25 September 2005 — Amritapuri
First there was the kalari… When it became too small, the main temple was built.. Then in 2001, what is now referred to as the bhajan hall was constructed… And now it seems that even that is too small for Amma’s birthday. This year, the birthday programme and Amma’s darshan will not be held in the bhajan hall but in a pandal [temporary structure] that is being constructed on land recently acquired by the Ashram, about 200 meters beyond the bhajan hall.
On two occassions in the past week, Amma herself has gone to check on the progress of the construction of the temporary hall. As of now, it is almost completed, and will clearly be able to accommodate 50,000 people.
With Amma’s 52nd birthday only two days away, devotees pouring into Amritapuri from all over India. The Ashram-side boat jetty is already decorated with a temple-front facade to welcome the 200,000-some-odd people who will arrive tonight, tomorrow and, of course, on Amma’s birthday itself.