Life should flow incessantly like a melodious song

Amma’s Krishna Jayanti Message

15 September 2014 — Amritapuri Ashram

If there has ever been a person whose description was beyond words, it was Sri Krishna. He was a great jnani, the embodiment of strength, love and compassion, incomparably beautiful, wisdom personified, and perfect in his actions.

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Amma leading a bhajan session at midnight, Sri Krishna Jayanthi celebrations

He also was the protector of all, an incomparable genius and an expert in many arts. He viewed the world with sama-drshti—a vision in which all are seen to be of one and the same divine essence—and was also a great philosopher and expert psychiatrist. His fame and influence were all-pervading. He was adored by all and yet was an example of humility, always interested in serving others. He was a great leader, yogi and eternally young.

Furthermore, Sri Krishna was a wonderful orator whose presence, words and actions radiated an irresistible charisma. He was a great administrator, diplomat and a valiant warrior. This wonderfully handsome presence handled all situations with a smile on his face.

Even after having enumerated all these qualities, Sri Krishna’s description remains incomplete. He was all this and much more. It doesn’t take much reflection to see that there was no one else in history like him. He transcends description, transcends thought.

If someone were to ask us to name one person who could serve as a role model for everyone, everywhere, there can only be one answer: Sri Krishna. People capable of accepting, embracing and loving life—irrespective of the situation or experience, be it good or bad—as Sri Krishna did are extremely rare.

Even his form offered a message: the flute always at his lips, the enchanting music endlessly flowing forth from it, the never-fading divine smile, the feet that were eager to dance, the eyes brimming with compassion, the body that radiated inner beauty. He was an embodiment of supreme love.

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Devotees dancing to the tune of Amma’s bhajan

This is Sri Krishna’s message: Life should flow incessantly like a melodious song. Just as the dancer becomes one with the dance, we should allow our life to become one with its incessant flow—making it a blissful confluence of happiness, beauty, compassion and creativity. The flow of a river is musical, beautiful and blissful. It accepts everyone, treating everyone the same. Whether people use it for drinking or bathing, whether they worship it, spit in it or dump waste into it, it doesn’t discriminate against them. This was the message of Sri Krishna’s life as well.

May the divine teachings of Sri Krishna inspire my children to use their bodies, emotions and intellects in the service of others. May my children see themselves in everyone, and see everyone in themselves. May divine grace bless all of my children.

– Excerpted from Amma’s Sri Krishna Jayanti satsang.

Onam connects us with eternity

7 September 2014 — Amritapuri Ashram

Extracted from Amma’s Onam satsang.

There are certain things in life towards which attraction never ends. These are the good things that awaken enthusiasm and freshness whenever we think about or experience them. For example, the sea. No matter how many times we look at the sea, we never feel it’s enough. There is an aspect of eternity in the sea. It’s the same with the sky. The bonds we feel with the place where we were born and towards Nature in general are also like this. We always see newness in them. It’s the same with the bond and attraction we feel towards Onam.

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There is something in Onam that touches and awakens goodness and happiness in us. For a Malayali*, the mere thought of Onam awakens enthusiasm and feelings of celebration. Maybe we feel this attraction because of how intertwined Onam is with our eternal culture and Nature itself.

Certain aspects of Onam are unique. It is a chain that links together the past, the present and the future. We celebrate Onam to remember the good times that have been lost to antiquity—memories of an age when prosperity, equality and brotherhood prevailed. Onam also awakens expectations for the return of such an age in the future. Onam belongs to the present as well because when we celebrate it we forget everything and live in the here and now.

At the same time, Onam is not just an occasion to celebrate and enjoy. It’s also an occasion to remind us of the importance of certain values: the importance of sharing, of protecting Nature, of humility and self-sacrifice, the importance of surrendering ourselves to God, the importance of being charitable and of performing our actions in a spirit of yajna. These are some of what Onam teaches us. In fact, questions like “Did Mahabali really exist?” and “Was there even a Kerala in Mahabali’s time?” are not that relevant. The important things are the values and teachings that Onam conveys. Our celebration of Onam will only truly become meaningful when we put in effort to firmly imbibe these values in our life.

