Why Amma always speaks high of her mother who had given her so much of hardship in her younger days?

 27th August 2013, Tuesday

Why does Amma always speak high of her mother who had given her so much of hardship in her younger days?” this was a question posed by a westerner to Amma on the Satsang.

The gist of Amma’s reply was as below:

Amma always believes that whatever happened has happened only for good. Dhamayantiamma had so many good principles and values that she practiced with extraordinary strictness and she was very particular that Amma too learned and practiced them.

She had so much awareness about so many things. If Amma spilled a few grains while cleaning the rice, Dhamayantiamma would say “Are you capable of creating one rice grain yourself? Then how can you carelessly waste it?”. Even a match stick should not be wasted unnecessarily. If Amma has to light up fire, she has to go approach a neighbor and if they have got fire at their kitchen or at their wick lamp, fire should be obtained from there.

If a piece of paper is left behind on the floor while sweeping, she would  shout for the lack of shraddha in doing a job perfectly. Moreover, a piece of paper is an aspect of Goddess of Learning, Saraswathi. If someone puts a foot over it, it amounts to showing disrespect to Goddess Saraswathi. Dhamayantiamma could not permit it.

While grinding ‘masala’ in the grinding stone, Amma would loudly chit chat. That was not an acceptable behavior. When you chit chat, there is a chance that your spittle may drop on the preparation and it was very unhygienic. Dhamayantiamma would give a beating or two if Sudhamani does not keep her mouth shut at that time.

Dhamayanti Amma (Amma’s mother)

If Dhamayantiamma says “You should not do it” Amma will say “I will”. If Dhamayantiamma shouts at her, Amma would shout back  louder than her! If Dhamayantiamma comes to beat her, Amma would grip her hands and  try to thwart her from hitting her! All these would naturally bring Dhamyanthiamma to boiling point and instead of getting one beating, Amma would end up getting 10 beatings!

Dhamayantiamma was very particular that her daughters should never get any bad name or reputation. Girls to be married off should have modesty, sound character, be soft spoken, be feminine,  be excellent in domestic chores and so on in her standards. But Amma those days had a Tom-boyish behavior that naturally did not fit into Dhamayanthiamma’s scheme of things. If Amma had received so much of beatings those days, it was more due to Amma’s egotism and adamant behavior at her young age.

In her young age, brimming with energy, Amma would not differentiate a work which are normally done by men. Once Amma was returning from Vallikkavu and came to the backwaters to take a rowing boat (‘kadatthu vallam’) to reach home. (There was no bridge those days and boat was the only mode of transport). Boatmen had retired for lunch time.Some elderly women and children were waiting for the boatman for a long time. One woman was lamenting that her children were hungry at home; she had just bought the provisions and only after returning home with that she could start cooking. If the wait had to be longer, the children had to suffer in hunger. She was feeling restless.

Amma could not just tolerate the woman’s mental anguish. She decided to row the boat herself even though she had no experience in rowing the large Kadatthu Vallam;. The bamboo stick was too heavy and too tall for her small stature! It was indeed a tough man’s job! But undaunted, Amma started pushing the boat using the stick
, keeping the women and children seated in it. Soon the boat was swaying this way and that way dangerously, but still started progressing towards the opposite shore!

Seeing what young Sudhamani (Amma) is doing, people started gathering at both the shores wondering as to what would happen. Will she end up capsizing the boat and sinking all into the backwaters? Or will she manage to reach the opposite shore? Dhamayanthiamma too rushed to the banks of the backwaters hearing the commotion going around!

Sudhamani somehow successfully managed to cross the backwaters and reach the bank! There was excitement all around and Dhamayantiamma was totally nonplussed! Oh what a shame this Sudhamani had brought to the family! Doing things that only males are supposed to do! If she is so rough and tough, who would ever come forward to marry her?! Needless to mention that Amam got her choicest beatings from her mother that day!

Guests would keep on coming to Dhamayantiamma’s home at all odd hours and whomsoever comes had to be served with tea. That’s the strict rule of hospitality of Dhamayantiamma. Firewood  would be constantly needed. If nothing is immediately available, Sudhamani would not hesitate to climb a coconut tree nearby to pull out a dry branch handing there! A girl climbing a tree? Oh no! Blasphemous! Sudhamani would end up with  a few beatings for her act of chivalry!

