Teaching by example

27 December 2002, Amritapuri

As the numbers of devotees that come for Amma’s daily darshan grow, Her darshan stretches on later into the afternoon and evening. Tonight, Amma didn’t finish giving darshan until 6:30 p.m. While Amma often comes for bhajans by 7, last night many wondered if She would be able to come at all. After all, it was already so late, and She would have to go to Her room at least to change clothes, if not bathe, eat something, etc. Or so the thinking went.

As usual, the crowd spilling out behind the temple, waiting for Amma to come down had left a path open for Her to walk to Her room. But when Amma reached the base of the spiral stairs, rather than take the path prepared for Her, She said only, “OK,” and made Her way through the crowd and directly to the bhajan hall. Everyone rushed to join Her. Rather than take the time to freshen up, Amma came for bhajans earlier than She usually does. Sitting up on the stage, Her sari rumpled and stained by the day’s darshan, Amma was more beautiful than ever, more so for the beauty of the lesson She was so pointedly teaching us by Her example.