kuchela of sriranga-pattinam

23 mar, bharata yatra 2009, sriranga pattinam, karnataka

en route to bangalore from mysore, we stopped at sriranga-pattinam for lunch. it was sangama of kaveri river. its a beautiful place; the river flowing around the tip of the land, big banyan trees shading the banks, serene atmosphere of the temple, chanting of the mantras by people doing the rituals for their ancestors…

amma came and sat on the steps leading down to the river. she sat on the very uppermost step. people rushed to get a seat near amma as always. sometimes i see that the old adage is true after all: love is blind. love for amma makes our eyes blind to the surroundings.  in their rush to be near amma, some of the devotees accompanying the tour knocked down the small table of an old man who was selling puja items there. 3, 4 small bottles of sweets, nuts, a few coconuts, betel leaf, arecanut.. all that you can fit in to a big-shopper bag.
this was on the right side. on the left there was a coconut seller. the tour group nearly sat down on top of his stand in their eagerness to be near to amma.
amma was there for over an hour. we had lunch, storytelling and bhajan before we left. as she was leaving, amma asked that 100 rs be given to the seller of puja items, saying that his business was blocked for nearly 2 hours by the group’s presence.  but the coconut man?? our people have bought a lot of coconuts, so he didn’t need a bonus.

lingappa, the old man in his seventies, wearing half a dothi and a torn banyan, and eking out barely a living selling puja items on the banks of the river here, was amazed by the amount of money he was given without selling anything at all.

lingappa came forward to amma with a coconut, betel leaf and an arecanut and presented them to amma. you do that when you see a mahatma, or any one great. and when you are giving some thing to the greatest giver on this earth. it will come back to you in manyfold.


receiving his gifts, amma immediately said to give another 500 rs to him, and gave darshan to him before she got up from her seat.
after amma got into the camper and drove away, the devotees accompanying amma on the tour made their way back to the buses. having witnessed the scene between amma and lingappa unfold, they also felt they should give something. many gave the old man 50 or 100 rs as they passed.

i am sure he cannot forget this beautiful day and blessing he  received.

to me, he was reflecting the culture of india. even if you don’t have anything, you still give like the kuchela of bhagavata. that was the wealth india had. seeing today’s scene unfold, my heart was saying victory to india and her culture who taught this attitude of giving.

~ dhyanamrita


unforgettable celebration

17 mar, chavakkad – bharata yatra 2009

its always a surprise with amma. on the way to mananthavadi, amma stopped at the chavakkad amrita vidyalayam for lunch. the rest of the caravan was yet to come. imagine what happened there?

the school was in session.  it was the teachers who came out to amma first. they came out of the class rooms to amma’s car.
amma asked them to go back to the classes. she went to a shady are in the school playground and sat there. the children were very much excited to see amma. they started coming out of the classroom to the veranda on all 3 floors, waving to amma. amma told them in a kind of sign language that she will see them later. children are always assertive, creative… they started chanting ‘om amriteswaryai namah’ with love. you could feel it. amma was restless, because of their ‘pull’. she said ‘call them ‘ and you know what happened?

they started coming in line from each class. amma gave them each a sweet and  made them sit around her. some children started to attract her attention by singing bhajans. around 2000 kids came, from 1st standard to 12th standard.

it was a time of jubilant celebration for all. at the end, amma started to sing ‘devi devi devi jaganmohini’. the children responded by clapping. amma wanted to see all of them, but she could not do so from the chair. so she stood up on the  chair, continuing to lead “samsara sagaram taranam cheyyuvan neraya margam kattane devi.

it was an unforgettable day for all the children and the teachers for sure. and for us too, because it was the first time amma ever visited any school during  class hours.

~ dhyanamrita


special cashew & kabadi with amma

8 march 2009, enroute tiruvalla to amritapuri

it was special but not a surprise.
on the way back from tiruvalla programme, amma visited an old house. it has not been painted for years, not modified for the last 30 years at least. situated on the side of the main road,  this is one of the houses amma used to visit in the early days.
the mother of the house, who is in her sixties, welcomed amma and did padapuja. she poured milk, curd, ghee.. chanting her mantra. and in excitement she forgot to wash amma’s legs at the end. since i was assisting her, i had to pour water and insist her to wash them.

in their puja room, pictures of early days with amma, amma in krishna bhava–were all there.

this lady of the house used to bring for amma boiled kappa, chembu, kachil, all root items,  whenever she came to the ashram. now here at the house she has prepared the same for amma. we also had our own healthy portions. it was really tasty… especially after the whole night program and empty stomachs even at 12 noon.

kakkanad house

after talking to the family amma came out to the courtyard. amma started explaining

