Mata Amritanandamayi Center, Leppavirta, Finland was inaugurated on the 28th January, 2024, fulfilling the long-awaited dream of Amma’s Finnish devotees. Even with the cold weather prevailing, well-wishers arrived in a steady stream starting from Friday onwards for the event that was held on Sunday.
The premises were packed with devotees from all parts of the country. Located in the beautiful Leppavirta municipality, 340 km north-east of Helsinki, the centre will become a gathering place for Amma’s Finnish community to share her teachings of love and selfless service, and then work together on the resulting humanitarian and environmental initiatives.
Swami Shubamritananda Puri, Emissary of Amma in Europe, shared the dais with Anne Aholainen, Chairman of the Leppavirtta Municipal Council, along with Jorma Hynninen, world famous opera singer, his wife Johanna Tuomi-Hynninen, and Susanne Jarvinen, Chairperson, MA Center, Finland.
The inauguration was done by lighting the traditional lamp with Swami Shubamritananda and the guests. The event started at 10:00 in the morning with prayers for world peace and harmony. Participants from around the world joined remotely.
In her welcome address, Susanne Jarvinen expressed her immense gratitude to Amma for this blessing in the form of the centre and thanked all the volunteers who had worked night and day to make sure it was ready for the inauguration.
Speaking on the occasion, Anne Aholainen added, “The newly established MA Center reminds us of the importance of nurturing spiritual well-being. Many, lost in the rush of everyday life, are seeking peace today. In addition to our forests and waters, our municipality now has a place from which peace will hopefully flow into its surroundings.”
Swami Shubamritananda in his address stressed the importance of centres like this in today’s time that will radiate spiritual light of love and compassion when there is so much violence, tension, and strife in the world.
“Getting a centre is a big step; but it is a beginning. We need to work as a team to make sure that the objectives of the centre are fulfilled, and the society is benefitted by our presence here. Let us act as Amma’s extended hands of compassion, working for the benefit of the whole community and make this place a sanctuary of peace and harmony,” he said.
Jorma Hynninen, who was a member of the society that previously owned the property, remarked that he was greatly astonished by the significant change that had occurred in such a short time. He emphasised the importance of community and collaboration in the modern world and wished the centre all the success in its activities.
After the public event, all the devotees were graced by an inspiring interaction with Amma from Amritapuri in India via the webcast. Amma delighted them by saying a few words in the Finnish language, enquiring about the well-being of everyone, and conveying her love and hugs to all. Everyone felt surcharged receiving her blessings.
The program was followed by Swami Shubamritananda’s satsang, from which everyone received valuable advice about the path ahead for the centre. United in their hearts, the gathering then joined together to sing bhajans. The whole premises echoed with the chants of ‘Mata Rani Ki Jai’—Victory to the Divine Mother—as Swamiji concluded the set.
The Amma Finland community is immensely happy and grateful to Amma for this amazing gift that she has given them, and will be doing their best to make this a centre vibrant with peace, love, and compassion.