Amma learned something when She was young. Some hens, after laying an egg, would wait a few days before laying another egg. During those few days, the hen clucks a lot and just sits in its nest. It gets very agitated if you come near it and starts making a lot of noise. Some don’t even go out to eat even if they are hungry.
Amma’s mother always used to say, “Oh no! If that hen just sits there like that, she will never lay another egg! We need to do something.” She would then go herself to the chicken coop, pick up the hen and throw it into the backwaters. It was so sad…! Poor hen! The hen cannot even fly! It almost felt like she was trying to kill the hen. But, the hen would beat its wings again and again against the water and somehow make it back to the shore. Again Amma’s mother would throw the hen into the water. Amma would feel so sad thinking, “Poor hen. Please don’t throw it back into the water. It will drown and die.” But, the hen would again beat its wings and make it back to the bank. Amma’s mother would often throw the hen back in a third time. Finally, this time after the hen made it to the banks, it would shake off its feathers and happily go and start eating.
After 10 or 15 days it would start laying eggs again. If the hen had not been thrown into the water it would have just sat there starving and finally died. In fact, the hen had the ability to move, and Amma’s mother knew that. She knew that it would die if it stopped moving. Thus, she threw it into the water so that the hen would reawaken its abilities. She was teaching them to get over their laziness and make an effort again. Once it came out of the water, it was rejuvenated.
What Amma learned from this was that everyone has abilities within. We are just sitting and wasting away due to laziness. Finally, our life becomes cursed and we become as though we are dead, even while alive. We need to become useful again. The Master does the same thing with the disciple. Amma often couldn’t help thinking, “How can Mother be so cruel to the hen? Doesn’t she have any compassion?” In fact, that was compassion, it was to save the chicken. When it is saved, it also saves others. There are people who live off of raising 10 to 20 chickens. If they get 20 eggs a day, they make 20 rupees (30 cents). If they spend 15 rupees on food that means they make a profit of 5 rupees per day. So, when the hen starts laying eggs again, she saves the family depending on her.
Only a Guru knows how to handle a disciple. Only the Master knows how to rid us of our laziness. We typically desire to follow the whims and fancies of the mind, but the mind always pulls us down. It will pull us all the way down to a hellish existence. So, we need to awaken awareness of the Self and become like fire. Even if it is turned upside down, it will move upwards. May all of Amma’s children be blessed with this awareness. May you all have inner strength. May grace bless all of you. Amma offers this to the Paramatman.