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Perform your duties wholeheartedly with an attitude of surrender and detachment

25 August 2016 — Amritapuri

When we think about Lord Krishna, what are the first thoughts that enter our mind? Different people will answer in different ways. This is because Lord Krishna won’t allow himself to be confined within our limited thoughts and ideas. But one thing is clear: Everything about Krishna is sweet, alluring and beautiful.

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We often talk about the many facets and roles of Lord Krishna. An unparalleled protector of dharma, a skilled political strategist, advisor of the great Bhagavad-Gita, an unbeatable warrior… These are some of them. But Krishna—who, indeed, was all of these—was also love incarnate, the giver of love. The magnetism of his love enticed not just the gopis and gopas, but all of creation as well. Nature herself was charmed by the sweet notes of his bamboo flute.

The Supreme Truth is beyond thought and word. However, when the Supreme assumes a human form, accepting all the shortcomings and limitations inherent in such, and comes into our midst, we are provided with an opportunity to tangibly touch the Supreme, to know it. Not only Sri Krishna’s words, but his every movement, his every look and mood, conveyed the fullness of spiritual wisdom. His very presence was a spiritual experience. Every action of his illustrated the principles expounded in the Vedic scriptures.

It is impossible to explain the sweetness of honey with words, but just tasting a drop of honey will give us the experience of that sweetness. Similarly, in the presence of an avatara, the Supreme Truth is revealed and shines forth. Doubts turn into faith, faith turns into knowledge, and knowledge expands into experience. Avataras do not take birth and live on earth like ordinary people. They continue to live forever in human hearts as the very culture of the society into which they manifested—as the very guiding light of the world.

Their guidance stands true for all time, all countries and all people. Lord Krishna’s teachings are just as relevant today as they were 5,000 years ago. The Krishna-influence pervades and pulses in all planes of Indian culture and in the daily life of its people. Our literature, music and art are enlivened by his touch.

Lord Krishna’s life is full of paradoxes. The eternally free Lord was born in a prison. He played all the pranks and mischief of a capricious child, but also accomplished great feats beyond human capacity. He was crowned king and became the lord of the world, and yet he surrendered in defeat before the devotion of his devotees. He was an extraordinary grhasthashrami [householder], yet he maintained the pure chastity of a sannyasi.

On the occasion of the royal rajasuya yaga conducted by Yudhishthira, in the august presence of rishis and kings, Lord Krishna let Yudhishthira wash his feet as the guest of honour. Yet, the Lord was washing the feet of the other guests a short while later.

“Do what you do with complete involvement, yet remain detached”—this was Sri Krishna’s way. It is like a person lowering a bucket into a well to draw out water. Even though the bucket is immersed in the water, the bucket is firmly in the person’s hand. Even though one may be in the world, one is not bound by it. A boat does not sink because it is in the water. It sinks when the water is in the boat. Even though Sri Krishna lived in the world, he was never bound by anything.

As Arjuna’s charioteer Sri Krishna advised the Gita. He gave Arjuna his vishvarupa darsahan—the vision of his universal form. Yet, the very next moment, we see him as a charioteer, attending to Arjuna’s horses. Who else but the Lord could hold things so seemingly opposite in the palm of his hand?

A person who has worked as an officer may not be willing to work as errand boy. He may protest, “How can an officer like me do such menial work?” Sri Krishna became a child when he was amongst children. He became a youth in the company of the young. He danced with the gopis and became their friend. When his friends were hungry, he stole butter from the gopis houses to feed them. In fact, the gopis wanted Sri Krishna to steal the butter from their houses! Hence, through this lila he was able to kill two birds with one stone. One cannot find a mahatma who played as many roles as him.

Karma and the result – what to do?

Through his own life, the Lord illustrated the greatness of any type of work. No other spiritual teacher has expounded the value of action as much as Lord Krishna:

“O Arjuna, I stand to gain nothing in all the three worlds, yet I am continuously engaged in action. At least for the welfare of the world, do action. Perform your action with no desire of its results.”

Some people ask if this means that we should work without expecting to be paid. No, it does not. When we sow a seed, it may sprout or it may not. We may sow seeds at the right time. We may dig bore-wells and make sure that the crops get enough water. Regardless, if there is a flood just before the harvest, everything will be lost. Many people commit suicide when their actions don’t bear the expected fruit. But if one is prepared to face both kinds of results—failure and success—then one won’t fall to such extremes. Krishna’s advice is very relevant here. There is no point losing ourselves in grief. We only have the right to put in effort. The results are not in our control. Thus we should accept whatever comes to us as the fruit of our actions. His advice was to live in the world while understanding its nature. Through this, we develop the capacity to view things from a distance.

Usually, people work to fulfil their selfish desires. However, when we perform an action even for a short while without expecting anything in return, it purifies our mind. It is difficult to live selflessly. What makes us selfish are our desires. Amma does not say that it is wrong to have desires. Because many of us lack spiritual understanding, it is impossible to live without desires. We will desire food when hungry; there is nothing wrong in that. We may want money for our livelihood; that is not wrong. It is only when our desires become too many and we become ready to exploit others in order to satisfy them that desires become problematic.

If we incorporate the attitude “I am just an instrument in God’s hands,” then the burden of karma will fall away from us entirely. Only when a pen is in someone’s hands can it write letters. It does not write on its own. So too it is with a paintbrush. It does not paint on its own. Someone has to hold it to paint. We have to be like a pen or a brush in the hands of the Divine.

The Lord always wore a peacock feather on his head. What is its meaning? It means that the Lord carried all the world’s responsibilities and actions as if the were as light as a feather.

Krishna taught Arjuna that behind every action is God’s power. If we abandon the feeling of doership and surrender to being an instrument in God’s hands, that divine power will flow through us. If we become like a pipe attached to the tank, all the water in the tank can be used for the sake of many through us. When we become a zero, we truly become a hero. Whatever we want will become possible, and we will be freed from all anxiety and fear. The Lord called this capacity as karmasu kaushalam—“dexterity in action.” This is one of the most important teachings the Lord gave the world.

There are similarities and differences between the earth and Lord Krishna. The earth attracts everyone and so does Sri Krishna. However, while the earth pulls everyone down, Sri Krishna draws one and all up to the heavens. “Perform your duties wholeheartedly with an attitude of surrender and detachment. Be happy, smiling and enthusiastic in life like a child.” This was Sri Krishna’s message.