In our country, festivals are not mere occasions for celebrating and enjoying. They are means to help us transform every aspect of our personal and social lives into things that will advance us towards Self-realization. More than being for our enjoyment, their aim is to help us spread dharma, values and the remembrance of God in society. It’s painful for Amma when she sees how far people are straying from this goal. Worse yet, the tendency to use festivals like Onam as mere occasions to drink and make merry is increasing every year.

Even though Mahabali was a very good person, he had some shortcomings. His attitude was, “I’m a great emperor. I’m the ruler of the three worlds. No one does as much good as I do.” In reality, we do not have any power of our own. Mahabali did not understand that it is only because of divine grace that we are able to accomplish anything. Vamana asked Mahabali for three feet of land. Mahabali replied, “I’m the owner of the three worlds. Don’t ask me for such trivial things. Ask for anything, and it will be given to you.” This is the attitude many develop when they start gaining fame, position and prosperity in life. It’s not enough if we perform good actions; we have to do so humbly, without ego. Remember, even Olympic champions have to lower their heads when standing on the podium to receive their medals.

When someone writes a great book, can the pen claim any greatness? If a judge sentences someone to be hanged, is the pen responsible for the verdict? No, the pen is just an instrument. We should be aware that, similarly, we are all just instruments in God’s hands.

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The Onam festival is an expression of unity. When everyone comes together to draw and decorate the pookkalams, to cook the feast, to take part in the Onam dances and games, all differences fade away. Unity is the pillar of progress and harmony in society. It is not enough if we are united on Onam. We need to be able to abide in such ideals throughout our lives. But what we see in today’s society is only selfishness and self-imposed segregation.

Onam is also a celebration that reminds us of our dharma towards Mother Nature. Not so long ago, the Onam pookkalams were decorated with so many varieties of flowers. Thumba, thechi, mandaram, hibiscus, jasmine and many other varieties of flowers could easily be found around many of the houses. But in recent times flowers are seen less and less. As such, we see people using colored powder, coconut flakes and sawdust to color their pookkalams. Soon, we may even see pookkalams made of plastic flowers. These may be colorful, but they will lack the beauty and fragrance of real flowers. In olden times, nearly every house had a swing. Now the tree on which the swing was tied has disappeared. Today, in order to sit on a swing, children have to go to a park. To prevent such situations, we have to put in dedicated effort with the spirit of unity.

Let us try our best and leave the rest to God’s will.

—-
* Malayali – One who speaks Malayalam, the language of Kerala state.

Build a bridge of love and universal brotherhood

27 July 2014, Amritapuri

Minority Commission of the Govt. of India Member, Shri. Thykkuttathil Zakkeer met Amma today in Amritapuri along with his family during darshan. He offered to Amma a Ramadan gift of a plaque engraved with auspicious prayers from The Holy Quran along with sweets and fruits.

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He also invited Amma to share her thoughts on the eve of Eid al-Fitr. Amma shared the following message in response to his request.

“Sacrifice, charity, compassion and knowledge – these are the values imparted by all mahatmas and scriptures. Prophet Muhammad and The Holy Quran ask us to follow these very principles. We have to take this message  into our heart. This does not mean just acquiring an intellectual understanding. Rather, we should translate these principles into action in our lives. In so doing, we will feel love and compassion for our fellow beings.

“The exchange of Ramadan gifts symbolizes both giving and receiving. Through this process of sharing, we build a bridge of love and universal brotherhood. That feeling of love and unity is something we should strive to maintain forever, throughout our lives.

