1st January 2019 — Amritapuri Ashram
Here we are again at the doorstep of a new year. Just thinking of New Year’s awakens vibrations of hope, happiness and enthusiasm. May the flowers of peace and joy blossom in my children’s hearts! May those flowers’ fragrance spread throughout the world through your good deeds.
During the past year, the world bore witness to many conflicts and natural disasters. The recent flood in Kerala left many people scarred with memories of distress and disaster. However, there is one thing we need to remember: Every difficult situation in life is providing us with the opportunity to correct some mistake. The flood was a warning—a message. For quite some time, we have been exploiting Nature for selfish and short-lived gains. What we saw was the bitter consequence of that. Hence, in this new year, let us move forward and work with greater alacrity to protect and restore Nature’s harmony. We can make our future brighter by lending an ear to Nature’s voice of wisdom. Also, let us work hard and pray deeply to increase the love and solidarity among people and nations. Both effort and prayer are needed on our side.
Without succumbing to despair, we should light up our hearts with the lamp of hope. New Year’s is a reminder of the flow of time. Like a shadow, death stands looming right behind each one of us. We could have to vacate this rented house of our body at any moment. Before death finally claims us, we have many duties to complete. On this night, looking back at our past, we should take stock of ourselves. And with an eye to the future, we should engage in positive actions. This is the time to make such determined resolutions.
During the birth of the new year, people wish each other, “Happy New Year!” The truth is that happiness does not arrive just because the dates on the calendar have changed. Only when positive change comes into our perspective and actions will we experience happiness.
In this New Year, we need to ask ourselves some important questions:
First, ask yourself, “Am I making steady progress on the spiritual path? Am I being steady in my spiritual discipline and practice? Or have I lost my way?”
Secondly, “Am I living for myself alone? Or, each day, am I able to do something—anything—selflessly for others?”
Thirdly, “Am I able to maintain self-control and maturity at all times? Or, overcome by anger, jealousy and other lower emotions, am I still hurting others?”
And, finally, “Am I able to contribute and play my part in protecting the environment?”
Depending on the answers we give to these questions, we should be ready to correct ourselves and act properly. This is the time to make firm resolutions and to begin putting forth tireless effort. Usually we make many New Year’s resolutions only to see them dissolve after a few days. We always find some reason or other to justify our lack of persistence.
All our actions should be done with the attitude that this moment alone is ours; the next moment is not in our hands. Every action should be performed with discernment, alertness, enthusiasm and a smile. The goal of human life is God-realisation, understanding that we are not separate from God. A drop of this awareness is already present in us. What we need to do is expand this awareness and strengthen it. We should not let go of our awareness of this goal. We should use our human life and this body towards that end.
It is love that makes everything new and gives it freshness and novelty. We will only be able to experience as much newness and freshness in our life as there is love within us. If the light of love is not present in us, then even in new things we will only be able to experience darkness. We should move forward lighting the lamp of faith in this candle that is the body.
You may wonder how you can transcend this immense darkness with the light of just a single candle. Just remember that as we take each step, this light will move forward along with us. In that light, other people can also walk forward in step as well. We should put forth the right effort with self-confidence. When we move forward in this way, we will ultimately be able to realise our true self. If our mind is filled with the light of God’s love, all experiences—good and bad—will be able to bring us happiness. We will be able to celebrate not only our successes but also our failures.
There are two different ways we can celebrate. We can do what most people do and celebrate the holidays marked on the calendar, setting off firecrackers, dancing, singing and fulfilling certain desires. Or we can celebrate by recognising God’s greatness and beauty in each moment of our life. The first way is purely external. It is just a short interval of joy in the midst of numerous sorrows and pain. Like a streak of lightning in the dark sky, these flashes of happiness are short-lived and, after briefly lighting up our life, they vanish. In the second way, the celebration is a continuous state of mind. True celebration is not something that can be gained by fulfilling a trivial desire. It is the final stage of a continuous preparation. When we see a blooming flower, swaying in the wind, spreading fragrance, we fail to recognise that it represents the last stage of the transition of the flower bud from darkness into light. Inside the flower bud, there was darkness. From that darkness, it slowly bloomed into the light. Similarly, this is our journey of blossoming from the darkness of lower emotions into the light of pure love. It is only when we reach that final destination that we experience real celebration and joy.
