The notebook

3 August 2001, Amritapuri

Have you seen diligent devotees writing line after line, page after page, of fine, tiny script in a notebook? Then they take the notebooks to Mother, an offering of their sadhana (spiritual practice). It is a notebook filled, every inch of space covered, with mantras.

A few days ago, there was a variation on this theme.


It happened during Mother’s time with the ashramites on Friday, early in the afternoon. She had come to be with Her children: to meditate, answer questions and give impromptu satsang. A resident approached Her, a thin, gnarled, stooped woman whose body is old and whose mind seems that of a child. She and her sister, who takes care of her, have lived at the ashram for some years. Mother welcomed them warmly when they moved in. The girl-woman used to sit beside Mother on Her cot, leaning against Her and watching Her every movement.

If someone would urge her to come away, Mother would say, “Let her stay. She doesn’t get much love. Let her feel my love.”

Love can heal; Mother’s love can make wondrous changes. Over the years, this woman has become less withdrawn and confused, and has begun to learn some things. Like writing. She learned to write – in Malayalam – “Om Amriteshwaryai Namah”, a mantra chanted around the world by Amma’s devotees. This mantra the woman had written in large letters, filling pages in the notebook she handed to Mother.

Mother took the notebook in Her Hand, held it up for all to see, and read aloud: “Om Amriteshwaryai Namah”. She smiled up at the woman, and said, “This is very nice.” And again, “This is really very nice!” She kissed the notebook, and returned it. The woman kissed it too! Then Mother kissed her cheek and handed her a sweet.

Holding the notebook, embodiment of her achievement with Mother’s Grace, close to her bosom, the woman stepped away. She was a clear reminder that Mother has come for absolutely everybody. She accepts each of us exactly as we are, and helps us grow to the fullest extent possible given our effort and Her Grace.

What are we writing in our Notebooks?