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Not Telling But Making Us Do

Prof M Sivaramakrishna
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 2
Month : April
Issue Number : 2
Year : 2003

The apparent anonymity of Mother is proportionate to the real enormity of her impact. The more anonymous a person is, in the spiritual field, the greater is the range and sweep. Perhaps, one can risk a generalization: the core of being spiritual is to prevent two things from making inroads into the reality of this anonymity: publicizing and institutionalizing. These are, yes, necessary, quite often unavoidable. However, when one tries to install the Timeless Consciousness of Amma in one’s heart, one must seek it outside publicity and institutions.

This logic is especially important to those who take this task as the very breath of their life. When a devotee asked Amma what is ‘Vishwaasam’ (faith), she turned the word around and gave a cryptic reply: “Vishwasam is the evenness, the balancing of Uchwas (inhalation) and Nishwas (exhalation)” Staggering statement! But its underlying truth is everyone’s Anubhava (experience).

Inhaling and exhaling are life-sustaining processes. Once they cease functioning, death seizes. The prana undertakes its (maha) prasthanam to the region about which philosophies endlessly speculate. But don’t we take this process – inhaling and exhaling for granted? It is an effortless, anonymous process which we are not even conscious of.

Comparable is the phenomenon of our professed faith in Amma. If we extend the analogy, the point becomes clear. We breathe the oxygen plentifully without, for even a minute, being aware how invaluable it is. But a patient ‘etherised’ on the table, in the Intensive Cardiac Care Unit, has to live on “ventilators” which supply the same thing at enormous cost for an average person. Taking things for granted doesn’t work in this case. One is forced to seek, since one’s very prana may be snuffed out.

Apply it to our quest: we read about Amma, and, let us assume, understand what she says. We marvel at the remarkable simplicity,. clarity and profundity. This job is relatively easy. But when we try to absorb and translate Amma’s insights into the rhythms of our lives, there is a catch! The insight requires something else other than understanding. It demands emotional involvement in the sense that the insight becomes the very breath of our life-sustenance and nourishment. Our vishwaas is based on ucchwas-nishwas, as Mother says.

Let me be more authentic and concrete: here I am trying to formulate my response to Mother of All. I did a bit of reading, and a little more of hearing about her. These create a space in my consciousness for Mother. With the focus on communicating, my response in black and white, I get also the most invaluable context to commune with her colossal Being. A bridge to Eternity is built. There can be, perhaps, no more appropriate a bridge than the one structured with Akshara, the Imperishable. But once the writing is over, the process achieves its purpose in the finished product. The product is this small piece you are reading. I am pleased that I achieved what I set out to.

And I forget the most important truth: responding to and appropriating Amma as a timeless Awareness is a continuous, unbroken process and not a finished product forever. Like this piece I completed writing and rushed it off to the Editors! (I wrote ? That is a joke!). I marvel at the Timeless Phenomenon that Mother is, but miss the corresponding logic. Timelessness to be absorbed, requires the ending of time. That is it requires an awareness that is like a thread on which the varied beads of life are hung but are not allowed to snap the thread. In Zen idiom, “breath sweeps mind.”

What I am struggling to explain, Mother says with directness and immediacy which come from the Source.” My way,” she says, “is not to tell you but to make you do.” And replying to a devotee who wanted a message, Mother says: ‘Only if I thought that you were capable of acting on my words would I give you a message’. In my view giving a message isn’t telling you to act in a certain way, it is actually making you do it. The message is what actually happens, not what we merely talk about abstractly”

‘How then do we actually do it?’ is the crux of the question. For, telling and grasping what is told is something, which one can perfect without flexing the muscles in the world of paradoxes, of anomalies, of contradictions. In the absence of flexing one’s muscles, as a sage said,” analysis is real paralysis.” Two ways: meditating on the real incidents one finds in Mother’s life (the chronicles are abundantly available). That strengthens our muscles. Simultaneously. looking out, or even praying, for contexts where we make texts of her sayings work. The two ways then get fused into one.

In this case, I cannot generalize. But it takes, in both cases, alertness. Alertness which makes us aware. Awareness which makes us alert. So, everything including the amazing fact that all that we (if not all) experience gets mirrored in the Mother’s life itself. Her life and her encounters with devotees of varied temperaments and troubles are eloquent enactments of living wisdom. Enacted for us!

Finally, let me cite one very important, indeed inescapable, fact. When a devotee asked Amma “what is your opinion about sadhana?” She says: ” Even that happens only when Shakti makes it happen And if you fail to do (any sadhana), even that weakness I won’t say is yours. Even when you do (sadhana) it’s not yours.” In short, if one can arrive at this conviction that that shakti is Amma Herself, all sadhana is over. Isn’t it wonderfully reassuring that Amma’s quality is her intensive care for us irrespective of our caring for her or not. In this way she tells, shows and makes us do.

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