Temple Tour with Amma Sri Karunamayi, January 2017

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Amma Sri Karunamayi with students at her school in rural India, Andhra Pradesh. Her Education for Life initiative is a tremendous way to break the cycle of poverty and provide opportunities for children they would not have access to otherwise.

The world we live in can be such a mystery and seem so rife with conflict.  How do we see God?  And live in this force of Love?  I believe that one way is to follow in the footsteps of great masters like Amma Sri Karunamayi.

I get asked a lot about how to find a Guru.  And I seem to only be able to answer with the old adage:  “When the student is ready, the teacher will come.”  Guruji, Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati, has been a great teacher of mine for many lifetimes and has made it very clear to follow Amma.  And I have heard Amma call me, deep in my heart.  I hear Amma’s call most profoundly in meditation, in silence, in her glance, in deep energetic embraces, in absorption, in love, in the Shakti she pours into this being and in so many small and even large gestures that I sometimes feel unworthy of containing.  But I work on this self-worth and sit, receive and relax in her boundless love.

A lot of you ask me if Amma talks to me.  Yes, she speaks to me in words, but the calling is deep in the soul.  I sit with Amma and beautiful awakenings happen, things so indelible, all words seem blunt and sharp to explain them.  What does the call sound like or look like?  Indescribable.  And any attempt to even explain it seems foolish.  The truth is, I actually believe She is calling everyone.  I just happen to be listening.  As Guruji says, “God sits in a corner waiting for you.”   When we are ready, the Teacher comes.

tumblr_nk0dcxGtqd1ru322to1_1280I believe that the dormant forces of kundalini within us can be so intimidating and daunting that we need Gurus and avatars like Amma Sri Karunamayi to help us withstand the magnitude of awakening possible for each one of us on this planet.  Miracles, power and beauty are everywhere around us on earth, but in order to take the lens of the ego off, we need Amma’s help.  And then magic is revealed.

The temples of India are magical, yet hold more than magic.  Magic can conjure up something fleeting and temporary while temples hold infinite, non-ending and boundlessly empowering energy.

 Amma took us to three cities earlier this year – Amaravati, Vijayawada and Kottapakonda – where we visited temples and she hosted programs at multiple sites.  Amaravati is the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh.  The first temple we visited was the Amaralingeshwara Temple on the banks of the Krishna River – which houses a very tall Shiva lingam at its center.  In order to get to the temple from Amma’s ashram in Penusila Kshetram, we drove for eight hours.

This is a simple note for folks who wish to come to India and attend Amma’s temple tours.  I believe it is very important for women to wear saris and men to wear dhotis while we are out and about in India as well as with Amma.  The reason for this is deep respect for Mother India, for the gods and goddesses of each temple and for Amma Sri Karunamayi.  I must admit that because I don’t wear saris everyday, my own sari was a bit helter-skelter after an 8-hour journey.  But triumphantly I had a sari on! (Unfortunately it was falling off but I had to ignore this as typically my saris are wrapped and pleated a billion times in order to fit this tiny body and unwrapping and unraveling is not easy.  I have been told by some off the best sari drapers I have worked with that I am the most difficult person to wrap a sari on because the body I house is so small.  All of this to say that the average body size is much bigger than mine so I’m sure you all will have an easier time about putting on a sari at 2:30 am.)  The other choice for Westerners is to wear all white – which is sweet for a thousand reasons including the fact that it reflects light and keeps you from absorbing the hot sun.  When I weigh wearing all white to the challenge of wearing a multi-colored sari, the sari wins as it has multi-fold purposes and stays much cleaner than white does.

amaravathi

Amaravati Temple and Shiva Lingam

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