Amritapuri Ashram goes organic: A story of love, organic food and healing

Amritapuri Ashram goes organic: A story of love, organic food and healing

Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi is a woman from a small South Indian village that came to be known as “Amma, the Mother of All” for her outstanding humanitarian work. Her life has been dedicated to taking care of the poor, and those who suffer spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Amma has comforted and uplifted more than 34 million people so far in her lifetime. She is widely considered as one of India’s top spiritual leaders.  When asked, she says her religion is love.

Amritapuri is the exact place where Amma was born, and it is where she built her ashram, which means a monastic community, or a place of religious retreat. People come from all over the world to Amritapuri Ashram to retreat and to seek her teaching, advice, and direction.

Now found in terraces and alleys around the Amritapuri Ashram are organic vegetable gardens, as Amma has stressed the importance of avoiding food treated with pesticides and chemicals.

The vegetables grown around the Ashram include okra, tomatoes, pumpkins, beans, chilli peppers, red spinach, eggplant, and onions. They are all grown without pesticides and are used for Amma’s Tuesday lunch.

Amma said to bring back the ancient culture of agriculture which is organic,” said Br. Gurudas who is in charge of the project. “At Amritapuri, Amma’s devotees started growing organic food for Amma’s Tuesday prasad lunch.”

The gardens, named “Amma’s Grace Gardens” are located just 10 minutes from Amritapuri Ashram. It has been producing vegetables since May for Amma’s Tuesday prasad lunch.

The garden is just under one acre in size but will be expanded to grow more vegetables,” said Akhilesh who assists Br. Gurudas with the project.

Land has also been bought in order to create gardens to grow enough food to completely sustain Amritapuri. “We have started a big farm in Kalady, Kerala where we have planted 10,000 plantains as well as hundreds of tapioca and other vegetables. We also have established a farm in Komban in Tamil Nadu where we have 6,000 coconut trees, 20,000 banana trees, plantains and other vegetables. In the near future, we plan to provide all of the vegetables needed for serving food at Amritapuri – pure, organic food within one to two years’ time,” said Br. Gurudas.

When Amma sees the organic vegetables that have been grown, she gets a big smile on her face,” Br. Gurudas adds.

As Amma says, her desire is that: “Everyone in the world should be able to sleep without fear, at least for one night. Everyone should be able to eat to his fill, at least for one day. There should be at least one day when hospitals see no one admitted due to violence.”

With her religious sanctuary that has touched millions of souls, her unconditional love and care for those in need, and organic foods, Amma is bringing her desire to reality.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Amritapuri Ashram Has Gone Organic.” Amritapuri.org. Amritapuri.org, 12 Dec. 2014. Web. 19 June 2015.
2. “Who Is Amma?Amritapuri.org. Amritapuri.org, n.d. Web. 19 June 2015.

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