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Humorous stories from Amma – Part 6 (15 more stories)

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

1.  In times of Corona!

Once a man, who was confined to his house on account of Corona Virus lockdown for weeks together got terribly bored and frustrated. He was longing to go out and roam in the streets freely.

He heard the voice of a vegetable seller outside his house. The man rushed out. There a vegetable seller was on the street and was pushing his cart-load of vegetables to sell door to door. The man went near him and asked: “Do you have the licence to sell like this?”

“Yes; of course. I have got the permission letter from the municipal corporation” said the vendor.

The man spoke to him nicely: “Good. Now I will make an offer to you. I invite you into my house and you can relax under the fan and watch TV. I will ask my wife  to serve you food and refreshments.  Instead of roaming in the hot sun like this, you can take rest. I will take the cart on your behalf and sell your vegetables for the next two hours. I will hand over all the collections to you without any commission for me.  Will you please agree?”

The vendor said: “No. Sorry. I will not. I cannot”.

The man said, “Why, why? I am only trying to help you in good will. If you want I can even pay extra to you from my pocket over and above the sales proceeds”.

The vendor said: “You see, I live in the next street. I am not the vegetable seller. The original vegetable seller is relaxing in my house. I have taken this cart from him for hire for a couple of hours!”

(From Amma’s Covid-19 message-2 dt 30/5/2020)

2.  An useful tip to handle Corona!

Once a town under the care of a municipal Corporation was heavily infested with rats. People were suffering a lot and whatever they did in their homes to eradicate the rats did not work out. Pressure was mounting on the Municipality to tackle the issue on war footing to eliminate the rat menace.

The municipal administration formed a committee named “Task force for elimination of rats”. The committee members met frequently and initiated several measures to eradicate the rats. As time passed none of their techniques worked and the rate menace continued.

The municipality then renamed the comittee;” Taske force for containment of rat menace”. They continued to take steps but the rat problem continued to increase unabated.

Finally, the committee was renamed: “Task force for peaceful co-existence with rats” !

(From Amma’s Covid-19 message-2 dt 30/5/2020)

3.  Wrong way to learn

Once a man was very keen to learn yoga. But he was too lazy to  look for a Yoga Guru and he was also not willing to spend money for learning. He came to know that someone was teaching yoga in a local FM radio broadcast.

He tuned his radio to the radio station. A teacher was giving detailed stage by stage instruction for a particular yoga. The man decided to try it right away.

The voice said. ” Sit comfortably on a mat on floor in cross legged posture”. The man already knew how to sit so and he did.

“Now bend down, carefully lift your left leg and place your ankle behind your neck” said the voice.

It was rather difficult to do it, but the man was enthusiastic enough to try and succeed in placing his leg as instructed.

“Now carefully lift your right leg and place right ankle too behind your neck” said the voice.

The man found it even more difficult to do it. His neck and left leg were already aching. But he did not want to call it quits so quickly. With lots of effort he managed to place his right leg too as instructed. Every part of his body was aching now. He found it difficult to breath. He was desperate to unlock his legs but he could not do it easily. He was frantically waiting for the next instruction.

“The next step for this yoga will continue same time, tomorrow. Please stay tuned to Fitness for Health FM Channel at 84.7 FM. Have a good day!” said the voice the the program ended!

[Amma: “Yoga should always be learned in person from a qualified yoga teacher.”]

(From Amma’s talk on International Yoga Day 21/6/2020)

4.  Poor memory!

[Amma: “It is not just enough if we develop skills. We should also have the capacity to keep our mind in peace under all circumstances. If not, even the existing skills will not be useful at crucial junctures.”]

Once a young man who was a graduate, went to attend a job interview. Since it was his first job interview, he was extremely under tension.

The interviewer started the conversation with  simple question: “What is your name?”

Because of his tension, the youngman was dumbstruck for some time. Then he started biting his nails. The interviewer noticed that he was singing a song in an inaudible voice to himself.

He asked: “Why aren’t you saying anything? I asked just your name!”

The youngman said, “Just a moment sir. I am singing ‘Happy birth day to you…” song inside. I know my name will come at the end of the song and I can tell you then” .

 

(From Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

6.  Right words, wrong time!

Once a husband and wife used to fight with each other almost on a daily basis. The fight normally would start at night when the husband took his dinner. The husband never liked any of the dishes cooked by the wife and he was always vocally critical about it. The wife would get very upset with his remarks and that would trigger the fight between them.

One day, the husband was talking with his neighbor. The neighbor gave a friendly counselling: “You see, I am hearing you and your wife fighting daily. This is too bad. Rest of your life would become totally miserable if you go on and on like this. Don’t keep on criticizing your wife’s cooking. Just for  change, you throw some appreciation on her cooking one day. That will make her happy and perhaps she would start cooking with much more care in order to get more appreciation from you. This way, you will regain mental peace”.

The idea appealed to him. That night, when he sat for his dinner, he remembered the friend’s advice. As he tasted one item after other, he kept on saying “Oh! This dish tastes very nice; this one is so good; this is wonderful…” and so on.

But instead of brightening up, his wife’s  face turned red in anger.

But the husband did not notice her facial expressions. As he was about to finish, he asked “Can you serve some more of these stuff; I really enjoy eating them today”.

That was the last straw. The wife blew up in anger. She started throwing all the vessels here and there. The husband was totally taken aback by her reaction.  He asked, “What is wrong with you? All along I have been criticizing your cooking, but today appreciated every food stuff that you served; I ate them all and even asked for more. Still why are so so angry? Why are you breaking the vessels?”

The wife said, “You have proved once again that you don’t like my cooking.  I was not feeling well today and I did not cook the food. Since you would come hungry from the office, I ordered food from the restaurant and kept them ready for you. You enjoyed every item bought from Hotel. It proves you don’t like my cooking at all”.

[Amma: “Children, our efforts have limits. It is divine grace that is essential to make the effort fruitful.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

7.  Hence proved!

[Amma: “Many people ask ‘Is there really a God or no?’. As long as one’s analysis is within the precepts of creation, one can never understand the secret behind creation. Only when we transcend beyond creation, we can understand the secret of the creation. For that a basic requisite is a faith in a Creator (God)  who is beyond creation.”]

Once a teacher was teaching the theory of evolution to his students.

He called a student named David and asked: “David do you see the tree outside the class room through the window?”

“Yes, I see it” said David.

“Now, go out and look up. Let me know whether you see the sky”.

David went out, came back and said, “Yes, I saw the sky”.

“Did you see God there?”

“No”.

The teacher said beaming: “That is my concept. There is no God. How can you believe something that you can’t see?”

Hearing this, a girl stood up and said, “Teacher, may I ask a few more questions to David?”

The teacher agreed.

