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Prof M Sivaramakrishna
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 10
Month : July
Issue Number : 3
Year : 2011

A Sister: Mother! They say one can achieve one pointedness. (ekagrata) if you keep your eyes focussed on the middle of the eyebrows, on the top of the head, on the tip of the nose and other such areas. Is this possible ?

AMMA: Yes, they do say that this is possible. However, I see more people who cannot achieve such focussing and are thereby troubled. Leave all these. They also say that you should achieve one pointedness by focusing on the heart. If you enquire where this is, they show the lower portion of the chest below the neck.

Sister: Yes, Amma. They all say that.

Amma: I tell you that the heart is in the lower portion of the feet. A brother: Amma ! Even Ramana Maharshi showed the “I” near the heart.

Amma: Yes. But when he said that it is not to suggest that “I” is limited to that area alone. He is not suggesting any limited space. He spoke like that because you cannot see it all over, an all-pervasive. It is only a sign, (a symbolic expression)

This is the symbolic expression made with the same reason which creates the need for temples and sacred mantras. It is not for suggesting that power is located only in those areas. If we have the ability to see that power as all-pervasive, then there is no need to suggest such locations. When Ramana Maharshi located it at the heart, it is for this reason.

Let us say there is a photograph of my father. We are offering salutations to the image/picture located in the photo. Do we offer namaskara to the photo frame, to the glass, to the dais on which we kept the photo, when we are asked to do so? At the same time, when an image of Goddess Gauri made with turmeric is seen, we offer salutations – even when it is wet with water. We cannot see that power as omnipresent. And there is a possibility to achieve one pointedness, if we indicate it in a limited form and when we tell in the right manner thus that form is there, what Maharshi said is this. That’s all.

Meditation on a chosen Ideal Divine Form or focussing it on a Power which has no form has always been a difficult area. All of us feel that God with form and God without form are mutually inclusive. But it is not so, says Mother. The two perspectives are interrelated, interchangeable, transpositional. It is mostly a matter of psychological preferences. They depend on taste and temperament. Then why some kind of yawning gap which divides those two perspectives? Simply because of a temperamental divide.

There is also another aspect to this episode. Seekers who come to Amma are generally familiar with the teachings of some other spiritual teachers. And they cite a teaching from them. In some cases, such a person could be following – as in this case – the teachings of Ramana Maharshi. Regarding ‘l’ as located in the heart as a center for meditative focussing, this may be useful, functionally more effective to that particular person. And, only to get confirmation of their path, they cite their ‘guru’s’ teaching. This is possible.

But Amma raises the whole issue to a more pragmatic level: to the photograph as the object of worship and generation. We do not offer salutation to the photo frame, or the quality of the print, etc. The photographer makes the photo possible. But we don’t offer salutations. We may thank him for giving us a beautiful print. The real salutations go to the person in the frame. We are ecologically, biologically programmed – as far as I know – to see the forms of God rather than abstractions. But we should not reduce that immense, infinite power to a frame either his/her physical frame or a photographic replica of them. That would mean a divisive fragmentary approach.

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