Dhamayantiamma truly treated guests as Gods. She would unhesitatingly sacrifice her food to feed a guest. She would give away a new cloth to a guest and she would wear an old one. Guests would get space to lie inside the house and Dhamayantiamma would not mind her sleeping at the courtyard. A beggar coming hungry knocking at her doors would never be turned away.

The sense of togetherness with neighbors that Dhamayantiamma displayed too was so striking. When Dhamayantiamma directed Amma to fetch fire from any neighboring house, she would instruct Amma that if the house she visited was untidy, she should sweep that house; if utensils were there uncleaned, she should clean them before coming back home with the fire.

Whether it is cleanliness, awareness in actions, faith and piety on God,  practicing austerities or undertaking fast with a vow, Dhamayantiamma was thorough. Amma had seen many times that when Dhamayantiama undertakes fast on a day, a tender coconut would fall on its own from the tree in the evening to enable her finish her fast!

It is for such possession of great qualities that Amma respects her mother.

Why Paramatma should turn to become Jivatma

26th February 2013 – Tuesday

One question posed to Amma in today’s satsang was “Why the nameless and formless God, the Paramatman should become a Jivatman (Individual soul)?  If Paramatman has no attributes, where from God’s love came?

The gist of Amma’s reply was as below:

It is indeed true that what exists in reality is Paramatman. Only the individuals feel they are separate because of their identification with ego. (Amma used to say frequently ‘everything is created by God, but ego is our own creation’).  Think of a pot that gets immersed into a ocean. What exists outside and inside the pot is nothing but the ocean water. (Ocean is akin to Brahman and the ocean water inside the pot is akin to jiva). It is the pot that seemingly creates a feeling that the water inside is different from the water outside. Our ego is like the pot.

Out true nature (Atman/Brahman) is like a sweet pudding. Just like mixing hot chilli or salt with sweet pudding (and spoiling its taste) our ego functions as the hot chilli or salt to prevent us to enjoy the bliss of our  true nature.

We all breathe the same air in the atmosphere. Whatever portion of air that one breaths cannot be claimed as one’s own.

Gold is same whether the ornament is a necklace, ear ring or bracelet. Wood is same whether the furniture is a table, chair or a cot. It is God who created the gold and wood. It is we who make ornaments and furniture and treat them as different.

With ego comes I and mine. When we are in deep sleep state (‘Shushupti’) we don’t have any knowledge of the existence of our body, mind or intellect. We have no feelings of mine — “my house”, “my watch” etc. But we do experience a state of bliss that is felt, but not expressive at that state. When we wake up our ego rises up with the feelings of “I” and “mine”. Thus the same person who existed as nameless and formless in the state of Sushupthi is the one now having a name and body at wake up state. (In a similar way, Brahman and jivan exist).

We have the feeling of mine to things — “My watch”, “My house”, “My car” etc. When we start discriminating: “This is my watch, am I the watch?”, the answer is no. “This is my house; am I the house?” – No. In the same trend, if we question “This is my body; Am I the body?”, the real answer is no. But unfortunately, we identify the body as “I”. That’s where the problem lies.

(We have to understand that our wakeful state is also like a dream).

In our dream, suppose we see a thief breaking open our vault and stealing our golden ornaments, we get grief and we start crying. But when we wake up, we grasp immediately that it was after all a dream and we have nothing to grieve about. Likewise, when the true spiritual  awakening happens in us, we understand that we are none other than the Brahman and all duality like pleasure and pain, love and hatred, happiness and anger vanish.

All of us know our real existence deep inside us. The knowledge of our oneness with Brahman is with us like a seed. Just as the seed is product of the tree and it contains the future tree in it, our Jivatma has the Brahman inside it.

All of us love ourselves. It is because our true nature is love.

Only in the outlook of a Gnyani, God is without name and form. For a devotee (Bhakta), the concept of Brahman is with name and form. A devotee (like we love ourselves) loves THAT God form.

