View the world from our heart, ugliness will disappear

13-15 Nov, Barcelona, Spain – Europe Yatra 2013

The Palau d’Esports in Granollers, the city situated in the outskirts of Barcelona, was the venue of Amma’s program in Spain held from November 13 to 15. Amma was accorded a grand welcome by hundreds of her Spanish children as she reached the venue, with the chanting of the chant “Ma Ma Ma…Jai Jai Ma Ma Ma” The sports venue was overflowing with people on all three days, and the patience of the Spaniards was amazing as they were ready to wait for hours to get a chance to meet Amma.


On the first day, Amma was officially welcomed to Spain by Mr. Enric Vendrell, the Director General of Religious Affairs for the state of Catalunya, and by Mr. Josep Mayoral, the honorable Mayor of Granollers. On the third day of the program, taking into consideration the economic crisis of the country, Embracing the World made a contribution towards the Mayor’s fund to support poor school children in Granollers with food, amenities and psychological care. The check was handed over by Amma to Mayor Mayural. Speaking on the occasion, the Honorable Mayor thanked Amma and the organization for its kind gesture and mentioned about the different initiatives launched by the administration to take care of the people suffering due to the economic crisis.

As Barcelona was the last program of the tour, people from all parts of Europe made their way to see Amma.  On the final evening, not only was every seat in the huge sports complex occupied but lines extended far outside the venue as well. Speaking during the ritual for world peace, Amma said, “When we view the world with an open heart, we will be able to understand that everything is unique. A sculptor creates statues from both large stones and small stones. A sculptor never sees the ugliness in a stone; he only sees its true hidden form. When we view the world from our heart, we forget ourselves; we forget our individuality; we give more importance to others. We all have the same abilities hidden within; we just need to awaken them.”


There was a feast of cultural programs on all the three days, which included  Basque folk songs, piano recitals, a Gospel choir group, songs in Portuguese and Hebrew by groups from Portugal and Israel, and the inspired singing of devotional songs by the satsang groups from all over Spain. The whole hall was vibrant with joy and spiritual fervor all the time. The marathon darshan on the final day went on till 11 am the next day and as Amma got up from her seat, one could see hundreds of eyes moist with tears from the thought of missing her till the next time that they are in Amma’s presence. The shouts of “Gracias Amma” (Thank you Amma) and “Amma, te queremos” (Amma, we love you) filled the hall as Amma was walking out of the venue. She stopped on the way, playing with children, consoling those in wheelchairs, wiping the tears of some, patting the heads of some, and clapping hands with others.

What an amazing tour it has been! Such grace to witness this divine ocean of Love flooding the continent of Europe with peace and harmony. From here Amma will travel to the United States to conduct programs in California and Michigan.

– Shubam

Love and patience are like two sides of the same coin

November 9–11, Milano, Italy – 2013 Europe Yatra

Milan, one of the largest urban areas in Europe, celebrated its turn to host Amma’s programs this year. The crowds in the previous program of Toulon were certainly large, but in Milan the crowds never stopped.


Every time Amma descended the staircase into the hall, there was a thundering applause and standing ovation from the audience at the Malpensa Fiere Exhibition Center. Every bit of the hall’s 30,000 square feet was full from the beginning of each program, and the crowd even overflowed and filled the adjacent hall of the same size.

Every morning, Amma came exactly at 10 am and didn’t get up from her chair until after 5 pm. The “evening” programs ran almost until dawn the next day. When Amma would leave the hall after each program, devotees were lined up for hundreds of meters along the corridor out of the hall, just waiting for another glimpse of her smile or a touch of her hand.

As Amma’s annual visit is a massive event for the region, the local media descended on the program hall en masse to cover the details. La Repubblica, the largest daily newspaper in Italy, ran an article entitled “30,000 in the queue for Amma – the embracing woman.” Articles also came in the national daily newspapers Il Giorno and Il Giornale, entitled “Embrace of Amma attracts a huge crowd” and “Cure for the world in crisis? The power of the embrace”. RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana), Italy’s national public broadcast company and the second largest broadcaster in the country, featured the story of Amma’s visit in their evening news, which is received in 9 neighbouring European countries as well.

This year’s Milan program also provided various opportunities for the local devotees to express their love for Amma and to put her teachings into practice. From almost every province of Italy, there were cultural programs throughout the 3 days, including a Bharatnatyam dance, a sitar recital, and an ensemble of vocal and over 10 musical instruments all played by one man.