“David, do you see the trees outside?”

“Yes, I see them”

“Do you see the grass?”

“Yes. I see”.

“Do you see the sky?”

“Yes. I see”

“Do you see our teacher?”

“Yes, I see”

“Do you see his brain?”

“No,  I don’t see his brain”.

“Then, as per the concept taught by our teacher today, he does not have brain!”

[Amma: “Students of science first believe what the text books contain and what the teacher teaches. Then they can do experiments in lab and get first hand experience of what was taught to them. Likewise, we should first believe what our Rishis have told about god  based on their personal experience. Then we too should undertake sadhana based on the teachings received from Guru. Then we too can experience God. “]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

8.  Same place!

Once four villagers engaged a motor boat to go deep into a forest through the river to cut a few trees and bring them back to their place for sale.

After travelling into the forest, they got down at an appropriate place. While the boatman waited at the bank of the river, the villagers went into the forest to cut well grown trees of their choice. After clearing the leaves and branches, they carried huge logs of  four tree trunks one by one and brought it to the place where the boat was kept.

The boatman saw the logs and said, “These are too huge and heavy. I can at the best take three logs in the boat, along with you four people”.

But the villagers argued with him: “No, no! It won’t be a problem at all. Last year too we came to cut the trees and we transported four logs in a similar boat like this”.

“Are you sure? Were those logs of wood so big as these?” asked the boatman.

“Yeah, we are quite sure; don’t worry!”

The boatman reluctantly allowed them to load the four logs into the boat. He started the boat. They would have hardly moved by a kilometer or so, but the boat was unable to pull the load; it started to gradually sink in water and soon the boat capsized along with all the load.

With lot of difficulty, the four villagers along with the boatman managed to swim across the river and reach the bank nearby.

After resting for a while, one of the villagers asked “Do we know where we are now?”

One of them climbed over a huge rock nearby, looked around and exclaimed: “Hey! This place is quite familiar to me! We are hardly away by about hundred meters from the place where our boat capsized last year!”

[Amma: “Experiences are of no use if we do not learn our lessons from them”.]

(From Amma’s Guru Purnima message 5/7/2020)

9.  The lost key!

Once a man brought his young boy to the doctor and said, “Doctor, my son has swallowed my suitcase key! Please help”.

The doctor asked, “When did it happen?”

The man said, “He swallowed it some 10 days ago, doctor”.

“Wh…what? 10 days ago? Why are you bringing him only now?” asked the doctor in a shocked tone.

“We had a spare key with us and hence managing with it all these days, doctor. But today we lost the spare key too and could not locate it despite searching it everywhere. We are badly in need of opening the suitcase, doctor. Please, help us!”

(From Amma’s Guru Purnima message 5/7/2020)

10 .  Mala?!

Once a guru advised one of his new disciples to go to the top of the adjacent hill and spend a few days in seclusion totally dedicating himself to doing japa.  He added, “Make sure to take ‘mala’ with you”.  His intention was that the disciple should use his japa mala (rosary) to do his japa.

After a couple of days, the guru went up the hill to meet his disciple in order to check how well he had progressed in his austerities in seclusion.

The disciple saw his guru coming. He ran to him and fell at his feet. “Welcome my master!” he said.

“How are you? Are you doing fine? Did you face any difficulty?”

The disciple said, “No master; I am perfectly comfortable here thanks to Mala and the cups of tea I get”.

“Tea? Where from do you get your tea?”

“Mala is preparing it for me, Master” saying so, he called out loud. “Mala! Master too is here. Please bring two cups of tea!”

His girlfriend named Mala came out of the hut nearby with two cups of hot tea in her hands!

[Amma: “Some times, some disciples interpret their guru’s teachings to their own convenience”.]

(From Amma’s Guru Purnima message 5/7/2020)

11.   The problem with the intellect

Once 3 persons who entered in to the territory of a terrorist king’s land were caught by securities. They were suspected to be spies. The king ordered them to be killed, by crushing them under a huge falling log. The 3 intruders pleaded for mercy, saying that they were innocent and had no spying role. The king said, “Okay. Put one by one at  the killing spot and let the wooden log fall. If by chance the log does not fall and fail to crush a person, let him be released.”

All the three men were taken to the punishment arena. One of them was first made to lie down on the floor. A massive wooden  log was hanging right above him at a about 15 feet height, held by hooks. Once the bell rang, the operatives were to release the hooks and the log should fall down. The man was trembling with fear and he was praying feverishly for God’s help so that the log did not get released. What a surprise! Due to a mechanical fault, the hook did not release and the log never fell down. He was allowed to get up and go! The man ran from the spot with uncontrollable joy.

Now the second person was made to lie down. Again the hooks failed to release the log and he was also saved.

Finally the third person came and lied down. He happened to be an Engineer. Upon noticing that the hooks were not releasing, he immediately understood what the technical hitch was. He called the operatives and gave them instructions on  how to resolve it so that the hooks could release the log. The operatives did the correction and the log promptly  fell on the Engineer and crushed him to death!

12.   No problem!

[Amma: “When we face difficulties in life, we have the capacity to stand apart  and watch it without getting deeply agitated, but most of us are not able to practice it under all circumstances.  It is always easy for us to watch and analyse other’s problems dispassionately. But when it comes to our own problems, we invariably fail to step aside and look into them with an eye of a witness”.]

Once a businessman was in an important meeting. To avoid any disturbances, he left his personal mobile with his driver outside the office.

After a while the businessman’s mobile rang and the driver took the call. It was the voice of the businessman’s wife and she said, “Right now I am doing shopping and I am calling from the jewelry shop. I found an extremely beautiful necklace here; I have never seen such an attractive necklace anywhere else in my life. But it is too costly. However, I just didn’t feel like getting out of this jewelry shop without buying it. THe money I had brought for shopping was not adequate. So, I used the Credit Card that you had given to me and paid the bill….”

“Oh, That’s good” said the driver.

“There is something more. As I was returning home, I just dropped into the Showroom of Mercedes Benz Cars. One of their latest model cars was very appealing to me. Since I had no money, I had to sell of a portion of our company shares online and got the money. I have bought the car too…” said she.

“That’s fine” said the driver.

“Oh! My love! You had never been so loving and caring like to day. I feel really blessed that I have got such a considerate husband in my life!!” so saying she cut the phone, even before the driver could attempt to intervene and  reveal to her that he was only the driver and not her husband!

After the meeting was over, the businessman came out . He asked the driver, “Was there any call on my mobile?” .  The driver narrated the whole matter. By the time he finished it, his boss fell on to the ground losing consciousness!

