Tuesday, February 13, 2007

On the Beach

As the South Indian Tour progressed through Tamil Nadu towards KanyaKumari, finally ending up in Trivandrum, two questions many people on tour asked were 'Where are our accommodations?' and 'Where is the programme site?' For Brahmastanam Festivals, the programme would always be at the Ashram, and we would stay at Amma's school. For Public Programmes, the programme would be on a huge field, and we would stay at some wedding hall. So many of us were intrigued when we were told that the Trivandrum programme would be held 'Near the airport, next to the beach.' So I figured that there would be the usual big field, with the ocean a short walk away and an occasional roaring airplane taking off or landing next door.

Well, 'near the beach' actually meant 'ON the Beach'. The programme site was literally set up on the beach right next to the water. Sand was underfoot, and waves were breaking less than 50 feet from where Amma was giving darshan. The chairs sat on the sand - we had to bring all of them down from the roadside onto the sand since the trucks and buses couldn’t drive there.

There were many Indian tourists and local fisherman at the beach even during the programme. Some probably came for darshan - having been in the right place at the right time, so to say. Many people could be seen getting their feet wet in the ocean while waiting for their token number to come up. There were also tons of vendors all around. Ice cream vendors, coconut vendors, vegetable vendors, toys, trinkets. It was a huge festival on the beach.

The women were lucky - their side was along the beach. The women's darshan queue was footsteps from the breaking waves. If it weren't for the cloth barrier that was erected in the sand, the darshan line may have actually drifted into the ocean. During darshan, as the night progressed, many women took chairs and actually faced the sea - nodding off, or meditating to the crashing waves. You could also hear the waves while on stage between bhajans..

It was quite a beautiful scene. On stage was Amma, Herself the Ocean of Immortal Bliss, imparting Her infinite love to all who came for her warm embrace. Then, there was the Ocean, delighting all alike who came to dip their feet in its warm waters.

Sri Pati , USA
11 Feb 2007, Trivandrum


chandubaba said...

Beautiful indeed..

Anushya said...

If only there was a video recording!