Cultural Tourism - Heavens on Earth - Part II
By Govind Kumar
The Abode of the Mother of Eternal Bliss
( Matha Amritanadamayi Math )
Amongst the Fourfold Yoga, Union via Love is considered the noblest. More Grace and protection accrue from Union via Love. It is said that He favours Love to Wisdom, hiding His secrets even from Wisdom !
The Seers are known in India as Yogis & Yoginis. They are people who are intoxicated with the bliss of the Divine, who embrace none but Him ! Of such a One is the Mother of Immortal Bliss, Amritanandamayi Devi, popularly known as Amma.
Her Ashram is located in Amritapuri in Vallickavu, a small fishing village near Quilon (Kollam), South Kerala. At the site of the birthplace of this noble lady is the Ashram located and it houses more than 2500 disciples & householders as full time residents. She hugs all in a motherly embrace and lakhs of people from all over the glove come to experience her Love.
Says the Mother Goddess in Scripture
I am She, let there not be any doubt
Seeing such Yoginis is like seeing Me
Such a One's Darshan is like worshipping Me thousandfold
Mother becomes sanctified & Earth become divine !
Her principal teaching is not so much verbal, but the experience of being with her. Those who see her have said that she has a special earthy aura a sense of peace about her, a special healing touch. She gives darshan on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. She is mother to all, she welcomes everybody with a radiant smile, talks to all, consoles and blesses all and give them a divine motherly hug. She embraces more than 15000 devotees in one night. On Sundays, she dresses in a spectacular costume & a crown and enters into mystic trances, assuming the form of Mother Divine. This special Darshan lasts the whole night past sunrise to next morn. Her devotees believe that she is the incarnation of the Fourth Aspect of the Divine Consciousness Force, of Time Personified ( Kali ) and many worship her picture or small Ammachi dolls.
Tuesdays and Fridays are set aside for ashram residents when Amma comes to the temple to give them 'Satsang'.
At the Ashram, the daily routine starts at early morn at around Five with the recital of Lalitha Sahasranamam, accompanied by the Tabla & harmonium followed by Vedic classes, Meditation, devotional songs till eve, with breaks in between. She leads the followers in Meditation, instrusting them in their Yogic practice and imparting Divine Wisdom. She leads the Bhajans ( devotional songs ) in the evenings with inspired passion and abandon, flinging her arms in the air as she cries out rapturously the names of the various Deities of the Vedic pantheon. Devotees, surcharged by the divine atmosphere and the presence of a Yogini, gets into the devotional mood, which they find blissful to the core. There are also classes in Yoga, Sanskrit, Vedanta and meditation.
Amma is generally out of the country from mid May until mid August as well as from early November until early December.The ashram, now the headquarters of Amma's world wide mission, runs a number of charitable, medical and educational programs, including an orphanage, a free housing program for poor widows, and a hostel for tribal children, a hospice for cancer patients, a five hundred bed hospital, an ayurvedic clinic, a computer technology institute and a technical school at the premises as well as ashrams or centres throughout India and abroad. Through its branch ashrams, the math conducts regular medical camps, programmes for feeding the poor, distributes pensions to impoverished women, and builds free homes for the poor. The branches also assist in the collection and distribution of free clothes and school books, and some arrange scholarships for deserving children who would otherwise not be able to attend school. The math has centres in 28 countries including USA, UK, UAE, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan etc.
Amritha Institute of Medical Sciences
Accommodation and food
The ashram physically consist of one six storey apartment building, one seven storey apartment complex and a number of small residential buildings. It can accommodate up to five hundred people at any one time. There are basic dormitories designed to sleep about twelve people in a room and some semi private rooms with attached bath for married couple ( families with children have priority).
A small library is available for reading and study. Snacks, books, pictures, clothing, soaps and other items are available for purchase at a small store. You can make phone calls from the clock room and there is internet facility. There is a bank where you can exchange foreign currency and wire money, at the premises.
Accommodation includes Indian-style vegetarian meals- rice and vegetables. Non-spicy, Western-style food is available for an additional cost. Filtered and boiled water is available.
How to get there:
Amma's Ashram is located in the tiny village of Vallickavu, Kollam district in south Kerala between the backwater canal and the Arabian sea. From Vallickavu one could take a boat across the backwaters to Amrithapuri. Alternatively you could take the slightly longer beach road from Karunagapally (10 km south) and cross the backwaters through a bridge which brings you directly to the ashram. Kollam, the nearest city is around 35km from the ashram.
Air: The nearest Airports , Cochin (140 km north) & Trivandrum (the capital of Kerala 110km south) of the ashram.
Rail & Road:
The nearest railway and bus stations are at Kayamkulam (12km north) and Karunagapally (10km south) from where you can take a local bus, taxi or Auto rickshaw to Vallickavu village, from where you could take a boat across or straight to the Amrithapuri Asram through the beach road from Karunagapally.
Kama is the equivalent of Cupid or Eros in Greek Mythology.
The word "venereal" is derived from Venus Veneris. All the planets of Astronomy/ Astrology are deities in Mythology. Jupiter ( Brihaspati ), Venus ( Asuru Guru ) and so on. Mythology is nothing but Astronomical Symbolism.
The Kamukee Kamuka Bhava of Purusha and Prakriti are Radha Rani and Krsna. The maternal- paternal aspect, Siva Sakthi.
Man is bisexual, possessing both rational ( male ) and intuitive ( female ) powers and this is symbolised by Ardha Nareeswara, the half female, the half male aspect of Godhead !
Let us see Kama Deva and Rathi Devi dance before the Lord !