Amma’s stories on shraddha — Alertness and Awareness

1. What did I forget?

Once there lived a farmer who was extremely busy most of the times. On account of it, he used to forget many things that he wanted to do in a day. He decided to have some way to remind him of things to do.

Before going to bed one night, he took a piece of paper and a set of color sketch pens. He decided to draw lines in different colors to remind him of things to do on the next day. He thought well and drew seven lines in seven colors, each line representing one thing he must do – like a rainbow.

He got up early in the morning; remembering something he missed out, he drew an eighth line in the paper. Thus he had 8 different tasks to accomplish that day.

The first line was to remind him that he should brush his teeth, take bath, have his breakfast, lunch etc at appropriate times.

The second color line was to remind him to take his dog for a walk in the morning.  He did it.

The third color line was to remind him that he should apply fertilizer to his crop and also water them. He accomplished it.

The fourth line was to remind him to go to marketplace and buy things for his domestic needs. He finished it.

The fifth line was to remind him to give fodder and water to his cattle. He did it.

The sixth one was to take his car to the garage for a repair. He finished it.

The seventh one was to make the payment for the electricity bill. He finished it too.

Only the eighth one was pending.  He tried to remember what task it was but he could not remember it. It was night by now. He thought deeply again and again to remember what he wanted to accomplish by that eight line, but his memory failed him completely. He knew it was a very important one and that was why he added it as the last one early in the morning. He became tensed. He could not sleep. He got up from bed and walked here and there trying to bring back his memory but he could not. He lost his sleep. At last, he remembered almost by dawn the next morning.

The eighth reminder was that he should go to bed early and sleep well, which was his doctor’s specific advice to him!

 [Amma: “We too forget our goal of life like this. The very purpose of human life is to attain God. It is the only changeless purpose. But we all forget this and go behind changing things. We want to stop certain changes from happening. Because of this tendency, we are constantly under tension. On the contrary, if we set our goal on the changeless — the God, then no change ever affect us.”]

(From Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 2)

2.  Perseverance

[Amma: “Children, many people come to Amma and complain that  they could not get mental concentration in doing meditation or prayer. It is indeed true that it is not easy to get mental concentration. One requires constant effort and practice to attain it. If one does not get single pointedness despite repeated efforts, one should not simply abandon practicing meditation. If  the goal is firm and enthusiasm is kept alive, one is bound to get mental concentration”.]

Once in a village there lived a boy who neither attended school nor learned any skill to earn a livelihood. His aged father, who was a coconut tree climber, took care of his son while he was alive. One day, he passed away and the boy had to suffer in poverty with no one to take care.  Villagers, assuming that the boy too would be skilled in coconut tree climbing, sought his help to pluck coconuts in their gardens. When they came to know the truth, they chided him as useless.

The boy had no other wherewithal to survive as he did not possess any other skill.  So, he took a decision that he would start learning coconut tree climbing on his own effort. He knew that it was a very risky job; if he happened to fall, he would end up with fractures and perhaps even permanently handicapped making any other means of survival too difficult.

Therefore, with lots of of caution he started practicing climbing. He will embrace the coconut tree trunk tightly and climb carefully step by step. After climbing a few feet, he would jump down and climb again. He gradually increased the height of climbing and he practiced whole heartedly again and again. He found his hands and legs strengthening day by day and his self confidence to climb up to larger heights too improved gradually.

This way, by repeated practice and perseverance, he became adept in coconut tree climbing and do it very fast too.  His livelihood thus got ensured.

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

3.  The smart smuggler

Once a man was crossing the border of one state to enter into the next state in his motorbike, carrying a sack full of sand at the rear . He was held up at check post for a thorough check.

The officer at the check post interrogated him.

“What does this sack contain?”

“Just sand Sir, nothing else” said the man.

“Oh, come on; no drug, no gold inside?”

“Nothing of that sort, Sir. If you want, you can check it.”

The officer was not convinced. He opened the sack checked it thoroughly.  He could not find anything suspicious.  He allowed the man to drive through the check post.

This started happening regularly every week. The officer will check his sand bag as well as his motorbike thoroughly each time but nothing could be found.

After a couple of months the man was never seen crossing the checkpost.

The officer got retired. One day, he was eating in a restaurant.  He happened to notice the man there. The officer went near him and said, “I know you were doing something fishy; I still suspect that you were smuggling something that I could not figure out. In fact I had spent several sleepless nights to figure out what you were smuggling in those sand bags. I am retired now and you can afford to tell me the truth now. I won’t reveal to anybody.”

The man smiled and said, “I never smuggled anything through the sand bag. I was smuggling stolen motorbikes”.

[Amma: “In this story, the officer put his entire focus on the sandbag and he missed out the motorbike. Likewise, we are always looking at the external world and fail to ‘study’ our own Self or know our Self.”]

(From Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

4.  Concentration

Once there was an excellent archer who participated in many competitions and won prizes. He participated in an international competition too and won the award as the topmost archer of the world.

When one of his friends came to know of this, he said, “I know a Guru who is a great exponent in archery. Only if you win over him, I can really consider as the best archer of the world”.

The archer took the challenge. His friend took him along to meet the Guru. Coming to know of his success at the global level competition, the guru congratulated him wholeheartedly.

The friend broached the subject of their visit to the guru. The guru said, “Let us first go for a walk for a while. You may please bring your bow and arrow along.

They walked together and climbed over a small hillock. Adjacent to it, there was another hillock and both were connected by a rope bridge. The guru proceed to walk along the bridge and the two men followed him. When they reached the middle of the bridge, the guru pointed out a tree on the opposite hillock and said to the archer, “Do you see a fruit hanging in that tree? Will you use your bow and hit that fruit with an arrow?”

The archer agreed. As he was taking aim at the fruit, strong wind started blowing and the rope bridge started swaying. The archer had to catch the side ropes to steady himself. The rope bridge continued to sway and however much he tried, it was difficult for him to balance himself and aim at the fruit. When he shot the arrow, it missed the target totally.

Now the guru borrowed his bow and arrow. While the bridge continued to sway wildly in the wind, the guru was totally unperturbed. He aimed at the fruit and shot the arrow. The arrow hit the fruit.

[Amma: “In this story, the guru had the ‘remote control” of his mind in his hand. He had no fear of failure nor any disturbance in concentration due to external factors. Is it possible for everyone to dance peacefully on a shaking stage? Leading a life without mental peace is also similar. The one which is ever steady and firm is God. If  we hold God as our base, then it would be like dancing on a firm dais. “]

(From Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

5.  The source of the problem

Once in a famous hospital, they encountered a very peculiar problem of great concern to the hospital authorities.

In the ICU of the hospital, patients laid in a particular bed died because of mysterious reasons regularly every Sunday at around 11 AM. Doctors were very surprised, confused and also felt alarmed at this happening. Some of them even started wondering whether there was some mystical reason which was beyond the reach of medical science.

A committee consisting of scientists, doctors, nurses and admin staff was formed to investigate. On the next Sunday, well before 11 AM, this group assembled at the corridor of the ICU. The tension amid the members was visible. Some of them were holding japamala and repeating mantras. Some were praying. They kept a watchful eye on everything happening in and around the ICU.

Sharp at 11 AM, one Cleaning Staff who worked only on Sundays promptly came to the ICU. He went near the specific bed. There was a switch board and plug point on the wall adjacent to the patient. The ‘Life Support Machine’ of the patient was indeed connected to the plug point.  The cleaning staff removed the plug, inserted the plug of the Vacuum Cleaner he had brought and started vacuum- cleaning the floor.

Now all those who were watching it knew the mysterious cause of the Sunday deaths!

[Amma:  “Any work done with ashradda (lack of awareness) is adharma (unrighteous).  It brings sorrow to us as well as to others.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

6. Is God at fault (1) ?

Once a man went to a Watch shop in his bicycle to buy a new watch. As he was about to enter the shop, he saw an old friend there. They were too happy to meet each other after a long time. They chitchatted for a while. The friend came with him into the shop and they chose a suitable watch for him.

They came out joyfully and took a long walk together. They had a cup of tea and then parted ways. The man walked back to his home.

Only after reaching home, he remembered that he had parked his bicycle outside the watch shop. He immediately rushed to the shop. Fortunately, his bicycle was very much standing there. With a great relief, he rode in his bicycle and on his way, he saw a temple. He felt he should thank God for getting back his bicycle.  He parked his bicycle outside the temple and went in to do his prayers.

As he came out of the temple, his cycle was missing.

He frantically searched here and there but no use. It was obvious that someone had stolen it.

He felt very dejected and angry. He got angry on God, who had not protected his bicycle particularly when his very purpose of visiting the temple was for thanking God for having saved his bicycle earlier!

Hearing his loud lamenting, an old man who was passing by, asked him what happened. The man narrated his woeful story and said, “I am not going to believe in God anymore. He has no concern for a devotee like me when I came to him in fact for thanksgiving”.

The old man asked, “Did you lock your bicycle before going into the temple?”

The man thought for a while and said, “I am afraid I did not”.

“Did you lock your cycle when you had parked outside the watch shop?”

“Yes; I did”.

“Then why blame God for your lack of attentiveness?” said the old man and moved away.

[Amma:  “This the problem with us. We do not exercise shraddha in our actions, and then put the blame on God for the happenings.”]

(From Amma’s New Year Satsang 2021)

 

Humorous stories from Amma – Part 8 ( 4 more stories)

There is no dearth of fun and frolic in the company of a Mahatma like Amma. Amma narrates several humorous and funny stories that carry spiritual wisdom. Here are  more such little stories:

(If you have not read the previous 15 stories in this series, please click here —> Part 7 (Humorous stories from Amma)

1. Who taught her?!

Once a newly married couple came to live in a housing complex. The wife woke up in the morning was looking through the glass window of her apartment at the lawn in the opposite apartment. Several washed clothes were hanging their for drying.  She said to her husband, “Oh! The washed clothes are still dirty. It looks the woman there does not know how to wash clothes clean!”

The husband did not make any comment.

Then it became almost regular for the wife to make the same comment every morning. “I wish someone teaches her how to wash clothes properly” she would add. Her husband did not open his mouth.

A few weeks went by . One day the wife spoke to her husband with a voice full of surprise.  “Hey! It looks our neighbor has at last learned how to wash clothes clean! Today, all the dresses hanging there are clean and bright! I wonder who taught her the right way!’

The husband said in a cool voice: “This morning I got up early and washed all the glass panes of our windows clean!”

[Amma: “This is what is happening in our lives too. If we have to see goodness in others, our heart must become pure first. Our ego, pride, envy, crookedness, hatred  and all cause our vision to be tainted. Because of it, we are not able to accept and digest others’ actions and behavior and behave friendly with them.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

2. Escape from death?

Once there lived a sculptor who was very much afraid of death.  How to escape death? This question was always nagging his mind.  He used to think of so many ways and finally felt there was one good idea which he could try.

He made 12 statues looking exactly like him in all respects.  They were so lifelike. His idea was that when the messenger of death comes in search of him, he could pose like one among the statues and the messenger would get confused and perhaps leave empty handed!

The time of his death indeed arrived. The sculptor saw the arrival of messenger of death. He immediately joined the group of 12 statues and stood there holding his breath, avoiding all movements.  The messenger of death too got confused to see 13 statues looking exactly alike!

After thinking for a while, he said aloud, “All these statues are really well crafted and look alike. The sculptor is indeed extremely talented. But unfortunately he has made one fault in all of them”.

