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Conversations with Amma

Magazine : Viswajanani
Language : English
Volume Number : 13
Month : July
Issue Number : 12
Year : 2014


When life takes an unexpected, unwanted turn, when things go astray-people worry about their future. They try to find out what is in store for them. They revel in happy predictions, but are apprehensive of  evil. Does this knowledge of the future help us in any way? Can it change anything that has to take place?

Brother: When someone wants to discuss their future and the future of their children, why do you say, ‘I don’t know anything?’ When you know something, but don’t reveal it, are you not hiding the truth?

Amma: The hour is fixed and the day is fixed for all happenings in everyone’s life. Why should I talk about anything beforehand? This is not a shop – people ask me for something and if I say no, they can go to another shop and ask for it and get it. Whether they come here, or go somewhere else, discuss among themselves or criticize me openly, whether they say that I am not willing to talk about their future, or hiding the truth -the destined hour is here. Nothing can alter it, no one can rewrite it.


Brother: Everyone calls you Amma, mother. Whose mother are you?

Amma: To my children.

Brother: Who are your children?

Amma: Everyone.

Brother: Do they accept you as their mother?

Amma: I accept them as my children. So I am their mother.

Brother: Are you a mother for human beings, or for all creatures?

Amma: The infinite is in the finite. The deeps of the ocean have places for the pebbles and the pearls, the living and the non living. My lap has a place for all my children.

Brother: As a loving mother, do you give them whatever they ask for? If they crave for something, which is harmful, do you still give it to them?

Amma: A mother does not give what the child wants, but gives what the child needs. She knows the requirements of the child better than the child itself.

Brother: Are you a mother to your mother also?

Amma: She is my mother. I am the Mother and her mother also. My father used to call me  Amma, Mother. For my grandfather’s annual ceremony, I was the priest. When he performed ANANTA PADMANABHA SWAMY VRATHAM, he insisted that I should say, I am ‘Ananta Padmanabha.’ The God who is Infinite. He made all the offerings to me in the name of God. He washed my feet as part of the ritual.

Brother: How did you feel, when he worshiped you and made you the offerings?

Amma: Just as I feel when you worship me and make me the offerings. I call you ‘nanna’ [father] affectionately; I called him also as nanna.

Brother: So, because of your biological bond you call themas mother and father. But you are mother to both of them.

Please tell me, are we coming to visit you on our own? Or are we  compelled to do so?

Amma: I think you are coming on your own.

Brother: But I feel, we hear your call and come to you.

Amma: True, sometimes I call you.

Brother: How do we know that you are calling?

Amma: Sometimes you are not able to come in spite of your best intentions. You feel desperate at your inability and wonder why you are not able to come. Suddenly you find yourself here. Your best efforts may not bring you here, but the unseen force may draw you here. Is this not my call? You can hear it clearly.

The infinite is in the finite. The deeps of the ocean have place for the pebbles and the pearls, the living and the non living. My lap has place

for all my children.

A HOME FOR ALL [Page 37]

[What is true worship? Amma tells us-]

Many people tried to stay at Jillellamudi, where Amma stayed, as they considered it holy; they tried to worship and prayGod from there; tried to follow rituals, to make offerings etc. Amma made it clear that the place is a home for all, not a house for a few individuals, even if they wanted to stay. She ascertained that the universal has precedence over the individual and is far superior to any individual’s whims and fancies. She tells clearly that one has to go with the tide, mingle with people of different backgrounds, cultures, temperaments and psychology. She defines worship as complete submission to His will. Ego has no place in true worship. Following is her conversation with one of the devotees.

Sister: I wish to celebrate Navratri here.

Amma: As you wish.

Sister: Please guide me, tell me clearly. Shall I celebrate Navratri here?

Amma: Do if you so desire. But this place is open for all. Everyone participates in the celebration. You cannot carry on the worship, or follow the rituals as you wish. Everyone who comes here has to be accommodated.

Sister: I will do as you suggest. What items should I bring for the pooja [worship of God]?

Amma: True devotion stretches beyond all physical requirements. Money, pomp or show has no place here. The fragrant flowers or rich clothes that you offer to GOD or even the offering of sweet incense has as much value as a blade of grass offered in earnest. Bring humility, bring submission, and surrender your ego to His will- that is the true worship.

(Please check up the underlined portion in the second para down; not 



A great scholar, Prabhakara Uma Maheshwar Pandit came to visit Amma, with another brother. Everyone present was curious to listen to the discussion that would ensue between him and Amma. But the minute he saw Amma, he folded his hands, sat down on the ground before her and started weeping piteously. Amma comforted him and sent him to lunch.

After lunch, the brother who accompanied the scholar came back to Amma and said

Brother: Tomorrow we are felicitating Pandit Uma Maheshwar in Bapatla. [ a nearby village]We will take you there before the function begins. You can come back as soon as the function is over. Will you accept our invitation, Amma.

Amma: How can I return in one hour, as soon as the function is over? If I come, I would like to visit each and every house in the village— the houses of the laborers, working in the field as well as the houses of the chenchus [ the tribals. Since you have money, you can visit me any time. You can take me in a car. There are so many other people who would like to see me but cannot. How can I ignore them? I will come when I have more leisure.

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