Nowhere on earth is life lived as fully as it is in Amritapuri. Every nook and corner of the ashram sparkles with dynamism. From the stillness of the morning hours when the ashram is rapt in meditation to the vibrancy of the night when the air is filled with Amma’s ecstatic bhajans, Amritapuri is always wonderfully abuzz.
In the glow of yagna fires (sacrificial fire) where the pujaris (priests) perform Vedic rituals, in the silence of the library where young monks study Bharat’s sacred scriptures, in the sweat falling from the backs of those maintaining the ashram through seva and karma yoga, and of course in the lap of Amma, who is forever sharing Her boundless love in the darshan hall, Amritapuri is truly, as its name indicates, the City (Puri) of Immortal Nectar (Amrita).
The inspiration for the activity is and always has been Amma. Thousands come to the ashram everyday for Her darshan. Some are seeking spiritual guidance, others want to unburden their sorrows, and many want to simply spend a few moments in Her arms. Amma sees each and every person, no matter how long it takes, giving each person exactly what they need. In many ways, the ashram is a university where people of all walks of life have come to study the science of life.
When Amma is not giving darshan, She is leading the ashramites in meditation, instructing them in their spiritual practices and uplifting them with Her immortal wisdom.
At Amritapuri, the ashramites and the devotees form a big family under Amma, and together they celebrate many festivals like Sri Krishna’s Birthday, Onam, Christmas, Vishu, Guru Purnima, Shivaratri, Navaratri, Diwali, but in truth each day at Amritapuri is a festival. This is reflected in all who come here, through the sense of peace, joy and fullness that radiates from their faces.
Amritapuri Ashram Daily Schedule
Amritapuri Ashram is home to more than 3,500 monastic disciples and householders. Amma has created a timetable for Her disciples. Visitors are welcome to follow to this schedule, if they like as well.
The daily schedule is fairly open with classes that you can take, lectures you can attend, and plenty of opportunity for meditation and introspection. Everyone also does daily seva, your selfless service back to the ashram, which can vary from washing buckets to serving food. The jobs are endless and essential to the survival of this well-oiled machine that serves 3 meals a day to a few thousand people.
Four days a week, Amma gives darshan for the devotees/visitors (Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday) where you are allowed to stand in line and take a moment to ask a question or simply receive one of her embraces.
05:00 a.m. – 06:00 a.m. Chanting of Sri Lalita SahasraNama (Archana)
06:30 a.m. – 07:30 a.m. Meditation (Dhyana)
08:30 a.m. – 09:30 a.m. Breakfast
10:00 a.m. – 01:00 p.m. Selfless Service (Seva)
12:30 p.m. – 02:00 p.m. Lunch
02:00 p.m. – 05:00 p.m. Selfless Service (Seva)
05:00 p.m. – 06:00 p.m. Meditation (Dhyana)
06:30 p.m. – 08:00 p.m. Devotional Singing (Bhajana)
08:15 p.m. – 09:00 p.m. Dinner
09:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Personal study, Meditation, Diary Keeping
Amrita Yoga, Integrated Meditation Technique, Sanskrit, Vedanta and other scripture classes also take place almost daily. At the Kalari, regular Homas and Pujas are there in the morning, noon and in the evening.
Tuesday is meditation day on which Amma joins the meditating group late in the morning, gives satsanga – a question & answers session, and then serves Prasad lunch for the residents.
On Monday and Friday Amma usually joins the meditation on the beach at 5:30pm and guides a question & answer session before leading the Bhajana in the main auditorium.