Walking through the life of Amma

‘Amritapatham’ painting exhibition: In the Footsteps of Love

A highlight of the cultural festivities of Amritavarsham60 is an exhibition that celebrates the life of Amma: ‘Amritapatham‘ In the Footsteps of Love. The exhibition is a visual essay that weaves a narrative of Amma’s life through the mediums of painting and photography. The story begins with a photo of Amma’s parents Sri Sugunandan and Smt Damayanthi and moves all the way through to Amma ‘embracing the world’ through Her various charities and institutions.

The early life of Amma is largely depicted through painting. In the haunting canvas, ‘The School of Life’, Amma is seen looking on at her sick mother after having been withdrawn from school after fourth grade to take care of the family. Amma became responsible for all of the household chores, including washing the clothes, sweeping the yard and taking care of the cows.

Several paintings capture Amma during this time of Her life. However, they illustrate that Amma never forgot Her beloved Krishna in the face of such hardships as she sang, danced and composed bhajans as She did her duties. In the painting ‘Every Effort God Orientated’ Amma is depicted thinking of God as She is sent off to work as a servant at her maternal Aunt’s home.

The culmination of Amma’s devotion to God is captured in the painting ‘Ananda Veethi‘ – the moment when Amma merged with the Divine Mother. This mystical painting precedes a series of works that portray the time in Amma’s life when those around Her began to recognize Her divinity. The moment when Amma became Krishna during the Bhagavatam recital, the first cowshed darshan and the time when Amma turned milk into panchamrit provide visual accounts of historical moments.

It is from here that photography plays a larger part of the exhibition, with vintage photos of the original cowshed, early days of the Ashram and Amma in Her twenties and thirties displayed. A highlight of the entire exhibition is a black and white photo of Amma healing Dattan the Leper. The photo shows Amma’s enormous compassion for the suffering, as well as Her ability to transcend human limitations in touching a leper.

The exhibition then moves to illustrate the life of Amma on the world stage, both as a religious leader and humanitarian . From speaking at the Parliament of World Religions at the UN in Chicago in 1993, receiving a Doctorate of Humane Letters from SUNY, in Buffalo, USA in 2010 or hugging thousands of devotees at one of her Indian programs.

The enormity of Amma’s life in Her service to humanity cannot be described, neither through words nor images. However, ‘Amritapadham’ In the Footsteps of Love serves to remind all that Amma’s life has always been about service to others, whether at the age of ten while looking after Her family or the age of 60 looking after the world. It’s an example that the exhibition celebrates beautifully.

- Lasita

 

Here are some comments from people who visited the Amritapatham exhibition stall

- Caty Jean-Pierre
This exposition is great. Fantastic painting with great colors. The life of Amma with photos touch my heart. Thank you very much for show and give big emotions.

- Cynthia Madhurima
Thank you very much for the beautiful exhibition. The paintings are very precious and unique. They caught AMMA very well! The face really looks like AMMA, too beautiful.

-Natasha
Wonderful exhibition, great art and really gives a big picture of Amma’s amazing soul and life! Thank you so much.

-PadaTitiksheTerzoke
Amma is a beautiful, precious example of LOVE AND SERVICE for all of us. Her life makes me feel little and inspired me to blossom fully to become a happy human being and to as well inspire others through my actions and words. Thank you Amma, thank you…

-Te’munique Poteau
Beautiful exhibition with photographs from Amma’s youth I had never seen before. I’m deeply impressed. Thanks.

- Reutashk
It’s really hard to express what I’m feeling in words. But each picture I look at and each drawing that I saw makes me feel happiness and more connection to Amma. When I see her life, especially when she was young, I feel,  hope that maybe I can also go in her path. Thank you.

-Billie Botton
Wonderful exhibition! Each photograph or original picture is a separate memory of Amma. I could meditate on each one a long time. I hope these will be hung in a quiet, contemplative place where people can appreciate them more fully.

-A.A.
Simply wonderful.

- Lasita
Very much touching my heart to see in Amma that every simple daily activity can be an offering to God. Sharing love in one’s own way is possible everywhere as is obviously seen in all the photographs. I can see love everywhere.

- Gargi S. Anthiyanam
I really don’t know what to say or write… Feel like to cry. Love you Amma

- Varna V.
I feel very happy by seeing a fabulous collection of Amma’s life story within a small number of photographs. I got to know many things by looking at the pictures. The paintings are in such a way that my eyes was almost watching. I just feel that I could have seen more of them.