“The sun doesn’t need the light of a candle. Likewise, God doesn’t need anything from us. Even so, for those who are suffering, let us go to their level, listen to their problems, strive to understand them, and console them. That is the best way to receive God’s grace. Like the moonlight of Ramadan, may our hearts also fill with the moonlight of love. May this love be the guiding factor for the whole world.”

– Tulasi

We must always have a place for others in our heart

16 April 2014, Ashramam, Kollam
Amma was invited to light the lamp and inaugurate this year’s Kollam Pooram, a massive annual temple festival hosted by the Sree Krishna temple, Asramam. Attended by a large number of people, the festival is marked by delightful spectacles including elephants colourfully decorated with rapidly inter-changing ceremonial umbrellas (kudamattom), traditional drumbeats (melam) and pyrotechnics.

With throngs of participants looking on, Amma lit the ceremonial lamp and gave the benedictory address. In her speech, she said, “Amma is really happy to participate in the Pooram celebrations. The people of Kollam forgetting all differences and working together with love, understanding and faith is what makes this celebration so special. May this attitude be also reflected in each of your actions in your day-to-day life. In this way, not only this day but each day of your life will become a celebration.”

In her 15-minute address, Amma stressed the importance of cultivating a vision rooted in spiritual understanding and universal values. She also talked about the importance of seeing God everywhere, and the way that will translate into a compassionate attitude and a life filled with divine grace. “Temples are places where we can feel the presence of God. That’s good, but it is not enough just to see God in the temple – we have to see God in every aspect of Creation.” Amma continued, “We must always have a place for others in our heart. In fact, it is this compassion that makes us receptive to the factor of divine grace in our life.”

On her way to the festival, Amma visited the Sree Krishna temple proper and spent some time there. The festival itself is held at the Asramam Maidanam, one of the biggest festival grounds in Kerala. The massive crowd of festival participants was framed by 15 elephants in full regalia on either side, representing the nearby Ganesha and Devi temples.

This is a historic occasion. Amma is attending this kind of festival for the first time. The people of Kollam and the festival organizers expressed their sincere gratitude for Amma’s presence, and their hope that with her blessings, the Pooram festival will become an international event for peace and harmony.

– Kannadi

Vishukkani – Even in the midst of difficult times, happiness can be found

15 April 2014, Amritapuri

Excerpted from Amma’s message during the occasion of the Vishu Celebrations at Amritapuri

Vishu is a festival that is deeply connected to our culture and to nature. When we hear the word Vishu, what first come to mind are images of the golden kanikkonna flower and vishukkani. The importance placed on taking in the darshan (vision) of vishukkani—the traditional cornucopia of Vishu—upon waking Vishu morning symbolizes the importance of entering the new year seeing goodness and thinking good thoughts. Whatever activity commences with the remembrance of God will be auspicious. Taking in vishukkani upon waking helps us begin the new year with the darshan of God and nature.

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The belief is that this auspicious vision will bear fruit that will stay with us throughout the year. Even in the drought and heat of the summer, nature is able to bring forth golden kannikonna flowers. This is nature’s teaching to us: Even in the midst of difficult times, happiness can be found.

On Vishu morning, in every house, the mothers and grandmothers go to each room and wake up the children and other family members. They cover their eyes and lead them to the altar room. When everyone is standing before the image of the Lord, they remove their hands. The children open their eyes and behold the beautiful form of the Lord and the different facets of the vishukkani. Their hearts fill with devotion and enthusiasm. That is like a deposit that they then can draw upon throughout the year.

Another meaning of the word Vishu is “being equal.” Vishu takes place when day and night have the same duration. Thus, it symbolizes how we should be able to accept both joyful and difficult circumstances with mental equanimity. Ordinary people become egoistic in success and lose strength when painful experiences occur. The reason we lose our mental strength is our failure to put God first in our life; these days, our first priority is the external.

