Amma – Mata Amritanandamayi – Biography – Life Timeline with Photos

(Digital art Courtesy: Hiral Varun)

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  • She is called Amma (Mother).
  • She hails from a little fishermen’s hamlet in Kerala, India. She is hardly educated up to primary school. She is now a world-renowned Hindu saint and a globally recognized philanthropist. She travels across the length and breadth of India and also across the globe every year to meet people. She is known as the Hugging Saint. She is a ceaseless fountainhead of divine love.
  • She embraces each and every individual who comes to her for her darshan. She spends 10-14 hours a day, at least 4 days a week in meeting and hugging people who come to see her in thousands. She has been doing it ceaselessly since the age of 22/23. (She is now 65 as in 2018). She has hugged more than 33 million people across the world.
  • She is an unconditional giver. All the people in this world are her sons and daughters. She gives pure love to the world suffering in scorching selfishness; she heals people both physically and mentally.
  • She spreads spirituality to earnest seekers as a Sadguru. There are several tens of Sanyasis and hundreds of Brahmachari / Brahmacharinis living in her Ashram at Amritapuri, along with hundreds of household devotees (both Indians and foreigners) who are doing spiritual sadhana (meditation, mantra japa, devotional singing, studying shastras like Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads etc) and also doing selfless service, leading a very frugal and simple life, under her guidance.
  • She serves the poor and the downtrodden. She runs hospitals, orphanages, schools, colleges, and research institutions. She is always there with a helping hand extended, whenever and wherever there is a natural calamity.
  • Here is an attempt to showcase, for the sake of historical records, what she has been doing year after year in her action-packed life ever since her birth. No wonder she is hailed as an Avatar of divine mother Parashakti; the power she radiates is immeasurable; what she has accomplished and what she has been doing is simply beyond the grasp and capacity of not only ordinary human beings but also scientists, rationalists, and agnostics.

1953  – 27th September  

  • Sunday, after 9 AM (in star Karthika) The Holy Avatar of Amma happens – The girl child, later named Sudhamani (Later Mata Amritanandamayi) was born to Dhamayanthi Amma and Sri Sugunanandan as their 3rd child at Parayakadavu, a fishermen’s hamlet in Alappad, Kerala. Her birthplace, in future, acquires the name Amtitapuri.

1957 (Age 4)

  •  ‘Kunju’ (Little) Sudhamani frequently turns inwards, forgetting the outer world and goes to a meditative state.

1958 (Age 5)

  • Sudhamani starts going to elementary school. She is soaked in Krishna bhakti most of the time even at such a tender age.

1960 (Age 7)

  • Sudhamani starts composing devotional songs on Lord Krishna. Most of the time her dress is wet with tears she sheds crying for her beloved Krishna.

1962 (Age 9)

  • Sudhamani discontinues school (in a couple of months after joining 5th standard) and takes charge of doing all domestic chores since her mother falls sick. In all her free time, she is immersed in the devotion of Sri Krishna.

1966 (Age 13)

  • Sudhamani starts going to her Mother’s elder sisters’ house for doing their domestic chores. Sudhamani gives the families’ rice to the poor and gets the wrath of the relatives.

1968 (Age 15)

  • Sudhamani was sent to her uncle’s house in Karunagapally for doing their domestic chores. Here too she starts giving food and provisions from the house to the poor and needy and gets punished for her charity.

1969 (Age 16)

  • Sudhamani returns to her parents’ house and gets fully engaged in doing all domestic chores from 3 AM in the morning till 11 PM and also immerses herself in intense sadhana and Krishna Bhakthi. She also serves the poor people in the village and distributes food and provisions stealthily from her house. Gets punished frequently for this charity.

1970 (Age 17)

  • Sudhamani learns tailoring at a Christian Institution attached to a Church (for about 3 years) in her spare time. She goes into meditation at the graveyard next to the church. The old priest in the Church gets highly impressed by her character and devotion to God.  He predicts she will come up as a great lady in the future.

  • Sudhamani loses sleep crying and singing for her beloved Krishna. Her family members get highly disturbed by her behavior. They think she is mentally deranged.

1975 (Age 22)

  • Sudhamani’s intense prema bhakti on Krishna ends up in a divine experience of Lord Krishna merging in her.

== Oil painting == Lord Krishna appears before Amma and merges in her. Amma realizes her oneness with Krishna.

  • 5th March  1975 – Sudhamani first Krishna Bhava (involuntarily expressing the divine mood of Lord Krishna) at the courtyard of her neighbor  Sri Ratnam’s house where Srimad Bhagavada parayanam was going on.

== Oil painting == Amma reveals her Krishna Bhava to people gathered to listen to Srimad Bhagavatam.

  • On the next Bhagavata Parayanam day, based on demands from people to prove her divine power, Sudhamani does a miracle by converting water to milk and also to panchamritam when she shows Krishna bhava again.
  • Soon regular Krishna Bhava darshan to devotees begins at the cowshed area next to her house.

  • Later a simple temple (Kalari) comes up in the cowshed area where her bhava darshan took place.

  • Soon after, Sudhamani gets Devi Parashakthi in a divine vision for a brief while. She immerses in deep Prema Bhakti to seek Devi’s vision again. Sudhamani’s behavior turns very weird bordering on madness.
  • Her family members could not understand her divine madness and get very disturbed. Her elder brother Subhakan, who could not accept Sudhamani’s bhava darshans and her divine moods, orders her to get out of the house. In order not to trouble the family members, sSudhamani opts to stay outdoors all the time, be rain or shine. She was out of body consciousness most of the time; animals and birds start giving her company with love and they bring food to her too.

== Oil painting == Sudhamani ordered out of the house; Animals and birds give her company in the open.

  • September 1975 – After 6 months of intense longing, she gets the vision of Devi once again and Devi immerses inside her. Amma sang her experience and the divine commandment she received from Devi thus in her song ‘Ananda Veedhi’

. . . . . .
Smiling, She became a Divine Effulgence

And merged in me. My mind blossomed,
Bathed in the many-hued light of divinity
And the events of millions of years gone by
Rose up within me. Thenceforth,
Seeing nothing as separate from my own Self
And merging in the Divine mother
I renounced all sense of enjoyment

Mother told me to ask people
To fulfill their human birth.
Therefore I proclaim to the whole world
The sublime truth that She uttered
‘oh man, merge in your Self!”
. . . . . . . . . 

Sudhamani resolves to dedicate her life totally to mitigate the suffering of the people and serve one and all as embodiments of God.

  • Amma (Sudhamani) begins giving Devi Bhava Darshan too in addition to Krishna Bhava Darshan. She hugs each and everyone who comes to her for darshan, hears their woes and offers solace.

  • Amma starts facing lots of opposition from and harassment from The Rationalists  Movement (‘Committee to remove blind beliefs’) who consider her bhava darshans as fake with an intent to fool people and make money.
  • By 1975 year-end – During one Krishna bhava, Amma predicts that she will be having lots of devotees coming to her from far and wide, including from abroad. She also predicts that she would travel all over the world many times.
  • Prabhakara Siddha Yogi, a famous avadhuta with extremely weird behavior, who was believed to be living across a couple of centuries, comes and visits Amma. He recognizes her as Kali Mata.

Amma with Prabhakara Siddha Yogi

1976  (Age 23)

  • Harassment, public ridicule, attempts of physical attack and attempts of murder happens to Amma from locals and members of the Rationalist movement. Amma’s family members feel highly disturbed about such happenings. Amma faces such opposition for the next couple of years with evenness of mind.
  • Based on Sugunananda’s prayer during Devi bhava to relieve her daughter from Devi’s possession, Amma falls into deep samadhi the next day and could not be revived to life despite all efforts. Conceding to intense prayers and inconsolable crying of her devotees and family, she comes back to life after 3 hours.
  • Unnikrishnan (Amma’s first resident brahmachari of the ashram, later Swami Turiyamritananda Puri) meets Amma and starts staying in the temple.

Swami Turiyamritananda Puri (Br. Unnikrishnan) was the earliest permanent resident of the ashram who came in 1976.

1977 (Age 24)

  • Amma visits Madurai Meenakshi temple with devotees. She goes into deep samadhi for about 1.5 hrs in front of Meenakshi sannadhi.

1978   (Age 25)

  • Dattan the leper starts visiting Amma during Bhava Darshan and his acute and deep wounds of leprosy gets cured over a period of time by Amma’s licking of his wounds.

> Click this picture to see the video clipping showing Amma licking the wounds in Dattan’s body and face

  • June 1978 – Amma’s elder brother Subhakan, who could not understand or accept Amma’s spiritual moods, and seemingly lunatic behavior, was strongly against his sisters’ divine bhavas and was extremely mentally disturbed. He commits suicide. Amma had to face negative propaganda and criticism from the rationalists and the public on account of this happening too.

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How do you get Mantra Diksha from Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi?

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The readers coming to this answer perhaps know already about Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, a living Sadguru among us, who has devotees, followers and admirers in millions across the globe.

Her thousands of earnest devotees and spiritual seekers know her as an Avatar – a divine incarnation of mother Parashakti; She is a Brahma gnyani; a true yogi; a jivan mukta. For many western devotees, she is a living proof that Jesus Christ did exist. She is like a large ship that can take numerous earnest devotees who have unconditionally surrendered to her across the sea of samsara.

There are thousands of devotees across the globe who have taken Mantra Diksha from her and chant their mantras regularly and engage in earnest spiritual practices.

Which Mantra does Amma give as Diksha?

Amma accepts earnest devotees from any walk of life, from any sect of Hinduism (be Vaishnavas, Shaivas, Shaktas or whatever), having whatever Ishta Devatas (favourite God forms) they love. To suit their taste and leaning, Amma gives mantras of their respective ishtas (Like Shiva Mantra, Vishnu mantra, Rama mantra, Krishna mantra, Gayathri Mantra, Devi Mantra and so on). In fact, Amma gives diksha to Christians, Buddhists etc. too, with mantras to suit their respective faiths and tastes.

There are plenty of Amma devotees for whom Amma herself is their Ishta. For them, Amma gives mantra originating from her own name too. In other words, Amma encourages and guides people to progress spiritually through their respective faiths, and there is nothing like a cult-feeling associated with her Mantra diksha.

In Mata Amritanandamayi Math, no one other than Amma is authorized to give Manta diksha.

When and where do you get diksha from Amma?

Amma’s ashram headquarters is in Amritapuri, Kerala, India. Before Corona pandemic, Amma used to be travelling across India and the worldduring major part of every year over the last 3 decades. However since 2020 (till the date in which this post is originally written) Amma has been staying in Amritapuri Ashram only.

Wherever Amma’s darshan programs get conducted (be it in Amritapuri or whatever place Amma visits), people, while receiving Amma’s darshan (which is her loving hug) can request Amma for Mantra Diksha. Amma instantly knows the past, present and future of a devotee the moment she hugs him, and depending on the person’s ripeness for receiving the mantra, she may accept the request. Please note that she may not respond with yes to some people; she may tell some people to come back to her in future with the request.

The truth is that, nowadays, out of her extreme compassion, Amma normally agrees to give Mantra diksha to a vast majority of people who make the request, unmindful of their spiritual limitations or shortcomings.

Once Amma’s nod is obtained, the person will be taken to a designated Sanyasi of the Ashram who interacts with the person to get information about his Ishta Devata (Favorite deity) on whom he wants the mantra. Then he gives the respective Mantra Card (associated with that deity) along with an instruction card. He gives necessary guidelines further.

The person is to wait, till Amma finishes giving darshan to all the devotees who have taken darshan tokens that day.

Please note that this wait may be quite long. Thousands of devotees come to Amma to take her darshan and the darshan program may extend till midnight or even till early hours of the next morning.

Except for this waiting, the Diksha process is rather an extremely simple and quick affair with virtually no procedural strings attached. People waiting for taking Mantra diksha will be taken to Amma, after she completes giving darshan (i.e. hugs) to all those who had come to her on that day/ night. The sanyasi assisting in diksha will tell Amma on what Ishta Devata the person wanted the mantra (by looking at the Mantra Card). Amma will hug the person and utter the respective mantra in his ear. She will then shower flower petals on the person’s head.

The ceremony is over!

Any further clarifications or instructions, if any (more than what is given in the Instruction sheets) can be had from the sanyasi assisting in diksha.

Please note

  • there are no strings attached — no expectations whatsoever from the person seeking Mantra
  • no formal ceremonies are preparations involved – except for the long wait, till midnight or beyond it.
  • no other qualification needed, except Amma’s initial approval.

