For a moment, it appeared Amma would be pulled off the stage! We had stopped at one of Amma’s orphanages for a late lunch on our way from Palakkad to Trivandrum, and Amma was saying goodbye to the children. They were excited, shouting and crowding towards Amma with hands outstretched upwards to reach her… In turn, she had bent forward at the waist and was reaching down to each one of them with a look of immense love and joy on her face. Her broad smile seemed blissful as several small hands tugged at her arms, while others stroked her cheeks. Many times, she seemed about to lose her balance. People around her attempted to tell the children to move back, but Amma waved these people away and continued showering her affection. Finally, she stepped back, stood straight and started walking toward the exit as a multitude of high-pitched voices called with devotion until she was out of sight.

The story doesn’t stop there however. On the evening of the second day of the Trivandrum festival, the children came to the program to see Amma and again gathered in front of the stage. They overtook the front half of the hall and started dancing and laughing in front of her. Girls held hands and moved in circles to the bhajans being played, while the boys jumped up and down. Finally one international devotee part of the tour group joined the fun, inspiring several more to do as well. 14orphanage114orphanage2

After the second bhajan ended, Amma gave the approval for the children to keep dancing and wanted more music to be played for them. This time, a woman from Paris started to sing while standing with a microphone in the midst of the group. She started by chanting “Mata Rani Ki” and then launched into a third bhajan as well as other songs. As the music continued, more and more international devotees started dancing with the children. Some even formed a human chain that weaved in and out of the mass of people happily gathered in front of Amma. Finally, the spontaneous celebration slowly drew to a close, leaving all of Amma’s children, young and old, with bright smiles on their faces.

– by Vandita B (USA)

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