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Life can bring us any kind of experience at any time. It can be criticism; it can be praise. It can be joyful circumstances; it can be sorrowful ones. It can be success; it can be failure. Anything can come at any moment. This is what life is. If we are to face these varied experiences with equanimity, then we should be prepared to give up our likes and dislikes.

When difficult times come, some people take solace in thinking that they are reaping the fruit of selfish actions that they have performed in the past. This is a good attitude. Another practical approach is to accept all of our experiences as God’s prasad. To cultivate this attitude, we must first see all of our actions as offerings to God. When we surrender all of our actions to Him, we will then start being able to accept everything that comes to us in life as prasad in return. Then we will be able to see all experiences equally, transcending attachment and aversion.

The greatest jail is our ego. Currently we are imprisoned in this self-created jail. A bird in a golden cage—provided with all types of food and toys—is still deprived of the all-expansive sky. Children, let us try to come out of this jail called the ego.

Vishu is an occasion to remember how important it is to love and serve the Creator through the creation. My children, strive for this. We should also love nature. There is so much pollution in the atmosphere today. In the olden days, when someone had a wound, they would apply cow dung to it to help it heal more quickly. If we were to do this today, the wound would only become infected. What once was medicine has today become poison. Our air, our water, our food—everything has become polluted. When you chop down a tree without a true necessity, you are, in fact, building your own coffin.

Let us use our time in a manner that is beneficial for ourselves and others. Let us try to do what we can. Let us reach out to nature and our fellow human beings. May we help make this world a tree full of flowers of happiness and fruits of peace. May every day in your life be filled with the joy and auspiciousness of Vishu.

 

Sri Rama is an excellent role model of dharma and values

Amma’s message on Sri Rama Navami

Children, when adharma is at its peak and dharma is disappearing, avataras take birth to uphold dharma. Thousands of years ago, Sri Rama, who was born on the ninth day of the month Chaitra, is believed to be dharma itself in a human form.

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Avataras teach humankind through the example of their life. Therefore, they will have limitations; they may have to pass through tests and obstacles, just like other people. Through this, they teach us not how to avoid problems, but how to safeguard our ideals and values when we find ourselves in the midst of problems. They show us how to face life’s tests with mental peace and equanimity. Through this, others find the inspiration to move forward along the path of dharma.

Many ask, “If Rama was the all-knowing Lord, why did he chase after the golden deer? Didn’t he realize it was Mareecha’s illusion? It was because of this that Ravana was able to kidnap Seeta.” Understanding human nature, Sri Rama chose to take birth as a human being. Thus, like other humans, he displayed a mix of knowledge and ignorance, strength and weakness. Once a game begins, we cannot just change the rules in the middle.

This reminds me of a story: A prince was playing Hide & Seek with his friends inside the palace gardens. The prince was totally and blissfully immersed in the game. Forgetting everything else, he was intent on finding his friends. Despite searching intensely, the prince was unable to locate even one of them. A servant who had been watching the children play asked the prince, “Why are you going through so much trouble to find your friends? If you order them to come before you, won’t they all come out of hiding?” Hearing this, the prince looked at the servant with sympathy and said, “If I do that, what fun would be left in the game?”

Like all humans, we can see joy, sorrow, hardships, problems and limitations in the lives of mahatmas. They behave like this so that others can come closer and establish relationships with them on a personal level. In truth, defeating adharma is not the foremost priority of avataras. Their primary goal is to nurture devotion in the hearts of humankind. They attract people through their captivating leelas.

Since our childhood, our life has been founded on relationships. Our first relationship was with our mother. Then with our father. Then with our siblings, friends, coworkers and acquaintances. Thus, for us, who are predisposed to forming such relationships, building a relationship with God and worshipping Him is natural. This is how Sri Rama and Sri Krishna earned their place in the hearts of humankind. Through them, a culture of devotion has grown in the world.

