amrita varsham

External success is impermanent, we need inner victory

27 Sep 2015, Amritapuri – Amritavarsham, Amma’s 62nd Birthday celebrations

Early this morning the stage was filled with traditional Kerala dancers in full regalia as well as ladies dressed up in the traditional costumes from all 29 states of India to welcome Amma. The loud, Panchari Melam, traditional music of Kerala created festive mood and a celebration in the hearts of everyone.

Upon Amma’s arrival on the stage, Swami Amritaswarupananda performed the Pada Puja while everyone chanted the Guru Gita. He then garlanded Amma with a beautiful red, pink and white mala, and lead the archana on behalf of all the devotees. The hall was reverberating with the chanting of Aum Amriteswaryai Namah.

After the Pada Puja, Amma lead a prayer for peace and harmony; praying for the peace of the departed souls of those who lost their lives in the recent Haj stampede, and for everyone to open their hearts to the plight of the refugees who have fled their homelands due to war and crisis.

Amma then gave her birthday speech, saying that India was suffering from a split personality–success when it comes to technological advancement and failure in terms of poverty, illiteracy, health sanitation and crimes against women. However, she said the condition could be remedied if the nation overcame segregationist attitudes and worked in unity.

“A split personality is never a sign of sound health,” Amma said. “If we want to see India become powerful and healthy again, we need to merge these two faces into one beautiful face.”

“If we can bring our collective knowledge, compassion and talent together, it will not be so long before we see India rising and thriving with peace, harmony and prosperity,” she said. “When this dream of India burns in us so strongly that not even a single Indian wants to sleep until it’s realized, then it will become a reality.”

“External success is impermanent. Along with external success, we need inner victory- victory over our mind and senses.”

“It is said that 22,000 children are dying daily due to poverty. We hear about such deaths so regularly that our ears have become desensitized. We say, “So sad,” but we forget it later. Just words of sympathy are not what is needed for the world. What we need are hands that are ready to serve selflessly.”

Amma ended her talk by asking everyone to stand and chant Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, once again praying for world peace.

With the help of several dignitaries on the dais, Amma then proceeded with the inauguration of numerous charitable initiatives for the poor in areas including healthcare and housing, as well as the provision of clothing, potable water and electricity.


It is the need of every Indian that Ganga remains clean

In the wake of Amma’s 100-crore (US$15 million) donation to Namami Gange, the Indian Government’s Swachh Bharat & Ganga Cleaning Project, Amma has answered many questions about the donation, the project itself, and her views on the issue surrounding the project. From the press meet at Amritapuri Ashram on September 11, 2015.

amma-press conference

Amma at the press conference


We started Cleaning India program in 2010
Question: You have given 100 crores [$15 million US] today. And you are going to give another Rs. 100 crores on your birthday for facilitating toilet construction in Kerala. Your feat is indeed commendable because industry has not given a single penny for this noble cause of building toilets. But I just want to know whether your Math or anybody from your Math will try to ensure that so much money that you have donated, is properly used and not misused for something else—because you can never be sure of Government. (Inder Sahni, Delhi Bureau chief of Gujarat Samachar.)

Amma: When Amma came to know about the Swachh Bharath and Clean Ganga project that the Government of India has decided to take up, Amma was very delighted. This is in line with the Amala Bharatham Campaign (Clean India Campaign) that we [the Mata Amritanandamayi Math] started much earlier in the year 2010. Amma met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year in Delhi to discuss on these lines {news}.

Surely, the matter does not end here just by donating the amount.

The Government has allowed us to survey as well as oversee whether the toilets are actually getting constructed in the specified areas. The Government has provided us with the detailed list of the all beneficiaries and their addresses. Also the Government. has agreed to provide us with all the necessary records and documents, which will allow us to evaluate the progress. A team consisting some of our people from Kerala as well as Delhi had visited these specified areas in Varanasi, Chhattisgarh etc., where they met and interacted with local sarpanchs [Head of five-village clusters]. Our teams will continue to visit these places and ensure that the people are getting benefitted. We are also going to educate the people on the use of toilets.