As long as “I” and “you” exist, the feeling of “I love you” exists. Once true realization dawns and the unity is grasped, the feeling ends up as “I am love”.

It is only through sadhana, we can grasp our true divine nature. It is like a process of purification of sewage water into good water.

Will the Guru punish his disciple? Can’t he be saved by God?

25th December 2012 – Tuesday

In today’s Satsang, the following question was posed to Amma by a devotee:

“Amma, in Guru Gita, it is stated that Lord Siva explained to Parvati that if God became angry with a person, he can be saved by his Guru; but if Guru became angry with a person, no one including God can save the person. It is difficult to digest this. Even among worldly people, if a child does something wrong, the parents don’t reject the child. If that is the case with even non-spiritual persons, how can it be true that the Guru would get so angry with a disciple that none can save him?”

The gist of Amma’s replay was as below:

“Siva Purana glorifies lord Siva as the supreme lord who is the most powerful of all Gods. Vishnu Purana glorifies lord Vishnu as the ultimate God that Siva and Brahma worship; he is the greatest and most powerful of all. Same case with other puranas that glorify other Gods. It is this way that the puranas tend to strengthen the faiths of devotees of their chosen God forms.

“In a similar vain, Guru Gita is a scripture that explains the glories of the guru and it is intended for the disciples to understand the greatness of the Guru and develop full faith in him. Like God’s anger being too powerful to combat, it is stated of Guru’s anger too. But even Guru’s anger is only meant for the good of the devotee.

“Guru is great because to understand God correctly, Guru’s guidance is a must. To overcome negativity and egotism, Guru’s guidance is essential. Guru’s anger too could be one form of his ways of putting his disciple in the right path; Guru creates situations in such a way that the disciple faces problems in real life to overcome his weaknessess and advance in spiritual strength.

“Even a Guru’s explicit display of anger could be an act — his lila. A true master has transcended ego and  he lives in the plane of Atman. His anger is not ego-centric like normal persons.”

We think of God only in troubled times!

24th December 2012 – Monday

Amma narrated this incident to explain how most of us think of God seriously only in trouble times.

Once Amma was travelling in flight with all her troup (sometime while in US or Europe tour).   It was time to take food and food was being served. Suddenly the plane got into a turbulance and flight became shaky and bumpy. All got frightened and most of the people were shouting aloud “Amma, Amma….” Many were loudly chanting other God names; many were praying feverishly with folded palms.

After a while, the turbulance was crossed and the flight became normal again. As though a power was switched off, all the people stopped praying and chanting, smile returned to their faces and they started to eat their food as though nothing had happened!

“We think about existence of our head only when we get a headache!” quipped Amma and all of us laughed. “Amma loves to see her children laughing” said Amma laughing.

Killing rats – is it a sin?

Satsang with Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

11th December 2012 – Tuesday

Is is a sin to kill rats?

This question was posed by someone in today’s Satsang.

The gist of Amma’s reply was as follows:

“Amma does not want to say whether it is a sin or not a sin. When we breathe, there are millions of germs that get killed. When we walk, we tramp upon so many micro living beings and kill them.

“Rats pose lots of difficulties to human existence. They spread diseases, gobble up food produce and thus are a menace to human race.  Amma has heard that in some ancient civilization  cats were worshiped as Gods because cats could put an end to the manace of rats that caused so much trouble to that civilization.

“It is difficult to say black and white whether killing of rats is sinful. Amma does not want to say either. She would rather leave the matter to be decided by the questioner himself/ herself.”

Is it necessary to do regular, annual ceremonial offerings (Shraddha karma) to the deceased parents?

Satsang with Amma…

(Dec 2012)

Amma’s reply:

“Our parents gave birth to us and did lots of sacrifice to bring us up. It is the duty of the children to take care of them at their old age. Our duty to them extends even beyond their death; The sacrificial and ceremonial food we offer to them and our fond remembrance of them on their death anniversaries do reach up to them in a subtle way, irrespective of whether they are still roaming around as spirits or whether they have taken a new birth. Like a properly addressed letter reaching the addressee through the postal delivery system or as a phone call getting connected to the person whose number is dialed correctly or like an e-mail reaching a person of the correct ID, the sacrificial offerings, properly identified with that person and addressed do get delivered to the spirits in the subtle world and they help the deceased to get positive benefits in their after-life.

