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Love your neighbour as yourself: Christmas in Amritapuri  

Amma with children
Amma expressed that Jesus continues to live to this day in the hearts of devotees all over the world.

Key Points

  • Amma’s Christmas message emphasised the universal message of love embodied by Jesus, inspiring us to see all people as neighbours and embrace a path of compassion and selfless service. She encouraged humanity to transcend duality and recognise the common essence of all religions—love.
  • Christmas Eve in Amritapuri marked a return to pre-pandemic levels, drawing people from India and around the world who hadn’t seen Amma since 2019. The festive atmosphere was heightened by a diverse stage show that included a visit from Santa Claus and performances reflecting various cultures.  
  • Amma concluded with a call to adorn the “holy manger of our hearts” with qualities like love, compassion, patience, and self-surrender. She encouraged everyone to invite God into their hearts, especially to strive for peace and harmony in a world marked by conflict.
25 December 2023
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Amma Wisdom

Christmas Eve in Amritapuri swelled with an ocean of joyful hearts as people from across India and around the world gathered to celebrate. It is the first time since the end of the COVID pandemic that the number of visitors returned to its usual high levels, bringing happiness to everyone, especially Amma. Many of the people had not seen her since 2019.  

The festivities were held in their established tradition, beginning with the Christmas stage show that weaves in aspects from a diverse array of cultures. It began with a heartwarming visit from Santa Claus as he stopped by Amritapuri on his way around the globe. It then transitioned into a story about the need to be in the present moment with our loved ones, as well as restore respect for Mother Nature.  

The performances continued with passionate expressions of divine devotion that ranged from a Mexican Mariachi singer decorated with the traditional sombrero, to Bharat Natyam dancers portraying the vision of Mother Kali, to a Broadway-style dance in tribute to Amma’s universal love.  

In sharing her Christmas message, Amma emphasised how it is a celebration that commemorates the advent of Christ on Earth to bring relief to a world immersed in sorrow. The presence of such Mahatmas, filled with the sweetness of divine love, inspires people long after they leave their bodies.  

“Jesus continues to live to this day in the hearts of devotees all over the world. The footprints of such Mahatmas may not be visible on the grounds that they walked. But they remain unfadingly imprinted in human hearts,” said Amma.  

“The most important message Jesus gave was the message of love. Jesus said, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ In the course of life, whomever we meet, engage with, and come into contact with, all of them are our neighbours. If we can see them all as such and love them, that indeed is the royal path to becoming complete.” 

Amma spoke about the power of seeing the world through the eyes of spirituality and serving the world through the hands of science. In this way, humankind can go beyond duality and see all as one. This reveals the core essence of all religions, which is love.  

“The one whose legs rush to help the suffering, whose hands yearn to give comfort to the sorrowful, whose eyes shed tears of compassion, whose ears listen to the sorrows of the distressed, and whose words bring solace to those in pain—indeed, they are the true lovers of God!” said Amma.  

“Let us adorn the holy manger of our hearts with the flowers of love, compassion, patience, and self-surrender. Let us invite God to enter it. Let us recall and adhere to the path revealed by Mahatmas through their lives and deeds.  

“Let this Christmas inspire us to strive to bring peace and harmony to this world that is riddled with conflict, discord, and strife.” 

Amma next led bhajans that included a song of prayer for all beings everywhere to be happy—Lokāḥ Samastāḥ Sukhino Bhavantu. She then concluded the evening’s festivities as per a decades-old tradition—passing out prasad in the form of chocolate cake.  

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