The ego of the sculptor got offended on hearing this. He forgot his precarious state and asked loudly, “What fault? what fault? How dare you find fault in my work? Tell me where is the fault”.

“Here it is!” so saying the messenger caught hold of the sculptor and dragged him along to the nether world!

[Amma: “When the ego rises saying “I am the doer”, then all  woes come. The idea that ‘I am the doer’ is the one that causes bondage.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

3. Greedy Cheater?

There was a bakery in a village. The bakery owner used buy butter regularly from a farmer who owned cows. The farmer was a guileless, good person.

The baker was getting disturbed about a thing. He was suspecting that the farmer was not really giving the right weight of butter that he regularly ordered on a daily basis.  Is the farmer cheating him by giving less?

He stared measuring the weight of the butter with the weighing stone that he possessed. It was amply clear that the the butter was short in weight. He got convinced that he had been getting cheated;  he made a complaint to the village headman about it.

The village chief called the farmer for an inquiry. He explained the complaint and said to the farmer, “You go and bring your weighing stone immediately. We would like to check it for correctness”.

The farmer fumbled for a while and then  said, “Sorry sir, I really don’t have any weighing stone, but I assure you  I am not a cheat”.

“How do you say so? How do you weigh and supply the butter without a weighing stone?”

The farmer said, “Sir, I regularly buy bread from the same bakery. I use that bread  as the measuring weight to measure the weight of the butter I supply. So, I am not faulty; if the butter is underweight, then it means the bread I have been buying is underweight! ”

[Amma: “Don’t wait for others to reform themselves before we change. We should reform ourselves first.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

4. Lucky day?

Once a man got up early in the morning.   He felt very refreshed after a good night’s sleep and his mood was upbeat.   He had positive thoughts brimming inside him that morning.

As looked at the clock, he noticed that it was showing the time as 9. The clock had stopped working the previous night. The man came to the balcony. It was refreshingly chill. He checked the the temperature and it showed 9 degree Centigrade.

After brushing, he picked up the newspaper. It showed the date was 9.

As the day progressed,  he strangely encountered many things that had an association with the number 9. With his mind positive and upbeat, he felt very strongly that some big fortune is going to happen in his life that day and that it will have some association with the number 9.

A horse race was scheduled in the Race Course that day. He read a review about all the horses taking part in the race that day. Strangely, there was indeed a horse bearing Number 9 about which rave reviews had been made by race experts. The man was convinced that that’s where his fortunes are going to click.

He rushed to the bank, withdrew all the savings he had there and went to the race course with that money. He betted the entire amount on horse number 9.

With dreams of becoming a millionaire overnight, he watched the horse race with bated breath.

And the horse No.9, on that lucky day, came 9th in the race!

(From Amma’s New year satsang 2021)

 

 

Amma’s stories on Nature of the human mind – Part 3 (2 more stories)

1. Sold dead cheap?

[Amma: “Be in a family or in a society, people always seem to have a business mindset. Even our relationship with God too has turned to be so. When it comes to God or Guru, what is most essential is total surrender.  But we have become calculative with them too; how to profit out of them seems to be thinking”.]

Once a very rich man was travelling in a ship. Suddenly the weather turned hostile. A powerful thunderstorm struck the ship. The Captain of the ship announced that the ship cannot be saved from sinking and asked all the people in the ship have to do whatever they could to save themselves if possible. Everyone in the ship panicked. The rich man too started praying God frantically like everyone else in the ship. He prayed to God: “Oh my lord. please save me from this calamity. I promise you that I will sell my 5-star hotel and donate 75% of the amount if you save me”.

Very miraculously, the storm subsided quickly and the ship was saved. All the travellers reached the shore safely.  However, the rich man was in a mental turmoil now.  “Oh, if I sell my 5-star hotel, I will easily get a crore of Rupees and it is such a huge amount! Should I really donate 75 lakhs of rupees to God?  Why would He need such a large sum of money from me? What can I do now?” He thought deeply about it and finally got an idea.

He released an advertisement in the newspaper: “5-star hotel on sale. Expected price: one rupee”.

Hordes of people came running to meet him and buy the property. They could not really understand how and why anyone would sell the hotel for one rupee! He told them: “I promise that the hotel is indeed available for sale for one rupee, but to clinch the deal, you must buy my pet dog for 1 crore of rupees”.

He finally sold the star hotel as per his terms and donated seventy five paise to God!

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

2. Falling pride

There was a heap of small stones at a place. A boy who came that side, picked up a stone and threw it at the sky.  As the stone was rising high, it suddenly felt very proud.  “Ah! how great I am now! While all the other stones are lying in ground, I am soaring higher and higher. Soon I will be reaching a level in par with the sun and the moon!”
Looking at the other stones, it shouted, “Why are you all lying there? Come up and high!”.

The other stones said, “What to do? Just a few seconds ago, you too were one among us and lying here. Suddenly luck favored you and now you are flying! Everyone needs a right time; we are not so far fortunate”

But the stone that went up could not remain proud for long. It gradually slowed down, stopped and then started falling back to the earth. Within seconds it fell with a thud on the ground, amid the other stones.  Now the stone said, “Okay guys! You see, the fact is I missed you so much that I could not spend much time up there. So I am glad to be back!’

[Amma: “This is precisely the nature of human mind. Whatever one does, the mind tends to justify it as right; if there is a failure, the mind justifies that failure too. It won’t  accept a fault. “]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol.2)

Amma’s stories on Family and relationships – Part 1 ( 5 stories)

 1.  Searching for?

Once a husband and wife had some bitter quarrel and they stopped talking to each other. None of them wanted to take the first step to bring back normalcy in relationship.

One week passed this way and not even a single word was exchanged between them. Finally, the husband was no longer able to bear with this stress. He thought of an idea.

He started searching for something in the house here and there, pretending as if it was too important a thing that he frantically needed. He looked and searched at every nook and corner of the house, expressing his tension seriously on his face. He bent down and searched under the cot; he opened every drawer in his table and searched. He opened every cupboard and searched. He climbed over the table and searched in the lofts.

Watching all these, the wife could no longer control herself. “What are you searching for?” she asked him.

That was precisely what the husband was eager to hear from his wife! He said, “Your sweet voice!”

When the wife heard such a sweet reply from her husband, she instantly forgot all her anger and complaints against her husband; her face brightened up and she smiled.

[Amma: “If only we could mutually excuse other’s mistakes and bear with them, we are sure to get peace and happiness in our lives.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

2.  Mental block

Once a young woman felt that she could not lift up her right hand. She became extremely concerned. She went to consult a doctor.  The doctor gave medicines and tried different treatment methods and yet she could not use her right hand.  Finally she decided to consult a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist engaged her in a long conversation. She inquired whether she had some bitter experiences in the past that disturbed her mind very strongly. The woman said:

“Yes. My mother died when I was a small child. My father married a second time. The stepmother started hating me once she had children of her own. She would find fault with me always and shout at me. A few weeks ago, her anger and censures became extremely unbearable to me.  Anger rose in me so strongly that I even felt like hitting her. With lots of effort, I controlled myself; only after that my right hand stopped functioning; I have not spoken a word to her afterwards”.

Listening to it, the psychiatrist said, “Even though you controlled your anger externally.  it has gone into your subconscious mind; such a deep mental disturbance can result in physical ailments. In your case, the same thing has happened and it is that suppressed anger that has caused failure of your right hand.”

Once the cause was identified. the woman understood that she should somehow get rid of her anger and hatred towards her step mother. She tried hard to set right her mindset and gradually she could succeed. Simultaneously, the mobility of her right hand too started returning.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

3.  Need one hour time

Once a father, who was normally very busy in his job, came back from his office. His little daughter was waiting for him at the entrance. She asked him, “Daddy, how much money do you get for one hour of work in your office?” .  The father said, “About 300 rupees per hour”.

The girl asked, “Daddy, will you give me two hundred rupees, please?”

The father thought that she wanted to buy a costly doll. He got angry. “Don’t trouble me like this. I don’t want to hear any more word from you”. He rushed into the house. His daughter was shocked at her father’s sudden outrage. With tear filled eyes, she went into her bed room and shut the doors.

After some time, the father felt bad about his behavior. He thought he should have been more patient; he should have spoken at least a few kind words to her. He went to his daughters room and asked “Have you slept, my daughter?”.

“No papa; I am still awake.” she said.

He went and sat  in her bed and said, “Did you feel hurt when I shouted at you earlier? I am sorry about it. Here, take this two hundred rupees. May I know what you intend to buy with this money?”

His daughter’s face brightened up instantly. She lifted her pillow and from there, picked up a hundred rupee note.  Putting this money too together she extended it  to her father and said, “Daddy,  now you have three hundred rupees.  Will you please spend one hour with me?”

[Amma: “Amid all the business and running around, do look at the world around you. Share a little time, friendliness, a patient listening and joy with your family members, friends and colleagues. Live in the present. Enjoy your living. “]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

4. Untrustworthy sons

Once a father had four sons. As the father god old, the sons wanted the family properties to be partitioned and given to them. Each one of them had a desire to construct a house of his own and hence they pressurized their father to yield to partition.

“We are here to take care of you during your old age; Don’t worry; We will take turns and take excellent care of you; you can stay with each of our families three months in a year; we will provide all the comforts you need” they promised.

When all the sons talked so in unison, the father felt very happy. He partitioned his properties equally amid his four children. One son got his house and garden. Other sons got equal share of his lands. The sons constructed their own houses in the lands they got.

At first the father stayed with his eldest son. He was taken care of very well initially. But, as days passed, he could feel negligence gradually. As days progressed further, the father could palpably see his son and daughter-in-law showing faces to him. With lots of patience he managed to pull along for about a month there. Before they would tell him to move to the next son’s house, he decided to move on his own.

He was welcomed pleasantly at the second son’s house. But he could hardly pull along for 15 days there. Unable to tolerate the negligence, he shifted to the third son’s house.

He could manage to stay only for 10 days there. Then he shifted hastily to his youngest son’s house. Hardly within 5 days of his stay there, he felt it obvious that unless he moved out, he was most likely to be chucked out of the house. He left their house totally dejected.

Thus the hopes of the father who distributed all his properties to his son believing that his sons would take care of him well got totally belied. It was simply a false hope. Within a span of just two months the planned arrangement of staying with the sons lifelong came to an end.

[Amma: “Children, this is the nature of people that we must all comprehend. People rear cows only for its milk. When the cows no longer give milk, we won’t hesitate to sell them to the butcher. If we do our karma expecting that someone would take care of us, we will only end up in suffering. It is indeed the duty of parents to take care of their children during their young age. That duty must be done happily without any expectations in return. Once the right time comes, our mind must be turned towards spirituality. Not expecting anything from the children, we must proceed firmly in the path of spiritual fulfilment. We should never get struck in attachments like “my son”, “my grandchildren” and so on.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki-Tamil – Vol 1)

5. Oh for the old purse

Once an old man was getting down from a train and he fell down in the platform.  Many youngsters came running to help him to get up and steady himself. The old man checked his pocket and said, “Oh, my purse, my purse! Where is it?”

The youngsters looked around for it. Once the train moved, the located the little purse on the track, picked it up and gave it to the old man. The old man hurriedly searched the purse as others watched him. He put it back with content into his pocked. An youngster, watching this asked him, “Grandpa, you don’t seem to have any money in that purse; then why were you so excited about losing it?”

