Just as the robin redbreast is a harbinger of spring in the Northern hemisphere, so does Bramachari Shantamrita Chaitanya’s visit to Australia herald Amma’s upcoming tour. Indeed, Swamiji’s ready smiles, easy manner, and truth-filled words make it easy to recognise that Amma is coming, Amma is coming, AMMA IS COMING!
Swami’s satsang on Monday, December 28th, began with the observation that the world financial crisis appears to be precipitating a deeper kind of world-wide crisis in thought that many believe will lead to a global ‘paradigm shift’ in consciousness. He went on to draw the parallel between this kind of group change through crisis and the individual changes that he went through upon meeting Amma. As always, Swami’s satsang was insightful and peppered with humour and wit. He shared some of his experiences in Kenya, where he recently spent three months, which were moving and disturbing, highlighting the suffering of the Kenyan people from drought, hunger and poverty, and disease. Yet, he pointed out, the people were youthful and hopeful – and definitely uplifted by Amma’s visit there last April. He described the Kenyans, open and innocent by nature, easily taking to Amma’s loving ways. Many people were profoundly touched by Amma’s unconditional love and are eager for Her to return. Swami went on to speak about the essence of Amma’s teaching as love, humility, patience and compassion. Following his talk, Shantamritaji led the Adelaide satsang and guests in a set of bhajans that were alternately energising and relaxing, but always inspirational, transporting the group to the heights of devotion.
When Swami concluded the satsang with the MA-OM meditation and instructed the group to feel Amma’s presence, it was easy to believe that not only was Amma coming, but that she was already here!
At the well-attended gathering on the following evening, December 29th, Swamiji conducted the Bhagavata Seva Puja – the worship of Devi in Her form as Bhuvaneshvari, She who is protector of all the worlds and worshipped by all the worlds. The French doors of the Adelaide MA Centre were opened to the courtyard where the beautiful puja set-up, which had been all day in preparation, was enclosed by an awning. The spectacle of the invocation and worship of Devi with a sea of flames and flowerpetals, and burning incense, was altogether thrilling, awe-inspiring and humbling. Fifty-four people had been registered to receive the subtle benefits of the worship ceremony: fulfilment of wishes, protection from miseries and spiritual advancement. Someone pointed out that fifty-four, as one half of one hundred and eight, was an auspicious number. Perhaps it is also auspicious to propitiate She who protects all the worlds at this time when our world seems so much in need of protection.