23 April, Bhavani, Tamil Nadu — Bharata Yatra 2000
The sacred Bhavani River is usually a favourite stop for Mother and Her children during the drive back home from Chennai. It was past 2:00 a.m. when the buses reached the Bhavani — probably the only time the steps leading down to the river aren’t overcrowded with worshippers of all kinds.
The gentle breeze after a mild drizzle was a welcome relief from the scorching heat of Madras. The night was calm. The river was flowing with a rhythmic sway. Just in the other side of the river, we could see the lights of trucks plying on the highway. The rising moon was reflecting on the water. It was an atmosphere conducing an introspective frame of mind. Just a small group of people could be seen sitting in the silent night. A group of people surrounding someone… yes, She was there! With Her gaze fixed on the sky and Her arms outstretched as if to embrace the moon’s soft glow. All others were looking at Amma. Well, how could anyone gaze at the moon for long when Amma’s face was shining even more brightly? Amma began singing. Softly the voices of Her children joined in; Mother would sing a line, and the children around Her would repeat it.
Bramarame manasa bramarame
Suddha madhu teti alayunnu talarunnu nee bramarame
O’ mind that hovers like the bumble bee
searching in vain you tarry for nectar pure…
Trees in full bloom on the banks of the river devotion
dwell in bliss untouched by sorrow!
Do not tarry any longer, do not weep O mind,
Mother will one day come to dwell in your heart so pure.
The wise, with their sense of discrimination
remove all sorrow of attachment,
merge you… submerge unto you
offering all sorrows at your altar!
When O Mother , when will you come…
Is it only when all my abilities get shattered.
No Mother, do not delay any more,
Won’t you shower thy compassion on me…
there is no refuge for me, but you!
And there, in the glow of the moon, those sitting close could see tears flowing softly down Amma’s cheeks. An anguish to save Her children from the scorching heat of samsara. Amma and the moon had turned that night into a unique and unforgettable experience.