Sri Karunamayi, the Divine Mother, affectionately called Amma (Telugu word for mother), graced the Hindu Temple of Atlanta with her august presence on from Thursday to Saturday, May 11 to May 13. Sri Sri Sri Vijayeswari Devi or beloved Amma is no stranger to the U.S.or Atlanta as she makes annual trips here. This year too, Atlanta was on her three month itinerary of her travels around the nation.
On the beautiful sunny morning of Thursday, Amma clad in an orange sari, with her radiant smile was given a rousing welcome by the eager devotees, Trustees and the priests of the Hindu Temple, with a ceremonious Poorna kumbham ceremony, accompanied with auspicious music and mantra chanting, garlanding, and presenting her with flower bouquets and graciously escorting her inside the Shiva Temple, where she offered her prayers to the deities.
After she sat on the raised ornate seat, Puja Committee Chairman, Dr.Manga Raju Vanapalli welcomed her and the gathering. After the devotees sat down on the floor, to participate in the Puja ceremony in presence of Amma, priests Phani Kumar, Mallikkarjuna Sharma and Srinivas Sharma chanted Ganesh ,Saraswati,Gayatri,Maha Laxmi, and Mahamrityunjaya mantras and also performed Sri Lalita Sahasranama archana pooja with the devotees. At the conclusion of this austere puja ceremony, a group of women devotees offered an aarti to Amma. The devotees formed a line to seek Amma’s blessings. Later Amma in her gentle voice gave a spiritual discourse emphasizing the power of vibrations generated by chanting of different mantras and their efficacy in creating a positive force for the individual aspirants as well as the universe. Delicious prasadam prepared by one of the devotees and delectable lunch were served to all.
In the evening, Amma participated in the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Homa Hall, adjacent to the Shiva Temple and an office complex. Amma was shown the Architects Plan for the proposed construction. Chanting Om Namah Shivay in unison, Amma and the devotees circumambulated the temple in a Peace March. The Temple priests, Amma and the devotees including Dr.B.K.Mohan,President of the Hindu Temple Aruna Prasad Kancherla and his wife Parvathy Kancherla, Mohan Reddy and his wife Dr. Sujatha Reddy, Dr.Manga Raju Vanapalli and other Trustees of the Temple performed the ground-breaking ceremony. Amma made special offerings and also broke a coconut to sanctify the plot of land. Later on, Amma gave an insightful spiritual discourse on Sanatana dharma, advising the gathering to love all human beings, animals and plants and protect the environment. She also sang a few bhajans in her mellifluous voice. Dr.Aruna Prasad Kancherla welcomed all and presented a Proclamation to Amma, on behalf of the Trustees of the Hindu Temple, lauding her selfless service to humanity, her compassion, generosity and unreserved love for all. Amma and her devotees were treated to sacred music and a scintillating Bharatnatyam dance,choreographed by Sujata Dikshit and performed by Dr.Arunaprasad and Parvathy Kancherla’s daughter Sreeratna Kancherla, a former Miss India-USA and a former Miss Teen America.
One- day silent retreat is an innovative feature of Sri Karunamayi’s current U.S.Tour. The retreat offers blessed opportunity to her devotees to meditate with her, and to listen to her in-depth spiritual discourses.
Beyond extensive traveling in India, Europe and the U.S. blessing her devotees, delivering spiritual discourses and conducting meditation retreats, indefatigable and compassionate Amma runs two praiseworthy projects in India-Sri Karunamayi Free Hospital and Sri Karunamayi Free School. These projects are extremely worthy of wholehearted support in cash or kind.