Devotee : Mother! Widows are looked upon in society with dishonour. Are the customs and traditions in our institutions natural? Or only what we ourselves set them up ?
Amma : There are no differences in God’s view. These are
all what we ourselves established.
Devotee: Young people are looking upon worship of God and rituals related to parents with critical eyes. Faith is declining. What could be the reason, Mother?
Amma : Because they see deviations, and distortions.
Devotee:They hesitate, doubt whether to respect the elders or not. This is seen in the younger generation.
Amma : The one who does namaskar is greater than the one who receives those namaskaras. When the hands spontaneously touch the feet, without even being aware of it is the real homage: namaskar. Some can do so this mentally, who can remove what is there in your mind?
Devotee: It is difficult to disown the social institution.
Amma : Both are troublesome. If one honors it, he gains approval. If another does not honor it, he is criticised.
Devotee :If, trusting the mind, we do….
Amma : Isn’t doubt rooted in the mind itself! Mind itself listens and desires to have. Or says, ‘dont want it’. Mind and human being are not different. It is impossible not to surrender to existing things. In fact, no guru can teach in the way mind does. All that we speak is the nature of the mind itself. (It is its intrinsic trait). When thought (idea) is its natural trait, how can it stop appearing? Whatever we hear and see is the mind itself. When we pray to God, it is only the thought, the appeal to establish (firm) devotion. Isn’t it through the agency of mind, itself?
Devotee: Is there taint in the nearness to another?
Amm : To the extent there is scope, it can be avoided.
Devotee: It doesn’t matter, if there is control. But which should be followed does not strike us. It is difficult to pretend.
Amma : Acting is experiencing one thing but showing (enacting) another.
Devotee : How to achieve the awareness that nothing is ours?
Amma : Therefore, you should tune yourself by your own ‘I’. Even if you feel that you are all, it is enough. Or, as “I” myself think (that I am all). But it does not remain firm. It is difficult.
Devotee : Both are the same? Aren’t they?
Amma : Are we ourselves doing? Or, is there something else? That it is an impossible situation. When we realise that what we thought as impossible takes place!
Devote : Unless there is clear, definite evidence, children are refusing to accept anything.
Amma: They say: “You are telling me. Then you show – demonstrate what you say”. Which youngster can – negate when he sees the visible, tangible Nature and the energy (power) imbedded in it. (showing a flower in her hand). I say “God exists in this flower as its fragrance.” can he refute it? (Similarly) it is difficult to believe that all this that exists perishes, that it is impermanent. When we wish to continue our walking, do we step with. the two legs at the same time? That’s why in Nature there are highs and lows.
(Conversation No. 46)
For me, this seemingly simple conversation proved to be one of the most puzzling. You can make out the language but we can hardly penetrate into the depths of the subtlest matters that Amma is talking about. The range of issues which figure are not only the most crucial to our contemporary situation but also the subtlest that baffle many as philosopher. First of all: “what is mind, its nature, its functions”. See the simplicity of the opening question: widows’ and their conditions of being looked down upon. Apparently, a problem which is connected to traditions and customs. But then, it raises, next, whether it is natural or a humanly devised idea. What is in nature’s naturalness and what is designed by the ‘human’ mind? Don’t we raise questions about dualities: peace is positive, quarrelling is negative. Why? who created the inseparable dualities? Can one be truncated, severed from the other ?
See the natural transition Amma suggests: in God’s view no variations. If there is no belief in God? It does not matter: what we believe in is our mind’s creation. And mind is notoriously fragmentary, divisive. Resists “our” commands. One gives an order: “remain quiet for ten minutes.” It is my mind which disobeys the command. What are we left with ?
Take another issue: youth and present mind set. God, rituals hardly sustain faith. Though, they (the young) have addiction to the supreme maya of all mayas cinema ! cinemaya is expensive, but youth don’t mind. (In fact the unreal is so real that my friend who used to come to movies with me once behaved in a bizarre way when the hero was beating the villain, the friend started twisting my arm ! So excited he was !
Is film real or unreal? Of course, I took precautions, later !) In short, as Sri Ramakrishna would say: “mane sab” Mind is all!
Is Mother perturbed by the contradictions which are natural? She shows that everything is natural but it gets manifested in different ways. All get in the Ashwattha tree : DESIRE (s) to have any number of pleasurable experiences. The mind covers the fact that pleasure comes with the income tax called pain! Both are experiences triggered by the same mind. In that category Mother places relationships. Restraint in relationships! That is what Amma suggests. In an ethos, where marriages incredibly after a time – explode into uncontrollable rage and result in break-up. How do we maintain relationships? Here notice the context in which Amma herself gives the reason the mind enacts the role without its content. See the subtlety : “Acting is : experiencing onething but showing (enacting) another.” Can relationships survive with the ambience of such minds ?
Everything hinges on the mind of the ego. Keep an eye on the ‘I’, says sage Sri Ram sir “Tame your own ego with your own mind”! Telling something” “showing” another. It affects the child, puzzles the parents. Is there a way out? Mother shows : Observe Nature, learn from it Nature’s energetic dimensions. It can promote wisdom in the very midst of war: Bhagavad Gita delivered in the midst of an impending war; Bhishma lies on a bed of thorns and yet Vishnu’s thousand names emerge.
The essence is suggested by Mother by the most natural analogy: the body’s two legs. They are in harmony though they are separate. In short, dualism is functional reality. Monism is the fundamental reality. The two are in harmony. Yet, the human tendency is to get caught by illusory bifurcation. But, as has been noted, “the reality of illusions gives us insight into the illusions of reality.” Play the game of living with this dice.