Bring back the golden days of Bharat

Question: Amma, you have done such a big work by donating Rs. 100 crores. When Prime Minister Narendra Modiji started the Swachh Bharat and Namami Gange project, he had appealed the industrialists as well, to donate for this noble cause. But no one ever donated so far. You have taken the initiative and the first step. What is your message for those industrialists who have the money and can make a contribution? (Sanjay Rai, National Bureau chief of Aaj Hindi Dainik, Varanasi)

Ganga in Haridwar

Ganga in Haridwar

Amma: Amma cannot command or ask anybody to act in certain way. Every one of us should feel for this cause from within, and help in whatever way we can. It will be good if everyone comes together for this cause. If big industries join in this project, a lot can be done. Not just the Clean Ganga project, there are various other kinds of pollution across India which need attention. If the industries get involved at state level to reduce these different kinds of pollution, there is a lot that can be achieved. However, Amma cannot force her words onto anyone. Amma can only request everyone to come together and work in unison to bring back the golden days of Bharat.


Genuine as well as hypocrites

Question: Amma, you do a lot of social work and you have a good image in public. But while working in the field of television, we come across a lot of news about some controversial babas also. This gives rise to various doubts in the hearts of the common people. Is there a way by which we can remove this gap between the real saints and the people, by removing these pretentious and hypocritical babas? (Sandeep Sonwalkar, Delhi, India TV)

A: The fact is that in every field of work, there are both the genuine ones as well as the hypocrites. People should carefully discern.


Ghats of Ganga


Everyone should feel for this cause

Question: Very frequently, various saints have been starting initiatives to clean Ganga, but it is the first time that such a substantial financial aid has been provided by a religious trust. Even saints do not have any dearth of money. And you have taken a first step. Would you like to appeal anything to the rest of saints or say something to them for coming forward for this cause? (Pawan Nara, Delhi, Zee News)

Amma: If Amma says anything to them, it will be like ordering them to act in a certain way. Everyone should feel for this cause from within and help in whatever way they can. The act of giving should be spontaneous. It cannot be forced.


We all have to come together to make the dream come true
Question: Many a times this question keeps coming up—whether Narendra Modiji is actually doing something or not. Today you have given Rs. 100 crores to the government, but do you think you have given it in the right hands? Because some political parties accuse Modiji of only talking in air. Do you really feel that this Rs. 100 crore that you have donated will be used appropriately? What is your perception? By giving this Rs. 100 crore, what is the message you are trying to give? (Reporter from North India)

Amma & India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Amma & India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Amma: People are free to say whatever they want. Why should Amma comment on that? Everyone has their own opinion. But will it be right for Amma to not act and respond to the need just because certain people have certain opinions or say something? Amma will do whatever is necessary on her part. Everyone has freedom in our country to tell their opinion. But that does not mean that we keep sitting, doing nothing. We must lend a helping hand.

Our ashram has the entire data of the list of beneficiaries who need toilets, their names, their addresses, the amenities they currently have and do not have, and this list has been verified also by our team. Our people have been on the ground and checked these details ourselves. In future also, Government will provide us the necessary records and the ashram will continue to monitor the progress of this project and ensure that the money is handled well. Amma believes that this money will reach its intended beneficiaries.

Amma prays that the Prime Minister’s plans and dreams to take this country forward come true. Just like all of us have a dream that India should rise and regain its golden era, he also has desire for India’s progress. Any of us can dream of Greater India, but if we want that dream to come true, then we all have to come together and unite. Only when we also join hands together is the dream of Greater India going to come true.


