Amrita Gita

Amrita Gita

I’m excited to share more with you about Amrita Gita, one of Amrita Virtual Academy’s most recent and valuable gemstones, amongst its online courses. This spiritual course dives deeply into Amma’s teachings, which are shared and made available through the poetic compilations of Swami Turiyamritananda Puri. 

Since Swami Turiyamritananda Puri had been the first disciple to be with Amma, and was with her since his teens, he heard many early conversations between Amma and her devotees. He realized the precious pearls of wisdom that emerged should be preserved and shared with the world. The result became a collection of poetic verses named, Amrita Dhara

Soon after, Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri, Amma’s most senior disciple, tuned the verses into a wondrous bhajan for Amma’s 32nd birthday. The bhajan was named Omkara Divya Porule and contains 32 verses. Since then, Swami Turiyamritananda Puri has offered a new collection of “Amrita Dhara” verses each year for Amma’s birthday, containing the same number of verses as Amma’s years on the planet, in her current form

The verses from the first Omkara Divya Porule are currently being reflected on by the Ashram residents and visitors through the “Amrita Dhara Yajna” satsangs (spiritual talks), currently occurring daily, during Amma’s evening programs in Amritapuri, India, which are also streamed online with an on-demand replay available soon after.

In Amrita Virtual Academy’s course, Amrita Gita, a number of Amma’s swamis share their thoughts on the different verses of Amrita Dhara / Omkara Divya Porule through offering satsangs and Q&A sessions. They also share wondrous stories from the early days with Amma. The course also provides the opportunity to view some vintage video footage, satsangs, and stories from the Amritapuri archives, so you, too, can indulge in feeling what it was like to be with Amma in the early days. 

That was what captured me, as I listened to the first satsang in the course by Swami Turiyamritananda Puri; I loved how he speaks of stories from the past, and how Amma talked in parables. I also appreciated how Swamiji felt the need and call to preserve Amma’s wisdom, and turn her words into poems, so that people could more easily digest the essence of her teachings. 

I felt awe for the wisdom he has, to be able to transform those words from Amma into a more easy-to-understand, yet elegant language. I also thought about what a great heart he must possess to feel the need to serve the world in this way. It made me feel grateful and in awe, wishing no one to miss out on this rare and precious, online spiritual course!

Several of the students in the course have also expressed what the online classes have meant to them so far, and how the course has inspired, transformed and uplifted them in their spiritual practices, as well as their daily life. Here are are some sharings from a couple of those voices: 

Karen LaVigne (USA) shares:

The Swamis’ explanations and insights are so beautiful that I’m often brought to tears. The one inspiration that stays with me always is to keep Amma’s image in my mind, so she becomes my eyes/vision, ears, speech, smell, taste and touch… all my senses. I wish I had the words to express my gratitude for this practice.

Thank you to Karen for sharing her beautiful experience. What an inspiration for all of us, to keep Amma in our minds, close to our heart at all times… and to finally reach that point where we are established in that final experience that Amma is—indeed the consciousness behind our senses and mind. 

Our next student, Madhurima, also feels the power of this online spiritual course, and explains how the teachings help her to slowly transform her thoughts…

Madhurima (Canada) shares: 

“This ‘course’ has been such a lovely addition to my daily sadhana. And, I’ve followed the recommendation that the verses be sung at the end of arcana each morning… And, I know Verse 1 by heart now… Thank you. It is all so good… and I know I am imbibing the ‘wisdom’, as well… little by little in my daily life I find myself ‘correcting a thought’ with something that I have learned from the verses or the satsangs…”

Each month, one Swami provides three 20-minute commentaries on the verses in addition to a one-hour live Q&A. The final live session of the Amrita Gita online course is currently scheduled to be a closing ceremony in October (see schedule); but, you can still join anytime, and participate at your own pace. The replay videos are normally uploaded within a week of the live classes to the Amrita Virtual Academy website and all of the satsang commentaries are on-demand.

Indian Cooking Class, A Learning and Dining Feast!

Indian Cooking Class, A Learning and Dining Feast!

In the early morning hours of Sunday, February 25th (2024), a group of enthusiastic, volunteer cooks met up at the MA Center Switzerland. They gathered to continue preparations for an Indian feast to be served to approximately 40 enthusiastic cooking class students.

The cooking and initial preparations had already begun at 6 a.m. the day before: washing and cutting vegetables, arranging tables and chairs, and planning the process in detail. So, soon the kitchen was filled with the scent of fragrant spices.

By 10 a.m., the curious students began arriving to delve deeply into the traditional intricacies of Indian cooking. Amrita Virtual Academy’s visiting cooking instructor, Vaju Moorthy, opened the cooking class by sharing stories of personal childhood experiences that awakened a deep love of Indian cuisine within her.

Afterwards, the participants listened eagerly to her step-by-step instructions given for making the popular Indian breakfast dish, Uppama (or, “Upma”)—made of ground wheat or quinoa, with vegetables, spices and herbs.

Many questions arose, such as, “How do you make the dough for Uppama?” “What is the most important thing?” “What is the optimal consistency before and after fermentation?” “What should it smell like?”

All the students received a folder with a detailed description of the recipes, ingredients, procedure and possible alternatives. Some participants diligently took notes. At the end, everyone stood at the front of the stove to get a taste of the fried dough, inspect the special mixer blades, and discuss their impressions of the class. 

With the excellent guidance of Amrita Virtual Academy’s cooking instructor, Vaju Moorthy, the meal was ready to be served to all the students by noon. The Uppama turned out to be delicious, resulting in some people eating more than they usually do. Everyone found the company to be delightful, too. Many stayed until late afternoon to chat, and share their experiences with each other.

Vaju Moorthy is a cooking instructor for Amrita Virtual Academy.

“When I talk about cooking, the first thing that comes to mind is my mother. She was an excellent cook; her food was loved by the whole family, and everyone who visited our home. I learned a lot just by watching her prepare the food, and serve people.” – Vaju Moorthy

Join our online cooking classes with Vaju, by signing up for our monthly or annual AVA membership. In the AVA membership, there are 60+ online courses on different themes available for you.

Join here!

Amrita Prasadam

Learn more about authentic Indian cooking through the online cooking courses with Amrita Virtual Academy. There are more than 70 recipes from across India available. You can follow the course at your own pace through instructional videos.
In addition to delicious snacks—such as Masala Dosa, and healthier options, like Quinoa Uppama—we also demonstrate how to prepare traditional foods associated with the important festivals of the year.    

This post was originally written in German and posted on the website of MA Center Switzerland. See the original post: