AIMS medical unit at Pampa

27 November 2003 — Pampa, Sabarimala, Kerala

On 17 November, 2003, on the bank of the Pampa River, two journeys began: one towards spiritual health – the great pilgrimage to Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala, wherein over the next 41 days, millions of Swami Ayyappa devotees from all over India will walk the hour and a half uphill trek to the Sabarimala Temple, carrying offerings such as coconuts and ghee, and maintaining vows such as eating only vegetarian food, and abstaining from negative habits such as smoking and drinking.

The men traditionally dress entirely in black and chant the mantra of Swami Ayyappa, while seeing in everyone and every deity the form of Swami Ayyappa alone. The men are addressed as “Swami” and the women as “Devi”, which is meant to invoke the presence of the Lord in all. It is one of the largest and most sacred pilgrimages in Kerala.

Aims Pampa In connection with this pilgrimage season, the second journey is one towards physical health: For the duration of the 41 day festival, AIMS, Amma’s celebrated super-specialty hospital in Kochi, has created a special emergency medical centre, complete with a Telemedicine facility provided on 6 December. Swami Turiyamritananda Puri inaugurated this year’s medical unit.

Between 17 November and 26 December, the Unit tended to 8468 patients – which translates to over 200 a day! Of the 188 inpatients, 10 were sent to AIMS, and another 31 treated at the on-site ICU. This Medical Unit is a great boon to the pilgrims, assuring them of the highest standard of physical care while they tend to the care of their spirit.

This is the second year that AIMS has had a presence at the sacred site. Last year, AIMS performed a successful heart surgery here for one of the pilgrims via Telemedicine.

The M.A. Math set up both ‘Green Friends’ and Bookstore stalls as well.

Finding time for Spiritual practices

Sri Krishna was a householder. He had many responsibilities, but He was the embodiment of detachment. Sri Rama was also a householder and in addition to that, a king. He was the embodiment of dharma. King Janaka (father of Sita, the holy consort of Lord Rama) was a king and a householder. He too, was a jivanmukta or (liberated soul). They all found enough time to do tapas and to lead a spiritual life even in the midst of all their court duties and other problems.”


“If we say that we have no time (for spiritual practices) due to our problems and family responsibilities, that is simply an escape. That means that we have no desire to follow the path of spirituality. We are lazy and want to avoid work. So immersed in maya (illusory world), so trapped in its net, we do not even realise that there is a reality higher than the body and the external world around us. We have no eyes to see it, no ears to hear it and no heart to feel it.”


“If you cannot find free time to devote to the worship of God, try to be like the gopis. They did not set apart a separate time for prayer. They saw God while immersed in their work. They would repeat the holy name while churning the milk and grinding the grain, and doing all their other chores. The jars of pepper and coriander, and all the other spices, were labelled with the names of the Lord. When they wanted pepper they asked for Mukunda. When they gave someone coriander, they were giving Govinda. Those who came for milk and curd asked for them using the Lord’s names. They were engaged in nothing but chanting Krishna’s names everywhere, and at all times. Thus, they were always able to remember the Lord without any special effort. Those who are not able to set apart a special time for sadhana can still maintain remembrance of God in this way.”


“A strong resolve to reach the goal is necessary. There is plenty of time to go to movie theatres and hospitals, but there is not time for temples and ashrams. Such is our way of living. Even while living in the world, householders should try to imbibe these principles. Otherwise, the mind will become restless. At least one hour every day should be spent thinking of God, one hour for the sake of the soul.”


“Children, Mother knows that it is difficult for you who live in the midst of material pleasures and with family ties, to remember God constantly. But when you become aware that you are not remembering Him, immediately repent, ‘O Lord, I have forgotten you for this much time. I have forgotten to chant your name for this length of time. O Lord, please forgive me. Please bestow upon me the mental strength to cherish Your form within and Your name on my lips constantly and incessantly. O Lord, please do not let me waste time like this. Let the desire to behold Thy form burn within me.’ Having repented and prayed thus, immediately start repeating the mantra. Again you might forget it. Don’t worry, go on applying the same technique of repentance and prayer whenever you realise that you have not been chanting the mantra for a long time. Slowly in due course, you will develop the power to remember Him incessantly.”


“Nothing is difficult for those who really want it. You have to have a sincere desire to do it. You should spend at least one day a week in solitude, performing sadhana. You may have responsibilities and work to do. Even then, one day should be set apart. Don’t you take sick leave if you are not well, even if there is a lot of unfinished work? Don’t you take a day off to attend the wedding of a relative? How much more important is this! So, at least one day a week, go to an ashram and do sadhana. and seva. That day will train you to strengthen the love and cooperation in your family as well.”