The old man said, “There is a long story behind it. I will tell you.  This purse was gifted to me by my father when I passed my 10th class. It contained a nice picture of our God inside. Let me show it to you…” The old man showed the a small picture of Lord which was faded and wrinkled. He continued:

“At that age, I loved my parents the dearest. I removed the picture of God and kept my parents’ photo in the purse.  When I went to college, I fell in love with the girl. I removed my parents photo and kept this girls photo there.  She got married to someone and a few years later, I too got married. I kept my wife’s photo in the purse. Later, we had a boy child whom I adored more than anyone else. I removed my wife’s photo and kept my child’s photo there.

“My wife passed away, and my son became the centre of my life. As he grew up, I kept his youthful photo in my purse. He got married. Over a period of time, he and his wife wanted to build a palatial house for them and nudged me to bequeath my properties to him. He promised to take care of me throughout my life. He sold my properties and built his dream house. I too shifted there. Over a period of time, my son and daughter-in-law started neglecting me and I could understand that I was no longer needed in their life.  I had no option but to shift to an old-age home.  At that time, I understood that whomsoever I love can never be relied on; I understood only God is our permanent solace and companion. I removed my son’s photo and put back our lord’s photo back in the purse. I keep looking at it whenever I feel lonely and depressed. Only He gives me succor and solace. That’s how this old little purse and the picture of God in it became so indispensable to me now!”

[Amma: “No worldly relationship is permanent;  it is our relationship with God that is everlasting”.]

Amma’s stories on respecting and preserving Nature (2 stories)

1.  Self imposed limit

[Amma:Somewhere, we have lost the discrimination to differentiate essential need from extravaganza.  If we take anything more than what is absolutely essential for our needs from Nature, it is adharma. It is a sin.”]

Once, early morning, a social worker was brushing his teeth near a river. He had brought a vessel with him in which he gathered some water from the river for the purpose of washing his mouth after brushing. He was accompanied by a group of fellow social workers, with whom he was discussing some important matters seriously.  When he was about to wash and rinse his mouth and face finally, he noticed that he had already exhausted the water in the vessel. He said, “Oh God! How careless I have been! Even before I completed my washing, I have already exhausted all the water”.

Listening this, others could not understand why he was regretting like this. One of them said, “Why are you lamenting like this? Here is the river running full with water and you can always fetch some more water to complete your washing!”

The man said, “The river may be full; but I don’t have the moral authority to take more than what I truly need”.

[Amma:If only we all develop such a social awareness and moral stand as this social worker, we can definitely drive away poverty and deaths due to starving from the face of this earth”.]

(From Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

2. Very Old Technology!

Once a boy was going on a walk with his grandfather. The boy said “Grandpa, soon our scientists will find a technology to convert Carbon dioxide to Oxygen.”

The grandfather laughed and said, “It is a very old technology, existing almost ever since creation, my boy! It is called ‘Tree’!”

(From Amma’s 67th birthday message 27/9/2020)

Amma’s stories on managing anger and other emotions – Part 2 (4 more stories)

[If you have not read the previous 15 little stories of Amma under this topic, you can read them here:  Amma’s stories on managing anger and other emotions – Part 1 ]

1.  Insignificant victory

An young man received call for a prestigious job interview, which he was eagerly waiting to receive for months. He had to travel to a distant city where his interview was scheduled. For that, he had to travel by air and the travel plan involved changing a plane at an intermediate station. Once his first flight descended in the intermediate airport, the next plane was scheduled to depart after a gap of half an hour. As he was waiting at the departure lounge for the flight, he felt  hungry; he decided to utilize the time gap to have a quick bite.

He went to the Restaurant there and ate some fast food. When the bill came, he was shocked as the amount was Rs 500, which was too hefty for him.  He went to the cashier and argued with him: “Hey! This is very unfair. I have not eaten anything heavy to demand such a high payment”. After arguing for a while, the cashier decided to pacify the customer and offered a 100 Rupees reduction. But the young man was not happy. He kept on insisting that the bill was still unfair. He was very particular not to spend more than Rs 300. After lots of arguments, finally, the cashier agreed for Rs 300.-

The young man was very happy. He felt very proud of himself for arguing so strongly and smartly saving Rs 200.- in the bargain. He walked proudly towards the departure gate. There he came to know that the flight had departed about 5 minute ago!

Forgetting the very significance of his journey for which he had indeed been waiting for months,  the young man had wasted his precious time  in arguing, just for saving  a small amount of money!

[Amma: “Some people tend to complain that time was not favorable to them. The fact is, time is always favorable. Only we are not in tune with the time.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

2.  Why so excited?

A middle aged person and a young man were walking around a flower garden.

The young man asked his father excitedly in a loud voice, “Daddy! Isn’t this the flower called rose? Ah how beautiful it is!”

The father too spoke in an equally excited voice, “Yes my dear son! This indeed is the rose!’

“Is n’t its color known as pink, daddy?”

“Yes! Indeed!” said the father. The son pointed his hand towards the lawn and said, again loudly full of excitement, “Is it not the grass daddy? Isn’t its color called green?”

“Yes! My son. You are absolutely right!” The fathers voice too was equally loud and excited.

The young man continued to point one after other and they talked excitedly about each.  In a nearby bench, an old man was seated. He had come to the garden seeking silence and mental peace. He felt irritated by the loud-mouthed talking by the father and his grown up son. With obvious expression of his irritation and disapproval, the old man said, “I came to this garden in search of some mental peace. Many people who visit this garden too are like me.  When you two people talk so  loudly oblivious of your surrounding, people like me have lost peace. Your dull headed son keeps on asking insignificant things and you are so excitedly replaying “yes my son!” to all his questions! Why don’t you go to some doctor and find a cure for your son’s retarded behavior instead of coming here?”

Hearing this, both the father and son stood there, stupefied for a while. Then the father said, “I am sorry. My son is not mentally retarded.  He had been blind right from birth. Only two days ago his eyes were operated in order to bring eyesight to him. After the operation, at the time of removing his bandage, I had this desire to show him some really beautiful and heart-warming sights for the first time as he sees this world. That’s why I brought him here. This is the first time in his life that he is seeing all these beautiful things around here. That’s why he was talking so excitedly about them. I too was overwhelmed with joy when I my son has got his eyesight and naturally, when he asked the questions, I was equally excited and spoke so loudly.  Suppose we got back  the wealth that we had lost long back, how much excited we would become! In the same way, we totally forgot our surroundings; kindly excuse us”.

Hearing this, the old man felt extremely bad and ashamed about his hasty judgment and the way he had let out very hurting words against them. He immediately sought their pardon. He took a resolve that, in future, he would not get angry at others by framing his own preconceived judgements.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

3.  Revenge – Is it worth?

Once a person heavily drunk drove his car that ended up in an accident. A young man on the road got killed in the accident.

The mother of the young man who died started crying uncontrollably when she heard the news.  He was her only son and his loss at his prime youth was unbearable to her. Despite the passage of several days and months, her sorrow did not reduce. It soon turned to anger — anger against the person who killed her son in the accident. She want to take revenge on him. She wanted to kill him; her heart started boiling with such a desire.

A few days passed this way. Gradually her mind cooled down; she was able to think more logically into the idea of  avenging her son’s death. She thought, ‘What will I really gain by killing the drunkard? Will I ever get back my son? If my son’s accidental death could cause so much grief in me, then it will be natural that if I kill the drunkard, his mother and family too will grieve the same way. What will I gain by causing those innocent people to suffer mentally by my act of vengeance? Let them not face the same fate as I had faced’. Now her mind became calm.

She thought further: ‘What was the cause of my son’s death? Was it not the drinking habit of the person who drove the car? If he were to be a sober person, he would have driven the car carefully and my son would not have died. So the real problem is drinking and driving. If I could do something to make a few people aware of the evil consequences of drinking, to that extent the society would get benefited.’

She discussed the matter with some of her friends and wellwishers. They too came forward to support her enthusiastically. Soon she started a small Social service group through which she conducted sessions  with people to propagate the evils of drinking. She dedicated her time considerably for this mission. Within a few years she was running a large organization dedicated to propagate the evils of drinking across the nation.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

4.  A shift in mindset

[NOTE:  This is actually a real life story — from the life of  young Ramakrishnan (now Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri,  one of Amma’s seniormost sanyasis)  during the early days of his association with Amma.]

As a college student Ramakrishnan had a goal of studying medicine and becoming a doctor. Unfortunately, he lost the opportunity to join MBBS by scoring just one mark below the selection cutoff level in the entrance examination.  He became dejected and depressed because of it.  He had no interest in joining any other course. After few days, due to compulsion from his family, he applied for bank job. He got the job.

Even after joining duty, the frustration about not becoming a doctor as per his dreams continued to affect him.  He could not deal with his bank clients with courtesy or friendliness; he could not smile at others.  He understood that such a behavior was not right.

He went to his beloved Guru (Amma) and confessed about his mental turmoil. He said, “Amma, my mind is not in my control; even on petty matters, I get angry. I am not able to behave respectfully with the bank’s clients.  With this mental state, I don’t think  I will be able to continue in my job for long.  Amma. what should I do?”

Amma listened to him patiently. Then consoling him, she said, “My son. Suppose I send a person who is close to me, to you to the bank seeking some assistance from the bank, how will you deal with him?”

Ramakrishnan said, “Of course I will receive him warmly and offer all possible help to him”.

“If so, you must do one thing. Think of every customer who comes to you seeking Bank’s help as though he is a person sent personally by me. If you develop such an attitude, you will be able to behave friendly and nicely with every person approaching you”.

From that day onwards, there was a sea of change in Ramakrishnan’s behavior. He was able to see every person coming to him for banking help as though he was sent by God (his guru) and was able to serve them with courtesy. Anger and frustration left him once for all.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

Amma’s stories on Guru, Role of Guru, Guru-disciple Relationship – Part 4 (5 more stories)

[If you have not read the previous 15 little stories of Amma under this topic,  you can read them here: Amma’s stories on Guru, Role of Guru, Guru-disciple Relationship – Part 3)

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1.  Bottled Krishna?

One day a Pundit came to see a Mahatma.

The pundit was famous for his scholarship and his knowledge of the scriptures. He was a very proud man. The pundit said to the Mahatma: “I am well versed in all the shastras of our religion. I came to you with an expectation that you may be able to teach me something extra that I don’t know of”.

The Mahatma smiled and said, “I am afraid I don’t have anything to tell you more than what you already  know.  But there is a shopkeeper in this village, who, I believe, has something to teach you”.

The pundit got curious. He inquired who the shopkeeper was and immediately proceeded to go and meet him. When the pundit reached the grocery shop, he noticed that he was in the process of supplying various grocery items to one of his clients.  He heard the shopkeeper telling the client, “You please read out the items one by one from your shopping list and my boy will weigh and pack them.”

Immediately, the Pundit understood that the shopkeeper was a simple, unlettered man. What could such a person teach a scholar like him? Anyway, having come all the way, he approached the shopkeeper and introduced himself. He said, “The Mahatma in this village asked me to meet you. He told me that you have a piece of wisdom that you can teach me”.

The shopkeeper was surprised. He said, “Revered Sir, I am an unlettered man. I have no knowledge whatsoever except selling provisions. What can I ever teach you? Anyway, having come all the way to meet me, I request you to sit with me for a while in the shop, relax yourself and then go back home”.

The Pundit sat in a chair next to the shopkeeper and looked around the shop. In one shelf nearby, there were several jars  painted  in different colors. The pundit became curious. “What do these jars contain? Why are they painted in different colors?”

