It’s an honor and blessing to be in her presence – Bishop Gregory

May 31 – Jun 3 Seattle — Japan America Yatra 2012

After a 12 hour flight from Japan and Amma landed in Seattle to conduct four days of program at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue.

Large crowds showed up for the public day and also for the retreat, where Amma was officially welcomed by the Right Reverand Gregory Rickel, Bishop and spiritual head of the Episcopal Church in Western Washington. Accompanied by his wife and son, the bishop garlanded Amma. Speaking on the occasion he said “Our intent was to stay the whole evening, but due to the Vigil* for the shooting victims set at St. Mark’s Cathedral we had to greet Amma, receive our hug, and then make our way to (the Cathedral). Still, we were able to be briefed on the tremendous work this amazing woman has been doing in her native India, but even more throughout the world. It’s an honor and blessing to be in her presence.”

Blessing to be in her presence

"It's an honor and blessing to be in her presence" - Bishop Gregory Rickel

These two spiritual leaders had been drawn together on a more than formal level. The Bishop is particularly committed to interfaith dialogue, and is a strong advocate of environmental concerns and social justice issues, especially homelessness.

Amma, in the same spirit, reaches out to people of all spiritual and religious traditions around the world, encouraging people to deepen their own faiths and discover the shared truths of all the great religions. Her Amala Bharatham Campaign for a clean India and the worldwide GreenFriends organization both focus on Mother Earth. In the area of social justice, Amma has outreach to widows, orphans, and those so desperate as to turn to suicide. And the over 50,000 homes Embracing the World has built for the poor testify to her concern for homelessness.

At the end of the meditation following the arati on this night, Amma asked everyone to pray for the five victims, and for a lessening of violence, and for world peace.

Devotees enthusiastically participated in the day’s program and the 3-day retreat which included Satsang, Bhajans and a Puja for world peace and harmony.

After Seattle Amma left for California where another 8 days of program are to be held at her Ashram.

* Two days earlier a killing spree in Seattle had resulted in the deaths of four victims and their slayer. At the end of May there have been 21 such deaths–equaling the total for last year. The Bishop supposed to lead a prayer vigil for the victims, was scheduled for Friday evening at St. Mark’s Cathedral.

Shaken by Love, Dancing in Joy

May 27 -29  Tokyo, Japan — 2012 Japan – America Yatra

Indian Embassy Deputy Head of Mission Mr. and Mrs. Sanjay Panda  welcomed Amma and said that this was his first meeting with her and he will cherish Amma’s embrace for the rest of his life. He lauded Amma’s vast humanitarian achievements and sought Amma’s blessings for the well-being of the people of Japan and the whole world.

The Tokyo programs were held in Shinagawa-ku, a very central area. People in the thousands thronged the hall for Amma’s darshan each day.

During a function, Amma distributed saplings to the young generation. These trees are indigenous to the disaster area in the northeast and will be planted in the coastal areas to restore the vegetation and prevent erosion and damage from future such disasters. She also  blesseed GreenFriends’ 10 Habits, a guide line towards living in harmony with nature.

There was a unique puppet show “Hachiouji Kuruma Ningyo”  for Amma which was well appreciated by all.   The Puppeteer explained that this was a 175-year old Japanese tradition offered as a prayer to the Divine for a bountiful harvest and prosperity.

On the second day at the end of the evening program, Amma danced to the tune of ‘Ayar Kula Kuzhanthey’, a new Tamil bhajan. This is the first time the Tokyo witnessed Amma dancing. It was so beautiful and spontaneous that it  took  all Japanese people by complete surprise.

The Japanese people expressed their joy and appreciation for Amma by performing a  group dance to a bhajan song “thi thi tara”  (Amrita Vahini). Br. Shantamrita, who takes care of the Japan activities, joined the dance. It was a heartwarming sight to see  Amma’s Japanese children hold hands and dance like they were one big family.

A group of Japan tsunami relief workers from the Amma Center came for darshan. Amma showered each one of them with love and affection and gave them a touching group darshan, too.

The Japanese people watched Amma leave the hall with tear filled eyes and waited  in line for Her loving last touch as She passed each and every one of them.