-Viktor Hasreiter
It’s incredible to see Amma’s life in a collection of pictures. Also the style of painting is beautiful. I read already a part of Amma’s biography, but it is amazing how pictures can sum up a story in a short time. Thank you so much, Amma! One love!

-Neeraja
I came to see this exhibition on Amma’s life twice because I love it. It is an excellent exhibition depicting her life and mission very nicely and clearly. Very touching too! Bravo! I

-Venkatesh P. K, Ernakulam
Super. Really worth seeing. The world must see these photos. It would be really great if these are published online as well.

-Eswar
The artwork was very beautiful and moving. Blessings to all the fabulous artists who did such a wonderful creation. It is a wonderful way to tell Amma’s story. Thank you!

-Karishma, Mumbai
The excellent photography and paintings I have seen today, it gives a potential message to us. It is a best way to understand Amma’s life. Thank you.

- Krishna Kumar Menon, Mumbai
Eyes welling! Throat lumping. It’s awesome. Loss of words to express!

-Neelima, Canada
So beautiful.Perfectly done. Very touching to see the paintings, photos, and read. I cried as I walked through. It made me love Amma even more (the paintings are gorgeous). Thank you, Amma.

-Arun Balakrishnan
A very good collection of pictures and paintings. Having read the biography, a pictorial aids presents a very good picture in the head. A simple recollection of Amma’s life and yet a powerful reminder about our birth’s purpose.

-Ocvanwondt
I like it all! Heartwarming, overwhelming, no words.

-Abhilash T.G.
The paintings were all so lively. Really great work. Thanks for making out this very special painting story line of Amma.

-Shabnam S.
I really enjoyed the painting and I get a clear cut idea about Amma and it gives a spiritual experience. Thank you.

-Chetana,  UK
Vivid, radiant, clear, evolutionary depiction – thank you.

-Deepti
Deeply moving to see so many impressions of Amma’s life through the beauty of art and photography. The writings reflecting Amma’s life, story and shining presence in the world opened my heart. Thank you for the inspiration and devotion – I can feel the unlimited love of our beloved Amma and Her children. Happy Birthday Amma! Sweet kisses.

- Deepthi Cohen
These pictures are moving and inspiring – capturing the diversity of Amma’s activities and showing how Amma always leads by example. The sand seva photo for construction of the ashram where Amma is carrying sand on her head, knee-deep in water.Beautiful collection of photos.

- Krishnamrita Prana
Beautiful exposition.Wonderful to merge all the different types of art forms together. Hope you can document many more precious memories like this in the future.

- Rasya, USA
Very beautiful – you could not help but cry seeing all of the beautiful varied faces of our mother. Didn’t want it to end. This exhibit allowed me to remember again how grateful I am that Amma has found me, how grateful that I can live in the presence of this Divinity. Thank you!

- Shankar
Very enlightening! Well done and hats off to the guys that put it together!

- Isabel Kuhlerhamp, Denmark
Mother’s way is so impressive. Awesome Exhibition!

- Susan Hume
Beautiful, brought me nearer to the Divine!

- Karuna
It  is a wonderful work. Amma underwent so much struggle to make our society into this form. Amma’s life is an inspiration to those who see this exhibition.

- Vijayan K.
How wonderful it is!

- Deepa D.S.
This is a beautiful way to communicate Amma’s life story to the people. This exhibition conveys accurate information and answers many questions that people ask about who Amma is. It is beautiful

- Kavyakala Duncan, USA
This was so beautiful. It so deeply touched my heart. Each painting expressed so much love ad radiated this devotion. Then to have the life of Amma followed by the photos worked so well. I feel so moved by this presentation.

- Narendran B.
The depiction of Amma’s life through this exhibition is really a treasurehouse of information about the ‘Guru’ and ‘Mother’. It is really great. Kudos to those who worked to make it so beautiful.

- Nandini Naveen, Dubai
For those who have not gone through Amma’s biography, this splendid artwork is really inspiring. The pictures have depicted the essence completely. The words brought tears to my eyes. Great work by the entire team. Please continue to give us more inspiring works like this. Blessed with grace to see Amma’s childhood photos!

- Dr. Lakshmi Sankar, Tripunithara
An incomparable visual experience!
Amma’s divine life that inspires millions of people has been depicted here in its full expression! Each picture here will communicate Amma’s life and message to future generations. They will certainly benefit future generations who will not have the good fortune to meet and experience Amma.

- Parvathy Sasikala
Amma’s life has been portrayed as a beautiful picture! The expression is each picture  is beyond words. Beautiful!

- R. Vidyalakshmi
The events in Amma’s life have been pictured beautifully. It really touches the heart. Frankly speaking I could really go through Amma’s feelings and Her love. I know Her only very recently. But this gave a holistic picture of Her entire life. Truly loved it!