“this is the ground where i used play kabadi*1 with this mole (daughter).” that square-sized court yard seemed to rejoice once again in the memories…

there was a cashew tree standing in the courtyard. it had full of ripe mangos. the nut is attached outside to the mango. the mango is juicy and good to eat when ripe. seeing the ripe mango, my first thought was to give this one to amma. but how can i reach. lo… suddenly one mango just falls next to me. i tried to blow off the sand, took inside to wash.
amma with kakkanad cashew
i gave that to amma. amma asked for a knife and started to cut into pieces.

seeing  the ripe ones on the top, my childhood vasanas rose up. i picked up a stone and flung it upward into the topmost branches. i got one. took another stone, and another one fell. seeing that, swamiji joined. he took a stick and tossed it up in the air. it went miles away from the mango. my next two or 3 throws didn’t bring any result.  this time we were together in the throw, aiming at the same mango, and two mangoes fell at the same time. swamiji claimed he did it. i accepted it. anyway the mangoes were for amma. and amma had got a knife and started cutting the mangoes into pieces…

the amusement didn’t last long. the onlookers, people from the road came in to see amma.


1. (kabadi is played as follows: two teams occupy opposite halves of a field and take turns sending a “raider” into the other half, in order to win points by tapping or wrestling members of the opposing team; the raider then tries to return to his own half, holding his breath during the whole raid.)


amma did it, she did it here

18 feb, bharata yatra 2009, mangalore

amma did it; she did it here in mangalore. ‘navu ega manas puja madona‘ amma said on the microphone. it was kannada language, asking every one to start manas puja now. and you know what people did? they started clapping.  ‘elleu kannu muchikondu bennu nettagai madikondu kulithukolli” – all of you close your eyes, sit erect with spine straight –  again they clapped aloud.
yes. amma was leading devotees in manasa puja in mangalore right after the bhajans and satsang.
amma’s voice becomes like that of a child’s. she led every one step by step visualizing the form of devi, decorating her, doing puja to devi’s feet, visualizing each and every part clear in the mind…. and then to the arati.

i have mentioned earlier (read here) looking at the enthusiasm of amma speaking manasa puja in tamil, that i was sure that amma will soon do it in other languages too.

she did it here in mangalore for the first time in kannada.

i know that the children of other languages can wait patiently for the day amma will speak on the mic in their language. good things come to those who wait 🙂

~ dhyanamrita


God s own language

29 jan 2009, Bharata Yatra

it started in coimbatore this time. amma started to speak tamil on the microphone. she used to speak tamil long long ago during the devibhava darshan in the early days, even though it was not her mother tongue. but not otherwise.
now, amma was leading the manasapuja step by step here on the mic.

when amma spoke in tamil, asking people to sit straight and close their eyes, they started clapping!

when amma spoke, she sounded like a small child – very sweet and innocent. many were crying listening to amma speak in their mother tongue. the same went on in neyveli, chennai, madurai and in kanyakumari.

i also saw a few devotees recording the manasapuja on to their cellphones. now they can do the manasapuja daily listening to amma’s voice in their mother tongue.

i am sure that amma will now extent this manasa puja into other languages – kannada, hindi, telugu, gujarati, bengali, french, german, spanish, italian and what not.

amma is love; love can speak any language

~ dhyanamrita


musical chennai

23 jan, chennai – bharata yatra 2009

it was always a problem of space in chennai. too many people come to see amma in tooo little space. but there is space for everyone in amma.
lot of politicians, film actors, musicians came to see amma apart from the general public. the musicians not only had darshan, they made every one the taste a bit of rasa they received from amma.

famous play back singers ks chitra and chinmayi sang beautiful bhajans. umayalpuram k sivaram was the next. he did a solo in karnatic percussion instrument mridungam for about 20 minutes. everyone was thrilled by his skills, speed and perfection. such a grace is flowing though his fingers. when he went for darshan amma gave her rosewood bangles and put it on his hands.

next day it was violin concerts by kum. kanyakumari and then by lalgudi jr krishnan. oh ! that was superb. you cant say who is outstanding whether the violinist krishnan or the mrudangist vaidhyanathan or the the one who played ghatam – the mud pot- karthik. for about 2 hours they were entertaining the ears and the hearts of chennaites. – even those who dont understand the karnatic classicals.

at the end it was Amma with “jhoppadi” and “mata rani” rocked the hall.

there is a saying ‘sisurvethi pasur vethi vethi ganarasam phani‘ – baby knows, animals knows, lord siva knows the taste of good music. with amma every one enjoys.

