- Whether any religious practices were followed by Amma? Whether she initiated her followers by giving a Mantra or suggested any spiritual disciplines?
- “Accept Life as it comes. Attribute everything to the invisible Cosmic Energy and remain a witness to all that happens….” is what Amma tells many who approach her. This Maha Mantra is rational and universal.
- What are the views of Mother on the caste system. ?
- Caste is man-made. In course of time, that turned out to be a system. As humans leaned more towards division than vision, the system drew curtains among communities. The menace was effectively erased by Amma in her own inimitable way.
- Having been born in an orthodox Brahmin family, she might have been subjected to criticism and disapproval from elders in the family and the Society for her seemingly “radical” actions. Was Amma trying to tell anything to the Society by such actions?
- She was not radical. She was rational. She was Brahmin by practice and not by caste. She touched the brahmanical aspect in all-from beast to Brahman.
- From your answers, one might be tempted to call Amma a social reformer. On the other hand there are millions of persons worshiping Her as God incarnate or an Avatar. Which is the correct perception?
- As we all know, Sastras by themselves are explicit at times and silent many times. The dogmatic and selfish interpret them as per their needs and convenience. The defect lies with the interpreter and not the Sastras.
God always assumed human form to eradicate social evils, uphold Dharma and maintain social order. In the process, God resorts to teaching, preaching and practicing righteousness. In that sense, Amma played her part as the situation demanded. However, correction is not different from reform. She was more humane and hence Divine.
- If we accept the above premise, don’t you think that religious practices like worshiping images in the temples/ homes, visiting holy shrines, performing Yagnas etc. might pale into insignificance?
- For progressing towards life’s fruition and to be able to live happily and peacefully, religion lays a royal path. Religion is founded on a belief system. The heart of any religion is Love. Dharma is timeless, it ennobles life in the universe and is beyond a religious framework. Whatever be the path, the aim and goal is the same. There is no better religion than treading a righteous path.
Having said that, let us come to the ritualistic practices you have mentioned. Various persons with widely differing temperaments follow different austerities. But it has to be remembered that practicing these rituals should be mainly to cleanse the mind of its impurities. Without a deeper understanding, performing the austerities mechanically is not enough.
In order to cultivate desirable tendencies and to live in accordance with Dharma appropriate to humans, religious austerities help. If human life is a paper, religion is like a paper weight. Religion has the power to shepherd the wavering mind. Practicing any of the austerities close to one’s heart and suited to one’s temperament will cleanse the mind.
- The scriptures enjoined the performance of ritualistic worship. The Sanatana Dharma prescribes ‘Dos and Don’ts’ to be observed by the person in the society. Whether Amma’s teachings and actions are in consonance with these principles?
- The prescriptions relevant to the ancient times have to be suitably modified for adoption to the current context. Amma was able to give the essence of the scriptures and the principles of Sanatana dharma which are adoptable in the ever changing times.
- While Amma followed the age-old “man-woman wedlock”, her sayings on the institution of marriage clearly indicate equal role for both the spouses. How are we to understand this?
- She proved beyond doubt that the marriage institution is the substratum and also edifice to practise great virtues and brought forth its efficacy and share care vis-à-vis loyalty trust aspects, primarily to build and sustain a perfect society if not an equal one.
- Spiritual aspirants usually are averse to marriage. But Amma not only married, but maintained that one can attain spiritual heights while leading a family life. How to understand this?
- Amma once told a Pundit that Sankalpam (volition) is Samsaram and not merely having a spouse and children. In Amma’s view, ‘merging of the individual soul in the Absolute is marriage’. This calls for an attitude of seeing godliness in another human being and in this instance, the spouse! If this is understood conceptually and practiced sincerely, sankalpas get purified leading to spiritual upliftment.
In Indian context, great sages of ancient times were all married and attained the State of Jnani by leading virtuous lives. They proved that married life is not a hindrance for spiritual growth.