Amma then flew to North America to meet her children there in Seattle, Washington.

– Tulasi

Drenched in Love, filled with laughter

16 Mar 2012, Amritapuri

It was a nice sunny day at Amritapuri and everyone was waiting on the beach for Amma to come for the usual meditation and Q&A session that is always held on Monday and Friday evenings.

A little after 5pm Amma arrived on the beach and shortly after that the meditation started. As the light of meditation and love grew brighter within the hearts of those meditating, slowly dark clouds started gathering in the skies above and the outside became darker.

Just as meditation was about to end a light spattering of drops fell. Amma opened her eyes as more drops came falling down… There was oohing and laughter in anticipation of what Mother would do. Amma as usual was smiling.

The rains were slowly growing heavier. Amma asked everyone if they would like to go back or stay on the beach….

Everyone answered – STAY HERE!!!! So all stayed put at the beach..

Many tried to hold umbrellas over Amma but Amma wouldn’t allow it as her children were getting wet. Tumban the ashram dog, as usual was lying next to Amma on the peetham. Amma was trying to protect him with her sari, though all the time she herself was getting wet! She asked for one of the umbrellas which people had unsuccessfully tried to hold over her and she herself held it over Tumban to protect him from the rain. Tumban did not seem to be enjoying the rain quite as much as Amma’s other children and in time went away for drier grounds. Amma held a beach umbrella over all the little children who surrounded Her, like a mother hen holding her wings over her chicks to protect them.

Amma said that in her childhood she would run out with the other children and play in the rain. She said that if the rain got any heavier then all of us could have a bath together.

As people continued to try to hold an umbrella over her head, Amma got up so that nobody would be able to do so. The water streaming down her face washed her sandal and kumkum tilak down her smiling face. Ultimately she sat down and started singing “He Giridhara Gopala” in an ecstatic mood. After that she sang “Bandalo Bandalo” and made everyone clap each other’s hands during the singing… All the while she covered up her microphone with her sari so that it wouldn’t get wet.

Everyone was full of joy and laughter and grateful to be in this miraculously transformed scene with Amma.

After the bhajans were over Amma asked if we should do a Q&A session, everyone laughed and Amma decided that we should pass around the microphone and tell some spiritual jokes. Amma said she loves to hear her children’s laughter, and to her it’s like the blossoming of beautiful flowers. Amma told the first joke, which set everybody laughing and then she encouraged others to come up with jokes of their own.

Three other people told short jokes. The rain began to lessen as Amma started giving darshan to the new people who had just arrived on the beach… a large canopy on four posts was set up over the people coming to Amma for darshan. Slowly the rain grew heavier again as Amma finished darshan. Amma went to her room and appeared again in a short while for bhajans.

The strains of “Shyama Sundara Madna Mohana Radhe Gopal” spread the divine vibrations of Her voice throughout Amritapuri.

Normally if we were caught outdoors in a downpour we would be miserable and would maybe even blame the Gods for the weather! But with Amma it is the very opposite – each moment with Her is a celebration and it does not depend on what is happening outside.

– Sakshi

New Year Eve of 2012

New Year’s Eve, Saturday, 31 December 2011 – Amritapuri

New Year’s Eve was celebrated in Amritapuri. Remnants of Cyclone Thane had drenched the Ashram with heavy rains from early morning through midday. But by dinner, the rains had subsided.

Amma arrived for darshan at 11am. At about 9pm, the cultural performances began while Amma was still giving darshan on stage. First was a wonderful Indian dance by two young girls of about 8 yrs old. They were followed by a French boy who was juggling an hour-glass shaped object on a string tied to two sticks held in each hand. Indian resident children next put on a play based on Amma’s teachings. Amrita University students came next, entertaining the crowd with bhajans. The last performance was a colorful dance performed by women from around the world.