Generally, there are no strict dos and don’ts specified. People are expected to chant the mantras as much as possible, whenever possible, wherever possible. Chanting with earnest devotion and sincerity will bring more dividends. Regularity and earmarking specific time for chanting and meditation are encouraged. As Amma gives lots of significance to Lalita Sahasranama chanting, Amma’s devotees are always encouraged to learn Lalita Sahasranama and do the parayana or archana regularly.

How Pongal Festival is celebrated in Tamil Nadu

Pongal or Thai Pongal is a very traditional festival of Tamil Nadu, existing in practice perhaps across a thousand years or so.  It is essentially a harvesting festival, celebrated as a way of thanksgiving to Sun God and Lord Indra, for having blessed the people with good harvest, by giving essential rains and shine.

 

It is traditionally celebrated as a 4-day festival. The main festival is the Pongal or Surya Pongal which falls on the 1st Day of Tamil month ‘Thai’ (That’s why the name Thai Pongal),  which mostly and typically falls on the 14th January. It is the same day of Makara Sankranti, which is typically celebrated in most other parts of India. In Tamil Nadu too, this festival is called Sankranti by some sects of people like Brahmins.

Makara Sankranti or Pongal is the time when Sun begins its northward travel called Uttarayana, when the sun enters the 10th house of the zodiac Makara Nakshatra (Capricorn).

The 4-day Pongal festival is strictly not a religiously oriented festival. Even though the intent is to worship Sun God, it cannot be classified as a festival celebrated by a sect of people who consider their prime God as the Sun. As it is not strictly religious, there are no specific worship procedures, chanting of Mantras, undertaking of upavas (fasting), or religiously visiting temples and conducting any specific worship. Though a harvesting festival, it is celebrated by all classes and castes of people and people of all sorts of professions. 

It is more of a celebration and thanksgiving and enjoying good food — with Sarkarai Pongal being the prime item, and chewing sugarcane in gay abandon, as much as one’s teeth permit!.  The procedures and practices of celebrations may have several variations from place to place and class to class.  However, the 4-day structure is almost universal.

Most villagers buy new clothes for the entire family for the Pongal festival, though such a practice has become absent amid urbanites.

Pongal season indeed signifies the end of the previous harvesting period. Rice harvesting is usually done by November/ December. Sugarcane harvesting starts taking place by January, and naturally, sugar cane has a prime place in Pongal celebration.  Jaggery made out of sugarcane is the prime ingredient in preparing the Sakkarai Pongal. Tuber plants like Ginger, Turmeric, Chembu (Taro root), and sweet potato give their yield in this period. Typical rural vegetables like avarai, bananas, pumpkins, etc too are available in abundance in this season, paving the way for festive feasts.

1st Day — Bhogi Pongal

Preparations for celebrating Pongal festival start much before the arrival of the festival day. At least a week or more ahead, people thoroughly clean their houses up and down, remove cobwebs, sweep and clean the house and surroundings and give a thorough wash of the house. People who can afford,  arrange to freshly whitewash their houses. People discard old, unusable items, including old clothes, bedsheets, garden wastes, papers, and whatnot. The discarded, combustible items are kept in a pile, meant for burning bonfire on the Bhogi Pongal day. Bhogi Pongal signifies “pazhaiyana kazhithalum, puthiyana pukuthalum” (as said in Tamil meaning getting rid of the old and ushering in the new). It signifies the arrival of freshness in life through the Pongal festival.

The bonfire is generally lit early before dawn. In some places, children play a ‘ganjira’ like percussion instrument (cheaply made with cardboard, plastic sheet etc) by dancing arround the fire.

People also wear new clothes on this day and eat a good vegetarian feast. Depending on family traditions, the items in the feast generally include Moar Kozhambu (made out of butter milk), curries made out of rural seasonal vegetables, Boli (a round, soft, stuffed sweet),  the typical Vadai-Payasam-Appalam, and the like.

The negative side of bonfire-done-too-much

Certain traditional practices symbolising something auspicious like the Bhogi bonfire, unfortunately, are carried out in excess by some sections of people, particularly in large cities like Chennai.  As a mark of celebrating Bhogi, many people started burning old tyres, waste oily rags etc  that produce highly polluting smoke. In the past couple of decades, the day of Bhogi dawns with a thick smog enveloping the entire city, with visibility coming down so terribly, that even flights could not take off or land till  9 AM. 

See this Video: Smog engulfs Chennai on Bhogi day as bonfires spike pollution levels

It has now become customary for the Police to issue warnings in advance before Bhogi day not to indiscriminately burn old tyres and other polluting wastes.

2nd Day – Pongal / Surya Pongal / Sankranti

Preparation of Sakkarai Pongal dish and offering it to Sun God is the main event on the Pongal day. In villages, it is the practice to use a freshly bought earthen pot for cooking the Pongal. In villages, the cooking is normally done in the open right under the sun using firewood as the fuel. The suggested time of cooking is normally mentioned in the Almanac which coincides with the time of entry of the Sun into the Makara Nakshatra. But not all people may follow this schedule and the cooking may take place at their convenient mealtime too.

Also, non-peasant families and dwellers in town and cities, depending on their affluence and traditions, may not cook in the open. While many such people cook Pongal in their kitchens, the clay pot also gets replaced by a large Bronze Pot (‘Vengala Panai’) which is almost exclusively used for cooking on the Pongal day only. 

It is generally the practice to decorate the pot (whether earthen pot or bronze pot) with a belt-like garland that consists of Inji kothu (freshly dug out ginger), manjal kothu (freshly dug out turmeric), a piece of sugar cane, some flowers, a ripe banana, a half-piece of broken coconut, etc. People also apply Kumkum, saffron, sandalwood paste, and religious symbols like namam, pattai, etc depending on their religious leanings.  Some people may also use artistically painted earthen pots, in addition to decorations.

See this video that shows a typical decoration done on a bronze pot: 

பொங்கல் பானை வைக்கும் முறை | Pongal Paanai Decoration

Preparation of Sakkarai pongal (dish)

If pongal is prepared in the outer courtyard, the place is thoroughly cleaned and decorated with kolam. The place is also decorated with sugar canes, flowers, and festoons. While some people follow the practice of digging earth and using it as the fire pit, some use bricks to set up the cooking place. Rice prepared from freshly harvested paddy is normally used for preparing pongal on this festive day.

Initially, washed rice water is boiled in the pot and fresh milk is added to it. When this milk boils, the froth rises up and is allowed to overflow from the pot. This phenomenon, in Tamil, is known as ‘ponguthal’ (swelling) and it is from this word that ‘Pongal’ came. This overflowing is considered an auspicious sign of abundance. Children and elders shout “Pongalo Pongal!” when this occurs. Ladies do ‘kulavai‘ (making a ”loolooloo‘ sound with their tongues) and some men may blow the conch. Immediately after this happens, rice and green gram dhal are added and further boiling continues. Then grated jaggery is added. Cardamom, cashew nuts and dried grapes too are added. Ghee too is added in good measure and when fully cooked, the pot is taken away from the fire.

Then a laddle of this pongal is placed on a plantain leaf along with sugarcane pieces, bananas, betal leaves, etc. They break a coconut, show camphor aarati and offer all these to Sun God, praying for his blessings. 

Celebrating and cooking pongal in rural India — See this video:

PONGAL CELEBRATION in Village by farmers | We celebrate Our Traditional Festival in Our Village

In many families, it is also the practice to cook ‘Ven Pongal’ (White, salty pongal, with pepper)  side by side. People may also prepare a sambar or a Koottu (mixed vegetable curry with gravy) to serve as a side dish. 

Once the offering is over, the entire family members sit together and relish the pongals served in banana leaves. 

People exchange Pongal greetings with friends and relatives. In the olden days.  Children used to buy Pongal Greeting Cards from shops and mail them to their near and dear ones. The cards used to contain different pictures like Gods and Goddesses, temples, natural scenes, Pongal festival scenes. Every boy or girl will have a good collection of such cards as their prized possessions in their cupboards. Such practices have become extinct in the present age of social media. 

In the olden days, All India Radio used to broadcast special entertainment programs for the festival day. Nowadays, it is the TV Channels that vie with each other to dish out plenty of special programs and movie shows.  Once the offerings and eating are over,  most people get glued to their TVs for good or bad for the whole day!

Those who succeed in getting disentangled from the grip of TV  may visit temples in the evenings to offer their prayers on the festive day. 

Some towns and villages have the practice of arranging Kabaddi competitions as part of the celebration of the Pongal festival.

3rd Day –  Mattu Pongal

As the farmers’ life is intrinsically connected with cows and bullocks, the third day of the Pongal festival is dedicated to worshiping and thanks-giving to the cattle. The cowsheds are thoroughly cleaned and washed. The cows and bullocks are washed thoroughly and then decorated with saffron, kumkum, flower garlands, netti malais (Garlands made out of pith stem), and so on. People also clean up the horns of cows and bullocks and paint them in beautiful colors. The ropes (‘Mookanaan Kayiru) that are used to tie the cattle are also freshly bought to replace the old ones on this festive day.

On this day too, villagers prepare pongal dish in fresh pots, offer it to God, and then feed the pongal along with bananas to the cows and bullocks. Only after feeding the cows, pongal is eaten by the family members together.

Bullock carts too are cleaned, washed, and decorated with flowers and leaves of ginger, turmeric and sugarcane plants. In the evenings, farmers’ children take a joy ride in their bullock carts.

(See this video: PONGAL CELEBRATION | Mattu Pongal | Grand Tamil Special Festival Celebrate in Village by farmers

Another video: Mattu Pongal Celebration in Tamil | மாட்டுப்பொங்கல் (2019)

Decorating the cows and bullocks with colorful garland made of ‘Netti’ (Pith stem) was a traditional practice existing across generations in many villages. These eco-friendly garlands have unfortunately been widely replaced by plastic garlands in the present times. Consequently, this has affected many families that have been traditionally making  some seasonal income by making ‘netti malai’s.

See this Video: 

மாடுகளை அலங்கரிக்கும் ‘நெட்டி மாலை’ / NETTI MAALA for COWS

Jalli Kattu celebration on Mattu Pongal

Jallikkattu or Sallikkattu or Manju Virattu is a traditional bull-catching sport, existing in Tamil Nadu perhaps across many centuries, which is part and parcel of Mattu Pongal festival.  It is considered as a prestigious ‘Veera Vilaiyattu‘ (Game of the bold and courageous youths) and only certain places in Tamil Nadu have been traditionally nurturing this sport, against objections from certain quarters. This sport is in vogue only in Pudukkottai, Sivagangai, Trichy, and Madurai districts, particularly at places like Alanganallur, Avaniyapuram, Sholavandan, Palamedu, and the like.

Certain specific local breeds of bulls like Kangeyam,  Puliyakulam, and Malamedu are carefully nurtured by the owners of the bulls and they take pride in the girth and ferociousness of their bulls that are not easy to conquer by the youth in Jallikkattu.

Many such bulls are released one by one from a narrow entrance called Vadi Vasal, to an adjacent ground where many youths eagerly await their arrival. The ferocious bull, once released, runs at breakneck speed. Several youths try to catch hold of the bull’s hump, while the bull uses all its might to throw them away using its sharp horns or by shaking its body.  If any youth succeeds in holding the hump continuously for 30 seconds or running across 15 meters without losing the grip, he is considered a winner and is gifted with prizes. If the bull manages to throw him off and escape, the bull is the winner. There may be some variants in the sports from location to location.

As it is well known, several youths get seriously injured and some even end up in deaths. People from the animal rights movement too have their objections to this game. Anyway, amid such controversies and objections Jallikkattu remains a passion in Tamil Nadu, as it is strongly linked to a tradition of display of bravery among rural youths. 

Here is a video of Jallikkattu:  

All about Jallikattu

In certain districts like Nagercoil, there is also a tradition of conducting bullock cart races (Rekla race) as part of the Mattu Pongal celebration.

Also on 3rd day – Kanu Pongal

Most Tamil Brahmin families have a tradition of celebrating ‘Kanu Pongal’ on the third day (which is different from Kanum Pongal of the 4th day). It is rather a curiously funny tradition followed by women, who pray for the welfare of their brothers on this day. They do this practice after taking bath and wearing fresh sarees. They spread the leaves of  Manjal (turmeric) either at the back yard near the well or at the terrace. They spread small balls of the remnants of the previous day’s Sakkari Pongal, cooked rice (colored in yellow, red, etc) along with finely cut pieces of sugar cane, banana, and betel leaves. They pray to God for the well-being and prosperity of their brothers. The leaves are left as it is with the intention that crows and ants may consume the food items. 

