Q. Mother asserted “to feed you and look after is my – concern”. What do these words signify?
A. It is Mother’s nature to look after her children in every respect, material and spiritual – She used to give away food, clothes and even gold ornaments to the needy. Several persons emulate her by caring for and sharing with others with concern.
‘Did I feed them? Every one of them ate their own food here”. This statement of Amma reveals her state of non-doership. The feeding should be an outpouring of natural Motherhood. This is Amma’s demonstrative teaching!
The hungry don’t listen to Vedanta. Moral principles do not seem important for them on a stomach suffering the pangs of hunger. Only after satiating hunger do other things matter! Humans have five Kosas (sheaths). They are ‘Annamaya Kosa’, ‘Pranamaya’, ‘Manomaya’, ‘Vignanamaya’ and ‘Anandamaya’ Kosha.
Food, when given lovingly, graciously, compassionately and above all affectionately, it gets purified and helps the taker in spiritual contemplation. When bodily and Pranic powers (Shaktis) manifest in a coordinated way, the ‘Annamaya Kosa’ (food sheath) and ‘Pranamaya Kosa’ (Pranic sheath) are formed. There arises another Kosa reflecting peace, contentment and pleasantness. That is ‘Manomaya Kosa’.
Mind is the aggregation of many thoughts. It does not have a form. It is a powerful field. So, the foundation of the mind is ‘Annamaya Kosa’. When the food affectionately given is ingested it becomes mind which is pure and gracious. The thoughts emanating from such a mind will be cultured and love-laden. The thoughts of such a compassionate mind make the Sadhaka soft.
Q. In Amma’s biography it was stated that she was chided by an elder for what he considered ‘indiscriminate charity’ and that Mother replied “I do not consider it as a charity.
I feel that their thing is with me and I am handing it back to them. Can you fathom into the import of these words?
A. The Statement of Amma is explicit and does not need elaboration as Amma’s expression defines Advaita and non-doership. This indicates that there is neither a giver nor a taker. This is Amma’s aspect.
Q. Whether Mother belonged to any religious sect? Whether she was well versed in Sastras and gave discourses?
A. According to Amma, there is no better religion than treading a righteous path. The core of any religion is Love. In the divine plan of getting right the situations and streamlining thought patterns, Amma chose a body and descended on to our planet.
Spirituality has no religion. Religion requires spirituality. Religion is a path. For progressing towards life’s fruition and to be able to live happily and peacefully, religion lays a royal road. Religion is founded on a belief faith system.
The selfless good for the society and unconditional love, lead the world based on equality. This should be religion. Religion should not be dogmatic. When the wants direct the human towards greed and when bad phases chase, Mahatmas choose to lead mankind on righteous path and reform the society. They unequivocally say that humanism is the real religion. Before they preach, they live their teachings, vesting authenticity. Such great ones in their immensity draw everyone irrespective of caste, creed or religion. The underlying purpose is to teach the human to live with the characteristics of a human, if not Divine!
Amma did not discourage persons from following religious practices. She however advocated that the intent, the inner meaning of the ritual has to be understood. Without questioning and testing any concept of the crucible of her experience, she did not blithely teach. Amma gave paramount importance to the intention behind the act than the act. Thus, it can be said that Amma doesn’t belong to any particular religion and at the same time she epitomized the essence of all religions, the religion of Love.
Q. One would wonder why people including city folk and even foreigners visited remote villages braving discomfort to see Amma, though there were no spiritual discourses or explicit teachings and more so when Mother said that she was not a Guru! Can you throw some light on this?
A. By focusing on the innate goodness of a person and by awakening positive human traits, Amma silently made innumerable persons useful not only to themselves but also to the society.
Wealthy, famous or successful people also need love. Lack of love is the root cause of misery. With subdued ego alone love is experienced. In the experience of untainted love, the six strangleholds (Arishad vargas) loosen their hold. An awakening into a genuine human dimension unfolds. The conscience is cleansed. The change occurs naturally and unobtrusively. It all begins from worshiping the individual, the idols and ends in worshiping the ideals. Doors open into a life of emulation to a new way of life. This silent inward journey moves towards Self enquiry. That is how under Amma’s tutelage Jillellamudi evolved as a humanistic arena, not embroiled in dogmatic arguments and counter arguments.
A cool shelter is built by Amma wide open to mankind. What Amma expounded is not a new religion nor did she indicate a new path. She widened the narrowing paths and showed the proper way.
Amma’s presence and subtle influence brought about so much transformation, people thirsting for unconditional love flocked to her, in her times.
Even a biological mother is the first guru to any. It is in her lap, one is transmitted all that is virtuous. As Amma herself declared Motherhood as her real aspect, her state as Guru needs no deliberation.