23 August 2014 — Amritapuri Ashram
On Friday, a devotee visiting the ashram from Berlin told Amma that when she is around Amma, she is aware of the spiritual truth that God is pervading everything. She said she draws a lot of strength from this understanding, but when she returns home, she gets overwhelmed by all the war, violence and disease she sees happening in the world. She asked Amma to tell her how to remain aware of God’s love and all-pervasiveness in these war-torn times. The following is extracted from Amma’s answer:
Amma: There is nothing new about war. It has been happening since the beginning of creation. But we must realize war is man’s creation, not God’s. God is patience, love and compassion. In God, there is no dvaita bhava [no feeling of something other than one’s self]. There is only love for all beings. It is because people lack the proper understanding about God that there is war. We cannot blame God for something we created.
Once a drunk-driver caused a horrible accident. The police started to haul him away. The man protested, “Hey, why are you arresting me? I didn’t do anything. It was because of the petrol that my car lost control.” We shouldn’t be like this, blaming God for our actions.
As we take what we need in our daily life, we should remember all the innocent people suffering from the violence of war and terrorism–the children who have lost their parents, the parents who have lost their children, the maimed and injured… The pictures we see on the news of mothers crying over the dead bodies of the children are too much to bear. But we cannot bring back the dead. We can only pray that their souls find peace. The ones who really need our prayers are those left behind. Let us pray that they gain the peace and mental strength to move forward in life.
We cannot say what change we will be able to bring about, but we should try. Spiritual understanding is what is needed: Take only what you need, give the rest to help others and understand the nature of the world. Amma is trying to bring about this understanding in people. If you plant 100 seeds, maybe only two will sprout. If you plant 1,000, maybe 10. But that itself is a change–isn’t it?