From Kannur to Bangalore, from anger to compassion

8 February —Kannur, Kerala –Bharata Yatra 2006

Amma in Kannur, Kerala

Darshan in Kannur did not finish until 9:00 the next morning—from start to finish Amma had been onstage for 15 hours continuously. But there was no time for rest. Bangalore, the next stop on the tour, lay 400 kilometres to the north. Given that in order to get there Amma’s caravan would have to cross the Sahya Mountains—60 kilometres of steep, winding hairpin turns—the drive would clearly take 10 hours at the least. Still, Amma wanted to stop at one devotee’s house—16 kilometres out of the way.

Many people travelling with Amma were upset. Amma may not care about her body, but it is the dharma of the disciples to at least try to see that Amma gets some rest, regardless of how in vain their efforts may be. So some people tried to persuade Amma not to go. It would add another full hour to the drive, not to mention the time spent at the house itself. But Amma would not listen.

To be frank, many of the brahmacharis became quite upset. “Doesn’t he have any consideration for Amma?” “Doesn’t he realize Amma hasn’t slept in more than 24 hours?” These were the kinds of words being passed back and forth among the brahmacharis.

When Amma reached the house, she went into the family puja room and performed a simple puja. She also sang a bhajan. The longer it took, the more brahmacharis’ anger grew.

When Amma finished in the puja room, she went into one of the bedrooms in order to speak with the husband and wife. A few of the brahmacharis went inside with her. But there, their anger immediately stopped. For in that room was the reason why Amma had agreed to come.

Amma with a boy

Laying on the bed was a boy, perhaps 10 years old. His head was double the size of what it should have been. He would never be able to walk. His legs were like toothpicks, totally devoid of muscle. His hands, bent inward at the wrists, would never be unable to grasp anything, no matter how basic. His eyes were lazy and would only half open. Could he even see? His mother kneeled down by his side and lifted him into her arms. When she did so, the boy began to scream.

It was impossible for him to lift his massive head without his mother’s help, and even then it was intensely painful. There had been no way that the boy’s parents could have brought him to the programme site for Amma’s darshan.

Tears began falling from the eyes of everyone in the room: the mother, the father, Amma—as well as the brahmacharis.

Amma then took that child into her arms and lovingly stroked his chest and kissed him on the forehead.

“I have been praying for the past three years that Amma would come and bless my child,” the man said with tears rolling down.

Amma says that spirituality is to help us correctly understand our fellow human beings and their circumstances. “We feel love and compassion towards a person only when we stand in his shoes and try to understand his problems and situation,” Amma says. “Anger converts into compassion when we properly understand a situation.”

A satguru does not only teach his disciples through words. The satguru creates situations so that his disciples can come to understand the truth of the master’s words in their hearts. Such experiences are never forgotten. The disciples become one with them. This is true spiritual growth.