Amma’s 69th Birthday: A message as the world recovers from the pandemic

  • Thousands gathered in Amritapuri to celebrate, alongside thousands more via global webcast.
  • Amma shared ways on howto unite and build better lives for all peopleas we exit the pandemic.
  • Amma advised that people around the world coulddropseed balls and plantsaplings for each of their birthdays to support local ecosystems.

KOLLAM, KERALA : Thousands of people from across India and around the world gathered in Amritapuri to celebrate Amma’s 69th birthday, andthousands more joined via a global webcast. From her ashram in Kollam, Kerala, Mata Amritanandamayi Devisharedhow the world faces a choiceto transition to a better life for all after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amma advised that people can support their local environments by dropping seed balls and planting saplings on their own birthdays. In this way, hundreds of trees and plants will be sown every day, restoring balance to ecosystems on a global scale.

“What securely maintains a bridge over a river are the strong concrete pillars on the two opposite banks. The bridge of life also has two banks—birth and death. As far as human life is concerned, both these are very important events,”said Amma as she addressed the gathering.

“Unfortunately, during both these events, people are not in a state of awareness. They are unaware during these events. But even while crossing the bridge of life—in the middle—man performs his actions in a dreamlike state. If only he were to conduct himself with a little more alertness and awareness, humankind would not find itself facing the extreme challenges and perils it does now.”

Slowly as the world recovers from the health and economic impact of the pandemic, the celebrations for Amma’s birth meant people could gather to rejoice in their unity to achieve Amma’s vision to love and serve all of humanity—people of all socio-economic strata.

“When we live in this world and enjoy the delights and bounties of Nature, there is one mistake humans, consciously or unconsciously, tend to make. They forget that they have received all these as a gift from that supreme power, God. They forget the truth of Nature, the reflection of God,” said Amma.

“We forget the invincible power of Nature. Over and above all, we forget the truth of love, which is the foundation of life. We may forget God and Nature in the hustle and bustle of daily life. But we should never forget love. Because only if we have true love will God and Nature shower their blessings upon us.” Amma concluded.

The celebrations started with a Karthika Puja at 9pm the previous evening and continued on Thursday morning at 5am with various rituals and vedic chanting. Amma arrived in the main hall at 10am and Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, Amma’s most senior disciple,conducted Guru Paduka Puja. Amma then delivered her address and lead meditation and prayers for world peace. She then began giving her darshan of embracing the thousands arrived for the day.

“Love is life’s real capital. The greatest wealth that we can gain in life is also love,”

Amma concluded.

The Mata Amritanandamayi Math

Amma’s organization exists to help alleviate the burden of the poor through helping to meet each of their five basic needs—food, shelter, healthcare, education, and livelihood—wherever and whenever possible. MAM is especially focused onmeeting these needs in the aftermath of major disasters. To date, MAM has provided free medical care to more than 5.1 million people and subsidized care to another 300,000 patients—a total of ₹764 crore ($104 million US).It has also empowered 2.5 lakh women across India to earn a living through self-help groups (SHGs),built more than 47,000 houses for the homeless, provided financial aid for more than one lakh people unable to care for themselves, and giveneducational assistance to 50,000 children. Moreover, it is offering vocational-training, literacy-training, running orphanages, hospices, old-age homes, scholarship programs, planting trees, and managing environmental-protection programs. MAM has done massive reliefandrehabilitation work following the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, as well as in response to flooding in Mumbai, Gujarat, Chennai and Bihar, Uttarakhand and Jammu-Kashmir;earthquakes in Kashmir, Nepal, Haiti and Japan; cyclones in West Bengal and the Philippines; and hurricanes in the United States.

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