25 March 2022, Friday — Amritapuri Ashram
6-year old Amritavarshini returned to Amritapuri after being in France for the past 4 months. Since 3 years old, she has been living in the Ashram and attending Bhagavad Gita classes. During a meditation session at the beach, Amma asked her several questions, and her responses reflected the incredible wisdom gained from having been exposed to the teachings of Gita at such a young age.
When Amma asked how Amritavarshini managed so many months away, she replied that the teachings of the Gita helped her.
Amma continued to talk with Amritavarshini who reflected on how she kept her desires in check when shopping and passing by stores with advertisements geared towards children. “…I close my eyes and continue to walk with closed eyes.”
Below are their endearing and enlightening conversation.
Amma: “How did you manage so many months without Amma?”
AV: “Gita teachings helped me.”
Amma: “Can you give an example?”
AV: “Yes, my Great Grandmother’s death.”
Amma: “What happened? How did it help you?
AV: “Because I was afraid of the corpse.”
Amma: “So by learning Gita you were not afraid anymore?”
Amma: “Which sloka did you think of at that time?”
AV: “38th sloka.”
Amma: “Do you know that sloka?”
Amma: “What is it?”
AV Chanting the 38th sloka:
sukha-duḥkhe same kṛitvā lābhālābhau jayājayau
tato yuddhāya yujyasva naivaṁ pāpam avāpsyasi 2.38
सुखदु:खे समे कृत्वा लाभालाभौ जयाजयौ |
ततो युद्धाय युज्यस्व नैवं पापमवाप्स्यसि || 2.38||
Fight for the sake of duty, treating alike happiness and distress, loss and gain, victory and defeat. Fulfilling your responsibility in this way, you will never incur sin.
Amma: “So you got the courage to face the situation?”
AV: “Yes, and I went to visit the corpse with my mother.”
Amma: “Did you think that the bodies can perish but the self cannot perish, the Atman can’t perish?”
Amma: “Which sloka says that? “
AV Chanted the 22nd sloka of the 2nd chapter:
vasamsi jirnani yatha vihaya
navani grhnati naro ‘parani
tatha sarirani vihaya jirnany
anyani samyati navani dehi 2.22
वासांसि जीर्णानि यथा विहाय
नवानि गृह्णाति नरोഽपराणि |
तथा शरीराणि विहाय जीर्णानि
अन्यानि संयाति नवानि देही || 2.22||
As a person puts on new garments, giving up old ones, similarly, the jeeva accepts new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
Amma: “What were the things that you were attracted to when you were in France?”
AV: “I went to shops with lots of advertisements but I didn’t buy all that I wanted.”
Amma: “What is it that you wanted?”
AV: “MANY THINGS! In the shops, there were so many things to attract people. Even things for children. We passed by a shop where there were so many desires. But I did not get attracted by them.”
Amma: “That is a good thing right? You did not feel any particular desire?”
AV: “Yes, it’s a good thing.”
Amma: “So you have gone beyond your likes and dislikes?”
AV: “Yes I go beyond my likes and dislikes.”
Amma: “When the likes and dislikes come, do you do Shravanam (listening), Mananam (reflecting), and Nidhidhyasanam (getting established)? Do you think of Shreyas (permanent happiness) and Preyas (temporary happiness)? What is eternal, what is not eternal?”
AV: “Yes, I think of Sreyas and Preyas.”
Amma: “So when you think about it properly, then you get a lot of strength right?”
AV: “Yes, even sometimes when I see so many desires when I visit the malls, I close my eyes and continue to walk with closed eyes.”
Amma: “So you should try to reflect on the fact that if you run behind the toys you will miss the diamonds, you will miss the jewels.”
Amma: “But if you get the jewels, then you know you have everything that you need. Right?”
Amma: “If Amma holds a plate of chocolates and another plate of gold coins in front of you, which will you pick?”
AV: “The gold coins.”
Amritavarshini’s incredible and insightful wisdom at such a young age is a testament to how easily the fundamental teachings of Santana Dharma can be absorbed and assimilated into life when one has the innocence, open-mindedness, and open heart of a child.