An evening with Amma

27 Apr

This is a mail that I had sent after visiting Amma,aka Amruthananda Mai . Decided to post it as a blog.
On June 16 2005, we drove to San Ramon to visit Amma. We went to visit her especially after hearing about her philanthropic nature and all the good deeds that she has done and ofcourse to get a nice hug too.:-) .Reached that place around 7:45PM . When we entered the temple, there were volunteers to assist us as we were first-timers .The temple was packed with people and we were given tokens in 600 range. Yes, the tokens do start from 1 incase anyone has doubts.There were lot of Americans and few indians too. Interestingly, many of them seemed to be very normal people with children who we see in our day-to-daylife .Ofcourse, there were the usual bunch of “hippies” with atrocious hair styles and dancing without inhibitions during the bhajans.
The programme started with a lady who talked about Amma and some general philosophy. Nice to hear. Then Amma gave a talk about attachment to God and detachment from family etc. They were the regular preachings given by all the saints. I guess reading these preachings really help when you are tyring to figure out your sufferings.OK, dont want to talk about philosophy and spirituality etc.Around 9:00PM, they started singing bhajans. As we know, our lord Ganesh has the utmost priority and so he took the credit for the first few bhajans followed by others. Amma sang most of the songs including an english song . I sang some of the songs as I love singing songs and that too bhajans .The last song was on Amma parameshwari, devi etc.Since the song has lot of Amma words in it ( being a Durga Devi song) , the crowd became very enchanted and lot of people started singing. I think people thought they were singing about this Amma though actually this Amma was singing about God Amma !!. I had a nice time singing bhajans with leg-tapping while Suresh tried to accompany with a falsetto now and then. Around 10:00, once the bhajans ended, they took aarathi of Amma and sang some song written just for her .I enjoyed everything till then. I think it is still tough for a logical mind to think of someone as God incarnate .
After that, she started the darshan, which is basically hugging. One really needs to appreciate her vitality and energy in hugging millions of people. She goes on hugging without a break till the last person in line is blessed. Mostly, it goes on till 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning.
But, we were under special need category as I had undergone treatment and was not able to sustain the waiting. To top it, first timers always get the highest priority . Hence, we were given a place right next to her and a chance to hug as soon as she started the darshan. Tissue papers were given to wipe our face before hugging her.There were interpreters to translate as Amma speaks only Malayalam and can understand Tamil. Since he had to defend his proclaimation of knowing Malayalam,Suresh was trying to form a sentence in Malayalam atleast an hour before the hugging, but was too dumbstruck on getting close .Suresh got a hug first and then we got a family hug where she hugged both of us together and whispered something in Tamil in our ears as we had announced our mother tongue as tamil.
Here comes the most interesting part…
She said “Amma Pillai, Chella Pillai” while hugging us. The ever exuberant Suresh heard it as “Mapillai , Chella Pillai” and was jumping up and down on coming out proclaiming that he is Amma’s “Mapillai” . We were each given a “viboothi packet” and a ” hershey’s kisses chocolate”. But, I think I got extra blessing ‘coz when she hugged me, somehow, I got distinct chandan paste on my forehead and no one else got it. Maybe, it was on her saree and stuck to my forehead. Anyway, I consider that a good omen . Bottomline, we had never seen any saint in our life so far..It was an interesting experience for both of us .


Posted by on April 27, 2006 in From AM-KICKING blog, Humor.. or not?


5 responses to “An evening with Amma

  1. Anonymous

    April 28, 2006 at 12:43 am

    In Suresh’s defence, even I hear it as Mapillai.. I was puzzled for a while..
    Tho’ on the other hand I don’t claim to be an expert in Malayalam πŸ˜‰

  2. Mindframes

    April 28, 2006 at 3:56 am

    anonymous karthi ! you should first create a proper account…:)..

    I was quite thrilled about visiting Amma… But then, to my rational mind, I cudnt accept certain actions. Given that Amma has performed a lot of good acts for humanity and also serves as a symbol of equality, she has my respect.

    I still think she said “Mappillai”…;)

  3. sdpal

    April 28, 2006 at 2:36 pm

    Wonderful narration and very funny.
    There are certain things, which you never get bored, inspite of hearing many times. This story is one of them!
    Btw, if mindframes is jumping up-and-down for “Mapillai”, shouldnt survivor jump, as she is the “daughter!”.
    Mindframes.. why would she say “Mappillai ?”.. πŸ™‚
    “Amma pillai” seems more appropriate. Anyhow, I wasnt there and cant comment on it.
    Does she say “(Am)mapillai chella pillai” to everyone ? I thought, you guys were special to get that blessing.

  4. Survivor

    April 28, 2006 at 5:28 pm

    I think she says “Amma pillai ,chella pillai” while hugging only to people who know Tamil .

  5. BrainWaves

    May 1, 2006 at 5:34 am

    I laughed out loud then and laughed now too. It was very funny narration without trying too hard.

    Some series of thoughts came to my mind too, but I could not put it coherently here 😦


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