Contribute from Ashram side in every possible way
Question: For Ganga cleaning, lot of initiatives have been going on for past many years and a large amount of money has also been spent on those initiatives. But you have not donated such a big amount for this cause in past. So, what is so special about this time that you have decided to come forward and donate such a big amount? Is there anything that has increased your faith or anything else in particular that has made you come forward this time? (Nirmal Pathak, Delhi, Hindustan Newspaper)

Amma: It is not that Amma did not have faith in anybody earlier because of which Amma did not take this project in hand. In fact, Amma started Amala Bharatham Campaign (Clean India Campaign) in 2010, and since then Amma has been keeping a tab on similar such projects in India. Until then, we were not so informed about these projects. Recently, when Amma heard about Prime Minister’s project related to Namami Gange and the vision he has to take the country forward by this initiative, Amma felt that we should contribute from the ashram side in every possible way. Moreover, the financial situation of the [Mata Amritanandamayi] Math did not permit us to contribute in this initiative earlier.


All states need to come together
Question: I have two small questions. Firstly, we all know that you have donated Rs. 100 crores to Government of India for Clean Ganga project. But the state governments of the five states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) through which the Ganga flows, also have a very big responsibility in the Clean Ganga Project. So, are you also planning to meet the chief ministers of these states in this regard and request them to take this Clean Ganga project forward, with full fervor? Secondly, my question is that in addition to the pollution problem of Ganga, there is another problem related to its flow. Many dams are being built upon Ganga River in Uttarakhand, due to which the Ganga water is being stopped. This is affecting the hallmark of Ganga River. So, would you like that the Government does not proceed further with the dam-related work on Ganga River in Uttarakhand, so that Ganga can retain its non-stop flow? (Hari Krishna, Dainik Jagran newspaper)

ganga aerial view

Satellite view of Ganga

Amma: Amma cannot order any minister to act in a certain way, but if there is any problem in their respective state, and Amma can do something about it, then Amma will surely meet them and offer whatever Amma can do to help.

Regarding the dams, it is a sensitive and complex issue because farmers also need water to grow food for the country, and these farmers are benefitting from these dams. We cannot ignore their needs either. We will need to understand the actual need of the people and then act accordingly. But one thing is for sure: All states need to come together and help in taking the Ganga-cleaning initiative forward.


It is the need of every Indian
Question: For last 30 years, Ganga is being cleaned. More than Rs. 30,000 crore has been spent on cleaning Ganga. Whenever the Government is summoned in the highest court of the country to discuss this case, the court says that, with the speed at the which the cleaning is actually happening, it is unlikely that even the current generation will be able to see clean Ganga. Amma, do you feel that the speed at which the cleaning work is happening, the current generation will ever be able to see the continuous flow of Ganga in its pure form? Is there any such hope? (North India Reporter)

burning ghats

Cremation at the Ghats

Amma: Amma would say that if this project has to become successful, then it is necessary that not just the Government, but everyone else (including industry as well as people) also should come forward and take part. This will require a lot of effort—for example, construction of treatment plants for the industrial waste rather than letting it directly into the Ganga, the right kind of sanitation facilities, some industries may even need to be relocated. So, everyone from in society needs to come together and have a single vision for cleaning Ganga. Only then will this work move forward with full speed. It will not happen if the Government alone is wishing for it. People too need to come forward and contribute in every possible way. All the state governments will need to work hand in hand. Of course, we can all put in our effort, but there are many other factors which affect the outcome of our efforts. For example, a person may be driving very carefully but the person coming from the other side may be reckless and this may lead to an accident. For all the factors to be favorable, God’s grace is necessary. The result of the efforts is not dependent on one single person.

When there were floods in Karnataka, Amma made new houses for those who lost their houses. Many other people and organizations came forward to offer their help in the relief-and-rehabilitation process. However, as soon the limelight of the media faded away, these people and organizations stepped back. But Amma’s ashram continued to construct as many houses possible for the needy, without worrying about the media limelight. However, as soon it became a news that only Amma is continuing to build houses while others have stepped back. This became a prestige issue for some, and soon it became like a competition, wherein everyone started coming forward and help.

