Wednesday, December 29, 2004


From Linda Johnsen (via e-mail):

"As many of you have probably heard by now, the tsunami hit Ammachi's ashram in southern Kerala. The waves were only five feet high by then, but hit with such force they annihilated the villages along the coast, even knocking down concrete buildings. Incredibly, an hour before the wave hit, Amma sent out a message over the ashram PA system ordering the thousands of devotees gathered there for the holiday to evacuate at once to high-rise buildings further in-land, and had her brahmacharins run along the beach to chase villagers away from the water.

"While the devastation on the Kerala coast was incalculable, not one person in Amritapuri (there were over 10,000 people there at the time) was lost or even injured. It's unbelievable.

"Amma is now spearheading relief efforts in India. The government has managed to deliver rice to coastal communities in southwestern India, but the villagers have no pots to cook with, so the ashram is feeding the entire population in the area, even though their own grounds were badly damaged. The brahmacharins are also extremely busy performing funeral rites--offering some small comfort to bereaved families along the sea. Groups of Amma's followers throughout the Western world are banding together to help finance the rebuilding of villages.

"Several weeks ago my friend Janine, who'd been alarmed by rumors that Amma had been predicting a major disaster, asked the brahmacharini who stays with Amma in her room at night, if there was any truth in the gossip. The brahmacharini told her, 'Amma says that when she goes to sleep at night she sees a dark wave over the sun.' At the time Janine thought the brahmacharini must have mistranslated and really meant to say 'dark cloud over the sun,' but now she understands what Amma meant by a 'dark wave.' What a world, so full of both sorrow and grace!

"Wishing you all a tranquil holiday and a better New Year." -Linda Johnsen


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