“However, what is far more important is to take loving care of the parents while they are alive. Once there was a little boy, who was very fond of his grandfather. His grandfather used to play with him, tell him stories and take loving care of him and naturally the boy too was full of love for his grandfather. But the father of the boy had no love or reverence towards his father; he would ignore the old man and would not care about him at all.

“One day, the boy came to know that the birth day of the principal of the school was coming on the next day; the same day was the birth day of his grandfather too. When the boy mentioned about the birthday of his principal, the father suggested to him to present the person with a rose and he readily came forward to buy and give it to the son. The son asked, “Father, tomorrow is the birthday of the grandpa too! I love him so much; can you get me one more rose for him? If I present it to him, he will feel so happy”

““No. Not necessary. Your grandfather does not need such things” was the curt reply by the father.

“After some days, the grandfather passed away. The little boy was grief stricken. When he was sitting beside the dead body of his grandfather, his father brought a huge rose flower wreath to be placed over the body of his father. The boy suddenly got up, stopped his father from placing the wreath and asked him: “When I wanted to buy just a rose to present to him when he was alive, you did not allow me. For what purpose are you now attempting to place such a large rose wreath? Can you make grandpa happy with this now?”

It is obvious that what we do to our parents when they are alive is far more important than what we do after their death.

“However, as for as house holders are concerned, it is necessary that they do the ceremonial rites to their deceased parents.

“But in case of spiritual aspirants, who leave behind their worldly life and dedicate their life in quest of God, there is no need for them to do the rites meant to be done for deceased parents. Spiritual aspirants acquire quite some punya through their sadhana and selfless service and a portion of that punya definitely goes to the benefit of their parents. So, they need not worry about doing prescribed ceremonial rites for their deceased parents.”

Getting rid of our likes and dislikes – only after self-realization?

Satsang with Amma…

10th Dec 2012 – At Amritapuri Beach

Q: “Amma! We all know that our likes and dislikes are essentially due to our egos. To get rid of our ego, we have to get self-realization and only when we get self-realization, we will be in a position to love one and all equally without any reservations. It is quite a long drawn process and maybe advanced sadakas will be able to attain that state after quite some effort. But how about ordinary worldly people like us? Is there any quick mode of transport ( “a Concorde plane”) for us to reach such a state of self-realization?

The gist of Amma’s reply was as follows:

“It is true that one can reach the ultimate state of loving all only after self-realization. But a lot depends on our mental attitude. It does not mean that we can neglect our shortcomings and need not take any efforts to eradicate our ego-based likes and dislikes. If one says ‘I will take bath in the sea after all the waves subside’, he is never going to have a sea-bath.

“We are all essentially Atman; it is our true nature. But our ego is a product that we created. Our ego is like a bubble in the sea that thinks it is different from the sea.

“Satsang (company with the holy) is very important for us to develop the right mental attitude and to get awareness about what is right and what is wrong. We should shun bad company. Take the example of Kaikeyi. She was in possession of such a good heart that she rewarded a servant maid with a diamond necklace when the maid brought the news that Rama was going to be crowned as the prince. But what happened to the same Kaikeyi when Mandara stated giving her evil counsel? Kaikeyi’s heart totally turned negative towards Rama and she went to the extent of forcing her husband King Dasaratha to send Rama on exile to forest for 14 years.

“Qualities like love and compassion must be cultivated by effort. Once there was this young girl of a rich landlord, who was always found playing with the physically handicapped little daughter of the servant maid.

“The landlord did not like to see his daughter playing with a lowly servant maid’s child. He scolded her several times on this issue, but to no avail. In order to wean her away from that habit, he brought to home a nice child from the family of another rich landlord befitting his status. His daughter exchanged pleasantries with the new girl just for while, but she went back to playing with the handicapped child again.

“This infuriated the landlord and he asked his daughter why she was bent upon doing it. The daughter replied: ‘Father! This nice, rich girl whom you brought to play with me can get any number of friends to play with her. But what about this handicapped little girl? No one except me is willing to play with her; she finds so much of joy when I spend time with her; that’s why I play with her always’. “It is developing such a mental attitude that one can gradually get over with likes and dislikes on others.

