Amma’s Letter:  May 3rd, 2005

Divine Jennifer:  Namastey!                                    

How is the little eaglet flying high!  As long as your wings still flap you will be fine.   Please keep us posted on your adventures, lots of profound interest is there, you know.  I gave your name to Gaurishankara with strict instructions to round up all the loose Canadian eaglets and hold a Gitananda party sometime this year.  I do hope you can all get together.  I just got a copy of a nice magazine put out by the Psychology Society.  It has documentary proof of your receiving your best paper award.  So, I am sending it on to you.  Just for fun.  We are well, happy and busy.  Your little sister Dhivya just grows more amazing every day.  Will the Universe be large enough to hold her?  That is my question.  Time is going so quickly that soon, this life will be over and it will be time to start another one.  Some general news below, sit down with your favourite eatable  (I’l even permit you potato chips).  Enjoy some general Ashram news with me.

We are busy, first clearing up, cleaning out, throwing out, catching up - so the office and living quarters can take some semblance of neat quietness again.  I am working on The Book again with the firm intension to finish it before October (pray for me).  We have started construction of the City Centre this week and when you return you will be pleased to see the facilities upgraded.  The structure should reflect the beauty and power of the instruction.  Dhivya Priya continues to keep us laughing uproariously as she develops an even more amazing sense of humor and mischief.  I really wonder what the new little soul percolating in Devasena’s belly will be like.  Dhivya’s class act is a hard one to follow.  Nalini is here and helping us so much in so many ways.  We have so many programmes going on all the time.  I went to Chidambaram on April 4th, to give a lecture to the 200 students at Anamalai University, enrolled in the Post Graduate Diploma in Yoga Progamme.  We had a magnificent day, which culminated with little Dhivya Priya making her debut performance of Bharat Natyam in the Nataraja Temple there right in front of the shrine of Lord Shiva.  Her father sang, her mother did Nattuvangam (rhythm) her grandmother and her Nani applauded as she danced Alarippu, Kirthanai and Thillana.  I am sure at 20 months she is the youngest devotee ever to dance before the Lord in his Own Sthalam (Place).

... Now it is already three weeks later ... time moves so fast.. carrying us with it.  April is the hottest month.  It forces even the mighty coconut palm trees to bow their lofty heads in wilted submission.  The earth bakes, and heat oozes from every crack.  All creatures, large and small seek refuge - some in holes, some in corners, under the shadow of trees, beside the lakes, rivers, ponds and temple tanks.  Cooling coconut water, fresh from the newly plucked nut, refreshes and restores dehydrated tissues.  On a less healthy, more ominous note, ice cream shops are mobbed by young and old alike, screaming for their ice cream.  Carbonated soda drinks of all colours and intensities do brisk sales everywhere from the small kiosk on the street corner to the luxurious, air conditioned comfort of the five star hotels, where the crystal glasses jingle a song of cool comfort with ice pieces thrilling the parched throats.  Everyone talks about the heat, and everyone tries to do something about it, running away to hill stations like Kodaikanal 2300 metres above sea level (where Ananda did his schooling and the British built their summer cottages pretending they were back in their green and lovely land - only difference being the armies of servants at their beck and call, here in the home of the Jewel in the Emperor’s Crown.)  Come to think of it, what weird phases mankind has passed through - what delusions, what magnificent obsessions.  Colonialism and the White Man’s Burden was certainly one of them.  What an irony of fate that the White Man has himself become a burden with his Frankenstein of technology destroying the planet with no higher ideal behind it than comfort and convenience of the species (and only a small portion of it to that!)  Back to the heat - heat is tapas, heat is transformation, heat makes us stronger, and anyway, I love heat!  We have enough cool breezes to keep us refreshed and the Ashram is an oasis!