The birth of Sri Krishna

In reality baby Krishna should take birth in our hearts. It is not enough if we have faith in the doctor and take the medicines as prescribed by him. We need to follow the diet he prescribes as well. Only then will we fully regain our health. Similarly, to overcome the disease of birth and death, we have to follow certain yamas and niyamas—do’s and don’ts. Only then will the divine love or Sri Krishna take birth in our heart. May the light of the divine presence grow in your hearts, eliminating any darkness within. May this light overflow towards the whole of creation. May divine grace bless my children.

– Excerpts from Amma’s 2016 Krishna Jayanti Satsang

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Awareness is the key: Amma’s practical suggestions for a clean Yamuna river

11 April, Suhagnagari, Ferozabad , enroute to Lucknow – Bharata 2016
Amma and the group travelled to Lucknow after Vrindavan. On the way the group stopped for luch at Suhagnagari, Ferozabad. The most shaded place we found was a club – FM Green City ! Amma sat on the veranda and served lunch to all. Sang bhajans too. Amma’s visit to Vrindavan and the request of sages and saints had come in the local news papers – a collective plea to Amma to help clean the badly polluted sacred river Yamuna. A local reporter of a Hindi newspaper called Hindusthan of Ferozabad edition just appeared from nowhere and started asking Amma about her thoughts on the subject. Amma happily replied to him for all his queries.

Amma said:  “For such a project, all have to come together to make it possible. First, we have to create awareness among people. Without awareness, it will be like the elephant’s bath. An elephant takes a bath, and then covers itself with dust. At present, toilet water is going straight into the river, filling the water with harmful organisms. Thus, the first step is to stop toilet water from going into the river.

“Amma’s children have cleaned the Pampa river {news}. Every year, more than 2 crore people bathe in the Pampa’s waters as part of their pilgrimage to the Sabarimala temple {temple cleaning news}. After their bath, they leave their clothes behind in the river. This waste cloth has been lying there for years, rendering the waters dirty. Amma’s children cleaned the river and removed tons of waste clothing. Now, the government has put up informational signs warning people not to leave their clothes in the river, educating them about the risks. The High court of Kerala ruled that leaving cloth in the river is a crime. There is also a fine imposed on those who violate the new rule. Segregation of waste management is also important. There are one set of waste bins for these clothes, and another set for other waste. Through the media and police enforcement, more awareness is created. After our 5th year of cleaning the Pampa river, the situation has improved by about 80%. However, neither toilet water nor factory waste waters flow into the Pampa river.

Dirty, polluted black water – Yamuna river

“Here the case is different. The Yamuna is a long river. It passes through many different states. The state governments should give permission, co-operate and help to clean the river. The sewage water should not go into the river. Toilets should be built for all those living on the riverbanks; for those who do not have space for a toilet on their property, community toilets should be created. Sewage treatment plants need to be set up in each area. For every 1,000 houses, there should be one such plant. Alternatively, biogas generators can handle the waste.

“In dealing with the factories, a subsidy should be given to create a method to properly dispose of waste. If a given factory failed to do so in a stipulated period of time, the facility could be fined or even have electricity and water supply disconnected.

“Trusts and committees should be formed, with the cooperation of the affected communities and government officials. People can be hired to implement the above policies. Cleaning the Yamuna River can only be accomplished if many people come together to make it happen.

“Ultimately, we need more awareness; changes in the laws are not enough. For example, diabetic people take medications, but if they continue to eat sweets and don’t do proper exercise, their sugar levels will remain dangerously high. Likewise, we need more awareness in regards to the Yamuna and our interactions with it.”

Amma sang a bhajan and gave darshan to the locals and the group started off to Lucknow. Some of us were discussing and savouring the comprehensive approach of Amma to clean river Yamuna and were in wonder how practical she is.

-Sakshi

 

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Mantra given by a Satguru is always safe for us: Amma on Mantra japa

Amritapuri – 4 December 2015

During a question-and-answer session in Amritapuri, Amma was asked about the best way to chant one’s mantra.

QUESTION: Amma, I like to chant my mantra aloud. I feel a lot of love and devotion and enthusiasm when I do that. But when I do the same by just moving my lips (without any external sound), I don’t get the same amount of concentration and I don’t feel the same amount of love and enthusiasm. Since you are my Guru, I would like to guide me as to which is the best way to chant my mantra.

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Amma: “When we chant slokas (hymns or prayers), we can surely chant them aloud there is no harm in it. But when we are chanting mantras that have bijaksharas (seed sound syllables), then it is advised not to chant such mantras aloud. It is better to chant such mantras by merely moving the lips (with no external sound).

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“Suppose you are alone at home, then you can surely chant your mantra aloud. There is no harm in it. Or you can close your prayer room and chant it aloud. Suppose you are living alone, and there is nobody else listening to you, then also, you can chant the mantra aloud. For some people, that may give more concentration. Some students love to read their lessons aloud, whereas some like to read it silently without making any sound. Some get better concentration when they read it silently. It varies from person to person. In general, if there are people around you, then it is better to chant the mantra by just moving your lips in the initial stages [later, one will not find it necessary to move the lips but can just chant the mantra inwardly].

Adhikari-bheda for Mantra japa

“In olden days, the Guru wouldn’t give mantra initiation so easily. They would go by Adhikari-bheda before initiating them into a mantra. That is, they would see if the disciple was prepared to take up the practice of mantra japa. Some children have a talent for singing from a very young age. Once they are trained by a music teacher, they can easily become an accomplished singer. But with Amma, when it comes to mantra initiation, she has never looked into the adhikari bheda – otherwise none of us would be here in the ashram [everyone laughs]. Amma gives mantra initiation to whoever asks for it, with the hope that at least that person will chant this mantra for some time, if not forever. In that way, there will be at least some benefit. That is all Amma cares for.

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Power of Bijakshara

“When Amma gives a mantra which has a bijakshara, then there are certain instructions that need to be followed along with it. A mantra with a bijakshara has to be heard from the Guru’s mouth directly. One has to be initiated by the Guru. That is what in fact brings about a change, a transformation in the disciple.

“Here (in India), a little of yogurt is added into milk at night, and by morning the milk becomes fermented and is transformed into yogurt. Similarly, when you get a mantra from a Guru, it is like adding yogurt into normal milk. When you don’t get it from the Guru and you try to do it on your own, then it is like milk converting into yogurt by adding some other materials for fermentation; in such cases, the quality of the yogurt may be less.

