Thursday, September 01, 2005

Amma, the Mother, the Master and the Wonder!

Amma, the Mother

Everyone is her child who she came to comfort and love every moment of her divine life. You may be young or old, sick or healthy, rich or poor, selfish or selfless but in Amma's eyes you are one at the same.....her child. In this simple but profound message Amma lives.

Amma, the Master

“Amma doesn't make any claims.” This is something we hear Amma say quite often. In fact, True Masters don't need to declare themselves to the world, for they will be recognized by those who are sincere in their search or pure of heart. Does the mother need to tell the baby, "I am your mother?" And so it is with Amma.

The essence of India lies in Her culture of Self-realization. God is not seen as something apart, but as our very essence, the one True Self that resides in the heart of us all. Raising ourselves from ordinary individuals to the heights of God Consciousness is only possible with the guidance of one who is already in that transcendent state. Such a one is called a Satguru, a True Master, as in one who has gained mastery over the mind, one who is beyond the mind.
From ancient times up to the present day, an unbroken succession of Self-realized Masters have taken birth in India to lead seekers of Truth to the ultimate reality. Yes, Amma makes no claims, but seekers from all over the world are finding in Her what they have been looking for—someone who directly experiences the supreme truth and is capable of leading them to that goal.
In Amma, we find both a Master and a Mother. Considering all to be Her children, She rejects none and is always accessible. From the village fisherman concerned about his poor catch to the disciple enquiring into the nature of reality, Amma is always ready to advise those who come to Her with faith and heartfelt need. And, rendered in Her native Malayalam, Her words elucidate the subtlest of truths in a manner that even a child can understand.
Although Amma has studied only up to the fourth standard, She is inspiring a spiritual renaissance throughout India and abroad. In 1995, Amma addressed the Interfaith Celebration in honour of the 50th anniversary of the United Nations. In that address, She expressed Her vision for the future, one in which faith and meditation bring the world to a place of Self knowledge, unity, peace and tranquility. Anyone can see Amma's vision is not for a select few, but for the world, for the entire creation.
Amma never had a Guru. Nor has She studied any scriptures. Yet She has become the Spiritual Master — the centre of the universe, the life force, the guiding light — for millions. When your disciplehood is invoked, you realize that the Master has always been there waiting for you.

Amma, the Wonder

Born in a poor fishing village in Southern India and educated only up to the fourth standard, Amma now directly administers a vast network of charitable activities, serves as spiritual master to thousands of monks and nuns, mother to millions of devotees across the globe, spiritual advisor to the international community of nations and religions, and protector of the true spirit of India's Sanatana Dharma.
When we take a close look at Amma's life as She lives it, in truth, we can only look on in wonder.

The Satguru

The tiny hut where Amma was born has become the headquarters of a worldwide spiritual mission. Nowhere in the history of spiritual tradition has a Master transformed his or her birthplace into an ashram.
While She has had no formal guidance or initiation into spiritual life by a guru, She explains the intricate philosophies of the scriptures without having studied them. By defining sannyasa as a life of selfless service to the world, Amma has brought alive the ideals of the ancient Vedic tradition. And speaking only Her native tongue of Malayalam, She imparts the highest spiritual truths to people all across the world.

The Mother of All

Hugging and kissing in public is not part of Indian life. Women especially are expected to be more discreet. But Amma is hugging and kissing everyone who comes to meet Her.
She has not married, nor borne children, but She has become known as the Mother of all. Amma has been listening to the same domestic problems for the last 30 years. Some parents get tired of hearing the problems of their two or three children. But Amma gets neither bored nor impatient of hearing the same problems day after day, year after year, but ever so patiently guides Her children to a deeper understanding of the nature of the world and of the their own true Self.
It is a common sight to see people breaking into torrents of tears even at a mere glimpse of Amma. They feel that Amma is someone to whom they can pour all their sorrows. Later they say they feel redeemed and refreshed when they cry to Amma.
Her Epoch-making Temples
The inner shrine of Amma's unique temples - Brahmasthanam - has a single block of stone with the images of four deities on its four sides, illuminating the inherent unity underlying the Hindu pantheon.
From the prevailing cultural point of view, it is very unusual that a woman should consecrate a temple. Yet, Amma has elaborately consecrated 17 such Brahmasthanam temples, in India and abroad since 1987.
In these same temples, Amma has invested women as priests, marking the first time since ancient history that women have served as priests in India. In this and a myriad of other ways, Amma is restoring the true meaning to ancient rituals, and educating the Indian people about the treasure that is their own spiritual heritage.

Her Inspiration

Touched by Her compassion, and inspired by the ideals of selfless service exemplified in Her own life, Amma's monastic disciples and many devotees renounced their established careers and material accomplishments to serve Her and lead a life rooted in spiritual practices. They are the ones who run Amma’s various charitable activities, from building homes for the homeless to more than 60 educational institutions to an 800-bed superspecialty hospital, under the direct guidance of Amma.

"God's Love in a Human Body."

Since 1993, Amma has been increasingly recognised by the international community as a treasured repository of practical spiritual wisdom, who has the capacity to guide the world towards a better, brighter future. She been a featured speaker at the United Nations on three occasions, most recently when She was presented with the 2002 Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence. Presenting the award, Dr. Jane Goodall referred to Amma as “God’s love in a human body.”

She has only the same 24 hours each day that we have, and yet...

In the span of a day, Amma manages to give directions on the running of these myriad organisations, give darshan to thousands of people, read and respond to innumerable letters; counsel Her disciples on the smallest details of their spiritual practice, lead the evening bhajans - all this without the least stress or tension, with a smile ever lighting Her face! In the last three decades, She has never taken a sick leave or a holiday or a vacation.

Isn't it a Wonder?