(12 Sep '00)
(From Amma’s benedictory address on the occasion of her 44th birthday celebration)
Children, all of you have gathered together here with enthusiasm and patience. If you are able to maintain this enthusiasm and patience throughout your life, total success will be yours; for patience and enthusiasm are the foundations of success. In some people we can behold enthusiasm, however, they lack patience. Some other people have patience, but they lack enthusiasm.
Amongst the youth, 90 percent are enthusiastic, however they seldom display patience. They jump at anything and everything, but they fail to attain their goal, as they lack patience.
On the other hand, the elderly people, say those above 60 and 70, are endowed with patience. They have learnt patience and discrimination through their experiences in life. But they are devoid of enthusiasm. They say that their bodies have lost vigour, so they are unable to carry on with things as they wish.
But let us look at a small child. The child has both enthusiasm and patience. A baby tries to stand up on its legs, but falls down. However immediately it strives to get up. Again it falls. It never gives up the effort and tries repeatedly to get up again. Owing to its sustained effort, never giving up enthusiasm and patience, it finally emerges successful. What gives the child this ability to withstand all failures and strive again and again is its awareness that its mother is there to protect it from all possible dangers. The child is aware that the mother is there to take care of it in case of any injury. As the mother is by its side, the child has the optimistic faith that success is assured. Thus patience, enthusiasm and optimistic faith — these three form the mantra for a successful life.
In every field we can observe those who have faith emerging successful while those who are lacking faith succumb to failure. A certain shoe company sent two of their representatives to a particular village. Within a few days of his arrival the first person set a message to the company: “The natives of this village are uncivilised aboriginals; they have no knowledge at all about anything called footwear. Therefore it is impossible to find a market here for our shoes and hence I am returning at once.” However, the second person sent a message to the company as follows: “This village is inhabited by aboriginals and they are totally ignorant about the use of sandals. They are always walking barefoot in the filth and mud. Hence there is a wide scope for our sandals to find a very good market here. So immediately send one truckload of sandals.” The second person, who displayed optimistic faith, proved himself a successful man.
God is always with us. He is there to lend us help in all trials and crises. If we have this faith we will have the enthusiasm and energy to surmount all impediments and move forward. If there is staunch faith, optimism will never leave us.
Great souls such as Lord Sri Rama, Lord Krishna, Jesus Christ and Mohammed Nabi had to confront countless trials and challenges. But they were not enervated by any of these. Without being disheartened by adversities, they advanced forward. As a result, victory was always theirs. When Amma says this, some of you may think, “Oh, they are all great Incarnations, they have the capacity for such great achievements. How can they be compared to ordinary people like us?” Amma would answer that we are not ordinary people; we have extraordinary powers. There is innate, infinite power in us. It is now dormant. We have to awaken it — that alone is required. If so, success is certainly ours.
Today our bodies have grown but out minds have not. If our minds are to expand and embrace the whole universe, we have to become like a small child. We have to awaken the child that is within us. Only a child will be able to grow. Today we are egoistic. Unless this proud “I” goes, we cannot achieve anything. The small “I” should go and the universal “I” should prevail.
Devotion to God means reverence to all beings. It is not mere prayers. God is not a person who sits beyond the sky. He is within each one of us. It is this awareness that we should cultivate. The most important factor for fostering this awareness is humility. We should learn to be like beginners. A beginner is not egoistic, and hence learns everything fast. However, to cultivate this humility we have to give up one thing — we have to give up our ego and egoism. It is this ego that blocks everything good. When we forswear this ego automatically, we ensure our success in every field.
More than all the effort on our part, it is the grace of God that is paramount importance. What blocks the grace is our ego. Therefore we have to eliminate this ego through any means. Once we get rid of this ego, greatness will be ours.
During interviews for selecting candidates for employment, it is not always the case that those who have answered al the questions correctly are selected. Often times, candidates who have not scored high in such tests are selected for the post. It is because something in those candidates made a favourable impression on the selection board. Something in them melted the hearts of the interviewers. This factor is the grace of God. If we are to receive this grace we have to perform good, selfless actions. We always demand, “Give me this. Give me that.” But we forget to say “thank you” in all situations. Instead of considering what gain we will get from others, we have to be concerned what we can give to others. This is the attitude that we should cultivate.
Once a person paid a visit to his friend’s home. As he stood in front of the palatial house enjoying its beauty, the friend came out and visited him. The visitor inquired of his friend, “Who all are staying in the house.”
“You alone! Is it your house?”
“How did you acquire the money to build such an excellent house and at such a young age?”
“I didn’t build it; my elder brother built it for me. He has a lot of money.”
The visitor stood a while without saying anything. Guessing what he would be thinking, his friends said, “I know what you are thinking. You are thinking how nice it would be if only you too had a brother like mine. Am I not right?”
His friend said, “No, I am thinking that if I had been as wealthy as your brother, I too would have been able to build houses for others.”
Children, this is the attitude we should have — the eagerness to give. Only one who gives will be able to receive; and the giver gains peace of mind as well.
The atmosphere around us is filled with vibrations. Thoughts are also vibrations. That is why it is said that every thought we think and every word we utter should be with due discrimination. A tortoise hatches its eggs by the power of thoughts. A fish hatches its eggs by gazing at them. These prove that our thoughts have immense power. If we abuse a person for a wrong not committed by him, it may hurt him very much. He may lament unknowingly: “Oh, God! I didn’t do anything and still they are abusing me.” The sorrowful vibration emanating from him will affect us. Our aura will absorb these vibrations and will darken, like smoke particles preventing light from reaching the mirror. Just as the accumulated smoke particles prevent light from reaching the mirror, the darkened aura will prevent us from receiving the grace of God. That is why we are asked to shun bad thoughts and cultivate divine ones. By cultivating Godly thoughts we will become like God. Some people imagine that they will strive to become good after others have become good. That is like hoping to take a bath in the sea after all the waves have subsided.
We should never miss any opportunity to do good for others. We should never think that since they have not done any good for us, we too will not do any good for them. Compassion should grow in our mind through every thought. Compassion should shine forth in our every thought, word and deed.