- Dr. S. Mahadevan
Loving memories of Amma with beautiful illustrations was a treat to our eyes and a blessing to our heart. Wonderful job!

- Charlotte Riegl, France
Although we all know important moments from Amma’s life from reading Her biography, the pictures are still wonderful and striking in reminding us how blessed we are to be in the presence of such a great Master. Thank you!

- Balaji, Amritapuri
Simply superb! Keep up the good work.

- Nita, Calicut
The way they have depicted Amma’s pictures starting from her birth to this day is really fascinating and up to the mark. We really feel inspired by Her life. We are indeed really lucky and firtunate to come across a living Master, a Satguru, like Amma.

- Toni Cafferky, Ireland
Very moving and beautiful illustrations put together skillfully and effectively. Thank You!

- Aryashree, Kochi
Very beautiful collection of photographs. Brought  tears to my eyes. Thank You!

- Anonymous
Very Beautiful! It reminds me of paintings from the Christian Bible. So touching! Thank you for allowing us to see. Jai Ma!

- Surabhi Sharma
‘Amritapadam’- Most beautiful experience I’ve ever had. The paintings here thrilled me and I got this wonderful opportunity to see Amma’s childhood picture. People unaware of Amma and Her life history must attend this exhibition. Blessed to be a part of Amritavarsham.

- Saswat Ames
I entered the facility with the pictoral story of Amma’s life and I became transfixed by the story and the beauty of the photos. The water colors capture the beauty and expressions of Amma’s face. I have known Amma since 1990 and the way the photos displayed Her actions, I watched each photo feeling the wormth and compassion She has. Each photo in color and paint style depit what Amma is. The tears I now have are my humility and surrender to the compassion and wisdom She has. One photo depicts the story of Amma’s momentary death. I read this in Her bio many years ago, but this photo absorbed me into the complete God Realization She had. I loved the story completely. Not only is this an expert rendition, the paintings also capture the love Amma has for all of us. I would love this in a pictoral book! A beautifully laid out story about Amma. Thank You!

- Durga Lakshmi
It was great idea to make people understand Amma’s life in a short span of time. The drawings were really good and each of Amma’s photos is touching.

- Mahesh Nair
Was totally in another world passing through each picture.

- Ramesh T.N.
Great capture of Amma’s life in pictures from childhood till date with the key highlights. Definitely gives a glimpse and conveys the message. Good effort. Keep it up.

- Janardanan Kottemprom, Kozhikode
Amma’s life and leelas both before and after her incarnation through the medium of painting and photos has been presented in a truly praiseworthy manner. Amma’s grace shines through them. They will continue to lead mankind to the ultimate goal until the end of time. These pictures and photos are a priceless treasure to humanity. 1

- Annie Gaudillere, France
This exhibition is really a wonderful regard to Amma’s life. An excellent choice of chronological pictures. We can see all the compassion of our great Master!

- Bala, Amrita University
This is so fantastic and divine. It moved me to tears. A humble suggestion- have detailed descriptions of each picture- also, please have a digital version. Wonderful! Thank You!

- Bindu
Amma is the love that makes our eyes fill with tears..

- Ravindra Kumar Tripathi, Gorakhpur
Each and every painting represents Amma’s love and compassion for all human beings. We should learn the lesson of love and compassion from Amma irrespective of our caste, creed or religion.

- Rajeswari Selvaraja, Qatar
This exhibition is excellent. Many vintage photographs and beautiful paintings that depict and trace Amma’s life through infancy until MAM was established. Learned some new facts about our beloved Amma! Great work, keep it up!

- Jinachandran
It was a great exhibition. Many of us have read about Amma’s life in books and heard satsangs. But it was an eye-opener to see a pictorial representation. The paintings, photos and captions capture the essence of Amma’s lifelong dedication to humanity, through Her grace and love.
Happy Birthday, Amma!

- Roshan E.
It is simply awesome!

- Amritesh
Beautiful artwork! A blessed and holy space to meditate on Amma’s holy life! Many, many thanks to the artists!

- Sowmya
Amma’s presence is felt in each and every photo. The one who has pictured Amma is a blessed self! Insight into Amma’s life- to go beyond  the mind- the only pursuit in life!

- Nandini, Canada
The exhibit brings tears to the eyes. May we all become instruments of Amma’s great and loving teachings.

- Laurie Taylor
Thank you for the beautiful exhibit. It was inspiring and joyful.

