My Meeting with Amma

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I had previously missed meeting with Amma both times that I was in India.

So I was really excited when I learned she was going to be in London.  And towards the end of last year I finally got to meet her.  It was at Alexander Palace in London.  Amma is known throughout the World as Mother or Guru and I received Darshan (a wonderful warm, loving hug from her) {this is what she is famous for}.  I’ve wanted to meet Amma for a really long time so it was a great sense of accomplishment to be able to cross this off my ‘list’.

I first heard about Amma back in 1999 in India.  Lots of people at the Ashram I was staying at were travellers (obviously) and there were always tales of places that they had been to and people they had met and lots and lots of gossip!  So I heard about Amma’s Ashram and the other yogis told me how westerners would que up for a really long time and then finally get to meet Amma who would give this beautiful hug which would be really emotional for folks and then they usually start crying like a baby – and all this other stuff.  Always, I’m not sure why I didn’t make it to see her whilst I was there but anyways it didn’t happen.

So I turned up at Alexander Palace on my own, received a ticket and wondered inside.  The atmosphere was pretty subdued (compared to the Om Yoga Show where I had been just a week before).  There was lots of stuff for sale and the people selling it (in my opinion) just seemed really different.  I felt a bit like I was in Goa or someplace.  Lots of Westerners wearing Indian clothes and selling hippy sh*t.  I felt a weird mixture of scared and belonging!  

During the long almost overnight wait with my ticket in hand, I was able to meet and chat with some wonderful people, eat some wonderful Indian food, there was even a place where you could practice yoga!  The trip inspired me to make an Indian dishes since then.  One of which is fried cauliflour.  And you can get the recipe here.

After about 10 minutes walking around, I got talking to a Scottish guy with a pony tail who was standing with two women.  They were just three of the many volunteer organisers.  They were really friendly and explained the process to me.  They told me what would be happening and I showed them my ticket.  They estimated that it would probably take till 2-3am in the morning before it would be my turn to receive Darshan.  It was already 6.30pm as I had gone their straight from work.  So I told them, no there is no way I could stay till that time and in any case I would need to get home via public transport.  They were like “don’t worry about it – stay all night that’s what we are doing – everyone will be doing it!”  They chimed.  I didn’t realise this.  It’s like a traditional thing that folk stay all night with Amma at these events.  So I started to worry a bit.  How would I get home?  My 3 new friends advised that often once it all starts someone would be be willing to exchange tickets with me (especially if they are already staying all night).  Straight away one of the two ladies piped up that said she was prepared to swap with me.  Excellent!  However, this was only going to save me about 30 minutes.  Still – something and I felt closer to fulfilling my dream of receiving Darshan from Amma.

 

But deep inside I thought I would just stay only so long and then I would go and miss my opportunity for the actual hug from Amma after all.  Anyways, I wondered about a bit more.  Checked out more hippy sh*t; didn’t buy anything.  Quoed up for some food as it looked like I would be eating my dinner there that night.  Phoned my husband, let him know to eat without me.

 

After a long wait in the food queue and just as the person in front of me was to be served the service was abruptly stopped.  “Sorry, we have to stop serving –  “Amma’s coming!  Amma’s coming!”  People started to walk out of the queue and I was about to do the same but just then the chef came out and said – it’s ok – I can take a couple more!”   So me and the lady behind were served after all.  Great!  Things were looking up!

 

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I sat down on one of the tables to eat – and it just happened to be in front of the entrance (although I didn’t notice this when I first sat down).  So I was one of the first to see when Amma walked in.  The atmosphere was electric and people stopped and wondered closer.  Amma went to the stage in a fanfare.  The music got really loud and it was exciting.

 

I had finished eating by then so I took my seat in the audience (saved with my coat luckily); and a Puja was performed.  Amma gave a talk although she spoke in Hindi.  There was an interpreter of course.  An Indian gentleman with an amazingly rich and deep voice.  And the talk was absolutely amazing!  Really beautiful stories about being grateful and graciousness.   It was fantastic!  

 

Everyone’s chair had a little plastic lid (I didn’t know what that was about); but after the Puja volunteers came round with little cups of water, that had been blessed during the ceremony.  The lids provided were for the little cups and we were told we could drink the water or take it home to share with family.  I took mine home and my hubby and son couldn’t wait to share it with me the next day (which was really lovely that they were so enthusiastic!)

 

Anyways, I thought great!  I got to partake in the Puja and I got some blessed water.  I won’t be able to stay.  When would I finally be able to get my meeting with Amma?

 

Stay tuned to find out what happened next in a further blog post.

 

How about you?  Did you achieve a goal that you really wanted last year?  How does it feel when you achieve your goals?  How do you celebrate or mark the occasion?

 

 

 

 

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Comments (2)

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    Heather

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    Thank you for introducing me to Amma. I had never heard of her. It sounds like she is doing amazing work in the world. So inspiring.

    “Don’t be discouraged by your incapacity to dispel darkness from the world. Light your candle and step forward.” -Amma

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    • Avatar

      Rosemarie

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      Glad to introduce you Heather. Yes, she does wonderful charitable work all over the world. xx

      Reply

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