Only if we are all ready to put our efforts together, can we conceive of cleaning Ganga becoming a reality. Some of us may feel that this is a Government project. But if we want this dream to come true, then we all need to move forward together, including the press and the media. This is not just the need of a Government or the Prime Minister. We need to realize that this is our need–it is the need of every Indian that Ganga remains clean. It is impossible with the efforts of a single individual. Everyone will have to unite and come together. Only then will this project be successful.

amma-press conference

Amma at the press confrence

Amma’s focus is on Dharma
Question: Just constructing toilets on the banks of Ganga River may not be enough to clean Ganga completely. There are lot of factories on the banks of Ganga that are releasing contaminated industrial waste into the Ganga. It is important to stop that, and this requires another major initiative. Has Amma spoken to the Government about any initiative in this direction as well? Another thing is that it looks like you are trying to get cozy with the BJP. Is it so? (Reporter, Mumbai, DNA newspaper)

Amma: Amma’s focus is only on dharma [righteousness], irrespective of any Government. Amma wants dharma to be established.

During the discussion with Prime Minister in March, this topic regarding factories releasing waste in Ganga River was also discussed. Amma had also expressed her concern about the factory waste, sewage and other wastewater, which is being released in Ganga. The factory residue that flow into the Ganga is a major concern and should be stopped. Some factories will need to be relocated, and some people will also need to be rehabilitated. All of these issues were taken up and seriously discussed during that meeting with Prime Minister.

Amma had also proposed a plan for removing the human waste like skeletons, bones etc., which need to be removed using boats that can go underwater. These boats can locate the places where these skeletons have been deposited and then remove them. In addition to the suggestions regarding the setup of various treatment plants, Amma had also suggested that the Government should take initiative to provide subsidies to the factories in order for them to be able to relocate easily. Otherwise it is like an elephant taking bath and then immediately throwing dust on its back. It will be a big waste of money and resources. Only after first stopping the corpses being thrown into the Ganga, establishing the treatment plants, building toilets etc., we should clean the Ganga of all the bones and other human waste. Otherwise, Ganga will again become contaminated.


Stop this unwanted practice
Question: There is a custom of releasing half burnt dead bodies in various places like Kashi, through which Ganga flows. Being a spiritual leader, it will be of great service if you can give a message to the people (to stop doing this). (Delhi coordinator, Janmabhoomi)


Taking deadbody off Ganga

Amma: The topic of throwing corpses into Ganga, which further contaminates the Ganga, was discussed in detail with the Prime Minister in March of this year. It was a long discussion in which the Prime Minister promised that his next efforts will be to stop this unwanted tradition of throwing dead bodies into the Ganga.

In olden days, people used to think it was a good idea to let the dead body become the food for the fish. Our ancestors and older generations believed it to be like making an offering to the Ganga. Also they believed that one would attain moksha [liberation] and higher states of consciousness by offering one’s body to Ganga River. So, there is both the actual idea rooted in compassion, as well as the belief of attaining moksha. In fact, the chemicals that ooze into the soil from decomposing bodies can be even more harmful. Anyhow, this releasing of corpses into the Ganga has become somewhat of a primitive kind of ceremony, and that should be controlled and stopped. The Government is also looking into this matter. The Prime Minister is also taking this matter very seriously. He has told Amma that he will take the necessary steps to somehow stop this unwanted practice. Prime Minister Modi is planning to construct crematoriums on the banks of the Ganga River.


Namami Gange

Sunrise at Ganga

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 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.

gurupurnima blessing

Guru is the embodiment of the Scriptures


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.


Yoga helps us to reconnect with nature and God

Amma’s Message for the first-ever‎International YogaDay

“Today is International Yoga day. Previously, people did not need to have a special day for performing Yoga because Yoga was part and parcel of their lives. Unfortunately, now we need special a special day to remind us to perform Yoga, just as we need a day to remember our mother and father.

