Delhi Brahmasthanam Mahotsavam : Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) in Delhi

 In Hinduism, Saints and Service

Delhi Brahmasthanam Mahotsavam : Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma) in Delhi

Excerpts from Address of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma)

Compassion is the unconditional law of creation. The beginning, sustenance and culmination of every individual, of society and of the world are in compassion. Even the most powerful kingdom or human being cannot survive if they go against this law. Life should be raised on the foundation of compassion. Never waste any opportunity to serve. The entire world looks up to those who have the heart to do selfless service. We should not leave Mother Earth with scars. On the other hand, we should leave Mother Earth bedecking flowers in her hair.

Today there is no lack of threat of war, terrorism, violent crime, environmental abuse, suicide and murder. In the middle of this, we also have communal and religious violence. Even in our families, people live in an atmosphere of hostility and competition. No one trusts anyone. No one has any real love or sincerity. We live in a world of people wearing masks.

In the past, we would always grow bitter-neem in our yards. We may no longer plant such trees, but that bitterness has saturated our words and actions. In the past, people didn’t have watches, but still found time for everything. Today, even children wear watches, yet no one has time for anything. Everyone has so many friends on Facebook, but people are lonelier than ever before. The wide-open spaces of our outdoor playgrounds have shrivelled to the dingy confines of our mobile and TV screens.

When we look at the modern world, the message we receive is: “Live only for yourself!” On the other hand, when we look at Nature, the message is: “Live in harmony!” When our mind turns to God, we get yet another message: “Live, serving humankind and nature; then I will take care of you!” In some cases, selfish thoughts and actions will increase your external wealth, but they will always increase your inner darkness.

Today, man is totally preoccupied with money. Earn money to live; don’t live to earn money. If we reject values and centre our mind and thoughts only on money, all of our love will be fake. Moreover, we will have a business-minded mentality towards everything. Spirituality is not against acquiring wealth or fulfilling desires. That is a misconception. There is nothing wrong in acquiring wealth or fulfilling desires. Spirituality only insists that that these should be done through righteous means.

You may think, “Are there no good people in this world?” Certainly, there are many. But not all of the good people have proper discernment. For example, all parents wish only the best for their children. And with this desire they strive to fulfil their children’s wants. Yet, often parents fail to think of the dangers associated with giving their children everything they ask for—even though they do so in the name of love. It is necessary to fulfil some of your children’s desires, but when giving your children money or buying them the things they want, parents should be careful to do so with discernment. For children as well as for adults, restraint is always essential. Without it, we will lose the rhythm of life and get off track.

Everything in the world has two parts—the internal and the external. Seeds, trees, flowers, fruits, lakes and mountains, the sentient and the insentient—everything has its external form and its inner essence. In fact, it is only when these two aspects come together that anything attains completeness. However, today, man has forgotten this truth and gives importance only to the body and sensory pleasures. Man has stopped considering the True Self—the indweller. As such, he has become like a nice set of clothes with no one to wear them. When we only acknowledge the external and discard the internal, it creates a state of imbalance. This is the main reason behind all the problems we see in the world today.

The mind is a good servant, never a good master. As our attachment towards external objects grows, our mental strength weakens. We may think our attachment is minimal and insignificant, but as our attachment towards an object grows, we soon find that we are being reduced to a beggar before it. It becomes our master. At present, we are trying to fill the broken pot of the mind with the water of worldly objects. A broken pot can never be filled. However, if we can discover the ever-full pot of bliss that exists within each of us, then the mind will stop its endless pursuit of material objects. Having received this precious human birth, we should not waste it for a trifle of worldly pleasures.

Today, most people are aware of the importance of maintaining their physical health. There are so many apps that help people use their cell phones and watches to monitor how many calories they have burnt, their basal heart rate, the steps they’ve taken in a day, etc. But what can we use to help us assess our mental health? There is a big difference between physical and mental health. The more we move our body, the healthier we become. On the other hand, our mental health depends on how still we can keep our mind. Tragically, today the trend is to reduce physical activity and increase mental activity.

When our mind begins to quiet down, we will actually understand peace and contentment. When a sapling is killed, we have to plant another seed and repeat all the steps required for it to sprout. However, meditation is different. The spiritual benefits gained through meditation can never be destroyed. We should not feel dejected thinking about our past. The past is like a lottery jackpot that we missed out on. There is no point crying about the money we could have won. Let us try to make the best use of the present moment.

Flowers never bloom around the peak of a live volcano. In the same way, it is difficult for the flowers of peace to bud in one who is a volcano of anger. Anger arises when the uncontrolled mind overflows with turbulence. The adverse effects this emotion has on us and others is its own punishment. So, actions that come from anger as well as their results are both the same: anger. Most of us have experienced the agitation and discomfort of feeling angry, as well as the agony and lack of peace from becoming a victim of anger. Anger is double-edged sword with no handle—both the attacker and the attacked are hurt.

We need to learn to see the world through the eyes of our heart, not through the ego. When we look through the eyes of our heart, we will see the world with childlike innocence. We will see the goodness and beauty in everyone and be able to forgive, forget and move forward. Even if we see something negative, we will be able to learn from that experience. Those around us are actually mirrors in which we can see the reflection of our own faults and shortcomings. We need to develop the ability to understand these shortcomings and use them to become better people. Only the eyes of our heart will ever be able to see God.

When we notice something is wrong with our vision, we rush to the ophthalmologist. We are ready to use eye drops or wear glasses or even undergo surgery to correct our vision. Then, why is it that we don’t try to free ourselves from all the problems we face as a result of our wrong perceptions?

Each moment is precious because each second a new creation is occurring. A kind word, a compassionate glance, a loving smile, a good deed—all these give new life to those around us. Amma prays to the Paramatman that the flowers of innocence and selfless service remain in all your lives without ever fading away.

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