Monday, July, 9th, 2007.
I felt I had to write about the events of today. During my routine prayers in the morning, followed by meditation, I sincerely requested my Guru to provide me with spiritual guidance in the form of a living guru.
Directly after this, I sat down at the computer to check my e-mail. The first mail that day was from Kathy Allen at the Rochester Peetam, apologising for the delay in providing me with Shri Ramesh’s phone number.
Her response was indeed too timely to be coincidental. I felt this was a strong and clear indication for me to contact Atmananda/ Ramesh.
I quickly recited the Baala Kavacham and dialled the phone number in Chennai.
Very soon, I was talking to Ramesh. It was as though I was talking to a familiar person. For his part, it appeared he had heard about me from both Kathy as well as Ezhilmani at the Baala Peetam.
I told Shri Ramesh, that I intended to visit Chennai in late September and requested permission to contact him. He went quiet for a few minutes and then said “ Actually Baala just informs me you will be coming to see me!”
Once again, this small, yet most powerful and playful Goddess has set in motion a train of events that will play out fully only at her command.
On Wednesday, July 19th, I had an opportunity to meet Amma, Amritananda Mayi. My husband's cousin in Boston was making a trip to get a special "hug" from Amma and invited me to join her.
I felt this was indeed a special calling. " Amma" was going to address the audience in her Devi Bhava and this was an event I had never witnessed before.
We reached the venue where Amma was staying in the early afternoon and waited patiently until late evening for the prayers and satsang meeting to commence. After a small puja in which the entire congregation participated, Amma began the evening's special darshan process , dressed regally as the veritable Raja Rajeshwari herself!
There was a huge crowd , and we waited patiently for our turn to come up. Finally, I was there, kneeling at her feet, being hugged and addressed as " Chella Pillai" in very loving tones. It was as if no one else existed at that point in time and all of Amma's love was being showered on me. I was made to feel very favored and special just for those few moments.
As I rose to leave, I asked the volunteers nearby if I could get a mantra from Amma that day. I had been previously informed that Mantras are given by Amma to a few followers only on the Devi Bhava days. I was taken to the side of the main dais and joined a small group of American ladies who had also requested mantra diksha from Amma.
A volunteer told me to think about my "ishta" devata or preferred deity, so I could be provided the appropriate mantra. Then, I was led up to Amma again. This time, I knelt by her right hand. I was very close to her and could see the golden belt she was wearing around her ample waist, and the little jimikkis glistening in her ears. Her thick and wavy hair cascaded over her shoulders, streaming like rivulets from the golden crown she wore on her head.
Amma was hugging people as they came in one by one. At a small pause, I was asked to lower my head and receive the mantra Diksha. A priest sitting behind Amma asked me for my favorite deity. "Bhuvaneshwari" ,I replied without thinking. The priest informed Amma about this and just as she was going to give me the mantra, a sudden message flashed across my mind. This message seemed to come from my Guru, Shri Shantananda Swamigal. " Don't ask for the Bhuvaneswari Mantra. Ask for Baala tripurasundari mantra, instead".
I looked at the priest and asked him if I could change my mind. He indicated that I could. Immediately, I requested the Baala mantra. He wrote the well known mantra on a piece of paper, in malayalam and gave it to Amma.
She cupped my right ear and inonated it loudly and clearly, three times in my ear.
That was it! I had been given the Baala Tripurasundari Mantra, at my Guru's command, by his selected medium, Amma.
I felt indeed honoured and extremely grateful