My children, don’t allow the sorrows and difficulties of 2018 to trouble you. Don’t allow them be obstacles on the onward flow of your lives. See the difficulties of 2018 as the previous chapter of the book of life. May my children be able to turn those pages and start 2019 as a new chapter. May my children be able to assimilate the teachings of 2018 with proper discernment, correct its mistakes, and move forward to make 2019 more beautiful and filled with love. May my children carry the message of love and peace to the world. May the Paramatma bless my children and fill their lives with peace, good physical health, mental strength and contentment.
From Amma’s 65th Birthday message
27th September 2018 — Amritapuri, Kollam
The state of Kerala is still reeling from the shock of witnessing the massive floods that took place this past monsoon season. At this tragic time, words have no place. All we can do is rise to the occasion, think positively and take to action. This is the most important thing now.
Amma’s heart is deeply pained when she thinks about those who lost their loved ones and livelihoods in the disaster. Amma feels their pain and prays to the Paramatman that they may regain their self-confidence and attain happiness, peace and prosperity.
When people are undergoing such an extreme crisis, just feeling sorry for them is of no use. We should also empathise with them and express that empathy through love and selfless service. The response and service we saw invoked by the floods is living proof that the mental strength and compassion needed for this empathy is always alive within us.
When the rain beat down incessantly, flooding the rivers and starting landslides, turning Kerala into an ocean of disaster, people here forgot all divisions. Separations of caste, creed and religion disappeared. Thoughts of rich and poor, high and low, all vanished. Party politics faded away. All thoughts and actions flowed in one direction, toward a single goal. Due to this, people had no difficulty in understanding and supporting one another. Moreover, they found the strength to overcome all obstacles. Hearts came together as one, and only compassion flowed. Actually, it overflowed, and we saw a second ocean rising from the floods— an ocean of compassion.
Here, at our university, too, several hundred students worked together for days on end to help rescue people trapped in life-threatening situations. They established a Help Line and worked its lines 24 hours a day, without caring about food or sleep. They were able to bring timely help to many people in many areas. What invoked their unified response was the love and compassion they felt towards those trapped by the floods. The selfless love they experienced made their actions extremely beautiful and successful, and an inspiration to everyone.
During those days, they did not think of “me” and “them.” The power of compassion raised them to the unified awareness of “we.” It was this awareness that guided them forward. If we can always kindle this miraculous force within us, our lives will flow as smoothly and beautifully as a river. This doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles, but those obstacles will not be able to stop us. Life will move forward like a river’s flow, going around and beyond everything, overcoming all obstructions.
With his limited strength and intelligence, man cannot stop natural disasters from happening. However, we can extend a hand to help and heal those who have been plunged into misery by these catastrophes. During such times, we are spontaneously able to express our compassion and love through our words and deeds. This strength is inherent in us. That is why it awakens in crises such as this. Only that which is inside the mind can come to be expressed outside. However, people are unable to sustain the bright flame of compassion and the strength to face and overcome any obstacle that they feel during such crises. These soon die away. Before we know it, people begin diverging back into their religious, political and communal groups. They start finding fault and clashing with each other. How much time and energy is wasted in such useless conflicts.
In each natural disaster, there is always a message. Three of the most important ones are:
1. Just as humans have their system of laws, Nature also her laws as well. We have to understand and abide by Nature’s laws. We should have the awareness that, in fact, Nature governs all the governments of the world.
2. We should always have the awareness that the Nature we behold is a massively powerful force. Before its immense strength, mankind is incredibly trivial and helpless. Hence it is crucial to approach Nature with respect and reverence.
3. It can take only a moment for Nature to take back everything she has so benevolently bestowed upon us.
If we understand these truths, we will be able to cultivate humility in our thoughts, actions and perspective, and in our approach towards Nature. Then the realisation will dawn on us that “Nature is not against man; she is a trusted friend who only desires mankind’s welfare.”
Our desires have increased one by one, and in our rush to fulfil them, we have been abusing Nature. What we are seeing now is Nature’s retaliation. When we lost our dharma, Nature lost hers too. Just as each nation has a set code of laws, the universe too has a set code of conduct called dharma. It is this code that maintains the harmony of life. This code of conduct is applicable to all countries and all people equally. For example, there is a set of road rules that we all have to obey when we drive. If we do not obey them, saying, “I will drive however I like,” then we will only be endangering ourselves.
