24 September 2003
“We have to live this life for love and harmony, like Amma is doing. Amma symbolizes the truth and beauty of life.” —Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam
One of India’s most stunning dancers, Padma Bhushan Dr. Padma Subrahmanyam, performed for Amma on the first night of Amritavarsham50. The award-winning classical dancer performed Bharata Natyam, portraying different characters from the Hindu epics and puranas.
How long have you know Amma?
“I could meet Amma physically only very recently. One year back, I met Her in Madras and later in Geneva. When Amma received the “Gandhi-King Award for Non-Violence,” I danced there on that evening. I think I was the first one to greet Her when She came off the stage. I really felt proud to be an Indian then.
“For me, Amma is a symbol of spirituality. India has a lot to give to this world, and Amma is doing that. God has given us this human form for a very special purpose. We’ve to live this life for love and harmony, like Amma is doing. Amma symbolizes the truth and beauty of life. She is the one form of Durga, Lakshmi and Saraswati, because She embodies an amalgam of qualities, such as courage, sacrifice and wisdom. She invokes the dharmic desire in Her children.”
How do you feel that when you perform?
“See, all beautiful things in this world are divine. Through art forms, we are making it more divine. God makes everything beautiful. I feel that extra beauty when I perform.”
What is your vision about Amritavarsham50?
Yes, some people say we shouldn’t spend money for such celebration.
“It’s for the pleasure of us, Amma’s children, that we celebrate. Nobody has any right to comment on it. Every devotee feels this as a family function. See, I’m dancing here for Amma. For me, it is not a commercial program. My religion believes in celebration. We celebrate each and every special moment in our life. My Mother’s birthday is something to be celebrated. People who comment may be spending more money just for their worldly pleasures. Our culture emphasizes celebration. We celebrate occasions of happiness. That is why we have festivals in temples. Such celebrations bring harmony and unity among people. The same is happening here also. People from the entire world, from all walks of life, are assembled here to celebrate their beloved Mother’s birthday.”