“When you are convinced that God is the one who protects you, and that there will not be peace in this life without taking refuge in Him, then you will find the time.”


“Remember O mind, this supreme Truth: Nobody is your own! Because of doing meaningless actions, you are wandering in the ocean of this world.” Remember this song, have satsang and always chant your mantra. Give up talking about others. We find time for every useless and unnecessary thing, yet we say that there is no time to think of God. Do not go to vulgar movies or read novels. Are we not sitting in front of the television or going shopping for hours on end? If you always fix your mind on the Lord, peace will be experienced.”


My friends talk only about worldly things…

Question: Being a college professor, I have a good circle of friends. Most of them are worldly people and talk only about worldly things. How should I deal with them?

Amma: Try to talk less with them and even then, only if necessary. When they see that you are no longer interested in the things that they are, they will slowly avoid you. Don’t think that they will get angry with you. Let all of them hate you if they wish. Don’t go towards things which will again create trouble for you. You should go towards stillness. Our time is precious. It is not to be wasted by the company of others. Whatever time you have, you should be more introspective. Many of the friends come only to gossip and chat, don’t they? Lovingly tell them, “We have been talking for a long time. What are we going to gain by talking about and discussing all these things? My goal is to think about God, to give solitude to the mind. You might get angry with me if you don’t like it. At present, that is not a problem for me. I can move forward only if I overcome obstacles. I am not angry with you, even if you get angry with me, for I have only love for you. But now I don’t have any time to waste.” Saying so in a very calm and loving tone, you should withdraw into solitude. Let them love or hate you. Some such control is needed in the beginning.


Don’t postpone spiritual life

“Children, don’t think that you can start spiritual life after satisfying all your desires. The desires will go on and on. It is a never-ending circle. When one is satisfied, another one will occupy its place. If somebody thinks to take up spiritual life after fulfilling all his desires, he is like a person on the seashore who waits for all the waves to subside before taking a bath.”


Question: I am very busy with my work and can’t find any time for meditation. Also, when I try to do japa, I don’t get any concentration. Amma, wouldn’t it be best for me to wait with japa and meditation until I am no longer so busy and have some peace of mind

Amma: You may think you will turn to God when your workload is lighter, or after you have had enough of worldly pleasures, but that won’t happen. You should turn to Him right now, in the midst of all your difficulties; He will certainly show you a way.”


“Don’t think that you lack the mental purity to pray because you have made a lot of mistakes in your life, or that you will pray only when your mind becomes pure. If you think you will bathe in the sea only after the waves subside, you will never be able to bathe. You can’t learn to swim by sitting at the side of the pool. You have to get into the water. What will happen if the doctor tells the patient to come to him only after he gets well? God is the one who purifies our minds. That is why we take refuge in Him. Only through Him can we be cleansed.”


Amma visits Holland

9 November 2003,Holland

For the third year in a row, our beloved Amma graced Holland with Her Presence. On the first day, the crowds started to get in line as early as 8 a.m., and by 9 a.m. the hall was already filled with people. It was the first sign that last year’s record of almost 10,000 visitors would be easily broken. On that first morning, numbers had already gone up to 2,000.

Mother appeared fresh and radiant at 10 in the morning, as if She had just returned from a 6-week holiday instead of an intense European tour. That first morning Holland’s major television channel completed a portrait of one of Amma’s Dutch followers by filming him in Mother’s loving arms. The news program was shown that very night, and also featured stories on Amritavarsham50 and the speech of Yolanda King, the daughter of Dr. Martin Luther King, who describes Amma as ‘the real thing’ who made her ‘feel fulfilled in a way she had not experienced before’.

In the back of the hall, the Belgian devotees had built a life-size Amrita Kuteeram house, inside of which were displayed photographs and information was given on Amma’s world-renowned housing scheme. Children performed a little play based on the real-life experiences of the slum inhabitants in Hyderabad, India, who are now benefiting from the renovation of their neighborhood through Amma’s grace. Many visitors were so inspired they subscribed to monthly donations for the project.

