Living and Learning in Amritapuri, India: December 12-18, 2016

Amme Yi Jivende

Last week, I wrote about hearing one of Amma’s swamis singing a song titled Amme Yi Jivende. I shared about a time in the early 90’s when I heard a different swami sing the same song. At that time, I was sleeping on a devotee’s roof during a program in Trivandrum. The house was near the Trivandrum ashram and the music filled the late night air. I felt as if the Swami was singing a lullaby to the infant part of me.

The day after I heard it sung this year, I walked by the auditorium when a group of brahmacharinis (female monks) were singing the very same song. I haven’t heard that song for many years so to  have it sung in my presence twice in two days was quite a surprise. The tune has run through my mind numerous times since then.

Indian religions recognize both God and the Goddess. The words of Amme Yi Jivende are directed to the Goddess. As I mentioned above, the tune is very much like a lullaby and the sound still sooths the infant part of me… and there are times older parts of me relate to the lyrics.

O Mother of the Universe, there is no one other than you who can wipe the tears off this face, who can liberate this soul. Coming to your feet, this soul realizes itself.

Alas! This mind is even now wallowing in sorrow having lost its way in Maya before finding its Goal. Please bless me that I shall forever hold you in a tight embrace with pure devotion.

In this fearsome ocean of birth and death, the only refuge is your lotus feet. Won’t you come and sprinkle a little of the nectar of love on this smouldering self?

This little infant spends every single moment meditating on your form. Please do not keep me waiting any more– draw me close to you and bestow inner tranquility to this tortured soul.

I wish I could share a soundtrack with you but I don’t have a way to do that. If you belong to Spotify you will be able to find it there.

Kapok Tree

In an December 4th post, I shared pictures of two Kapok tree trunks. One I found on the internet; the other tree is in Amritapuri. At the time I wrote the original post, I couldn’t see anything that these trunks had in common.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikimedia


This week, I happened to look at the other side of the Amritapuri tree and this is what I saw:


Even though the two tree trunks are vastly different in size, I can see that their trunks have some commonality.

Rupee update

Money is still a big problem here. The banks won’t give out much cash, if any. The ATM I go to won’t ever dispense more than 2000 rupees a day (about $30), and it is frequently empty.  I went to two ATMs in town one day and they were empty too. The machines may stay empty for days.

If you luck out and are able to get some cash, it may still be difficult to use it because the merchants are often unable to make change. This problem has been going on since November 8th.


It was hot when I arrived at the ashram on November 26. Then the weather turned much cooler. There was even one day when I put on a flannel shirt for a while. Most of the time, though, it has been hot, but not too hot, during the day and cool in the early morning and during the night.


Two days ago, I saw Lakshmi, one of the ashram elephants, for the first time this year. She was walking down the road with her mahouts when I was returning to the ashram after working in the garden.

She had probably been in the courtyard by the auditorium. The mahouts often bring her there at this time of year so that children and adults can feed her bunches of bananas. I fed Lakshmi for the first time two years ago.

The following photos of Lakshmi and Amma were taken in 2011.



This morning, a woman was sketching at the table where I had breakfast. I told her that I thought her drawing was beautiful. When she finished it, she gave it to me!




To see all of the posts in this Amritapuri series, click here.


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