Whether the credit card was burdened with huge amount or whether the company’s shares were sold off,  it was of no matter of concern for the driver. But as for the businessman, it was a calamity.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

13.   Smart Broker!

Once a young man who wanted to get married sought help from a marriage broker. One day, the broker told the man about a suitable girl for him and asked him to come along with him to the house of the prospective bride to see her in person.

After seeing the girl both of them were returning. The broker asked.”Now tell me, Do you like the girl?”

The man said, “Are you mad? How do you think I will agree to marry her? Didn’t you notice that her eyesight was so bad?”

“Oh! That’s really a good thing in her. After marriage, suppose you come home late in the night, she won’t notice”.

“Not only that. She stutters while talking”.

“That too is for good. Because of this weakness, she would talk far less, unlike all other women. It is a blessing for you”.

“I also noticed that she is hard of hearing”.

“Oh!Why don’t you understand that it is indeed very advantageous to marry such a girl. She will not hear any rumours about you!”

The young man lost his patience. He shouted, “Over and above all these, she has a hunch back too!”

The broker said: “Brother, I feel pity on you. As I explained, she has so many good things in her that makes her fit to be the best wife for you; yet if you want to reject her just for a small fault like a hunchback, where on earth will you get  better wife than her?”

[Amma: “Our mind is just like this broker. The mind will always try to convince our body and intellect to yield to its desires. We can never underestimate the power of our mind. But it is indeed possible for us to bring this powerful mind under our control.  Discrimination and practice are essential to get control over the mind”.]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

14.   There is a purpose!

Once a man went for haircut to his regular barber shop. When he sat on the chair for cutting his hair, the barber said, “I happened to meet your mother in law yesterday.  She was mentioning that you are possessing lots of black money”. The man got very angry when he heard this.  “Did she say so? She is a wretched woman. She borrows money left and right from so many people but never repay them.  It has become my burden to pay them from my pocket and yet she is talking ill of me? Lier!” his anger did not subside even after uttering these words. He kept on talking ill of her. The barber was deeply engrossed in cutting his hair during this time.

When the man came to the barber shop next time and sat in the chair ready for cutting, the barber said, “Yesterday your mother in law said to me that you are not giving a single paisa to the family”. The man got worked up again and said, “What right that Thataka has to utter such nasty lies about me? Actually it is me who takes care of all her expenses; I am the one giving money for her food and clothing…” he continued to say nasty things about his mother in law further. The barber kept him busy in cutting his hair.

When the man visited the barber the next time, the barber just started to make some comments about his mother in law once again. This time,  the man stopped him and asked, “Why are you always talking about my mother in law. I don’t want to hear any more word about her”.

The barber replied, “You see, whenever I broach the subject of your mother in law, you get very angry and all your hairs stand straight; it makes cutting your hair easier for me. That’s why I talk to you about your mother in law!”

[Amma: “Our mind is just like a play toy in the hands of others. Others know what makes us angry and agitated. When somebody appreciates us, we feel elated; when somebody criticizes us, we get worked up. This way, our life is tied to the lips of others. When we get angry, jump up and create hell around us, it becomes an entertainment for the others”.  ]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

15.   Trustworthy Husband?

[Amma: “To have amity in family life, an important factor is the capacity to listen to each other.  Nowadays, nobody seems to have the patience or time to actively listen to others’ talking.”]

Once a woman was telling her friend: “Whatever secrets I tell to my husband will not get shared by him with anyone else. I am very sure about it”.

“Oh! You have got such a trustworthy husband! You must be proud of it!” Said the friend.

The woman said, “No. It is not like that. Whatever I tell my husband, he never listens to them keenly”.

(Source: Amritam Gamaya – Malayalam – Vol 2)

 

Humorous stories from Amma – Part 5 (15 more stories)

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

1. Angry Drunkard

Once a man got fully drunk and was returning home by walk at night. He was totally unsteady and he was simply swaying this way and that way with faltering steps. On his way, he tripped over a stone and fell into a pit. As he was trying to steady himself and wondering how to get out of the pit, suddenly there was a lighting in the sky; it lit up the place all around him for a second.

The drunkard shouted angrily, “Oh God! What are you doing to me? Are you laughing at me? You made me trip and fall into this pit and you are also taking a photograph of it! Don’t dare to play such jokes at me”

[Amma: “Most of us are like this drunkard. For all evils that befall on us on account of our faults, we tend to blame God!“]

(Amma Onam Satsang 10/9/19)

2. Super hit book, but…

Once there was a famous novelist, who had several novels published and were read and appreciated widely. He once thought of writing a non-fiction. He said to his friends, “I am planning to write a book titled Changing your life in 30 days“. His friends said, “Don’t venture into writing such books. You are already a famous novelist and you are making a decent income through your novels. People will not be interested in reading such a non-fiction from you. You will only be wasting your time”.

But the novelist did not heed to their advice. He spent time in writing and finishing the book. Soon a publisher came forward to publish the book and the contract was signed. The books got printed and widely distributed. After two 2 weeks, the writer got a call from his publisher who said, “Congrats! Your book proved  to be a superhit and within these 15 days 2 million copies have been sold; but there is a serious issue now…”

“What is it?”

“We are sorry that we overlooked a typo error in the book title. Instead of ‘Changing your life in 30 days’, we had printed the title as ‘Changing your wife in 30 days‘. Don’t worry, we are correcting it and releasing the fresh prints in the market.”

Subsequently after a couple of weeks, the publishers informed him that not a single copy of the book got sold after the title error was corrected!

(Amma Onam Satsang 10/9/19)

3. The outsider in the marriage party!

Once a lion was getting married and the the celebrations were in full swing. One group of lions were playing music and another group of young lions were dancing. Amidst them, suddenly a mouse joined and started dancing along with the lions!

One lion noticing this intruder questioned: “Hey! Mouse! How dare you come and dance along with the lions?”

The mouse replied: “why not? This is the marriage of my younger brother. Why shouldn’t I dance?”

“We are mighty lions and you are a mean mouse. How can a lion be your younger brother?” asked the lion.

The mouse replied: “I too was a lion once; I became a mouse after I got married”.

4. The best talk!

[Amma: “Some men behave with an idea that women are lower than them.  Such an attitude will only bring hardship to men.“]

Once a group of travellers were to cross a ferocious river running full with flood water.  There was only a weak and precarious wooden bridge to cross the river and the travellers walked through it. Unfortunately the bride could not bear the weight of the group. It gave away and many of them fell into the river. However, four persons including one female member of the group caught hold of a rope in the bridge at the last moment; they hung precariously from the broken bridge and they did not fall into the water.

But the rope too was old and weak.  it gradually and slowly started getting torn, as it could not bear the weight of four people. If only one of them could jump into the water, at least the rest can hang on and also manage to climb up. They started discussing this matter amid themselves. All of them felt that it was indeed essential that one among them should come forward to jump into water. Since there were three men, they felt unanimously that it would be better to sacrifice the woman so that they can escape. With that intent, they eagerly looked at the woman expecting her to do the plunge.

