The 70th birthday of Mata Amritanandamayi alias Amma was celebrated on October 3 in Vallikavu, Kollam district, Kerala, the head mat of the mission. Representatives from about 198 countries are reported to have come to Vallikavu to participate in the celebrations. PM Narendra Modi conveyed the birthday greeting to Amma via a video in Malayalam.
Several Union Ministers and Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan addressed the gathering assembled in Vallikavu to participate in the birthday celebrations. Thousands of devotees were there to participate in the celebrations filled with devotion, bhakti and respect.
Representatives of 70 countries, clad in their respective traditional attire, brought potful soil from their countries and poured in into a big pot. Soil from all Bharatiya States were also added to it. Amma put flowers into the big pot and planted a sandalwood sampling in it. She prayed before planting it. Kenya, Ghana, Guyana, Egypt, Brazil, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Columbia and Kuwait were some of the countries soils were brought from. The planting of sandalwood sapling symbolised the message of world unity cutting across ethnicity or class. It stands for the fragrance of humanity, love and affection.
During his lecture, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan said that Amma embodies advaita, a sublime union where discrimination and distinction dissolve, leaving only Sivam, the goodness and perfect unity. He added that celebrating Amma’s life is akin to honouring the timeless Bharatiya spiritual tradition, a beacon of age-old wisdom.
Swami Amritaswarupananda, vice chairman of Amruthanandamayi Math, led the sathsang in the morning. It was followed by Gurupadukapooja and then meditation and lectures led by Amma.
Union Ministers Mahendra Nath Pandey, V Muraleedharan, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammed Khan, Kerala Assembly Deputy Speaker Chittayam Gopakumar, LoP in Kerala Assembly V D Satheesan and MPs (LS) Sasi Tharoor, N K Premachandran, A M Arif and M K Raghavan and mega film personality Mohanlal were among the prominent persons who were present.
Amrita Keerti Puraskar was presented to Kannada writer S. L. Bhyrappa, Acharya M R Rajesh, Vedic scholar Prof Sreevaraham Chandrasekharan Nair and Dr K S Radhakrishnan, former Vice Chancellor of Sree Sankaracharya University of Sanskrit (Kalati) and former Chairman of Kerala PSC.
Dr Thu An Engu, the founder of Global Forum, Houston, presented World Leader Award to Amma.