As for the feast of Kanu Pongal, it consists of specially made rice preparations like Puliyodharai, Coconut rice, Curd rice etc. Another prominent item is the Kadamba Koottu (also called Kanu Koottu) which is a multi-vegetable curry with gravy.  The specialty of this koottu is that all the ingredients are all traditional rural vegetables available in abundance during the season. The kootu normally consists of Plantain (Vazhai kai), stem of plantain (Vazhai thandu) , white pumpkin, yellow pumpkin, flat beans (avaraikkai), Taro root (Chembu), sweet potato, brinjal, ladies fingers, mochai (bean nuts)  and grated coconut.

Here is a video showing the preparation of the typical Kadamba Koottu:

Kadamba Kootu / Pongal Kootu

Note: In some rural family traditions, such a  multi-vegetable koottu, known as Koottu kaai Kozhambu is prepared on the day of Pongal.

4th Day — Kanum Pongal

 

Pic: Kanum Pongal crowd at Pondy

“Kanum’ in Tamil means seeing. It is the festival day for outings — to visit places, fairs, friends and relatives. Rural people visit adjacent towns and cities to see beeches, movie theatres, amusement parks, temples, zoos, museums, trade fairs, and other tourist-attractive places along with all their family members and kids. The sale of sugarcanes will be very brisk on this day, as youth and children enjoy ‘chewing and viewing’ wherever they go! 

Popular tourist spots like Marina beach will witness a sea of people who come to see the seas on the Kanum Pongal day. As a consequence, tons of trashes are left behind, creating a nightmare for Corporation staff to clean up on the next day!

See this video — Kanum Pongal crowd at Chennai Marina beach

Thousands throng Marina Beach in Chennai to celebrate Kaanum Pongal

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Amma’s stories on managing anger and other emotions – 2

[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)

  5.  The King gripped in fear

 Once there was a King, who was extremely afraid of his enemies. He built a fort for him and lived inside a high security palace. His living room was surrounded by thick walls on all sides with just one small window opening, through which he would communicate with others.  Once a Sadhu visited the palace and he wanted to personally meet the king to get some alms. As he looked harmless, he was allowed to see the king after he was put through all the security tests by the king’s guards.

When the king was informed of the arrival of the sadhu, the king agreed to see the visitor through the small window opening.

The sadhu said, “O king! I came to meet you to get some alms. But I am really surprised to see you living here in this room, so secluded and alone. May I know what your problem is?”

The king said, “My enemies are extremely powerful. If I live like any other king, I am afraid that they will attack and kill me . So I am staying securely in this fully protected room.”

The sadhu laughed and said, “O king, you are already dead”.

“What do you mean?”

“You are virtually inside a tomb, except that your tomb has just one small opening!” — so saying the sadhu left the palace laughing aloud.

(Source: Amma’s satsang dt 18/12/21)

6. Mother’s valuable advice

Once a person asked a famous social worker, “Sir, I have been observing you since long; I have never seen you  getting angry with anybody. You are composed and pleasant in all circumstances. May I know how it is possible for you”.

The social worker said, “In my young age, I too was a very short tempered person. Once I had an angry fight with my friends and I came back home fretting and fuming. Noticing my agitation, my mother asked me what happened. After I explained to her, she said, “If you get angry simply triggered by the words of someone and if you express it,  it means you have become an underdog in front of that person. If you get angry again, it only means the other person has defeated you. Dear son, you must remember this always”.

“After that Incident, whenever I am in a situation where I could get angry, my mother’s words will flash in my memory. Her face and words will appear right in front of me. If I get angry again, it only means I lack patience. Otherwise, I would contemplate on what the other person uttered that infuriated me. I will think:  “Why did he say so? What is the reason for him to get angry with me? Why did he use such harsh words against me?  Is it because of his ignorance? Is it an intentional display of his ego?”

“By thinking so, I would refrain from retaliating. As I stand unperturbed, it is he who gets defeated and not I. Now he would start thinking, “Despite my getting angry, this fellow has remained unmoved, I have become a fool now. My true color has been exposed”. It is this way that I learned a valuable lesson from my mother’s advice. That’s how I am able to face any situation with even mindedness” .

[Amma: “Children, we too should face every situation in life like this.“]

(Source: Amrita Ganga – Satsang)

7. The secret technique!

Once a husband and wife who stopped talking to each other on account of a fight between them.  They slept separately in two bedrooms. The wife stopped doing any service to her husband and kept away from him as much as possible.

One day, the wife came running to her husband shrieking in fear and embraced him. The husband consoled her, spoke soothing words to her to drive away her fear.  As the wife was afraid to go and sleep in her bed, she opted to sleep in her husband’s room.

After a couple of days, the same thing repeated. Again the husband showered his affection on her and allowed her to sleep with him in his bed.

This way, their mutual bitterness melted away. Soon they were on talking terms. The wife started serving food to her husband and taking due care of his needs. Their relationship returned to normalcy and joy and intimacy returned in their life. 

Watching these happenings, their daughter asked her father with wonder, “What has happened papa? You were not talking with each other for long, and suddenly mother is back to normal and you have become a happy couple once again. What magic did you do?”

The father said, “If you promise me not to reveal anything to your mother, I will tell you the secret”. The little girl promised so.

“You know your mother is not afraid of anything in this world, except for cockroaches. Last week, as I was coming home, I was pondering how to end the cold war between us, and suddenly I noticed a cockroach near our house. I caught it and brought it home and placed it on her bed that night without her knowledge. When your mother came to sleep, she noticed it and started shrieking out of fear and came to my room. She had no courage to sleep alone in her room and hence slept in my room. I repeated the same exercise after a couple of days and it worked!”

Amma’s stories on the power of Love

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)

 

The Role of Sri Ramakrishna in the revival of Sanatana Dharma (Tamil)

பாரத சனாதன தர்மம் புத்துயிர் பெற்றதில் ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ண பரமஹம்சரின் பெரும் பங்கு

ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ண பரமஹம்சர் ஒரு மகாத்மா மாத்திரமல்ல, அவர் ஒரு அவதார புருஷரும் கூட. தனது நெருங்கிய பக்தர்களுக்கு, தாம் ஒரு அவதாரம் என்பதை அவர் வெளிப்படுத்தியிருந்தார். இந்து மதத்தில், அவரைப் பெரிதும் போற்றுவதற்கான பல காரணிகள் உள்ளன, அவற்றில் சிலவற்றை இங்கே சுருக்கமாகக் காண்போம்:

