Friday, August 03, 2007

Before the flower shower

Rio Devi Bhava

11 p.m. There are 11 weddings scheduled. “it’s overwhelming” is what some people in the bookstore had said yesterday, and I might suggest that 11 weddings is in the same category. The lines of people at the bookstore tables are several people deep

12:15 The photographer was just talking to me about some native medicine men that came and presented some herbs for Amma in darshan this afternoon. She tasted one that is good for women’s pain, abdominal pain in the vital body and energetic body. Another is used to purify the aura. These herbs grow only their locality. They came back this evening for mantras. Some are bare chested, they all have painted faces and colorful feather decorations - headdress and/or arm bands and/or long earrings down to the abdomen. I just checked the mantra line, and counted well over 100 people waiting for mantra. One mantra instruction group is seated in front of me, there is a line into another room full of mantra instruction groups. The huge mantra lines in Chile may be surpassed. Mother is giving out mantras at a good pace, but I am guessing it will be an hour or so at the end of darshan to give mantras to all of those that will be in line if the backlog maintains.

1:30 a.m. the mantra line – it has grown, considerably. The bookstore crowds are starting to thin out – no longer several deep. There are a few people sacked out on the floor.

4:00 a.m. Some local groups have been playing – very nice, getting the audience into the songs, clapping and swaying. A mixture of guitar, harmonium, latino percussion things, with excellent singers. I recognize the simple Gopi Gopala and Jai Ambe bhajans that we sing, plus there are a lot in local language that use Amma’s name.

The bookstore is still going strong. The items that caught my eye in the snack area were a fresh cut up fruit salad; a plate with humous, salad, bread and cheese; the large egg-shaped roll baked with cheese inside; individual pizzas; yoghurt. (They were out of the little quiches) A huge improvement in quality and availability (it is after 4 a.m., and getting fresh fruit and salad is a boon)

5:45 Big Swami is starting the Names.

6;15 the shoppers at the bookstore have finally slowed down to a trickle. The energy in the hall has maintained a high intensity the whole night. Mother has not seemed to rush the darshans. The wedding couples are now in their pretty outfits, starting to assemble by the side of the stage, perhaps a little prematurely. One couple has a fresh cashew fruit and nut in the bowl of fruit offering, along with mango, banana, apples and grapes. Another includes pineapple.

6:45 the Names end, Mahishasura Mardini starts. It seemed that the energy level picked up even further during the last 50 or so Names.

7:00 Mahishasura ends, darshan looks like it is about to end, but still over 200 in the mantra line plus probably call the staff for darshan, plus the 11 weddings.

The mantra giving is a double line, as She gives one on one side, the next in the other line is positioned, etc. Knowledgeable people (Shantamitra and Ramakrishna Swami), with the slips of paper with the mantras, are on both sides of Her, listening, and handing the slip. The person is then escorted for explanation.

The staff intermingled with the end of the darshan line – those staff members not going back to their homes in India. The India residents say that they don’t get darshan in India because they get it on tour, and on tour they don’t get it because they get it in India. The separation anxiety/angst/sadness runs high among those going back to California. I am just an idiot with a grin going up for darshan, enjoying the moment. The moment of the quiet miracle of Her darshan.

Just before 8: The wedding participants (flock, or is it bevy, or whatever they are called) brighten up this corner of the room with their glowing faces and colorful silk saris and punjabis. Some were dancing to one of the lively bhajans. One beautiful blue-green clad couple nuzzles.

The mantra-ized people are flowing into the area just created for them near our table, borrowing pens and scraps of paper

The weddings start a little after 8:30, to very happy bhajans in the background, a joyful atmosphere.

You all, my dear brothers and sisters, have been here with me during this glorious tour and its finale in Rio. I hope that you have gained from this small effort to bring you some of the impressions and energy of the tour. I write this paragraph as Big Swami sings ‘Mata Rani’, the top of the hit parade this summer. Everybody (except me at the moment) is clapping, between 50 and 100 people are dancing/bouncing in a group, cheering as the last verse progresses. Feel the happy energy as you read this, and the joy that Mother wants for all of us.

I will sign off now, before the flower shower.

2 Aug 2007, Rio, Brazil


prajna said...

Thank you so much for including us in these moments, all along the tour! As I read this entry I felt so drawn into the joy and love and pure dharmic radiance that is our most beloved Amma. Thank you for passing on the darshan.

San Jose, CA

Anonymous said...

Namah Shivaya Shambugh,

Thank you for such a beautiful detailed description about the programs in Rio and Chili.
It is a blessing for people who are not there on tour.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shambugh
I dont know If I can thank you enough for sharing all the wonderful moments with Amma. I was waiting every day to read your blog. You just give us such an experience that I almost have the feeling of being their with Amma.

Thank You for the bottom of my heart , my dear friend.

Aum Namaha Shivaya.

Anu said...

Thank you for your blog. Reading the last para gave me goosebumps. Could feel the energy in the room, in your words.

Nama Shivaya

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your experiences with Amma on tour. It was so wonderful to be able to take part and connect with what's going on around Amma from the other side of the globe. It was so intense that I was moved to tears almost every time I read in your blog.
at Ammas feet,
Pavithra (Germany) said...

Raji & Gopi
We were right beside Amma witnessing this particular incident. It is something which one can remember forever. This is our adorable Amma our little Unnikrishnan. What about Maata Rani Ki Jai bhajan, it was out of the world. Toronto was very lucky to witness these incidents. Thank you Amma. We love you.