The woman felt that she could not escape this predicament. However, before jumping, she opted to deliver a lecture to the selfish men about the greatness of sacrifice. She started talking in a highly spirited voice about the importance of doing a selfless act in life, how a person sacrificing for the sake of others gets glory, gets a space in heaven and so on. Her discourse was highly impressive; the men who heard it with rapt attention could not control themselves to express their appreciation to the lady as she finished her talk. The clapped their hands together to demonstrate their appreciation.

No need to tell what happened next!

(Source: Amritam Gamaya -Malayalam  Vol 1)

5. Change of Role

Once a man prayed to Go: “My lord! My wife never understands the difficulties I am undergoing in my life. Acroos the whole day, I toil and suffer with my workload in my office; but she is staying at home and enjoying her life. Dear God, I have a wish. Please change our roles; let me become a housewife and let her become a male and attend the office.”

God accepted his prayers and assured him that he would do the same.

The next day, as he woke up he had become the female and his wife, a male.  For the erstwhile woman, now ‘new husband’ it was now enough if he wakes up at eight, take bath leisurely and get ready to go to office. But for the old husband, now the wife, it became inevitable to rise up early from bed.

She started preparing breakfast. She woke up the children and bathed them and forced them to eat breakfast. She had to sweep the house clean. Now it was time to make things ready to send her husband to office. She took out the dress for her husband to wear from the wardrobe, served him breakfast and sent him off. She took her children to school and dropped them there. on her way back, she went to the market and bought fresh vegetables. Immediately she had to wash the old clothes.

Once it was over, it was time to start cooking lunch. Suddenly it started raining. She had to rush out to gather the dresses hung outside in the open, bring them in and spread them for drying in the clothe lines inside the house. It was now evening and the children returned from school. She gave them snacks and milk and sat with them to do their homework. By that time, the husband returned from office; she had to serve him biscuits and tea.

She lit the evening lamps and spent time in chanting God’s names and doing prayers.  It was time to serve dinner followed by cleaning the utensils. Before going to bed, she had to arrange things for the next day’s routine.

Days went by this way. Thus the wife (the erstwhile husband) became very tired, weak and disillusioned on account of the never ending daily chores of a typical housewife. She prayed to God, “Oh dear lord; I have lost all my energy playing my new role as wife. Enough is enough. Please convert me back to my old husband role, please!”

God smiled and said, “Yes,  I will do it, but you have to wait at least for 10 months.”

“Why, why?” asked the woman.

“Because you are pregnant now” said the Lord and disappeared!

[Amma: “Most us are like the husband in this story. We always tend to compare ourselves with those better off than us and feel we are not as happy as they are.  But we should rather compare us with those who are leading a more difficult life than us and feel happy that we are so much better off than these people. Every person in this world is unique. Each person has a specific role to play which is not  same as the other. We must understand this and play our role to the best of our ability with self confidence. Only then we will get satisfaction out of our life.“]

(Source: Amritam Gamaya -Malayalam  Vol 1)

6. Hunger and spiritual philosophy

Once two sanyasis who are well versed in scriptures were travelling together on a pilgrimage by walk. Each of them carried food packet with them, which they would consume after taking bath in the morning. After walking for long, they finally ended at the bank of a river. It was already past noon and they were feeling extremely hungry and tired.
One sanyasi said, “Let me go first to take bath and return; you take care of our food packets lest some animals may come and snatch them away”.

He stepped in to the river for taking bath. The other sanyasi who was sitting at the river bank under the shade of a tree, felt too hungry to wait for bathing. He opened his food packet and started eating in a hurry. Unfortunately, his hunger could not be appeased by it; he thought for a while; then he took out the food packet of the other sanyasi and ate it too!

As the first Sanyasi came back after taking bath, he said, “you can go for bathing; Come back quickly so that we can eat. I am extremely hungry.”

When the second sanyasi came back after bathing, the first one asked angrily, “I was looking for our food packets and they are missing! What have you done?”

“Oh! I was feeling extremely hungry. I ate both of them”.

The former flared up: “How on earth can you eat my share? ”

The second sanyasi said, “Cool down brother! Why do you get excited so much? I am the atman residing in every being. Have you not read the scriptures properly. What does Lord Krishna say in Bhagavad Gita 15.14 — “Aham vaishvanaro bhutva, praninam dehamashritah…….” What does it mean? ‘I, becoming the subtle fire called Vaishvanara, in association with prana and apana vayus, digest all the four types of food’. That is precisely what happened. Don’t get agitated!”

The first sanyasi looked around him. He found a long piece of stick nearby. He took it in his hands and started beating the other. The second sanyasi cried in pain, “Hey, stop stop! Why are you hitting and hurting me like this?”

The first sanyasi said immediately, ” Cool down brother! Why are you shouting like this? Has not lord Krishna said in Bhagavad Gita 2.23 — “nainam chindanthi sasthrani, nainam dahati pavakah.…….” What does it mean? ‘No weapon can hurt the Atman, no fire can burn it, no water can wet it and no air can dry it’. You are that Atman! Don’t get agitated!”

[Amma: “Pundits can quote verbatim many things from scriptures with vanity, but it is not a measure of any spiritual attainment”.]

7. Changing the Capital

Once a man overheard a boy making prayers at the temple. The boy prayed, “Dear God, Please make China as the capital of America”. The man was bemused to hear such a prayer. He asked the boy, ” Why are you making such a prayer?”

The boy said, “Yesterday, while answering my exam paper I had written “China” as the capital of America. Subsequently I came to know that my answer was wrong. So, I am praying to God to make my answer right!”

[Amma: “What we need is a childlike heart and not childishness. Any prayer to God like this is childish”.]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki- Tamil – Part 2)

8. Expert speaker

Once a boy said to his friend, “My teacher is really a great intellect”.

“How?” asked the other boy.

“He is capable of talking for hours on any subject you give. Even if you give him a trivial subject, he can talk for 5 hours!”.

The other boy said, “If you say so, I would say, our neighbor is far greater speaker than your teacher. Even without any subject given, he can talk endlessly for days!”

[Amma: “Nowadays many orators who speak at gatherings are like that. In reality, there is no greatness in public speaking. It is not wrong in public speaking, but what is more important is to put words into practice. Nowadays, most of the talks are meant to give advice to others but never to follow in life.”]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Part 2)

9.  Ideal couple (?!)

Once there was a village where all the people lived harmoniously and  peacefully. The reason for this was attributed to a couple in the village, whose life of living without any conflicts or fights was an inspiration for the entire village. If there is some skirmish within any family, elders would say, “Look at that lady! How calmly and peacefully she is living with her husband? Have you ever heard of any bickering, angry exchange of words or fighting between the couples? See how affectionately do they life together. You must learn to be as patient as that lady”.

