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Change is the nature of life: Amma in Devakottai

23 Feb, Devakottai, Tamil Nadu – Bharata Yatra 2016

The journey from Chennai to Devakottai was extremely long and took all day and night. Despite the arduous drive, Amma still took the time to stop with the group for an evening picnic along the way. It was a beautiful scene to sit under the moonlight and share a meal with Amma. Before everyone ate, she explained the importance of adjusting to the situations and respecting others as the embodiment of god. Amma added that its not enough to love and have devotion, but that one has to be compassionate to all beings around them. After sharing this wonderful teaching and dinner, everyone sang a few bhajans before continuing the journey.

For the very first time, Amma held an evening program in Devakottai. Twenty four years ago she had visited the nearby town of Karaikkudi.

On this night a huge crowd awaited Amma’s arrival at the N.S.M.V.P.S School grounds. Amma was welcomed to city by Rtd Supreme Court Chief Justice AR Lakshmana, Railway Board Chairman & BJP General Secretary H Raja and Swami Atmananda of Sharada Niketan Ashram.

During his welcome speech AR Lakshmana said, “This is a very important day for each of us. Though I have participated in many religious functions, I have never seen such a massive turnout anywhere else.

Swami Atmanada said, “Amma in the incarnate of the divine mother Sarada Devi. Amma in the form of the mother is blessing the entire world. Amma sees every being in herself and herself in all beings. This is supreme spiritual state.”

 

And BJP General Secretary H. Raja added, “Every nation has it’s own character…and spirituality is the character of Bharath. Amma spreads the message of Sanatana Dharma throughout this world. Wherever people undergo suffering, she reaches out and graces them.”

As Amma began her talk, a beautiful full moon rose above the venue. Speaking on the occasion Amma said “Change is the nature of life. Every day we witness how good and bad things happen in people’s lives without any prior warning. Life can be compared to a game. Just as in a game it is often hard to predict what will happen until the very end, so too it is with life. The arrangements are constantly shifting. Until victory is attained, the player must make his moves with care and attentiveness because even the smallest deviation in focus can result in failure.”

The massive crowd were all fed dinner and then patiently waited all through the night with faith and devotion for their chance to meet Amma. Many could be seen sleeping at the venue on the bare ground until it was their turn for a hug.

Amma finally finished the darshan close at 9.41 am the following morning, upon which the tour group packed up and headed for Madurai for the next stop on the tour.

Devakottai is known for a unique Siva temple that is without an idol.  In the inner shrine there is only a peetham, (no Siva lingam and no Nandi) the concept being that the presiding deity is supposed to be one’s own self in the place of the idol.  This truly vedantic temple helps instruct people that one should go beyond all forms and realize their true self.

-Kannadi

 

 

 

 

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Be thankful – Amma at Musical Chennai

20-21 Feb, Chennai, Tamil Nadu – Bharata Ystra 2016

After the public program in Puducherry, Amma held a two day Brahmasthanam festival in Chennai. During the two days, Amma gave darshan, sang bhajans and gave satsang. She also led the Manasapuja, instructing all in the local Tamil language.

Speaking on the occasion, she said, “Be thankful for what you get and show gratitude. Human beings survive because of thousands upon thousands of aspects of nature that constantly and selflessly serve and support them. We are indebted to many subtle and obvious parts of nature. When this awareness dawns within, it becomes easy to appreciate everything during each breath we take.”

Chennai is home to many famous musicians and during Amma’s visit a one incredible performance was followed by an equally incredible performance as Amma gave darshan. These were highlighted by Mrudangam maestro Karaikkudi Mani who offered a Jugalbandi accompanied by Bala Sai on Flute, UP Raja on Mandolin and N Guruprasd on Ghatam; famous violinst Kumari Kanyakumari, who offered her tributes with the accompaniment of the superb Mrudamgam by Patri Sateesh Kumar; and Sri Ram, an upcoming young artist, who presented a Carnatic fusion on Keytar.

Karaikkudi Mani and team performing Jugalbandi

Famous singers like Gayathri Girish, Gayatri Venkataraghavan, Dr R Ganesh, Nityasree Mahadevan and Ananth Vaidyanathan also offered Carnatic vocal performances for Amma during darshan.

In between all the amazing music, there was still time for the local Amrita Vidyalayam students to also present different cultural programs.

