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Editorial Note – (“Unless you are simple”)

Prof M Sivaramakrishna
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 16
Month : April
Issue Number : 2
Year : 2017

It was Dr. Shanta, Reader in English and daughter of the great exponent of The Bhagavad Gita, Sri Sista Subba Rao, who brought me to AMMA. I knew Dr. Shanta as a colleague, yes, but, more importantly, a seeker of spiritual matters wherever they are found. She knew my love for books, especially those concerned with spiritual matters. And, she bought three volumes in Telugu on Jillellamudi Amma. And what books they were! Racy, scintillating exposition of subtle spiritual areas (where whole armies sink!).

It was again my wife who alerted me: “I have read a few pages. Forget your writing. You will find AMMA a unique enchanting Divine Feminine”. Yes, it was the truth. I started reading. Almost a spiritual wave of natural, clear and above all, free from totally exempt from technical idiom, engulfed me. – The narration was gripping and the language was so sweet, supple that, for some time, I had, I don’t know how to put it, a mild shock, unstoppable reading, and the result? Instant understanding. The general aura of complexity was conspicuously absent. There was no “sabdajala maharanyam” to get enmeshed.

The dialect was one which is totally dipped in ordinary idiom but used in contexts where profound spiritual truth comes in sweet words of inescapable simplicity. The words are so transparent that one need not keep a lexicon of vedanta (or any other) with him/her. There is a felicity of freshness that was incredibly simple. I recalled Sri Ramakrishna’s caution “unless you are simple. you cannot know God, The Simple One” ‘Simple’ in original Bengali means SAHAJA, natural.

AMMA’s words exemplify that she is an incarnate simplicity. No difficulty in understanding – no complexity of words, only utterly clear content of thoughts. One need not run to a Brown’s dictionary. As a teacher, I need to tell my students that an ideal teacher makes simple things complex and without making complex things simple. Akshara we call imperishable imprinted in the interior being. I myself am guilty: simple made complex} Ok, we understood.

Can we integrate her insights and implement them in practice? There is a bifurcation which we generally do not notice. {I am guilty). The maya is “blissfully assuming that understanding is equal to absorbing and absorbing is integrating it into our consciousness. This is usal, I suppose. Are we then filled with despair? The brain makes me understand – let us assume. The mind does not cooperate. Brain can be seen, the mind cannot be. And mind is the unseen land of absorption. That is where the spiritual enters. One feels a little bit puzzled (‘Don’t equate, my Master, told me understanding with experiences). Mind / mental I once counter you can also do : more than 12 and logical.

There we have to take the final step: Surrender to Mother. And keep in mind one caution: what is effortlessly understood is effortlessly forgotten. I wish I could have placed AMMA’s conversations from this perspective. Particularly simple ones ought to be given more attention.

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