13 – 15 Nov, Milano, Italy – Europe Yatra 2017
Though Amma’s programs were held on weekdays (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday), the MalpensaFiere program hall in Busto Arsizio was overflowing with devotees and newcomers who wanted to experience a few moments in Amma’s arms. The hall also overflowed with a classic Italian enthusiasm – the room reverberated with cries of Benvenuto Amma!! as Amma first arrived, and at the close of each program, the room erupted in applause.
The stage backdrop, created with the theme Light of Compassion, glowed magically behind Amma.
Amma was formally welcomed to Italy by the mayor of Busto Arsizio, Emanuele Antonelli, who said, “It is very exciting to see how many people have come here from all over Europe to receive Amma’s hug, the darshan, which contains the sweetness, the grace, the generosity, the spirituality of a truly exceptional woman. Thank you, also for the many and very important social activities she does and directs — a heartful thank you!”
Also on hand to welcome Amma was the renowned composer Maestro Pippo Rinaldi, who reflected, “I would like to quote by heart a great writer, Robert Musill, who said: ‘The ways of love are inscrutable, the ways of love are secret, but the highest expression of love is the hug.’ Thank you Amma for your hugs and your love, thank you.”
Mr. Pradeep Gautam, Consul of Indian Consulate in Milano also garlanded Amma and welcomed her to Italy.
There was a very special performance of singing glasses or musical wine glasses by a devotee.
Addressing the crowd, Amma spoke about God’s all-pervasive nature and the way the realization of that true nature will transform us completely: “God is the indivisible oneness devoid of all boundaries or separation. Mother Nature, the atmosphere, the birds and other animals, the plants and trees—each and every atom in them is overflowing with this divine power. God is fully present in all that is sentient and insentient. When we fully understand this truth, we can do nothing but love ourselves as well as everyone around us.”
As Amma walked from the program hall to her room on the other side of MalpensaFiere, her path was lined by devotees, morning and night. On Thursday morning, at the close of the all night Devi Bhava darshan, the program hall was nearly as packed as it had been the night before, as almost all the devotees chose this celebration of love over a night of sleep. This choice, made by so many in unison, gave hope that the love that pervaded that night in Milano would be carried forward into the lives of all those who were there, and by extension into the lives of all whose paths intersected with theirs — that ultimately, humanity as a whole, facing darkness and ignorance, would turn away, and choose light and love.