Taking The Mystery Out of Yoga

by Gretchen Karros

TOPIC OF THE MONTH: Ashrams (Spiritual Centers)Kerala, India, with Amaji at Amitapuri Ashram

This Ashram is in Southern India not far from a large coastal city called Trivandum in the state of Kerala (that means “Place of Coconuts). After traveling to Trivandum, one must take a taxi to the railroad station and find out when the next train goes to Parayakadevu. One must take another taxi from the station to get there. At that point, you board a small boat, taking other passengers also until you land on a sandy shore not far from the center of the Ashram. This is where Amaji has built several high-rise apartments (no elevators, of course) and all the visitors must stay there. These accommodations are furnished with everything, and are elegant, according to Indian standards.

Amaji (also called “the Mother”) was born in the small town nearby. Her early life was filled with traumas because she was considered “crazy” by her family and the surrounding villagers. There were many other children in the family but she was the one who helped her mother the most by scrubbing the floors, doing laundry, and cooking. The reason everyone thought she was crazy was because she claimed she was was seeing and talking to “Krishna” (a favorite God in India) constantly talking and praying to him. The village people treated her very badly even though at one time before she was even born, a monk traveling through the neighborhood predicted that one day this area would be a “holy place” where many people would come for “Liberation” which it is now. Finally, by 1977 (she was 24 at the time) while sitting in deep meditation, she heard the voice of the Divine Mother tell her to “honor my presence in the hearts of all beings, and relieve them of the sufferings of worldly existence.”

Since that time, Amaji has been contributing money, food, schools and hospitals in India and she travels all over India visiting and giving “Darshan” a meeting with a Spiritual Master. She has a center in San Raphael, CA, as well as smaller satellites in the U.S. where she goes to teach.

Her Indian Ashram may be very hard to reach but it is an amazing place to visit, especially when she is there to give you a big hug and a kiss.

Being yourself and trusting in your own integrity, you will automatically help others.” (Katsumi Sugita)


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