20-23 June, Santa Fe, USA – America Yatra 2015
The first day of programs saw a larger than normal crowd and ended just past 6pm. After a short break, Amma returned to the hall at 7:30pm for satsang, bhajans, and darshan.
On the first morning, four generations of Tewa Indian dancers performed a Winter Buffalo dance to bring snow and moisture to the region and to ask permission to hunt buffalo for sustenance. Many of the group had been at Amritavarsham (Amma’s 50th birthday) 12 years ago in India. The leader of the group said, “We admire Amma for all the work she has been doing. We come to show her our way and to give our blessings. This dance we are performing comes from way back.” Amma responded to them saying, “Amma feels extremely happy to see this ancient tradition being respected. May this linage be continued and upheld for future generations. If we had this attitude for the love of Nature, the world would not be the way it is now. Amma bows down to this tradition. May the entire world be able to emulate this example so that the world will be in a better place.”
The second day of the retreat coincided with the first ever International Day of Yoga. In honor of this auspicious day, Amma had everyone perform gentle yoga exercises.
Amma said ‘Yoga 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. When we perform yoga with complete awareness, it purifies each and every cell in our body.” (read more of Amma’s message on Yoga)
During one program, children from Amrita Balakendra created their own version of the 108 Names of Amma. Throwing flower petals into the center of a tarp, the children chanted each name with love. Among some of the names were, “Om, Amma who loves everything under the sun, Om, Amma who gives us chocolate kisses, Om, Amma who gives hard candies in India…” At the end, the children grabbed the corners of the tarp and tossed the flower petals into the air. Local devotees also performed Flamenco and Hawaiian dances.