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Amma arrives to tumultuous welcome

INDIA?S MOST famous woman guru Mata Amritanandmayi, aka Amma, arrived to a tumultuous reception here with massive crowds thronging the Vijay Nagar grounds to drink in her healing presence.

india Updated: Mar 12, 2006 15:02 IST

INDIA’S MOST famous woman guru Mata Amritanandmayi, aka Amma, arrived to a tumultuous reception here with massive crowds thronging the Vijay Nagar grounds to drink in her healing presence.

Nearly one-lakh people descended at the pravachan (discourse) site to catch a glimpse of the ‘hugging saint’ who has won countless hearts and followers by embracing a simple philosophy of bonding with people through physical contact.

Politicians, captains of industry, media barons as well as scores of starved-for-compassion denizens from Indore and surrounding areas descended at the grounds to pay homage to the dark, diminutive seer.

Union Minister Kantilal Bhuria, State PWD Minister Kailash Vijayvargiya, City BJP chief Ramesh Mendola, district Congress president Ujaagar Singh, Congress MLA Ashwin Joshi and Godwoman Kankeshwari Devi were among those who lined up to pay obeisance to the white-robed Amma.Accompanied by her entourage of disciples, a sizeable section of them foreigners, Amma arrived at the Vijay Nagar grounds at around 6 pm. Vijayvargiya and his wife welcomed the Kerala-born saint by performing ‘charan paduka pujan’ (worship of the feet) after which Amma ascended the dais.

This was followed by the pravachan, which, as Amma speaks neither Hindi nor English, was translated by Swami Amritaswarupnanda, who is vice-president of the Mata Amritanandmayi Math. After the conclusion of the discourse began the part that people had waited impatiently for - hugging by Amma.

Although she was supposed to begin her discourse immediately afterwards, proceedings were delayed for over two hours owing to the large numbers of VIPs who crowded the stage.

The politicos, most notably Mayor-in-Council member Chandu Shinde, shepherded friends and relatives backstage for a darshan of Amma at the cost of pass-holders who were rudely shooed away by the cops on duty.

Surprisingly no women cops were deployed to the rear of the pandal and many women objected to male policemen touching them as they attempted to push back the crowds.

Even pressmen were denied access despite displaying identity cards and repeated appeals to cops to allow entry went in vain. As did complaints to the organisers who were simply mute observers.

Earlier, Amma arrived at the Rau bypass at 1 am along with her retinue of disciples. After being welcomed by Vijayvargiya, Mendola and K K Goyal the lady made her way to the Aggarwal residence at Ring Road before reaching Vijay Nagar grounds in the evening.


Ammaspeak
THE PAST is like a cancelled cheque. Regardless of the sum it bears it can neither help nor hinder you in the present. Good deeds are akin to vaccines; indemnifying you against any misdeeds committed in the future. Performing good deeds today can expiate past sins. Anger is a double-edged sword.

It harms both the wielder as well as the person towards whom the weapon is directed. God is an invisible hand that steers us through hard times. Therefore, pray even harder when you’re faced with misfortune.

First Published: Mar 12, 2006 15:02 IST