The shopkeeper said, “Sir, it is for my easy identification of items, that I have colored them differently. The first jar in red contains pepper. The second one in yellow contains mustard. The third one in green contains cardamom. The next one contains cloves. The last one contains Krishna”.

What? Krishna? What do you mean?”

“Sir, actually the last one does not contain anything. It is empty. I call it the jar of Krishna”.

“Why?”

“You see, you cannot put anything in a  jar that already contains something. If you have to put something, it should be empty first. If our mind is filled with so many things, it has no space for the lord to come and reside inside. Only when we keep our mind empty without thoughts, God can come and occupy it. That’s why I call the empty jar as the jar of Krishna”.

The pundit was awestruck hearing the explanation from the unlettered shopkeeper. He immediately understood that his mind was full with ideas and concepts learned from scriptures and hence it does not have any space for God to enter and reside in him. He understood that knowing God and establishing God in his heart was far more important than stuffing himself with scriptural knowledge. He understood that he should get rid of all his pride and make his heart empty to have the vision of God.

(From Amma’s Krishna Janmashtami Satsang 10/9/2020)

2.  What you really lost

Once a group of travellers were going to a village. As they walked, they reached a place adjacent to a forest. There they saw a pond with clear water. They left their possessions at the bank of the pond and got into water to take bath. When they returned to the bank after taking bath, they were shocked to see their possessions missing. Thieves had indeed stolen them and run away.  The travellers immediately went around in search of the thieves.

They noticed a Sadhu sitting at the shade of a tree on their way. They asked him, “Did you notice any thieves running this way, carrying things? They have stolen our belongings”.

The Sadhu said, “You are all sad because you have lost your possessions. Aren’t you? Now think. You have lost your happiness now; the thieves who made you lose your happiness are outside you or inside you? Do you want only your lost possessions or want something that you will never ever lose? Think deeply on this.”

The travellers understood what the sadhu said. They understood that he was a Mahatma. They surrendered to him and requested him to take them as his disciples.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol.1)

3.  Expansiveness matters

Once  there lived a householder who had the habit of visiting a  Mahatma frequently. He would always complain about the hardships and sorrows he was facing in his life. One day, when this devotee started to talk about his woes, the Mahatma cut him short and said, “You go and bring a glass of water and a handful of salt”.

The devotee brought them.  The saint said, “Put a  spoonful of salt in the glass of water, stir it well to dissolve it fully and then drink a little of that water”. The man did so.

“How does it taste?” asked the mahatma.

“Ah! Very salty; I can’t even swallow it” said the man.

Then the Mahatma took the man to a nearby pond. “Now put the handful of salt in the water and dissolve it fully” he said.

The man did so.

“Now taste a little of that pond water” said the Mahatma.

The man drank some water.

“Do you find it salty?” asked the Mahatma.  “No, Maharaj, not at all” said the man.

The mahatma said, “My son, the sorrows in our life too is similar to this. Pure water is ike the natural, inner joy that we all have. If a little of salt is added to a glass of water, the water turns salty and you can’t even drink it. But the same salt, if put in a pond of water, does not make the water salty. Your mind, at present, is very small, like the glass. But if you make your heart very large like the pond and awaken the bliss inside it,  then no amount of sorrow will disturb you”.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol.1)

4.  The difference  (1)

Once a minister of a country went to meet his guru to seek advice and solace as he was highly tensed and disturbed by many problems facing the country that needed right solutions.

When he reached his guru’s ashram, one of his guru’s main disciples stopped him. The minister said, “Excuse me, I need to meet the guru very urgently to discuss on some very important matters”.

The disciple said politely, “Sorry sir, our guru is sick; he is taking rest. He has given clear instruction to me not to allow anyone to disturb him.”

The minister was in a dilemma. While he badly wanted to discuss matters with his guru, he could not argue with the disciple too to meet the guru. He stood there for a while very confused and disturbed”.

“May I know why you want to meet our guru so desperately?” asked the disciple.

The minister felt that it would be fine to share his problems with the disciple and he narrated the various serious issues that he is facing as a minister and looking for the right guidance.

The disciple too was quite a learned person and he was serving the guru since long.  So, he spoke to the minister for the next half an hour doling out advice as to how to the problems can be managed. The minister was nodding and hearing all that the disciple said, but there was no full conviction in him to accept all of them and take steps to act on them.

In the meanwhile, hearing the voice of the minister outside his hut, the guru, despite being unwell, came out. The minister was surprised and glad to see the guru and he prostrated before him. The guru asked him what his problem was. Again, the minister narrated his woes to the guru. The guru spoke to him only a few words lasting hardly for five minutes and bid him goodbye.

The minister was extremely satisfied with the guru’s advice and he left the place with mental peace and clarity. In fact, what the guru instructed was only the essence of what the disciple had already instructed in detail earlier, but the conviction came to the minister only through the words of the guru.

[Amma: “In this story, what the guru said and what the disciple told earlier were essentially same, but the words of the disciple are nothing but bookish knowledge; where as the words of the guru are based on his personal experience attained through self-realization. That’s why it creates so much conviction and trust in the listener.”]

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami Satsang on 25/10/2020)

5.  The difference  (2)

Once the king a country went to meet his guru to seek advice and solace as he was highly tensed and disturbed by many problems facing the country; he had lost all peace of mind and was gripped by a desire to relinquish the king’s role and escape from all the responsibilities. He felt if he could get some solution from his guru to enable him transfer all his responsibilities to someone else, he can have a breath of relief.

After listening to the king’s bag of woes and his final request, the guru said, “Fine. Do one thing. You make a vow to hand over the whole country to me”. The king gladly agreed and made a formal announcement to this effect.

Once it was done, the guru said, “Now, this country is mine. Now I appoint you as the caretaker of this country to govern it as my official representative.”

The king, as he was always obedient to his guru’s words, agreed. He went back to the palace and continued to rule the country. But now a sea of change had happened in his mindset. He felt a great mental relief. He was not the king any longer but only a servant to the guru who is now the real ruler of the country; he was just an instrument in the hands of his guru and felt totally free from the burden of all personal responsibilities that he was shouldering all along.

[Amma: “The sense of ownership is the cause of all tensions. If one becomes an instrument in the hands of God, then all tasks will be accomplished without mental agitation.”]

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami Satsang on 25/10/2020)

Amma’s stories on Unselfishness, Compassion & Sacrifice – Part 4 (15 more stories )

1.   Equal punishment?

Long ago, there lived a very rich landlord in a village. He was a miser and lead a life of utter selfishness with no compassion for the poor and the needy.

One day, he went to the village magistrate and made a complaint against another villager saying that he had stolen money from his almirah.

The person accused was extremely poor. When the magistrate summoned him and interrogated him, he openly admitted that he had indeed stolen money from the rich man’s almirah because of unbearable hunger in his family.  At the end of inquiry the magistrate gave a ruling that the stealer and the rich man should undergo imprisonment for equal period.

The rich man could not digest such a ruling. He made sure that a complaint about this reached the king of the country. The king called the magistrate for an inquiry. The magistrate spoke to the king, openly expressing his views without any fear, “Your majesty, while I punished the poor man for the act of stealing, I punished the rich man for his act of amassing money far beyond his needs and never coming forward to help the poor and the needy with his money and properties.  Even if he could not help the poor directly, he could have at least  come forward to donate money to charitable organizations who work for the downtrodden and the needy. He never did that too. Even though God has given eyes and ears to him, he could never see the suffering of hungry people; he could not hear the lamenting of the poor in need of help. That too is a crime according to me and that’s why I gave him punishment.”

The magistrate paused for a while and then continued: “Now I think it is wrong on my part to have given equal punishment to both the persons. I should have indeed given an additional punishment for the rich man for another crime — the crime of abetting a poor person to resort to stealing. Had he donated some money for the fellow villager whose family had been driven to extreme poverty and hunger, the poor man would no need to steal from the rich man’s house. This rich man indeed is the cause for creating a thief. That’s why he should have been punished for it too”.

[Amma:  “Accumulating more and more possessions is also adharma; it is a  sin. That’s why we should always negate pomp and extravaganza. By saving money being spent on such things, we should divert it to help the poor and the needy.”]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

2.   Compassionate request

Once a school girl took part in a prestigious competition and won the first place. The sponsors of the competition offered her a free trip to Visit USA as the reward.

At the award function, the anchor asked a question to the girl, “How happy are you feeling in winning the competition and getting the chance to visit to USA?”

The girl said, “I am indeed very happy to have won this competition; but I would be happier if I could get the award in cash equivalent to  all the expenses of sponsoring my trip to USA”.

“Why are you desiring cash? Are you not interested in visiting USA?” asked the anchor.

The girl said, “It is not so. My mother is a nurse. Last week I accompanied my mother to the hospital where she is working. There I happened to meet a girl of my age, and as I interacted with her,  we became friends. I came to know that she was undergoing treatment for cancer. It was shocking for me. My mother told me that her cancer  was in advanced stage and if at all she should recover, she should undergo more advanced treatment in a bigger hospital. Unfortunately, her parents are poor and they could not afford any costlier treatment. She would not survive for long in this condition. I felt very painful; such an young girl, who would have lots of dreams about her future, who is not still aware of her precarious condition, who believes she would soon recover, will be dying shortly because there was no money with the parents to save her.  Suppose this reward comes to me in cash, I want to give it to the girl’s parents so that they can use it for treating her. That would truly make my winning the  competition worthy”.

Hearing her speech, the organizers immediately took a decision to give the reward to her in cash and they made an announcement about it immediately.

[Amma:  “On this day of New year, let us all make a resolution to do at least one act that could bring happiness or comfort to others without any selfish motive.  Even if we are not capable of doing big things, it does not matter. A word of compassion, a friendly smile, a friendly heart that is ready to hear the sorrows of others — even such little things are good enough.”]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

3.   Compassion is more important than worship

Once a group of pilgrims were travelling to Rameshwaram after taking holy bath in the Ganga at Kashi.  They were carrying Ganga water in small pots for the purpose of doing abhishekam to Lord Shiva’s linga at Rameshwaram as per the traditional practice.

Somewhere at the middle of their travel route, they had to cross a dry landscape. It was a hot day and all the travellers were suffering from thirst. But unfortunately, they could not locate any source of water in the stretch. Since all of them were very particular to carry the Ganga water for Rameshwaram, they did not want to quench their thirst with the Ganga water in their pots. They somehow managed to bear with their thirst and moved on.

On the way, a donkey was lying on the road, breathing heavily. It was obvious that the donkey was fatigued by the hot sun and it was extremely thirsty.  One of the pilgrims felt pity on  the donkey which was at the verge of death. He decided to feed the donkey with his pot of Ganga water. The donkey hastily drank all the water in his pot and felt rejuvenated. The man felt extremely happy that he could save the life of a donkey with the water he carried.

However, the other pilgrims did not approve his act of charity. They said that it was totally wrong to ‘waste’ a whole pot of Ganga water which was really meant for doing Abhishekam to Lord Shiva. They said he lost all the punya of undertaking the pilgrimage.

The man said, “I don’t care if I lose all the good fortune of completing Kashi Yatra; saving the life of a poor creature by feeding it with Ganga water is far more more important to me than doing abhishekam to God at Rameshwaram; I saw God in that poor creature. Seeing its pitiable condition, it was just impossible for me to walk ahead without offering help.”