“In the olden days, people would wake up in the morning, bow down to mother Earth and then, facing the sun, they would chant prayers and perform Surya Namaskaram. The whole time they were praying, they were exposed to the rays of the rising sun. Today, in many countries, out of ten people, six or seven have Vitamin D deficiency. It is postulated that vitamin D deficiency may be one of the precipitating factors for Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. Some may argue that even people with normal vitamin D levels get Alzheimer’s disease. This is true, but studies have shown that a majority of people with this condition have Vitamin D deficiency. It is also thought to be a cause of depression, which may be why the incidence of depressive disorders is higher in countries that have less sunlight.

“Yoga is beneficial for our health, physical beauty and mental discipline. It helps reduce our cholesterol, and through this, it helps maintain cardiac health. It increases our bone strength. This is especially important as the incidence of arthritis and osteoporosis is on a steep rise. It even helps improve our memory power.

“It is important to do balanced exercise for at least ten minutes a day. Along with this, we also need at least 10 minutes of sun exposure per day. Nowadays, everyone goes from their air-conditioned home to their air-conditioned car and from their air-conditioned car straight to their air-conditioned office. So, we have very little exposure to our natural environment. Some people tell Amma that they bought a $50,000 car for their child to drive two miles to a gym, where they spend around $1,000 dollars a year for gym membership. This sounds funny but it is quite common. It would be much more productive to just walk to the gym. If people would just walk outside in a park for two miles or even less, they wouldn’t need to spend all this money, they would get the same, if not more exercise, they would get fresh air, exposure to sunlight – all in all, they would be much healthier. Not only that, they would conserve petrol/diesel and reduce harmful emissions, thereby helping to protect the environment.

“Too much of anything is also a problem. So many people in tropical countries are suffering from heat stroke and skin cancer. So, we need to create a balance.

“Yoga also creates powerful spiritual vibrations. These vibrations positively affect both us, as well as others. It is like entering a perfume factory. Even after emerging, the sweet fragrance will remain on our body, pleasing both to others and us. When we perform yoga with complete awareness, it purifies each and every cell in our body.

“The purpose of Yoga is for our inner well-being. It does not belong to any particular faith or religion. It was passed on to us by the ancient seers for the well-being of humanity. Yoga helps us to reconnect with nature and eventually become one with God.”


Environmental conservation is not so much part of mankind’s dharma towards Nature

Excerpts form Amma’s Vishu message.

15 April 2015, Amritapuri

Vishu is an expression of our culture’s deep connection with Nature. The Kani Konna flower, the Kani Vellari vegetable and all the various fruits of Vishu are not only are associated with a successful harvest, they also symbolize the love and respect our ancestors had for Nature.


Sanatana Dharma teaches us that the creation and the Creator are not two but one. Nature is a visible form of God. Our birth-mother might carry us for two or three years, but Mother Earth allows us to tread on her our entire life. Our birth-mother might allow us to spit up on her during our childhood, but Mother Earth receives our waste throughout our life. She forgives our mistakes and continues to give and give.

In the past, Nature was like Kamadhenu—a wish-fulfilling cow. Today, that cow has become sick and old and is stumbling towards death. We alone are responsible for this. Our indiscriminate exploitation of Nature can be likened to sawing off a tree branch on which we are seated.

Along with festivity, every Vishu reminds us of our losses as well. Agriculture all but vanished from Kerala. Even the vegetables used in our Vishu decorations are imported from other states.

We need to regain the inner connection that we had with Nature. We need to protect Nature. We need to awaken from our inertia. A tree offers fruit and shelter. It also purifies water and air. It even gives shade to the one who cuts it. Educate our younger generation about the importance of tree planting. Usually, on Vishu, the elders in the family give the children Vishu-kaineetam [Vishu pocket money] and wish them a prosperous New Year. Along with the Vishu-kaineetam, from now onwards, please present children with a gift of a sapling,  Vishuthaineettam, as well. {news}

Some of the students from our college say, “Amma, we used to think of Nature as inert. Now, we feel life in it. Previously, we would pluck leaves unnecessarily. Now we don’t even feel like plucking even a single leaf. If we do, we feel a kind of electric shock within. We don’t harm Nature anymore.”