There is a lesson for us to learn in how Sri Rama willingly faced every situation that arose in his life. How should an individual behave towards his parents, his siblings, his friends? How should a leader behave towards his followers? How to stand firm in the face of moral trials? All these can be learnt from the life of Sri Rama. Sri Rama did not become overjoyed when he learnt that he was to be crowned successor to the throne. Similarly, when he lost the throne, he did not fall into despair. Moreover, Sri Rama only had love and respect for Kaikeyi—the cause of his exile. Thus, Sri Rama is an excellent role model of dharma and values for us to emulate in life.

Be Compassionate towards nature, bathe the mind in enthusiasm everyday

1 Jan 2014, New Year Celebrations, Amritapuri

New Year’s Eve was celebrated in grand style in Amritapuri. After Amma’s evening bhajans, everyone assembled in the large hall and were treated to a wide range of cultural performances, including Hip Hop, classical Indian dances, and a theatrical interpretation of one of Amma’s satsang stories.

Throughout the night Amma was seated in the middle of the hall enjoying the programs with everyone else around her, including many small children taking turns on her lap. Once the final performance came to an end Amma gave her New Year’s message.

“We have reached the doorstep of yet another year. The mere thought of a new year awakens vibrations of expectation, happiness and celebration. May the flowers of peace and happiness blossom within my children’s hearts. May the fragrance of these flowers pervade the world through your good deeds.

“Over the past year, many events have hurt us deeply. Wars, conflicts, natural disasters, exploitation of women… The list goes on. There was the war in Syria, the hurricane in the Philippines, the destruction in Uttarakhand… the horrific images of these tragedies continue to flash in our mind. We hold many discussions and write a lot about the challenges currently faced by humankind, but we have yet to truly become aware of them. Many people talk a lot about environmental preservation, but true greatness lies in putting these principles into practice and actually doing something about it. Over the past year, we have destroyed 12.5 million acres of forests. How long will it take us to regenerate these forests? Is it even possible? Scientists call forests “the lungs of the planet.” We should have the awareness that polluting rivers, oceans and forests is no different from injecting poison into our bloodstream. The same human beings that are supposed to be responsible for protecting nature are actually responsible for its destruction. Amma has a request: When we make our New Year’s resolutions, we also need to make a resolve to show compassion towards nature. Every small effort we make towards environmental conservation is precious because it actually aids in sustaining life. It is more precious than any kind of material wealth. Through our schools, we can awaken in our children an interest in protecting nature, just like the interest we’ve awoken in them for amassing money.

“Just by turning the pages of our calendar, nothing is going to change. It is the impurities of anger, lust and jealousy within us that turn “good times” into “bad times.” We need to have a higher goal in life. Imagine a ship is sailing on the ocean with its sails angled to perfectly catch the wind. But if the captain does not know which harbor he is to dock his ship, he will just keep on sailing. Without a destination, no matter how fair the sailing, it will all be in vain. It is our goals that give us enthusiasm, strength and energy. They make us alive.

“We need a daily routine to help us towards our goal. If spirituality is our goal, we will try to nurture good thoughts. We will try to do good deeds. We will not brood over unnecessary thoughts. We won’t become jealous seeing another person’s success. We won’t be bothered about the various things going on around us; we will only try to do whatever we can. We will read spiritual books and attend satsangs.

“Death is constantly in front and behind us, like a shadow. Our body is like a rented house. At any moment, we could be asked to vacate. Instead of leaving kicking and screaming, we should be ever ready to leave with joy and laughter. Before death overpowers us, we have many important tasks to complete. Life is an opportunity to look back and evaluate our progress and, at the same time, to look forward and focus on action. Why have we embarked on this journey of life? What is our goal? Are we moving along the right path? Or have we lost our way? The dawn of a new year is a time for self-introspection and firm resolves.