The heat doe snot lessen our activity and we buzz all the time with good healthy projects.  Yesterday, April 25th, we traveled again to Chidambaram.  Shivan is beckoning us more and more these days as we become more involved with the Yoga Centre at Anamalai University in Chidamaram.  It is becoming a stimulating Association as more than 800 persons from all over India are enrolled in their one year post graduate diploma courses in Yoga.  This time we put on a dance programme for the students (most are middle aged people already established in life with families and careers.  This is a correspondence course study programme in which they must come to Chidambaram twice in the year for seven days of contact classes and then once more for several days of examinations.  They also have to do project work, thesis and exams.

They have their own building as well on the large quiet new campus.  Annamalai University, was founded seventy five years ago by one of the ruling families of the area, Rajah Chettiar.  He was a great lover of the Carnatic fine arts of dance music and poetry.  He was one of the first to systemize an academic course of studies in these arts and offer diplomas,  B.A’s, and M.A’s in the subject.  Later it became a full fledged University and also has a medial school.  So it is quite a joy to be associated with it and it also gives us a chance to go often to Chidambaram which is now about 90 minutes drive as the roads have now been laid well.  We gave a dance-cum-lecture programme with Selvi Lakshmi and Selvi Renukadevi dancing in the afternoon.  In the morning I gave a lecture on the role of Guru in Yoga.  After the evening performance we went to the temple and did the Salangai Puja for Lakshmi.  Lakshmi will give her Arangetram on June 11th.

Lakshmi is a student of our nine-year Diploma Programme in Yoga and Bharat Natyam.  Part of the requirement is to perform her official debut which is like a formal declaration of the guru to the world that the student has reached a standard of performance acceptable to he Guru.  She also has to give Yoga classes, speech, thesis etc.  Many requirements are there and she has fulfilled all of them.  She is an excellent young woman.  Part of the ceremony is to do a Puja at a Shiva temple and offer the Salangai (ankle bells used in dance) to the Lord of Dance, Lord Shiva.  This is what we did yesterday.  She danced three full dance items.  Devasena sang, Ananda played Mridungam.  Lakshmi danced in front of the main shrine.  A huge crowd gathered and enjoyed (she was in full costume).  Then Renuka also danced and finally at the end, Devasena, Renuka, Lakshmi and Varalakshmi danced a short Shloka. It was a great experience!  To cap it off Dhivya Priya danced all the things she knows for about 15 minutes.  She was the star of the show. So this is how we are spending our heat filled days  Nalini came with us and enjoyed herself immensely.  She made an apt comment. She said:  “This is such a real experience.  It has so much real goodness and joy and innocent enjoyment in it.  Hail to Mother India where such innocent fun-filled days and activities still go on.”

Thanks to a typing error Velu, my Personal Secretary, I had a good laugh yesterday as well as spiritual inspiration and a new phrase which can be used to prod inert Ahamkara into transcending itself.  I had written, if we plan well and everyone cooperates, the event will be a success.  Velu, whose Yogic Siddhi is being able to decipher my illegible scrawls, failed him for once  He typed it as ‘if we plan well and everyone evaporates, the event will be a success.”  I laughed and thought, Magnificent!  Most problems are caused by the presence of people who themselves are the very embodiment of all problems.  (You don’ have problems, you are the problem - Swami Gitananda)  If everyone evaporates then there would be no problem.  I carried it mentally one step farther by thinking, “All problems can be avoided if all egos evaporate”.  Isn’t that great!  We need great tapas - heat- to evaporate egos and if we don’t undertake conscious Tapas, life Herself will give it to us.

Like that, little bubbles of activity are constantly rising to the sky, illuminated with the brilliant colours of the refracted rays of he sun as they drift into the blue of Akasha (Sky).  Then they too burst to make way for other fragile illusions.  Life is that Long, Long Dream the Rishis spoke of there is no doubt of that.  But surely, most of the time, we can make it a pleasant dream.  I pray for all of you that you have pleasant dreams as flights of Rishis chant thee to thy rest (Shanti).  Someday sooner or later - here - now - then - or there - when you wake up from the Long Dream you will realize - My God!  I am God!  May all of us reach that great State... Soon!

Affectionately yours in Yoga,


Return to:  Amma’s Letters Homepage

Return to:   About The Art Page