Lilas around Amma

Some time during 2nd Week of Jan 1913

What enlivens Brahmachari Ramkumar's satsangs (now going on at Amritapuri during Amma's absence) is the stories (i.e., real happenings) of Amma and her ever captivating divine play.

Here is one happening that he narrated recently:

How a villager who opposed Amma for 30 years surrendered finally to her love

When the coastal stretch comprising of numerous villages along with Amritapuri got severely affected by tsunami almost a decade ago, Amma's Ashram was preparing food 3 times a day and distributed the food to most of the affected villages for almost a month.

Ashram brahmacharis would carry the bulk of the food in a van, go from village to village and unload a portion needed for each village in large vessels that the villagers were asked to keep, wash and maintain. Most of the villages were happy to do their part of keeping the vessels and cleaning them.

But there was this village whose people were virtually against the Ashram; of course, they 'did not mind' getting their daily supply of food from the Ashram, but they were not willing to take the responsibility of keeping and maintaining the vessels. So, the brahmacharis had no option but to carry with them those vessels too in their van. The vessels occupied quite some space and it meant that some brahmacharis won't be able to travel with the van. They had to walk back from the village to the Ashram.

One person in the village was feeling bad about it. He was actually the leader of the Rationalist Group that had all along been opposing Amma and spreading bad name about Amma and her Ashram over the past 30 years; he had never met Amma too! So, despite his opposition to Amma, he felt that for the sake of the brahmacharis who were doing so much for the people, he should do something in return. He offered to keep the vessels in his personal custody, get them cleaned and bring them for collecting the food meant for the village at the time of the arrival of the food van.

Over a period of time, he became somewhat friendly with Br. Ramkumar also, though neither discussed about Amma during their interactions.

One day, Brah. Ramkumar saw this person sitting secluded and crying. He went close and inquired why. This person opened out his heart and said "I am a fisherman by profession; I go out to sea over 5 full days for fishing, return home only for the weekends and that's how I run my family. My job is tough and I am a drunkard. But, I toil my life for the sake of my family. But what has happened now! My son, hardly 16-17 years old now has become a drunkard! I just can't tolerate this. It wreaks my heart. Who can save my son from the evil grip of alcohol?" He continued to cry.
Picture courtesy: vividmagazine.com

Br. Ramkumar consoled him and told him that Amma had indeed weaned away countless number of people from the grip of Alcohol, purely through her grace; if the person had no objection, Ramkumar could take his son to Amma for her blessing.

The person agreed. Ramkumar took the boy to Amma.

Amma gave darshan to the boy and even before Ramkumar could start explaining anything about the boy, Amma said to the boy, "My dear son, Do you know how much your father loves you? Do you know how much he works hard purely for your and family sake by risking his life and spending time at sea to catch fish? In our culture, father and mother are Gods. My son, you should not indulge in any activity that can cause mental agony to your parent. Your father is your God. Go and fall at his feet; seek his pardon". The boy was utterly surprised and shaken. He returned to his village on his own after the darshan.

For the next few days, Br. Ramkumar could not go to that village due to his other preoccupations. When he went there the next time, the man came running to meet Ramkumar. This time, there were tears of joy on his face. "You know, after seeing Amma, my son came back and prostrated before me; he told me that I was his God! He sought pardon from me for what he had done! Oh! I just cannot fathom how your Amma can shower so much of grace on me despite the fact that I had been opposing her and spreading falsehood against her all these years; how could she ever mention me to be a God to my son!" The man cried.

Now, he too wanted to meet Amma and receive her darshan. Fearing that his followers would ridicule and condemn him, he visited Amritapuri secretively and had Amma's darshan. His entire course of life now got changed. He became Amma's devotee instantly. He disbanded his rationalist group. One by one, many of the other villagers who had been opposing Amma too turned her devotees.

Recently, when Amma returned to Amritapuri after her visit to China, this village (situated along the road route to Amritapuri) gave a grand reception to Amma by lighting lamps all the way through the road across the village.
Picture courtesy: tripadvisor.com

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