27 September 2008 — Amritapuri

Amma began her 55th Birthday Address by saying that the point of religious and cultural festivals was to help human beings gain peace of mind. Amma lamented that in general this wasn’t happening. The culprit Amma said was man’s obsessive focus on money. “While meditating on money and luxuries, we forget to live,” Amma said. “We forget the very love that lends life to life.”

Amma went on to say that life is an opportunity provided by God for humans to grow and expand. “That which brings order, purity and meaning to life is man’s thoughts and actions,” Amma said. “Unfortunately, the only meaning we attribute to life today is as an opportunity to make money. In order to achieve this end, the human intellect is ready to accept any means. No wonder values are deteriorating!”

Amma then explained how spirituality is not opposed to earning money or fulfilling desires, but that one should always maintain a balanced outlook. “Wealth and the ‘human-ness’ are two sides of a scale. We need to make sure that they remain balanced,” Amma said. “That is the reason why our saints and seers stressed that the pursuit of artha and kama—money and pleasure—should never come at the expense of dharma.”

Speaking about deterioration of values in society, Amma said that a change was very much needed.

However she said that the needed change was primarily internal—changing our negativities into positive qualities. “If we are not ready to change, Nature, or God, will take up the task,” Amma said. “God will never allow wickedness to overgrow and suffocate virtue. The need of the hour is to cultivate a society of good-hearted individuals.”

With regards to education, Amma said that we need to take up efforts to instil values in our children at a young age. “In the name of competition, children should not develop feelings of hatred and revenge,” Amma said. “We need to teach them to love one another. We should fill the syllabuses of our colleges and schools with lessons about love and compassion. This will help put an end to the exploitation of the sorrows and miseries of the downtrodden. War and violent clashes will lessen and we will be able to realize the dream of world peace—at least to some extent. When mutual love grows, Nature also will become peaceful.”

Amma said that true happiness can only come through understanding our own mind. “As long as we are determined to remain in the prisons created by our own mental weaknesses, nothing can save us,” Amma said. “If we don’t have the permission and blessing of our own mind, regardless of what we possess we won’t be happy.”

Amma explained that attaining happiness was, in truth, not such a difficult task. All it takes, she said, is love. “Love is the bindu—the centre-point of life,” Amma said. “We should perform all our actions, remaining focused in this centre-point. Only then will we be able to both experience love for ourselves and share it with others. Today we’ve managed to transform life into something about everything but love. It is for this reason that human beings everywhere are disappearing and in their place human-machines are taking birth. Somehow we’ve managed to turn love—the one thing that is in fact the closest to us—into the most distant.”

Amma ended her satsang by sharing the heart-touching story of a family who’d recently come for her darshan. The husband had been rendered crippled by a stroke. The wife was trying to support everyone by working as a house maid. They were hopelessly in debt. “Children, remember, this is just one example,” Amma said. “There are millions of people suffering like this in the world. On one hand, so many people in this world live ostentatious lives, drinking, partying and throwing away their wealth. Many perform cruel actions and think only of themselves. At the same time, there are so many who can’t obtain even a single meal a day. While we scurry around trying to fulfil all our desires and experience peace and happiness, do we think about these unfortunate people for even a moment? My children, you should think about them. You should be ready to do something for them.”

–Kannadi

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Category : Around Amma / Birthday / Messages of Amma
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