Walking around the entire venue, one could see all the volunteers working joyfully, singing bhajans as a group and sharing in the joy of selfless service to humanity. An exhibition related to Amma’s InDeed program was set up along the entrance corridor, including an elaborate bird house made of recycled cans and various artwork made from waste materials. The local children’s group (Amrita Bala Kendra) performed a very impressive piece on the importance of preserving nature, receiving a huge applause from the audience afterwards.

It was also quite a joy to see the group of nearly 100 devotees from Greece, who had come to invite Amma to their country. They enthralled the audience with their performance of Greek folk songs, and bhajans. At the beginning, they all held a huge banner, which read, “Amma – Please come to Hellas (Greece)!”

Like Toulon, the final evening program continued for over 15 hours until the last person received their hug from Amma. Amma’s boundless patience seemed like a live demonstration of the teaching she had given during her talk on the second night: “Those with patience achieve success in every field of life…. Love and patience are like two sides of the same coin. Patience is alertness, it is one-pointedness, it is awareness, it is devotion.” Through her patience and love, Amma had certainly succeeded once again in capturing the hearts of all those who came to see her this year.

As the caravan pulled out of the program site, the snow-capped mountains of the Southern Alps glistened magically in the morning sun rays. These majestic 15,000 ft peaks seemed reminiscent of Amma standing in her white sari, as though she was leaving them behind in her stead to watch over her Italian children until she returns again next year…


In order to grow we must become a child

Nov 04-06 – Toulon, France – Europe Yatra 2013

The coastal city of Toulon, France, was the ninth stop of the 6 week long 2013 Europe Tour. When Amma arrived at the Zenith Omega Hall after a ten-hour drive from Mannheim, Germany, it seemed as if the program had already begun, as hundreds of hard working volunteers stood waiting with candles, lamps and sparklers. They wished to offer a special welcome to Amma on the night of Diwali, the festival of lights, welcoming the divine light of Love to the South of France. The following three days of programs became precisely that – a celebration of Divine Love.


As usual, the programs in Toulon were some of the largest that Amma’s Europe Tour has ever seen. With a capacity of nearly 9000 people, the hall that has hosted internationally renowned stars such as Sting, Elton John, and Phil Collins, was full for all the three days of Amma’s program.

On the morning of the first day, a major newspaper in the area, Var Matin, ran a huge report on Amma’s programs. On the front page of the newspaper, it read, Tous pour l’amour d’Amma (All for Amma’s Love) – Amma, la mere indienne qui embrasse le monde (Amma, the Indian Mother, who embraces the world”).

Though the first day was just one program starting at 11 am, it went non-stop till 1:00 in the morning. At the end of this darshan marathon, Amma danced elegantly with the small children, giving great delight to the adult “children” as well! Amma’s words on the following day reminded us of this special moment: “In order for our minds to grow and become as expansive as the universe, we first need to cultivate the attitude of a small child. We need the innocence and humility of a child, because only a child can grow and become bigger.”

Seemingly endless lines of people wound back and forth in front of the hall before the final evening program. Cultural programs that night included a Mediterranean fusion of Spanish vocals and African drumming, as well as an endearing bhajan session by a 3 year old French boy who sang a number of difficult bhajans, without even being able to read their lyrics.

On the final day, one devotee asked of Amma, “You have done so much for the world; what do you expect of us, your children?” Amma answered with an example. “A river doesn’t mind the varied interactions it has with people. Some may use a river to wash clothes, others may spit in it; still others may worship it. Nevertheless, the water flows on. In the same way, Amma moves ahead with her work regardless of the different ways people approach her. Amma doesn’t think of what she gets back in return. I am only focused on what I am able to give.”

After the very last person received their darshan at 10:30 am, nearly 16 hours after the final program began, Amma’s last program in France this year came to a conclusion. As Amma was about to enter the caravan, there was a lady who had missed Amma’s darshan, having been caught in the morning traffic. Amma held her in a loving embrace and the smile on the woman’s face said it all. No sincere prayer can go unheard.

Soon, the Tour caravan departed for its next destination… Milan.

Devotion and selfless service are two faces of the same coin

Amma in Holland

Oct 28-30, Houten, Holland – Europe Yatra 2013

The Expo Houten, in the Netherlands, became the seventh stop of Amma’s 26th European Tour. As Amma arrived at the hall on the evening before the program was to begin, rows and rows of Dutch devotees waited at the entrance to welcome her. After the hectic Berlin program, everyone expected Amma to immediately get some rest, but instead she went straight to the dining hall to sit with the devotes and serve them food.