“We all have the Truth in us, but we are not able to see it because our minds are contaminated. When we say, “water is hot,” the heat can be of various degrees. It can be 10 degrees, 20 degrees, 30 degrees, or even 100 degrees boiling water. In 10 degrees, the micro-organisms may still be active, but as the temperature increases, the amount of micro-organisms decreases. A real Guru is completely pure, 100% pure, and thus whatever comes from Him has the power to create a transformation in the disciple as well. When a Satguru gives a mantra, he or she is infusing his/her energy into us, and that can create a change from within us.

Enthusiasm & practice

“In the initial stages of our sadhana (spiritual practices), we feel a lot of enthusiasm. At the same time there are certain do’s and don’t’s which we need to follow, so that we are able to stay focused on the spiritual path. Let us say you are the owner of a new vehicle and you start driving it. Initially you may not be able to drive it in high speed because there is a speed lock. Only after driving it for a given amount of kilometres can you really take it to a higher speed. If you have a mixi (grinding machine used in kitchen), and you continuously keep the mixi on, the motor is going to burn out. You have to switch off the mixi once in a while, so that the coil of the mixi is not burnt. Those who have the understanding of spirituality, who have read spiritual books and have proper guidance – such people know about all the precautions to be taken, but others surely should not go too overboard without taking the right precautions. A health tonic has a certain prescribed dosage beyond which it can be quite harmful, and the dosage is different for children and different for adults. If you gulp down the whole bottle of tonic thinking it is tasty, then instead of doing good it will only cause you harm. Similarly, when doing spiritual practices like meditation, you may be very enthusiastic about it, and you may think, “Let me meditate for hours together.” Now, if you are not really ready to meditate for hours together, then doing so can lead to many problems. Your head can get heated, you may not get proper sleep, your digestion can be affected, etc. For some people, such uncontrolled spiritual practices can even lead to depression and similar unhealthy conditions. So one must approach meditation in a very progressive way – slowly and steadily.

“One should increase practices little by little, and not do too much straight away. In the initial phases, it is good to meditate for 20 minutes or for half an hour. Once you are comfortable with it, then you can consider increasing it slowly. One should not force the mind into meditation for hours together . It has to be done gradually. When we start doing our practices, it is important to have the right guidance. Those who don’t have samskara (spiritual culture) absolutely need this guidance from a Guru. It is like a student doing practicum in the laboratory. The student needs to have the professor nearby, instructing the student on how to use the chemicals, how to conduct the experiment in the right way, and what the precautions are that need to be taken. The Guru guides us as to what should not be done initially, and what can be done in the initial stages. The Satguru knows what is the best for the disciple and advises each one accordingly.

Gurumantra from a Satguru

“When a Satguru gives a mantra, it is always safe for us. It is like a fragile item such as glass that is shipped with proper packaging around it. Even if such a package falls down, the item inside won’t break, because of the proper packaging. A mantra from a Guru is like that – it is always safe. Taking mantra from the Guru-mukha (uttered from Guru’s mouth) with bijaakshara, is like getting a package that is properly wrapped, and even if it falls down, it will not break. Getting such a mantra from some other source is like having a very fragile object which, when it falls down, will crack into pieces because it doesn’t have any protection around it. That is why a bijaakshara mantra should always be taken from a Satguru, if one wants it to have the proper effect.””

 

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Indelible Footprints in the Heart: Amma’s 2015 Christmas Message

December 25, 2015 – Amritapuri Ashram

Christmas awakens vibration of goodness, hope and compassion in the human heart, just as the birth anniversaries of other great incarnations and realized beings do. This day reminds us of what it is that that the human heart should be comprised—not with selfishness and hatred, but with devotion to God and love towards our fellow beings. Our thoughts and actions should become so permeated with goodness that they come to illuminate the divinity that resides within us. Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Buddha and Jesus Christ lived on this earth thousands of years ago, but they have left their indelible footprints in human hearts. If we wish to reach the shores of everlasting peace and happiness, all we have to do is follow the path they showed us.

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Footprints imprinted upon the earth are soon to fade and disappear, but footprints formed in the heart remain. This is why we remember the lives of mahatmas long after they leave their physical bodies. Their lives and teachings are very practical; they serve to remind us about the purpose of human life. Their lives were not for themselves, but for the good of the world. When we remember their lives, it awakens our own innate goodness. It helps us to become compassionate towards our fellow beings; it helps us to overcome selfishness and anger. We find ourselves aspiring to become more loving. It prompts us to repent when we become angry—to pray for the ability to forgive.

One may ask, “Don’t we also remember people those who did evil deeds?” Yes, but when we think of them, we are not uplifted as we are when we remember those who were embodiments of goodness. Thinking of the lives of mahatmas is like visiting a perfume factory. Your clothes become fragrant without any effort. Dwelling upon the lives of the wicked, on the other hand, is like visiting a charcoal factory; our clothes become sooty even if we don’t touch the charcoal directly.

Throughout his life Jesus Christ demonstrated deep compassion and humility. Normally people respect others only if they belong to a reputed family. Otherwise they will not give them much respect. We see others through the lens of our ego. However, in spirituality, we accept others with out any preconceived notions. Wherever there is goodness, we need to accept it. That is what great masters teach us.
Not only that, Jesus did not live like a king, as many expected him to, but as one among the people, as the servant of all. Therefore, he was easily accessible to the poor and deprived. However high our status in life is, we should have the expansiveness to see everyone as equal. That, in fact, is an exalted state. If we cannot attain it, then at least we should be able to be able to view them without anger and hatred. We live in times when mutual brotherhood is lost and everyone is thinking of what one can grab from the other. It may be hard to see everyone as equal, but when we understand spirituality, we will be able to achieve this vision.

Currently, we depend on others for our happiness. Because of that dependency, we are losing the experience of true freedom. We miss the experience of knowing our True Self because of this attachment to the ego. No matter how hard we row a boat that is tied to the shore, it will not move forward one inch. Similarly if we want to move forward in spirituality, we need to renounce the notions of “I” and “mine.” We need to understand that we are just instruments in the hands of the Divine, and that it is the Divine power that is allowing us to do things.

We can control things only to some extent. Beyond that it is Divine grace that makes things happen. We need to put in efforts with an attitude of surrender. Even when we win a competition, we need to bend our head and bow down to receive the medal. Humility is the key that opens the heart.

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The goal of every mahatma’s life is to guide others to find the heaven within themselves. They show us that good actions bring us closer to God. Through his life, Jesus Christ taught the world that society rewards a spiritual seeker only with a crown of thorns. All mahatmas have had to face many challenges throughout their life, but because they had the experience of the Truth, nothing could stop them.