“We bathe every day to stay clean. Enthusiasm is like a bath for the mind. It’s not enough to feel enthusiastic and cheerful only on New Year’s Day though. We need to maintain this feeling throughout the year. When we wake up in the morning, we wash our face and prepare ourselves for the day. No one wants to appear dirty or ugly. This is usually the first thought of our day. But we need to clean our mind as well. We need to wipe away the dust of our negativities. Then, not only our lives, but also the lives of everyone around us will become beautiful. If this is our attitude, the entire world will thrive as if a new spring is awakening.

“May Amma’s children become messengers of love and peace. Amma prays that all of her children’s lives are filled with peace and happiness. May grace bless one and all. Let us chant “Om Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu” — May all the beings in all the worlds be happy — together. It is difficult to remove darkness, but in the presence of light, darkness spontaneously disappears. Likewise, may the lamps of love and compassion burn bright in the hearts of all of Amma’s children. May the Paramatman (Supreme) grace us with strength.”

As her message concluded with the prayer that all world should strive towards a peaceful 2014, Amma began singing Khusiyom Ki Bahar. All sang along with Amma in a prayerful mood culminating in the final chorus of ‘Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu.’

Then the mood became more upbeat and joyful as Amma lead everyone through Meri Jhopadhi De while a sea of bodies swayed side to side clapping to the rhythm of the song. For the last song many people could no longer contain their joy and stood up and danced while Amma sang Tannana Tannana. The hall was fully rocking as the song continued to build momentum until everyone was out of their seat and jumping and dancing with joy. After the final Mata Rani Ki was chanted big pots of payasam were brought to Amma and then distributed to one and all.

– Kannadi

Sri Krishna is Protector of Dharma and Jagat Guru

28 August, Amritapuri – Krishna Jayanthi Celebrations 2013

Like each year before it, the day of Krishna’s birth was celebrated in Amritapuri in a very festive atmosphere and music and bhajans were everywhere; it was a true celebration.

Early in the morning after crowds of people paraded through the ashram enthusiastically singing namavalis and Gopuja was performed.

Little gopis and gopas and krishnas were seen all around the ashram as many took the opportunity to dress up on the occasion and join a large procession led by the ashram elephant Lakshmi.
The procession began in the afternoon and first passed all around the ashram before proceeding to the Kuzhithura Sri Krishna Temple

Amma came to the big hall and gave darshan to all those that had come for the festivities. Then once all the preparations were made and the procession had returned to the front of the ashram, Amma joined with everyone to participate in the Uriyadi games. Amma sat on the temple steps and sang bhajans as everyone crowded around to watch the young participants try their best to break the small clay pots suspended from high above.

Right from Uriyadi everyone followed Amma back to the big hall for the evening bhajans which were highlighted by several beautiful Krishna bhajans. But the main event was still to come. After dinner, Amma came back to the stage for the grand finale. Amma gave her Sri Krishna Jayanthi message which was played on the big video screens.

 

“Sri Krishna Jayanti reminds one of the soul’s immortality.”

“The birthday of an ordinary person reminds us of the transience of human life, whereas that of a divine incarnation like Sri Krishna reminds us of the soul’s immortality” said Amma in her Krishna Jayanti message in Amritapuri.

“Lord Krishna’s life is a light illumining the way to the Supreme. God assumes a human form in order to teach how humankind may rise to the level of God. Like a mother who helps her toddling child walk, God accepts all the limitations of a human body for the sake of leading us. By assuming a human form, divine incarnations demonstrate how human beings ought to live” Amma said.

” Whereas the gopis, Arjuna, Udhava and Viduran became devotees of Krishna, Kamsa, Sishupala and Duryodhana rejected Him. Pointing to this, Amma said, “A mirror clearly reflects sunlight, whereas a piece of charcoal does not reflect sunlight at all. However, the sun does not discriminate between the mirror or charcoal piece, but shines equally on both.”