After the serving followed a beautiful satsang by Amma, where she reminded her children that spirituality is like a full time job. She said, “We need awareness in every thought, word and action, continually introspecting to make sure we are on the right path.” After this, everyone joined in unison when Amma began singing the bhajan Mrityunjayaya Namah Om.

On the first day of Amma’s program, Holland was struck by the largest windstorm in 7 years, with powerful gusts of up to 100 kph, resulting in severe reductions to public transportation services. Despite such conditions, the hall was as full as ever and Amma’s darshan continued until after 1:30 am the following morning.

The darshans on all three days went for long hours, but seeing the little ones dancing to the bhajan Sundari Jagan Mohini at the end of darshan one day, Amma herself stood up and joined them. Soon, the entire hall was filled with mirth, swaying to the melodic tune and following Amma’s graceful steps.



In her talks, Amma said, “One who has love for God will surely have compassion for those who suffer. Devotion and selfless service are not two but one; they are two faces of the same coin.” One could truly see the spirit of Amma’s teachings being put into practice by the combined team of Dutch and Belgian volunteers, who lovingly coordinated all aspects of the massive program.

Devi Bhava was so crowded that all the partitions at the back of the hall had to be removed and the hall was completely full from wall to wall. The following morning the program ended after 8 am and Amma and the tour group proceeded to the Mannheim, Germany for the next stop on the tour.

– Shubam


Amma reaches our hearts, embraces Berlin

Oct 25-26 – Berlin, Germany – Europe Yatra 2013

After a drive of over 1100 km from London, Amma arrived in Berlin in the wee hours of Friday, October 25th, the same day that her program there was to begin. Nevertheless, Amma was right on time for her first program at the Velodrom, which at 35,000 square feet is one of Berlin’s largest halls.


Though it was only the second program in Berlin, the love and dedication of the local devotees was quite evident, and it seemed to overflow from their lips in harmonized strains of “Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” as Amma entered the hall on the first morning. The throngs of Berliners who filed through the entrance doors that day apparently shared the same feeling, as they sat in rapt and silent attention in the hall, waiting for their turn to bask in Amma’s embrace. One could not help but notice the stillness pervading the space, as well as the quiet, orderly manner in which the program attendees flowed through the darshan cue.

During the evening program, Ms. Gudrun Kopp, Member of the German Bundestag (Parliament) and Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, welcomed Amma on behalf of all of Berlin with the following words. “It is a great honour for all of us to be so close to Amma tonight. In the western world and also here in Berlin, the spiritual power of a being like Amma is something very special, as she reaches our hearts and not only our intellect…. I want to thank Amma from my heart for coming to Berlin and for embracing this city.”

After Amma stood up from her chair at the end of the first day’s programs, before going to her room she broke into a traditional dance to a joyous melody, as the audience burst into gleeful applause and excitement.


There was also quite active participation in the Berlin program by devotees of neighboring countries. Polish devotees repeatedly brought home-grown squash, engraved with the words “Amma – Please come to Poland!” During the final night’s program, a sizeable delegation from Denmark first presented a long list of reasons why Amma should visit their country, then segued into devotional songs punctuated with fervent pleas to further their cause.

All in all, Amma’s second Berlin program was filled with an air of celebration and delight. As Amma’s vehicle pulled out of the massive Velodrom complex, she left the devotees with countless precious memories, and set out to carry a tidal wave of love and joy to the next destination – the Netherlands.

– Shubam


Amma integrates her spiritual message and her love with real action

21-23 Oct, London – Europe Yatra 2013

Amma was accorded a grand traditional welcome on Her arrival in the famous Alexandra Palace. People from all over the United Kingdom had gathered to welcome Amma for the twenty-sixth time.



Lord Andrew Stone, Baron Stone of Blackheath, and member of the House of Lords, welcomed Amma to the UK and said in his address, “It is a great honour to be here welcoming Amma to London – she is one of the world’s most loved and well-respected humanitarian leaders, whose spirituality emanates through her heart. I am struck by how Amma integrates her spiritual message and her love with real action on the ground. She is truly a living example of unconditional love, and proof of its power when channelled to serve those in need.”

Others who welcomed Amma were the famous screenwriter of the Bafta Award winning documentary, “Senna”, Mr. Manish Pandey, and Ms. Taylor Thompson, philanthropist and member of the Thompson Reuters Board. Mr. Pandey performed the European release of the book “The Colour of the Rainbow”, authored by Swami Amritaswarupananda, and Lord Stone received the first copy. The book focuses on the compassionate approach to leadership, as exemplified in Amma’s teachings.