Hearing it, peace would return to the family. This way, the entire village remained peaceful.

The 30th marriage day of the couple happened to come. In order to celebrate it, the entire village gathered. Having heard about the reputation of the couple, people from Media too came to conduct an interview with the lady of the house. The interviewer asked, “We have heard that your husband was an extremely short tempered and would flare up even for little things before marriage; we also came to know that after marriage there was not even a trace of fight between you and your husband; May we know the secret behind it?”

The lady said, “There is no great secret about it.  Immediately after our marriage, we went on a sightseeing trek.  We took a donkey with us to carry our baggages and foodstuff. On our way, the donkey tripped and fell down. My husband did not like it. He ran to the donkey, twisted one of its ears and said, “You must be careful; this is my first warning to you”…

“We put the luggage back on the horse back and continued with our journey. After a couple of hours, the donkey tripped over a stone and fell down again. My husband got extremely angry. He caught hold of both of its ears, twisted them and said, “I had already told you that you must be careful. This is my second warning to you”….

“On our trekking we were  to climb and cross three hills; till we crossed two hills, there was no further problem from the donkey. As we were half way up the third hill, the donkey was extremely tired and exhausted.  It fell down again. This time my husband took out a pistol from his pocket and shot the donkey. The donkey died instantly…

“I could not digest what he did. I said, “Oh! what a sin you have committed! After all it is a hapless poor animal and how can you be so cruel to kill it like this?”…

“Hearing this, my husband came running towards me and caught hold of my ear. He twisted it and said, “You must be careful; this is my first warning to you. Understand?”

“I understood. Whenever something unpleasant happens between me and my husband, I could not help but think of the fate of the donkey. So, I invariably shut my mouth and maintain peace. This is the secret of my successful family life!”

[Amma: “Even though this is story is meant for humor and the virtue of patience that the lady developed was purely based on fear, there is indeed a value for it. If a crystal of diamond falls on excreta, we would still pick it up on account of its value”.]

10.  Pride

Once a Major in Army got promoted as Colonel. On the day of his taking charge, a person came to see him at his office.When he saw the person entering into his room, he swiftly took his telephone and started speaking “Hello, President Clinton? Any important news? Yeah, I took charge as colonel only today and there is lot of work to do and files to be studied. Please convey my inquiries to your wife; I will speak to you later as I am hard pressed for time…” He hung up,  looked at the visitor with pride and asked gravely, “Yes, what do you want?”

The visitor who was all along standing there with humility said, “Excuse me sir; I have come from the telephone department. This phone-set was provided afresh here yesterday; I have now come to give connection to it!”

[Amma: “Now who became a fool in this story? Perhaps on account of our false pride, we may look like fools on many occasions and we may not be aware of it; that’s all. If someone tries to project himself  as great in front of many people, he may become a fool in front of many”.]

11.  Test of boldness

Once a huge fire broke out at a place and several fire trucks rushed towards the location. The fire was raging so badly that the fire trucks were afraid to go near it.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, one fire truck rushed straight into the fire. This gave courage to other firemen and they followed behind. Soon they put out the fire.

The firemen were so proud of the bravery of that fireman who drove the leading vehicle right into the spot that they wanted to give him an award. They held a banquet in hi honour and expressed their appreciation. They asked him if he wanted anything.

He said, “Yes, I’d like to have the brakes fixed on my fire truck!”

(Matruvani – English – Jan 2020)

 

12.  What to do? It is Kali yuga!

[Amma: “In the Bhagavata Purana written thousands of years ago, it has been clearly stated how life in the Kali Yuga (the time period in which we currently live) will be topsy turvy in so many aspects. Many of these things are indeed happening right in front of  our eyes. It is written in Bhagavata that Forests will turn into households; houses will turn into shops; temples will turn to be places of entertainment; In Kali yuga, the father will eat the son and the son will eat the father (meaning that parents and their offspring will always be at loggerheads with each other). It is also written that women will look like men and men will look like women! It is also there to see nowadays; isn’t it?  Here is a story…”]

 

Once a middle aged man was travelling in a train. He was travelling to meet some of his acquaintances with the intention of finding a right partner for marriage to his daughter.

In the train, there was a woman and her son sitting at the opposite seat. The man entered into casual conversation with them. As they talked the man came to know of the educational qualification of the son, employment details and family background. The man liked the looks of the son and he felt he could be a right match for his daughter.

He broached the subject to the woman saying, “I have a daughter to be married off. It looks your son will be a right match for her; will you be interested in taking some steps on this matter?”

Hearing this, the woman flared up. “What do you mean? This is my daughter and not my son!”

The man was shocked. He said hastily, “Oh, I am extremely sorry madam; excuse me for my fault”.

He got an another angry retort from the other person now: “What do you mean by ‘madam’? I am a man!”

13.  Ideal husband?

Once a group of modern girls were discussing about marriage and their ideas about an ideal husband.

Once of the girls said, “According to me, Lord Shiva is the ideal husband”.

The other girls were very surprised to hear it. They asked how.

The girl said, “Lord Shiva has moon at his head. So there is no problem for light and no electric bill to pay for lighting.  He has Ganga river on his head. In the present days of water shortage, I will not have any problem for water; he wears only a tiger skin always. So, I don’t have the burden of washing his clothes. He takes his food by begging. Hence, I have no responsibility of cooking for him! So, I consider Lord Shiva as the perfect husband!”

(From Amma’s Sivarathri Satsang 21/2/2020)

14.  Happy old man?

Once a passerby noticed an old man sitting on a swing at the front yard of a house and joyfully swaying in the swing. He was so surprised to see the old man’s healthy looks that he wanted to know the secret. He went close to the old man and asked, “Sir, what is the secret of your good health?”

The old man said, “Oh! I smoke 6 packets of cigarettes a day;  I consume one barrel of whisky every week; I eat meat all the three times a day. And I never do any exercise!”

“I just cannot believe it! May I know how old are you?”

“Twenty six” said the “old”man.

[Amma: “Indulgence in narcotics and alcohol may help to forget the world and derive some temporary joys; People don’t understand that  on account of such habits, they are losing their vigor and vitality and causing damage to their health. Their health would deteriorate rapidly, they get geriatric faster and die early in life.  People who are to support the family and the country destroy themselves through these evil habits and cause suffering and agony to their dependents too”.]

(Source: Oliyai Nokki – Tamil – Vol 3)

15.  What if ?

Two wildlife photographers were walking through a forest.

All of a sudden, a huge lion jumped onto their path. The two photographers shook with fear.

