Dhyäyämo dhavalävagunthana vatïm Tejomayïm naisthikïm
Snigdhäpänga vilokinïm bhagavatïm
Mandasmita srï mukhïm
Vätsalyämrta varsinïm sumadhuram Samkïrttanäläpinïm
Syämängïm madhu sikta süktïm Amrtänandätmikämïsvarïm
On the morning of 30th April, AMMA landed at 5.08am at the Singapore Changi Airport on a flight from Brisbane, upon completing a two-week multi-city Australian tour the day before. Like a beautiful white flower, AMMA wafted softly into our midst, touching each and every heart with Her loving, auspicious and divine Presence. AMMA’s Singapore children felt truly blessed to receive Her once again.
The first day of AMMA’s 3-day Singapore Programme 2019 in the evening of 30th April at the Marina Bay Expo & Convention Centre witnessed an unprecedented number of people present, reflecting the widest cross section of Singapore society ever seen at AMMA’s programmes in Singapore. Excitement and anticipation pervaded the hall as devotees lined the aisles to receive AMMA. She entered to a green welcome, with over 50 women joyously waving large palm leaves that were beautifully and intricately woven.
AMMA was received on stage with the Pada Puja, the traditional worship of the Guru’s Feet following which She stood on the dais with her arms raised, to greet the thousands who were present before Her.
The evening’s proceedings continued with the silent Prayer for World Peace by AMMA and members of the Inter-Religious Organisation (IRO) from the Hindu, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Taoist, Jain, Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Bahai’i faiths respectively. This has come to be a powerful and integral point in AMMA’s Singapore Programmes, multipronged in its import – in underscoring the desperate need of the hour on a global scale, as well as the strong focus of inter-religious harmony reflected in the multiracial and multireligious landscape of Singapore, and in the teachings of AMMA.
In his welcome address, the Chairman of Amriteswari Society Mr. Rajan Menon highlighted a section of AMMA’s speech delivered at the centenary of the famous Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1993:
“The spirit of all religions is one. They share the same fundamental values. They share a common concern for the universal welfare of all beings, and an acceptance of the innate sacredness of all life … The language of religion is the language of love. But it is a language the modern world has forgotten. This is the basic cause behind all the problems that exist in the present day world. Today we know only limited selfish love. Transformation of this limited selfish love into Divine Love is the goal of religion. Within the fullness of true Love blossoms the beautiful, fragrant flower of compassion.”
Describing AMMA as a powerful role model to people of diverse age, religious and ethnic groups here in Singapore, the Chairman led listeners through the important aspects of AMMA in relation to Her early years, Singapore, Religion, Development, Nature, Love, Darshan and the Empowerment of Women (through the AmritaSREE programme) . He highlighted that AMMA’s simple yet profound message of love and service has inspired, uplifted, and united people of all nationalities and religions, awakening them to their fundamental oneness in Spirit.
In a short speech, Mr. Tony Tay – Founder of Willing Hearts, a non-profit organisation in Singapore that serves free meals to the underprivileged, commended AMMA on the tremendous work She is doing for the upliftment of humanity.
Speaking on the numerous outstanding charitable projects undertaken by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, Mr. R. Jayachandran, Singapore’s High Commisioner to the Republic of Mauritius and who also serves as Chairman of the Hindu Endowments Board, emphasised that the sum total of all the initiatives promoted by AMMA is simply mind boggling that only AMMA can achieve, defying the limitations in human endeavours.
In applying within the Singapore context AMMA’s emphasis on delivering accessible and quality education to all, the Amriteswari Society’s “Amrita Bursary” scheme was launched in 2007. 30 out of the 50 awardees this year – deserving students from Woodlands and Marsiling Secondary Schools, came up on stage to receive blessings from AMMA and were presented their bursaries by the Special Guests – Mr. Tony Tay, Mr. R. Jayachandran, Mr. Foo Say Thye and Mr. Dalip Kumar Seth, all of whom have been, in their own distinct ways, dedicated supporters of AMMA’s Singapore Programmes over the years.
In the next part of the event, representatives from the Society’s Bala Kendra, Youth Wing and Women’s Wing received microgreen seeds and blessings from AMMA to signify their formal launch of the “Grow Your Own Microgreens” Initiative. The inter-generational representation served to emphasise a collective and harmonious approach to connecting with Nature and to strive, with AMMA’s blessings and guidance, to transcend limitations of time, space, age and lifestyle so that we may succeed in growing and consuming our own microgreens without being contaminated by chemical fertilisers and pesticides in our own homes.