During the evening programs, Amma surprised everyone by singing two bhajans in perfectly understandable Dutch. They were Ishwar Tumi Daya Karo and Ananta Mami that had been translated by Lakshmi Akka, Mother’s Dutch personal assistant for over 16 years. It brought tears of joy to the eyes of the people, bringing Mother even closer to the hearts of all present and making their devotion flow even easier, as Mother sang with the innocence of a child the last lines: ” Zonder mijn God, waar kan ik heen?” (Without my Lord, where can I go?). Loud applause followed the songs.

On the last day, Amma’s Devi Bhava coincided with a lunar eclipse. Crowds walked between this wondrous miracle of nature, and the miracle that was taking place inside the hall where the Mother of the Universe was hugging almost 5,000 people. When Amma finally got up to shower us all with rose petals it was well over ten o’clock in the morning.

on God: Amma says

God’s Presence

“To say that there is no God is like saying ‘I have no tongue’ with your own tongue.”

“God is very close to you, that is why you cannot see Him. Is it possible to see our own face without the aid of a mirror? And will it be possible to see our image in a mirror if the mirror is completely covered with dust? Look after wiping away the dust particles and cleaning the mirror; then certainly you can see.”

“Searching for God outside ourselves is like trying to catch fish by emptying the ocean. Therefore, become introspective and look within.”

God’s Remembrance

“By remembering God constantly, just as a snake sheds its skin, we can free ourselves from all bonds and be reborn again. Even if you forget to eat, don’t forget to think of Him.”

“If there is a resting place nearby, the mere thought that the luggage which you are carrying can soon be unloaded lightens the burden. In the same way, when we think that God is near, all our burdens will diminish.”

“A mother bird will be thinking of the young ones in the nest even when she is out looking for food. Similarly you have to keep your mind on God while engaged in all worldly actions.”

“The moment you remember your parents, relatives, friends or your favourite food, you see them in your mind’s eye. You have to build a similar attachment to God. That is the purpose of japa, meditation and satsang.”

“Just as the colour of the ink disappears when a lot of water is added to it, by constant remembrance of God, the individual mind dissolves in the universal mind.”

“A bitter gourd looses its bitterness if it is soaked in sugar for some time. Likewise, a negative mind will be purified if one thinks of God ceaselessly.”

“We lose our strength through worldly pleasures, but by constant remembrance of God our mind becomes stronger.”

“If you keep pouring water into a bottle of ink, The colour slowly fades until finally you can’t tell whether there was any ink in it. In the same way as the mind expands with the constant remembrance of God, the sense of individuality will dissolve and finally disappear. The individual mind becomes the Universal mind.”

“An express bus stops only at a limited number of places and reaches its destination without delays. Constant remembrance of God is like travelling on an express bus.”

All Pervading

“The outside shapes and colours of the different wrappings on candies can differ, but all the candies have the same substance. Likewise, the supreme principle behind the various shapes and colours in the outside world is one.”

“The ring, the bracelet and the earrings are made of gold. If you look at their external shapes you only see these shapes, if you look deeper you can see the gold that is the substratum within all of them.”

“Remove the boundary between two fields, and there is only one field. Boundaries and divisions are artificial, and created by man. See the One in all.”

“When we stop fanning ourselves with a handheld fan, the flow of air stops. But it doesn’t mean there is no air. When a light bulb burns out or a fan stops turning, it doesn’t mean that there is no electricity. God is everywhere.”

“By whatever name you call it, the Divine Power is one and the same. God is not someone who responds only if He hears the sound of a certain call. He dwells in our hearts.”

“An actor takes many roles, but he remains the same. God is like this. Different are His names and forms, but He is the One behind all.”

“Is there any difference between the electric current which passes through the refrigerator, the lamp, and the fan? No, only the object differs. Similarly, each person understands God according to his culture and worships as such.”

“There is a dam in the middle of the lake. The lake is two, but if the dam is not there, then it is one. That dam is ignorance or maya. Duality is only seemingly real.”

“We have hands, legs, eyes, nose, etc., but are these different organs not part of our own body? Like this, see everything that is seen as God’s Limbs.”

God Experience

“Will you get any milk by pressing the ears of a cow? Can you say there is milk in all parts of her body? Only her udder contains milk for us to drink, and we will get that only if we milk her. It’s true that God is everywhere, but to actually experience Him we have to connect to Him through spiritual practices and sadhana.”

“Not everyone who plays the lottery wins the first prize. The prize goes to one among millions. God experience is like that; only one in a million will have it.”

“Worldly pleasures are like a candy that gives sweetness now, but ruins your teeth later. If you know God, you can enjoy sweetness all the time – and it is not bad for the teeth!”


