanthi with Amma to cherish for years to come.

– Kannadi




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