Ram’s temple darshan

Amma giving darshan to Ram the elephant

28 July 2000, Amritapuri

It seemed a day like any other here in Amritapuri i.e. a day full with Amma: Mother sat for meditation for a while, threw pebbles at a few sleepy meditators, then gave satsang for an hour or so. Then Amma began singing a bhajan: “He Giridhara Gopala!” She sang, and “Rrrrraaarrrgh!” came the response. Everyone laughed: Ram, the baby elephant, wanted to sing too! Mother continued singing, and now and then Ram could be heard calling out from his abode on the east side of the ashram. Laughing, Mother called out, “Ram! Va, va, va!” (“Ram! Come, come, come!”) Bhajans finished, Mother called the devotees who had been waiting on the front steps of the temple, and gave them darshan; but not until he had called out once again, “Ram! Odi va!” (“Ram! Come running!”) Of course, how was Ram to come running when he was outside and She was in the temple?

Amma indicated that Ram should come for darshan. Yes. Right into the temple! The brahmachari in charge of him brought him round to the front steps, and he mounted them obediently – practically running! Right into the temple he came, and raced the full length of it to a corner where he calmed down while Mother continued giving darshan. At last, the final person was hugged and given prasad, and Mother called for Ram – a good thing, too, as he had become interested in the bhajan microphone stands that were stored against the wall in his corner! But now he had a better diversion: Mother Herself was calling him, and stretching out Her Hand, with a banana for him.

Amma giving Darshan to elephant Rama

He made straight for Her where She sat on the darshan bench, and eagerly took the banana …and another …and a third. Mother kept calling his name, and reaching out to stroke his long and inquisitive trunk. He was intrigued by the fan beside Mother, and tried to explore it with his trunk, to the consternation of people nearby! Mother called again, “Ram!” and stroked him some more, and murmured to him perhaps much the same things as She does to us. He responded like any loving elephant son, caressing Her with his trunk. He even kissed Her, it seemed: he “sniffed” Her mouth and nose with his trunk. All in all, it was a long and lovely darshan for Ram.

Maybe he is just like the rest of us: he can never get enough. For in the evening, after bhajans, he was again with Mother, this time at the foot of Her stairs. As arati was taking place in the temple, Ram and Mother had another sweet encounter – more bananas, more caresses both ways, and more affection from Mother to Her elephant son.