If you are a smoker, give your family the present of quitting smoking this Christmas. With the money that you save by giving up this habit, you can help a needy person. It also protects your health. If you are an alcoholic, get help to stop in the name of love for your family. The family will be so happy and your health will not deteriorate as well. If you are an overeater, stop eating excess food and start the habit of eating lesser portions of more nutritious food. This will make us less dull and improve our health.

Such presents that come out of sacrifice bring unending joy. Amma does not say that we should not send greeting cards and gifts or do other such things. It may give our loved ones fond memories. But the real gifts are the actions we do that truly benefit others. This is the right way to celebrate Christmas.

Celebrations like Christmas are also a wake-up call to those who do not know the goal of human life. From the point of view of the ancient sages of India, all are children of God. The guru’s voice wakes up the disciple who is in deep winter hibernation. What does the voice say? “This is the birth of a new age! You should be its creators. Hence, awake, arise! Joyfully shoulder the bundle of sacrifice and surrender! This bundle is not a burden. Rather, it will give us wings to fly high into the world of the soul, the True Self.”

May the spirit of Christmas inspire my children to fly high into the world of peace and joy. May grace bless you always.

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Planting Trees in the Desert: Meditation and Service at the prison in Barcelona

Inspired by Amma’s example, our volunteers working out of Barcelona, Spain have been running an outreach program with the nearby Quatre Camins prison for the past three years. The outreach is led by social worker Amparo Saavedra, who says that she wanted to find ways to incorporate everything she has learned from Amma about peace and love for the last 15 years into her work at Quatre Camins. Three years ago, Amparo asked Amma to bring meditation to the prison. Amma sent volunteer meditation instructors Cristina Rodriguez and Marta Griso, who have been visiting the prison and conducting classes and Amma’s IAM Meditation technique regularly ever since. The feedback from the prisoners is that the meditation is making a big impact on their lives—they credit the practice with helping to clear their minds and soothe their hearts. But meditation is not for everyone. That’s why 18 months ago, our volunteers started a garden at the prison called “Amma’s Garden” where the more action-oriented prisoners can learn to grow their own vegetables and enjoy being in nature. A number of the prisoners also spend two Sundays a month engaged in service activities at the Amma Center of Spain.

Prisoners with Amma

Prisoners with Amma

Finally, the prisoners are fundraising to help children with cancer. They raise money by making and selling bracelets and also by collecting bottle caps, which are sold to the recycling center. The prisoners have placed collection points in key locations throughout the prison, and over time have gotten all the prisoners in the habit of saving their bottle caps and dropping them in the collection points. The friends and families of the prisoners, and even the prison social workers and some of the other prison staff also bring their bottle caps from home and drop them in the collection points. One beautiful thing that has come out of this practice is that many different groups of prisoners within the prison are committed to collecting the caps. This has created a bridge between groups that would otherwise not have any common ground. The cap collection program was designed to engage the majority of the prison population, to create an easy positive practice for those who might not be receptive to more structured or involved service activities. When they hear that they can help children with cancer just by changing the place they put their used bottle caps, they easily agree. One of our volunteers explained that these things are like a small point of light for the prisoners, a simple and achievable act of compassion that opens their hearts and bring positive change into other parts of their lives as well.

Help children with cancer just by changing the place they put their used bottle caps, they easily agree.

During Amma’s most recent visit to Granollers, Spain, ten prisoners who have been participating in Embracing the World’s programs at the Quatre Camins prison received permission to spend the day at Amma’s program, doing service in support of the program and getting the opportunity to meet Amma personally. Upon receiving Amma’s embrace, one prisoner commented on how Amma received everyone, regardless of how they look. He felt that Amma only saw the goodness of his heart, describing Amma’s embrace as a priceless experience that opened his heart. Another commented that there are no words to describe Amma, stating that you have to experience her presence to understand it. Another stated that Amma can change the hate and war in the world through her infinite love, and that the greatest lesson he has learned from Amma is that you should hug more, and express your feelings more.

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Moving forward, our volunteers plan to create a program to help newly released prisoners integrate back into society with support. For many, leaving prison can be a very difficult experience. Without the amenities and support of the prison, it can be very difficult to integrate back into society. The volunteers are working to expand the meditation courses for newly released prisoners as well.

About the work of the volunteers at the Quatre Camins prison, Amma commented, “Amma is very, very happy that her daughters go out into the world to serve. When we die, the body rots and the only thing left is what we have done for others. It is like planting a flower or a tree in the desert. At least that much beauty or shade it will bring to the desert. Amma is very happy with her daughters.”

On the day they came to see Amma, the prisoners also brought a poem they had written for Amma, as well as a beautiful wooden altar carved by one of the inmates. The poem read:

Amma, you heard your children cry out,
Our hearts torn between good and bad,
Crushed under the terrible weight of hatred,
Until you arrived.

You, with your loving hugs filling us with love,
A love called freedom.
Freedom for those enclosed within prisons of brick,
we also are prisoners imprisoned within our own minds.

Inside our hearts with your gentle gaze
You summoned up an Ashram of serene protection,
and from that moment on,
we have been happily distracted.

Travelling with you through your world of compassion
is a dream come true, a serene refuge,
At your side we feel fulfilled.

 

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External success is impermanent, we need inner victory

27 Sep 2015, Amritapuri – Amritavarsham, Amma’s 62nd Birthday celebrations

Early this morning the stage was filled with traditional Kerala dancers in full regalia as well as ladies dressed up in the traditional costumes from all 29 states of India to welcome Amma. The loud, Panchari Melam, traditional music of Kerala created festive mood and a celebration in the hearts of everyone.

Upon Amma’s arrival on the stage, Swami Amritaswarupananda performed the Pada Puja while everyone chanted the Guru Gita. He then garlanded Amma with a beautiful red, pink and white mala, and lead the archana on behalf of all the devotees. The hall was reverberating with the chanting of Aum Amriteswaryai Namah.

After the Pada Puja, Amma lead a prayer for peace and harmony; praying for the peace of the departed souls of those who lost their lives in the recent Haj stampede, and for everyone to open their hearts to the plight of the refugees who have fled their homelands due to war and crisis.

Amma then gave her birthday speech, saying that India was suffering from a split personality–success when it comes to technological advancement and failure in terms of poverty, illiteracy, health sanitation and crimes against women. However, she said the condition could be remedied if the nation overcame segregationist attitudes and worked in unity.

“A split personality is never a sign of sound health,” Amma said. “If we want to see India become powerful and healthy again, we need to merge these two faces into one beautiful face.”

“If we can bring our collective knowledge, compassion and talent together, it will not be so long before we see India rising and thriving with peace, harmony and prosperity,” she said. “When this dream of India burns in us so strongly that not even a single Indian wants to sleep until it’s realized, then it will become a reality.”