  • அவர் வாழ்ந்த காலத்தில் (1836–1886) நம்மை ஆண்டு கொண்டிருந்த இருந்த ஆங்கிலேயர்களின் ஆதிக்கத்தின் காரணமாய் மேற்கத்திய / கிறிஸ்தவ மதத்தின் தாக்கத்தால் பெரிதும் பாதிப்படைந்திருந்த நமது சனாதன தர்மத்துக்குப் புத்துயிர் தந்த மகான்களில் அவர் முக்கியமான ஒருவராக இருந்தார்.
  • இந்து மதத்தில் உள்ள பன்முகப்பட்ட மார்க்கங்களும் — அதாவது பக்தி மார்க்கம் (அதில் பல கடவுள் வடிவங்களை வணங்குவது உட்பட), ஞான மார்க்கம் (ஜீவாத்ம பரமாத்ம ஐக்கியத்தில் முடிவுறும் அத்வைத தத்துவம்), யோக மார்க்கம் (பதஞ்சலி முனிவர் காட்டும் அஷ்டாங்க யோகம்), குண்டலினி யோகம் (தாந்திர மார்க்கம்) — என்று எல்லாமே இறைவனை அடைவதற்கான வெவ்வேறு முறைமைகளே, அவையெல்லாமே உண்மையானவையே என்று உலகத்துக்கு நிரூபிக்கும் ஓர் முன்னுதாரண புருஷராக அவர் வாழ்ந்து காட்டினார். தீவிர நம்பிக்கையோடும் சிரத்தையொடும் ஏதேனும் ஒரு வழியைத் தேர்ந்தெடுத்து முழுமனதுடன் சாதனை செய்தால் அவ்வவ் வழிகளின் மூலம் பூரணத்துவத்தை அடையமுடியும் என்பதை அவர் பறைசாற்றினார்.
  • அவர் வாழ்ந்த காலகட்டத்தில், தாந்திர மார்க்கம் என்பது மிகவும் இரகசியமாக இருந்த ஓர் ஆன்மீகப் பாதையாக இருந்தது. பலரும் தவறான நோக்கங்களுக்காகத் அந்த மார்க்கத்தைத் தேர்ந்தெடுக்கும் ஓர் நிலைமை வங்காளத்தில் காணப்பட்டது. தன்னுள்ளேயே சிவ-சக்தி ஐக்கியத்தை அனுபவித்து அடைவதற்கான வழிமுறை என்கிற போர்வையில், நெருக்கமான ஆண்-பெண் உறவோடு தொடர்புடைய சடங்குகளைச் செய்யவும் ,மீன், மது, மாமிசம் இவற்றைக் கூடுதல் சுகிக்கவும் தந்திரம் வழி கோலியது.ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ணர் இந்த பாதையிலும் துணிந்து இறங்கினார். வயதில் மூத்த பெண் குருவான பைரவி பிராமணயின் நேரடி வழிகாட்டுதலின்படி தாந்திரீகத்தின் கடுமையான நடைமுறைகளைப் பயின்று சாதனைகள் செய்து மிக உயர்ந்த ஆன்மீக அனுபவத்தைப் பெற்றார்.
  • இந்த சுய அனுபவத்தின் அடிப்படையில் அவர், ‘(பலராலும் கண்டிக்கப்பட்ட) தந்திரம் கூட கடவுளை அடைவதற்கான ஒரு பாதைதான்’ என்று அறிவித்தாலும், அதை தனது சீடர்களுக்கு ஒரு சாதனா மார்க்கமாகப் பரிந்துரைக்கவில்லை. பெரும்பாலான மக்களுக்கு அந்த பாதையில் சென்று உயர்நிலையை அடைவதைவிட விட வீழ்ச்சியடையவே வாய்ப்புகள் அதிகம் இருப்பதாக எச்சரித்தார்.
  • அவரது அடிப்படை மனப்பாங்கிலும், ஆன்மீக ருசியிலும் அவர் ஒரு தேவி/ காளி உபாசகராகவே இருந்தார். அவரது ஆன்மீக சாதனா காலங்களின் தொடக்கத்தில் தட்சிணேஸ்வர் பவதாரிணி காளி கோவிலில் பூசாரியாகப் பொறுப்பேற்று) தீவிரமான தபஸ் செய்து, பவதாரிணியின் தரிசனம் பெற்றார். தேவி அவருள் ஐக்கியமானாள். அது முடிந்த பின் அவர் வங்காள வைணவ மார்க்கத்தைக் கடைப்பிடித்து ராதா-கிருஷ்ண பக்தியில் தோய்ந்தார். ஸ்ரீ ராமர், தேவி சீதா, கிருஷ்ணர், ராதா, அனுமன் போன்ற பல தெய்வங்களின் தரிசனங்களைப் பெற்றார். இந்த கடவுள் வடிவங்கள் அனைத்தும் நிச்சயமாக தமக்குள்ளேயே இருப்பதை அவர் உணர்ந்தார்.
  • தோதாபுரி எனும் அத்வைத ஞானியின் சீடராக ஆகி, நாம ரூபங்களைக் கடந்த இறைவனைத் தியானிக்கும் முறைமை பயின்று, நான்-நீ எனும் இரட்டையைக் கடந்து சச்சிதானப் பிரம்மத்தில் ஒன்றாகிவிடும் நிர்விகல்ப சமாதி அனுபத்தைப் பெற்றார்.
  • இந்து மதத்தின் பல்வேறு பாதைகள் மூலமும் இறை அனுபவத்தை ருசித்த அவர், இஸ்லாம் (ஸூஃபி) மற்றும் கிறிஸ்தவ மத மார்க்கங்களிலும் சாதனைகள் செய்தார். அந்த பாதைகளும் கடவுளை அடைவதற்கு வழிவகுக்கும் என்பதை அவர் அனுபவபூர்ணமாக உணர்ந்தார்.
  • இத்தகைய பல்வேறு வகைப்பட்ட சாதனா முறைகளின் மூலம் அறுதி உண்மையை உணர்ந்த அவர் “எத்தனை மதங்களோ, அத்தனை வழிகள்” என்று அறிவித்தார்.அவர் விஷ்ணுவின் பக்தர்களிடையே ஒரு வைணவராக இருந்தார்; தேவியின் பக்தர்களுக்கு மத்தியில் ஒரு சாக்தராக இருந்தார்; அவர் இயேசுவின் வழிபாட்டாளர்கள் மத்தியில் ஒரு கிறிஸ்தவராக இருந்தார். அத்வைதிகளுக்கு மத்தியில் அவர் ஒரு ஞானியாக இருந்தார். யோகிகளின் பார்வையில் அவரும் ஒரு யோகி.வெவ்வேறு மாறுபட்ட மத நம்பிக்கை, இஷ்ட தெய்வ நம்பிக்கை, பல்வேறு பட்ட ஆன்மீக ருசிகள் இவற்றைச் சுமந்து கொண்டு ஆன்மீக வழிகாட்டலை நாடி அவரைச் சந்திக்கும் பேறு பெற்ற ஒவ்வொருவரும், ‘அவர் தங்களுடையவர்’ என்று நினைக்கும் விதத்தில் அவரவர் பக்குவம், மனப்பாங்குக்கு ஏற்ப, அவர்வர் நம்பிக்கையைக் குலைக்காமல் எளிமையான ஆன்மீக உபதேசங்கள் தந்து அவர் வழிகாட்டினார்..
  • “பெரும்பான்மை மக்களுக்கு ஏற்றது பக்தி மார்க்கமே’ என்றே அவர் உபதேசித்தார். அவரவர் தம் இஷ்ட தெய்வத்தை முழுமனதுடன் பக்தி செய்வதன் மூலமே பூரணத்துவம் அடையமுடியும் என்று அவர முன்மொழிந்தார்.
  • தீவிர ஆன்மீக நாட்டத்தோடு கடவுளை அடைய முனையும் சாதகர்களுக்கு ‘காமினி மற்றும் காஞ்சனப் பற்றுதான் (அதாவது பெண்ணாசையும், பணத்தாசையும் தான்) இரு பெரும் தடைகள் என்றார் அவர். இவ்விரண்டையும் கைவிடாமல், ஆன்மீக ரீதியில் வெற்றி பெறுவது ஒருபோதும் சாத்தியமில்லை என்று அவர் உறுதியாக, ஒளிவு மறைவின்றி, அலுக்காமல் உபதேசித்தார்.
  • அவர் திண்ணைப்ப் பள்ளிக்கூடத்தில் அடிப்படையாய் எழுதப் படிக்கக் கற்றதைத் தவிர வேறு ஒன்றும் படித்ததில்லை. பரம எளிமையான, கள்ளம் கபடமில்லாத ஓர் பிராமணர் அவர். அவர் பேசியதெல்லாம் சாமானிய கிராமத்து மக்கள் பேசும் எளிய வங்காள மொழி மட்டுமே. அவர் தம் கையால் பணம் காசை நிஜமாகவே தொடமுடியாத ஓர் நிலையில் இருந்தார். நாளைக்கு என்று எதையும் சேர்த்துவைக்கும் மனோ நிலை இல்லாதவராகவும் இருந்தார்.
  • தமது 24 ஆவது வயதில் ஐந்து வயது சாரதையை அவர் மணந்தார். சாரதை வயதுக்கு வந்து, தம் பதினெட்டாவது வயதில் கணவரோடு சேர்ந்து வாழ (ராமகிருஷ்ணர் தங்கி வாழ்ந்த) தட்சிணேசுவரக் கோவில் வளாகத்துக்கு வந்து சேர்ந்தார். அவளிடம் அவர், “இந்தக் கோவிலில் உறையும் பவதாரிணி காளியும், இங்கே ‘நகபத்’தில் (வாத்திய மண்டபத்தில்) வாழும் என் தாயும், நீயும் ஒன்றே” என்று சொல்லி, அவளும் நகபத்தில் தங்கி வாழ ஏற்பாடு செய்தார். காம உணர்வும் உறவும் ஏதுமின்றி ஒரு கணவனும் மனைவியும் சேர்ந்து ஓர் உயரிய ஆன்மீக வாழ்க்கை வாழ முடியும் என்கிற ஓர் அற்புதமான முன்னுதாரணத்தை உலகுக்குத் தரும் விதத்தில் அவர்களது வாழ்க்கை அமைந்தது.
  • 12 ஆண்டுகாலம் பல்வேறு ஆன்மீக மார்க்கங்களின் வழி சாதனைகள் செய்து இறையானுபவத்தை எல்லா மார்க்கங்களின் வழியேயும் அடைந்த ராமகிருஷ்ணர் உலகிற்கு உபதேசிக்கத் தயார் ஆனார். ஆனால் சீடர்கள் எங்கே? அவர் தமக்கான சீடர்களை அனுப்பி வைக்குமாறு அன்னை காளியிடம் அழுது பிரார்த்தித்தார். அப்போது ஒவ்வொருவராய் அவரது இளம் சீடர்கள் – உலகியற் கல்வி படித்து, அதே சமயம் ஆன்மீக சம்ஸ்காரங்களோடு இறைவனைத் தேடும் இளைஞர்கள் அவரை நாடி வர ஆரம்பித்தார்கள். அவ்வாறே இல்லற பக்தர்களும். பலரும் அவரை நாடி வந்தாலும் அவரது “உள் வட்டத்து’ பக்தர்களும் சீடர்களுமாய், அவரை அவதார புருஷராக உணர்ந்து அடிபணிந்தவர்கள் சுமார் 33 பேர்கள் தாம்.
  • அவர் எப்போதும் கடவுளைப் பற்றியும், இறையானந்தத்தைப் பற்றியும், பக்தி, ஞானம், யோகம், ஆன்மீக சாதனைகள் இவை பற்றியுமே தம்மை நாடி வந்தவர்களிடம் வாய் ஓயாமல் பேசினார். அவர் பேசியதெல்லாம் பரம எளிமையான மொழிகள். அன்றாட வாழ்க்கை உதாரணங்கள் மூலமும், குட்டிக் கதைகள் மூலமும் அவர் ஆன்மீகத்தை உபதேசித்தார். பகவத் கீதை, உபநிடதங்கள் எல்லாம் படித்தும் தத்துவம் புரியாத பண்டிதர்களும் கூட, சம்ஸ்கிருதம் ஏதும் அறியாத பாமரரான அவரது அடி பணிந்து அவர் தரும் எளிய அனுபவ விளக்கங்கள் மூலம் ஞான ஒளி பெற்றனர்.
  • ராமகிருஷ்ணரின் உபதேசங்கள் அவர் வாழ் நாள்கழிந்த பிறகே வெளியுலகம் பரவலாக அறியும் வகையில் தான் அவரது அவதார நாடகம் அரங்கேறியது. அவர் தமது 50 ஆவது வயதில், தொண்டையில் வந்த புற்றுநோயின் காரணமாய் உடலை உகுத்தார்.
(மேலே படத்தில்:ஊணுறக்கம் துறந்து கடுந்தவத்தில் ஈடுபட்ட ராமகிருஷ்ணரின் துறவிச்சீடர்கள்)
  • சுவாமி விவேகானந்தரின் தலைமையில் ராமகிருஷ்ணரின் 16 சீடர்கள் உலக வாழ்வைத் துறந்து சன்யாசம் மேற்கொண்டனர். அவர் காலமான பிறகு பரம எளிமை வாழ்க்கையை மேற்கொண்டு அவர் காட்டிய வழியில் கடும் தவம் செய்தனர். ராமகிருஷ்ணர் காலத்துக்குப் பிறகு சுமார் 34 ஆண்டுகள் சாரதா தேவியார் உயிர் வாழ்ந்தார். அவரது தெய்வீகமான அருளும், ஆதரவும் ராமகிருஷ்ணர் உருவாக்கிய துறவியர் சங்கத்தை வழி நடத்தின. ராமகிருஷ்ணர் காலமான பிறகு பல ஆண்டுகள் கழித்தே ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ணா மடம் சுவாமி விவேகானந்தரால் உருவாக்கப்பட்டது.
  • ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ணா மடத்தின் தொடக்கம் முதலே துறவும் தொண்டும் அம்மடத்தின் இரு கண்கள் ஆகின. பாரத துறவியர் மடங்கள் சமுதாயத் தொண்டு ஆற்றுவதை மடத்தின் செயல்பாடாகக் கொண்டுவந்த முன்னோடி சுவாமி விவேகானந்தர். அதற்கு அவருக்கு உத்வேகம் அளித்தது அவருக்கு ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ணர் கூறிய ஓர் உபதேசம் : “உலகில் வாழும் ஒவ்வொரு ஜீவனும் இறைவனே என்று கண்டு இறைவனுக்கு செய்யும் சேவையாக மக்களுக்குத் தொண்டாற்ற வேண்டும்”.
  • சாத்திரங்களின் சாரத்தையெல்லாம் உள்ளடக்கிய ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ணரின் உபதேச மொழிகள் பரம எளிமையானவை; அவையெல்லாம் அவரது காலத்துக்குப் பிறகே வெளியுலகம் அறிய வந்தது. அப்பணியைச் செய்ய ராமகிருஷ்ணர் தெரிந்தெடுத்து வைத்திருந்தவர் “ம-” எனும் புனைப்பெயரில் அறியப்படும் ஸ்ரீ மகேந்திரநாத் குப்தா எனும் ராமகிருஷ்ணரின் இல்லற சீடர் ஆவார். அவர் ராமகிருஷ்ணரின் உரையாடல்களை டயரிக் குறிப்புகளாக (ராமகிருஷ்ணரின் ஜீவ காலத்தின் கடைசி ஐந்து வருடங்களில்) எழுதி வைத்திருந்தார்.
ஸ்ரீ மகேந்திரநாத் குப்தா (ம-)
  • அவர், அவற்றை அவர் பிற்காலத்தில் விரிவாக்கி, “ஸ்ரீ ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ண கதாம்ருதம்” எனும் தலைப்பில் 5 புத்தகங்களாக வங்காள மொழியில் வெளியிட்டார். இவ்வரிய பொக்கிஷமாகிய நூல், ஆங்கிலம் (“The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna”) உட்படப் பல்வேறு மொழிகளில் மொழிபெயர்க்கப் பட்டுள்ளது. தமிழில் இது “ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ணரின் அமுத மொழிகள்” என்கிற பெயரில் 3 பாகங்களாகக் கிடைக்கிறது. இப்புத்தகம் ஸ்ரீ ராமகிருஷ்ணா மடங்களில் குறைந்த விலையில் கிடைக்கிறது.
  • உலகெங்கிலும் உள்ள தீவிர ஆன்மீக சாதகர்கள் மத வேறுபாடின்றி இன் நூலைப் படித்து மிக எளிமையாக இந்து மதத்தின் ஆன்மீகத் தத்துவங்களைப் புரிந்து கொள்கிறார்கள்.

