As a mother would gently whisper soothing words to awaken the child in her lap, who is crying out because of a nightmare, Amma tries to awaken us out of our ignorance-induced stupor. With utmost patience, Amma keeps reminding us that the sole and root cause of all our problems is our uncontrolled minds. In her simple language She says spirituality is the art of ‘air conditioning’ the mind i.e. keeping it cool and balanced in all situations, whether they are easy or difficult, pleasant or trying.
She says “Our minds should be like the brakes of a sports car. When we want it to stop it should stop immediately.” She keeps reminding us to stop unnecessarily thinking of the past or the future. In her words “the past is like a cancelled check, forget it. The future is not yet born, so children, live in the present.” With such sweet and simple words, She expresses these profound yet simple ideas in ways that make them stay forever in the minds and hearts of her listeners. Thus we see the awakening of a mass spiritual awareness among people from different sections of society.
“If you ask, “Why doesn’t everyone know this Truth?”, then the answer is – because we have lost our innocent childlike hearts. Due to this we are unable to know our true essence: the Atman Nor are we able to experience our oneness with Brahman, the Absolute. What does Amma mean by “our childlike heart” ? Look at a small child sitting upon a stone and holding a stick in his hand. If he says, “I am the emperor sitting upon a throne, with a sword in my hand,” he really means it!
“All the child’s words and actions fully reflect this feeling he has. He doesn’t think, ‘This is not a throne but just a stone.’ Nor does he think, ‘This is not a sword but just a stick.’ For him the stick is indeed a sword. This intensity of feeling – this faith and this innocence – is what we have lost. Instead we have become perfect examples of jealousy and envy.”
“Such a heart, filled with innocence, and an intellect endowed with the capacity to discriminate between the permanent and the transient — these are what is needed by a spiritual person.”
“Children, it won’t be possible to experience peace without possessing an innocent, childlike heart. God can reside only in a heart overflowing with innocence. Many of the children who have come to Mother have stopped consuming liquor and smoking. Many have stopped leading an ostentatious life. They have become ready to stop spending money on unnecessary things and instead they have become willing to use the money for the benefit of the poor.”
“Children whenever you take a cigarette, think of a poor diseased person, crying out piteously in pain because of the inability to purchase painkiller tablets. Whenever you lift a glass of liquor, remember those who are spending sleepless nights in hovels with leaking roofs because they do not have any money for repairs. With the money we spend on unnecessary things every month, we can repair that roof.”
“With that money we could pay the school fees of some bright but poor student who is unable to continue his or her education. Children, Amma is not forcing anyone to do all these things. It is just that Amma remembered the situation in the world. Amma is quite sure that if you children decide to do so, than definitely you can bring about a change in this situation. Children, this alone is true worship of God. This is what Amma expects you to do.”
“Children, meditation is invaluable, like gold. If you have compassion along with meditation, then it’s like gold possessing a sweet fragrance.”
“Children, each word we utter, each action we perform, should be done with complete care and attention. Each step should be taken with total awareness. This is the first lesson we have to imbibe from spirituality.”
As Amma speaks only in her native tongue, Malayalam, her talks are translated by her disciples. Most of the time, her talks are translated by her monastic disciples into the local language.