“Lord Krishna, who adorned himself with a peacock feather, continues to shine even today as the protector of Dharma and as the Guru of the world.
Through his life, Sri Krishna demonstrated the duties of a son, disciple, king, servant, teacher, friend and householder. It is this fullness and expansiveness that makes Krishna a purna-avatar, a complete manifestation of divinity in human form. Jagat Gurus (world gurus) are those who teach truth and dharma through their lives. Krishna expressed different bhavas to captivate different kinds of people. His teachings helped to uplift people of all levels, and they illumine the paths of knowledge, devotion, action and yoga. If we give up our ego and surrender to the Lord, He will protect us in all circumstances,” emphasized Amma.

Then as the clock approached midnight chanting from the Srimad Bhagavatam filled the hall as a Bala Gopala Puja was being performed on stage. Right at midnight, the hour of Krishna’s birth, Amma began singing beautiful Krishna bhajans in a very celebratory and joyous mood, including: Agatanayi Vishnu Devan, Nanda Gopan and Katitayitaram. Then Amma asked everyone to stand up and forget all their worries and dance with arms raised as she continued to sing: Bhajo Re Bhajo, Manamohana Gopala and Bandha Krishna.
After the bhajans, by 1am Amma served sweet payasam as prasad to one and all.

The disciple awakens from within, it is like a rebirth happening

22 July 2013, Amritapuri

After many years, Amma was physicially present for Guru Purnima in Amritapuri. Even though she had just arrived the previous day from her two month-long world tour, Amma came to the stage at 10.30 am for the function. The celebrations began with Amma’s Pada Puja, which was performed by Swami Amritaswarupananda accompanied by the chanting of the Guru Gita and Vedic mantras.

After the Pada Puja and chanting of Amma’s 108 names, all the Swamis offered a garland to Amma. Amma’s Guru Purnima message was then shown on the video screens.
In the message Amma said: “One may ask, “The scriptures say that God is within us and not different from our true nature. Then why should we seek refuge in a Satguru?” It is true that God is within us. We are, in truth, the embodiment of Sachidananda—pure existence, pure consciousness, pure bliss. But have we experienced this truth? No, it is being veiled by our ego. We hold the key to the massive treasure chest within us, but that key has become rusty due to a long period of lack of use. Just as we remove rust from a regularly key by applying grease, so too we have to remove the rust of our ahamkara and vasanas—our sense of “I” as a limited body and mind and our deep-rooted tendencies. This will help us realize our true nature. It is for this purpose that we seek refuge in a Satguru.

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This physical body of ours is nothing but a bundle of meat wrapped up in skin. It has nine doors. And we think “This body alone is me.” Moreover, we continually nourish this misidentification. The ego wants to make us feel superior to others and wants others to show us respect.Everything is God’s creation—except the ego. That is our creation. We have to find a way out of this creation of ours. A wave or a bubble in the ocean is, in reality, not different or separate from the ocean. But what if the bubble clings to the idea that it is just a bubble, not the ocean?In a similar way, we need to remember: “I am not just this bubble of body, mind and ego. I am the ocean itself.” This remembrance can be achieved only through engaging in continuous spiritual practices.

When we bow down to a Satguru, we become free from the ego.The truth of our True Self gets revealed. We experience that we are not different from God. God is our true nature. Everything else can be attained by self-effort, but the only way to be freed from the ego is through humility and surrender. The seed and the tree are not different from each other. The whole tree is contained in the seed. But unless the seed goes under the soil and germinates, it will never become a tree. Similarly, when the spirit of surrender dawns in a disciple, freedom from the ego takes place naturally.

However much the guru tries to awaken the disciple, unless the disciple is ready to awaken from within, it will never happen. It’s easy to awaken someone who is sleeping, but it is impossible to awaken someone pretending to be asleep. When you break an egg by force, it puts an end to a life, but when the shell breaks from within, life is created anew. In a similar way, when the disciple awakens from within, it is like a rebirth happening. He or she awakens to their true nature. Being with a Satguru is like being a chick being warmed by the body of the mother hen. The guru’s presence creates the favorable climate in which the seeds of divinity within the disciple can sprout. The guru provides us opportunities. It is up to the disciple as to how they are used.