~ dhyanamrita


uncharacteristic tamil

19 jan, neyveli, tamil nadu – bharata yatra 2009

the industrial city of neyveli welcomed amma. this was amma’s first visit to the city.
the crowds have been very quiet. even though it was big, they sat through the satsangs and bhajans and waited patiently for darshan. this rarely happened in amma’s programmes in tamil nadu. remember last year amma herself asked every one to sit quiet during her satsang in coimbatore.

here it was so quiet. quiet uncharacteristic of tamil.  many were seeing amma for the first time and they were in tears.

neyveli is famous for its wealth of lignite mining and one of the biggest open mines in the world. The two mines 16.9, and 26 in area. neyveli lignite corporation (NLC) Started in 1956, now, NLC is emerged as a leading mining and power company.  more than 2500 mega watts thermal power is generated from this plant. the general manager manager of the company ansari came and prayed to amma that the plant should grow to be one of best in the world and asked amma to bless all the employees of NLC.

i am sure that with  the blessings of Amma and the selfless leadership, NLC will achieve the heights.

~ dhyanamrita


one who takes across the ocean

18 jan, bhavani, bharata yatra 2009

bhavani is always fascinating. i had written about it before {click ere to read}. this time it was all different. amma reached after the tour group. the water in the river was full. amma sat on the banks and straight away took the mike and asked her children to narrate some spiritual stories. in between the stories amma added pearls of wisdom to the stories – giving more depth of spiritually to the stories.

myself and kannan walked around with camera trying to capture those beautiful moments with amma at this pilgrimage center against the beauty of the river.

suddenly i was informed that amma is going to go in a boat into the river. wow! i was excited. asked a boatman to let amma use the boat which he happily agreed. these are special boats which weigh about 3 kg, made out of bamboo sticks and tarpaulin with a tar coating at the bottom.

the boats look like big bowl with a diameter about 2 meters, can hold 5 people inside.

amma entered in to the boat. taking oar into her hands she started rowing. the boat man was puzzled. he had his oar. started to help out amma. the boat started spinning around. i explained to the boat man that amma is familiar with the boat, and she knows how to row. so dont worry. but the boat man was reluctant to let amma row.

amma rowed into the river for some time. the sun had already set. the night began to fall. it was sooo beautiful to watch amma rowing with a pause in between. the 500 odd members of the group stood wonderstruck at the banks of the river.

when amma reach back at the bank, everyone clapped in joy.

does any one realizes that this is the one who can take humans across the ocean of samsara?

മർത്യരെ സംസാര വാരിധിക്കക്കരെ എത്തിച്ചിടും ഭവതാരിണിയംബികേ …
marthyre samsara varidhikkare ethichidum bhavatarini ambike…

~ dhyanamrita


stop at the university

15 jan, bharata yatra 2009, ettimadai

it was not scheduled. nothing in amma’s life is scheduled. amma says that her life is like that of a river. she is just flowing the way she wants with her own undisclosed plans.

so here also the same thing happened. on the way to coimbatore, amma went straight to the swimming pool of the university. its an olympic standard pool, one of the best in south india.

the blue water reflected the western ghats.  amma walked alone to the other side of the pool, sat there on the steps. the group joined amma after few minutes. we had satsang and bhajans. when amma announced that its time to go, every one had a sigh  ‘ohhh’. because it was sooo sweet.
but amma has to start the program the next day. its getting late.

~ dhyanamrita


inner coolness

13- 14 jan 2009, Bharata Yatra 2009, Kodungallur

on the 12th  evening amma arrived at amrita vidyalayam, kodungullar. amma stayed there.  the ashram is about one kilometer away.

i saw an old man, who was supposed to be at amrita university for an ugc inspection – but was here. i asked him why he was here.”  “this is the place amma initiated me to a mantra, and the lalita sahasranama. how can i forget?” this is the bond the old timers have with kodungullur. remember, in those days, the brahmasthanam festival was for 9 days, with 5 archanas of 1000 names of devi chanted 5 times daily + bhajans and satsangs. so many old people were greeting me. for many, being here with amma, is like arriving at the ‘taravadu’ – like coming home to the family house (like the great grand parents house where the whole family, all generations come together). its nice.

a family arrived form germany, joined the amma group here. it was -18 degrees in germany, here it is 35 degrees. hoowowow….!! a difference of 50 degrees in a day!!! they dont know whether to sit, or stand or to pour water on their heads…  but love for amma makes it cool.

in fact the scriptures talks about “antha: sheetalima” – inner coolness that a sadhak experiences as he progress in sadhana. that is the measurement of ones progress. when we uncover our amma/guru inside our hearts we will experience that coolness for sure.

~ dhyanamrita