- Sneha Jegart, USA
Such beautiful artwork and photos of our beloved. Excellent at world standards. Well done and informative. The paintings of Amma’s life were exquisite. Thank you for creating this display.

- Pratibha N,  Bangalore
It was indeed a splendid show. It seemed to me like I was taken into Amma’s life 60 years ago. The paintings were exquisitely painted. The display was awesome. Hats off to all the staff and their excellent job. Let Amma’s blessing prevail forever!

- Teresa, Holland
Amma keeps nothing for Herself! Why is it so difficult for us to do the same?
I enjoyed the exhibition twice, seeing Amma with wonder!

- Gopal, Bhopal
Lovely paintings demonstrating Amma’s challenging adolescence, Her devotion to Krishna, and dedication to caring for and uplifting others. They bring tears to my eyes, fill my heart with love and gratitude to have the honor of calling Her my Mother! Beautiful, educating displays. Wonderful addition to the birthday celebration and heartwarming expression of Her life and kind actions.

- J. Harilal, Vallikkavu
Amma’s life-story pictorial depiction is very good. This exhibition served to understand the steps of Amma’s growth which made this small, inconspicuous village of Vallikkavu famous throughout the world.

- Matthew English
One of the most beautiful depictions of Amma’s life in visual. Would love to have a book or pics to display in Japan at my restaurant. Thank You.

- Rajeev Tilayam, Kozhikode
Seeing Amma’s life-history in pictures made me feel as though I was witnessing the story of a divine incarnation before my eyes. I consider this as my great good fortune. All due to the grace of Amma.

- Anonymous
Excellent depiction of Amma. Tears flow by Her love. May Her presence touch everybody.

- Jaya Velayatham, Talassery
Most excellent drawing and heart-touching effects after going through the most excellent drawings taking the views through our heart and makig sweet and smooth effects within ourselves.

- Kaivalya Nicole
Dear artists, painters, photographers and organizers of this beautiful exhibition,
Thank you so much for this lovely offering and the opportunity to see Amma’s life through so many different pairs of eyes. God bless you!

- Kiran Raj
Dear Artists, Your paintings and photographs were very beautiful and touching too. Our Amma’s life has been deatiled by your pictures. God bless you!
Amazing! So lively!

- Jyothy P.R.
Nice presentation. Beyond words.

- Lokesh, Munich
I regret not having met Amma earlier, but now I feel overflowing love to God that He came to the world through Amma. She/He will be my guide forever. I cannot express in normal words what it is- the Universe, the Atman.

- O. Shama Bhatt, Mysore
Really thrilled to see the paintings truly emotionally explaining Amma’s life.
This is the best way of explaining the life history (in the form of marvellous paintings) within a short span of time.

- Mamta Singhal, Mumbai
Very good presentation and introduction to Amma. Would be happy to get a pictorial of this exhibition.

- Anonymous
This beautiful exposition made me feel a step closer to Amma and opened my heart. Woonderful experience to get to know more about Amma’s life and feel Her compassion and love.

- Anon
So very beautifully presented. One of the most inspiring things I have come across in a very long time. Congratulations to all the artists and project co-ordinators who were able to fulfil this dedicated task with so much grace!

- Katherine Lage (Vaishnavi)
The paintings were exquisite. The photos of Amma made me cry. The story of Her life flowed so beautifully in this exhibit. May we have a permanent place for this exhibit? Thank you so much for the loving care you gave to this- you have touched so many of us with the wonder and beauty of Amma’s story.

- Sangeeta Chandra
Exquisite paintings. Great to see Amma’s life journey. Thank you for bringing this to us. This exhibit should be made a permanent feature. Thank you.

- Sujata
It was very nice. It is a very exciting moment in my life when I saw these photos of Amma. It was just wonderful.

- Tyler Gannon
As a child I used to go to Catholic mass and look at the pictures of Jesus carrying the cross to His crucifixion. These images, for people holier than me, bring inspiration to remain devoted. Untouched, I did not reamin a member of the church.
I believe that all a person needs is a living example of God. I feel that with such a thing in mind, any circumstances in life can be transformed into the path of love. Amma has given me a reason to walk, to rise in the morning, to take breath and food. Just now I was caught in the worldly needs of my seva, worried about whether I have the strength this morning to keep working. I think now that it is better for me to put my worries, my thoughts, my wishes, my body itself, down at Her feet where they belong…so that I may some day dance like Her…

- Sreya, Australia
Very beautiful exhibition. Every photo, every artwork, and every word a reflection of purity and love. A very touching exhibition that brings tears to the eyes. It reminds me how fortunate we are to have Amma in our lives for this lifetime.