This is the age of the computer and Internet. Man’s excessive fascination for technology and the many illusions he builds around it is giving him a false sense of security. The recent floods taught us that however important science and technology may be, they will never be able to replace the quality of humanity. Many people had houses equipped with all modern facilities but could not stay in them. Many had cars but could not drive them to safety. Many had ATM cards but could not withdraw money. Many had mobile phones but did not have the electricity to charge them. Man will never be able to achieve complete security by relying on machines. We have to find the real security within ourselves. Technology is a good servant but a dangerous master. When our relationships with the world are defined solely through machines, we are pawning our very consciousness to the unconscious machine. We should be using machines and loving people. Never allow the trademark of our society to become “Use people and love machines.”
The more space we create in our heart for others, the more happiness and contentment we will feel. The law of the universe and of life is selflessness. This is why selfish and egoistic people are unable to wholeheartedly enjoy life and be happy: because their behaviour is out of tune with the law of the universe. This creation unfolds to the same tune and beat. Understanding this, when we fall in line with this law, peace, happiness and prosperity automatically become ours.
The love and compassion that overflows from our heart is the power that leads us to victory. How was Kerala saved from the great floods? What saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of people? It was the love and compassion that filled the hearts of people all over. This strength destroys all barriers and joins all hearts on a single string. May this love and compassion ever illuminate our hearts.
Om Namah Sivaya
My Darling Children,
Nature and the environment are manifestations of God. The world—the created—and God—the Creator—are not two; they are one and the same. So, we must develop a respectful and worshipful attitude towards Nature. We have two mothers, the mother who gave birth to us and Mother Nature. Our birth mother may allow us to sit on her lap for a couple of years, but Mother Nature patiently bears our weight our entire life. Just as every child is obligated to his birth mother, we all should likewise feel an obligation and responsibility towards Mother Nature. If we forget this responsibility, it is equal to forgetting our own self. If we forget Nature, we will cease to exist; to do so is to walk towards death.
We should not leave Mother Earth with scars. On the other hand, we should leave her with flowers bedecked in her hair. We should leave her in a better condition than in which we came to her—never worse. Cleanliness and sanitation are fundamental to the development of any country. If we care about the coming generations—the world that will be inherited by our children and grandchildren—we must act now.
In the old days, there was no specific need for environmental preservation because protecting Nature was part of worshipping God and part of life itself. More than remembering God, people used to love and serve Nature and society. They saw the Creator through the creation. They loved, worshipped and protected Nature as the visible form of God. We should try to reawaken this attitude. Today, the biggest threat to humankind is not a third World War but the loss of Nature’s harmony—our widening separation from Nature.
Swachhata Hi Seva
In the past four years, India has made rapid strides towards sanitation for all under the Swachh Bharat Mission, which has made sanitation a national people’s movement. It is our responsibility to make sure that we continue to play our part in ensuring cleanliness and sanitation in our surroundings.
As we approach the 149th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and the fourth anniversary of the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Government of India, under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is re-launching the Swachhata Hi Seva mass movement from 15th September to 2nd October 2018. During this period, all of us citizens of India, should go out and play our part towards making India clean by conducting cleanliness drives in our localities and neighbourhoods. We should also encourage our relatives, friends, colleagues and neighbours to come out and participate in such drives as well.
On the morning of the 15th of September, Amma will be interacting with the Prime Minister through a Video Conference. We will share with him the Ashram’s personal commitment to the cause of a Swachh Bharat, as well as the work being done by all of the devotees, ashram residents and Amrita students to keep India clean and beautiful. Immediately after this interaction, we will conduct a massive cleaning drive along a six-kilometre stretch of coastal belt near Amritapuri Ashram. Our schools, university campuses, ashram centres and other institutions throughout the nation will also be conducting cleanliness drives in their areas.
Amma would like to urge all of you to organise similar cleanliness drives on the same day in your areas and neighbourhoods and to spread the message of the importance of keeping India clean and beautiful. Let us ensure that all of us wholeheartedly participate in Swachhata Hi Seva 2018, and play our role in achieving the Swachh Bharat of Mahatma Gandhi’s dreams.
(The Prime Minister’s Office is asking us to capture pictures of these activities and post them on social media with the hashtag #SHS2018. You may also upload these on MyGov.)