“External success is impermanent. Along with external success, we need inner victory- victory over our mind and senses.”

“It is said that 22,000 children are dying daily due to poverty. We hear about such deaths so regularly that our ears have become desensitized. We say, “So sad,” but we forget it later. Just words of sympathy are not what is needed for the world. What we need are hands that are ready to serve selflessly.”

Amma ended her talk by asking everyone to stand and chant Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, once again praying for world peace.

With the help of several dignitaries on the dais, Amma then proceeded with the inauguration of numerous charitable initiatives for the poor in areas including healthcare and housing, as well as the provision of clothing, potable water and electricity.

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It is the need of every Indian that Ganga remains clean

In the wake of Amma’s 100-crore (US$15 million) donation to Namami Gange, the Indian Government’s Swachh Bharat & Ganga Cleaning Project, Amma has answered many questions about the donation, the project itself, and her views on the issue surrounding the project. From the press meet at Amritapuri Ashram on September 11, 2015.

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Amma at the press conference

 

We started Cleaning India program in 2010
Question: You have given 100 crores [$15 million US] today. And you are going to give another Rs. 100 crores on your birthday for facilitating toilet construction in Kerala. Your feat is indeed commendable because industry has not given a single penny for this noble cause of building toilets. But I just want to know whether your Math or anybody from your Math will try to ensure that so much money that you have donated, is properly used and not misused for something else—because you can never be sure of Government. (Inder Sahni, Delhi Bureau chief of Gujarat Samachar.)

Amma: When Amma came to know about the Swachh Bharath and Clean Ganga project that the Government of India has decided to take up, Amma was very delighted. This is in line with the Amala Bharatham Campaign (Clean India Campaign) that we [the Mata Amritanandamayi Math] started much earlier in the year 2010. Amma met the Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this year in Delhi to discuss on these lines {news}.

Surely, the matter does not end here just by donating the amount.

The Government has allowed us to survey as well as oversee whether the toilets are actually getting constructed in the specified areas. The Government has provided us with the detailed list of the all beneficiaries and their addresses. Also the Government. has agreed to provide us with all the necessary records and documents, which will allow us to evaluate the progress. A team consisting some of our people from Kerala as well as Delhi had visited these specified areas in Varanasi, Chhattisgarh etc., where they met and interacted with local sarpanchs [Head of five-village clusters]. Our teams will continue to visit these places and ensure that the people are getting benefitted. We are also going to educate the people on the use of toilets.

Bring back the golden days of Bharat

Question: Amma, you have done such a big work by donating Rs. 100 crores. When Prime Minister Narendra Modiji started the Swachh Bharat and Namami Gange project, he had appealed the industrialists as well, to donate for this noble cause. But no one ever donated so far. You have taken the initiative and the first step. What is your message for those industrialists who have the money and can make a contribution? (Sanjay Rai, National Bureau chief of Aaj Hindi Dainik, Varanasi)

Ganga in Haridwar

Ganga in Haridwar

Amma: Amma cannot command or ask anybody to act in certain way. Every one of us should feel for this cause from within, and help in whatever way we can. It will be good if everyone comes together for this cause. If big industries join in this project, a lot can be done. Not just the Clean Ganga project, there are various other kinds of pollution across India which need attention. If the industries get involved at state level to reduce these different kinds of pollution, there is a lot that can be achieved. However, Amma cannot force her words onto anyone. Amma can only request everyone to come together and work in unison to bring back the golden days of Bharat.

 

Genuine as well as hypocrites

Question: Amma, you do a lot of social work and you have a good image in public. But while working in the field of television, we come across a lot of news about some controversial babas also. This gives rise to various doubts in the hearts of the common people. Is there a way by which we can remove this gap between the real saints and the people, by removing these pretentious and hypocritical babas? (Sandeep Sonwalkar, Delhi, India TV)

A: The fact is that in every field of work, there are both the genuine ones as well as the hypocrites. People should carefully discern.

ganga

Ghats of Ganga

 

Everyone should feel for this cause

Question: Very frequently, various saints have been starting initiatives to clean Ganga, but it is the first time that such a substantial financial aid has been provided by a religious trust. Even saints do not have any dearth of money. And you have taken a first step. Would you like to appeal anything to the rest of saints or say something to them for coming forward for this cause? (Pawan Nara, Delhi, Zee News)

Amma: If Amma says anything to them, it will be like ordering them to act in a certain way. Everyone should feel for this cause from within and help in whatever way they can. The act of giving should be spontaneous. It cannot be forced.

 

We all have to come together to make the dream come true
Question: Many a times this question keeps coming up—whether Narendra Modiji is actually doing something or not. Today you have given Rs. 100 crores to the government, but do you think you have given it in the right hands? Because some political parties accuse Modiji of only talking in air. Do you really feel that this Rs. 100 crore that you have donated will be used appropriately? What is your perception? By giving this Rs. 100 crore, what is the message you are trying to give? (Reporter from North India)

Amma & India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Amma & India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Amma: People are free to say whatever they want. Why should Amma comment on that? Everyone has their own opinion. But will it be right for Amma to not act and respond to the need just because certain people have certain opinions or say something? Amma will do whatever is necessary on her part. Everyone has freedom in our country to tell their opinion. But that does not mean that we keep sitting, doing nothing. We must lend a helping hand.

Our ashram has the entire data of the list of beneficiaries who need toilets, their names, their addresses, the amenities they currently have and do not have, and this list has been verified also by our team. Our people have been on the ground and checked these details ourselves. In future also, Government will provide us the necessary records and the ashram will continue to monitor the progress of this project and ensure that the money is handled well. Amma believes that this money will reach its intended beneficiaries.

Amma prays that the Prime Minister’s plans and dreams to take this country forward come true. Just like all of us have a dream that India should rise and regain its golden era, he also has desire for India’s progress. Any of us can dream of Greater India, but if we want that dream to come true, then we all have to come together and unite. Only when we also join hands together is the dream of Greater India going to come true.