Some interesting happenings in the life of Bhagwan Ramana (Tamil)

பகவான் ரமண மகரிஷியின் வாழ்வில் நடந்த சில சுவையான நிகழ்வுகள்

ஓம் நமோ பகவதே ஸ்ரீ ரமணாய

  • திருச்சுழியில் பிறந்த ரமணர் சிறு பிள்ளையாய் இருந்தபோது வீட்டில் செய்த ஒரு குறும்பினால், தந்தை அடிப்பார் என்று பயந்து கொண்டு திருச்சுழி சிவன் கோயிலில் அம்பாளின் சன்னதிக்குள் சென்று (துணைமாலை அம்மை) அம்பாளின் விக்கிரஹத்துக்குப் பின்னே ஒளிந்து கொண்டாராம்!
  • ரமணர் தம் நான்காம் வயது வரை தம் தாயிடம் தாய்ப்பால் குடித்தாராம்! அது மட்டுமல்ல; அவர் கிராமத்தில் தாய்ப்பால் கிட்டாது தவித்த வேறொரு பெண் சிசுவுக்கும், ரமணரின் தாய் (ரமணருக்குப் பால் கொடுக்கும் காலத்திலேயே) தாம் பாலூட்டிக் காப்பாற்றினாராம்.
  • ரமணருக்குப் பள்ளிப் படிப்பில் நாட்டம் இல்லை; கடனே என்று படித்தவர்தான்! வகுப்பில் பாடம் நடக்கையில் தூங்கி விழாது இருக்க, சுவரில் இருந்த ஒரு ஆணியில் நூலைக் கட்டி அதன் மறு முனையைத் தம் குடுமியோடு சேர்த்துக் கட்டிக் கொண்டதுண்டாம்!
  • பள்ளி நாட்களில் ரமணர் கபடி, குஸ்தி போன்ற விளையாட்டுகளில் சூரராயிருந்தார்.
  • இரவில் தூங்கினால் அடித்துப் போட்டாற்போல் வெளி நினைவே வராது தூங்குவாராம். இவரிடம் விளையாட்டில் தோற்ற பிள்ளைகள் இவர் இரவில் தூங்கும்போது தூக்கிக் கொண்டு போய், ஆசை தீர அவருக்கு அடிகள் கொடுத்து பழிவாங்கிவிட்டு பின் மீண்டும் படுக்கையில் கொண்டு போய்ப் போட்டதுண்டாம்! அவருக்கோ நடந்தவை ஒன்றுமே தெரியாது. நண்பர்கள் சொல்லித்தான் பிறகு தெரியுமாம்.
  • (ரமணர் தம் பதினாறரையாவது வயதில் மரண அனுபவத்தை சுயமாக வருவிக்கப் பார்த்தது, அதன் விளைவாய் ஞானம் பெற்றது, பின் வீட்டைவிட்டு ஓடி திருவண்ணாமலைக்கு வந்தது இவையெல்லாம் பலரும் அறிந்ததே).
  • ரமணர் திருவண்ணாமலைக்கு வர சரியான ரயில் மாறிப் பயணிக்க உதவியவர் ஒரு முஸ்லீம்.
  • ரமணருக்கு திருவண்ணாமலைக்கு வந்து சேர கடைசி ரயில் பயணத்துக்கு கையில் காசு இல்லாததால் தாம் அணிந்திருந்த காதுக் கடுக்கனை அடகு வைத்து பணம் பெற்றுக்கொண்டு, வந்து சேர்ந்ததும் பாக்கி இருந்த காசை வீசி எறிந்து விட்டார்.
  • அருணையில் கோவணதாரி ஆகி, பூணூலை அவிழ்த்தெரிந்துவிட்டு, தலை முடியை மழித்துக் கொண்டதும் ஆகாயம் மழை பெய்து அவரைக் குளிப்பாட்டியது!
  • அருணை வந்த புதிதில் அவர் கோவில் மண்டபத்தில் ஆங்காங்கே அமர்ந்து வெளி உலக நினைவற்று தியானத்தில் மூழ்கியிருந்த போது உள்ளூர் சிறார்கள் அவரைப் பயித்தியம் என்று நினைத்து அவர் மீது சிறுநீர் கழித்ததுண்டு.
  • உணவு உண்ணவும் வெளி நினைவு வராது இருந்த அவருக்கு கோயில் குருக்கள் ஒருவர், அம்பாளுக்கு அபிஷேகம் செய்து வெளியே ஓடி வரும் தண்ணீர் கலந்த பாலை ஒரு சொம்பில் பிடித்து வலுக்கட்டாயமாக வாயில் ஊற்றிக் குடிக்க வைத்த காலங்கள் உண்டு.
  • (ரமணர் கோவிலில் உள்ள பாதாள லிங்க குகையில் பல நாட்கள் யாரும் அறியாது தவம் இருந்ததும் அவரது தொடைகள் பூச்சிகளால் கடித்து அரிக்கப் பட்டதும், சேஷாத்ரி சுவாமிகள் மூலம் அவர் அங்கே இருப்பது தெரிந்து வெளியே தூக்கி வரப்பட்டதும் பலரும் அறிந்த செய்திகள்).
  • வெளி நினைவற்று, உண்ணல் குளியல் மறந்து அவர் வாழ்ந்த அந்த ஆரம்ப நாட்களில் கட்டியிருந்த ஒற்றைக் கோவணம் தொடையிருக்குகளில் புண் உண்டாக்கியதால் அவர் அதையும் அவிழ்த்தெரிந்துவிட்டுத் திகம்பரராய் இருக்க, கோவில் குருக்கள் ஒருவர் வலுக்கட்டாயமாய் அவருக்கு ஒரு புது கோவணம் அணிவித்தார். அதன் அவசியத்தையும் வலியுறுத்தினார்.
  • ஒரு பக்கம் அறியாச் சிறார்கள் அவரை சீண்டி உடல் ரீதியாகத் துன்புறுத்த, மறு புறமோ ஆன்மீக தாகம் கொண்ட சில அன்பர்களும் அவரது மேலான ஞான நிலையை உணர்ந்து அவர் தேவைகளை ஓரளவேனும் கவனித்துப் பார்த்துக்கொள்ள முன்வந்தனர். அவர் ஏதும் பேசாதவராய் இருந்ததால் ஊர் பேர் அறியவில்லை. அவர் தோற்றத்தை வைத்து அவரை ‘பிராமண சுவாமி’ என்றார்கள். இரண்டு ஆண்டுகளுக்குப் பின் அவர் ஒரு அன்பரின் வற்புறுத்தலுக்கு இணங்கி “வெங்கடராமன், திருச்சுழி” என்று எழுதிக் காண்பித்தபின் தான் அவர் பெயரும் ஊரும் பிறர் அறியவந்தது.
  • ரமணரை விட பல வயது மூத்த ஒரு துறவியான பழனிசுவாமி இளம் ரமணரைக் கண்டதும் அவரது அதிமேலான ஆன்ம நிலையைப் புரிந்து கொண்டு அவரை உடனிருந்து கவனித்துக்கொள்ள ஆரம்பித்தார். தாம் பிட்சை உணவு பெற்று ரமணருக்கு உணவளித்தார்.
    அடுத்த 21 ஆண்டுகள் அவர் ரமணரின் சீடராகவும் தொண்டராகவும் சேவை செய்தார்.
  • ரமணர் அருணை வந்து 2 ஆண்டுகளுக்குப் பிறகே அவர் சித்தப்பா நெல்லையப்ப ஐயர் எப்படியோ தகவல் கிடைத்து அருணைக்கு ரமணரைத் தேடி வந்தார். நீள் முடி, தாடி, அழுக்கு படிந்த உடல், கோவணம் என்று இருந்த ரமணரை அவரால் சட்டென்று அடையாளம் காண முடியவில்லை!
  • பேசா மௌனியாக இருந்த ரமணரைப் பேசவைக்க பழனிசுவாமி, நூலகத்திலிருந்து கொண்டுவந்த ஆன்மீக நூல்களை இரைந்து படித்து ரமணரிடம் விளக்கம் கேட்பார். அந்த வேதாந்தக் கருத்துகளை ரமணர் அப்போதுதான் முதல் முதலாகக் கேள்விப்படுகிறார்! “அட! இதில் சொல்லியுள்ளதெல்லாம் நம் அனுபவத்தோடு ஒத்துப்போகிறதே!” என்று வியந்தாராம் அவர்!
  • தப்பும் தவறுமாய்ப் படித்த பழனிசுவாமியைத் திருத்தும் முகமாகவும், தத்துவங்களை விளக்கும் முகமாகவும் சிறிது சிறிதாக ரமணர் பேச ஆரம்பித்தார்!
  • பிறருக்கு சிரமம் தரலாகாது என்று ரமணரே தாமே நேரில் பிட்சை உணவு பெற சென்றதுண்டு. முதன் முதலில் பிட்சை கேட்கையில் அவருக்குக் கூச்சமாய் இருந்ததாம்!
  • ஒரு வீட்டின் முன் நின்று கை தட்டி ஒலி உண்டாக்குவார். உணவுக்காக வெறும் கைகளை நீட்டுவார், அதில் சோறோ, கஞ்சியோ, கூழோ எது விழுந்தாலும் அப்படியே தெருவில் நின்று கொண்டு தின்றுவிட்டுக் கையைத் தலையில் துடைத்துக்கொண்டு நடையைக் கட்டுவாராம்!
  • பிற்காலத்தில் ரமணாசிரமத்தில் பக்தர்கள் “பிட்சை” ஏற்பாடு செய்வார்கள். வடை பாயசத்துடன் ஆசிரமத்தில் எல்லாருக்கும் சாப்பாடு போடுவது தான் அந்த ‘பிட்சை’! அதைக் கிண்டல் செய்து, குறை கூறி ரமணர், தாம் அந்தக் காலத்தில் பிட்சை எடுத்து உண்டதைப் பற்றி சொல்லி, “என்ன ஒரு ஆனந்தம் அது!” என்பாராம்.
  • முதலில் கோவில் மண்டபம், பின் குருமூர்த்தம், பின் மலை மீது விருபாட்ச குகையில 17 வருட வாசம், பின் இன்னும் சற்று மேலே கந்தசாமி எனும் பக்தர் உருவாக்கிய ஸ்கந்தாசிரமத்தில் 6 வருடம், பின் கடைசியாக அடிவாரத்தில் உருவான ரமணாசிரமத்தில் மீதி வாழ் நாட்கள் என்று மாறி மாறி அமைந்தது ரமணர் வாழ்க்கை.
  • அருணைக்கு வந்த பின் அதை விட்டு ரமணர் எங்குமே சென்றதில்லை! 54 ஆண்டுகள் தொடர்ந்து வாழ்ந்தது அருணையில் தான்.
  • ரமணரின் சாரமான உபதேசங்கள் (“நானார்?”) முதன் முதலில் சிலேட்டில் ரமணர் எழுதி எழுத்து வடிவில் பெற்றவர் சிவபிரகாசம் பிள்ளை. அப்போது ரமணரின் வயது 23. அது புத்தக வடிவில் வெளிவந்தது அடுத்த 21 வருடங்களுக்குப் பிறகுதான்!
  • ‘திருச்சுழி வெங்கடராமனுக்கு’ “பகவான் ரமண மகர்ஷி” எனப் பெயர் சூட்டியவர், ரமணரது சீடரும், தேவி உபாசகரும், சம்ஸ்க்ரிதப் புலவரும், ரமணரைவிட வயதில் மூத்தவருமான காவ்யாகண்ட கணபதி சாஸ்திரி.
  • தம் சீடரான கணபதி சாஸ்திரியை “நாயனா” (தெலுங்கில் அப்பா) என்றே விளிப்பார் ரமணர்!
  • “தன்னை அறிந்த ஞானி அனைத்தையும் அறிந்தவனாகிறான்” எனும் உண்மைக்கேற்ப, பள்ளிப்படிப்பையே ஆர்வமில்லாமல் படித்து, பள்ளி இறுதியையே தாண்டாத ரமணர் பிற்காலத்தில் பெரும் தமிழ்ப்புலவராயும், பன் மொழிப்புலவராயும் ஆனது உங்களில் எத்தனை பேருக்குத் தெரியும்?
  • ஞானமும் பக்தியும் கலந்த தீந்தமிழ்ப் பாக்களை யாப்பிலக்கணத்திற்குட்பட்டு வெண்பா, ஆசிரியப்பா போன்ற வடிவங்களில் ஏராளம் பாடல்கள் புனைந்தவர் ரமணர்!
  • தமிழில் அவர் எழுதிய பாடல் தொகுப்புகள்: அட்சர மணமாலை, அருணாசல அஷ்டகம், அருணாசலப் பதிகம், அருணாசல நவமணி மாலை, உபதேச உந்தியார், உள்ளது நாற்பது, உள்ளது நாற்பதுஅனுபந்தம், தட்சிணா மூர்த்தித் தோத்திரம், அத்தாமலகம், பகவத் கீதா சாரம், ஆன்ம வித்தை, அப்பளப்பாட்டு.
  • காவ்யாகண்ட கணபதி சாஸ்திரி, கபாலி சாஸ்திரி போன்றவர்களின் தொடர்பின் மூலம் ரமணர் சம்ஸ்கிருதம் கற்றார். அதில் ஸ்லோகங்கள் எழுதினார். தமது உபதேச சாரம் போன்ற பல நூல்களை ரமணரே சம்ஸ்கிருதத்திலும் எழுதினார்.
  • தெலுங்கு பக்தர்களின் தொடர்பால் ரமணர் தெலுங்கும் கற்று அதிலும் தம் பாக்களை எழுதினார். தமிழின் ‘வெண்பா’ வடிவை அவர் தெலுங்கிலும் புகுத்தி ஓர் இலக்கியப் புதுமை செய்தார்!
