16 January 2003,Chennai
Throughout the four days of programmes in Chennai, Amma’s devotees there had been asking Her if they could see the video of Her speech in Geneva in the original Malayalam. Now it is the end of the last program in Chennai: five a.m. and darshan is over; people crowd near and onto the stage to bid Amma farewell for another year.
But Amma is not quite ready to leave: She stands, calls for a television and VCR, and the videocassette of Her Geneva speech, “The Awakening of Universal Motherhood”.
For the next thirty minutes, a stalwart young man balances a TV on his head so that Mother and all gathered on the stage can see it, and Geneva comes to Chennai.
Last October, when Mother first delivered this remarkable speech at the Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders, Her words were received with eagerness and enthusiasm by people from all parts of the world. They are not words applicable only to India; they call out to the hearts of women and men everywhere who yearn for a world in which all people are valued equally, and supported in their efforts to be the best they can be for the world—irrespective of gender.
More than half of the world’s population are women. It is a great loss when women are denied the freedom to come forward, and when they are denied the high status that should be theirs in society. When women are denied this, society loses their potential contribution.
And on this night, too, Her words were being cherished. Men and women alike listened enthusiastically as their Guru called upon women to awaken to their true potential, and upon men to not oppose but rather to support women as they move forward, gracing the world with their special gifts of patience, compassion and love.
Women are the power and the very foundation of our existence in the world. It is therefore crucial that women everywhere make every effort to rediscover their fundamental nature, for only then can we save this world.
In Geneva, while Mother spoke, people’s faces showed their responses: some were smiling, some were deeply reflecting, some were crying; it was the same in Chennai. See how the women were feeling:
And how about Mother? Sometimes there was a gaze of deep concentration; sometimes, Her face grew soft with Her unwavering compassion; sometimes, She showed the apologetic laughter of a mother who thinks she may have said something some child doesn’t like!
Amma stood throughout the showing of the video. At one point, someone asked Amma if She would like to sit. Amma replied, “No, it’s like the end of Devi Bhava.” Another devotee replied, “But Amma, you are not throwing flowers.” To which Amma replied, “I threw water.” (After feeding a baby and rinsing Her hand at the end of darshan, She had thrown drops of water onto a crowd of delighted devotees.)
As all listened to Her speech, Mother made comments—imagine this blessing of hearing a live commentary on the scriptures by their own Author!
Perhaps it was when She spoke of the shakti of women that Amma playfully demonstrated Her right arm muscle—made powerful through millions of repetitions of the motion of drawing a child close in Her motherly hug:
The more a woman identifies with her inner motherhood, the more she awakens to that shakti, or pure power. When women develop this power within themselves, the world will begin to listen to their voices more and more.
The world is listening, more and more, to Amma’s voice. In Chennai, when the video had ended and at last the final program truly WAS over, it was a man’s voice that spontaneously led Her children in expressing their approval of the Mother and Guru they were feeling so proud of:
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi Ki Jai!