Read by Swami Ramakrishnananda Puri, Mata Amritanandamayi Math
“Om Amriteswaryai namah.
Sw. Ramakrishnananda quoted Amma, saying, ‘There is no harm in having many religions and faiths, but it is harmful to think that they are different and that one faith is higher and the other one is lower.'”
“First of all I convey my humble pranams to all the distinguished guests here, all my brothers and sisters and my Beloved Amma.
“Because of the time constraint, I don’t want to take all the time that is given to me. We are already running late. I will just give one or two quotes of our Beloved Amma about the interfaith movement and the activities. Amma says that, ‘There is no harm in having many religions and faiths, but it is harmful to think that they are different and that one faith is higher and the other one is lower.” Amma says, ‘Children, do not see the differences. See the unity in them and the great ideals that they teach. What all religions show is how to develop compassion, love, faith, endurance, etc. That is what is more important than the religion’s affinity. Religion means expansiveness of heart, the ability to accommodate anything and everything.’
And Amma is manifesting these abovementioned truths throughout Her life, and that is why people of all religions, countries, faiths and cultures live in Amma’s ashram as one single family. Even though they have their own faith and affinities, they are able to see the common underlying, undeniable truth of love, compassion and kindness, which all Great Masters have given out to the world coming through this Great Being, Amma.
“And as far as Amma is concerned, She is able to see the underlying unity irrespective of religion, culture and faith. But at the same time, most of us are unable to see this unity. So this is where the basic difference is. Amma says, ‘If someone is pointing one’s finger towards the moon and tells us, “Look at the moon,” many of us don’t look at the moon, many of us look at the fingers, and we miss the moon.’ Amma also says that, ‘The Great Mahatmas have given the nectar to humanity in different vessels at different times, but unfortunately most of us are looking only at the vessels, which have different shapes and different forms, and thus missing the nectar that is inside.’
“Amma—through Her charities, through Her each and every action—is continually reminding us, ‘Please, my children, look into the nectar that is inside the pot. Don’t look at the vessels. If you look at the vessels, you will only keep quarreling.’ That’s what Amma is emphasizing. Amma—through Her love and compassion, kindness and patience—is awakening everyone of us that come to see Her to see the nectar that is inside these different vessels. May Amma’s blessings be on all of us, irrespective of our religion and faith and let us see, experience and taste that nectar that all religious Masters have given us.
“I will be reading out the Resolutions:
“The Interfaith Conference that is happening now is a giant step in this direction. This day had a series of illuminating talks by our distinguished guests, the commonality among the talks was that people must have mutual respect and shared values, irrespective of religious background. In this regard, Mata Amritanandmayi Math adopts the following broad Interfaith Resolutions. These Resolutions are within a broader vision of a global initiative for Universal Motherhood that will be described more here tomorrow [in Women’s Summit].
“The first one is: Create a sustainable vision for members of various religions to work together as one family through an Interfaith Unity Network. Build love and understanding by fostering collaborative selfless service among people of different faiths.
“Our intention is to begin each of these broad resolutions with a specific priority project quickly. For the first resolution, the overall priority for upcoming months is to establish an Interfaith Unity Network. To do that, some of the following steps will be taken at the earliest:
“Define the overall plan for the Interfaith Unity Network. As in the talks, there are three major areas with this plan. The first area is ‘Promotion of universal values through envisioning new religions norms defining the common ground among religions and then developing educational materials for their distribution.’
“The second area is ‘Balancing freedom of expression with respect for essential human rights through helping to ensure freedom for the practice of any religion and promoting equality of women in religious activity.’
“The third and final area is ‘Promoting reflection, dialogue and service through helping religious leaders of diverse faiths have an open-hearted discussion and organising seminars and conferences to find the common ground between different religions and developing exchange programs so that members of different faiths can learn from each other through doing selfless service in each others’ area. And towards this end, there is one project that has been identified, as mentioned by Rev. Dr. Ipe Josef, a project called Global Amrita Kuteeram Project. The Amrita Kuteeram Project is building homes for the homeless people undertaken by the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, which has already constructed more than 30,000 free houses all over India. And it has been decided, with Amma’s grace, to extend this Amrita Kuteeram Project to a wider project called called Global Amrita Kuteerm Project, which will have exchange programmes where people of different faith can provide selfless service in each others’ countries and areas. And Mata Amritanandamayi Math is very strongly backing these Resolutions. Much of the problems in society, due to misunderstanding and lack of love, can be address by the above actions.
“And before I conclude, I would like to say a few words of thanks for everyone. On behalf of all of Amma’s children, on behalf of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, I would like to express my heartfelt and sincerest gratitude to our eminent guests and to all of my dear brothers and sisters for participating in this unique event. My Amma’s blessings be on all of us.
“Om Amriteswaryai namah.”