WHERE IS HE? [Page 205]
Balaiah: We have to visualize God in every object and worship it. Because I see GOD in a cow, I worship it. Others don’t look at it this way, so they don’t worship it.
Amma: They may see God in other things, in different things.
The farmer sees God in his land which gives him sustenance. The gardener sees his God in the beauty of a blooming flower. The musician sees God in his melodious notes. I love and deify whatever is close to my heart.
Balaiah: That means we are not able to see God in everything. We see Him only in those things that we like. But I really don’t understand what you mean by this. Will you explain?
Amma: Whom or what do you love dearly?
Amma; But you say even that is not complete. Don’t worry. I am the one to complete it.
Balaiah: This assurance is enough for me.
THE FORCE BEHIND. [Page 201]
Brother: Even if there is a divine force guiding us,we feel we are responsible for everything.
Amma; yes, you do feel so. But who has created this feeling? Not you .Even this feeling is created by that divine energy, that force which is all pervasive. You say you have a thought. Where did the thought come from ? You feel it has come from you and because of you. So you feel you are different from the Divine Force. You distance yourself from this Force. When you can identify yourself with the divine and see yourself as the divine you realize you have infinite energy, you are infinite energy. The individual soul, the jeevatma, is not different from the universal soul, the paramatma. Your oneness with God is your inspiration. But when and how do you understand this? Feel inspired and move ahead happily? Then He blesses you with His grace.
When you can identify yourself with the divine and see yourself as the divine, you realize you have infinite energy, you are infinite energy
UNIVERSE IS GOD. [Page206]
A devotee who came from Amaravati had the following conversation with Amma.
Brother: Will you define the word ‘Amma’?
Amma: According to me it means ‘everlasting’.
Brother: We say Jaganmata. Does it mean mother of the universe?
Amma: No, not the mother of the universe. The universe itself is the mother. It is the root, it is the growth, and it is endless.
See these flowers-[showing a garland] there is a thread running through all these flowers-it holds them together. The flower itself grows on the stem, which is a part of the tree and the tree grows from the root. Where does the root come from? It comes from the seed which is another form of the flower. Where is the beginning and where is the end? There is an invisible thread running through the entire creation, binding everything.
Brother: True; but to worship Jaganmata, to see and understand the oneness of creation, one needs an undivided concentration, an unparalleled devotion. How can we get it?
Amma: The energy or force that inspires and induces you to worship, also endows you with concentration and devotion.
Brother: The mind is like a wayward child, Amma; running in all directions, running after all unwanted things. Is it possible to control it and concentrate on the eternal? Even if I concentrate, can I surrender myself absolutely to this force or energy?
Amma: Your distractions are part of the whole. When you consider Jaganmata as all in all, why do you worry about these trifles? Distractions and concentration, devotion and skepticism- are different manifestations of the divine. When we recite Lalita Sahasranamam [thousand names of goddess LALITA] we bow to her as Chanchala [the distracted- the active] and Achala -the steadfast. Both may appear to be two different forces-but both are His manifestations.
There is an invisible thread running through the entire creation, binding everything.
KNOWLEDGE VERSUS DEVOTION. [Page 209]
Which path leads you to spiritual fulfillment? Should one acquire spiritual knowledge, or be devoted? Amma tells us
Brother; Do we receive divine grace by studies or by devotion? Which path is better?
Amma; You can choose any path you like. But first of all you must find an opportunity to choose. Even if there is an opportunity, sometimes, the inner spirit may be asleep. Then you miss the opportunity, your intentions weaken. When the spirit is awake, you will set your doubts aside and go ahead with your spiritual pursuits. But tell me what do you mean by divine grace?
Brother; According to me, to know God, to feel his presence is divine grace.
Amma: Once you do it, what else is left? Suppose you have knowledge, does it help you to attain bliss?
Brother: But how do we get divine knowledge? I repeat my question-do we get enlightened by study or by devotion? Which approach is better, is easier to follow?
Amma: It is for the individual to choose and decide. What do you mean by study? Do you mean concentration on the Almighty?
Brother: No, I mean reading the holy books, the scriptures, the books on religion.
Amma: Even while studying all these books, do we not recite His name? Do we not think and concentrate on His mysterious ways, on His powers? To me, devotion and knowledge appear to be one and the same, different forms that convey the same spirit. They are the two faces of the same coin. But tell me can we understand or at least study all the books on God?
Brother: No, we cannot. One lifetime is too short.
Amma: Till the power, the energy impels you to Him, you cannot do anything.[pointing to one devotee]-he may have the intention, but he may have to spend a long time in sadhana-or, spiritual practice.[pointing to another], he may understand and attain spiritual bliss since he has already started his sadhana. But both of you have the same path to follow, the same things to learn and experience. You think you are doing work related to God, or you are worried because you are not able to understand the work of God. Think you are God, our God is within you. Surrender to His will.