[Amma:  “Four things make an act of charity invaluable:  1)  Sacrificing one’s own possessions and comforts  for giving to charity (2) Donating  selflessly without expecting anything in return or without the intent of getting name and fame (3) donating to someone more deserving than oneself  and (4) Seeing God in the receiver, offering a donation with humility. We all must develop the above attitude and do good to others. If we do charity with this attitude, we will get satisfaction and prosperity in our lives”.]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

4.   Indebtedness

Once  a hunter shot an arrow tipped with poison on a deer. The arrow missed its target and hit the trunk of a large tree. Due to the effect of poison, the tree started withering. Soon, all the leafs in the tree dried up and the tree was dead.

There were plenty of birds, worms, insects, rats, and squirrels living in the tree all long. Once the tree dried up, almost all of the creatures left the tree in search of alternative places for their living. But one parrot that lived in the tree for long did not want to leave the tree, because of its indebtedness and emotional attachment to the tree that had supported it and nurtured it all along. Forgetting food and sleep, the parrot grieved for the death of the tree and continued to stay there. All the fellow birds advised the lone parrot that it was meaningless to keep attached to a dead and dry tree and urged it to move on along with them. But the parrot  stoutly refused.

The news about the parrot spread across the three worlds and it reached Heaven too. Lord Indra was surprised to hear about it. He wanted to test the parrot.

Indra came to the tree in the form of an old brahmin and asked the parrot, “Why are you so foolishly clinging on to this tree which has dried up totally?”

The parrot said, “I know by virtue of my austerities that you are none other than Lord Indra. You see, I was born in this tree. I grew up in this tree and this is where I acquired all my skills and instincts.  It was due to the protection given by this tree, I lived safely from the attack of predators. How can I discard this tree which has nurtured and protected me all along?”

Hearing this Lord Indra said, “I am extremely pleased to hear your words of compassion. I will offer you any boon you ask for”.  The parrot immediately said, “Lord, I will be extremely happy if you could bring this tree back to life and restore its original status”. Lord Indra agreed and sprinkled nectar on the tree.  Within moments, the tree started to grow fresh leaves and soon it attained its original condition bearing flowers and fruits.  Seeing this all the birds and animals which had discarded the tree earlier returned to the tree joyfully.

[Amma:  “If only all of us have the same attachment and indebtedness towards mother nature just like the parrot’s attachment to the tree in this story, preservation of Nature would become effortless. Let us develop such a mindset and pass it on to the coming generations.”]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

5.   Personal touch (1)

Once a new Managing Director joined his office.  He was welcomed by all the managers. The personnel Manager said, “Sir, we have arranged your room ready at the 20th floor. We have one exclusive elevator for your use, which will take you straight to your floor without stopping at intermediate floors”.

The MD took charge. After a few days, he called up the personnel manager and said, “Please shift my office from 20th floor to the ground floor”.

The personnel manager humbly asked the MD, “May I know the reason Sir?  Are you not feeling comfortable there?  Have we missed giving any facilities there?”

The MD said, “No. The office and facilities are good. No complaints. All my employees are spread across the various floors down below in this building. I am not able to effectively interact with them”.

“Why Sir? If you call any of them to your room, they will always be glad to come and meet you there!”

The MD said, “No.  I don’t want to sit on a high pedestal and demand  their attention. I want to interact with them all in a more personal way.  I want to know about them, their hardships, their family problems and so on more freely. If I sit in the ground floor, all the people will have to pass through the ground floor only when they come to the office or leave the office and that way, I will have a better access towards them through casual meetings too.”

[Amma:  “In a similar way, Avatara Purushas come to the earth for the sake of the common people. They come down to the level of the common man and teach them in a way they can understand,”]

(Amma’s Onam Satsang 31/8/2020)

6.   Personal touch (2)

Once in an office, a departmental examination was conducted to select staff who are to be promoted to managerial posts in the organization.

While answering the question paper, a very odd question caught everybody’s attention:

  • What is the name of your Manager?
  • What is the name of the office assistant who does errands in the office?
  • What is the name of the tea boy?
  • What is the name of the sweeper in the office?

Practically all the people who wrote the exam wrote the Managers’ name correctly. Some people did not know the name of the office assistant. More people did not know the name of the tea boy. Most people did not know the name of the sweeper.

After the exam was over, they went and met the chief of HR department, who was in charge of setting up the question paper. “We wonder what is the need for that particular question. It is in no way connected with our technical skills, communication skills or knowledge of office matters and procedures which are essential for management.”  they argued.

The HR manager said, “In fact it is one of the most important questions that carries lots of weightage.  You see, when you people become managers, you are not just going to manage your work and responsibilities, but manage all the people who work under you. You have to be people-oriented and how you interact with your staff at human level is of paramount importance in your success as a manager.”

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami Satsang 25/10/2020)

7.   Don’t take more than your need

Once the family of a rich man came to a famous hotel for a buffet dinner.

An old man sitting and eating in the next table, kept watching the rich man’s family. Most of the members from the family were picking up lots of varieties of food in excess quantities. They would try some items, eat a little here and a little there and discard the food. They would again pick up some more items and waste them if they were not to their liking.

The old man signaled to the head of the family and expressed his wish to talk to them. He said, “You people are wasting lots of food. This is not right. Take only as much as you could eat and not more. This is not a responsible behavior” he said curtly.

The rich man felt offended and angry. He retorted: “We have paid for the buffet for each and every one of our family. You know that buffet food is unlimited. So, it is totally up to us to take as much as we want; if we like something. we eat it; if we don’t like, we throw away. None can question us. It is our right”.

The old man said, “It is your right to eat to your stomach-full for the money you have paid. But it is not your right to waste food; by wasting food, you are depriving somebody else’s share of food. There are countless poor people in the outer world who don’t have the means to eat one square meal a day. Many people go to bed with empty stomach. The food you waste rightfully belong to the poor and you are depriving them indirectly by wasteful consumption”.

(Amma’s Onam Satsang 31/8/2020)

8. Avoiding Embarrassment

Once there lived a poor farmer in a village. As he had no money to sow for the upcoming crop season, he approached a rich man in his village for a loan. The rich man was quite kind hearted. He readily offered money to the farmer and asked him to repay it once he harvested his produce and sold them.  Thanking him profusely, the farmer collected the money and went about enthusiastically to raise the crops.

Unfortunately, by the time the crop was ready for harvesting, a heavy thunderstorm struck. His entire farm was flooded and the farmer lost all his produce.  He was crestfallen. How could he repay the loan?

With no other go, the farmer started avoiding the rich man. Whenever he saw the rich man coming in the opposite direction at a distance, the farmer would quickly take a detour and avoid meeting him. The rich man noticed what the farmer was doing and he understood.

One day, the rich man was walking on the road along with his friend. He noticed the farmer coming at a distance. Immediately the rich man quickly hid himself behind an adjacent tree. After the farmer went past, he returned to the road. Surprised to see his behavior, the friend asked, “What is this? Why are you hiding yourself from the farmer? Are you afraid of him for some reason?”

The rich man said, “No. I really feel pity for the farmer. I know he has lost his entire crop this year due to unexpected floods. In fact I had loaned him a heavy amount for raising this crop. He is a honest farmer and he feels extremely embarrassed to see me face to face out of fear that I may ask him to pay back the loan. So, he is always trying to avoid me.  Since I know his pitiable condition, I wanted to avoid any embarrassment for him in seeing me in front of him today. That’s why I hid myself behind the tree”.

(From Amma”s 67th birthday satsang 27/9/2020)

9.  For the sake of havenots

Once there lived a boy who used to notice a Home for the orphans on his way to school. He would feel very sorry looking at the children whose faces were always sad and forlorn.

Onam festival was round the corner. As usual, his father gifted him some money for the festival for him to buy toys or anything else that he was desirous of.  He thought, ‘I have parents who always but toys, news dress and other things for me and take good care.  But who is there for the poor children living in the orphanage? They don’t have parents and relatives. How sad is their condition!’

Thinking this way, he took a decision. He approached his classmates and said, “All of us are having pocket money now given by our parents for celebrating Onam. Let me suggest a thing. Let us pool the money together and buy some face masks and simple toys in bulk. Let us sell them to public from street corners. By using that money, we can buy more of them and sell more. Using that money, let us buy lots of toys and gift them to the orphan children. What do you say?”

Practically all his classmates did not show interest in his suggestion. They were keen to use their pocket money only for their own enjoyment. However only one boy agreed to his suggestion. They put their money together and bought some funny face masks and toys for children.  Both of them wore face masks, went to places where people gathered in large numbers and entertained them with their antics. Amused people gathered around them and watched them with glee. The boy announced, “Please buy some masks from us and gift them to your children. They will be happy to wear them and you too find joy in their entertainment. We see you are all laughing and enjoying. But remember for a moment that there are indeed people around us who do not know what joy is.  Please think of them and buy goods from us. The money you pay will be utilized for giving that joy to the deserving people”.

The boys’ entertainment and smart speech attracted the audience. They eagerly came forward to buy the masks and other toys from them. From that money, they bought more stuff and resold them. With the accumulated money they bought lots of funny masks and other toys and gifts for the orphans.

On the day of Onam festival, the two boys went to the orphanage. While the people outside ashram were all in festive mood, the children at the ashram looked furlorn. The boys called all the children and distributed the masks and other gifts to them. Suddenly, the faces of all the children lit up. The boys burst fire crackers; they lit sparklers and handed over to the children. Festive mood caught up inside the Home too. The children started jumping and screaming around in joy.

The boy who initiated this stood aside and watched all the merry. His eyes filled with tears of joy. He felt that the joy he felt at that moment, by not keeping anything for selfish enjoyment but sharing everything with others was far more intense and deeply satisfying than what he would have had otherwise.

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 2)

10.  The generous kid

Once a mother of two children went to a supermarket for buying essential needs for the week. She knew that if she took them around the supermarket, they would keep pestering her for buying many unnecessary things that they see on the shelves. As they entered in to the supermarket she gave some money to both the children and said, “Buy whatever you want or eat within this money and sit there at the chairs. Wait for me till I make the purchases and come back.”

The children gladly collected the money. The first girl bought chocolates for the entire money and started eating them by sitting in the waiting area.

The other girl looked around thinking what to buy for her. At one corner, many saplings of fruit trees were on sale. She bought one sapling. With the balance money she bought some biscuits. She too came to the waiting area and sat with her sister.

By the time she arrived there, her sister had already finished the chocolates. She was looking for eating something more, but she had already exhausted her money. The second girl opened the biscuit packet and started eating. She also shared a portion of it with her sister.

[Amma:  “Most of us, like the first girl in this story, live a selfish life, intent only on satisfying our desires. But the second girl is the example of how we should rightly live in this world. For the sake of the world, she bought a sapling, which will grow to a tree in future and be useful to many. For her own enjoyment, she bought biscuits and that too she shared with others gladly.”]

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami Satsang 25/10/2020)

11.  The most difficult job

Once a king posed this question at his court: “What is the most difficult job on earth?”

In order to make the king feel happy, practically all those gathered there said, “Being a king and ruling a country”. The king was quite satisfied with the answer. But the court jester stood up and said, “The job of a mother is the most difficult one in the world”.

The king did not like it. He wanted the jester to convince him with facts.  The jester said, “Your majesty, I will arrange to send a mother with a 3 year old child to the palace. Please watch her for one or two days and you will come to know.”

The king agreed.

A mother with her 3 year old kid arrived. The king arranged a person to observe the mother and report to him all that happened.

The next day, the person came and reported to the king the following.