At end of darshan on the 2nd day Amma sang two bhajans and even though it was already very late in the night, Amma still was in the mood to spend some more time with the local people. Amma asked one of the ashram kids, whose favorite hobby is to make up stories to trick people when he is bored, to share his latest tale of trickery with everyone. He explained how he raised a question to his mother on the previous bus journey asking her to tell him the long version of how her grandparent’s died. His mother thought this was an odd request but he assured her he would explain his intentions after the story was over. When his mother finished he told her his sole intention of asking this was for her to be occupied speaking while he could quickly eat all the bag of chips he didn’t want to share with her.

Next Amma asked another young ashram boy to tell a joke to everyone. This boy rambled on and on telling an elaborate joke. His excitement and animation in delivering the joke made it very hard to follow the point of the story…so by the time he finished it was unclear what the actual punchline was. Amma ended the joke for him by telling everyone that the fact that no one actually understood the joke but laughed throughout…was the joke.

The combination of Amma’s presence, her love, her laughter, the incredible musical performances helped make the Chennai program a very memorable one.

-Kannadi

 

 

 

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Failure comes from losing self-confidence: Amma in Puducherry

18 Feb – Puducherry – Bharata Yatra 2016

The next program on Amma’s 2016 Bharata Yatra was a one day public program in Puducherry. The program was held in the Tagore college grounds where Amma was welcomed by a huge crowd.

 

Officially welcoming Amma to the state Puducherry the MLA Namashivayam said, “Whenever natural calamites strike any part of the globe, we see Amma reaching out to offer help. Amma sits in the same place and blesses everyone whether they are rich or poor. We may not be able to see God directly, but we can see God in Amma’s form.

Another MLA, Vishweshwaran added, that “Amma shows us that love and spirituality are beyond the barriers of nationality. Spirituality is the powerful weapon that protects the culture and heritage of our motherland. When we see Amma, we get the feeling that this land will arise and become a super power.”

Earlier in the day, several more dignitaries including the Chief Minister of Puducherry, Rangaswami and the French consulate Philippe Janvier Kamiyama and his wife, came to meet Amma seeking her blessings.

During her address to the gathering, Amma said, “Setbacks do not make someone a failure, only losing self confidence does. We should always remember that while fate will drag a lazy person through tough times, it will always make way for a hardworking person to pass. Acquiring spiritual knowledge is the only way to obtain the proper perspective about life and the mental strength to face difficulties.”

Setbacks do not make someone a failure, only losing self confidence does. – Amma

During darshan time, the world famous Padmashree Vikku Vinayakam, who is also a Grammy award winner, came with his disciples and offered a Ghatam-Kanjira-Mridangam-Mukharshang-Vocal Jugalbandi performance to Amma. The thunderous performance completely wowed the crowd.

Throughout the night Amrita Vidyalayam students of Puducherry presented different cultural programs. The local Amrita Vidyalayam school, which is just two years old, has made such an impact in the local community that all the speakers and officials who came to the program expressed their great appreciation for the school.

 

Amma finished darshan at 9:19am the morning after the program began, after meeting all those who patiently waited.

– Kannadi

 

 

 

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Compassion is Amma’s own: Amma in Trichy

16 Feb – Trichy, Tamil Nadu – Bharata Yatra 2016

The next stop on Amma’s Bharata Yatra was in Tiruchirapalli (Trichy) where Amma held an all night public program at the National College Grounds. Amma was welcomed to the city by Mayor Charubala, and the Union Cabinet Shipping Minister Pon Radhakrishnan.

Priests welcoming Amma with Vedic chants and Poornakumbham

Welcoming Amma to the stage the Mayor said “Compassion is Amma’s own. We’ve all thronged here in search of that compassion. When She hugs us, that compassion spreads to us as well. With that compassion within us, may we go out and try to spread it through love, compassion and culture to all of society, thus rejuvenating it!”

Addressing the massive crowd assembled to have Amma’s darshan she said “Along with external success we need inner victory too. Inner victory is the victory over mind and all its weaknesses.”​ The crowd was very silent and were patiently waiting till the end as Amma lead them in bhajans, manasa puja and meditation, — instructing all in their own Tamil language.​

Amma had visited Trichy earlier in 2007 {news}.