 

Contribute from Ashram side in every possible way
Question: For Ganga cleaning, lot of initiatives have been going on for past many years and a large amount of money has also been spent on those initiatives. But you have not donated such a big amount for this cause in past. So, what is so special about this time that you have decided to come forward and donate such a big amount? Is there anything that has increased your faith or anything else in particular that has made you come forward this time? (Nirmal Pathak, Delhi, Hindustan Newspaper)

Amma: It is not that Amma did not have faith in anybody earlier because of which Amma did not take this project in hand. In fact, Amma started Amala Bharatham Campaign (Clean India Campaign) in 2010, and since then Amma has been keeping a tab on similar such projects in India. Until then, we were not so informed about these projects. Recently, when Amma heard about Prime Minister’s project related to Namami Gange and the vision he has to take the country forward by this initiative, Amma felt that we should contribute from the ashram side in every possible way. Moreover, the financial situation of the [Mata Amritanandamayi] Math did not permit us to contribute in this initiative earlier.

 

All states need to come together
Question: I have two small questions. Firstly, we all know that you have donated Rs. 100 crores to Government of India for Clean Ganga project. But the state governments of the five states (Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal) through which the Ganga flows, also have a very big responsibility in the Clean Ganga Project. So, are you also planning to meet the chief ministers of these states in this regard and request them to take this Clean Ganga project forward, with full fervor? Secondly, my question is that in addition to the pollution problem of Ganga, there is another problem related to its flow. Many dams are being built upon Ganga River in Uttarakhand, due to which the Ganga water is being stopped. This is affecting the hallmark of Ganga River. So, would you like that the Government does not proceed further with the dam-related work on Ganga River in Uttarakhand, so that Ganga can retain its non-stop flow? (Hari Krishna, Dainik Jagran newspaper)

ganga aerial view

Satellite view of Ganga

Amma: Amma cannot order any minister to act in a certain way, but if there is any problem in their respective state, and Amma can do something about it, then Amma will surely meet them and offer whatever Amma can do to help.

Regarding the dams, it is a sensitive and complex issue because farmers also need water to grow food for the country, and these farmers are benefitting from these dams. We cannot ignore their needs either. We will need to understand the actual need of the people and then act accordingly. But one thing is for sure: All states need to come together and help in taking the Ganga-cleaning initiative forward.

 

It is the need of every Indian
Question: For last 30 years, Ganga is being cleaned. More than Rs. 30,000 crore has been spent on cleaning Ganga. Whenever the Government is summoned in the highest court of the country to discuss this case, the court says that, with the speed at the which the cleaning is actually happening, it is unlikely that even the current generation will be able to see clean Ganga. Amma, do you feel that the speed at which the cleaning work is happening, the current generation will ever be able to see the continuous flow of Ganga in its pure form? Is there any such hope? (North India Reporter)

burning ghats

Cremation at the Ghats

Amma: Amma would say that if this project has to become successful, then it is necessary that not just the Government, but everyone else (including industry as well as people) also should come forward and take part. This will require a lot of effort—for example, construction of treatment plants for the industrial waste rather than letting it directly into the Ganga, the right kind of sanitation facilities, some industries may even need to be relocated. So, everyone from in society needs to come together and have a single vision for cleaning Ganga. Only then will this work move forward with full speed. It will not happen if the Government alone is wishing for it. People too need to come forward and contribute in every possible way. All the state governments will need to work hand in hand. Of course, we can all put in our effort, but there are many other factors which affect the outcome of our efforts. For example, a person may be driving very carefully but the person coming from the other side may be reckless and this may lead to an accident. For all the factors to be favorable, God’s grace is necessary. The result of the efforts is not dependent on one single person.

When there were floods in Karnataka, Amma made new houses for those who lost their houses. Many other people and organizations came forward to offer their help in the relief-and-rehabilitation process. However, as soon the limelight of the media faded away, these people and organizations stepped back. But Amma’s ashram continued to construct as many houses possible for the needy, without worrying about the media limelight. However, as soon it became a news that only Amma is continuing to build houses while others have stepped back. This became a prestige issue for some, and soon it became like a competition, wherein everyone started coming forward and help.

Only if we are all ready to put our efforts together, can we conceive of cleaning Ganga becoming a reality. Some of us may feel that this is a Government project. But if we want this dream to come true, then we all need to move forward together, including the press and the media. This is not just the need of a Government or the Prime Minister. We need to realize that this is our need–it is the need of every Indian that Ganga remains clean. It is impossible with the efforts of a single individual. Everyone will have to unite and come together. Only then will this project be successful.

amma-press conference

Amma at the press confrence

Amma’s focus is on Dharma
Question: Just constructing toilets on the banks of Ganga River may not be enough to clean Ganga completely. There are lot of factories on the banks of Ganga that are releasing contaminated industrial waste into the Ganga. It is important to stop that, and this requires another major initiative. Has Amma spoken to the Government about any initiative in this direction as well? Another thing is that it looks like you are trying to get cozy with the BJP. Is it so? (Reporter, Mumbai, DNA newspaper)

Amma: Amma’s focus is only on dharma [righteousness], irrespective of any Government. Amma wants dharma to be established.

During the discussion with Prime Minister in March, this topic regarding factories releasing waste in Ganga River was also discussed. Amma had also expressed her concern about the factory waste, sewage and other wastewater, which is being released in Ganga. The factory residue that flow into the Ganga is a major concern and should be stopped. Some factories will need to be relocated, and some people will also need to be rehabilitated. All of these issues were taken up and seriously discussed during that meeting with Prime Minister.

Amma had also proposed a plan for removing the human waste like skeletons, bones etc., which need to be removed using boats that can go underwater. These boats can locate the places where these skeletons have been deposited and then remove them. In addition to the suggestions regarding the setup of various treatment plants, Amma had also suggested that the Government should take initiative to provide subsidies to the factories in order for them to be able to relocate easily. Otherwise it is like an elephant taking bath and then immediately throwing dust on its back. It will be a big waste of money and resources. Only after first stopping the corpses being thrown into the Ganga, establishing the treatment plants, building toilets etc., we should clean the Ganga of all the bones and other human waste. Otherwise, Ganga will again become contaminated.

 

Stop this unwanted practice
Question: There is a custom of releasing half burnt dead bodies in various places like Kashi, through which Ganga flows. Being a spiritual leader, it will be of great service if you can give a message to the people (to stop doing this). (Delhi coordinator, Janmabhoomi)

ganga-deadbody

Taking deadbody off Ganga

Amma: The topic of throwing corpses into Ganga, which further contaminates the Ganga, was discussed in detail with the Prime Minister in March of this year. It was a long discussion in which the Prime Minister promised that his next efforts will be to stop this unwanted tradition of throwing dead bodies into the Ganga.