“What will happen if the doctor tells the patient to come to him only after he gets well? God is the one who purifies the mind. Take refuge in Him and offer all the dirt of your mind. Only He can cleanse you.”

“Once we board a train, do we continue to carry our load and complain about how heavy it is? Take refuge in Him and surrender everything.”

God’s Grace

“Wouldn’t it be useless to blame others if we can’t watch the TV because we haven’t turned it on? God’s Grace is always flowing to us, but to benefit from it, we have to be tuned to His world.”

“What is the use of sitting inside a room with all the doors and windows closed and complain that it is dark, while the sun is shining brightly outside? If we just open the doors of our hearts, we can receive the grace that God is constantly showering upon us.”

Our Mistakes

“God has given discrimination to human beings to refrain from committing any errors. We have to make use of it. The field is there and the seed is there also. Cultivate carefully and reap the fruit.”

“A doctor prescribes for us a bodybuilding tonic. If we ignore his instruction and drink up the whole bottle at once, he is not responsible for our ruined health. In the same way God is not responsible for our mistakes.”

“If we drive carelessly and meet with an accident, can we blame the gasoline? How can God be blamed for our carelessness?”

Purity of Heart

“Do we need to give water to a river to quench its thirst? By taking refuge in God it is we who gain purity of heart, and with a pure heart we can constantly enjoy the state of bliss.”

” It is difficult to see the sun’s reflection in muddy water, but in clean water the image can be easily seen. Similarly, only those who are pure at heart can experience God.”

God’s Love

“No one loves anyone more than they love themselves. When we don’t get the happiness we expect from a friend, our friend becomes our enemy. Only God loves us selflessly.”

Love for God

“By filling a reservoir, you supply water to all the pipes connected to it. If you pour water at the root of a tree, it will reach all the branches. In the same way, by loving God, we love everyone. It is the same God dwelling within everyone.”

God’s Form

“Like the ocean that rises up in response to the attraction exerted by the moon, God can assume any form He wants depending on the needs of the devotees.”

God’s Light

“God needs nothing from us. Does the sun need the light of a candle? God is like the sun, shedding its light equally on all things in the world. We, living in the dark, need light.”

God’s Certificate

“If we wait for the certificate of approval from others, we won’t get a certificate from God. What we really need is God’s certificate.”

on Faith: Amma says

During her childhood, Mother and the children from the nearby houses used to play a game. Everyone would hit one person’s palm and then run. The person who comes to catch us cannot do anything if we reach a certain coconut tree and stand there touching it. He can catch us only when we stand away from the coconut tree. The one who comes to catch us will stand waiting for us to let go of the coconut tree. Now and then, we will run, leaving the tree to be chased by the person who comes to catch us. But again, if we hold on to the coconut tree, he cannot catch us. In the same manner, nobody can do anything to us if we keep holding on to God. Then there is nothing to fear. But if we let go of God, then the objects of the world will haunt us.”


“A person endowed with real faith will be steadfast. A person who has religion can find peace. The source of this peace is the heart, not the head. A person with faith believes in unity, love and peace, not in division and disharmony. Mother is not talking about religion in the narrow sense, but in the broader sense.”


“A person endowed with faith in the Supreme holds on to that principle when a crisis occurs. It is this faith, which gives him or her a strong and balanced mind to enable him or her to confront any trying situation.”


“Beauty lies in the heart. Beauty lies in faith, and faith dwells in the heart. Intellect or reasoning is necessary, but we should not let it swallow the faith in us. We should not allow the intellect to eat up our heart.”


Both Faith and Effort Are Needed

“Both faith and effort are needed. If you plant a seed, it will sprout, but for it to grow properly, it needs water and fertiliser. Faith will make us aware of our true nature; but to experience it directly, we need to put forth the effort.”


First Have Faith in Yourself

“It does not really matter whether you are a believer or a nonbeliever or a sceptic. You can be a nonbeliever, but at the same time lead a happy and successful life, if you have faith in you. You do not have to believe in Amma, or in a God who resides up above in the sky on a golden throne. It is enough if you have faith in yourself. If you don’t have faith in yourself, then there is not much to gain even if you believe in God. Faith in God is to strengthen your faith in you, the faith in your own Self. This is, in other words, called Self-confidence, confidence in your own Self. If that is not there you cannot succeed in life, whatever your field may be. Self-confidence is nothing but mental balance, courage and control over your own mind to confront the problems of life. You cannot escape from the problems of life; they are inevitable, unavoidable. How are you going to face them if you do not have faith in yourself? You cannot.”


