(24 Mar '04)
Wednesday, 24 March 2004 — En route to Durgapur, West Bengal
It was dark, but Amma’s face shone clearly in the glow of the portable lamps. She had been singing bhajans in Bengali, but now She wanted a story with a moral, a frequent request of Hers when sitting with Her children.
One of Amma’s Finnish devotees stood up and began to speak. She told Amma how at one of the recent programmes, she had become quite depressed. She had started to feel her connection with Amma diminishing; it suddenly seemed to her as if they were strangers. She decided to go near Amma, hoping it would make her feel better, but sitting watching Amma laugh and joke in Malayalam as She gave darshan only intensified Her sense of distance. After a little while, she got up and decided to go outside the programme to have a cup of tea at one of the local chai stalls.
Drinking her tea, she suddenly saw another woman about the same age as her rummaging through a pile of trash for food. Almost impulsively, she got up, bought the woman some food and walked over to where she was searching. As she handed the lady the plate, something happened. She told Amma that when their eyes connected, she felt that they had connected. The differences of culture and country fell away. For that moment, they understood each other and were one. And in that connection, she felt her connection with Amma.
As the lady’s story was translated to Amma, it was clear she was touched. “She was searching for food for the body, and you where searching for food for Atman– the soul,” Amma said. “The attitude of giving will bring the experience of completeness. The compassion will help you in the search.
“Sometimes you may not feel thirsty, you may not feel bonded to Amma. That doesn’t mean you don’t have any love for Amma. It is there; it is the reason why you are feeling the bond’s absence in the first place.”
Then Amma explained how our longing for God should have an intensity like one starving for food. When you are starving, first you will beg for food. If you don’t receive any, you will start begging for money. If you don’t get any money, you will resort to stealing.
“‘I am not feeling connected, I am not feeling the bond’–this thought itself is part of the bond. Deep inside there is a bond.”