Copies of the 2019 Souvenir Book titled “Amritanubhavam” (Sanskrit for “Blissful Experience”) were next blessed by AMMA and presented to each of the Special Guests to launch it. Its launch formally marked the 32nd year of Amma’s international journeys that began with Singapore in 1987. The Book that contains a special message by AMMA, highlights Her life, work and teachings through enlightening articles as well as a special section titled “Reflections on AMMA” that conveys the many ways in which She has touched the lives of Her Singapore children.
The formal ceremony was followed by AMMA’s Satsang during which She gave a profound message on the aspects of life today that distract, divide and endanger our own lives and the lives of others. AMMA said that the fast-paced lives that people lead today have resulted in the loss of positive human qualities such as love, compassion and self-confidence. Human beings are caught up in the high speed of life, but are unaware of the larger purpose of life and have forgotten about care for fellow human beings, the environment, Mother Nature and of culture. She urged everyone present not to get so totally entrapped by material pursuits, that they fail to acknowledge that the planet is in a dire situation and that urgent steps need to be taken to mitigate the dangers. AMMA pointed out that however important science and technology may be, they will never be able to replace our humanity.
AMMA stressed the importance of following the code of conduct – dharma, and of helping one another with the understanding that even though human beings may differ externally, at the very core each is a manifestation of the one creator. In effect, there is no difference between the creator and the created.
AMMA asked us to search for happiness not from the external world, but to find it within ourselves. She highlighted that the path to achieving this is Spirituality, providing us with guidance on how to remain focussed on this path. Asking Her devotees to strengthen the Love and Faith within them, She pointed out that the law of the universe and of life, is selflessness. AMMA emphasised that through positive thoughts and right actions, good karma is earned and thus life becomes a celebration.
Through Her bhajans that followed, AMMA kept one and all focussed and enchanted, while raising us to higher states of bliss. The guided meditation session by AMMA held us in that state of bliss and peace. Ending with the “Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu” Prayer for World Peace, AMMA then began embracing each person who went up to Her. This Darshan continued until 4am the next morning with the last person present.
Over the next 2 days, AMMA continued to tirelessly provide solace and uplift all who came to Her. On all the 3 days, She radiated total Peace and Supreme Love.
The 3-day Programme included bhajans by Swamijis, ashramites and the Amriteswari Society’s bhajan group. The Society’s various groups – Bala Kendra, Youth Wing (AYUDH), Music and Dance Groups presented spiritual, arts and cultural offerings to AMMA.
With 2019 designated as Singapore’s Year Towards Zero Waste, AMMA’s Singapore Programme undertook conscious measures through various Green Initiatives, in the direction of sustainable and compassionate living. Steps were taken to reuse and recycle material, and to reduce food waste as well as the use of plastic. The Programme also saw new initiatives in other areas. In the Food Zone, the “Sponsor the Cost of Food” and “Pay it Forward” schemes brought about accessibility and lower costs for everyone. In the sphere of Publicity, 2019 saw digital screen displays for the very first time, of our AMMA 2019 video at 53 MRT Stations all around Singapore. Additionally, the Publicity campaign was marked by the total integration of the website and social media platforms.
On the 2nd of May which was the final day of AMMA’s Programme, the queue for Devi Bhava darshan began forming by around 2.30pm. Volunteers devoted themselves to setting up the hall, arranging chairs and assisting the thousands of devotees who had gathered.
AMMA arrived at 7pm and performed the much-awaited Atma Puja ceremony for World Peace. Thereafter, AMMA in Her Devi Bhava, embraced lovingly each one of the unending stream of Her children until 8am the following day.
AMMA’s Singapore Programme concluded on the morning of 3rd May to the reverberant calls of ‘Mata Rani Ki Jai’!
When Mother departed for India that evening, each person felt the impact of Her absence immediately.
Amriteswari Society is eternally grateful to Mother for the privilege of organising Her Programmes in Singapore for the past 32 years. Indeed, AMMA’s very first international Programme was held here in Singapore in May 1987 over two days at – Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple, Sri Srinivasa Perumal Temple, Sri Narayana Mission and Sri Krishnan Temple. It was an unprecedented, eye–opening and heart warming experience for each and every person present.
As we put our hearts and souls into continuing to do the work that AMMA has given us the opportunity to perform with Her Grace, Love and Guidance, we have come to understand that we must never take for granted Her visits to us.
It is through our dedicated prayers as well as our loving actions that we may seek our Beloved AMMA’s Sankalpa to be blessed with Her Presence – for ourselves, for those around us and those several thousands earnestly wanting to seek Blessings, Peace and Comfort in our dearest AMMA’s Arms.
AUM AMRITESWARYAI NAMAH
In AMMA’s Service