2 September 2018, Amritapuri
(Excerpts from Amma’s 2018 Sri Krishna Jayanti Message)
Ashtami Rohini, the eighth day of the waning moon in the August-September month of the Hindu calendar, is the sacred day when the birthless, deathless Supreme Consciousness took birth as a human child in the city of Mathura. From the moment of his birth to the time he left his mortal body, each leela Sri Krishna enacted was sweet. They were beacons of light, guiding the path of the world. The Lord himself says that those who realise the principle behind his divine birth and actions will be freed from the bondage of samsara—the endless cycle of birth and death. When we, like Vasudeva, move forward, holding God close to our hearts, all obstacles on our path will fall away and we will attain our goal.
To make devotees happy, to uphold dharma, to define the dharma befitting the times, to impart wisdom to uplift the spiritual sensibilities of society, to shelter and nourish culture in all possible ways, to enact divine leelas to inspire even future generations—these are some of the duties of a divine incarnation. Lord Krishna fulfilled all these in an exemplary way. Two things are particularly noteworthy about Krishna’s life: His sweet face never lost its pleasant smile and he engaged wholeheartedly in different roles but always with total detachment. Like an actor who plays many diverse roles, performing them each to perfection, Krishna turned this world into his theatrical stage. He took upon each costume with grace and shed it with grace as well. He did not get attached to any of them, yet he made each one beautiful.
It is when one transcends the mind completely that one becomes complete. Lord Krishna was able to do this. This is why the incarnation of Lord Krishna is called a Purnavatara—a complete incarnation. With a smile on his face, he moved from circumstance to circumstances as easily as if moving from room to room. Wind moves everywhere freely, but it never stops. It touches and caresses everyone, but no one can contain it. Krishna was like this. His life was a song with a delightful rhythm and beautiful melody, sung with perfect pitch.
The completeness that is visible in the Lord’s life is also evident in his teachings. His teachings are relevant for people of all walks of life, showing them the way to advance materially as well as spiritually.
God, the sun of love, is ever blazing. If you shut the doors and windows of your house, how will you be able to experience the light of that love? We should open the door of our ego and come out. Then we will be able to experience the sweetness and coolness of Krishna’s love. We are at present imprisoned by our minds. The birth of little Krishna or the Paramatman should happen within our heart. Then all forms of bondage will disappear.
25 September 2018, Amritapuri Ashram
(excerpt from Amma’s Onam Message)
Onam is usually a time of celebration. However, this Onam, our minds are weighed down with grief. Many people lost their lives in the recent floods and landslides here in Kerala. Many people lost their homes and everything they had. It is heart-breaking that such a tragedy struck at this time of year when everyone should be rejoicing. Let us pray that the departed souls may rest in peace and that the living may find relief from their suffering.
Onam is a beautiful memory of the past and a bright hope for the future. It is also a joy in the present moment. Onam is a celebration of completeness. It is part of the agrarian tradition, celebrated together, with feasting and games. It also contains devotion and spirituality and unity and love. May this unity, love and joy last forever.
Onam is the time when people decorate their front yard with beautiful floral designs called pookkalam. When we make a new design each morning, we wipe away the previous day’s pookkalam without any sadness. We just try to make the next day’s pookkalam even more beautiful than the last. Similarly, my children should try to stop living in past experiences, make the best use of the present and look forward to the future. Then you will be able to experience the beauty of life.
On Onam day, we welcome the iconic Mahabali and Mahavishnu—the devotee and God. There is a deeper truth behind the Lord incarnating as Vamana—a small boy. Our bodies have grown, but our minds have not. If our mind is to grow and become as expansive as the universe, we should first have the heart of a child. Only a child can grow. A child’s enthusiasm, optimism and alertness are important qualities for a spiritual aspirant. If we are alert, we will never lose our way on the spiritual path. We will be able to learn lessons from any experience.
To overcome the ego completely, one needs the grace of the Guru. Even if one is able to control the gross ego through spiritual practices, the subtle ego that “I am an accomplished spiritual practitioner” can grow. We will not become completely free until we have transcended this ego as well. It was his ego that the Lord asked Mahabali to surrender. The Lord was not punishing Mahabali. On the contrary, He was showering His grace upon him.
