Global News

Updates from Summer Tour 2017

Amma is now touring in North America

SEATTLE

Amma began her 30th North American Yatra with three days of programs in Bellevue, Washington, USA.

Amma went directly from the airport to the Pacific Northwest Center where she served lunch while devotees told spiritual stories and jokes.
Much has changed in the past year since the Center was first formed. There is a beautiful garden, a meditation path, and work has just begun on a number of orchards on the 5-acre.

On the second day of programs, Br. Dayamrita Chaitanya acknowledged Amma’s 30th anniversary and asked for a show of hands of all who were there in the first year. Those who raised their hands received a hearty round of applause from all the program attendees. He went on to note that while many of us have traveled far to come see Amma, it is in fact Amma who has been coming to see the devotees, traveling more than 8,000 miles around the world to do so, year after year.

On the morning of the third day, US Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal welcomed Amma. In her remarks, Rep. Jayapal said, “Amma’s message seems more important than ever before in 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 for personal gain and without compassion for those who are most vulnerable.” Rep. Jayapal is the first Indian-American to serve as a member of the United States Congress.

There were also numerous cultural performances, including a play depicting the scene of Krishna lifting the mountain Govardhan.

At the start of the Atma Puja for World Peace, Amma blessed two Rhododendron plants (the official state flower of Washington), which will be planted at the Pacific Northwest Center.

M.A.CENTER, SAN RAMON, CA

At MA Center in San Ramon, California, in honor of the 30th anniversary of Amma coming to the Bay Area and to the United States, devotees held a special ceremony commemorating the moment.
On stage for the occasion were Ron Gottsegen, MA Center President, and Kusuma Gretchen Venkatesh, who organized Amma’s first world tour in 1987, traveling the world in 1986 and 1987 before Amma had ever left India, with just an 8 mm videotape of Amma and her own experiences of living with Amma in the then-very small Amritapuri Ashram. Also on stage were a number of devotees who had met Amma as babies or very small children, and are now grown adults.

Ron Gottsegen opened the ceremony, saying, “Tonight has special significance because it marks a special occasion. his year marks the 30th anniversary of Amma coming to North America. It began in 1986 when Amma told her disciples, ‘My children are everywhere. They are crying for Amma, but cannot find me. Amma must go to them.’ And thus, Amma began her first World Tour, landing at San Francisco International Airport on May 18, 1987–30 years ago.

Speaking on behalf of those who have grown up with Amma, Neela (a young devotee) shared,“Amma’s dream for humanity is a simple one: That people will be able to eat to their fill. That there will be a day without violence. That individuals will be able to sleep without fear. And for her children to serve the poor and needy.

“Regardless of when we met Amma, in honor of Amma’s presence here, we can recommit to instilling even our most mundane interactions with this spirit of compassion, Amma’s very spirit. We can reach out to those who are suffering, be a kind presence of others, and reduce our own violent tendencies. Just as Amma sees all of creation as her own, we can see the world as our family."

Then, a procession of devotees who met Amma on that first visit to the United States in 1987 offered flower petals as a token of their appreciation, and on behalf of all the assembled crowd, to Amma. They also brought two saplings to Amma to be blessed, invoking Amma’s own words, “May the tree of our life be firmly rooted in the soil of love. May good deeds be the leaves on that tree. May words of kindness form its flowers, and may peace be its fruit. Let us grow and unfold as one family united in love.”

Chicago

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