Was Dhareshwar calling Amma?

Amma looking on as Swamiji feeds a dog

14 February 2006 — Dhareshwar Beach, Karnataka

From the limited perspective of man, the actions of an Enlightened One are both unpredictable and unfathomable. One minute they may seem to follow logic. The next, they may behave as if mad. Sometimes they seem to act out of habit, and then out of the blue they smash all expectations. But in fact, whereas the forces that drive man are multifarious and complex, the driving force of a mahatma is simple: compassion.

Still, during Amma’s Bharata Yatras, Amma is invariably drawn to various places. Sometimes it’s a specific river, house or temple, others a particular auto-parts factory {news} or dusty truck-stop {news}. We can speculate as to why Amma chooses certain places over others, but the answer remains with Amma alone.

Once when someone asked Amma why she seemed to take every opportunity possible to visit the Bhavani River in Tamil Nadu. Amma said that while Amma sees everything as pure consciousness, there are certain places to which she is for some reason drawn: “There are certain places, like this one, towards which Amma has always felt a strong pull. The subtle beings in this place call Amma and yearn to have her with them.” {read more}

The love of a mahatma is infinite and pure and showers down equally upon one and all, but sometimes the yearning of a particular heart, the selfless actions of a particular person or the merit one has earned from past lives draws them in a given direction. Many times in the past, it has been revealed that when Amma stops in some seemingly odd location some devout soul has been there praying for her darshan.

On the way to Karwar, Amma’s camper and a few other cars had pulled a little ahead of the nine-bus caravan. Then, just before sunset, Amma suddenly asked that they pull over and inquire if there was a nice beach somewhere nearby. As Amma was speaking through her camper’s side-window, a stray dog suddenly wandered on the scene, wagging its tail.

“Poor thing, it is hungry,” Amma said. “Give him some food.”

Swamiji brought some sweets, which Amma then took into her hands, rolled into three balls and handed back to Swamiji. Swamiji then went to place them on the ground, but Amma stopped him, “No, no, no!” she said. “Give it on a plate.”

So Swamiji then placed the balls on a plate and set it down before the dog, which quickly ate the prasad.

The dog then remained there by the side of Amma’s camper, simply staring and wagging its tail.

“It’s not enough,” Amma said. “It is still hungry. What else can we give?”

Swamiji told Amma that there was some payasam [sweet rice pudding] in one of the other vehicles. Amma told him to get it.

Swamiji handed the payasam to Amma, and she poured it onto the plate. Swamiji then set the plate before the dog. When Swamiji was about to remove the plate, Amma again stopped him. “No, it’s not finished,” Amma said, referring to a few grains of rice remaining on the plate. “Make sure it eats it all.”

Swamiji then held the plate out for the dog who licked up the remaining grains of prasad.

Why had Amma been so concerned with this specific street dog? And why had she been so particular that he be fed on a plate and that he finish every last piece? Everyone was left with the feeling that there was something more to it than what met the eye. But only Amma knows.

Soon, someone came with word that a nice beach by the name of Dhareshwar1 was accessible through a small village road a kilometre or so back. So Amma and everyone else turned around and headed to the beach.

When they reached the beach, the villagers somehow immediately knew it was Amma. They immediately gathered around her camper. Amma came out and sat down in a chair, facing the sea. She then called all the children for darshan—about 200 of them.

When one girl named Megha came into Amma’s arms, she all but collapsed. Tears were streaming down her face. When Amma finished holding her, Amma asked her to sit by her side as she embraced the rest of the villagers.

Through her tears, the girl who is studying in the 11th standard explained that she had been praying for days that Amma would somehow come to her village.

Soon the rest of the people travelling with Amma arrived at the beach. They formed a circle around her, and Amma began singing bhajans {news}. For the next couple hours, Megha remained at Amma’s side, tears flowing from her eyes.

While Amma was singing bhajans, a few men from the village approached Swamiji. “It’s such a blessing that Amma has come to our village!” they said. “We don’t know what we have done to deserve such an auspicious thing.”

They might not know, but Amma knows.