-from Amma’s Gurupurnima message
Guru Purnima is a reminder to find our purnatvam—our fullness—within. Looking through the small windows of our mind, we come to wrong conclusions about ourselves and the world. The guru is the most noble and trusted friend who awakens us to the reality that, “I am not this small entity (body, mind and the intellect); I am the infinite, as pervasive as the sky. I am fullness itself.”
No one knows how much time we have remaining in this human birth. Death is just a step behind each one of us. This precious birth should not be squandered away in short-lived pleasures. Before us is a golden opportunity to achieve the true goal of human birth. We should make proper use of this birth to deeply inquire into our true essence and understand the real source of peace and happiness.
God is like infinite sunlight. However, we will not be able to kindle our kitchen fire with this. The guru’s companionship is the matchstick needed to kindle this fire in the disciple. The guru’s presence will enable us to grow in a practical way.
Currently, we are bound in chains by our likes and dislikes. It will not do if we say we will try to overcome them later. Even if we try to loosen our grip on our suitcase to save ourselves from drowning, we will not be able to loosen our grip if our fingers are frozen. It is the same with our likes and dislikes. We all have godliness within. It is only the unwanted aspects of ourselves that the guru is taking away. But it is these very unwanted aspects that we are hugging onto so tightly. Thus, it becomes difficult to bring out the beautiful sculpture that is hidden within us.
The word for “disciple” in Sanskrit is sishya. The meaning of the term sishya is “He who is fit to be taught, who is fit to be disciplined.” A sishya is he who becomes the offering himself. The disciple should have the complete awareness that whatever the guru does is for his upliftment and good. Some may wonder whether such blind obedience to the guru is a kind of slavery. The truth is that the disciple is already enslaved to his own latent tendencies and ego. What the guru does is to rescue him from the bondage of that slavery.
The guru is like a booster rocket. Caught in many attachments, we are like satellites constantly circling around, caught in the gravitational field of the earth. The booster rocket that is the guru frees us from these bonds.
– — Excerpts from Amma’s Gurupurnima message -27 Jul 2018, Amritapuri
Earlier in the morning when Amma came to the stage, Ashram dog Bhakti was already waiting there. Seeing Amma she started hauling waving her tail. Amma’s padapuja was performed and she gave her message on Gurupurnima. She also led all singing a bhajan ‘bhajo re bhajo’ and asking everyone to dance to the tune. Afterwards, Amma started giving darshan to the devotees. Many got mantras from Amma on this day. Darshan went on till 5 pm.
The feeling closest to our True Self is love. Our lives are meant to be born in love, to live in love, and to eventually end in love. In truth, love has no end; it is eternal and connects every aspect of creation — human beings with each other, with Nature, and with God. Thus, its effulgence is forever within us as our very essence. Tragically, even though most of us spend our lives in search of love, the majority die without finding it. However, we should take heart, for while our true nature may be temporarily obscured from us, it can never be destroyed.
Spirituality is striving to reawaken that love, to reopen our eyes to it. To do this, we need to make a little space in our hearts for others. Spirituality is not against striving for material gains. It only reminds us that, just as we have our dreams, others also have their dreams. Therefore, we should not step on others’ dreams in order to attain ours. We need to help others just as we help ourselves.
In India, at least 20 percent of the thousands of people who come to see me each day are teetering on the edge of destitution and suicide. Seeing the sadness on the face of a woman who recently came to see me, I asked her what was wrong. She said she suffered from chronic kidney failure. After her diagnosis, her husband had left her, leaving her with their two children. Without any education or job, she had to borrow money from loan sharks, who were now harassing her. She said, “Amma, to survive, I’m supposed to undergo 10 weekly dialysis sessions. I can’t even dream of that kind of money. So, I have no choice but to skip some.”
My eyes filled with tears. I told her not to worry — that our hospital would take care of her medical needs and that the ashram would help educate her children. Hearing this, she burst into tears. She then confessed that she had been so hopeless that she had planned to poison her children and commit suicide. “I’d even written the suicide note.”
What would have happened if I had not enquired about her life? There are thousands of such families. To see and help them, we just need eyes and a heart that feels.
There will always be rich and poor. However, currently the gap between the haves and have-nots transcends all bounds. It is like a mountain on one side and an abyss on the other. Unless we reduce this gap, it could result in unrest, even violence. We need to build a bridge of compassion. We need to cultivate an outlook that appreciates the essential oneness of all beings. Although we may see 1,000 suns reflected in 1,000 pots of water, there is only one sun. When we see the consciousness within all of us as one, we will develop an outlook that considers the needs of others before our own desires for luxury.
