Amma: Beyond caste

San Ramon, 20 June 2001

Amma conducts Sacred Thread ceremony

At the end of the first Devi Bhava in San Ramon, Mother helped a young boy take a big step towards manhood when She initiated him into the Gayatri mantra and placed over his shoulder the Sacred Thread. This ceremony is often done by a boy’s father, or a priest; it is a ceremony for Brahmins*, but can be performed by any recognized holy person. Nonetheless, it is unusual that a woman, and even more, one of a lower caste, does such a ceremony.

That Brahmins bring their sons to Amma is an indication of the reverence in which She is held, and serves to reinforce Her message that all people of all kinds are equally Her children.

* Traditionally, it is held that a true Brahmin is one who knows Brahman i.e. one who has had direct experience of the Absolute. Of course, the four castes were prevalent in society but they were not meant to be watertight compartments. There are umpteen examples of people of lower castes contributing even to the Vedas.