A ceremony honouring water gathered from 50 rivers around the world, a mass marriage, a congregation of more than 100,000 young men and women will be some of the attractions of the 50th birth anniversary celebrations of renowned spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi in Kochi in September.
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Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, his deputy Lal Kishenchand Advani, a host of central ministers and renowned spiritual and religious leaders from across the world will participate in the celebration from September 24-27.
Nearly 300,000 devotees are expected to attend the celebrations at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, a spokesperson at the Mata Amritanandamayi Math at Amritapuri in Kerala's Kollam district told rediff.com.
The celebrations have been named 'Amritavarsham 50'.
The railways has already granted a concession of 50 per cent in rail tariff for devotees who desire to travel to and from Kerala.
Hundreds of devotees from the across the globe visit Amma at the Math at Amritapuri every week. The Math also houses Amma's international charitable trust that carries out scores of projects in India.
Cultural programmes, highlighting the traditional art forms of all nations and yoga and meditation courses will be conducted during the occasion.
"During Amma's birthday we will discuss spiritually-oriented solutions to pressing global issues and methods for continuing to implement meaningful charitable services and social change," the spokesperson said.
He said other themes that will come up for discussions will be youth education for the new millennium, the role of women in the development of society, science and technology as agents for positive humanitarian change, the role and responsibilities of spiritual and religious organisations in today's world and protecting and preserving the environment.
The Math will also be conducting a mass wedding ceremony for 108 couples from destitute families. On this occasion, the bridal couples will receive ornaments, clothes and household utensils blessed by Amma.