7 January, 2004 — Amritapuri
There they were, as always. Whether it’s a Devi Bhava or festival day, a Brahmasthanam Temple installation or, as in this case, simply Amma preparing to leave for the South India Tour, if Amma is out and about you can bet they are too: three eagles, circling directly above.
Known commonly as “Krishna Parunthu” in India, these three members of the species were particularly punctual, seeming to know Amma’s schedule better than the rest of us! We never really know exactly when, or even if, Amma will decide to leave Her room, at any time or for any reason. Amma can be very unpredictable. But, like clockwork, these eagles seem to know. Maybe they receive an email alert, SMS on mobile or messenger pop-up directly from Amma — “ONS, Amma’s departure in ten seconds!.. : ) ”
Hmm. maybe if we paid more attention to their flight patterns .?
Amma has even commented on them. During the Amritavarsham50 celebrations, Native American Tewa Dancers performed the “Eagle Dance” for Her. Afterward they came for Amma’s darshan, and in the course of their conversation Amma mentioned to them, “There are always three eagles flying above during the Brahmasthanam Temple installations.” Also, during this past Sri Krishna Jayanthi, while the children played the traditional Uriyadi pot-breaking game, Amma spent a long moment staring up into the sky; She was watching three eagles performing their own version of the ‘Eagle Dance”, perhaps the original one, as they slowly circled and swooped clockwise, remaining visible for the duration of Amma’s presence.
The eagle has played a very important role in Amma’s early life as well. Amma has told that when She had been turned out of Her house and used to spend Her days and nights meditating on the beach, often forgetful of food or sleep, it was the animals who would look after Her needs. One of these was an eagle who would drop a fish into Amma’s lap whenever Amma felt hungry.
Eagles are considered sacred birds in most cultures. Native Americans revere them, and the eagles plays a prominent symbolic role in Indian and Tibetan cultures well, where it’s known as ‘Garuda’. The Garuda is also said to be the vehicle of Vishnu, of whom Avatars like Sri Rama and Sri Krishna are embodiments. Even America has the bald eagle as its national bird.
It’s impossible to know if they’re the same three eagles every time, or if they come in shifts. maybe some type of aerial darshan token system is used. Either way, these blessed birds have more than proven their faithfulness.