One of them whispered to the other through the corner of his mouth, “Don’t move! Don’t even breathe! Stand as still as a statue. Remember what we read in that book? If we stand still and look the lion in the eye, it will leave us alone.”

The second man replied, “Yes, you’re right, buddy, we read it in the book. But has the lion read that book? The book is different from this reality. So let us try to run and escape!”

[Amma:Similarly, what we read in a book is different from real life. It is when we face real life situations that we learn.”]

(From Amma’s Covid-19 Talk on 10/52020)

What is Love? Where is love? How does love work? Does true love exist?

What is Love?

Love is an emotional feeling of attraction, closeness, intimacy, strong liking, and source of enjoyment to be together with someone or something.

Love can take different forms with different things and beings. Examples:

“I love coffee”; “I love my new dress” : “I love my native place” – these are to do with things.

“I love Ilayaraja songs; I love watching thriller movies”  – these are to do with abstract things.

“I love my dog”; “I love my cat”  — these are to do with living beings other than humans.

“I love my friend”; “I love the comedian Vadivelu” – these are to do with third persons

“I love my cousin brother; I love my brother in law” – These are to do with distant relatives.

“I love my mother/ sister/ son/ daughter/brother/ grandfather” – these are to do with blood relatives.

“I love that girl; I love that boy” – these are to do with a specific person of opposite sex with a marital or sexual intent in mind.

“I love my husband/ wife” – these are to do with existing intimate relations

“I love Lord Shiva; I love Lord Krishna” – this is bhakti – devotion to God.

It is quite obvious that the intensity of love, the reverberation of the joyful feeling that love generates is not same in the various categories of love that we saw above.

The love a boy develops on his girlfriend is not of the same frequency or intensity as the love the boy has on his sister. The love one has on his father is not same as the love one has on the pet dog. Strange it may seem, but the present day truth is that many people are able to love their pet dogs better than their fathers!

When it comes to love, all of us are both givers as well as receivers.  All of us, with varying degrees of intensity, are capable of giving love and receiving love. No one can constantly be giving love without getting back any love in return. No one can keep on receiving love without giving something back. Think of it: If pet dogs don’t reciprocate any love, no one will ever keep them at home!

What is the source of Love?

Where from does love spring? Why at all does a person express love to another? Why does a wife love her husband? Why do parents love their children?

According to Sanatana Dharma, God is the in-dweller in all beings. God permeates the entire creation. Even though each of us seem to have different personalities, our Self – Atman is one. It is like different beads of a necklace strung together in a single thread. It is like a single sun reflecting in hundred pots of water. Atman is that thread; Atman is the sun. Atman is Sat-chit-ananda – Existence-knowledge-bliss. It is the bliss of the atman that gets expressed in the form of love.

In the Hindu scripture Brihadarayanka Upanishad, The saint Yagnyavalkya says

 ‘A wife loves her husband not for his sake, but for the sake of her own Self.

‘A husband loves his wife not for her sake, but for the sake of his own Self.

‘You love the sons not for the son’s sake, but for the sake of your own self

‘You love wealth not for the the sake of the wealth, but for the sake of your own self

‘You love the cattles not for their sake, but for the sake of your own self……

Is love really pure?

It is really an uneasy question to answer.  At the highest ideal level, it is true, but at practical level it is not always so.

Behind every expression of love, there will always be some dose of selfishness lurking. Perhaps only in one human relationship – the relationship between a mother and her little child, the love may be closest to purity. It is so because, there is a divine dispensation behind it. This mother’s love on her little kid seems to be pre-programmed by the Higher Power for the continuation of progeny in the earth; it is the reality in animal kingdom too. Mother animals carry their intense love on their little ones through instinct. To a large extent, such an instinctive feeling of love exists in human mothers too which transcends any scientific analysis.

But, in the present times, it is a fact that even this motherly natural love is also is also getting a beating. Now a days, children are born out of mere sexual union without the sanctity or commitment of marriage; Children are born out of live-in relationships; Children are born out of deteriorating husband-wife relationships ending up in divorces; children are born out of serial monogamy (i.e. a woman bearing children of different males out of different wedlock done one divorce after another). As a consequence, the natural love that a mother has on her children has definitely deteriorated.

Even when there is a pure love existing between the mother and her young child, the purity gradually deteriorates as the child grows up to a man/ woman.  Parents start expecting several things from their children – obedience, respect, help in family chores, monetary help, heeding to their advice regarding finding a partner for marriage, the monetary expectations (in receiving or in avoiding to spend) behind conducting son’s/ daughter’s marriage, obedience, respect from daughter-in-law, the need to take care of them at their old age, the need to conduct the rituals post their death – the list goes on this is how the once-pure parental love gradually changes colors towards a personal, selfish agenda.

Selfishness and love

Mostly, the selfish motive behind love gets smartly camouflaged. The giver of love may hide and underplay the selfish motive. The receiver of love too, out of love towards the giver, may overlook the play of selfishness behind the giver out of gratitude. Example: A father wants to construct a house and he wants his son to apply loans and assist him financially.  He says to the son: “To possess my own house is my dream; unfortunately, I could not do it because I had to ensure getting your sister married off and to educate you decently. I have done my duty. But with my present financial status, I cannot buy my dream house with my savings alone. I want you to help”. The son, out of gratitude to his father, willingly gets into a debt trap so as to help his father realize his dream. Interestingly, the son too may hold a hidden selfish motive –‘In future, this property or a portion of it will anyway come to me’.

In the above case, the father’s selfish interest is obvious, but is hidden behind sentiments.  The father does not think ‘I would not like to put my son into a debt trap at this young age just because of my selfish motive to fulfil my dream”.

Likewise, if we analyze threadbare keeping sentiments aside, we can locate some selfish motive (small or big) lurking behind every act or expression of love in most of our relationships.

That’s why, Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) says: “We love others because they give us happiness or fulfil our desires; obeying, respecting, or having high opinion about us. Otherwise, we do not love them. When somebody hates us, revenge often takes the place of love. This is the case with even with those closest to you. If you disobey or disrespect them, you may not love them. Where there is real love, there is no selfishness.  We must be able to love without expecting anything from anyone”

Ego and love

“Whom do you love the most?”

If you pose this question to people, most of them will tell the name or a relation that they believe to love dearest. But it is a wrong answer. The unshakable truth of our existence in this world is that all of us love ourselves dearest first and then only any other person or thing.

This self-love as such is natural and fundamentally it is not wrong. It is natural because we are all self (Atman) in essence, but we have forgotten it.

When someone says ‘I love myself’, he does not refer to his atman which is the source of pure unadulterated love; what he means is he loves his own personality – his ego. All of us have different degrees of egoism in us, some very strong, some moderate, some subtle, but nevertheless the ego is very much there.  This ego wants us to be selfish, self-centered, receive appreciation and pampering, garner importance, ensure one-upmanship and so on.