So, love for Nature can be awoken and cultivated.

Those who farm will continue farming wherever they go. Even if they stay in a small room, they will plant something in the corner. Because they have become habituated to loving Nature, the tendency to grow plants and vegetables will not leave them.

Without Nature, neither human beings nor human civilization can exist. Nature is our very life’s breath. Environmental conservation is not so much part of mankind’s dharma towards Nature, as it is a part of his dharma towards himself. Why? Because without Nature, human beings cannot survive.

May the Paramatman bless my children so that the right attitude awakens within them.



2015 shivaratri

Keep the head cool, heart warm

18 Feb 2015, Amritapuri

Shivaratri was celebrated at Amritapuri with enthusiasm and devotion last night. Around midnight, Amma held a special bhajan session and led the assembled crowd in singing soulful Shiva bhajans. Before concluding, Amma asked even everyone to stand up, forget themselves and dance to the tune as she sang “Bolo Bolo Sab Mil Bolo.” After the bhajans, Amma led everyone in a beautiful visualization and meditation for world peace. She asked each person to pray with utmost sincerity, and if possible to shed a few tears in prayer, for the peace and well-being of the whole world.


Speaking on the occasion Amma said, “For those who are immersed in myriad thoughts of worldly life, all holy days are occasions to remember the God, the Supreme, and to become more aware of the ultimate goal of life. When many thousands of people remember the Divine with a one-pointed mind, perform actions dedicated to God, and engage in worship, the very environment becomes pure. Then, thinking of God becomes effortless for others, too.


“In one respect, Shivaratri is different from other festivals, which give importance to prayer and worship. But Shivaratri emphasizes sacrifice and austerity. It is also a day to remind ourselves about the goal of life and to examine how far we have progressed in spiritual life. At present, most of us give considerable importance to food and sleep. Shivaratri conveys the message that one should set such preferences aside and enshrine God instead in our hearts. If we can dedicate at least one day a year to giving God utmost importance in our lives, treating this as a sacred pledge, the resulting samskara (impressions) will certainly help to make our lives more God-oriented gradually.

“Shivaratri, which is celebrated at the end of winter, points to the arrival of spring in India. There is an inner meaning in this. When the light and warmth of knowledge thaws the mind that is benumbed by inertia and ignorance, the flowers of joy and peace start blossoming. The change of seasons is characteristic of the outer world. However, if we try, we can control our inner weather and temperature, and even make it unchanging. To do so, spiritual knowledge is necessary.

“When we are steeped in the pains and pleasures of this world, we do not think of the Lord of the Universe, who bestows everything on us. When we experience creation, we do not remember the Creator. We are bewitched by the maya (delusory power) of creation. As a result, we lose a great opportunity to experience supreme bliss. It is difficult for someone who is predominantly tamasic (dull) or rajasic (action-oriented) to discover the divine principle hidden in creation. Such a mind pursues creation as an inexhaustible mine of material pleasures. On the contrary, the attention of a person who is predominantly satvic (calm) turns God-ward. By observing the vows associated with Shivaratri, one fosters sattvic qualities.

“Lord Shiva is Gangadhara, the bearer of river Ganga. He holds the Ganga, which is of the nature of immortality, on His head eternally. Ganga is synonymous with gentle coolness. No matter how turbulent the situation, the Lord’s head and inner realm remains peaceful. Though the head is cool, the heart is always warm with compassion for the world. In order to save the world from the detrimental effect of the all-destructive Kalakuta poison, Paramashiva, the Supreme Lord, drank it. Through His personal example, Lord Shiva teaches us that what we need is a cool head and a warm heart. But what we see in the world today is the very opposite: most people are hot-headed and cold-hearted. Everyone’s head is heated up by worldly thoughts, and the heart has become frosty with selfishness. If our head is cool, we can face the most adverse circumstance peacefully and turn it to our advantage.


