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Prof M Sivaramakrishna
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 9
Month : July
Issue Number : 3
Year : 2010

This is a brief view on the conversation with Amma appearing in this issue.

Initially, what we notice is the odd angularity of a Swami desiring to see Amma. Particularly when, after reading the conversation, we know the nature of the Swami : highly conscious of his being a Swami (With access to spiritual truths no householder can possibly have); added to that is his impatience to get answers, his feeling that he knew things which Amma cannot possibly know. (She was 34 and we don’t know how old Swami was). Moreover, his aggressive stance.

Amma is, I suppose, used to being questioned. It is to be expected. But what prompts us to ask questions? Can’t we simply enjoy the peace that pervades her Presence? Sit quietly and draw in the peace, the grace, the love which emanates from the Presence itself? Some cannot. And among them a person who is a Swami in his own right (with supposed access to finer truths) is quite fascinating. For the reason that he wants to make others know how much he himself knows (suggesting that others know nothing) Therefore, his questions generally are not questions: they are his “insights” which he puts in the form of questions. So that the questions contain the answers. Only the intelligent can guess.

So does Amma know the answers which are essentially his disguised questions? This is what he perhaps wants to find out. Amma, surely knows this species – if one can so inelegantly put it. (May Amma forgive me!). That this is a fact is evident in the very beginning. Does he take bhiksha? Obviously no. Amma we know feeds all. Annamaya kosha. Apart from other aspects of significance, taking food is in our hands, let us say. But does it get digested naturally? Absorbs and strengthens the body. imperceptibly. Can the same process of absorption mark or underlie our reading/hearing spiritual truths? Absorbed food gives strength. Assimilated advises of Amma are spiritual nourishment. So can we absorb as we do Amma’s food? Digest and make it flow through our veins adding muscle to our awareness?

Another curiosity we notice is: Kameswaramma is eager to invite the Swami. She has in her very presence the One who is the Mother of All. Does she realize the profound implications of that fact? Perhaps, she does. We don’t know. After seeing the vast ocean, who would bother to plod in a small canal? In other words, there is no certainty that the Presence of Amma should make a vast difference in all. It may or may not. Comparably, the fact of being a Swami does not seem to make any difference to him! Impatient, assertive and conscious of his “Position”, his body language is interesting to watch. In the original it reads: “Chitikelu Vestu Gonthu Savarininchukuni….”

All these are gestures of preparing for, in this case, a debate. Preparation for a debate and not preparedness to absorb what Amma says. In short, he is getting prepared for vada, a tussle of theories. He came to test and not trust. He already had his own answers and was just checking whether Amma also knew those answers.

Whether it is a Swami or anyone else normally people want Amma to conform to answers which they themselves expect. They may not even guess that Amma has her own answers. Or, to be accurate, the answers Amma gives are the only right answers. Then only don’t we accept them? All of us have our own egos, with our pet notions about things. Even about spiritual matters which require inwardness and experience to be answered. And Language both verbal and nonverbal, free from ego.

For instance, look at the answer to the Swami’s question “how does all that you see appear to you?” If it was an ordinary pandit, he would have given an answer like ” I see God in everything…” or some such thing. But Amma goes straight to the root: “they appear as they are. Spirituality is to see a thing as it is, as a fact without any emotive aura or a philosophical underpinning. Fact as fact is the only perception that is real.

Similarly, the seed – tree debate, or what is called, these days, as “the creation debate”. What is in the seed sprouts? What great mystery is behind it? Amma makes it so simple. No splitting subtleties of logic. Everything is so plain. Equally disarming answer. “My support is my self” “None” in Telugu has, expressed with such finality, vibrations which are beyond the simple words “myself”.

Finally, there is the contrast between Amma’s rootedness, her stability and calm and the Swami’s initially smoldering resentment which explodes into outright anger finally. The cobra’s fangs are, we hope, gently removed!

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