The Mata Amritanandamayi Math at Amritapuri is diligently preparing to initiate more than 260 disciples. Long-time disciples will be receiving initiation into either formal brahmcharya or sannyasa ashram. The initiation ceremonies will begin on Friday, March 13, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., at the math’s headquarters in Amritapuri with a special Vedic homa, marking a divine and radiant new beginning.
Along with senior sannyasa disciples of the math, Sadguru Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi will personally grace the ceremony. Amma will formally give the newly initiated their sannyasa and brahmacharya names, which is an integral part of this ancient tradition.
More than 200 disciples will be initiated into formal brahmacharya, and more than 50 others will be initiated into sannyasa—the ancient monastic system of India.
Due to the unfortunate threat of coronavirus, acknowledging the efforts by government and other organisations to tackle the problem, the Initiation ceremony will be restricted to ashramites. Visitors will not be allowed to attend. The math regrets any inconvenience caused.
Initiation into sannyasa is only given to those who have undergone decades of spiritual training under Amma, who have understood and are living the teachings of Amma, and who have gained profound and knowledge of Vedanta and the other sagacious Indian philosophical systems. Indian as well as foreign brahmacharis and brahmacharini disciples are getting ready for the big ceremony. This will be the first such initiation ceremony by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math in 22 years.
The Mata Amritanandamayi Math belongs to the “Puri” order of the 10 monastic lineages established by Jagadguru Sri Adi Sankaracharya. Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri is the senior-most sannyasi disciple of Amma, having received initiation in 1989. Following Swamiji, dozens of other Indian and foreign disciples also received initiation.
Sannyasis will take ochre-coloured robes, symbolic of the inner fire of self-sacrifice. Apart from the sannyasis, Amma is also initiating disciples into formal brahmacharya. These disciples will take yellow-coloured robes, indicating the beginning of that fire of renunciation. Formal brahmacharis and brahmacharinis will have new names ending with “Chaitanya,” meaning “consciousness.”
Prior to initiation into sannyasa, one concludes all karmas and obligatory duties, severs all relationships and conducts own’s own funeral rites. Through Viraja Homa, the initiate removes all symbols of brahmacharya ashrama—such as sikha [hair tuft] and yajnopavitam [sacred thread]. The individual then receives initiation into sannyasa and takes up the ochre robes. Thus, one becomes ordained into the most ancient monastic lineage of great sages and monks. As per the most supreme view envisioned by the Vedas—atmano mokshartham jagat hitaya ca—the sannyasi thereafter lives, exclusively for liberation and to uplift the world.
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