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Friday, May 14, 2010

Amma - Her Message and Teachings


Amma's life is her message. In other words, Amma does not teach anything that she herself does not practice. Living from moment to moment in a constant state of supreme happiness, Amma warmly embraces thousands of people day after day, wiping their tears, giving them her divine guidance and offering solace to all who come to her. Amma recommends the path of selfless-service through the example of her own life.

Amma says, "The beauty and charm of selfless love and service should not die away from the face of the earth. The world should know that a life of dedication is possible, that a life inspired by love and service to humanity is possible.

Meditation and studying the scriptures are like two sides of a coin. The engraving on that coin is selfless service, and that is what gives it its real value. Our compassion and acts of selflessness take us to the deeper truths. Through selfless action we can eradicate the ego that conceals the Self. Detached, selfless action leads to liberation. Such action is not just work; it is karma yoga."

Amma always points out that the purpose of one's life is to realize who we really are. She says, "By realizing our own Self we become full, with nothing more to gain in life. Life becomes perfect."

To attain this goal, Amma says that no particular path or spiritual practice can be recommended for all. "Just as a doctor gives different dosages or even different medications to patients with the same ailment according to their constitution, so does a Spiritual Master prescribe different methods to different people to reach the same goal. Spirituality is the practical science of life. Apart from taking us to the ultimate goal of Self-realization it also teaches us the nature of the world, and how to understand life and live fully in the best way possible."

However, Amma says that the path of devotion and selfless-service is the safest and most conducive path for many people.

Why Spirituality?

Amma says, "The real purpose of life is to experience what is beyond this physical existence. However, each one looks at life differently. Most human beings see life as a constant struggle for survival. Such people believe in the theory, "The fittest will survive". They are satisfied with the normal way of living- for example, getting a house, a job, a car, a wife, a husband, children and enough money to live. Yes, these are important things, and we need to focus on our day-to-day lives and to take care of our responsibilities and obligations, small and big.

But there is more to life, a higher purpose, which is to know and realize who we are. By knowing who we are, we gain everything. A feeling of complete fullness, with absolutely nothing else to gain in life. That realization makes life perfect. Regardless of all we have accumulated or are striving to acquire, for most people life still feels incomplete - like the letter "C". This gap, or lack, will always be there. Only spiritual knowledge and realization of Self can fill the gap and unite the two ends, which will make it like the letter, "O". The knowledge of "That" alone will help us feel well-grounded in the real center of life.

Spirituality is not blind faith; it is the ideal that eliminates darkness. It is the principle that teaches us to face any adverse circumstance or obstacle with a smile. Spirituality is the teaching for the mind."

Someone asked Amma, "Why should one follow the spiritual path?"

Amma replied, "This is like the seed asking, "Why should I go beneath the soil, sprout and grow upward?"

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