“Yes. It is true that getting self-realization is a very long drawn process. It requires lots of patience and effort. One cannot afford to slack efforts and abort one’s goal midway. Once two spiritual aspirants were doing ‘Sadhana’ under a banyan tree for quite some years. The Celestial Sage Narada happened to pass by one day. As Narada had his daily contacts with the Lord Narayana, the aspirants were eager to know from God when they would attain God-realization. They appealed to Narada to inquire about it when he would meet Lord Narayana the next time. Narada agreed.

“A few days later, Narada came by. One of the aspirants eagerly asked whether Narada spoke to Lord Narayana and got the answer. Narada said that he did and what Narayana told him was that this person would require as many births as the number of leaves found in the Banyan tree to attain his self-realization. The person who heard this was devastated. He felt highly infuriated. “I have been doing severe sadhana for so many years and still Narayana says I will require so many births? Oh! Then its all a waste of time. It’s all a mere humbug then; I would rather go back to the world and enjoy it instead of wasting my time here” . He left the place fretting and fuming.

“Now the other aspirant posed the same question and Narada gave the same reply. Upon hearing it, the second aspirant was full of joy and started dancing in ecstasy! “O! Is it true that Lord Narayana indeed said that I would get my salvation after these many births, for sure? Oh! I am really lucky then! I am indeed blessed!” So saying, he continued to jump around and dance.

“At that very moment, the second aspirant got his self-realization instantly. Such was the reward he got for his mental attitude and patience.”

Amma’s insight into man-woman relationship

On a Tuesday Satsang at Ashram – some time in August/ September 2012

On this Tuesdays’ satsang, a western woman asked question on the issue of men molesting girl children and also about wife-beating done by men. She wanted to know how such men should be treated by society.
Amma was at her elaborate best in answering the question. She touched multiple aspects of man-woman relationship, the cultural differences in India and in western countries on this issue, the status of women in the past and present and her own childhood experiences and observations. In a rare moment of slackening of guards, she hinted on her “all knowing status” by virtue of her divinity too!
Amma was unequivocally clear that those who abuse children and wife are handled as per law. But she felt that while the act should be condemned, the actor should not be. There may be deep-rooted psychological complications in men who sexually misbehave with little children and such men should be subjected to mental treatment with care and concern.
While analyzing why men always feel superior to women and by that count, resort to beating wife as a matter of right, Amma said that it all got nurtured from the traditional role of men being the bread winner and a protector of woman who are by nature physically weak and vulnerable. Women too are to be blamed for this state of affairs, since, women, in their role as mothers, somehow treated men as superior creatures over their female siblings.
Amma said lots of changes for better has happened in societies across the globe over a period of time and women too have now got ample opportunities and avenues in education and employment. Thus men are not sole bread-winners any longer. Amma felt that this reality has been understood by at least 60-70% of men.
But the feeling of one-up-manship has been nurtured in men across so many generations that it is quite deep rooted in men’s genes. So it is only a question of time that the others too will accept equality and behave better. It is a slow process and it will happen. Amma was rather against women “fighting” for their rights. The changes should come through the path of love and understanding and not by confrontational ways.

Amma was equally frank in saying that empowerment of women too has its ill effects in society; women are losing their innate qualities of loving kindness, patience and motherhood . Their financial independence coupled with lack of patience and forbearance now tend to make them too arrogant with men and in this process, disintegration marriage and family life are caused by women too in the present society.

Amma felt that while this trend is quite palpable in west, it is slowly catching up in India too.

Amma said that in case of Indian woman, she could advice them to be more forgiving, patient and forbearing, because, culturally, in India, woman have the tendency to sacrifice their personal whims to quite some extent for the sake of the family and the future of the children.

But when it comes to advising her western children, Amma felt that she needs to be more careful and guarded. In west, the idea of personal freedom and sense of rights of the women are strongly rooted. Western women may not be able to digest Amma’s guidelines in line with what she gives for Indian women.

