17 September 2003,Amritapuri
For many of Amma’s devotees around the world, the fact that Amma speaks Malayalam has not been a barrier, because our Mother speaks the Universal language of Love. Even so, when Amma started singing “Iswar Tumhi Daya Karo” in French during Her Reunion Island visit, the news spread like wildfire – and so during the U.S. Tour, She began singing in English. Recently at Amritapuri, much to the delight of the international devotees staying here, Amma has sung a devotional song in a different language every night during the evening bhajans.
Thus far, Amma has sung “Iswar Tumhi Daya Karo” in English, Portuguese, Japanese, French, Spanish, Swedish, Finnish, German, and Arabic. Every evening, devotees wait with anticipation wondering what language She will sing in that night. Without fail, the devotees break into thunderous applause when She finishes.
Devotees from the different countries who have known Amma for many years are asked to translate the Malayalam bhajan into their language. Then, the bhajan is transliterated phonetically so Amma can read it, and a recording of the bhajan in the new language is made, so She can listen to the pronunciation. The question on the minds of many devotees is, “when does She find the time to do this?”
When devotees are asked what it is like for them to hear Amma sing in their native language, words such as, “personal” and “intimate” are commonly used to describe the experience. Jose and Guillem from Barcelona, Spain said that hearing Amma sing in their Mother tongue brought them closer to Her, and described Amma’s Spanish singing as “very tender.” A French devotee from Reunion Island said she was very grateful to Amma for singing in French, and that ‘Iswar Tumhi…’ is especially touching because of the devotional quality of the song.
A devotee from the U.S. who listened to Amma sing in English, “Lord of Vrindavan,” a devotional song about Krishna, had no words to describe how he felt. He simply placed his hand on his heart and said, “It is overwhelming.”
There is no doubt that for those of us who do not speak Malayalam, hearing our beloved Mother sing to us in our home language is a precious gift indeed. It is yet another way in which Amma showers us with love.
– Vimala Rachel Purcell