  • மலையாள பக்தர்களின் தொடர்பால் ரமணர் மலையாளமும் கற்றார். அதில் கவிகள் புனைந்தார். தம் தமிழ் நூல்கள் பலவற்றை மலையாளத்திலும் புனைந்தார்!
  • ரமணரின் சீடரான முருகனார் ஒரு மாபெரும் தமிழ்ப்புலவர். அவரும் ஆயிரக் கணக்கில் பாடல்கள் எழுதியவர் (ரமண சன்னிதி முறை இன்ன பிற). அவ்வாறே கணபதி சாஸ்திரியும் ரமணரது பல உபதேசங்களை ‘ரமண கீதை’ எனும் பெயரில் வடமொழியில் தந்தார்.
  • காவ்யாகண்ட கணபதி சாஸ்திரி ஒரே நாள் இரவில் அம்பாளின் மீது “உமா சகஸ்ரம்” எனும் 1000 சம்ஸ்கிருத பாக்களை உருவாக்கி எழுத முனைந்த போது, ரமணரின் அருள் கடாட்சம் அவர் மீது விழுந்து அவருக்குள் உள்ளொளி தந்து பாக்களை உருவாக்கித் தந்தது ஓர் சரித்திர நிகழ்வு.
  • ரமணரது தாயார் அழகம்மா, தம் இறுதிக் காலத்தில் 6 ஆண்டுகள் உலக வாழ்வைத் துறந்து ரமணருடனேயே விருபாட்ச குகையிலும், பின் ஸ்கந்தாசிரமத்திலும் தங்கினார்.
  • ‘ரமணருக்குப் பிடிக்கும்’ என்று அன்னை அழகம்மா ஒரு முறை மலையில் அப்பளம் தயாரிக்க முனைய, ரமணர் தாயைக் கண்டித்து தத்துவார்த்தமாக அப்பளம் தயாரிப்பதைப் பற்றி எழுதிய ஓர் ஞானப் பாடல் தான் “அப்பளப் பாட்டு”!
  • (தாயாரது மரணத் தருவாயில் ரமணர் அவருக்கு மோட்சம் நல்கியது பலரும் அறிந்தவை. தாயின் பூத உடல் மலையடிவாரத்தில் சமாதி செய்யப்பட்டு, அங்கு எழுப்பப்பட்டதுதான் மாத்ருபூதேஸ்வரர் கோயில்; அங்குதான் ரமணாசிரமமும் உருவானது).
  • ரமணர் எளிமைக்கும் சிக்கனத்துக்கும் பெயர் போனவர். எதையும் வீணாக்குவது அவருக்குப் பிடிக்காது.
  • பக்தர்கள் வரத் தொடங்கிய ஆரம்ப காலங்களில் ரமணர் தமது அத்யாவசியத் தேவைகளைப் பற்றிக்கூட எவரிடமும் சொன்னதில்லை. அவர் கோவணம் கிழிந்தது என்றால், தம் கோவணத்திலிருந்தே ஒரு நூலை உருவி, காட்டு முள்ளை ஒடித்து ஊசி போல் செய்து அதில் நூலைக் கோர்த்துக் கிழிசலைத் தைத்துக் கொள்வார். அவர் குளிக்க உபயோகிக்கும் துண்டு “ஆயிரம் கண்ணுள்ளதாக” ஓட்டை விழுந்து இருக்கும். அதனை யார் கண்ணிலும் படாமல் துவைத்து மறைவில் காய வைத்துக்கொள்வார். உலர்ந்ததும் ஒரு மரப்பொந்தில் ஒளித்து வைத்துக் கொள்வார்.
  • ஒரு முறை ஒரு மாடு மேய்க்கும் சிறுவன் அவரது துண்டை எடுத்துக் வைத்துக்கொண்டு, கிண்டலாக, “இது கவர்னருக்கு வேணுமாம்!” என்று எடுத்துக் கொண்டு ஓடப்பார்த்தானாம். ரமணர் “ஊகூம்; நான் தரமாட்டேன்!” என்று அவனிடம் பிடிவாதம் பிடித்தாராம்!
  • மேற்சொன்ன விஷயத்தைப் பற்றிக் கேள்விப்பட்ட பக்தர் ஒருவர் மிக்க விசனத்துடன், “எங்களுக்கு இதெல்லாம் தெரியாமல் போய்விட்டதே பகவான்” என்று வருந்தி புதுத் துணி வாங்கி வந்து மிகவும் வற்புறுத்தி ரமணரிடம் கொடுத்தாராம்.
  • பக்தர்கள் கொடுக்கும் எந்த ஒரு ஆடம்பரப் பொருளையும் அவர் உபயோகித்ததில்லை. ரமணாசிரமத்திற்கு பக்தர்கள் ரமணருக்காகக் கொண்டுவரும் பழங்கள், தின்பண்டங்கள், போஷாக்கு லேகியங்கள் என்று எல்லாமே உடனுக்குடன் கூடியுள்ள பக்தர்களுக்கும் வினியோகிக்கப் பட்டுவிடும்.
  • ரமணர் சமையற்கலையில் நிபுணர். அம்மியில் அரைப்பது, கல்லுரலில் மாவு அரைப்பது முதல் சமையற்கட்டில் எல்லா வேலைகளையும் செய்வார். எதையும் வீணாக்காமல் சுவையாகச் சமைப்பார். கத்திரிக்காய் காம்புகளைக் கூட அவர் வேகவைத்து சமைத்ததுண்டு!
  • ஆனாலும் ரமணருக்கு சுவையான உணவெதிலும் ஈடுபாடு கிடையாது. ரமணாசிரமத்தில் பரிமாறப்பட்டும் எல்லா உணவு வகைகளையும் அவர் ஒன்றாகச் சேர்த்துப் பிசைந்து கொண்டுதான் சாப்பிடுவாராம். ஒரு பருக்கை கூட வீணாக்காமல் உண்பார். உண்ட இலை துடைத்துவிட்டது போல சுத்தமாக இருக்கும்.
  • மலையில் கிடைக்கும் பல்வேறு கீரை வகைகள், மூலிகைகள் பற்றிய மருத்துவ அறிவு அவருக்கு உண்டு.
  • ரமணர் நல்ல நகைச்சுவை உணர்வு கொண்டவர். பக்தர்களுக்கு புராணக் கதைகள் சொல்லும் போது தத்ரூபமாக உணர்ச்சியுடன் நடித்துக் காட்டுவாராம்!
  • பரம ஞானியான அவருள் ஒரு உணர்ச்சிமிகு பக்தனும் உண்டு. கண்ணப்பர் போன்ற நாயன்மார்களின் கதைகளை அவர் கூறும்போது குரல் தழுதழுக்குமாம்; கண்ணீர் பொழியுமாம்!
  • அவர் அண்ணாமலை கிரிவலம் வருவதற்கு மிகவும் முக்கியத்துவம் கொடுத்தார். அதன் பலன்களை மிகவும் சிலாகித்துச் சொல்லுவார். கணக்கற்ற முறை அவர் தம் பக்தர் குழாத்துடன் கிரிவலம் செய்திருக்கிறார்.
  • ரமணரின் “அட்சரமண மாலை” ஞானம் செறிந்த ஓர் பக்தி இலக்கியம். அதை அவர் நாயகி பாவத்தில் எழுதியிருக்கிறார். அவர் ஒரு முறை கிரிவலம் செய்கையில் அப்பாடல்கள் அவருள் முகிழ்த்தனவாம். அப்பாக்களை அவர் புனைகையில் பக்திப் பரவசத்தில் கண்ணீர் பெருகியதாம்!
  • உடலில் வலுவிருந்த நடுத்தர வயது வரை ரமணர் மலையெங்கும் மூலை முடுக்குகளெல்லாம் சுற்றித் திரிவாராம். மலையில் தம் கால் படாத இடமே கிடையாது என்று அவர் சொல்வதுண்டு.
  • அருணாசல மலைக்குள் ஒரு குகை உண்டு என்றும் அதில் பல அற்புதங்கள் உண்டு என்றும் அவர் சொன்னதுண்டு.
  • மலை மீது ரகசியமாய் ஓர் ஆல மரம் உண்டு என்றும், அதன் கீழ் அருண யோகி வடிவில் சிவபெருமான் தவத்தில் இருக்கிறார் என்றும் தல புராணக் கதைகள் உண்டு. ஒரு முறை மலையில் எங்கோ சுற்றுகையில் ரமணருக்கு அந்த ஆல மரம் தொலைவில் கண்ணில் பட்டதாம். அதன் அசாதாரணமான பெரிய இலை ஒன்றையும் அவர் கண்டாராம். ஆனால் அருகில் செல்ல முடியாமல் அவரை குளவிகள் தொடையில் கொட்டி, அவருக்கு மறதியை வர வழைத்து திசை திருப்பி அனுப்பிவிட்டனவாம்.
  • ரமணாசிரமத்தின் நிர்வாகத்தைப் பார்த்துக் கொண்டவர் சுவாமி நிரஞ்சனானந்தர். அவர் ரமணரின் சொந்த தம்பி. குடும்ப வாழ்வில் இறங்கி, ஒரு குழந்தை பெற்று, மனைவியை இழந்து பின் துறவரம் மேற்கொண்டவர் அவர்.
  • ரமணாசிரமத்தில் எந்த ஒரு தேவை ஏற்பட்டாலும் அதை யாரேனும் ஒரு பக்தர் கொண்டுவந்து தரும் சம்பவங்கள் ஏராளம் உண்டு. கனவின் மூலம் தாம் அதைக் கண்டு தேவையானதைக் கொண்டு வந்ததாக பக்தர்கள் சொல்வார்கள்.
  • ரமண பக்தர்கள் வாழ்வில் பல அற்புதங்கள் நிகழ்ந்ததுண்டு. ரமணர் அவற்றுக்கெல்லாம் பொறுப்பேற்க மாட்டார்! அப்படி நிகழ்ந்தது Divine Automatic action என்று சொல்லி பேச்சை மாற்றிவிடுவாராம்.
  • கணபதி சாஸ்திரி ஒருமுறை சென்னை திருவொற்றியூரில் நோய்வாய்ப் பட்டு படுக்கையில் இருந்தபோது அவர் ரமணரைப் பிரார்த்திக்க, ரமணரின் திவ்ய தரிசனம் அங்கே அவர் கண்ட நிகழ்வு உண்டு.
  • மனிதர்கள் மட்டுமின்றி குரங்குகள், நாய்கள், மயில்கள், பசுக்கள், காக்கை, குருவிகள், அணில்கள் என்றெல்லாம் அவரது அண்மைக்காகப் போட்டி போட்டன; அவர் அன்பைப் பெற்றன.
  • ரமணரது ஆசனத்திலேயே கூடுகட்ட விரும்பும் அணில்கள் இருந்தன. அவர் திருமேனியில் ஓடி விளையாடின. அவர் கரங்களிலிருந்து முந்திரிப்பருப்பைப் பெற போட்டி போட்டன. அவரது அன்புக்குப் பாத்திரமான ஒரு நொண்டிக் குரங்கு குட்டி, பிற்காலத்தில் வளர்ந்து குரகுக் கூட்டத்துக்கு ராஜா ஆகியது!
  • (ரமணாசிரமப் பசு லக்ஷ்மியின் கதை, பக்தர்கள் பரவலாக அறிந்த ஒன்று. அந்த பசு லக்ஷ்மிக்கு ரமணர் முக்தி அருளினார்).
  • (ரமணரின் இறுதிக் காலத்தில் அவருக்கு சர்கோமா எனும் புற்று நோய் தாக்கியதும் அதனை நீக்க பல அறுவை சிகிச்சைகள் செய்தும் பலனின்றிப் போனதும் பலரும் அறிந்ததே).
  • ஆயுர்வேதம், யுனானி, சித்தா என்று பல மருத்துவ நிபுணர்களும் அவருக்கு சிகிச்சை செய்து பார்த்தனர். அதனால் அவர் நோய் கூடிற்றே தவிரக் குறையவில்லை.
  • அவர் “ஏதொன்றும் செய்ய வேண்டாம்” என்று சொன்னாலும் பக்தர்கள் கேட்கவில்லை. எனவே அவர் யார் என்ன வைத்தியம் சொன்னாலும் செய்தாலும் அவர்கள் திருப்திக்காக ஏற்றுக்கொண்டு எல்லா வேதனைகளையும் மௌனமாக சகித்துக் கொண்டார். ஒரு முறை அவர் மயக்க மருந்து ஏதும் ஏற்க மறுத்து அறுவை சிகிச்சை செய்துகொண்டதும் உண்டு.
Bhagwan Ramana – he underwent operation in his left arm several times to curtail a cancerous growth.
  • உயிர் பிரியும் கடைசி தருணம் வரை அவர் பக்தர்களுக்கு தரிசனம் கொடுப்பதில் கண்டிப்பாக இருந்தார்.
  • அவர் உயிர் பிரிந்த அதே கணத்தில் வானில் ஒரு பெரும் எரி நட்சத்திரம் ஆகாயத்தைக் கிழித்துக்கொண்டு திருவண்ணாமலையின் பின்புறம் மறைந்ததைக் கண்டவர்கள் ஏராளம் உண்டு.
  • அவர் உடலை உகுக்கப் போவதைத் தாங்க மனமில்லாமல் அழுத பக்தர்களிடம் “நான் எங்கே போவேன்? இங்குதான் இருப்பேன்” என்று சொன்னார். அவ்வாறே அவர் உடலை உகுத்த பின்னரும் ரமணாசிரமத்தில் அவர் சான்னித்தியம் குறைவர விளங்கிக்கொண்டே தான் இருக்கிறது என்பது ரமண பக்தர்களின் அனுபவம்.

