Ram and Lakshmi

11 December 2003, Amritapuri

As bhajans ended this evening and Amma left the stage, there was a race of eager devotees to Amma’s house. Amma almost always feeds Ram at the base of Her steps after bhajans, and with this morning’s arrival of Lakshmi, tonight’s elephant feeding promised to be a double feature.

Ram was brought in first to the cordoned patio area to receive his prasad from Amma. As usual he put on a show, periodically bowing to Amma, playing tug-of-war with the brahmacharis, trumpeting aloud and spraying devotees with water. Ram has grown to love the limelight!

But, we all must to learn how to share. Ram was soon led out, and his new sister Lakshmi brought in. She too received prasad from Amma, and just as during her morning introduction, she was as calm and composed as ever – a true lady! Amma again playfully asked her if she had seen Ram yet, and showered her with affection. After Lakshmi enjoyed Amma all to herself for some time, Ram was brought back in, to share the bounty of Amma’s love (and sweets!).

Together they stood before Amma, trunks reaching and waving, mouths open in what seems quite like a smile, and appearing perfectly comfortable with one another.

Amma had fun feeding Ram, then Lakshmi, and Ram again, and then Lakshmi again, back and forth, trying to keep up with her two greedy young elephant children. — right, left, right, left — just like She was giving darshan. Lakshmi was eating faster than Ram, and when Ram would become a bit too insistent, Amma, smiling out of the corner of Her eye, would pay closer attention to Lakshmi just to make Ram jealous!

At one point, this elicited a loud, trumpeted objection from Ram, to which Lakshmi responded with a louder roar, bringing a surprised and amused expression to Amma’s face and delighting the crowd!

Amma said to Ram,now you can tell all your stories to Lakshmi. And Lakshmi can do the same with you.Then Amma told Ram to give his hand to Lakshmi, at which point he met her trunk with his and they intertwined, sharing a curious and friendly sniff. Then, in a display of obvious affection, Ram and Lakshmi gently touched their foreheads together, and lingered for a moment that way. Amma was clapping happily. A little later, Ram went in search of sweets, sneaking his trunk into Lakshmi’s mouth. Lakshmi returned the favor, and for a moment the two were one.