Always Be Optimistic

“My child, never lose courage. Never lose your trust in God or in life. Always be optimistic, no matter what situations you find yourself in. It’s very important to be optimistic. Pessimism is a form of darkness, a form of ignorance that prevents God’s light from entering into your life. Pessimism is like a curse, an illusory curse created by the illusory mind. Life is filled with God’s light, but only by being optimistic will you experience that light.”


“Trials and tribulations, ups and downs are the nature of life. They are unavoidable. When such experiences come, if you leave God, denying Him, then you alone and not God are responsible for the consequences that follow. Whereas, if you hold onto His feet at all times in all circumstances, then He will take care of you.”


Wait Faithfully for God

“You may be waiting for God or God’s grace, but the thought of God occurs in you only once in a blue moon or on Sundays or at best two or three times a day. Furthermore, those few occasions on which you may think of God are very dull and lacking in intensity, because you are preoccupied with so many other supposedly important things. It is all right if you faithfully wait for Him to come, but be sure you are attentive in your waiting. If you are preoccupied with other things, how can God come? How can His grace flow? The Guru is there. His ever-flowing grace is there; it is always present. But you want Him to come uninvited, without any effort on your part. In the name of waiting you idle away your time. You do not consider it an intrinsic part of your life to wait faithfully. You do not take this period of waiting seriously and sincerely. You say, ‘I am waiting for God, for His grace to come. He is all-compassionate, so He will come. Until then, let me engage in other important matters.’ This is foolishness. You will neither receive grace nor will you have the power to overcome difficult situations with this kind of faith.”


On Losing Faith

“Suppose you were to suffer a great loss in your business. Would you give up hope and stay idle for the rest of your life? No, you’d somehow try to make up for the loss by adopting more effective methods in your business. You may feel disappointed to begin with, but then you’ll pick yourself up and start again. You have to, because it’s a question of survival, a very real need. So you regain your faith and resume your work. One may ask why people don’t have the same attitude towards spirituality and the spiritual masters. If they happen to experience a disappointment on the spiritual path, why don’t they feel the urge to continue their pursuit? The answer is that they don’t really believe spirituality is an existential problem. The general feeling is that if we lose faith in the spiritual principles, we can live without them, because it won’t raise any serious challenge to our lives.”


“Even in the case of people who have been deceived by a false Guru and react by turning away from the spiritual path, their faith has not been totally destroyed. Their thirst to know God and to be with a true master still exists deep within them. It may stay hidden for a while, but it is bound to resurface when the time is ripe. Sometimes this happens when they hear about or see a picture of a great Satguru, or if they happen to meet a Self-realized soul. They must have tasted the bliss of God somewhere, either in this or a previous life, and the memory of that experience remains within them, ready to express itself when the proper time comes.”


Question: “What should a person do if they lose faith in the Guru who has given them a mantra?”

Amma: “They should try as much as they can to keep their faith; but if they find it impossible, then it’s useless to remain with the Guru. Trying to revive lost faith is like trying to grow hair on a bald head. Once your faith is lost, it’s extremely difficult to regain. So, before accepting a person as your Guru, you should observe him carefully.”


Faith in the Guru

“Children, faith in God or in a Satguru is the only way to make you truly happy and contented; to make your life a festive celebration.”


“The Guru will be with you to show you the way through any struggle or crisis; you should have that faith and surrender. So why struggle unnecessarily? But don’t sit idly just because there is someone there to guide you and take you to the other shore. You have to work hard.”


“Faith and obedience in the Satguru will give us self-confidence. Obedience to the Guru is very important. The Guru is the all-pervading Parabrahman (Absolute Self) in human form; therefore, he is immanent. He is the Self of you and of the whole creation. Having faith in him is equal to having faith in your Self.”


“Children, innocent faith means doubtless faith. It means you have no doubts about what you feel and that you have no questions. You simply accept the Guru’s words as truth. Just like a child. You tell a child as you point to a closed door, ”There is a goddess in that room.” The child will have no questions; he will accept it as 100-percent true. This kind of faith towards God or the Guru is innocent faith. Faith endowed with the innocence of a child is what we need.”


“Never become weak-minded. Do not see Mother only as this body. Sorrow will be the result if you children think that Mother is limited to this body. Always know that Mother is all-pervading. Have faith that Mother’s Self and your Self are one.”