A sweet parting gift

Amma swimming with the devotees

2 October 2005, Amritapuri

Today after noon, after having finished giving darshan to newcomers, Amma unexpectedly headed towards the pool.

Amma withb devotees in the swimming pool

Within minutes, word had spread throughout the Ashram that she was going swimming. Ashramites ran to their rooms to put on their swimsuits and rushed to the pool to spend time with her.

Though Amma had been to the pool twice this past year with Tsunami children, it has been quiet some time since Amma had called the Ashramites to join her.

First Amma called the male residents. Amma stood at the deep end of the pool surrounded by beaming devotees. One by one, the boys lined up to be pushed into the pool by her. Amma took special care to ask each one whether they knew how to swim. If they said ‘no’, she helped them put on a life preserver.  Experienced swimmers stood by to guide them to the shallow end.

Sometimes she would laugh at the antics of the boys as they jumped, dove, or belly flopped into the pool. Other times, she would chuckle at someone’s large belly.

Amma swimming with the devotees

After everyone had been pushed in, Amma sat down in a chair and started singing He Giridhara Gopala – her arms rising upwards to the sky. Everyone sang at the top of their lungs – no one cared whether he was singing in tune or not – we were all in bliss.

Amma then asked all the men to leave and invited all the women to come. Again, she pushed each person into the pool. At the end, everyone sang Sri Krishna, Sri Hari Krishna.  Suddenly, Amma started dancing! Afterwards, she surprised everyone again by jumping in the pool and swimming to the shallow end!

All the Ashramites were beaming with joy at the wonderful parting present she had given us before her Europe tour.