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“Didi Maa” Sadhvi Ritambhara gives sage advice

By Geeta Mehrotra
September 2017
“Didi Maa” Sadhvi Ritambhara gives sage advice

 

On July 30, 2017, a satsang with “Didi Maa” Sadhvi Ritambhara ji was held at Impact Hall, Global Mall, Norcross, Georgia. Didi was welcomed and introduced by Manju T​iwari and felicitated by Dr. Seshu Sarma.

An information video on Vatsalya Gram was shown: this organization creates a family unit by pairing a widowed woman, an orphan child, and an unwanted elderly person, thus letting each one feel wanted and belonging. Her dedicated efforts of 25 years are now bearing fruits as the children have grown into adults as a family. This creates a strong family atmosphere and helps society by empowering woman.

Through bhajans, Didi Maa spoke about Bharat’s culture, whose vision is that of inclusion and belonging, and accepting humanity as one family. Reciting poetry and drawing on the beauty of storytelling, Didi explained that unless a person unfolds his potential, he is restless. A drop when it merges with sea becomes vast; thus an individual becomes contented and feels fulfilled when the potential is unfolded. The vision of Bharat is that of interconnectedness.

This interconnectedness is not only among humans and animals, but even environment affects our mind. The high tide of full moon day impacts the state of mind; thus recognizing this, in our culture when women went for a walk, they carried some rice, sugar, and sesame seeds to offer at the ant mound. Our worship of One helps us to see the divinity in nature and animals, and even in a stone we are able to sculpt God.

Bharat is an attitude, it is a way of life, it cannot be limited to boundaries of land. It is a vision, a way of outlook. Our culture has always honored sacrifice, austerity. She candidly shared her concerns that Indian woman, while making progress in India, are now also becoming loud and going away from the quality of womanhood which is her strength. As the waves are loud at the shore and silent in the center, similarly loudness is not reflection of strength but the true power of woman is silence. She shared with enthusiasm the strength of her Vatsalya Gram where she has nurtured the strength of woman along with the orphan child’s need of being nurtured. An unwanted senior citizen is strengthen by the love of a child whom she can guide and direct his values, and thus feel wanted.

Inspired by her work, the audience made a quick collection of about $20,000, and this donation was matched by Braham Aggrawal of Orlando, Florida.

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Dr. Seshu Sarma felicitates "Didi Maa" Sadhvi Ritambhara.

After Didi’s talk, Khabar was granted a brief interview.

Didi, you have done so much to uplift the women and children in India. Even in a country like the USA we have same issues. Woman are ill-treated and sometimes thrown out of homes. Why do woman go through this pain everywhere? Can you make some suggestions?
Women are weaker economically; that is why they have to tolerate. I am not aware of the rules and regulations of this country, but a concept like Vatsalya is a better alternative then old age homes. If women are able, they should return to Bharat and offer their services so they can serve and receive support. By service, the mind is happy and life becomes purposeful.

Bharat’s culture is based on family values, but then why are we finding a need for institutions like Vatsalya Gram?
Every society goes through this process of destitution, as Ganga, when it leaves Gangotri is so pure, but by the time it reaches Kolkata is not as pure. Similarly, as society passes through times, shortcomings are encountered. We have to face them. Families are now breaking and the result is there is an increase in depression, suicides. Society’s strength is woman. But woman can also create more problems for another woman and because of that there are more difficulties. Modern education is making every one self-centered, and because of that there are more problems. The solution is our attitude, which should be that of family, community, belongingness, and service.

Problems also occur when women do not have self-respect.
Self-respect doesn't come from being self-centered. Self-respect comes when you fulfill your duties towards everyone and not just for yourself. When you focus only on yourself, then low feelings creep in.

What would you suggest to women to increase their self-confidence?
A woman should become spiritual. She has the strength to shelter, she should increase her natural quality of nurturing and embracing; then she becomes from Amba to Jagadamba.

What are suggestions for a woman to grow in the power of forgiveness?
Meditation, developing concentration and centering, with that you develop the power to practice forgiveness.

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