Aerial shot of Trichy program site and the city from Drone

During darshan, a boy of about 10 yrs old came to Amma asking for a boon. (a wish to be granted) He said, “I want a boon. I want to be the king of the world.” To which Amma beamingly replied, “If you become the king of your mind, then you can become the king of the universe.” But the child was not able to get the point and was insisting that she must give the boon right now.
Taking him on to her lap, Amma said, “You are already the king, but you don’t know it yet. Its enough if you just realize it.”

Throughout the night local Amrita Vidyalayam students presented a variety of cultural programs and Amma gave darshan to the massive crowd untill 10.07 am the following morning.

related link: Read the legends of Trichy

-Kannadi

 

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“No one can stop fate” – Amma in Kovai

13-14 Feb – Kovai, Tamil Nadu – Bharata Yatra 2016

Amma held a two day Brahmasthanam festival in Kovai. This Brahmasthanam was installed by Amma in 2001.

Upon her arrival from Amritapuri, Amma had an informal meeting with all the local devotees where she sang and distributed dinner to everyone. Then she asked someone to share a thought or a joke, and a local school teacher narrated a story from her own experience. She explained that while teaching a value classes for children in the 3rd grade, a student asked, ‘Why Kamsa didnt put Devaki and Vasudeva in two separate rooms, since he knew that their child would eventually kill him?”

The teacher answered her student that, Kamsa was not wise enough, he was arrogant and ignorant.. But Amma said that answer was not right and added that we must teach the child that no one can stop fate. If it is meant to happen, it will happen…no one can stop it, is the answer that the teacher should have given her student.

After the distribution of prasad Amma called a tour group member from Mexico and asked him to dance. He replied he would dance if Amma sings for him–so to the delight of everyone Amma sang and he danced.

During the two days of programs, Amma gave satsang, sang bhajans and gave darshan. During her address she explained in detail four issues that we are facing in today’s society “education that disregard values, sophistication that disregards culture, development that disregards nature and lifestyle that disregards health.”

All throughout the programs many student volunteers from the local Amrita Vidyalayam as well as the Amrita University campus could be seen in action. In addition to their seva the students offered different cultural programs.

At the end of the final program, well past midnight, after embracing the final people coming for darshan, Amma delighted everyone with two more bhajans, sending everyone home with full hearts.

– Kannadi

 

 

 

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3rd Leg of Bharata Yatra starts from Bangalore on 14 March

Amma will start 3rd of her Bharata Yatra from 14 March visiting 10 cities across India.

March 14-15 Mon-Tue
Bangalore Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
136, Mata Amritanandamayi Road,
Jnanabharathi 2nd Stage, Behind Bangalore University,
Opp. Nagdevanahalli, BDA Layout,
Bangalore – 560 056, Karnataka.
Phone: 080 – 23241439, 23240767 {map}

 

March 18-19 Fri-Sat
Hyderabad Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
844/1 East Marredpally,
Mahendra Hills, Secunderabad,
Hyderabad – 500 026, Telangana.
Phone: 040 – 27732420, 27733174 {map}

 

March 22-23 Tue-Wed
Pune Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Plot No. 2, Sector 21,
Yamuna Nagar, Pradhikaran,
Nigdi,Pune – 411 044, Maharashtra.
Phone: 020 – 27662592, 27662647, 32661021 {map}

 

March 26-27 Sat-Sun
Mumbai Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Brahmagiri, Plot No. 5,
Sector 20, Nerul West,
Navi Mumbai – 400 706, Maharashtra.
Phone: 022 – 27722385 {map}

 

March 29 Tue
Amdavad (Public Program)
Ahmedabad Education Society Ground, {map}
Helmat Circle, Drive-In-Road, Amdavad (Ahmedabad) – 380052, Gujarat.
Phone: 9998255962, 9913703529, 9427109947

 

April 1 Fri
Jaipur (Public Program)
Jaipur, Rajasthan
Tagore International School Ground,
Opp. Tagore Hospital, Tagore Lane,
Sector-7, Shipra Path,
Mansarovar, Jaipur – 302 020, Rajasthan. {map}
Phone: 9799491488, 9414329295, 0141 – 2760306

 

April 4-5 Mon-Tue
New Delhi Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Sector D-III, Shanti Kunj, Vasant Kunj,
New Delhi – 110 070, Delhi.
Phone: 011 – 26893622 {map}