Another face of ego is sensitivity. Some people may look meek, non-assertive, soft-spoken and so on, but they may be extremely sensitive to criticism, censure, sarcastic comments and so on. They will behave like touch-me-not if they are hurt even a little. Sensitivity is nothing but subtle, but strong, hidden ego.

Love and Hate

Ordinary love is just like one side of a coin. The other side of the coin is hate. When the coin is flipped and ‘love side’ goes under, the other side – hate gets exposed.

The greatest truth about love is that it will flourish well as long as ego or sensitivity is not hurt. The moment the ego is hurt, the coin flips! The other side – hate becomes visible. When our selfish interest is not met, love reverses. When we fail to receive appreciation, pampering etc or when our self-importance or one-upmanship is denied, the love reverses.

The swing from love to hate may be slow and graduated in some people and very fast in some people. Normally, women, being essentially very emotional, swing from love to hate very quickly without any intermediate stops.  It is also observed that a woman can hate a person as intensely as her erstwhile love.

Reversing the hate back to love is also possible when the hurt ego is pampered. A genuine apology, a corrective action of mistake done can pave the way for the reversal.

Amma Mata Amritanandamayi says “The difficulty is not in expressing love, but in letting go of the ego. Love is our true nature. It is already present within us, but we are held back by our individual boundaries. We have to outgrow our individuality (ego) in order to merge into universal love. The ego stands in the way of love. Once removed, it flows like a river.”

Time is also a great healer. This can be seen particularly in blood relationships. Any hurt caused in the past leading to a crack in love gets healed over time and people come back to revive relationships. That’s why it is said that the blood is thicker than water.

Love and possessiveness

Ahankaram (Ego) and mamakaram (possessiveness) are like twins.  Our love is mostly available for consumption within our own limited circle — covered within the boundary ‘mine’ (possessiveness).  If true love transcending limited boundaries can be called (with upper case L) “Love”, the ordinary love we see within limits is just ‘love’ with a lower case ‘l’.

Amma says: “There is ‘love’ and “Love”. You love your family: Your father, mother, sister, brother, husband, wife etc., but you do not love your neighbor. You love your son or daughter but you do not love all children. You love your religion, but do not love all religions. Likewise, you love your country, but do not love all countries. Hence this is not “Love”. It is only ‘love’. Transformation of this ‘love’ to “Love” is the goal of spirituality.”

Love in Man-woman relationship – Love-Romance-Lust

The very sustenance of life in earth depends on the factor of love between man and woman. May be as a consequence, this love is the most basic, emotion laden, complicated, joyful, painful and stressful. It has the widest scope of expression — from the meanest to the divine.  

In Sanatana dharma, considerable priority and importance has been given to the man-woman relationship, clearly specifying the scope, purpose, boundaries and dharma associated with it. Man and woman leading a life of mutual love and togetherness in proper wedlock, with the aim of spiritual advancement together, begetting worthy and responsible children for continuation of progeny and contributing to the welfare of the society – that is the core purpose married life and such an ideal life is a dharma by itself – Grihasthasrama dharma – The righteous way of living a family life. Sexual energy, instead of getting uncontrollably dissipated in lustful, unbridled way of living, is channelized and streamlined. Proper control of passions, self-discipline and restraint with the twin goals of spiritual progress and social welfare – that is the hallmark of Grihastasrama dharma of Hinduism.

Triangular Theory of Love

Even from the point of view of modern Psychology, the love between man and woman is still set within the conventional scope of good marital life and bonding.

One of the most popular and widely acclaimed theory on love in man-woman relationship is Triangular Theory of Love, conceived and elaborated by Dr. Robert Sternberg (born December 8, 1949), American psychologist and a Professor of Human Development at Cornell University.

His theory is depicted in the form of a triangle in which the three faces are Romantic love, companionate love and Fatuous love. Its 3 corners are passion, intimacy and commitment. A love is consummated in full satisfaction only when all the 3 ingredients – passion, intimacy and commitment are present.  See picture below:

 

When a man/woman gets attracted to the other with passion only (without intimacy and commitment), it is just infatuation.

If in a man-woman relationship there is intimacy but no passion (sexual attraction) or commitment (for marriage or long term togetherness), it is just liking or friendship.

If there is only commitment in relationship without passion or intimacy, it is empty love. Such a thing is possible in arranged marriages, but intimacy and passion may develop subsequently.

Only when lines exist connecting these corners, the triangle of love is complete.

A romantic love (as one side of the triangle) exists when passion and intimacy are present.  In a romantic love, commitment is yet to come. For the romance to end in marriage, commitment is essential.

A companionate love (as the second side of the triangle) exists when intimacy and commitment are present.  In this love, romance is yet to come. Only when romance gets added to this relationship, there is color and spice in the married life.

In fatuous love (as the third side of the triangle) passion and commitment are present. Loving at first sight and getting married quickly fits into this form of love. Here there is no romance or a prolonged courtship. If romance is also added, then the love-life is wholesomely consummated.

Ideally when all the three faces of the triangle are present, it is a successfully consummated marriage.

Love equations that end in disappointment

  • Lust: When the attraction to the person of opposite sex is purely physical with the overt or covert intention of having just a sexual relationship for enjoyment, it is lust. It is fired by passion. If at all romanticism is added, it is more as a ploy to woo the opposite sex. Commitment to a long time relationship will be very elusive.

    If the motive of one of the partners is just to satiate the lust whereas the other partner mistakes it for genuine love hoping it to end in a marriage, then the relationship heads towards an ugly end as and when the moment of realization of truth dawns.
  • Romance: When the attraction to the person of opposite sex is based on passion (where lust is not too obvious or blatant but very much exists hidden) and one finds joy in the company of the other person even without a sexual relationship. Both attraction and intimacy are strongly present in a romantic relationship.

    In a romantic relationship, both the partners will behave their best to keep the mutual attraction and the joy of company alive and vibrant. It also means any dark, unpleasant or ugly side of their personalities or behaviors  will be very skillfully hidden. Even if such things get revealed now and then, the other partner may not notice it and register it but opt to ignore it or sideline it as long as the romanticism is burning.

    When romanticism is all alluring, at least one of the partners may tend to delay the commitment. It is because people have an inherent inkling in them that most of the charm of the romantic love will fade away once the relationship gets committed to a marital bond!

    In romantic love too, when the commitment part of the love becomes elusive, then the relationship starts drifting towards disappointment.

What is true love and where is true love in man-woman relationship?