After the mother and child settled there at the previous night, the child wanted to eat some chocolates. The mother gave a small piece of chocolate to the child and it ate the piece with great relish. The child wanted more, but the mother refused to give. The child started crying and demanded more.

The mother said to the child, “You can eat only this much chocolate in a day. If you eat more, it will cause toothache and stomach ache.” She tried to divert the attention of the child but the child was too adamant. It cried more and more; it threw up tantrums.  But the mother was extremely patient and tried to pacify the child, but to no avail. The child kept on crying and the mother did no further effort to calm her. She simply let the child cry.  Getting tired, the child slept off. The mother too slept.

On the next morning, the child woke up. It immediately remembered about the chocolate and started crying for it again. The mother now took out a piece of chocolate and gave it. But the angry child was in no mood to compromise. It cried saying, “I want only yesterday’s chocolate, but you are giving me today. I will not agree. I want it yesterday!”

The mother patiently said, “It is still yesterday, darling! Since you slept off, you are mistaken that one day has passed. Now eat this. It is still yesterday only!”  The child stopped crying and stared relishing the chocolate.

When the king heard this, he turned to the court jester and said, “Yes man. I agree! A mother’s job is the most difficult to handle!”

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami Satsang 25/10/2020)

12. The right king

Once a king by name Jayadev was ruling the country of Magadha. He had 3 sons. As the king was getting old, he wanted to crown one of his sons as the king. Even though it was the norm to appoint the eldest son as the king, Jayadev was however not keen on following the custom, as he was a very compassionate king, who had all along ruled the country unselfishly with the only motive of taking care of welfare of the subjects. He wanted to ensure that the next ruler too continued to be compassionate towards the people.

He called all his sons and inquired: “Have you done any good deed in your life, recently?”

The eldest son said, ” Yes, I did one recently. One of my friends, before undertaking a pilgrimage, gave me a huge collection of precious stones and he asked me to keep them in my safe custody till he returns from his journey. I did take care of them and returned all of them safely without even touching one of them once he came back.”

“What is so great about it?” asked the king.

“If at all I had desired, I could have stolen one from them. I never did so” said the prince.

“Why didn’t you steal?”

“Had I stolen, my conscience would keep pricking me afterward. That’s why I did not steal”.

“It means you restrained yourself just to safeguard yourself from future trouble”.  The king turned towards his second son and asked him what good deed he had done.

He said, “Recently, I was walking along a river bank. Lots of people had gathered there and making lots of noise. I  came to know that one man who got into water for bathing had sunk in the river just then. That area in the river was infested with lots of crocodiles. So, no one was willing to save the person, risking their life against crocodiles. When I came to know this, I jumped into the river and saved the man”.

“That was indeed really good. What motivated you to do so, risking your life?” asked the king.

“People gathered there knew that I was the prince. If I had not come forward to save the sinking man,  they would start talking “Oh, the prince ran away fearing his life!’. Will they not label me a coward? That’s why I risked my life to save the man”.

The king said, “It means you did not jump into river out of compassion for the man, but only to save your honor; you wanted the people to praise you; right?”

The king asked his third son about any good deeds he had done recently.

The third son replied, “I don’t remember having done any such thing”.

The king was disappointed. However, he sent his messengers to find out from common people whether any of them knew any good deeds done by the third son.

Soon the king came to know from his messengers that the third son was indeed doing many philanthropic activities. Many people told that the prince would always inquire about their well being whenever he interacted with them, and would encourage them to share their problems and difficulties with him. Some poor people said that the prince always gave them food and money if he came to know that they were hungry and had no means to eat. Some people said that he helped them to build houses for them when he came to know that they were roofless. The prince was thus engaged in countless welfare activities but he would always tell the beneficiaries not to mention about him to others.”

The king embraced the third son and said, “You are the right person to rule this kingdom after me”. Soon he crowned him as the king and retired from active life.

[Amma:  “Children, when we do a good deed, the idea ‘I am the doer’ should not rise up its head. Extending help to others should never be for the sake of getting fame. Every act of seva should become a worship of God. We are just instruments in the hand of God.  The power to act through us is His. Never forget this.”]

(Source: OLiyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 2)

13. Take the right example (1)

Once a forest dweller was going through the forest. At a particular place, he noticed a fox lying. The fox had broken its two legs and was lying there unable to move. He felt pity on the fox. He thought, “Who will feed this fox? Oh! God is sometimes cruel”. Then he wondered, “This fox cannot move but it looks healthy. Does it mean someone is feeding it?” He got curious. He wanted to know how the fox was getting its food.

After a while, a tiger came there. It was carrying a large piece of meat in its mouth. It ate half of it sitting there and left the remaining half for the fox to eat. The forest dweller was very surprised. He wanted to know whether the tiger would be coming again the next day too to feed the fox.

Promptly, he came to same spot at the same time and hid himself behind a tree to watch what wasp. Like the previous day, the tiger came there, ate some meat and left the balance for the fox to eat. It was happening daily.

The forest dweller thought, “It means God is there to take care.  So, let me too stop running around and work for my food. God will surely arrange someone to feed me”.  He  went and sat at one place and waited. The whole day passed. No one brought any food for him! He waited for the second day too. Nothing happened.  He felt very weak. He was about to lose faith on God. At that time, a divine voice was heard by him from the sky: “My son! Don’t be like the lame fox. Aspire to be like the tiger who feeds the fox out of compassion”.

[Amma:  “Children, don’t think ‘let others do the service; let somebody extend help’. Sitting idle without doing anything is a crime committed against God.  God has given health to us only for serving the poor with constant remembrance of God. We should always develop the attitude of helping those who are suffering.”]

(Source: OLiyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 2)

14. Take the right example (2)

Once in a gurukula, the guru was teaching his disciples about the differences in the nature of people in the world.

The master kept four glasses with water on the table. In the first glass, he put a few pebbles of stones. The stones sank to the bottom and nothing more happened.

In the second glass, the master dropped a lump of mud. Soon the mud got dissolved in water and made the glass of water dirty.

In the third glass, the master put a piece of sponge. The sponge quickly absorbed all the water in the glass.

In the fourth glass, the master dropped a sugar candy. The candy dissolved in the water. The water continued to look clear but the water turned sweet to drink.

Now the master explained.

“There are four types of people in this world. There are lots of  people who are like stones in the first glass. They are good for nothing. They live in the society, but they don’t contribute anything for the good of the society. Some people are like the lump of mud in the second glass. They don’t do anything good for the society but they spoil others with whom they interact. Thus they are harmful to the society.

There are the third type of people who are hopelessly selfish.  They are like the sponge put in water. Like the sponge absorbing the water, they will try to grab whatever others have or they will exploit nature for satiating their selfish needs and greed. They will earn and hoard far more than what they need, thus depriving the genuine needs of have-nots.

And there are only a few people in society who are like the sugar candy in the fourth glass. They sacrifice themselves for the sake of others and bring sweetness to others’ lives.

It is the fourth type of people that we should take as examples for us to emulate in our life. If we follow their lives, we too will gain sweetness in life. Gradually, we too will become capable of giving sweetness to others’ lives.”

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

15. Child’s heart

It was the annual day festival in a charitable trust where mentally retarded children are taken care of.

As part of the festival, a drama enacted by children was in progress on the dais. In the scene, a poor beggar, scantly dressed,  was going in search of a shelter for an overnight stay on a very cold night. He goes to a bungalow and begs for permission for staying over night there as could not bear the cold outside. However, the house owner scolds him harshly and forces him out of his compound.  The beggar, hurt and sad, walks out shivering in cold.

Watching this scene, a mentally retarded little boy from the audience ran up to the dais. He said to the ‘beggar’, “Please don’t cry. I will take care of you. I have space in my room for one person to sleep; you can come with me to my house”.

Watching such an innocent behavior of the boy, the entire audience stood up and clapped. Emotionally moved by the boy’s spontaneous expression of compassion,many people wiped their wet eyes.

[Amma:How many of us, who possess fully developed mental faculties, have the compassionate heart that the mentally retarded boy had?“]

 

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

16.  The difference

Once a rich man happened to meet his boyhood friend after many years. Both felt very happy at seeing each other. The rich man said, “Come! Let us go to the Park nearby and chitchat for sometime”.

As they walked, the rich man noticed that his friend’s looks did not have any signs of affluence. He said, “In the good old days we played together; we studied in the same school; but today, there seems to be big difference between the two of us”. His friend did not say anything.

On their way, the rich man stopped suddenly. He bent down and picked up a 5 rupee coin from the street. Extending it towards his friend, he said, “This coin fell from your pocket.”

They walked further. Now the friend stopped suddenly. His attention went to a thorny bush nearby.  There was a butterfly, caught somehow amid the thorns,  fluttering its wings frantically and trying to escape from there.  The friend went close.  He carefully and leisurely used his fingers to push aside the thorny stems of the bush so that the butterfly gets freed. The butterfly escaped and flew away from there. The friend stood up and started walking again.

The rich man asked, ” I really wonder how this butterfly caught your attention!”

The friend said, “Did you not say a little while ago that there is a big difference between the two of us? That’s it. While you heard the sound of a 5 rupee coin, I heard the sound of the heart of the butterfly that got caught in the bush”.

[Amma:Look at the difference in the mental attitude of these two persons. Our thoughts and actions determine our tendencies and personality. “]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

17. Eye of Compassion

A couple of persons from a Social Service Organization went to meet a rich businessman.  Their intention was to convince him to donate a good amount for their philanthropic activities for the welfare of the poor and downtrodden.

But the businessman was very arrogant. He was least interested in parting with any money for good a cause. Even though they explained the extent of difficulties the poor people were facing and to what extent their activities were sincerely benefiting them, the rich man did not budge an inch.

As the visitors got up to leave, the rich man suddenly said, “Wait. Let me see whether I could do something to help you. But you have to correctly answer my one question and if you do it, I will donate some money.”

The visitors were ready to take the question.

“I have eyesight only in one eye. The other eyeball is actually made of artificial material. If you correctly tell me which one is artificial, you will get the amount”.

The visitors looked keenly at both his eyes. One of them said, “Your left eye is artificial”.

The business man was very surprised. “How did you find out? So far,  no one I challenged could find it out. It was made of a very costly material and crafted by experts. Tell me how you could decipher it”.

The person said, “I was searching for some of light of compassion in your eyes. I noticed that your left eye had at least a trace of compassion in it, while the right one didn’t have any. It looked like a stone. From that I felt your right eye indeed is your real eye”.

[Amma:This businessman is a real representative of  our present times. Nowadays we possess heads heated up with egoism and hearts turned cold by selfishness. What we need is the opposite.  Our heart needs the warmth of love and compassion. With that, the head should also be cool with expansive understanding.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

Amma’s stories on the Power of Love – (3 stories)

1. The lonely child

[Amma: If there is some thing that can rid us of fear and give us the power to move forward overcoming all hurdles, it is love.]

Once there lived in a village a widowed milkmaid with her little daughter. She sold milk to the residents of a kingdom who lived inside a well guarded fort. The fort was on top of a small hill and her village was situated outside, at the foothills.

One evening, after she finished selling milk inside the fort, she got delayed. As she returned to the exit gate, she found the gates locked. She appealed to the guards to open the gates for her, saying, “I have left my little child alone in my hut. It is already late in the evening. If I don’t return before dark, my daughter would be gripped in fear and start crying; if something happens to my daughter, there is no point in my living any more; please take pity on me; please allow me to go out!”