There was a broadcast of Amma’s New Year’s message followed by a translation. Amma said “May our lives and the lives of all beings be pervaded with goodness. This is Amma’s prayer on this occasion. May the divine power to effect positive change – both in ourselves and in the world – be awoken in Amma’s children. Amma’s prayer is that this New Year may lead to the birth of a new individual and a new society.” Read New Year’s message

After the talk, Amma asked everyone to chant Lokah Samastah Sukinau Bhavantu 18 times. Amma then blessed full bowls of Hershey Kisses and told everyone to take just one. As darshan appeared to be ending, the musicians who had been playing for the performances started to play Bara Gopala Bala. Amma took the microphone and began singing. Within moments, small circles of dancers had formed at the base of the stage: boys on the left, girls on the right. Jumping up and down, hands waiving in the air, their ecstatic joy was catching. Throughout the hall, more people began dancing, inspired by Amma’s voice and the increasing rhythm.  This continued for some time until the music eventually subsided. Then, much to everyone’s joy, Amma started singing Mata Rani. Within an instant, those who were still in their seats rose to their feet and joined in the dance. On and on it went with the hall erupting in Ki Jai!!!s over and over again until the roof was nearly blown off the hall.  So much joy was there.

After the Ki Jai!!!s subsided, Amma asked everyone to pray for peace and happiness in the world.  Amma began singing Kushiyom Ki Bahar – the English translation appearing on the big screens in the hall. What had been joy and elation turned to solemnity as everyone repeated ‘Lokah Samastah Sukinau Bhavantu’ at the end. Silence descended over the crowd. Everyone was left to reflect on Amma’s New Year’s message, the sweet taste of chocolate, and the wish for all beings in all worlds to be happy.

– Tulasi


Amma arrives at Amritapuri

4 Dec 2011, Amritapuri.

Amma arrived at Amritapuri at 11.52 am after her Europe and USA yatra. Smiling and spreading joy she walked slowly to her room, touching some, gesturing to others and glancing all. A lot of new people from India and abroad were there to get a glimpse of Amma. Some of them were tiny tots who came with their parents.

Amma’s Darshan starts from 10 Dec.

See  photos

Amma in London: Tie our minds to God with the lifeline of devotion

15 – 17 November, London, UK – Europe Yatra 2011

Before traveling to London to conclude her 25th European Tour, Amma visited her center near Antwerp, Belgium. She spent the day there with local devotees and served a prasad lunch. From there Amma continued on to the United Kingdom and conducted a 3 day program in London, where thousands queued for long hours to receive an embrace at the historic Alexandra Palace.
Meditations, Bhajans and Satsangs were held, along with a Puja conducted for world peace.

There was an extensive media presence during the programs. Amma’s visit was covered by almost all major media outlets including the BBC, The Telegraph, and The Sun.

During her satsang there Amma said: “Worldly life is like climbing a big mountain. When a mountaineer climbs a mountain, he/she will tie a lifeline to their waist, which is attached to the mountain. In case they slip while climbing the mountain, they won’t fall, because of the lifeline tied to them. In a similar way, if we tie to our minds the “lifeline” of devotion to God or remembrance of God, then no matter how many difficulties or adversities we may face in life, we will never suffer.”

watch video

Amma in Mannheim

Mannheim, Germany

10 -12 November, Mannheim, Germany – Europe Yatra 2011
After Barcelona Amma travelled to Mannheim, Germany for the next stop of the Europe tour. Being the last weekend stop of the tour, devotees flooded in from all corners of the continent for one last chance to see Amma before the end of the tour.

On the first evening Amma was greeted by several local dignitaries. Renowned artist Gabriele von Lutzau, who collaborated with AYUDH during the 2011 summer retreat officially welcomed Amma to Mannheim. She is the artist who helped create the dove statue which was placed in the renovated park area at Heilig-Kreuz. It stands as a symbol of the eight Youth Development Goals.{news} The central pole of the monument carries a dove – universal symbol for peace and hope. Ms von Lutzau presented Amma with the final sculpture that will be installed in the park.

Amma was also welcomed by Mr. Dieter Heusel, Youth Coordinator for the city of Michelstadt. He presented Amma with a painting of the Michelstadt town hall, one of the oldest in Germany. Also on the dais was Mr Harish Chander, Cousul of the Indian Embassy, Frankfurt.