We have nothing to lose by looking at people with love and affection.
Once a woman who had the habit of buying lavish things spent a month in our ashram. Later, she wrote me a letter. She said, after returning home, she had become obsessed with owning a particular expensive designer watch. To save the money, she had to work overtime. When she had saved enough, she went to the jeweler. However, in the shop, she suddenly remembered our ashram’s orphanage. She thought, “While buying this watch may make me happy for some time, I could use the money to help so people who lack basic necessities instead. Even a $10 watch is enough to know the time.” Finally she decided to buy a cheap watch and use the money to help the poor instead. She concluded by writing, “Thank you for helping me reconnect with the love within me.”
Such expansive attitudes will dawn if we imbibe spirituality. If our left hand is injured, the right hand will spontaneously caress it. Why? Because they are one. Similarly, appreciating that we are all of one essence should prompt us to act accordingly, serving the poor and needy. This understanding and effort is what is meant by “making space in our hearts for others.” If we can do this, little by little we can come to experience the love that is our True Self.
Remember, we all have something to give. A smile doesn’t cost one cent, yet all too often we forget to give even this to others. We have nothing to lose by looking at people with love and affection. Even our seemingly most insignificant acts can help others.
May the circle of love within everyone expand and gradually come to embrace all of creation.
Amma’s message on Yoga on International Yoga Day
Yoga is the means of awakening the infinite strength within, by training the body, mind and intellect properly, and of realizing one’s full potential. Yoga helps us become more efficient in worldly life. It enhances our health, sense of well-being, and sensitivity to values. For these reasons, the relevance and popularity of yoga, which can combat lifestyle and psychological diseases that are becoming more and more prevalent today, are increasing by the day. Every Indian can take pride in the fact that yoga was born and sprouted in Indian soil.
Many people ask what is so special about yoga compared with other forms of exercise. Any form of exercise confers innumerable benefits to body and mind. However, the benefits that arise from doing yoga far surpass those gained from other kinds of exercise. Most exercises rely on rapid bodily movements to reduce fat and develop muscle. In contrast, yoga aims to relax all parts of the body and to direct the energy of prana (vital force) in the correct directions. It improves the health of all organs, including glands, and alleviates disease. It purifies nerves. It strengthens the mind and boosts one’s power of concentration. It relaxes and strengthens muscles. Yoga is more effective than other exercise regimens in reducing depression and helping to maintain a cheerful disposition.
Unlike other exercises, yoga asanas (postures) are practiced slowly, paying attention to the breathing. At the same time, one must observe every movement of the body with utmost awareness. In this way, one can make the mind serene and foster the experience of meditative stillness. Thus, yoga benefits body and mind equally.
Unlike other exercises, it is not enough to practice yoga for just one or two hours daily. If a person afflicted with a critical illness wants to recover, he must, in addition to taking medicines, follow a particular diet and get sufficient rest and sleep. Likewise, in order to gain the full benefits of yoga, we must lead a disciplined and value-based life. By practicing yoga mindfully, we will be able to do each and every action in life with awareness. In this way, we can bring about positive changes to our thoughts and emotions. Gradually, we can gain more concentration in our meditation and eventually attain Self-realization.
Yoga promotes the message of a healthy life as well as inner and outer purity. It upholds the message of a unity that transcends creed, and ahimsa (non-violence) towards all beings. For these reasons, promoting yoga will foster love and solidarity in society and peace in the world. May humanity be able to attain ever higher physical, mental and spiritual levels of wellness through yoga.
13 February 2018 — Amritapuri Ashram
Shivaratri was celebrated at the Ashram with great enthusiasm. Chanting of Rudram & Chamakam, Mrutyunjaya and Panchakshara were happening in the Kalari from the morning. The whole night devotees where chanting “Om Namah Shivaya.”
In the regular evening bhajans, Amma had a special set of Siva bhajans.
