Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Satsang With Ammachi—Part I, Mommy Swans

File under: Satsang Reports and Amma All-Over-The-Planet

We are happy to report that we seem to have retained our relative maturity (approximately 23 years old) after a direct encounter with that lactescent heaven-on-Earth, the bosom of Amma.

We arrive at the hotel conference room after an hour’s drive and find a seat next to a woman dressed in orange. We notice this mainly because a majority of people are dressed in white or light cream colors, including the people serving as ushers, referred to as "helpers" here. They all have an added dash of color in the form of a red or green scarf. We surmise this to be some kind of Ammabot color-coding. We ask one of the helpers for a token, and he asks if we’ve already received darshan today. We haven’t, and so we end up in group 301-400.

Back at our seat, we begin to notice some things. First off, the female to male ratio is at least 3 to 1. Wheels start to turn, but because we've got a job to do, [Ed.note: And being the total losers we are.] those wheels quickly come to a grinding halt. But it’s a pleasant way to pass the time—watching the pretty shaktis flitter about as they socialize. We also notice that the vibe is equally pleasant. It’s quite mellow for the most part, with a just a touch of a shrill crust around the edges where the helpers are hovering and the commerce is occurring. At a rave we'd call it a 'good' crowd.

People begin to gather at the forward entrance of the room where Amma will appear. As they cluster they begin to chant, slowly and softly. A few minutes of this brings an entrained befuddlement to the mind. The psych ops have begun.

This goes on for an effective 10-15 minutes, and some of the Ammabots are swaying in unison by the time another party of chanters is heard in the entryway, some of them blowing conches. The waiting devotees kick their chant up to match.

With people standing on chairs in front of us, it’s hard to see what’s going on. But when priests start chanting the arati mantras and people start to laugh, we know Amma has entered the room and is already working the crowd. She and her retinue proceed to the dais as video cameras record the procession, where they all settle in for the evening's program along with the crowd.

A 20-something American male who lives at an Amma ashram in India begins to speak. Right away he tells us that Amma is the complete embodiment of all love, peace and beauty in the world. All the Ammabots nod their heads.

Self-effacing and self-important at the same time, the speaker is getting folks to laugh at his ignorant ways, before he met Amma. Now it’s all peace, love and beauty, of course. He then proceeds to associate the Atman with beauty. As Shankara rolls in his grave, the devotees lap it up like kittens at a dish of milk, unaware of the occluding nonsense that has begun to infect their minds.

Next: Amma speaks.


At 7/01/2005 6:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're 23? Heheheh.

At 7/03/2005 5:38 PM, Blogger jody said...

I peg my relative maturity at 23. I'm twice that chronologically.


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