“Not only on the Maha Shivaratri day, let us remind ourselves everyday that “I am not this limited ephemeral body. I am Shiva. My true nature is the Supreme Consciousness.” Let us revel in this thought and experience. Just as the world of plurality disappears at night, may we be able to transcend our thoughts and the mind and perceive Lord Shiva, or the Shiva Tattva (Shiva principle), or the true Self everywhere. May the light of knowledge put an end to the darkness of ignorance. May my children be able to see everything in themselves and themselves in everything. This is the real message of Shivaratri. May my children have the strength and grace to realize this. Amma offers this prayer to the Paramatman.”

– Sakshi

kanyakumari Amma

Why Non-Hindus are not allowed inside Temples

21 Jan, Kanyakumari, Bharata Yatra 2015

Rooftop Satsang at Amrita Vidyalayam – Kanyakumari

The tour group sat around Amma in the evening. After bhajans and dinner, one Italian lady who has been touring with Amma said, “I was living in Chennai for some time and I developed devotion towards Goddess Meenakshi. I got a chance to visit the Temple on the first day of Amma’s Madurai program. I bought a flower garland as I entered the Temple, but I was stopped. They told me that only Hindus are allowed. I felt sad. I met the manager. He said that if I had certificate I would be allowed in. I didn’t have any. It was painful. I handed the flower garland to a devotee and came back to the Ashram with heavy heart. That evening, I got a chance to give Prasad to Amma while sitting next to her during darshan. A person brought a trident studded with Rudraksha beads. He gave it to Amma. He placed a beautiful crown on Amma. The crown had image of Meenakshi and he said loudly, ‘Meenakshi! Meenakshi!’ I was thrilled. I felt I was in Meenakshi’s presence.”


Amma responded, “Don’t feel sad that you were not let inside the Temple.
“Meenakshi is the Atma Tatwam, and it was because of your innocence and devotion that you got this experience. Daughter! Though the Temple doors were closed for you, if the doors of the heart are open, Devi will get revealed from within. Isn’t your experience a proof of this?

Amma went on to explain the reason behind why some of Temples don’t let non- Hindus inside.
Amma said, “There are many reasons. If non-devotees are let inside the Temple, they might not respect the sanctity of the Temple. They might spit or they might enter into the Temple with shoes on – making the premises dirty. In countries like Japan they use different shoes indoors. The shoe used outdoors is not used inside the house. The same is true with certain hotels as well. Just as we have different etiquettes in different places, Temples too have their own etiquettes. Non-devotees might not respect those etiquettes. If etiquettes are broken, that might affect the sanctity of the Temple and certain long purification rituals need to be done to restore the sanctity.

“The Temples that are consecrated by ordinary people can be compared to fish in a fish tank. One needs to feed the fish, replace the water regularly, and the tank needs regular maintenance. Similarly regular pooja and rituals are needed to maintain the sanctity of those Temples. However, Temples consecrated by Mahatmas can be likened to fish in the ocean – fish in the ocean don’t need any human support. Similarly, the sanctity of such Temples doesn’t get affected.


“Actually, Temples such as Meenakshi’s were consecrated by Mahatmas. Still, they follow strict etiquettes because the Temple was invaded by Muslim rulers multiple times. The wealth was plundered. Many idols were disfigured by the attackers. They cut off the hands, noses and breasts of the idols. For more than 60 years the main idol in the Meenakshi Temple was kept hidden to protect it from the attackers. Even British and invaders from other nations have looted idols of many Temples. Maybe it is because of this that they don’t let non-Hindus into some Temples. However, Hindus and devotees who know spiritual principles might follow the etiquettes will fully. That is why they are allowed.

“Many years ago, when Amma visited the Guruvayoor Temple, western daughters who were dressed in saris were let in.

“Actually, God doesn’t need any protection from human beings. The power of the Prime Minister is much more than (above) the security guards and the police who give protection to him. Though the Prime Minister is far superior, it is the responsibility of the security guards to guard the Prime Minister. Similarly, it is the responsibility of the devotees to protect the Temple from attackers.