Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stop. Rest With Amma

The other evening, on the way from Trichy to Chennai, our caravan stopped along the side of the road for dinner. Amma was still far behind us. It would be about two hours before Amma would arrive.

The sun was setting. We were in the middle of nowhere. A small village lay about ½ km down the road. Otherwise there were open felds all around. A small pen of ducks was there. Villagers were walking their cows home from pasture. We were our own herd of people – scattering out among the grounds in groups. Some were, walking about, meditating, chatting, or helping to gather wood to cook chai. I found myself joining a group that was singing bhajans accompanied by a small portable harmonium. It was so blissful to be singing and playing harmonium. We probably sang for about an hour. A few local villagers had gathered around – some even joined in.

Amma finally arrived. She sat in her chair, her face beaming at all of us who were sitting in front of her. These impromptu rest stops with Amma are the best part of traveling with her. It makes the long bus rides, the sleepless nights, the dusty air, all worthwhile.

We all passed our tiffins to be filled with dinner, which were then passed to Amma who passed them back to us. We’re supposed to have our names written on the sides of the plates so that they can easily be identified. But with all people, getting the plates to the proper owner can be quite a task. In no time, there was a sea of plates being held high above heads – names being called out – making an endless circle from hand to hand - trying to find their way home. As more and more plates started circling, and more and more names being called out, Amma joked that we sounded like little chirping birds – and suggested that we should just eat from whatever plate we now had and give back to that person later. Amma even made sure that all the local villagers received a plate.

After singing a new bhajan”Om Shakti Om Shakti” with us, Amma headed to her camper. On the way, she called out for Prasad – she would give a quick standing darshan to the villagers who were there – a hug, a soft whisper in their ear, and a packet of vibhuti and a piece of candy.

Amma left, and we boarded our buses. A few of us felt inspired to give some of the villagers photos of Amma. As they stood there waving us off – holding their Prasad in one hand, photo in the other, we smiled at each other. Perhaps Amma will stop here again next year. Perhaps they will feel the pull of Amma’s love and find their way to Amritapuri or a nearby stop during next year’s South Indian Tour?

Hopefully, Amma will stop again with us on the way from Chennai to Nagapattinam.

Sri Pati – USA
Trichy to Chennai 28 January 2007

1 comment:

amritha kripa said...