 

April 8 Fri
Vrindavan (Public Program)
Vrindavan, UttarPradesh
Fogla Ashramam, Bhaktivedanta Swami Marg,
Raman reiti, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh 281121.{map}
Phone: 9873946800 eMail info@brajfoundation.org

 

April 10 Sun
Lucknow (Public Program)
Lucknow, UttarPradesh
Amrita Vidyalayam School Ground,
No. 2, Sector 10, Vrindavan Yojna,
Amar Shaheed Path, Near Lucknow Public School,
Lucknow – 226 029, Uttar Pradesh. {map}
Phone: 9651616278, 7380844660

 

April 13-14 Wed-Thu
Kolkata Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Budge Budge Road, Sarkar Pool,
Kolkata – 700 143, West Bengal.
Phone: 033 – 24012777, 24014428 {map}

After the BharataYatra Amma will be flying to Singapore for the first leg of her Asia-Africa Yatra

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Amma’s Bharata Yatra 2016 – 2nd leg starts from 13Feb

Amma will visit 7 cities of Tamil Nadu and Kerala as part of the 2nd leg of Bharata Yatra 2016 and will hold programs Satsang, Bhajans and Meditation from Feb 13.

15erode14

 

Feb 13-14 Sat-Sun Kovai (Coimbatore)
Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Ramasamy Nagar, Ext-2, Nallampalayam Rd., Ganapaty P.O.,
Coimbatore 641 006 Tamil Nadu, {map}
Phone: (0422)- 2538326 and +919791785121

 

Feb 16 Tue Tiruchirappalli (Trichy)
(Public Program)
National College Grounds, Dindigal Road
Tiruchirappally {map}
Telephone: 0431-2482995

 

Feb 18 Thu Puducherry
(Public Program)
Tagore Arts College Ground, Airport Road,
Lawspet, Puducherry. {map}
Phone: Dr. Muthuraman – 9443460378, Ramanathan – 9344510695

 

Feb 20-21 Sat-Sun Chennai
Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
132, Arcot Road, Virugambakkam,
Chennai 600 092 {map}
Ph : 044-23764063, 044-23764867
chennai{at}amma.org.in

 

Feb 23 Tue – Devakottai
(Public Program)
N.S.M.V.P.S School,
Tiruppattur Road, Devakottai. {map}
Phone: –9842473054, 9443920237

 

Feb 25 Thu Madurai
Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Moolakarai, Tirupparankundaram Road,
Pasumalai P.O., Madurai 625005 Tamil Nadu,
Phone: (0452) 2370 800 {map}

 

Feb 26 Fri Kanyakumari
(Public Program)
Amrita Vidyalayam,
Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi Road,
Amritapuram, Saravanantheri, Agastheeswaram,
Kanyakumari – 629 701, Tamil Nadu. {map}
Phone: 9488272070, 9443078166, 9442265309

 

Feb 28-29 Sun-Mon Tiruvananthapuram
Brahmasthanam Festival
Mata Amritanandamayi Math
Amrita Nagar, Kaimanam,
Thiruvananthapuram – 695 018, Kerala.
Phone: 0471 – 2490140 {map}

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Compassion and Devotion, Jnana and Bhakti are not two

21 Jan, Kanichukulangara, Alappuzha, Kerala -Bharata Yatra 2016

After the wrapping up the five Brahmasthanam programs on the 2016 North Kerala tour, Amma travelled to Alappuzha. Amma came there upon the invitation of the Temple committee, to dedicate the newly constructed “Chuttambalam” of Kanichukulanghara Devi temple.

Amma dedicating ‘Chuttambalam’ of Kanichukulangara Devi Temple

The Kanichukulanghara temple was set up at the behest of Sree Narayana Guru and as per the temple records.  Narayana Guru visited and stayed in the temple along with his disciples. He had also trained Ezhava community members enabling them to perform poojas in the temples.

At 10:30am a sea of devotees were on hand to welcome Amma as she arrived to visit the temple. Upon entering the temple, she lit the lamp and dedicated the Chuttambalam amidst Vedic chants.

