Mata Amritanandamayi Curated
Spiritual Guru & Humanitarian
CURATED BY :
What is the one message you want to give your all followers?
What can be done to eliminate violence?
How can we learn to eliminate our egos?
How important is rituals are?
What sadhnas you suggest to people to practice?
What is your view on conversion of religions by people?
Why there is so much suffering if there is a loving god?
Is it necessary to believe in god to be a good human being?
What do you think about the new developments in science?
How do you reconcile science and spirituality?
How can you bring about greater understanding between religions?
How do you reconcile the apparent differences in the religions with apparent religion?
How does you see relationship between different religious conflicts?
How do you practice Divinity?
What does it feel like to be divine?
In amidst of so much corruption, how did you ensure all the social welfare projects worked well?
What is your sense of teaching for mankind?
Amma, do you think about the future of all these big institutions after your time?
I don’t think about that. The present moment is the time to make changes and corrections. Whatever transformations you make now will reflect in the future also. Put in as much effort as possible. Through your words, thoughts and actions, do good. Leave the rest to time.
Amma, how are you able to manage all these organizations?
I will do what I think is necessary at every instance and circumstance. If the children have doubts, they ask me. They ask for instructions. I just say what I naturally feel in my mind at that moment. All this is happening with God’s grace.
Amma, how are you able to speak on so many subjects?
Ah… I do not know, daughter. I just always say what I feel at that moment. Knowledge is not outside. It’s within—isn’t it? We can gather information from outside. But the true source of knowledge is within each of us. If we can know that, we can know everything.
How is a typical day of Amma?
Some time for taking a bath and other such things. I eat only once. Sometimes, I cook for myself and eat. At the most, I rest for one or two hours. Sometimes, even that’s not possible. It can be said that sometimes I really don’t know whether it is day or night. If I come to sit at around 10:00 or 11:00 in the morning to see the children, it may extend into the next day. There are more than 3,000 residents in the ashram. Tuesdays are for them. Everyone will sit together from morning for meditation. Later, Amma will answer their questions. Amma will serve food to everyone. Amma will give darshan to those devotees who have come for just that day. On Mondays and Fridays, everyone will go the seashore and meditate together. On those days also, there will be question-and-answer sessions and darshan. There is a lot to do when I am in my room also. I have to read hundreds of letters. There are many service-oriented activities taking place throughout the world. There are many institutions. I have to give the needed guidance and advice to those who have been entrusted with them. I have to pay attention to the matters relating to the ashram residents. In the middle of all this, I have to visit Europe, America, Australia and other countries. There also, I spend most of the time with devotees. It has been 27 years since we have started traveling around the world. Amma has not gone for sightseeing or vacationing in the middle of this.
Amma, devotees long for your hug. Yet another group criticizes this the most.
Isn’t it natural for a mother to hug her own child? There, motherly affection is all that exists. For me, all are [my] children. This way of Amma’s happened naturally. When there are other people around, children want to tell me about their pain secretly. For that, they would lean on my shoulder. They would burst into tears talking about their problems. When they would cry, Amma would wipe away their tears. Sometimes, they would fall on my lap, exhausted. Amma would console them. The next person would also have sorrows. In this manner, this way started. I became like a river, not like a railway. When someone falls down, do we lift them up off the ground only after seeing whether they are a man or woman? To ask Amma why she is hugging everyone is like asking the river, “Why are you flowing?” I have nothing to say to those who are criticizing. Because no matter what I say they will not understand. Moreover, they will only misinterpret.
What is it in Amma that attracts so many people?
I don’t know. It might be the amma bhava [the motherly attitude]. Innocent love is humankind’s real nature. That is what is closest to his true self. Attraction to the place where that love can be directly experienced and received in the heart is only natural. That love is like a powerful magnet. Everyone is attracted to that. If a child smiles at us, even if it is the child of one of our enemies, we will, even without thinking about it, smile back—won’t we? There is an attraction in a child’s smile that no one can deny. That is how innocent love is.
Why did you feel the necessity for a Math?
That was not Amma’s desire. The children all decided together. Amma has only one sankalpa [conviction]; that is compassion.
Amma, who is your spiritual guru?
There is no special individual like that. For those who can perceive things with the inner eye, Nature is the maha-guru [great teacher]. Damayanti Amma’s [Amma’s mother’s] disciplining helped a lot.
How did you get the power to spread joy in everyone?
That power is not only in me; it’s in everyone. God’s infinite power resides in each of us. Inside a tiny seed is a huge tree. But the seed is not a tree. It must become a tree. “God and I are one”—this is the real reality. When one realizes that truth, there is peace. That [peace] then can be given to others.
Amma, doesn’t it hurt you when someone who once took refuge in you now speaks so virulently?
Why? I have a dharma—the dharma of a mother of children ranging from newborns to 90- and 100-year-olds. Among them are those who speak so many different languages. They come from different cultures and have different types of personalities. They come from different religions, from all walks and stages of life. When I have the huge responsibility of guiding them, there is no place in my life to be sad, feel hopeless or to try to defeat those who accuse or criticize me—only love.
Is there any possibility for your American disciples to take any legal action against Gail?
Amma is not a member of the trusts registered in foreign countries. The trustees are devotees from the corresponding countries. I go there because they invite me. They are all deeply hurt by this incident. They are adamant about filing a lawsuit. Amma has asked them to forgive. But Amma cannot say what they will decide to do in this particular circumstance.
How do you want to respond to Gail?
Gayatri is still my daughter. She always will be. Reaction and revenge are not my way. My way is acceptance—to welcome everything. However, the devotees have deep sorrow. I have advised them not to express their feelings, to forebear and forgive everything, to pray for that daughter and so on. But not everyone is a sadhaka [spiritual seeker]; not everyone has understood the spiritual principles. For some, the mental attitude [with which they view their relationship with Amma] is one of a mother and child. I don’t know whether those who see Amma as their birth-mother can forgive this. Let grace bless those children to have forgiveness.
I hear that Gail came to the ashram just with the clothes on her back. Do you remember that?
I remember it like it was yesterday. Those days, there was only one house where my parents and siblings lived. There was no ashram yet. A hut was built first on father’s property. Later, he donated 10 cents of land. The math was registered in 1988. When that daughter came, I did not ask who or what she was. Everyone has shown nothing but love to that daughter. I cannot understand why she later wrote like this.
what does Amma have to say about the severe criticisms that came in Gail’s book?
There can be criticism. But just because there is criticism doesn’t make it the truth. If an individual has decided to lie once, thereafter he can tell so many lies. Some people think that they can say whatever they like about me. I neither take offense nor have any complaints. But it’s not like that with the devotees. They have family and children, etc. They have official and social lives. They are deeply hurt by all the lies in the book and the utter importance and descriptions some people have given those lies. When I saw those tears, Amma said something: “Amma has nothing to hide. I am an open book before the world. All the activities of Math can be seen and examined by anyone.” Anyone will become angry if their desires are not fulfilled. The intellect’s ability to judge things properly is destroyed. Then they say many things without thinking. An individual who feels that ashram life is not for him has the freedom to leave the ashram anytime to get married. Even now, Amma is only filled with love for that daughter. I am praying that goodness and wellbeing come [for her]. The truth will shine forth in time.
Amma, through spirituality, what is the goal you are setting?
God is not an individual who rules the world, sitting somewhere beyond the sky. He is the consciousness that pervades all beings. This world is the directly manifested form of God. Realize this truth. Do all actions being firmly established in that truth. Without expecting anything from anyone, love and serve everyone selflessly.