While talking about how men were treated as though superior to women and how their egos were pampered, Amma shared many of her early days’ scenario in her household and around.
In those days, women were prohibited from showing broom stick to men. If a woman was sweeping the floors and a man entered the scene, the woman was supposed to hide the broomstick else it would be deemed insulting men.If a brother, be even a younger one, grew taller than a girl, the girl was expected to stand when the brother enters the room where the girl was seated.
If any male guests were coming to a house, the girls were expected to remain unseen to them. It was infra-dig for men to wash their plates or clothes. It was the duty of female members in the family to wash the food plates and dresses of men. The sense of superiority that males enjoyed was more or less fostered and nurtured mostly by the elderly womenfolk in the families.Perhaps since males were the sole breadwinners and protectors of the families, women extended so much extra respect for males that naturally ended up bloating up their egos.

In those days, males could not tolerate or digest verbal onslaught of women. Amma had heard some males saying, “Oh! That loud-mouthed woman scolded me so much! Should I ever live in this world after hearing those words from these lowly women? Oh what a shame; better to commit suicide!”

(Late Sri Sugunanandan – Amma’s father)

Amma’s mother Dhamayanthiamma was always protective about her husband Sugunananthan. She always displayed a sense of respect towards him and she would never accept any complaint about him if made by her children. While she herself might have some personal grouse against him, but would never allow children talking ill of their father; she would almost blindly side with her husband in such situations.
There was always a thread of love with a strong sense of duty and responsibility to the husband that women displayed those days.
To explain the type of attachment her mother had with her father, Amma narrated this amusing incident:
Hardly a few years back there was a knock at Amma’s room at one night around 9 PM. When the door was opened, Dhamayanthi Amma was standing there with a cloth bag tucked under her arm. She came into Amma’s room saying, “I am fed up with your father; I can’t live with him any more; I have packed my essential dress and I have come here to stay with you; I will not go back to him”.
Amma listened to it with a sense of amusement and made arrangements for Dhamayanthi Amma to stay in her room along with Swamini Amma (Soumya).At around 3:00 AM early next morning, Amma heard noise in the bathroom as someone was taking bath. It was Dhamayanthi Amma. After her bath, Dhamayanthi Amma said “OK. I am going back”.
Amma asked her “Why? You said you have left your husband and are going to stay with me?””Who will make tea for the old man in the morning? He is so much used to taking that tea early” so saying, Dhamayanthiamma left while Amma watched with utter amusement. That was the type of love that existed in the older generation.”

The Importance of adequate age difference between Husband and wife

Amma continued on the subject with a keen sense of ‘worldly wisdom’ that has practical relevance, not understood by the present day generation.”In olden days, it was the prevailing practice that the husband was about 8 to 10 years older than the wife. It had some real logic. When the husband is much elder, the woman naturally tends to show respect for his age and maturity. Unlike a person of the same age, husbands too were able to deal with their wives in a more matured mindset when women show their idiosyncrasies.  Biologically too, the sexual needs of a woman are keener and much more sensitive, which could be satisfied better by a more matured man. That way, the age difference is advantageous.”

When Amma spoke thus on a very subtle and delicate subject, it is quite natural that many in the gathering had their dose of wonder! Perhaps grasping this, Amma said:”When I was talking like this on this very sensitive subject in another gathering in the past, someone asked me, “Amma! You were a Brahmacharini and how on earth do you know all these subtle nuances of man-woman relationship? Even many householders like us do not know of the importance of what you said now!”
“Do you know how I escaped from this question? I said to her:  “You see, a car driver may not know what is wrong in the car when a car suddenly breaks down on the way. But the engineer who designed the car would surely know the correct cause of a breakdown!”

This reply of Amma brought a spontaneous round of applause in the gathering. Only very rarely Amma speaks openly of her all-knowing-power (Sarvagnyathvam) born out of her divinity. Those who were present in this day’s satsang caught that rare moment and it naturally triggered the instant applause!Related reading: What is the ideal age gap between a husband and wife?

Just not enough if you are good- you should have good common sense too!

29th September 2012 – Saturday

Amma was in a very humorous mood in today’s satsang. After she finished narrating the incidence of a brahmachari getting bitten in the fingers by a mentally troubled person, she went on to narrate yet another incident involving a brahmacharini.

