The 70th Birthday of Mata Amritanandamayi Is Celebrated with Spiritual Wisdom, Prayers for Peace & Unity, and Charitable Projects for the Poor — Free Surgeries, Education and Women’s Self Help Groups
KOLLAM — Amritapuri, the international headquarters of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, resounded with joy and spiritual fervour as devotees and dignitaries from around the world came together to celebrate the 70th birthday of the revered spiritual leader, Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi. Lakhs of people attended the two-day celebration that took place at the Amrita University Campus on October 2 and 3, 2023.
In her 70th birthday message, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) focused on the importance of love, selflessness and unity. Emphasizing the need for good actions, living in harmony, and respect for nature, Amma encouraged individuals to recognise their inner potential, control their thoughts and actions, and cultivate patience. She expressed concerns about youth’s exposure to negative influences and stressed the role of parents in imparting values.
Amma said, “Every calamity—be it a pandemic, natural disaster or climate change—urges humankind to cultivate three things: Cooperation, Companionship, and Communion. That is, we need to move in cooperation with our fellow human beings, in companionship with Nature, and in communion with God. Failure to do so—at least a little bit—will negatively impact all of our actions.”
On October 3, the grand celebration continued with the Mahaganapati Homa at 5 a.m., followed by satsang by Swami Amritaswarupananda at 7 a.m. and a captivating musical performance by Rahul Raj and his ensemble at 7:45 a.m. The day’s highlights included Guru Padapuja at 9 a.m..
The formal event, which began at 11 a.m. brought together esteemed representatives from 193 countries and was graced by the presence of distinguished dignitaries, including Governor Arif Mohammed Khan of Kerala, Union Cabinet Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey, Union Ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey and V. Muraleedharan, Deputy Speaker of the Legislative Assembly Chittayam Gopakumar, and the opposition leader of Kerala, V.D. Satheesan.
During a video address, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, said, “For more than three decades, I have cherished a close bond with Amma, particularly during significant moments such as the earthquake in Kachchh, Gujarat. I am deeply grateful for the moments I have shared with Amma, notably during her 60th birthday celebration in Amritapuri. I fervently wish I could have been presented to relish and partake in today’s celebrations with all of you. Amma’s compassionate smile and affection, then and now, continue to bring me immense joy. Moreover, over the past decade, Amma’s initiatives and influence have expanded globally, enriching the lives of countless individuals, and empowering them. In August of the previous year, I had the privilege of inaugurating Amrita Hospital in Faridabad, Haryana. Words alone cannot adequately convey the profound impact of Amma’s presence and benevolence; it must be experienced first-hand.”
He further added, “I pray that Amma’s boundless compassion and unwavering dedication, which have positively impacted lives worldwide through her tireless service and humanitarian endeavours, may continue to flourish.”
Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri said: “Today, on Amma’s birthday, we reflect on her enduring message about the power of giving back to society, a sentiment that resonates now more than ever. Amma, our beloved mother, entrusted with the mission of uplifting the world, stands as a beacon of inspiration. Her embrace knows no bounds, surpassing barriers of nationality, race, language, religion, age, or social standing. It is a universal language of love and compassion that unites us all.
He further added, “Amma’s selfless dedication to eradicating gender discrimination has empowered countless women nationwide. Her influence even extends to the highest echelons of industry, with luminaries like Marc Benioff, the visionary CEO of Salesforce, acknowledging Amma as a frequent source of inspiration for his cooperate charity. Today, as we celebrate Amma’s birthday, let us carry forward her legacy of love, compassion, and unwavering commitment to a more inclusive and compassionate world.”
Union Cabinet Minister Mahendra Nath Pandey, said, “Just as a child finds solace in a mother’s embrace, today we are all embraced by our mother, Amma. Amma’s love and care nurture us, ensuring success in life. Her life is dedicated to serving the poor and helpless. Inspired by Amma, we strive to share her blessings and alleviate the suffering of others. The Mata Amritanandamayi Math, under Amma’s guidance, stands as one of the largest charitable organizations worldwide. Amma encourages us to live like bees, collecting the nectar of good qualities and expressing gratitude. Her bhajans and spiritual power have transformed countless lives. On this special day, I salute the compassionate mother who alleviates suffering and brings happiness. Like a rainbow spreading colours, Amma’s influence enriches India’s unity in diversity. May Amma’s blessings forever abide with you.”
Governor Arif Mohammed Khan of Kerala said, “Amma embodies advaita—a sublime union where discrimination and distinction dissolve, leaving only sivam—goodness and perfect unity. Celebrating 70 years of Amma’s life is akin to honouring the timeless Indian spiritual tradition, a beacon of age-old wisdom. I’m continually inspired by Amma’s profound influence on humanity, a testament to her teachings of love, compassion and selflessness, which remain a guiding light for us all.”
Union Ministers Ashwini Kumar Choubey said, “Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, the bestower of divine wisdom and compassion, your words carry the essence of nectar, touching every living being. It’s a privilege to find solace under your boundless love, for in you, I see the embodiment of a mother’s care. Your 70 years of life have unfurled a flag of Sanatana Dharma, spreading love and spirituality worldwide. Amma, you’ve illuminated the globe with the brilliance of Indian culture and civilisation, a source of immense pride for us all. May your blessings forever envelop us. The definition of women’s empowerment, as articulated by the Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and inspired by you, is truly commendable. Your unwavering determination and willpower inspire us all. I humbly bow at your feet for the remarkable social service endeavours you have undertaken.”
During this momentous occasion, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi was honoured with the prestigious ‘World Leader for Peace and Security Award,’ jointly presented by the Boston Global Forum (BGF) and the Michael Dukakis Institute for Leadership and Innovation (MDI). Amma received the award from Nguyen Anh Tuan, Co-Founder and CEO of Boston Global Forum. Additionally, Amritakeerti Puraskars for the years 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 were presented to Prof. K.S. Radhakrishnan, Prof. Srivaraham Chandrasekharan Nair, Acharyasri M.R. Rajesh and author Dr. S.L. Bhyrappa for their outstanding contributions to the philosophy and culture of Sanatana Dharma.
The Ashram’s self-help group initiative, AmritaSREE, expanded its reach to Karnataka and Tamil Nadu by 10,000 enrolees, reaffirming the Math’s commitment to empowering women across India. Furthermore, the graduation of 5,900 women from Ashram’s skill-training centres across India, a sponsored traditional marriage for economically challenged couples, and the free distribution of saris for 3.5 lakh women benefitting from the maths’ humanitarian programmes added to the jubilant occasion.
The Mata Amritanandamayi Math also extended its humanitarian efforts by providing certificates for free surgeries at Amrita Hospital to 300 patients in need of kidney, liver-heart transplants, cancer treatments and other major surgeries.
One of the most touching events of the celebration was the mixing of soil from more than 70 countries around the world with Indian soil in a prayer of peace in unity titled “An Offering to Mother Earth.” Amma then planted a sandalwood sapling in the mixed soil, which was watered by Amma and the dignitaries and will be planted in the Amritapuri Ashram.
Hundreds of distinguished guests from across the globe participated in this momentous birthday celebration, making it a truly global event.
The festivities commenced on October 2 with a day filled with spiritual discourses and meditation sessions, inspired by the profound wisdom of Amma. The day was marked by a Global Peace Prayer, the unveiling of new research projects and centres at Amrita University, and the launch of the ashram’s new website—www.amma.org—and new publications.
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