After visiting the temple Amma continued the program across the street in a large venue set up for the event. During the public public function SNDP General Secretary Vellappalli Natesan welcomed Amma to Kanichukulangara, “We are blessed to have darshan of two Devis’ today. Kanichukulangara Devi (the presiding deity of the temple) and Amritanandamayi Devi…who are one in the same. Amma has no cast, no religion, no racial discrimination. Her religion is Love.”

During the function Amma handed over keys to 10 houses newly built in Kanichukulangara area as part Amritakuteeram project.

On addressing the large crowd, which seemed to be the entire village, Amma said “Human beings need a job, money and basic comforts to live, but in today’s society, where selfishness reigns supreme, the greatest wealth we can gather within our hearts is devotion. Where there is bhakti, there is the real ‘meeting’. It is not a physical meeting, but a meeting where the Jivatman, the individual self, and Paramatman, the cosmic Self, unite.

“The real question is not whether God exists or not, but whether human beings have sorrow or not. Bhakti, or devotion, is the practical way of getting rid of sorrows. Bhakti is a practical science. Bhakti is not blind superstitious belief. It is this faith that removes darkness from our hearts. Not only does it help us unburden our heart, it also amplifies our sense of righteousness and inspires us to be compassionate towards the distressed. Devotion to God and compassion for the world are but two sides of the same coin. Jñana and Bhakti are not two; if Jñana is the fruit of a tree, Bhakti is the juice of that fruit.

“Temples are sacred places where God’s presence can be felt the most. But we should have the awareness that God’s presence is not limited to the sanctum of the temple. God is the all-pervading consciousness, which enlivens every being, sentient or insentient. It is only when we think and act with this knowledge that we will be able to experience God- consciousness within oneself. We should also be able to serve everyone, seeing the God within them. A heart devoid of compassion is like a closed parachute- it cannot save us.”

At night, the Trantri (temple priests) came to Amma while she is giving darshan and did a ‘shodasa upachara puja’ to Amma as they do daily to the deity in their temple. With all the mudras and steps of the Tantric puja, they did arati to Amma.

Amma also sang bhajans and gave darshan till the stroke of midnight thus concluding the first leg of Bharata Yatra 2016.

 
-Kannadi

 

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Amma in Kodungallur

18-19 Jan, Kodungallur, Kerala – Bharata Yatra 2016

After programs in Kozhikode, Amma travelled to Kodungallur for the next two day Brahmasthanam festival on her 2016 North Kerala tour.

Kodungallur is home to the first Brahmasthanam Temple consecrated by Amma in 1988. Because Amma has been coming here for so many years, there are many devotees in this city that have special relationships with Amma going back over 30 years. Amma spent many tender moments reminiscing with each one, playing and joking with them.

During the two days of programs, Amma gave darshan, led bhajans and gave satsang.
Each day Amma was led to the stage by a Panchavadyam troupe and was received on the stage with chanting of Vedic Mantras.

As Amma gave darshan throughout the day two days, Amrita Vidyalayam students presented different cultural programs. Amongst the thousands of people who came to meet Amma over the two days one of the distinguished guests who came to meet Amma was Malayalam film director Major Ravi.

– Kannadi

 

 

 

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Development should go hand in hand with conservation of nature

15-16 Jan, Palakkad, Kerala – Bharata Yatra 2016

The next stop on Amma’s Bharata Yatra 2016, was a two day Brahmasthanam festival in Palakkad.

During the two days of programs, Amma gave satsang, sang bhajans and led everyone in meditation.

During her talk, Amma urged people to respect and preserve nature, saying, “Development should go hand in hand with conservation of nature. Modern society is developing in a way that disregards nature. As a result, crops, fields, lakes, and ponds are polluted. Healthy food, pure water and clean air are like endangered species. Humankind is trampling nature indiscriminately, like a herd of elephants trampling through a grove. We have big challenges with waste disposal and households should learn the art of composting. Human beings today are causing environmental problems and harming the ozone layer. We must learnt to respect nature.”

Throughout the day, Amrita Vidyalayam students presented different cultural programs. One of the item was a Kathakali performance in which Amma’s life and teachings were presented.
Later a young ‘kalari’ troupe (traditional marital arts) staged a wonderful acrobatic demonstration which won the hearts of everyone present.

Well past midnight on the final day, after giving darshan all day, Amma rose and danced to the tune of Baduga music…ending the program on the sweetest of notes and filling everyone’s hearts.

-Kannadi