Since love or attraction (be it infatuation, lust or romance)  between man and woman is extremely emotional and has the undercurrent of sexual intent behind it, human mind creates all sorts pretences to generate an image that the love indeed it “true love”. The coining of the phrase ‘true love’ itself is an indication about the common existence of ‘untrue love’!

Swayed by emotions and sentiments, if we are developing mere attachment to someone, it is not love.  Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) says: “ ‘Am I really in love or am I too attached?’ Contemplate on this question as deeply as you can. Most people are craving for attachment, not real love. In a way, we are betraying ourselves. We mistake attachment for love. Love is the centre and attachment is the periphery. Aim for the centre”.

Suggested additional reading: Reading and discussions on an additional document provided herewith  (see at the bottom: What is true love, where is true love?) may be helpful for youngsters to grasp very practically how our minds caught by emotions can hoodwink us into justifying our own failings in understanding what is love.

Lack of Love

The source of all love is divine. Amma says “Love is the foundation of life, but consciously or unconsciously we forget this truth. When we do not express love in our words and actions, it is like honey trapped in a rock — it is of no use to anyone. When families are able to express love with each other, peace and harmony will prevail in the home and society”.

Every being receives its essential doze of love right from birth from the mother first.  In a family where cordial love exists amidst its members, the child, as it grows, gets love from father, siblings, grandparents and other relatives.  The home is the birth place of love and the fertile soil of love for growth.

Conversely, when a child born in an atmosphere where love is lacking, and is brought up in a home where exchange of love is in short supply, the child grows with lots of psychological issues. Many of the emotional problems in the adulthood where this longing of love or absence of love gets expressed in myriad ways in man-woman relationship can be traced back to lack of love in childhood. That’s why Amma says: “Only those who have received love can give love. Hearts of such people who have never received love will always be closed.  They will neither be able to receive love or give love. It is very important for parents to give love to the young”.

That’s why Grihasthashrama (Family life) is a dharma in Hinduism

A child born and brought up with proper love and care in a family is a wealth for the future generation.  In Hinduism, continuation of progeny and having children of worthy qualities for the welfare of future generations was considered as an essential dharma of worldly life.  

If this dharma has to sustain, there are several things that need sustenance in the social fabric:

  1. Respect, belief and  commitment to the institution of marriage
  2. A marital relationship is not just for releasing animal passions
  3. A marital relationship is a lifelong commitment.  Man and woman have to essentially agree and live to a committed life of togetherness for life based on mutual love, trust, respect and companionship.
  4. There is nothing like live-in relationships. Divorce is an anathema.
  5. Women were expected to be housewifes predominantly because child rearing was considered as the prime responsibility, more than any financial or other considerations
  6. In order to ensure the purity of mother’s love, a woman getting remarried after an untimely death of husband was highly discouraged by the society.

Despite the onslaught of western culture in India, we are still able to see quite a lot of family bond amidst Indians. Divorces and remarriages are not still fully accepted in in Hindu culture.

Loving God – Bhakti

All said and done on love, the obvious ground reality is that love between human beings gets tainted in some way or other by egoism and selfishness. When a man longs for pure love — a love where the giver of love simply gives without any expectation in return — he understands that only the creator can give such a love.  The creator has given us sunlight to see, the air to breathe, the earth to live, the trees and plants to give us food, rain for our drinking water and so on. Man feels he is indebted to the creator for giving us everything without any expectations. This indebtedness makes him love the giver. He is also sure that God being omnipresent and omnipotent can give him all that he needs by sincerely praying to Him.

Such a trust and faith becomes the basis of love on God which is called devotion — Bhakti. Love on God at the initial levels may be based on expectations from God. We want money, wealth, comforts, position and power in life and believe we will be happy if we get all these in good measure. We pray to God lovingly for blessing us with all these. We face difficulties, suffering and worries in life. We want God to remove them all. We lovingly pray to him for support.

As our love and relationship with God gets deeper, our understanding about God also get refined.  Based on our experiences, we grasp that God in any case is always taking care of us irrespective of our praying him or otherwise. We also gradually understand that God is not freely giving us whatever we pray and ask for; sometimes he gives; sometimes he does not give; sometimes he gives something that we do not want. But over time, we analyse, experience  and understand that whatever he has given or not given have all been for our good only. We grasp that we are limited in our own understanding of what is good for us or what is bad for us, whereas God knows only what is good for us and he arranges everything accordingly — by giving or by denying.

The more we grasp this fact, then our ‘love with agenda’ on God comes to an end. We don’t find the need to pray to him. Our love on him too starts reflecting his love on us — unconditional. We start loving God for love sake. Such a deep love on God is called “Prema Bhakti”. A devotee gripped by prema bhakti forgets everything; he has no care for his own body, its needs or comforts. He wants love of God for love sake. He wants to become love. He wants to merge in God. He melts in God and becomes ultimately God himself.

This the the story of evolution of the unadulterated pure love of the divine.  We have several examples of such great personalities who demonstrated the path of pure Bhakti to attain Godhood. We have had great saints and Avatars  like Bhakta Meera, Sri Gouranga, Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, Ma Anandamayi, Papa Ramdas and Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) in this great land of Bharat.

Amma says: “There are three expressions of love that awaken us from within: love for oneself; love for god and love for the entire creation. Love for oneself does not mean the self-centered love of the ego. it means to love life, to see both the successes and failures in our human birth as God’s blessing, while loving the divine power inherent within us. This grows to become love for God. If these two components are present, then the love for the entire creation will manifest naturally.”

Sharing Pure Love

it is no wonder that Avatara Purushas and Mahatmas carry this divine love with them for unconditional distribution to others. Their source of love is unlimited because it is divine.

It is this pure, divine love that attracts people who are emotionally suffering in their loveless lives, to mahatma’s like Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi).  Why a dark skinned, rustic woman from a remote and unknown fishermen’s hamlet in the faraway state of Kerala in India is so much sought after by white skinned, educated elite of the west?

Because they have lost love in their lives. A vast majority of them  have been born and brought up in an atmosphere where lust is essentially mistaken for love; brazen selfishness with very poor faith in the sanctity of marriage is the norm of life;  The mindset for give and take or for any sacrifice for the sake of the other person has been missing among the majority. Life in the west gradually has turned to become filled with ‘beggers of love expecting other beggars of love to feed them with love’.  When they encounter a person like Amma where every nerve of her is bent upon giving, giving and more giving, caring, sharing and absorbing others’ woes and worries, they get floored! Their long and unsatiated thirst for love atlast finds a spring of love rising and flowing for everyone to come and take.

And this love elevates the receiver from evolving from the clutches of selfishness. From a beggar of love the seeker evolves to a lover of God.

-=0O0=-

Amma’s insight into man-woman relationship

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Late Sri Sugunanandan – Amma’s father)

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

The Importance of adequate age difference between Husband and wife

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

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

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