Thousands of devotees arrive to celebrate Amma’s birthday in Kollam

Friday, Sep 26, 2014,19:41 IST By metrovaartha A A A

Thousands of devotees from different parts of the world congregated in Kollam  today as the 61st birthday celebrations of world-renowned spiritual and humanitarian leader Mata Amritanandamayi began with a darshan to her disciples.
Elaborate arrangements have been put in place for the conduct of the cultural meet here on the occasion of the birthday of Amma, as the spiritual leader is fondly known, tomorrow.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, State Ministers Ramesh Chennithala, Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, V S Sivakumar and C N Balakrishnan; Chief Whip  P C George, K C Venugopal MP, SNDP Yogam General Secretary Vellapally Natesan and a host of other dignitaries will participate.    The venue is all decked up to accommodate over half a million devotees who have come here from different parts of the country and abroad to attend the two-day birthday celebrations, titled Amritavarsham 61.
The Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM) will announce a slew of charitable projects and launch different technological innovations developed by the institutions under MAM on the occasion.
MAM’s Amrita Keerthi Puraskar for cultural contributions of excellence will be awarded to devotional poet S Rameshan Nair.   A series of ashram’s publications highlighting Amma’s spiritual teachings will also be released on the occasion,  which will also witness a free marriage ceremony for impoverished couples and distribution of free clothing to the poor.
The day’s proceedings will start with a Sri Guru Padapuja,  the ceremonial washing of the guru’s feet followed by Amma’s annual birthday address.
A ‘satsang’ by Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, the Vice-Chairman of the MAM, will also be held on the occasion.
The celebrations will include Amma’s signature  darshan- – her personal motherly embrace for each person attending the event.