இன்னும் சொல்லாமல் விட்ட சம்பவங்கள் பலவும் உண்டு.

மகாத்மாக்களின் வாழ்க்கை லீலைகளை நினைத்து நினைத்துப் பார்ப்பதே ஓர் ஆனந்தமான தியான அனுபவம் போலத்தான்.

ஓம் நமோ பகவதே ஸ்ரீ ரமணாய
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Amma’s stories on Nature of the human mind – Part 2

[If you have not read the previous 20 little stories of Amma under this topic, you can read them here:      Amma’s stories on nature of the human mind – Part 1]

1. Who will win?

Once a grandfather and his grandson went to visit a zoo. They were looking at the various wild animals kept in cages in the zoo.

At one place there were two lions, kept in two separate cages. One of them was rather sober and non-aggressive. When people came close to the cage or even risked extending a hand inside, the lion did not react. It seemed to be at peace with the people. On the other hand, the lion in the adjacent cage was very aggressive and ferocious.  If anybody came closer to its cage, it will roar and swing its front legs towards them to scare them away.

The grandfather asked the grandson, “Suppose these two lions were left to fight with each other, which one do you think would win?”

The grandson said, “Maybe the second one that looks very ferocious. I am not sure, though.”

The grandfather said, “One cannot be sure. But I can definitely say that the one which is constantly fed well will win”.

[Amma: “The thoughts that rise up in our minds too are similar; the more we feed our mind with evil thoughts, the more will they gain strength. Our mind will get filled with anger, egotism, etc and they would win over good thoughts “.]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki-Tamil – Vol 3)

2. Impossible to fill

Once a king was enjoying solitude in his garden. He was roaming around leisurely, enjoying the beauties of nature. He was in a very happy mood that day. At that time, the beggar somehow managed to sneak into the garden without the notice of the guards. He came in front of the kind and saluted him. The king was surprised to see a stranger there, looking impoverished and in tattered clothes. “Who are you? What do you want from me. Tell me quickly and leave this place. Don’t disturb my peaceful mindset now”.

The beggar said, “I am a poor beggar, your excellency. I just want one thing from you. Please rescue me from my poverty by filling my begging bowl totally”. The king took pity on him. As he was in a good mood that day, he called his Minister in charge of his treasury and said, “Please fill this beggar’s begging bowl fully with gold coins, gems and precious stones”.

But very surprisingly, whatever amount of pearls, gems and gold coins that the minister put into the begging bowl did not fill it fully. Things disappeared into the bowl and it could never be filled to the brim. Soon, an awkward situation came wherein the treasury became almost empty; there was no more gems and gold coins left in the king’s stock.

The king felt shocked and ashamed. He said to the beggar, “Please excuse me. I am unable to keep up my promise to you. I have given whatever I had in the treasury. I have no more wealth to drop into your begging bowl. Your begging bowl seems to be having magical powers.  May I know what is the secret behind this bowl?”

The beggar smiled and said, “Don’t feel bad, O King. Actually, this begging bowl is made of the skull of a human being.  Because of it, it has the typical tendency of humans who never get satisfied with what they get and keep on wanting more and more always.  It knows only one thing: “Not enough; want more”. However much you fill this begging bowl, it will never get filled up! It works exactly as the human mind”.

[Amma: “As long as desires exist, there is no peace of mind.  When one desire is satiated, the mind gets some joy, but it is only short living. The next moment, the mind will want more “.]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

2. Nagging doubt

A boy and girl from neighboring houses were playing together. The boy had some money with him and the girl had some chocolates with her.

The boy said to the girl, “I will give you some coins; will you give me some chocolates in exchange?”

The girl agreed.  The boy was cunning. He hid coins of higher denomination in his pocket and gave only low-valued coins to her. The girl gave him chocolates.

After a while, both of them returned to their respective homes. As the girl had no idea about the relative worth of coins, she was content to have a few coins in her possession. She went to bed and slept off peacefully.

At home, the was thinking “This girl must have kept costly chocolates hidden and given to me only cheap and low-quality chocolates.  Just like I hid costly coins, she too would have hidden high-quality chocolates.”  He could not sleep because of these thoughts.

[Amma: “Mutual trust is the basis on which any relationship can stand – whether it is the relationship between husband and wife, between two friends, or between business partners. Many times our own faults and limitations make us doubt others’ actions and motives; because of it, we fail to appreciate others’ love and affection and lose our mental peace and joy. “]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

3.  The play of the mind

[Amma:  “Children! Understand that the human mind is a big mystery, but not Atman. Actually, it is the mind that makes us think as if Atman is a mystery! The mind is full of confusion. It can confuse everything. Mind is falsehood. It is the mind that questions the truth of Atman. All your fears and doubts arise from the mind, which is the biggest liar!”]

Once there lived a great wrestler who could not be defeated by any other wrestler in his country. He lived as an undefeated champion for many years in his country. Naturally, it made him very proud, egoistic and arrogant.  He believed none existed in the world who could challenge him and hope to win.

One day, a wrestler from another country visited his country.  He challenged the native wrestler for a combat. It became huge news. The native wrestler immediately agreed to the challenge. A day was fixed for the competition. The whole nation virtually became curious to know who would ultimately win the combat. It was a matter of prestige for the native wrestler.

The day of the competition arrived. An uncontrollably huge crowd had gathered in the venue to watch the combat. The native wrestler looked bigger and stronger in front of the challenger from the other country. The match began. The combat was really tough. The surcharged crowd soon got split into two groups — one cheering the native wrestler and the other shouting for the win of the challenger. As round after round proceeded, the competition was becoming tougher and tougher. If one of them had an upper hand in one round, the other one emerged stronger in the next round. Finally, the visiting wrestler defeated the native in the final round conclusively.

The crowd shouted in jubilation appreciating and cheering the visiting wrestler. The crowd also mocked and jeered at the loser for his humiliating defeat. The old champion gathered himself up and got up. With a deep sense of shame, humiliation and defeat he departed the venue limping.

Even after moving farther away from the venue, the sound of people jeering him kept reverberating in his ears. Utter dejection and hatred welled up in his heart. His mind was in total turmoil. At this stage, he woke up from his sleep!

“Oh! Is it all just a dream?” — he was shocked. He rose up from his bed. Despite knowing that it was just a nightmare, his mind did not regain peace. It was full of worry and confusion. Like a caged lion, he walked to and fro in his bedroom, rewinding the happenings in the dream again and again.

He started feeling more and more that what he saw in his dream were indeed real. He wanted to take revenge on his opponent. ‘How shall I defeat my enemy?’ He kept thinking again and again. ‘Oh, God! I have lost everything; my reputation has fallen to dust. How will I ever show my face outside hereafter? None will show any respect to me hereafter; How will I live hearing the mockery of people all the time? Isn’t it better to die, rather than to live in such a miserable way? I should definitely take revenge of the rascal who defeated me in the competition…’ He kept on thinking like that. He pulled his hair in anger; he walked like a mad man here and there.

Very gradually it dawned to him that it was meaningless to succumb to such an emotional turmoil created by a dream. Slowly and steadily, he started to gather his wits; his mind became calmer and calmer. Now it was very clear to him how foolish he was to get worked up like this based on a dream. “Oh, God! What happened to me! What a fool I have become! Just based on a figment of imagination of mind through a dream, I went through so much mental agony. something that never happened at all!” with this thought he went back to bed.

[Amma:  “Children! Like this champion, we all too are immersed in a dream called the waking stage. It is indeed a dream of a longer duration enacted by our past experiences and thoughts. It is our mind that creates this ‘long dream’ too. In our present state, we believe this long dream too to be real. We are yet to wake up from this dream!”]

5.  The play of the mind (2)

[Amma:  “Mind has two powers called ‘Avaranam’ – the power to hide and ‘Vikshepam’ – the power to create. The mind first hides the true state of things. Then it creates an image contradictory to the true state of things. That’s why Amma calls the mind a great liar”.]

Once a person was walking through a forest. It was evening and the twilight was getting dimmer. He was finding it difficult to find his path. Suddenly, he felt something biting at his toe. He lifted up his leg to touch and feel what happened. He noticed a small pieced mark on the skin and a little blood oozing out from it. As he gazed a nearby bush there, he noticed a snake there. He was thoroughly shaken by fer. He believed that it was the snake that had bitten him.  He started shouting: “Oh! Is there anybody around? Help me, help me! I have been bitten by a poisonous snake; please somebody take me to the nearest doctor!”

He kept on crying like this in full throat for a while. Soon he got tired; his head started spinning; he felt he was swooning. He sat down and continued to shout for help.

In a short while, a person came by the path with a lantern in his hand. He asked what happened. The person said, “I am afraid I have been bitten by a snake; I am dying; will you please take me immediately to a doctor?”

The person said, “Don’t worry; I will help you. Now tell me when and where the snake bit you”.

The person said, “When I came near this bush, a snake bit me at my toe; see, the snake is still there at the bush!”. The person came closer, lifted up his lantern to inspect the bush closely.

He then smiled and said, “You see, this is a thorny bush. See there in the light; what you saw as a snake is just a piece of rope and not a snake. One of the thorns in the bush must have pieced your toe when you walked here. Now that things are clear, there is no need to panic. Just relax!”

The man looked at the rope. It was quite clear that it was not at all a snake! His palpitation and dizziness came to an end instantly and he felt relieved and relaxed!

[Amma:  “This is how our mind cheats us. The mind first hid the rope — the truth. Then it created the snake on it. The rope (truth) — the atman, is hidden by your mind through its imagination by creating a non-existent snake, based on its past impressions. That’s how Atman is superimposed by the world of differences.  Atman is obscured by our thoughts. When a satguru lights up the lamp of true knowledge, the delusion goes. You realize your atman by personal experience and attain peace.”]

6.  The play of the maya

Once a poor young man was sitting at the bank of a river and idling away his time. Then, an elephant carrying a garland in its trunk came there. It was followed by a huge crowd. The elephant put the garland on the youth’s neck.

Since the king of the country died without an offspring, it was the practice of the country to select the next king by sending the royal elephant with garland and whosoever the elephant garlands would become the king.

Thus the youth became the king of the country all of a sudden. The king’s young daughter too was married off to the new king.

Thus the young king was thoroughly enjoying his new life to the full.

One day, the new king along with his queen got on to a royal horse and drove to the top of an adjacent hill for time-pass. As they were about to reach the summit, there came a sudden storm and the wind started blowing very powerfully. The horse lost its balance and all the three fell down the slope of the hill. They rolled and rolled down hitting boulders and rocks. The king somehow managed to get hold of a tree branch while the horse and the queen rolled down further and died.

The king then carefully jumped down from the tree;  when he landed and looked around, there was no hill, no horse or queen. What he saw was that he was lying on the mud floor of a hut adjacent to his cot. He could only see the mud walls and a thatched roof. He understood that he was still a poor young fellow, lying in his own hut, waking up after a daydream. His heart was still pounding on account of the dream.

[Amma:  “Everything that the young man experienced in his dream was real to him as long as he was immersed in the dream.  We too are in the same state as this youth, in reality. We are dreaming that this world and all our worldly possessions and worldly experiences are real and we keep running behind them.  This is the play of maya.  We are caught in this dream world of Maya and only when we truly wake up from it, we can understand the  unreality of all”. Then, successes and failures won’t affect us.”]

