I have heard about Amma for a long time; in fact had many opportunities to meet her before I came to UK. One of my friends told me that its not yet my 'time ' to see her. Another said, "I will meet her at the right time"…It’s a niyogam…I have been to Karamana (Trivandrum) and also very near to her Ashram in Calicut many times when I was in Kerala. But I never thought about going there
In July 2005 I was going for 'the short course on Human Genetics' to Barharbor. It was just by chance that I met Amma in New York. I had planned my journey via New York (yes, one of my all time favourite places for a variety of reasons) to visit Chandru uncle and family. It was just a coincidence (or was it a niyogam) that Amma was also visiting US and her 3 day visit in Newyork started the day after I reached New York! Uncle and aunt said that they were going to see Amma that morning and that I was more than welcome to go with them to Manhattan.
After that it was all like a dream.
We drove by Car to Manhattan. There was a small queue forming outside the building for darshan. One of the nice Volunteers asked me outside whether I was seeing Amma for the first time. They gave a special colour sticker to put on my shirt and I was (like all other first timers) given special preference. I was also given a token for Darshan.
I was given a seat very near to the front (as a first timer)of the stage where Amma would be sitting when she arrives. There was some nice Indian music and also a screen showing some of Amma's charity work from around the world...the notable ones being Amma at UN General assembly and also helping the victims of 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Mata Amritanandamayi Math had announced a billion rupees (23 million dollars) in aid to the victims of the tsunami. The Math's relief work was happening in many parts of India and Sri Lanka.
When my turn came I stood in the queue and after some time we had to stand in 2 lines and move forward on our knees. Somebody asked me what my mother-tongue was when I was nearing Amma. People were crying, smiling, laughing, meditating , some remained still with their eyes closed. I saw a few people in front of me getting malas from Amma. I wished for one and was thinking I should have bought one from the stall, when suddenly Usha aunty came from nowhere and gave me a rudraksha mala ...It was pure magic beyond belief.
What followed was one of the most wonderful experiences when Amma looked at me, hugged me and then whispered into my ears ,' aentae ponnu monae' repeatedly. She took the mala from me and put around my neck. I showed her a family photo. She hugged me again; gave me an apple, prasadam and bhasmam. She asked me to sit near her for sometime. I heard from someone later that she gives apple only to special people.:-) I had tears in my eyes...Just tears rolling down my cheeks...Caught in moments of bliss.....The aura around her was undescribable. I could smell her long time since the hug.Since then I have met Amma three more times in London ..Oct 2005, Oct 2006 and Dec 2007. I have taken a few of my friends and family members for Darshan in London & also done Seva. One of my good friends has since become the main IT person in Amma's team in UK.
Lokaah Samastaah Sukhino Bhavantu..........