Want Rice?

21 August 2001, Amritapuri

A Real-Life Allegory


Amma with a boy

A little boy arrives in front of Mother’s table. She has finished serving Tuesday lunch to everyone else in the temple. She asks him, “Rice?”

No particular response. So She takes a plate of rice and curry and holds it out to him.

He shakes his head vigorously. He doesn’t want rice!

She acquiesces, and sets the plate aside.

“What?” She asks him. But She knows without his answering. She reaches back and brings Her Hand towards him with a sweet.

He nods his head vigorously. He wants a sweet!

He clutches the sweet, turns his back and walks away from Her.

Satisfied but not nourished.

Amma feeds candy to a child

Fine for a little child. But how old am I?

How often does God or Guru offer us spiritual nourishment, and how often do we refuse it, in favor of pleasurable but useless titbits?

No doubt, more often than we would like to admit!

Fortunately, both God and our Guru have towards us unconditional love and infinite patience. Mother will not give up on us, but day after day She will offer us rice, and someday we will accept it!

A prayer offered at the end of meditation on many Tuesday mornings in Amritapuri:

O Amma, O Divine Mother of the Universe, this child of Yours has wandered for long on the face of this earth, in search of true love and happiness.
Whenever I cried for You, you consoled me by dropping me toys and amusements of this world through the windows of my selfish desires.
But Amma, now this child is not going to stop crying until I attain You.
I need nothing else except my Mother.