Once a guru knocked on a disciple’s door with a lamp in his hand. The disciple said, “Open the door and come in.” The guru said, “I cannot do that. This door can only be opened from within.” And so it is: the disciple has to open the doors of the heart to permit the entrance of the guru’s light.”

Hari Bol!!! Hari Bol!!!

After the talk, Amma asked everyone to stand up and dance to the tune of Hari Narayana. As the song’s tempo continually sped up, people cheered and shouted Hari Bol!!! Hari Bol!!!

Amma then led everyone in a prayer for world peace. She asked every one to visualize flower petals of peace showering down all over the world, spreading light everywhere. Amma then led all in chanting Lokah Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu.

Then Amma spent the rest of the day receiving all the thousands of people that had come to the ashram to see her after a two month absence. The darshan finally came to an end at 4:35am the following day.

-Sakshi

Take a small step, bring a small change in our Life – Amma

New Year Celebration at Amritapuri

1 Jan 2013, Amritapuri

The New Year’s Eve programs in Amritapuri began cultural performances . The first was a traditional Indian dance, followed by a woman singing a French interpretation of Amma’s Tamil bhajan ‘Anbumiku chinthaikalal maalai thoduthen’ accompanied by a guitarist. There was another traditional Indian dance after which came a breathtaking fire dance. Children of Ayudh International closed the performances with a wonderfully choreographed dance. Children of all ages danced gracefully across the stage to the tune ‘We are the World.’

A number of colorful balloons were released in the hall. Shrieks of joy could be heard as children of all ages tossed the balloons into the air.

Amma lead everyone in chanting Lokah Samastha Sukinau Bhavantu, imagining flowers of peace showering down on children playing everywhere. Firecrackers could be heard in the distance as villagers rang in the New Year.

After chanting, Amma gave her New Year message and it was translated into English.
“Every experience is like a guru; it is said that life is like a maha-guru. First, life gives us many tests. We learn many lessons from these tests. We can draw inspiration from last year’s experiences. We can learn from our mistakes, correct them and move forward.”

“Today, the only reason children study is so that they can get a good job. They have no real desire to learn and grow as human beings. Children are repeatedly told study, study, study. Along with this, they also need to be instilled with values. If values are not instilled at a young age, this world will become populated exclusively by asuras; there will be neither human beings nor devas. Children today lack the role models that the previous generation had.”

“The birth of the New Year is an occasion for us to reflect upon the passage of time. It is at this moment that we become aware of the value of time. The truth is: Death has been incessantly following us since our birth. Before Death conquers us, there are some important things we need to complete. What is the reason for this journey of life? What is our goal? Are we moving along on the right path? Or have we lost our path? It is time for us to reflect and take some firm decisions.”

“The greatest journey begins with the smallest step. Let each one of us welcome the New Year by making small changes in our life. If we are all able to do that, then will be able to usher in a new age of love, compassion and selflessness. Let us surrender our prayers to the Paramatman, and as one mind, move together towards the same goal” Amma reminded all.

Following Amma’s Message, Amma had everyone play patty-cake to ‘Bandalo Bandalo’. Dao Dao Dao came next . Surrounded by children still clutching balloons, Amma then sang one of traditional Kerala tunes. The air was filled with ecstatic joy and bliss. But in addition to Amma clapping her hands and waiving them in the air, Amma held the microphone close to her mouth, and, cupping her hands, started to beat box. The minutes stretched into eternity as everyone was dancing and clapping along. Thousands of arms raised up in the air as Amma then shouted out ‘Mata Rani Ki…..Jai’ over and over again to end the evening’s celebrations.

After Amma left the hall, Prasad was passed out.

What a wonderful way to start the New Year! May each of our coming days be filled with such bliss and joy!

-Kannadi