I am like a free-flowing river

“I look only at the hearts of my children. I am unconcerned about the social status or wealth of those who come to me. A mother never discriminates between her children in that way. Whenever a grief-stricken person comes to me, I feel compassion towards them. I feel their sorrow and suffering as my own. I always do my best to alleviate their suffering.”

Question: Don’t you get tired giving darshan to the devotees for hours on end?

Amma: Where there is love, there is no tiredness. A mother can carry her baby for several hours continuously. She never feels it as a burden.

Question: In the early days you had to confront many obstacles and people were against you. Do you have anything to say about it?

Amma: I never considered it to be a serious matter. I was aware of the nature of the world. If a person knows that firecrackers are going to explode, when the explosion takes place the sound will not startle him. A person who knows how to swim in the sea will enjoy playing amidst the waves. He is never frightened. Similarly, as I was aware of the nature of the world, the obstacles didn’t mar my happiness. I felt that those who were against me were nothing but mirrors. They provided me with an opportunity to look into myself. That was my attitude towards them.

One complains only if one considers oneself to be the body. There is no scope for sorrow or resentment in the world of the Atman, i.e., when one’s real nature is understood. As I contemplated my true nature, I understood that I am not a stagnant pond but a free-flowing river. Many people come to the river. Some of them may suffer from diseases, while others are healthy; they drink from the river, bathe in it, wash their clothes or spit in it. Whichever way people may treat the river, it makes no difference to the river. It flows on as usual. Whether its water is used for worship or for washing clothes, the river seldom complains. It flows along, caressing and purifying those who enter it. But a pond is different. Pond water stagnates, becomes impure and a foul smell emanates from it.

Similarly, the opposition I met with, as well as the love I received, did not affect me in the least. None of it seemed important to me. Sorrow is experienced only when one identifies oneself with the body. In the realm of the Self, there is no place for such sorrow. No one is different from me. To me, the shortcomings of others are my own shortcomings. Therefore, those hardships didn’t seem like hardships to me. Some people may throw dirt at a tree, but the dirt turns into manure which helps the tree to grow. So, too, I converted every hardship into an aid for my spiritual quest. Everything was for the good.