A safe and happy journey

29 March, 2006 – Gokulpur, Kolkata, West Bengal

Bharata Yatra 2006 began with the start of February {news}. The past two months have been full of bus trips, roadside satsangs, bhajans in myriad Indian languages and of course hundreds of thousands of people from all parts of India coming into Amma’s arms. With the conclusion of darshan in Kolkata in the wee hours of morning on the 29th, the yatra had finally come to an end.

But the next evening, just after sunset, Amma called all of the brahmacharis, brahmacharinis and devotees who had accompanied her on the tour for one last satsang on the roof of one of the ashram buildings.

At first, Amma discussed the Ashram’s ongoing tsunami-relief work, instructing one senior brahmachari to go to the Andaman Islands, off the coast of Tamil Nadu, to start constructing houses there. She also told both the brahmacharis and brahmacharinis that there was more relief work to do back at Amritapuri, specifically the construction of some homes on the mainland side of the backwaters.

When Amma asked her children to say something, one of them said, “Come back soon.” To this Amma responded, “Do you mean you want me to fall sick? All the programs are already fixed. When you say ‘come back soon,’ either it means there should be some problem with the programs or Amma should fall sick. You shouldn’t pray like this. You should pray that you come to be able to see Amma clearly in your heart.”

Amma then explained how most of the people who come to see her on her Indian Tour only have her darshan once every two years. She asked the ashramites to try to think of them and not themselves. “Instead of all the time thinking ‘I!,’ ‘I!,’ ‘I!,’ ‘I!’ and ‘for me!’ ‘for me!’ ‘for me!’, you should start thinking, ‘you’ and ‘for you,’” Amma said. “Only in compassion do we truly lose ourselves. In tapas [austerities], we still have the attitude that ‘I am the doer.’”

Telling her ashram children that they must struggle to keep their thirst for liberation alive, Amma gave them instructions to do as much japa and meditation on their bus trip back to Amritapuri as possible.

Before getting up to go to the airport for her trip to Australia, Amma then blessed everyone: “Children, may your journey be safe and happy.”

Was it a blessing for the physical journey or for the inner one?