Amma said that this brahmacharnini L- is an extremely kind-hearted person, who loves to run to the help of anyone needing help and succor.

One day, a physically handicapped old man came to see Amma and was walking up the stairs with difficulty with his crutches. Brahmacharnini L- was so overwhelmed with the suffering of that person that she wanted to extend a helping hand to him and make him seated.

Saying “Aiyo paavam” (Oh what a pity) she received one of his crutches. While the man was struggling to stabilize himself with a single crutch, our Brahmacharini, in an excited state to somehow help the person to stabilize, extended her hand, saying another “Aiyo”  and took off the other cruch too, without applying her mind to catch hold of the person before removing the other crutch!

Right infront of her eyes, the old person, with nothing and none to support him collapsed on the floor, while our Brahmacharnini could only help crying out a big and louder “A-I-Y-Y-O…”

Amma was at her mimicking best when she enacted all this with her actions and voice. The whole crowd burst into laughter.

Amma was saying that it is not just enough if you are a good and kind-hearted person. You should apply your mind and act with presence of mind and shraddha; otherwise, your act of charity too may only collapse like this!

Say No and still end up in Amma’s holy feet!

24th Septermber 2012 – Monday

In today’s evening Satsang with Ashram Inmates, Amma continued to discuss the subject of saying no (or yes) appropriately based on the situation after due discrimination. On Monday and Friday beach satsangs, Amma usually poses a question related to spirituality, gives brief hints on what she thinks about them and then would ask Ashramites to respond with their real life experiences on the subject.

The lanky and fun-loving senior brahmachari D- took the mike to the amusement of Amma. He started narrating the story of how he ended up in Amma leaving his home and hearth behind. His funnly line of argument was that he said NO but still ended up in the rightful place for him!

He was a much pampered child of his parents and was having every need of him taken care of lovingly by his parents. Years ago, when he was in his late teens, his parents came to know of Amma and they wanted to visit Amma at her Ashram at Vallikkavu. They insisted their son too to accompany them. “You see, this woman Amma is said to be intoxicated with divine love, she reportedly sings soul stirring bhajans in a melodious way; we want you to come with us”. But young D- said adamently a firm no.

His parents nevertheless visited Amma, had her darshan, heard her soul stirring bhajans and returned home. They told the young man excitedly : “It was such a wonderful experience; it is a pity that you missed visiting her! However, we mentioned to her about you and sought her blessings for you; we prayed to her to straighten you out. She said that she will take care of you”

“Oh! She will take care of me and straighten me?  Fine. Nice enough” was his retort.

A few months afterwards, some of his friends stated talking to him about Amma. They were speaking very high of her and She was making a house visit to one of her friend’s house sooner. This time, young D-was interested. He was now curious to see the lady who had promised his parents that she would take care of him. So he went to see her.

Br. D- concluded with a mock sarcasm “You see, I said a firm no when my parents asked me to me to come to Amma, but that no has really ended me ultimately in her holy feet!”

On 29th Sept 2012, when Amma continued discussions on the same subject, Brahmachari D- too wanted to continue his experience. After meeting Amma, his whole view point about life got changed; he was gripped with a desire to leave his worldly life and end up permanently in Amma’s Ashram.

When he took up the matter with his parents,  the response was a firm NO from his parents! The same parents who wanted their son to be “set right” by Amma, were not simply prepared for it! When he broached the subjects with his friends who had earlier recommended and influenced him to visit Amma, were too unanimously of the opinion that he should NOT go and end up in the Ashram.

When every one was saying no, it was now the turn of Br. D_ to say a firm YES (“I have decided to go”) and then come to Amma for good. All who had earlier recommended him to visit Amma have now turned against him and none of them were coming to Amma subsequently!

So, Brahmachari D_ is prescription for progressing in spirituality under a Satguru like Amma is that when every one in the outer world says “no”, you should say “yes”!

Amma quipped with laughter “His parents wanted me to make him straight; I have been s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t-e-n-i-n-g,   s-t-r-a-i-g-h-t-e-n-i-n-g and and still continuing..”