You are my greatest wealth

Amma with Swiss devotees

4 October 2005 — Pfyn, Switzerland

The church bells tolled seven, letting everyone in the small Swiss village of Pfyn know the hour. From the town square, the sound carried out across the rolling green hillside where milk cows grazed unperturbed by a light evening rain, over the river that flows swiftly through the village’s small forest, and in through the open window of a room where Amma–wrapped in a baby-blue coat–sat taking in the faces of about a hundred of her European children. The temperature outside reached below 10C degrees.

After a few minutes, Amma started calling out the nationalities of some of those seated around her: “German, French, Spanish, English, Dutch…” It had been almost a year since many of them had seen Amma, and appropriately the room carried the feeling of a reunion.

Soon, Amma began to sing:

Sri Krishna Sri Hari Krishna…

Govinda Nanda Mukunda…

Gopi Lola Gopa Kumara Vrindavana Lola…

Some of the devotees sang along, others simply sat gazing up at Amma’s face, too content to even open their mouths.

Amma playing the drum

Amma’s acknowledgment of the room’s diversity was a touching beginning to her European Tour, which–with its nine countries in six weeks–is perhaps the best illustration of how Amma is not only embracing the world, but also how the world is embracing Amma.

During the next couple hours, Amma sang five or six bhajans with the devotees, including a few in German. One of the bhajans was, “Wo kann ich hin?” –‘Where Can I Go?’.

In between each song, Amma joked with the devotees and inquired about their health and their year in general. She also told them about her year, which, of course–as all of them knew–had revolved almost exclusively around the tsunami that took place six weeks after the conclusion of the 2004 European Tour.

Amma told them how hard the Ashramites have been working to complete the 6,000 odd tsunami-relief houses the Ashram has pledged to construct throughout South India. She  also talked about the difficulties of dealing with the government, about her trip to console tsunami victims in Sri Lanka, the fishing boats the Ashram has been giving away and about many of the other tsunami relief works…

By the time Amma had finished, she truly had given a recap of her entire year. At that point, one of the devotees from Ireland who had recently visited Amma’s Ashram in India said, “It’s true! I have seen how fast things are moving with my own eyes. But still I wonder how it’s possible that so much has happened in such a short time.”

To which Amma responded, “When I have children like all of you all over the world, nothing is impossible. You are my greatest wealth.”