Do your duty, help others: Amritanandamayi

via Pioneer News Service | Amritapuri published on September 27, 2007

Mata’s 54th birthday celebrated


Darsan by the Mata, bhajans, satsang and launching of several welfare programmes for the poor marked the celebrations of Mata Amritanandamayi’s 54th birthday here in Kollam district on Thursday.

More than 1.5 lakh devotees from all over the world had assembled at the celebration ground on the Amritapuri campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, just across the backwaters from the Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram.

Giving her birthday message, Amritanandamayi urged her devotees that a true devotee would carry out hisher Karma understanding others properly and would renounce selfishness.

Many dignitaries, including MV Rajasekharan, Union Minister of State for Planning, S Sarma , Kerala Minister for Fisheries and Registration Swami Prakashananada, chairman of Sri Narayana Guru Dharma Sangha and former Union Minister O Rajagopal, were present at the function.

Two new social-welfare projects were inaugurated on the day by the Ashram. The projects aimed at fighting the mass farmer suicide through education and the reduction of financial strain placed upon impoverished agricultural families.

The first project, Vidyamritam, was to provide 30,000 full scholarships for children of farmers living below the poverty line. Twenty-five of the thousands of 10-to-15-year-old children enrolled in the program received their first financial aid stipends onstage from Amritanandamayi and Union Minister Rajasekharan.

The second farmer-suicide prevention programme is to provide vocational training and start-up capital to the 5,000 groups of women from agricultural families to form home-based businesses.

The project was inaugurated by Minister Sarma. “Social service being rendered by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math is an example for the entire world,” Sharma said while inaugurating the programme.

The Ashram’s Amrita Keerti Puraskar for the year was presented to Paravur Sreedharan Tantri for his contributions to the traditions of Vedic astrology and temple tantra. Union Minister Rajasekharan handed over the award to Paravur Sreedharan Tantri.

The celebrations had begun at 5:00 am with the performance of a Maha-Ganapati Homa at the celebration grounds on the Amritapuri campus of Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

At 7:30 am, Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri organised a satsang. He discussed his experiences and insights he has imbibed during his 30 years as a disciple of the Mata.

When Amritanandamayi arrived on the dais, he performed the Pada Pooja. The she gave her birthday address which focused on how to attain real happiness in life. She pointed at the many problems that the society was currently facing and explained how to solve them.

She said even when the country was marching towards progress, many people were still in the clutches poverty. “We should give food to those who starve, give houses to those who have no shelters,” she said.

As part of the Ashram’s long-term tsunami relief-and-rehabilitation programme, Amritanandamayi handed over keys for nursery schools built by the Ashram in Alappad panchayat to the panchayat president, Rajadas. This was followed by the distribution of sewing machines to impoverished women by Swami Prakashananda.

The public programme ended with Amma conducting a mass marriage of poor couples, with the Ashram sponsoring all the items for the traditional wedding.

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