At 10.30 pm Amma joined the session again with a new set of Shiva bhajans. Addressing the devotees Amma said: “Among all the God concepts of Sanatana Dharma, perhaps the most astonishing one is of Lord Siva. Although his role is as the destroyer, he is considered as the embodiment of auspiciousness. He is a sannyasi who uses a skull as a begging bowl, and yet he has a family and is regarded as the father of the universe. He lives in the cemetery. His body is smeared with ashes. Deadly serpents adorn his arms and neck. At times he sports a tiger skin; at times he is a Digambara — a naked ascetic who wears only the sky as his garment; at times a hunter and at times a scavenger (Chandala). Yet, he is the epitome of all knowledge—the source of all arts and sciences. He is the Adiguru — the first guru.
“Although a householder, he is the Guru to all ascetics and Sannyasis. Gratified with minimal spiritual asceticism on the part of the seeker, he confers his blessing on everyone alike, with no distinction of low or high.
“Shivaratri is set aside for his remembrance—the Supreme Lord Siva. We should pay attention to two converse sides of Siva. One side, we see him seated in deep meditation and pure abidance in samadhi. The other side we see the Lord’s active dance of destruction—the Tandava.
“We see the pictures of Lord Siva in both these moods. This gives us the message of how one can unify action and meditation. Siva wears the crescent moon on his head. When the full moon diminishes, disappears and then grows back again, we call it a month. Hence, the crescent moon on Lord Siva’s head represents time. Time, however, is a creation of our mind. From this perspective, the moon waning as Sivaratri approaches is a symbol of the destruction of the mind. When the mind is completely dissolved, Self-knowledge dawns and the realisation “Shivoham” – I am Siva – Shivoham transforms our life into Siva. Along with the worship of Lord Siva, may we be able to assimilate the message of the Lord in our hearts. Let us try to emulate the model He has shown us. May the festival of Sivaratri inspire us to rise from wrong to right, from unrighteous to righteous and from ignorance to knowledge.”
With the prayers and blessing “May grace protect all my children” Amma concluded.
- Today evening Amrita Family paid tribute to the martyred CRPF jawans, who lost their lives in Pulwama terror attack. At @Amritapuri the students of @AMRITAedu and 221 Bn CRPF paid homage by lighting diyas, praying for them and for their families as well. #PulwamaAttackpic.twitter.com/NQpZLU5d85 15 February 2019
- Amma concluded The Evening Bhajans with ' Māt Bhavānī Mahēshi Ambē '. With Ārati and Shānti Mantras, Bhajans are over. @Amritapuri 15 February 2019
- Amma started the Evening Bhajans with ' Vandana Karu Me Teri '. @Amritapuri 15 February 2019
- Swamiji started evening bhajans while Amma continues darshan @ Amritapuri 14 February 2019
- Amma started darshan @ Amritapuri 14 February 2019
- भारतीयः മനസ്സിനെ താണപടിയില്നിന്നു് ഉദ്ധരിക്കുവാനുള്ള ക്രിയകളാണു ധ്യാനജപാദികള് https://amrit.am/2SKfEmE 13 February 2019
- It is not wrong to worship God with the intent of achieving success or wealth. But it is only when we love God for God’s own sake that our lives become blessed. When that attitude of surrender comes, all that we need will come to us, as and when it is needed. - #Ammapic.twitter.com/gLiHbPP7PN
- Compassion towards fellow beings is just as important as love and devotion to God. They are two sides of the same coin. Without the passport of selfless service to ones fellow-beings, we will not get the visa of devotion. God’s grace will shine on those with compassion. #Ammapic.twitter.com/fz9XjxZixs
- To be able to put oneself in another’s position, to be able to see and to feel as another person does, this is the rare gift of an earnest spiritual seeker. #Ammapic.twitter.com/jeVM1jSIsT
- Happy #Pongal to all. "For me there is no creator and creations. Like the ocean and the waves, they are all one and the same. God is in the people or in the world, and the world is in the people. It is love that transforms into worship. Even nature is part of God." - #Ammapic.twitter.com/AmbFFWJ85o
- Environmental protection is one of the greatest issues mankind faces today. If only we would walk along the path shown by our ancestors, we could easily find solutions to the problems we are facing in this area. - #Ammapic.twitter.com/LmVbUT9pHZ
- Without succumbing to despair, we should light up our hearts with the lamp of hope. Like a shadow, death stands looming right behind each one of us. We have to vacate this rented house of our body at any moment. Before death finally claims us, we have many duties to complete.pic.twitter.com/rWD4CAu4gp