AUM AMRITESWARYAI NAMAH
Waves of love and harmony touched Singapore’s shores again through the presence of Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), whose recent visit marked the 31st anniversary of Her international travels that began with this island city. Since then, Amma has returned year after year – comforting, uplifting and transforming Her Singapore children.
Amma’s three-day 2018 Programme in Singapore was held between March 26th and 28th at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. The powerful love, harmony and selfless service that form the crux of the life and teachings of the exemplary humanitarian, visionary and global spiritual leader – Amma, was experienced by tens of thousands of people from Singapore and other parts of the world, who attended the three-day public event organised by Amriteswari Society Singapore.
Amma provided much-needed solace and inspiration through Her enlightening spiritual discourses, meditation sessions, soul-stirring bhajans (devotional singing) and Her darshan (embrace). During the many hours that She was seated on stage, tirelessly embracing each person who came up to Her, the peace, comfort and healing that She provided was palpable.
The event opened on March 26th morning with a rousing welcome for Amma through dance movements and the rhythmic striking of traditional dandiya/kolattam sticks to the Krishna bhajan Chilanka Ketti Odi Odi Vaayo by over 60 members of Amriteswari Society. Each strike of the sticks in hand symbolised the reaffirmation of love and gratitude for Beloved Amma, as well as their commitment towards imbibing and practising Her globally revered and life-transforming teachings. The members, ranging from the ages of 18 to 80, came together in this joyous Sankirtana celebration, as the Gopis of Vrindavan, seeking to transform the earthly joys of life into a sublime offering of love and devotion at the feet of Sri Krishna.
Following the Pada Puja, Amma stood on the dais, with raised arms and loving smile, to greet all Her children gathered. She then guided the first meditation of the Programme that was true panacea for suffering bodies and hearts. Meditation was followed by Amma’s Darshan that continued late into the night.
Despite having travelled an arduous 15 hours by road following Her Programmes in Kuala Lumpur and Penang, and arriving in Singapore only at midnight, Amma exuded immense love, peace and compassion.
The magnificent opening of the Ceremony on the evening of March 27th witnessed 9 members of the Inter-Religious Organisation of Singapore (representing the Hindu, Zoroastrian, Buddhist, Taoist, Christian, Jain, Muslim, Bahai and Sikh communities respectively) united on stage with Beloved Amma, in a silent prayer for world peace and harmony. This powerful participation underscored Amma’s message of interfaith harmony, a profound aspect of Singapore’s Society.
In a welcome speech delivered in Amma’s Presence, the Chairman of Amriteswari Society Sri Rajan Menon said, “Within multicultural and multireligious Singapore, Amma is a powerful magnet who draws to Her, people from diverse age, religious and ethnic groups. When you are moving blindly through the valley of life, stumbling in darkness, you need the help of someone who has eyes. You need a Guru. To follow one who is enlightened is the only way out of the great muddle that has been created in the world. We are indeed very blessed to have in our lifetime the person like our Beloved Amma to be our very unique and wonderful Satguru.”
Aligning with the Programme’s Krishna theme, the 2018 Souvenir Book that was blessed and released by Amma on this second day of the Programme, was titled Krishnaamritam. The Book highlights Amma’s life, work and teachings through illuminating articles as well as a special section on aspects of Amma’s impact in Singapore, especially on Her Singapore children. Its launch formally marked the 31st year of Amma’s international journeys that began with Singapore in 1987.
The same evening, Amma blessed close to 50 young students from a Government Secondary School who received the Amriteswari Society’s Amrita Bursary.
Rapturous singing of bhajans by Amma, that preceded Her Darshan, transported everyone present to higher realms.
During the three days, bhajans were also sung by the Swamijis and ashramites, as well as by Amriteswari Society’s bhajan group. The Society’s music and dance groups presented their artistic offerings before Amma.
On the third and final day of Amma’s Programme, volunteers set to work in the late afternoon, immediately after the end of Her morning Darshan, preparing the hall for the highlight of Amma’s Programme in the evening, when many thousands more would gather – for Amma’s Discourse followed by Atma Puja and Devi Bhava.
Amma, resplendent in Her striking orange saree with gold border during Devi Bhava Darshan, imparted the deepest Peace, Joy, Love and Compassion on each one She embraced. The Programme culminated with Amma showering rose petals on Her each and every child the next morning. She left them touched by Her immense Presence and Love, and yearning for Her to bless them yet again with Her return.
It is to receive Amma’s motherly embrace, and to be uplifted by Her love and compassion that tens of thousands of people throng to Amma’s Programme in Singapore each year.
For over three decades now, members of Amriteswari Society have worked together under the loving guidance of Amma and in a spirit of meticulous collaboration, to nurture the event in Singapore that has grown consistently from an attendance of about a thousand people in 1987, into one that attracts close to 40,000 people each year – of diverse age, religious and ethnic groups.
They hold on dearly to Amma’s very first message to Her Singapore children in 1987 ~
“Ah, my children dearest sweetest
You are the essence of Divinity,
Grow great in that awareness,
Realise and be that Truth”
“We at Amriteswari Society Singapore remain forever grateful to our Beloved Amma for giving us this golden opportunity to grow and transform in this precious human existence. Aum Namah Shivaya”