In olden days, people used to think it was a good idea to let the dead body become the food for the fish. Our ancestors and older generations believed it to be like making an offering to the Ganga. Also they believed that one would attain moksha [liberation] and higher states of consciousness by offering one’s body to Ganga River. So, there is both the actual idea rooted in compassion, as well as the belief of attaining moksha. In fact, the chemicals that ooze into the soil from decomposing bodies can be even more harmful. Anyhow, this releasing of corpses into the Ganga has become somewhat of a primitive kind of ceremony, and that should be controlled and stopped. The Government is also looking into this matter. The Prime Minister is also taking this matter very seriously. He has told Amma that he will take the necessary steps to somehow stop this unwanted practice. Prime Minister Modi is planning to construct crematoriums on the banks of the Ganga River.

 

Namami Gange

Sunrise at Ganga

krishna- message

It is to make humankind understand truth that God incarnates in human form

6 September 2015 – Amritapuri
from Amma’s Sri Krishna Jayanthi message

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At the mere thought of Lord Sri Krishna, we feel an overwhelming joy arise within us. Even though it has been 5,000 years since the Lord incarnated on earth, his presence continues to shine in the culture and everyday life of the people of our land. The magnetism of the Lord’s leelas and the relevance of his teachings have not diminished with time. Through his life, Sri Krishna revealed the infinite power of the universe in all its completeness. This is the reason we hail him as a purna avatara—a full incarnation.

The literal meaning of the name Krishna is “he who ploughs.” The Lord is he who uproots the weeds of impurities from the human mind. Another meaning of for Krishna is “he who attracts all.” Krishna drew to himself not just the gopis, but all of humankind, as well as the birds, mammals, plants, trees, stones, thorns and everything else in nature.

In response to the maternal devotion of his mother Yashoda, the Lord became a mischievous child. In response to the romantic devotion of the gopis, the Lord became the divine dancer who played his flute and danced the ­rasa-leela. In response to the devoted friendship of Arjuna, the Lord took up a whip and became a charioteer. Even though Krishna knew he would be humiliated, he went to the Kaurava court as an emissary of peace.

At the sacred fire ritual of the Rajasuya Yajna, Lord Krishna—being the chosen deity—received the worship of all the assembled kings. Later, at the ensuing feast, he showed no hesitation in clearing the soiled leaf-plates of those who had eaten. Even when he was falsely accused by his own subjects of stealing the precious Syamantaka gemstone, he remained calm and eventually proved the truth. He alternated between different roles seamlessly, with the deftness of a seasoned actor, yet never lost site of his true nature.

Whatever was his dharma at the present moment he carried that out without letting personal pride, happiness, shyness or difficulty obstruct him.

The goal of any avatara is to lead humankind to its higher self. When we attain our essence, which is hidden within us, we become dear to the Lord. This is the symbolism behind the Lord’s love for butter—which is the essence of milk. When the higher love for the Lord takes us beyond our petty likes and dislikes, then our mind becomes pure, and we become dear to the Lord. This is how the Lord becomes chitta-chora—the stealer of the mind.

15-krishna-sing

Have vision, turn inward, Truth will shine within

In reality, we are not separate from the Lord. He is our own essential nature. We see the whole world with our eyes, yet we cannot see our own eyes. Such is our current state. If we can make our vision, which is currently focused on the external world, turn inward, then that Supreme Truth will shine forth within us. Otherwise, we will continue searching for happiness and peace in the external world like the musk deer that blindly pursues the smell of musk, not realizing that the fragrance is coming from its own body.

For the Vedantin, the Lord is the perfect role model. To understand practical Vedanta, one should study the life of Lord Krishna. He did not seek any anything for himself. Whatever others needed, he gave. He loved everyone, but was attached to no one.

Some may ask, “Why do we need to love the Lord, who is not attached to anyone?” The Lord did not see anyone as different from him. That is what he revealed to Arjuna through the vision of his cosmic form—that he is in everyone and everything and everyone is in him. Attachment comes only when you see the other person as different from you. The reason he was not attached to anything is because in his worldview there was nothing other than him.

Smile & Equanimity

The greatest message the Lord gave the world was his never-diminishing smile. Whether it was when the he incarnated on earth, when he taught the Gita, or when he watched his own Yadava clan fight and destroy themselves, his smile never wavered. His smile was the smile that rises from mental equanimity.

Equanimity of mind is being able to face opposite circumstances with the same attitude. External circumstances will keep changing. Fortune and hardship will also alternate. We should consciously cultivate the attitude of total acceptance with regards to everything. If we can do that, then peace and joy will always be there in our life.

The Mahabharata and the Bhagavatam present so many challenging incidents that took place in Krishna’s life. Regardless, the smile never faded from his face. Our lives are like the pendulum of a clock; they constantly swing from hardship to fortune, and fortune to hardship. When the pendulum swings to one side, it doesn’t remain there for long. It is just gaining enough momentum to swing back the other. Keeping this in mind, when we experience fortune or comfort in life, we must remember that it is only momentary. Hardships will soon return. We need to bring the pendulum of our lives to a standstill—a point of equilibrium. When we understand the scriptures, we will be able to keep ourselves in this point of equilibrium, like the needle of a balanced scale.

The Avatar

The manifestation of an avatara is like the full moon rising on a new-moon night. Their beauty and influence an avatara has upon the world is beyond comparison. All planes of human life are touched and nourished by their presence. We see this in all fullness in Lord Krishna. The avatara of Lord Krishna was ordinary, yet extraordinary. He was human, yet divine. He was completeness itself.

It is to make humankind understand this supreme truth that God incarnates in human form. Only if God incarnates in human form can we begin to grasp this truth. Just as a policeman disguises himself as a criminal to catch criminals, the Lord joyfully plays his divine leelas with us in order to uplift us. He comes down to each person’s individual level to uplift them.

From the moment that he was born into Kamsa’s prison, to the moment he was killed by the hunter’s arrow, every action Krishna performed was sweet, attractive and aimed at cleaning the human world of its impurities. The prison that the Lord was born into symbolizes the prison of desires that is currently binding our hearts. If we cultivate awareness of the Lord’s presence in our heart, we will be able to release ourselves from all the bonds that imprison us. May the baby Krishna forever play in our hearts. May the wisdom of his words continue to enlighten our path every day.

The above is extracted from Amma’s 2015 Krishna Jayanti message.

onam message

Create an empire of happiness

Onam is a Time of Joy, Love, Kinship & Devotion

August 28th 2015 — Amritapuri Ashram

The following has been extracted from Amma’s Onam message.