Amma’s visit to London was also covered by the One Show, a daily television programme broadcast on the BBC, attracting on average an audience of 5 million viewers. After the interview, “Pudsey Bear”, the mascot of BBC’s ‘Children in Need’ charity, came for Amma’s hug, to a thundering applause from the audience.

Amma’s darshans went on for long hours throughout the three-day programme, as people kept streaming into the venue all the time. The cultural programs of music and dance were a beautiful blend of East and West. As Amma got up after each darshan, it was such a joy to see the devotees gather all the way along the long corridor to the exit, and Amma playfully interacting with all of them.

One of the days, as Amma walked out the hall, a devotee said to her, “Amma, sleep well.” Amma patted her cheek and said, “Amma will sleep when her children have awakened.” Let us reflect on the profound meaning of Amma’s words, and on the blessing of being able to live in the same time as her, in her living presence…

– Shubam


Serving my children is my vacation

Oct 17-19 – Paris, France — Europe Yatra 2013

Paris has always been one of the most crowded of Amma’s programs in Europe and keeps growing with every year. The venue ‘Hall Saint-Martin’ at Cergy Pontoise remained full throughout the three days this year as well; Parisians were ready to wait for hours and hours for their turn to meet Amma.


On the evening of the second day, Amma was awarded the ‘Chromy Award 2013’ by Anna Chromy, famous painter and sculptor, to the thundering applause of the huge audience. The award was in honor of Amma’s worldwide humanitarian work and for being such an inspiring force of love and selfless service in the world. Ms. Chromy said in her award giving speech: “This award is a symbol of consciousness, harmony and love. We see all this in Amma, who shares it with others as well. I’m very happy and touched to give this award to Amma tonight. It is so impressive that Amma not only talks but also translates her message into action. So many people have been inspired by Her. In this way, many small streams create a powerful river, which helps to change the world for the better. In India alone, Amma is helping millions upon millions of people through Her organization ‘Embracing the World’.”

Previous laureates of this award include: Prince Albert of Monaco, Philippe Pozzo de Borgo, Alain Bougrain Dubourg, and Tony Juniper.


Amma’s rendition of ‘Nirmala Snehame’ (one of Amma’s Malayalam bhajans) in French brought tears into the eyes of many in the crowd. Amma said in one of Her talks, “There are many types of powers in this world—intellectual power, military power, financial power, political power and power of written word… But the greatest power in the entire universe is the power of love.” This was so visible during Amma’s Paris program. One could see Amma’s love filling all hearts. One could also see the love in the hearts of hundreds of volunteers who were ready to serve without thinking of their own comforts or rest, simply desiring to be in the service of Love.

Having started on Saturday evening, the last day’s darshan continued until 11.45am the next day. As Amma walked towards the camper to drive to the next destination, hundreds of devotees stood on both sides, full of yearning for one last glance from Amma. The next stop is London and the tour continues without a break. If there is a word missing from Amma’s dictionary — it is the word ‘rest’. Amma put it beautifully when she was asked as if she would not have a vacation after a program like Paris. Her answer was, “Serving my children is my vacation.”

– Shubam

Amma in Munich

Oct 12-15 – Munich, Germany — Europe Yatra 2013

Zenith Halle, the venue of Amma’s program in Munich, was brimming with joy as Amma entered the hall for darshan on the first morning. As she walked to the stage through arches made of leaves held by devotees dressed in traditional Bavarian attire, the choir sang Happy Birthday, commemorating Amma’s 60th Birthday. The whole crowd sang along.


Amma started Her talk on the first day saying, “When Amma sees all her children sitting together, it feels as though Amma is standing in a large garden, where flowers of different colors and fragrances together spread a unique perfume.” It was so true as the four-day program in the Bavarian capital was truly a confluence of devotees from not only Germany but also Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. As Amma gave her talks, the screens showed the simultaneous translations in different languages for the benefit of these devotees. Most of them extended their heartfelt invitation to Amma to visit their country.



The second day program also coincided with Vijayadasami, the day when Navaratri (the nine day worship of the Divine Mother) concludes with the Saraswathi puja (worship to the Goddess of Knowledge) when children are initiated into letters (Vidyarambham). For those who have already begun to acquire knowledge, it is a reminder that only one who can maintain the attitude of a beginner will be able to learn. The devotees were overjoyed as Amma led the initiation into letters on the morning of the second day, with the chanting of “Om Hari Sri Ganapataye Namah” and the Sarasawati mantra.

