29 May 2020, Amritapuri
~from Amma’s message during corona times
All of us are looking forward to the day when we can reclaim our freedom from the clutches of the COVID-19 virus. Everyone is waiting for the day when we can welcome a new world of hope and light. At this juncture, we have to make a firm resolve that we will never forget the lessons that Nature has taught us during these times —that we will never repeat the mistakes we have made in the past.
Each step going forwards will have to be taken with utmost caution. What are the things we should be careful about? The most important one is to practice moderation in our thoughts, words and actions. Everyone has weaknesses and limitations. There is nothing wrong in fulfilling needs and wants that are dharmic in nature. Nature will help us and support us to do this. However, we have to change our attitude that man is supreme and that everything in Nature is our right. Our arrogance has broken all bounds. We think we are the greatest and most powerful. Now, God has knocked us on the head in the form of this virus. At least now we should wake up and move forward with caution.
From the narrow, selfish mentality of “I” and “mine,” we have to rise to the mentality of including the entire world and all its creatures. We should act with this attitude. All human thoughts and actions are centred around the ego. This attitude has to change. Man’s narcissistic outlook has made him see only his own reflection in the lake. He has ceased to see the trees and the rest of Nature reflected there. This cannot continue. We have to acknowledge and accept all with love and reverence.
This is the Information Age. However, if the information sits only in the head, it just becomes a burden for ourselves and others. The information in the head should enter the heart as knowledge. Only then will the light of discernment arise within it. Only when this light dawns within will we be able to see our fellow creatures with a compassionate eye. If not, we may have to endure stronger and more dangerous calamities in the future. It is also possible that Time and Nature will consume us entirely.
Two wildlife photographers were walking through a forest. All of a sudden, a huge lion jumped onto their path. The two photographers trembled with fear. One of them whispered to the other out of the corner of his mouth, “Don’t move! Don’t even breathe! Stand as still as a statue. Remember what we read in that book? If we stand still and look the lion in the eye, it will leave us alone.”
The second man replied, “Yes, you’re right, buddy. We read it in the book. But has the lion read that book? The book is one thing; this is another. So, run!
Often what we read in books is different than real life. It is only when we face real-life situations that we learn. Life is not what we read in a book. What we learn at a university is less than 10% of what we learn from the universe. In the universe, we learn lessons from all creatures, even from the smallest of them, like mosquitoes and ants. The real university is universal learning from the entire universe. Real learning is through experience alone. This is the difference between a naive child and a mature adult.
Reading books will definitely give us knowledge, but experience is the only real teacher. Books teach us that life is meant to be happy, not sad. However, is it appropriate to joke and laugh at a funeral? We learn from experiences in real-life situations. When we pass through a given situation, it can be said that we have learned that particular lesson.
Right now, our intellect is twisted. If there is an accident and someone is critically injured, such an intellect will only think business: “How many lime-sodas can I sell at the scene of the accident!” This business attitude is increasing.
People study Management, but do not know how to manage themselves. People get MBA degrees to learn to manage companies and businesses. Managing a company with 500 employees means managing 500 minds. Yet, we are not able to learn to manage our own thoughts and mind. Just as we manage the objects of the external world, we have to learn to manage the internal world and the mind.