Receiving a Mantra from Amma
The year was 2006, in the month of July, which happens to be my birthday month. I find it very auspicious that I have the opportunity to be with Amma during this powerful phase of life.
In the 6 years since I first saw Amma in person, I experienced many life changes. I moved from state to state a couple times, experienced some amazing physical moments that resulted in the insertion of a permanent pacemaker and engaged in personal healing work with a Peruvian shaman. All through these years Amma would subtly show herself to me in various ways. One of them was in the shamans healing room. The first time I entered his sacred space, I beheld a beautiful photo of her, radiating light to me, which of course was a sign to me that I was in the right place--For he too is one of Amma's children.
On the first day of Ammas visit to Massachusetts, my 2 friends and I traveled to Marlborough, where her visit/retreat is now being held. It is a much larger arena, capable of accommodating more people and very comfortably I might add.
We arrived in the early morning and promptly got into the ticket line for the morning Darshan. There were already a couple hundred others there too, awaiting that beautiful face, the wondrous eyes and that glorious smile. As we made our way to our seats, I could feel the anticipation building in the hall. When she entered, there are no words to describe the sensation. You can feel the thunderous silent applause, the emotional wave from everyone there that encompasses you, and the short gasps and sounds of tears being shed. As she makes her way to her seat, everyone rustles with delight as they then sit, after she gets herself settled in. Soon Swamiji's resounding voice fills the air with words of meditation and Darshan begins.
I was feeling thrilled at this glorious opportunity as well as pondering a few thoughts. Would she remember me, one person amongst hundreds? What would her hug feel like this time?
Soon I was in front of her and as she gazed into my eyes, all my questions disappeared. She did really remember me~~I could see it in her eyes~~and I knew I was hers completely. Nothing in my life could have prepared me for the way I felt...so encompassed in love, so warmly embraced and so lovingly released. As I returned to my seat, I watched the others as they received her Darshan, and that in itself is a powerful experience. Watching her and the way she relates to each one, you know that indeed she knows everything about us. The orchestration of the assistants is a divine play as they hand Amma the prasad, help each of Ammas children get up or kneel down, and give physical guidance when someone is in a fog of bliss.
When the morning Darshan was through, my friends and I stayed there at the hotel, perusing the many things for sale, having lunch and relaxing all afternoon. Soon it was time for the evening Darshan which included Bhajans. By the time we left that day, it was after midnight. We drove home exhausted on one level but exhilarated and so so happy.
The next morning, as soon as I woke, I KNEW I had to go to the second public program night..Devi Bhavan. I hadn’t planned on it at all. I phoned my spiritual sister, who had also attended the first night along with me, and she felt the same thing and we made plans to attend. It was very exciting to think of seeing her once more, and to have felt such a clear knowing that I simply had to be there. The next 2 days, (which were the days she holds a retreat), before I saw Amma again were amazing. I felt Amma all around me..I could smell her fragrance and I felt as if everywhere I went she was walking right next to me. I had never experienced anything like this in my life. She was next to me at night, eating with me during the day and I felt as if I should be able to see her, for her presence was sooo close.
I could feel her in my mind, filling it with only her presence. I could feel her in my heart, as I cried, knowing I was releasing something held or stored there. I knew that the space being created by my releasing was now being filled with her essence. And I could feel her embrace on my physical form, and the softness of her cheek on mine along with the sweet kisses she had showered upon me.
Soon it was Friday and my friend and I traveled, very excitedly, to be with her again. The hall was jammed with people as this was Devi Bhavan night. I knew that I wanted a personal mantra when I got there, but in the rapture of the evening, it was my friend that reminded me to get in the mantra line! Thank God for her.
On Devi Bhavan night, anyone that wishes a mantra from Amma, has to join together with some of the staff there, as they tell you what is about to happen. They ask you to think about what type of name you would like-do you feel drawn to a certain Hindu Deity? Is there another sacred aspect of God that you feel close to? I knew I wished my mantra to be one that specifically was concerned with the energy of the Divine Mother. Once you have decided, they give you a slip of paper with your intention written upon it. Part of the instruction they give is that this mantra is never to be revealed to anyone, except a swami or Amma herself. I was of course very aware that I would receive the mantra that Amma knew was best for my spiritual evolution.
Then you join the line to go up onto the stage and receive your mantra from Amma. She is already giving Darshan and the stage is alive with action of all sorts. Even as I made my way onto the stage, I noticed how when you are very close to her, the fact that there are perhaps thousands in the "audience" doesn’t matter and I was oblivious to all of them. Soon, I was in a chair at her right, and an attendant took the piece of paper I had been given and relayed what it said to Amma. Amma then told the attendant the mantra, who readied a piece of paper with the mantra written on it, to give to me.
Amma looked at me with a great smile, and coming close to me, leaned in and spoke the mantra into my left ear. I felt like my mind became as big as the universe and her words reverberated into infinity within me. She leaned away from me and as I turned my head to face her, I was lost in her eyes, and we were each beaming great smiles at each other. I will never ever forget that look from her, and that very precious moment.
I stood up, only because I felt someone prompting me to do so, otherwise I would have physically stayed there at her side forever.
I was directed to the assistant right in back of Amma and was given the paper with the mantra written on it, and suddenly my entire body began to shake. I could only stand there and hold the assistants hand, who understood that something out of my control, was occurring. I was filled with a sense of rapture and bliss and was suddenly crying and laughing at the same time. The time frame would be hard to describe for I found myself in a place that had no time, as my body now vibrated and shook to the core with the energy of the mantra. As I stood there, I realized with a conscious awareness that I was standing right in back of Amma and I KNEW that she knew exactly what was happening. As the shaking subsided, the wonderful assistant said to me that the musicians were playing a song that had some of the words of my mantra in it, just as Amma gave me my mantra. And to use her words, I got a double blast of energy!
I made my way down the stairs and to a seat to the side of the stage. The swamis were to meet with a group of us that had just received mantras to give us the proper pronunciation and meaning. I watched as Amma continued on with Darshan, alternately hugging and giving mantras as well as guiding and directing the entire flow of all the activities on the stage. My mind was empty of all thoughts, and full of nothing…it was a supreme moment
What and who Amma is will not ever be fully known by any of us here in the body, for we can not grasp her magnificence in its entirety. We who have been "found" once more by her, can only marvel and give eternal thanks at our good fortune. I heard her say once, that with every Darshan she renews the bonds of several lifetimes. This daughter prays to be always in her arms, forever and ever.
Amma graces us with our self, in all of its beauty and she guides us to all that we are. She is a reflection of each of us and her smile generates so much love and compassion as she herself has undergone many trials in her life. The world is in need at the present time, of a big dose of love and selfless service. She is here to remind and activate that energy, by opening the hearts of all. Her hug is what the world needs now. The first time I was with Amma, I was reminded of a line from a very popular song from the sixties-”What the world needs now, is love sweet love—that’s the only thing there is just too little of.”