Like every year, the Munich program was studded with vocal and instrumental performances of Western classical music by eminent artists. The local satsang groups from the different countries also performed for Amma. On the final day, as Amma got up after darshan in the early morning hours, the hall was still full of people. They joined in the shout that was led by Amma, “Mata Rani Ki Jai” with their hearts filled with gratitude.


May you continue to transform more and more people

08-10 Oct, Winterthur, Switzerland – 2013 Europe Yatra

Amma was accorded a warm welcome by her Swiss children on arriving from Helsinki at the Zurich airport. The venue of the program was the same as the last few years at the Eulach Halle in Winterthur. As Amma arrived at the hall, she was given a traditional welcome by the devotees playing a Swiss Alphorn and bells.


During the first evening program Anita Buri, a famous TV personality and former Miss Switzerland officially welcomed Amma to Switzerland. She said, “Amma – all of us thank you for being here. You are able to inspire so many people around the world through your embrace, life and teachings. I sincerely hope that you continue to transform more and more people who will in turn spread your message of love and compassion to others.”


There were some exquisite cultural programs that were held each day, which were thoroughly enjoyed by one and all. Apart from the Western classical music performances by distinguished artists, there was a dance presented by Amma’s children belonging to three generations, offered as a token of gratitude to Amma for having come into their lives. This dance was also offered as their gift to Amma on the occasion of Her 60th Birthday, which was just 10 days before. Another highlight was the Swiss folk songs presented by children again from different age groups, which gave a glimpse of the life in the beautiful Alps and talked about peace, love, and humane virtues.


The Swiss precision and efficiency was seen so clearly in the whole organization of the program. One could see Amma’s teachings clearly reflected in the actions of all the volunteers, “The beauty and charm of selfless love and service should not die away from the face of this earth. The world should know that a life of dedication is possible, that a life inspired by love and service to humanity is possible.”

The next stop is Munich. Prem kin nadiya bahti jaye…..the river of love continues to flow.


Welcome Amma to Suomi

05-06 Oct, Helsinki, Finland – Europe Yatra 2013

“Welcome Amma to Suomi (Finland)” was the call from many of Amma’s children who had gathered at the Helsinki airport to welcome Amma to Finland, the first stop of her European Tour 2013. The two day programme in this beautiful Scandinavian country was held at the Energia Arena in Vantaa in which thousands participated.


On the first morning, Amma was given an award by the European Central Association for Legal Protection in Finland. The award was in recognition of Amma’s humanitarian work throughout the world and for being an Ambassador of Peace. Before giving the award, Mr. Jarmo Juntunen praised Amma’s humanitarian work and described Amma as an inspiring example for their association’s work. “Amma’s example has given us a lot of encouragement and energy to continue with our work of providing assistance on a voluntary basis to those in need of legal help.”

Amma delighted her Finnish children with the Finnish rendition of “Nirmala Snehame,” one of Amma’s Malayalam bhajans. The audience clapped in joy as Amma finished the song. During darshans there were musical performances by renowned artists Annilina Ahven, Olavi Uusivirta, Katri Ylander, and Matti Salovaara. At the end of the first day’s darshan, Amma’s Finnish children also brought a beautiful cake to Amma, wishing her a Happy 60th Birthday. Amma cut the cake into many pieces and made sure that all her children present in the hall got a piece of it.


On the occasion of Amma’s visit, a postage stamp of Amma was released on the morning of the second day by Mr. Jani Toivola, honourable Member of Parliament. The stamp commemorating Amma’s 60th Birthday and with the message ‘Syleillen Maailmaa” (Embracing the World in Finnish) has a beautiful photo of Amma on it. Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Jani Toivola expressed his happiness on being able to see Amma once again and expressed his deep appreciation for Amma’s work that creates opportunites and platforms for people, especially the youth, to feel empowered.

You may recollect that 10 years ago Amma has made her way into yet another Finnish school textbook for students in senior high school. {news}


The Arena was completely packed for the Devi Bhava which went on till the early morning hours. During the night filled with the devotional bhajans led by the swamis and the local satsang groups, there was also the soulful rendition of songs by the famous rock band Von Hertzen brothers, which enthralled one and all. As the end of the Devi Bhava neared one could see the glimpses of happiness mixed with sadness on the faces of her Finnish children. Happiness because of being with Amma and sadness because of the thought that they have to wait till 2015 for Amma’s next visit to the country.

– Shubam