Amma in America !
JUNE 6, 2017: The first Indian-American U.S. Congresswoman, Pramila Jayapal, was one of thousands of people on hand to welcome spiritual leader and humanitarian Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) to the United States on her 30thAnniversary tour of the country. Jayapal, who was elected to the US Congress as a representative of the Washington State 7th District in November 2016, praised Amma as “a voice of conscience and compassion.”
“Amma’s message seems more important than ever beforein these difficult and chaotic times when so much around us seems uncertain,when so much hate is exploding around us, and too many use their power forpersonal gain and without compassion for those who are the most vulnerable,”said Pramila.
The 52-year-old Congresswoman was born in Chennai toparents who hail from Palakkad, Kerala, Amma’s native state.Pramila left India when she was five and was raised in Indonesia and Singapore.
“Amma’s work reminds us that our own actions cangalvanize change and that we must take our own practice of compassion into allarenas. She has challenged the seeming norm, time and time again, to stand upfor what is right, and her life and work is about using our own power—our ownlove and compassion—to do the same,” Pramila said.
Addressing the gathering, the world-renowned spiritualleader and humanitarian Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma)extoledselfless love as the one truly uplifting power. “Without love, there is nolife. Without love, there is no scope for service in any field whatsoever,”Amma said. “If we tie a stone to a pigeon’s neck, it will not be able to fly.Currently we have tied the heavy stone of attachment to the neck of the bird ofour love within. It is therefore unable to soar into the vast sky of freedom.With the chains of blind attachment to ‘I’ and ‘mine,’ we have tied down thelove within us,” she said.
Amma’s arrival in Seattle marked the commencement ofthe spiritual leader’s 30th annual tour of the United States. “Amma was firstinvited to the U.S. in 1987, and she has come every year since,” said SwamiAmritaswarupananda, the Vice President of Mata Amritanandamayi Math. “Afterthat first invitation came, Amma told us, ‘My children are not just in Indiabut throughout the world. They are crying for Amma, but cannot find me. So, Imust go to them.’ The rest is history.”
Amma’s North American Tour will conclude on July10th in Toronto. Each of its stops finds Amma leading attendees in guidedmeditation, devotional singing and prayers for world peace. Each programme alsoincludes a spiritual talk by Amma, wherein she offers practical solutions forpersonal fulfilment, as well as guidance on how society can face the mostpressing challenges of our time. Programme attendees also get the opportunityto receive Amma’s darshan—a spiritual blessing in the form of amotherly embrace.
Amma will visit 11 locations during the US tour:Seattle, the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, Santa Fe, Dallas, Chicago,Atlanta, the New York Metropolitan Area, New England, Washington D.C. andToronto. Programs are free and open to the public.
Prior to her US trip, Amma spent three days giving darshan inTokyo, Japan. Among several dignitaries present at the programmes, there wasMinister of the Indian Embassy, Mr. Avinash Sharma. Addressing the gathering,Mr. Sharma expressed his gratitude to Amma. “Amma has been a guiding spirit allover the world and her charitable institutions have been carrying out a vastnumber of activities not only in India but abroad also. Amma’s NGO, Embracingthe World, has been deeply associated with works here in Japan too. May Ammacontinue to spread her message of love and peace,” he said.