8 Oct 2016 – Amritapuri
Each time Amma leaves Amritapuri for a foreign tour, she holds a meeting with the ashram residents to give instructions on both spiritual and logistical matters.
During the meeting on Saturday, Amma asked the children who live in the ashram if they keep a timetable. Amma explained that it is very important to follow a routine. In the culture of Sanatana Dharma, Amma said, time management is nothing new. Yet in modern management theory, time management is a relatively new topic and courses are offered on this.
Amma went on to speak about the importance of teaching values to children at a very young age. So saying, she proceeded to teach a two-year-old child to chant the sloka below. In the morning, Amma told the child, first thing when you wake up, look at your palm and chant:
कराग्रे वसते लक्ष्मी करमध्ये सरस्वती
करमूले तु गोविन्द प्रभाते करदर्शनम्
karagre vasate lakshmi kara madhye saraswati
karamoole tu govinda prabhate kara darshanam
and she went on to explain the meaning of the sloka:
Lakshmi resides at the top of the palm, Amma explained. In the middle, Saraswati. At the base of the palm, Gouri/Govinda resides.
We pray to Lakshmi for money.
We pray to Saraswati for knowledge.
We pray to Gauri or Govinda for health.
All three are needed for a healthy life.
This mantra holds both spiritual and material meaning.
Amma continued to instruct the children:
Do not jump out of bed after sleep, or jump into bed when you go to sleep.
Meditate for some time before you go to bed, and again before you get out of bed.
Pray: O Lord, you should guide me in a good path, give me the ability to follow my parents’ instructions.
Aso pray before you eat: first meditation, eating comes after.
When you sit down to study, do namaskaram to (bow to) both the book and the pen,
because we are gaining knowledge from these.
This is how we should live.
Amma also spoka about pujavaippu, also known as ayudha puja – the tradition of placing books and all types of tools used for knowledge and making a living before an altar for worship during the 9 days of Navaratri. Amma explained that this tradition represents the principle that all things, both sentient and insentient, are verily God.
We should have prasada buddhi – accepting everything as God’s prasad (blessing). This is the attitude we should develop.