But the guards were extremely rigid and they refused to open the gate for security reasons. They told her to stay somewhere inside for the night and leave once the gates open early at sun-rise.

Overwhelmed by disappointment and grief, the woman left the place and started frantically searching for some way or means to escape from the walls of the fort.

In the next day morning, the guards opened the gates. They were surprised to see the milkmaid waiting outside the gate with her milk cans to enter into the fort! They were taken aback. How on earth did she manage to sneak out of the walls of the well protected fort on the previous evening?

The took her to the king.Upon inquiry, the milkmaid explained her predicament and anguish on the previous evening. She told the king that after a thorough search, she found out a small crack on the wall of the fort through which she escaped. The king was curious to know where the weak spot was and he went along with the maid to see the location.

The king was extremely surprised to notice that it was almost impossible to notice the existence of such a small crack in the wall through which a person can escape with difficulty. It was indeed a very dangerous endeavor to climb the wall to that cracked area; further, on the other side, the slope of the hills were really treacherous and it was indeed a very dangerous task to descend the hills that way. It really looked to be a superhuman effort to accomplish it.

The king asked her, “Were you not gripped by fear to escape through this extremely dangerous path in darkness?”

The milkmaid replied, “There was only one thought in my mind last evening. I have got to got out somehow or other from here and reach my little daughter. I know how scared she would be if I were not to reach her before night. I totally forgot about the safety of my own life; there was no place for fear in my heart at that time”.

2.  Tuned mind

[Amma: “True love or relationship depends on the depth of inseparable sense of togetherness. Such a deep emotional bond happens in the mind and hence it cannot be measured. In proportion to that feeling of togetherness, it manifests in the outer physical plane too. People having such a deep love on each other will have resonating thoughts too. A husband will understand the wife thoughts even before she expresses them; so does the wife.”]

Once a husband was sitting in his room at his house deeply engrossed in some office work that he had brought home on a holiday. He was feeling tired and wanted to relax for a while. However the work was so urgent that he had to finish it off and hand over it to the office the next day.

He was fighting sleep and trying hard to concentrate. He thought, “If only I get a good cup of coffee”. He knew his wife was busy cooking at the kitchen. It was an odd time when he did not normally drink coffee. He did not want to disturb his wife.

As he resumed work, his wife appeared in his room with a hot cup of coffee in her hand! The husband was surprised! “How come you know that I longed for a cup of coffee?”. The wife said, “I just felt you needed a cup of coffee; that’s all!”

(Source: Arul Mozhigal-8 Tamil)

3. For her sake

One young man used to go by his motorbike to meet his lover regularly.  Driven by the urge to meet his beloved girl, the young man used to drive rashly, without bothering to obey traffic rules. Even if he sees Red light at traffic signals, he would just ignore it drive ahead without stopping. Many times he met with small accidents on account of his rash driving.  But he never bothered about them.

One day, he was driving his bike with one of his friends sitting at the pillion. His friend knew about the man’s rash driving habits. On that day, the young man stopped his bike at one of the traffic junctions when he noticed red signal. He took out his girl friend’s photo from his pocket and looked at it lovingly while waiting for the signal to turn green.

His friend was really surprised. ! “Hey! What happened to you? I have never seen you stopping your bike at signals?”

The young man replied, “All these days, due to my excitement to meet her, I drove fast, ignoring signals. I never bothered about traffic rules or other vehicles. The only thought that occupied my mind was to meet her as fast as possible. But of late I have started thinking: ‘If, because of my rash driving, I were to meet with an accident, will it not throw her into grief?’. Now, with such a thought arising in me, I have started to drive responsibly, obeying traffic rules!”

[Amma: “Like this, if we are driven only by our selfish likes and dislikes, we feel rules and regulations are unnecessary. But when we take into consideration others’ interests and concerns, we get awareness and patience; then we understand the need to follow rules and regulations.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

Humorous stories from Amma – Part 7 ( 20 more stories)

There is no dearth of fun and frolic in the company of a Mahatma like Amma. Amma narrates several humorous and funny stories that carry spiritual wisdom. Here are  more such little stories:

(If you have not read the previous 15 stories in this series, please click here —> Part 6 (Humorous stories from Amma)

1. Exploiting the poor?!

Once a beggar went to a house for begging. It was one such house where the beggar had been receiving alms across several years. That day the householder gave him ten rupees. The beggar got angry and said to the householder: “In early days you used to give me hundred rupees once in a month; afterwards you reduced it to fifty rupees a month; then it turned out to be twenty five rupees in later periods. Now you are giving me a paltry ten Rupees. Is it not very unfair?”

The householder replied to him patiently: “When I was giving you, I was a bachelor and at that time I could afford to give you so much. Later I got married and my wife was not employed. That’s why I reduced the amount to fifty rupees. Later I had a child and naturally my family expenses increased considerably. At that point of time, I reduced the amount to twenty five rupees.  Now I have got a second child too.  Now, in reality, I have no money to spend. However, since I felt I should not send you back empty-handed, I somehow managed to give you ten Rupees”.

Hearing this, the beggar shouted angrily, “So, you are running your family using MY money?”

 [Amma: “In this story, instead of receiving the money given as charity with a sense of gratitude, the beggar reacts as if it is his birthright! We too may behave like this in many situations in life. All our dealings with Nature, family members, friends and fellow human beings too are many times like this done with utter selfishness. Instead of being thankful we behave as if we are rightfully entailed to demand and receive our cut.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

2. Sound sense!

Once a boy came to the school without doing his homework.  The teacher asked him why he had not done it.

The boy said, “I could not concentrate and do my homework because of lots of noise in my house, Sir?”

“What is the reason for the noise?” asked the teacher.

“Well, the TV was continuously on and the noise from it kept on disturbing me from doing my homework”.

“You could have asked others to tone down the volume or switch off the TV till you finished your homework. Why  didn’t you do it?”

“Nobody will listen if I say so” said the boy.

“Why? Why not?”

“There was no one except me in the house, Sir” said the boy sheepishly.

(From Amma’s Ramayana Month Satsang – 25/7/2020)

3. Hence proved!

Once a man was frequently getting severe headache. As he could not get any relief from off the shelf medicines, he decided to consult a doctor.  The doctor prescribed a brain scan.

When he met the doctor with the scan report, the doctors’ face turned grim. “I am sorry to say this, but you have to face the reality. You have a large tumor in your brain and in all likelihood, it is cancerous too. You have to undergo a major brain surgery without delay. Else your life is under threat”.

Hearing this the man’ face brightened up. “Are you sure the tumor is in my brain?” he asked. “Yes, of course” said the doctor. The man threw up his hands and laughed heartily. The doctor was surprised.

“Why are you laughing, man? I am telling you that it is life threatening and you are taking it so casually?”

“Naturally doctor. You have given me a proof now for me to show to my wife. All these years, she has been humiliating me saying that I have no brain and she would never listen to whatever I say!”.

 [Amma: “For some people, pampering their ego is more important than their very life.”]

(From Amma’s Ramayana Month Satsang – 2/8/2020)

4. Hearty prayer!

Once a couple went to pray in the temple on their Marriage Day.

After the worship, as they came out of the temple, the husband asked his wife: “What did you pray for?”

The wife said, “I prayed to God that I should remain your wife in all our future births. Well; What did you pray for?”

The husband was silent for a moment and said, “I prayed to God not to give me any more births”.

(From Amma’s Ramayana Month Satsang – 2/8/2020)

5. Better recourse!

Once a man was having a psychosomatic problem. He could not sleep in the night because of a strong mental perception he had. He believed that some stranger was hiding under his cot every night. However he tried to brush the thought aside, he could not overcome that unfounded fear.

He decided to consult a psychiatrist.

The psychiatrist after examining and interviewing him, said, “I can definitely cure you of this problem. But it requires a prolonged treatment. You have to have a counselling session with me once a week for at least 4 to 6 months. At the end of it, you will get totally freed from the fear and gain a sound sleep at night.”

The man said, “I will think over it and come back to you shortly”.

The doctor’s consultation fee was about Rs 1000 per session. It meant that the man had to spend Rs 16000 or more for his treatment. It was clear to him that he could not afford it. He was frantic so look for an alternative solution.

The patient never came back. The psychiatrist happened to see him at a restaurant some weeks after they had met. He asked, “What happened? Why didn’t you come for the treatment? How is your condition now?”

The man said, “Oh! I got totally cured within 4,5 days through an alternative treatment, doctor. Thank God. There was no need for any any prolonged treatment!”

“How was it possible? Which doctor cured you?” asked the curious psychiatrist.

The man said, “Frankly speaking, I did a calculation on how much I should spend on you for the treatment. It was far beyond my means. So, I called the local carpenter, paid him 100 rupees to cut off all the four legs of my cot. So, with no space under my cot, no one can come and lie under it, right? From that day onwards, I am sleeping peacefully, doctor!”

(From Amma’s Ramayana Month Satsang – 2/8/2020)

6. Can’t open!

Once a young man went to his village chief with a complaint about his family members; he wanted his intervention to set right matters.

He complained: “Sir, I am staying in a small room in my home; that room is stinking. This room is occupied by the pet dogs of my elder brother;  another brother has a few cats in it. My sister has a couple of rabbits in the room which are her pets. My mother has a couple of goats.  The room is horrible and dirty. I cannot breath any fresh air. If only you could do something I will be thankful to you. I am longing for a breath of fresh air!”

The village chief asked, “Don’t you have a window in your room?”

“Yes! there is a window; but it is kept closed”.

“Why don’t you, open it to get fresh air?”

“No I can’t. If I open the window, my pet pigeons will fly away!”

 [Amma: “This is how most of us behave when it comes to finding fault with others and complaining about them. We never recognize our own faults and limitations”.]

7. Easy role!

Once in a community, people wanted to celebrate Onam with several entertainment programs. A drama on Krishna Lila was  planned. A man was extremely interested in acting and he gave his name to the troup. He was very excited about it and was discussing with his wife as to what role he should take up in the drama.

His wife said, “If people offer you the role of Krishna, don’t take it up. It will be extremely difficult for you to act in that role and you have to put lots of efforts.  But if Kamsa’s role is available, take it immediately. It will suit you the best and you will need little effort to shine in that role!’

 

(From Amma’s Onam Satsang 31/8/2020)

8. Elevated state!

Once a drunkard got heavily drunk on a Onam day. He said to his friend, “You know, when I am drunk, I become same as Mahabali”

“How?” asked his friend.

“When I am drunk, I treat everyone equal — rich man – poor man, big man — small man; I don’t differentiate. Also when I am drunk. I speak only the truth.  Mahabali too did the same. Right?”

(From Amma’s Onam Satsang 31/8/2020)

9. Extrapolation!

 [Amma: “Our mind is always  full of thoughts. Our thoughts don’t stop even during our sleep many times.  The very nature of the mind is to keep brooding over the past happenings or keep worrying about future happenings.”]

Once a middle aged person was travelling in a train. A young man sitting next to him, asked “Sir, what is the time?”

The middle aged man said, “Shut up”. Noticing this, a man sitting next to him said, “Why are you getting so angry? After all he just asked what the time is!”

The man started to give a lecture: “He asked, alright; Suppose I tell him the time, what will happen next? He will then start talking about the climate. Then he will start discussing current affairs in the news paper. Then he will start talking about politics with me.  Then he will ask about my family members. It may lead to my asking about his family details. Once we talk so much and get to know about each other in so much in detail, I may have to invite him to my home out of courtesy, when I get down. Perhaps he would visit my house and who knows, he may even stay with us for a day! I have a beautiful daughter at home. What if she falls in love with this fellow? Or this fellow may fall in love with her.  If  situation comes to that, I will never agree to get my daughter married to a person who can’t even afford to have his own watch!  To avoid all these eventualities, I said ‘shut up’ and closed the chapter once for all!”

