Aum Amriteswaryai Namah
Message from Amma Australia Directors
Dear friends and devotees of Amma,
We have been closely monitoring the emerging situation with COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and are aware of the uncertainty felt by so many worldwide. After much consideration, we regret to inform you that we will be suspending all in-person satsangs and public programs until further notice. This includes cessation of all public programs at the Melbourne Ashram and any events across Australia scheduled under the MA Centre and Amrita Australia Ltd organisations.
This decision was made taking into account current directives and precautionary advice from health authorities with regard to preventing further spread of the virus. It is also in line with actions taken by Amma’s other international organisations. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. It is nevertheless our responsibility as an organisation to prioritise your health.
We will continue to assess the situation on a weekly basis and provide regular updates regarding our activities going forward. Updates will be available through the Amma Australia website, email newsletters, Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets.
Amma recently spoke about the virus and the tools provided in spirituality to help us cope with the current situation and also emphasized the need to follow health department preventative advice (see full message below). In addition to the preventative measures mentioned above, we will continue to pray for the situation to improve as per Amma’s guidance. We are also working to facilitate online satsang, meditation and prayer.
We thank all of our satsang members and supporters for your understanding as we adapt to these challenging times together and we pray that with God’s Grace, this situation passes quickly.
We would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank all the health professionals who continue to offer their skills and services. We pray for their health and well-being.
Directors of MA Centre (Aust) Foundation and Amrita Australia Limited
Amma’s Messages on COVID-19
A Message from Amma on the Coronavirus:
“Amma knows my children are all living in fear of Coronavirus. Amma is thinking of all of you and praying for you. This is a time when you have to exercise extreme caution and alertness. It is the time to respond with courage, self-control and unity. Amma knows that my children are all afraid, but fear is not helpful now. What is needed is caution and alertness. Courage is the primary thing. With courage, you can overcome anything. So, abandon fear and gather courage. The antivirus that can kill this virus is courage. Courage is our mind’s antivirus. If you befriend धैर्य लक्ष्मी Dhairya Lakshmi [the Goddess of Courage], you will gain the strength to face and overcome anything.
My children should strictly follow all the instructions and directions given by their government and law-enforcement officials. At the same time, pray intensely, with a melting heart, for God’s grace. Our grandmothers used to say, “Take the medicine and chant the mantra at the same time.” Similarly, in this circumstance, both our diligent effort and God’s grace are equally needed. Every citizen should exercise the same amount of श्रद्धा Sraddha [attention and alertness] as a soldier serving on the battle line. My children, pray for the souls of those who have passed on and for the peace of mind of their families.
Three years ago, Amma felt an impending disaster looming ahead in 2020. Two years ago, Amma developed the “White Flower Meditation for World Peace & Divine Grace” to alleviate this. In it, it is said that what is coming cannot be completely averted and we will have to experience some of its effects. Amma has explained this meditation technique, and we have been practising it for the past two years, benefiting the world. Children, Amma requests everyone to regularly practice this meditation once or twice a day for the benefit of the entire world.
Everything exists in the form of waves or vibrations. In the last century, the French designed the Concorde—a jet that can fly at supersonic speeds. Its sonic boom was so powerful that its shockwaves damaged buildings. Similarly, the sound of a song is transmitted in waves or vibrations. Everything exists in the form of waves or vibrations. The type of vibration generated by anger is different from that generated by a mother showing affection for her child, which is again different from that generated by love, and different again from that generated by lust. With the vibration of our prayer along with our diligent effort, it may be possible to resist the virus. Prayer with सम्कल्पम् Sankalpam [deep intention] does have an effect.
There is a rhythm to everything in creation—an undeniable relationship between the entire universe and every living creature within it. The universe is like a vast interconnected network. Imagine four people holding the four corners of a net. If it is shaken in one place, the vibration is felt throughout. Similarly, whether we are aware of it or not, all of our actions reverberate throughout creation—whether performed as an individual or as a group. That is why Amma repeatedly says, we are not individual islands but links of a common chain. Therefore, don’t wait for others to change before you do. You can create change the outside by changing yourself inside, even if others do not.
Suppose a person living on the 10th floor of a building sees the ground floor on fire and hears a person staying there calling to him for help. If he says, “It’s the ground floor that’s on fire. It’s your problem. Why should I worry about it?” it would be complete foolishness. The fire on the ground floor will soon rise upwards. In a similar way, someone else’s problem today will become our problem tomorrow.
Similarly, when the virus first surfaced in China, all of us thought it was China’s problem, not ours. Eventually, didn’t it turn out to be our problem? The question is not whether they controlled the disease or not, but how we tackle it. If we are alert and exercise caution and diligence, we will be able to protect ourselves and prevent the disease from spreading.