(Source: Amritam gamaya – Malayalam  – Vol 2)

7.  Resolution?

Once there was a temple where once in a week many devotees gathered in large numbers and did japa, prayer and meditation without partaking food. A monkey saw this and thought “all these people undertake fast and pray to seek lord’s grace. Why shouldn’t I too do it?”

On the next session of fasting and prayer, the monkey arrived at the temple early in the morning. He sat under a tree, closed his eyes in order to meditate. Immediately a thought came in its mind: “I have never undertaken fast in my whole life. Suppose at the end of the day when I complete my fasting and meditation, what will happen if I feel so week that I won’t be able to stand up or walk? Should I die under this tree then? Is it not better to find a tree full of fruits and undertake my austerity under it? In such case, I need not run around in search of food”.

He got up immediately, searched for a tree with fruits, located one, and then sat under it to resume its meditation. After a short while, the monkey thought, “What will happen if, at the end of fasting, I become too weak to even climb this tree? Will it not be better if I climb on it right now and sit in a branch to do my meditation?”

He immediately climbed on to the tree, sat in a branch and closed his eyes. Now another thought came into his mind, “What if I feel too weak even to pluck a fruit? Is it not better to keep a fruit in my hand and meditate?” He did so immediately and again closed his eyes.

Now he started feeling very hungry. “I have never eaten such big and ripe fruits in the recent past. Why not eat the fruit right now and do the fasting and meditation on some other day?”

The next moment he was munching the fruit and relishing it thoroughly!

[Amma:  “Most of us are like this monkey. Our mind will keep on generating reasons after reasons for postponing things that we ought to do for our wellbeing.  We must use our intellect and acquire a firm determination to work on our aspirations keeping our goals clear. ‘Whatever hurdles I come across, I will not lose my heart and proceed firmly and strive my best to reach my goal’ — if one has such a firm resolution, he is sure to reap success in his endeavors.”] 

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 2)

8.   Better sleep!

Once a father took his young son to a local Shiva Temple for spending the night there on Maha Shivaratri. Lots of people had gathered there and were engaged in archana, japa and so on. But there were also many people who were dozing off due to tiredness and aging.

Noticing this, the son commented, “What is the point if they come to temple on Maha Shivaratri and sleep like this instead of keeping awake the whole night? What sort of bhakti is this?”

The father said curtly, “It is better to doze off like this than to find fault with others and criticize them.”

[Amma:  “Because of our own weaknesses and lack of shraddha, we tend to find fault with others.  My children should not forget this reality. It also shows how our mind is always roaming out instead of turning inward. Those who find fault with others can never see their own weaknesses nor make efforts to correct them.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 2)

9.   Who is in control?

Once, in a fair, a horseman was offering horse rides for little children as entertainment and making a living out of it.

A small boy came there to watch it. He was very much attracted to seeing children joyfully riding at the horseback with the horseman sitting with them and holding them safely.

The poor boy had no money to pay to the horseman and hence he had no means to have his share of fun. While he was standing there and watching it, the horseman tied the horse to a post and left the place for a while to have his lunch.

The curious boy wanted to make use of this opportunity to try and have a free ride on the horse on his own. He went to the post, untied the horse and managed to climb over the horseback.

The horse did not quite like it. It started jumping around and ran here and there, trying to unsettle the boy and throw him to the ground. The boy panicked but somehow managed to grip the horse’s neck and did not fall down. The horse kept running. Watching this boy riding the horse, one of his friends shouted: “Hey! How did you manage to control the horse and make it run?”

The boy shouted back: “I simply don’t know. You better ask the horse!”

[Amma:  “This is precisely our state of affairs. The horse in this story is our mind. Instead of keeping our mind in our control, we are actually in the control of our mind!”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 2)

10. Hasty judgment

Once a mother came back from the office. She noticed her seven-year-old daughter standing with one apple each in her hands.  The mother affectionately asked her, “Will you give me one, my baby?”

The daughter looked at her mother’s face for a while; then she looked at both the apples in her hand.  Then she bit the apple on her right hand; hastily she bit the other apple in her left hand.

The mother was very disappointed. She felt her daughter was too selfish and had no mindset to share her apple even with her mother. She found it difficult to control the expression of disappointment on her face.

The next moment, the girl extended her right hand and offered the apple to her mother saying, “Ma, this one is sweeter than the other; take this!”

Even for a mother, the discernment to grasp her daughter’s guileless love was missing, though for a brief time.

[Amma:  “From this story, we can understand to what extent we can err in judging others. However much we have knowledge and experience, we must be very careful in not hastily judging others or finding fault with others.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Part 2)

11. Innate Nature

Once there lived a blacksmith in a village in the Himalayas. He used to make use of large stone in adjacent his shop to bend steel rods. One morning when he went near it, he noticed a snake lying curled up there. The next day too he noticed it still lying there. Since it was extremely cold, the snake was lying, almost frozen there. The blacksmith took pity on the snake and took it inside his shop. He offered milk to it for drinking. Leaving it to lie there, he started the day’s work. He ignited his furnace and started to heat a steel rod there. Gradually, his shop became warm.

While he was working on the rod, the tip of it accidentally touched on the snake. Suddenly the snake lifted up its hood and tried to bite the blacksmith.

All along, as the snake was lying outside in the cold, it was not showing any aggressiveness that made the blacksmith wrongly assume that the snake was nonviolent and would not harm anyone. But once the snake got warmth from the heat of the furnace inside the shop, its innate nature got manifested.

[Amma:  “In a similar way, when we engage ourselves in intense spiritual practices, we somehow succeed in making our mind calm and composed. But when we engage ourselves back in regular activities, our inborn vasanas (like anger, greed, etc) come out again. Sadakas must be careful enough in not getting exasperated with this nature of human mind, but develop the necessary strength to fight out the vasanas and succeed.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 2)

12. 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 traveling on 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 on the ship panicked. The rich man too started praying to God frantically like everyone else on 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 travelers reached the shore safely.  However, the rich man was in 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)

13.  Habits die hard

A person served in the military for 30 years. He got retirement, returned to his native village and settled there. One day, he went to the shandy. He bought a large potful of milk. Carrying it on his head and holding the pot with both of his hands, he was returning home.

On his way, a few local boys, who knew that he was an ex-military man, shouted mischievously “Attention!”

Having heard this command umpteen times and getting so much used to obeying it as a military person for the past 30 years, the man instantly stopped walking, joined both his legs together, brought both his hands down to touch his thighs and stood straight. The milk pot held on his head safely by his hands so far toppled and fell onto the ground. The pot broke into pieces and all the milk was lost.

The boys laughed aloud and ran from the place.

[Amma: “From this story, we can understand that even seemingly insignificant acts, if done mechanically out of habituation, can bring us misery.  It that is the reality, what to speak of evil habits that we acquire? If we are caught into evil habits, no need to mention the amount of misery they are sure to bring in our lives later.”]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 1)

14. Overcoming Laziness

Once the owner of a Circus company was in possession of two well-trained falcons. The falcons fly in pair and do several acrobatic movements in the air to entertain the audience.

Once the Circus owner went to meet the king of his country. He took his two falcons with him to give them as his present to the king. He arranged a demonstration of the falcons’ flying skills in front of the king and the king was very impressed. He gladly accepted the pair as a present.  He immediately arranged a caretaker for the falcons; the caretaker arranged an exclusive place for the falcons to stay. A wooden rod was placed at a high level from the ground for the falcons to rest. He fed them regularly and took good care of them.

Soon, one of the falcons got comfortable in the new surrounding and consequently became very lazy too. When, one day, the king wanted to witness their flying show, only one of the falcons flew in the air; the other one stayed put and continued to doze off sitting in the rod.  The king thought that the falcon might be sick. He called expert veterinarian doctors to attend to it. But they could not make the falcon fly. The huge gathering of people got disappointed.

At that time, one old farmer came close to the king and said, “Your excellency, shall I make a try, to make the falcon fly?”

The king was not very hopeful, yet he allowed the farmer to try and he left the place to return to his royal bedroom to rest. But soon, he heard a huge cheering noise from the gathering. He looked out from the window and noticed that both the falcons were now flying. The second one was in fact flying higher than the first one and they were demonstrating wonderful flying patterns and acrobatics!

The king was very surprised and happy. Once the show was over, he called the old farmer to reward him for his service. He asked, “What treatment did you do to make the falcon fly?”

“I did nothing, Maharaj,” he said. He continued: “I simply went to the place where the falcon was resting and swiftly cut the rod in which it was sitting. The falcon started falling towards the ground; it immediately awoke from its slumber and started flying!”

[Amma: “The nature of the human mind is to look for the comfort zone and settle in it in order to avoid exertion. That’s how laziness settles in.  At times, forceful disassociation from the comfort zone would be needed to overcome laziness and make the mind active again.”]

(From Amma’s Satsang on 12/12/2020)

15. The damage envy could do 

 

Mohan and Krishnan were close friends.

Krishnan acquired a new friend and he started spending quite some good time with the new person. Mohan felt very possessive about his friendship with Krishnan and hence he was jealous of the new friend. One day, he went to meet the new friend and said to him, “I know you feel very close to Krishnan; but please be careful about him. He has a strange disease. Never sleep with him in the same room. If he wakes at midnight, he will bite the ear of the person next to him till blood starts coming.” 

The new friend was scared hearing this.

After a few days, Mohan went to Krishnan and said, “I heard something very fishy about your new friend. It is better to be careful about him. It looks he has strange disease by which, if he wakes up at midnight, he will immediately bite the ear of the person next to him.”

A few months passed. Krishnan and his new friend had some business in another town and they had to stay at night in a lodge together. Both of them remembered what Mohan had warned.  

They could not sleep because each of them was scared about the other person getting up at midnight and biting the ear.

At midnight, Krishnan got up to go to the bathroom. His friend noticed it and he got scared. He did not want to allow Krishnan to do any harm to him. He decided to act proactively and catch hold of the friend and bite his ear first. So, he got up and pounced over Krishnan. Krishnan thought that the friend was coming to attack him and bite his ear. 

He immediately caught hold of him and attempted to bite his ear first. Thus both of them started fighting with each other and banging their heads in order to bite the other person’s ear! 

(From Amma’s satsang on : 18/12/21)

Some Core teachings of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa

Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa’s teachings virtually cover the entire gamut of Hinduism and its various facets. It is very difficult to consolidate his core teachings to a few lines. Anyhow I will make a humble try:

  • The purpose of Human life is to realize God.
  • One must strive to realize God in this very birth.
  • Knowing God is the real knowledge. All other other knowledge is ignorance.
  • Without sacrificing Kamini and Kanchana (lust and gold) no spiritual progress is ever possible.
  • Yat mat, tat pat – “As many religions, so many paths”. In attaining God, every religion is valid.
  • God is with form, without form and He could manifest in so many other ways too, beyond our comprehension.
  • An idol is not just clay. God’s consciousness manifests in it. Doesn’t God know that when you worship an idol, you are only worshiping Him?
  • God can be seen. If you yearn for God with the same intensity of the following three yearnings combined, you can see God — The love a miser has for his wealth, the love a mother has for her child and the love a chaste wife has for her husband. If you become so desperate as a person pushed deep into water gasping for air, you can have the vision of God.
  • Brahman (God) and its Shakti are not two different entities (Like fire and heat; like milk and its whiteness and like a snake and its zigzag movement).
  • Who can ever comprehend and explain God fully? If one aspect of him is great, another aspect of him is greater.
  • God and his name are not different.
  • For this Yuga, Bhakti (devotion) is the best means to attain God.
  • Bhakti (devotion) is the easiest of way attain to God.
  • Pure mind, pure intellect and pure Atman (Self) are one and the same
  • What a devotee calls as Kali, what a Yogi calls as Paramatman and what a Jnani calls as Brahman are one and the same.
  • Association with Sadhus (Satsang) is the best means to acquire spiritual wisdom.
  • God’s message comes to people through Avatars
  • Seeing God and seeing an Avatara Purusha are one and same. Avatars are not limited to ten. Srimad Bhagavatam says there are 24 avatars, even more avatars and also avatars are beyond count.
  • Whatever love and care people receive (through parents or others) is nothing but God’s love.
  • Social service? Uplifting the world? Who are we to help others? Is the world too small for us to help and uplift it? It is the work of God. By trying to help the world, you are indeed helping yourself. See every being as a form of God and do service to them humbly as if a worship.

We can go on with more, but let me stop with the above.

(Source: Sri Ramakrishnarin amutha mozhikaL – Tamil)

Amma’s stories on Unselfishness, Compassion & Sacrifice – 4

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)

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