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 1)

10. Sunken hopes!

Once two friends were talking. One of them said, “I heard you have started drinking nowadays. What is the reason?”

The other said, “I have been facing lots of problems in life. I am trying to kill all my problems by sinking them in alcohol!”.

“Have you succeeded in your effort?”

“No, dear friend. All my problems have learned to swim in the alcohol and they could not be drowned”.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 1)

11. One last hope!

 Once a farmer had a donkey and a dog in his farm house. While the dog, being a loving pet, got all the care and cuddling from the farmer, the donkey was not so fortunate. The farmer always thought that his donkey was slow, lazy and was not working hard. He hated it. He did not feed it enough and used to beat it often.  The donkey was constantly suffering. Taking pity on it, the dog once said to the donkey,” Why are you patiently bearing all the torture being meted out to you? Why don’t you run away from here and find a better course of life for you?’

The donkey said, “You are indeed right about my unbearable suffering. I have just one last hope here and that’s why I continue to stay here”.

“What is it?” asked the dog.

One day I happened to overhear the farmer talking to his daughter. You know his daughter is lazy and does not help her mother in the kitchen. She does not study well too. The other day he was telling his daughter, “If you are so lazy, who will ever marry you? I think I will have to marry you  off to our donkey only”. So, I am hoping that one day or other I will get married to the farmer’s daughter; once I become his son-in-law, then my life will be cozy; he will not ill treat me anymore. Right?”

[Amma: “Worldly life invariably gives us only pain and suffering. Yet, people always live with the hope that life would turn to be better and enjoyable at some time in future and continue to live with hope”.]

12. Modern technology!

 Once a ship in which a rich businessman travelled got into mechanical trouble. The ship was forced to reach the shores of a remote island, where the population consisted of simple rural people who were far cut off from the rest of the technologically advanced civilization in the world.

The island people were very kind hearted. A family consisting of a father, mother and son volunteered to take care of the businessman and offered him fruits, simple food and shelter till the ship got somehow repaired.

The businessman was overwhelmed with gratitude to the family that took good care of him. He wanted them to come with him to his country as tourists to see how other advanced countries looked like. The family gladly agreed. The business men thus took him to his country and offered them good hospitality. He engaged his personal secretary to take them around the city for sightseeing and other entertainments.

The visitors were wonderstruck to look around the city. The secretary took them to theatre show. It was a grand show in which all the great film stars, musicians and other performing artists participated. The program was scheduled to be conducted at the 24th floor of a multistoried building.

The secretary took the visitors near the elevator. He asked them to wait there and said he would return in a few minutes and then take them to the program venue.

The visiting family was looking all around with wonder. At that time, they noticed that a very old lady with wrinkled skin and sick looks was brought there in a wheelchair.  The attendant who came with the lady pressed a button on the wall. After a while, the wall split open. The old lady in wheelchair was taken into a small chamber inside the wall and the wall closed immediately.

The visitors saw some arrow symbols blinking on the wall. One upward arrow got lit. After some time, they noticed that the downward arrow started blinking. After a while, they were surprised to see the wall splitting open again. This time, a very young and attractive girl in her twenties came out from the chamber in the wall and went out.

The father from the island was wonder struck and over awed!  He shouted to his son immediately, “Hey! You take your mother immediately into this chamber! I never knew such wonders are possible in this part of earth! I too love to convert your mother to be a young and beautiful girl  in her twenties!”

[Amma: “People of present days expect all wonderful things to happen magically in life”.]

(from Amma’s 67th birthday satsang 27/09/2020)

13. Order what!

Once a lawsuit was filed against a man for a crime he had committed. He received a summon to appear in the court. It was the first time in his life that the man was attending any court proceeding. The man came and stood in front of the judge for inquiry. As there was some commotion in the gathering, the judge knocked his gavel on the table and said in a loud voice”Order, Order!”

The man immediately said, “Two masala dosas, two vadas and one filter coffee!”

Presently, the man is behind the gallows and still awaiting the arrival of masala dosas and the rest!

[Amma: “This is our world! Even when people are about to face the dark and hopeless situations in their life, somehow they expect masala dosas and coffee to be served to them! They do not wish to emerge from the darkness into the world of light and freedom.”]

(from Amma’s 67th birthday satsang 27/09/2020)

 

14. Quick fix methods!

Once a obese man was frantically looking for ways to reduce his weight. He wanted some shortcut methods to achieve his intention. He was going through various advertisements offering short term solutions to reduce his weight.

He was impressed by an advertisement that offered a 30-day “deluxe” package to reduce his weight. He paid the prescribed fees and joined the program. 

When the program started, an extremely beautiful girl was introduced. The trainer announced “This girl is a good runner. If any of you can run and catch her, you can possess the girl at the end of the 30-day program”.  The offer was extremely attractive to the obese man. It was so with many others who had joined the program. 

Once the whistle was blown, the girl started running. All the participants started chasing her. After running behind her in vain for several minutes, the participants got exhausted. The coordinator  came and announced : “We will repeat this process thrice a day. This is our program package and the weight loss regimen that you will follow for the next 30 days”. 

Several days passed. No one could catch the girl. The obese man felt thoroughly exhausted and tired. He felt that this program was just not suitable for him.

“Is there any alternative program for me to choose?” He asked the coordinator.

The coordinator said, “Yes! We have s super-deluxe weight loss program that lasts only for 15 days”.

The obese man opted to switch over it by paying the additional fees.

When the program started, an extremely ugly woman was brought to the stage.   The coordinator announced, “In this package, this woman will run to catch you. If she catches you she will possess you. If you don’t like her, it is up to you to run fast and escape from her!”

[Amma: “This is precisely the state of affairs with our likes and dislikes in life. If we madly keep running behind our likes, we get very exhausted without achieving what we liked. On the contrary, if we run away from our dislikes without the courage to face them, we get equally exhausted in our lives!” ]

(from Amma’s 67th birthday satsang 27/09/2020)

15. Jolly good trip ?  (Version 1)

Once a husband and wife were sleeping in their open courtyard on a cot. Suddenly a tornado hit the locality. It sucked the couple along with the cot and threw them at some hundred kilometers away. Very surprisingly, they landed safely without any injuries. 

The wife started sobbing uncontrollably. The husband consoled her saying, “Why are you crying? See, we are so fortunate that we have landed without even a scratch on our body. There is no reason to cry!”

The wife said, “I am not crying out of sadness. I am crying out of joy, really”

“What is there to feel so happy?” asked the husband.

She said, “Across so many years of our married life, this is the first journey to a distant place that we both have travelled together! That made me so happy and I started crying!”

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil Vol 2)

16. Jolly good trip ?  (Version 2)

Once a husband and wife were sleeping in their open courtyard on a cot, hugging each other. Suddenly a tornado hit the locality. It sucked the couple along with the cot and threw them at some hundred kilometers away. The couple were hugging each other tightly out of fear, when this was happening. Very surprisingly, they landed safely without any injuries. 

The wife started laughing aloud and so was the husband.

The husband asked , “Why are you laughing?”

The wife said, “We have travelled together in the past to many places; but we would always be  arguing or fighting with each other on some issue or other. This is the first time in life that we have travelled together hugging each other! As I thought of it, I could not control my laugh. Now tell me why you laughed.”

“I too thought of the same thing!” said the husband.

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami satsang 25/10/2020)

17.  Your ‘chai’ce please?

[Amma: “Nowadays we have plenty of  information, but we do not know the nature of the world. We have umpteen choices to improve our life’s comforts. Changes are happening all around, but there are certain fundamental needs that don’t change.”]

Once an Indian, a simpleton by nature,  went to USA upon invitation. He was given a luxurious accommodation. The lady in charge of receiving him and taking care of his needs, asked him, “Would you like to have something to drink?”

The man was indeed longing to have a cup of tea and he said gladly, “Yes, a cup of tea please!”

The lady asked “Would you prefer tea with caffeine or without? Would you like to add ginger?”

The simple man had all along been used to have simple tea and he never knew about these options. Why is this lady asking such questions? “A simple tea is good enough” he said.

The lady left and returned within a minute. “Excuse me, would you like to have tea with sugar or without sugar? Would you want herbal tea?”

The man was losing his patience. “Just a simple tea” he said curtly.

The lady continued: “Tea with milk or without milk? If you want with milk do you want it with fat or free from fat? What percentage of fat would be okay for you?”

The man got exasperated. “Stop. I don’t want any tea. Please just bring me a glass of water to drink”.

The lady asked, “Do you want mineral water or spring water? Should it be a filtered water? Hot or cold?”

The man lost all his patience. He went inside and drank a mug of water right from the washbasin tap!

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 2)

18. Not for us! 

[Amma: “Nowadays children are turning out to be very adamant and disobedient. Parents are increasingly finding it difficult to discipline their children.”]

In a family, there were three children who were very adamant by nature and disobedient to parents.  The mother tried her best always to discipline them by various means.  One night, she called her children to the dining table for  dinner. It was a particularly tiring day for her in disciplining the children and she thought she could teach a tough lesson to them that day in the dining table.

When the children gathered there, they were too happy to see their most favourite food — Pizza kept ready on the table. They jumped in joy.

But the mother said in a stern voice: “We have pizza alright, but it will be given only to those who are obedient to me, have some fear on me and be willing to listen to my instructions and advice and obey without fighting or objecting. Now tell me who is going to come forward and eat the pizza?”

The children looked at each others face. They shook their heads in disappointment.

The eldest one said, “Look guys, it’s quite obvious. Mummy has already decided that this pizza is only meant for daddy and not for us. Let’s vacate this place”. So saying all the three children tromped out!

(From Amma’s Vijayadasami satsang 25/10/2020)

19. Just wait! 

[Amma: ” To get divine grace for getting goodness in life, good deeds must be done by us.  But people nowadays want to get all their desires fulfilled without doing good things. It is said that one crore of rupees in earth is valued as one paisa in heaven. Also one minute in heaven is said to be equal to one crore years in earth. Amma remembers this funny story:”]

Once a man desirous of amassing wealth decided to make intense prayer to God  and get His boon. Soon God appeared before him and asked him what he wanted. 

The man said, “Bhagwan, aren’t you the embodiment of compassion? I don’t want anything big. If you give just one paisa of the heaven to me, I will be happy”.

The god smiled and said, “No problem. Just wait for a minute”.

[Amma: ” This is what happens if we want to deceive God. God is not a dull head. He is the source of all knowledge in creation.  Never forget this. Doing good things in life and becoming eligible to receive his grace is the only easy way for success in life.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 2)

20.  Let it go to the source!

Once a man felt very sick. He went to consult his family doctor. The doctor arranged to get several tests done on him.  After studying the reports, the doctor said, “Your ailment is such that it is not possible to cure it totally through medication and treatment. Actually, this is a hereditary disease that has come to you from your parents. What to do?”

The man said, “If it is so, then, Doctor, please send your bill for my treatment to my parents. I will give you the address”.

[Amma: “When something unfortunate happens to us, most of us have the tendency to argue that we are not responsible for it; we would also blame others for our misfortune.  By putting the blame on others, we are in no way better off in tackling the problem.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)