What should my children do? Imagine if we break our leg. We may have to stay in our room—sometimes for two to six months. We won’t think of this as a burden because we know it is necessary in order for our leg to heal. Similarly, the isolation, sanitation and extreme caution we have to practice now will help us gain strength to fight the virus. Those who have contracted the virus shouldn’t be afraid. Just adhere to the quarantine and ensure that you do not spread it to others. Stay in your room. Similarly, if you develop any symptoms, inform the proper authorities and seek help.
There are currently 3,000 people living in Amritapuri Ashram. There are people from many nations as well as Indians living here. In the ashram, we are strictly adhering to the government’s regulations and not allowing anyone to come inside. Even if someone who lives here goes out, they are not allowed to return for many days. These rules were put by the government, and we have complied. These 3,000 people here have to be protected as well. That is why this rule was put into place.
During this time, Amma is receiving her children who have not left the ashram. This is the one time in a year when the ashram residents get a chance to share all their issues with Amma. Amma calls each person and listens to their problems of the year. Usually every year, Amma sets aside about 25 days for this. Following all the government guidelines, Amma comes out for daily meditation and prayer. The rest of the time is set aside for listening to the problems of the residents.
In India, both the Central and the Kerala State Governments have been very alert and proactive in addressing the pandemic. That is why we have been able to resist it at least this much. Let us pray sincerely and practice due diligence and caution so that it is contained and doesn’t spread further. Let us protect and save ourselves. We ourselves are the light or darkness in our own path. We ourselves are the thorns or flowers on our path.
There is always a limit to human effort. However carefully we may drive, a careless driver can crash into us. For anything to bear its intended result, the factor of grace is needed. A proper effort is needed first. But for it to succeed, we require Grace. Prayer is essential to receive this grace.
Now my children have understood that our life is only in the present moment. Even our next breath is not in our hands. Our real lifespan is determined by how well we use the present moment. Because that is where our life abides. Amma always says that my children have to know themselves. Know yourself and pray for the world with wakefulness, enthusiasm and peace.
Each day sit in your room for some time and chant the mantra Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu. That is a good practice during these times.
ॐ लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु |
Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu |
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः |
Om shanti shanti shanti |
Finally, Amma has no words to express her profound appreciation and gratitude for the dedicated health workers all over the world who are caring for those affected by this virus. She simply bows down before their selflessness and attitude of service.
May grace bless all my children.”
23 March, 2020.
11 March 2020, Amritapuri Ashram
A Message from Amma on the Coronavirus:
“Children, with the coronavirus spreading to more and more countries, people all over the world are experiencing a lot of fear, anxiety and confusion. Everyone should pray intensely and work together to overcome the situation and endure these trying times.
The Ashram has received instructions from the Central and State Health Departments, and they have dictated to us certain precautionary steps and preventative measures that we have to follow. Everyone should understand the gravity of the situation and cooperate. Slight carelessness on our part could be disastrous, so Amma hopes all of you understand.
Amma is not afraid of anything—not even death. My only desire is to embrace people, giving them solace and comfort when they are distressed, even when I breathe my last. In the past 45 years, Amma hasn’t cancelled a single program due to any physical inconvenience, fear of circumstances, disaster or epidemic. However, Amma has a responsibility to adhere to the authorities’ directives when the whole world is gripped by fear regarding this pandemic.
Spirituality and Vedanta teach us to not run away from the challenging situations in life, but face them courageously. However, how do we do that in the current situation? It’s like a terrorist is waiting just outside your house. The moment you open the door and come out, he will attack you. Similar is the situation with this virus. So, we are left with little choice. In the current scenario, we can only take necessary precautions and pray for divine grace.
Those coming to India from abroad, those going out of India, and even those traveling within the country should follow the recommended precautions and be very careful so that they are safeguarded. If one of the hundreds of people traveling in an airplane has the virus, it could spread to other passengers. So, please be very careful when coming into the country and traveling in general.
The selfish things man has done to Nature are now coming back in the form of such epidemics. In 2002, Amma warned of the possibility of tragedies such as this and natural calamities occurring in the world. That is when Amma began to chant “Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” [“Om. May all beings everywhere be peaceful and happy”] on a daily basis in the ashram and on her tours, and encouraged her children all over the world to chant it daily as well. Two years back, we started the “White Flower Meditation” for world peace because Amma also felt some hardships would come in 2020.
So, let us offer our heartfelt prayers to the divine and pray for grace while putting in as much effort as we can. In this way, may we be able to prevail over this difficult situation facing humanity. With grace, may the current situation soon pass.”
11 March, 2020.
Important Notice from the Indian Ashram
We are sorry to inform you that due to the extremely heightened restrictions specified to the Mata Amritanandamayi Math as preventative measures by the Health Department — including mandatory quarantines, daily health checks, and other protocols — currently, the Ashram cannot allow anyone to enter Amritapuri Ashram. This includes Indian nationals as well as foreign-passport-holders (including OCI-holders). This includes both day visits and overnight stays. This policy is irrespective of any amount of time the individual may have been within the nation of India.
With prayers and grace, this situation will change. Until then, please feel free to check for updates.
Mata Amritanandamayi Math, India.