Onam is a festival of unity and sharing. A festival takes place when our heart overflows. Onam is a time when joy, love, kinship and devotion overflow. The breeze of Onam starts caressing us as soon as the Malayalam month of Chingam starts. In fact, people begin to feel joy even in the final days of Karkitakam. The rays of the sun start piercing the clouds in the sky. Flowers everywhere start smiling. Butterflies start flitting about. There is only joy everywhere. Here, we share that joy and love with others. Happiness increases when we share it with others.

15-onam-11

 

All of us rejoice when the month of Karkitakam ends and Chingam begins. Karkitakam is a time of spiritual practice and austerities when we stay home and worship God. While the earth bathes in the monsoon, Keralites bathe in the Ganga of Wisdom that is the Ramayana. Sometimes, without thinking we may curse the rains of Karkitakam, but we must never forget that it is only because of the torrential rains of Karkitakam that we have the flowers and harvests of Chingam. Moreover, it is the month of rain that helps us to appreciate the following beauty of Nature. This shows us that behind every celebration lies a period of sacrifice and austerity.

All of us are experiencing our own little pains and sorrows in life. Nevertheless, amidst all these, we still usher in Onam with joy. How is it possible? Happiness is a decision. If we so decide, we can create an empire of happiness. This is because happiness is our true nature. The lamp of happiness is ever aflame in our hearts. We must take care not to block this light with the closed curtain of our desires.

 

Happiness is a decision. If we so decide, we can create an empire of happiness. This is because happiness is our true nature. – AMMA

At present, climatic patterns are changing. It is becoming hotter. There is less rain. The seasons are becoming erratic. In order to live in harmony with Nature, one should love all beings. One must uphold dharma. Dharma used to be the very heart of Onam. Our estrangement from our culture of dharma is the reason for all these irregularities. In the past, people were content with what they received. They were able to find contentment in small things. This is the very message of Onam—the message of sacrifice, simplicity and charity.

The story of Mahabali is also a tale of sacrifice and austerity. It is only because of Mahabali’s self-sacrifice and surrender that he is still remembered today. Each year, we welcome him along with the Lord. Even though Onam actually is the day when Lord Vishnu incarnated as Vamana, we think of Mahabali more than the Lord. This reveals the greatness of devotion and sacrifice. However, initially, there were flaws in Mahabali. He thought all of his accomplishments were exclusively due to his effort. Having such an attitude is like allowing salt to fall into milk; it ruins any sweetness. It is the Lord’s duty to save His devotee from such a predicament. In the end, Mahabali was discerning enough to realize his folly. With this realization came total surrender. His life also teaches us that we must realize our own follies and strive to correct ourselves.

After he had surrendered everything, all that Mahabali asked the Lord was that he be able to see his subjects happy. Mahabali’s love was not confined to words. He did not have any selfish ulterior motive. Such love is very rare in the world today. Many speak loving words but their intentions are impure.

We have heard it sung that during the time of King Mahabali’s reign, all people were considered equal, but that equality was not merely external. It indicates an internal equality—an equal vision that comes from knowledge. External circumstances will constantly change. Happiness will alternate with sorrow. We should try to cultivate an attitude of equanimity and acceptance.

As Onam approaches, we usually see the liquor sales soaring. The Kerala Government’s ban on liquor is a good step. However, this ban will only become effective and complete when there is an internal change in man.

15-onam-14

In olden days, Onam itself was our intoxication. However, today, so many people get drunk on Onam that they consider that to be the bliss of Onam. People in Kerala annually consume more liquour than those in any other state. Alcohol is destroying our health as well as our relationships. If the person drinking is from a poor family, the family is financially ruined.

Onam celebrates the memory of a past golden age. We also have the hope that such a golden age will return in the future. However, what happens when we get into the celebratory mood of Onam? We forget both the past and the future and live completely in the moment. In fact, life exists only in the present moment. The present moment is our only wealth. We should strive to properly utilize it, with awareness and alertness. Whenever we do this, the spirit of Onam will immediately awaken within us. Any memories of the past we have should awaken only positivity in the present. This means that we should try to remember only positive things people have done for us. Remember how they may have encouraged us or helped us. Try to draw energy from such memories and live in the present moment. What is essential is to make the present moment meaningful. If we do this, our life will naturally be filled with new sprouts, flower buds, blossoms and fruits. Happiness and prosperity will pervade. The spirit of Onam will be there for us every day.

Onam is a symbol of external and internal beauty. Happiness and beauty will be present only in a mind that is devoid of negative emotions. Therefore, may the shadow of negative emotions such as hatred and sorrow leave our minds. Instead, let our minds be filled with the golden light of love and happiness. Let the dark clouds of poverty and conflict lift, and let the world awaken to a new dawn of peace and prosperity. In this way, let the true message of Onam spread all across the world. May Onam be continuously celebrated in the mind of humanity. May the Paramatman, shower grace for this to happen.

gurupurnima blessing

Guru is the embodiment of the Scriptures

15-gurupurnima

31 July 2015, Amritapuri

Gurupurnima was celebrated with much devotion and enthusiasm at Amritapuri today. Many devotees came from different parts of India and the world to be with the Guru.

Amma’s Padapuja was performed by Swami Amritaswarupanda with the chanting of Guru Gita and 108 Names. All the swamis garlanded Amma, Amma showered blessings upon every one.

 

gurupurnima blessings

Amma addressed the overflowing hall on the significance of the principle of the Guru. The following remarks are excerpted from her address:
“The Guru tattwa (Guru principle) is eternal. Gurus lived these ideals in their lives. The disciples observed this and tried to live those ideals in their lives as well. God and the Guru are one. However, the Guru principle that elevates the soul to the state of liberation is beyond the divine principle. There is nothing whatsoever that the Guru needs to gain or do. He guides the disciple out of compassion alone.


“The disciple has innumerable weaknesses and tendencies. It takes boundless patience to lead such a disciple. Sacrifice and austerity are ever ablaze in the Guru’s life. Every word from such Gurus is scripture. Their very life is scripture. They are also the ones who impart vitality to the scriptures.

“Spirituality starts with compassion and ends in compassion. When we put a stone in a pond, ripples radiate from the stone and touch the shore. They then come back and reach the center. It begins with the center and ends with the center- the bindu. This central point is Love. ”

After the talk, Amma sang the bhajans, “Sakala Kala Devate Saraswati Devi,” and “Guruvadi vani sun lo” and at the end asked every one to dance to the last bhajan “Bolo Bolo sab mil bolo Om Namah shivaya.” She then led the assembled crowd in a silent prayer for world peace. After that, Amma started giving darshan till 10.43 pm.

Earlier, before Amma’s padapuja,  Swami Amritaswarupananda addressed the gathering, spoke about Amma’s greatness as the Guru.