From Amma’s Birthday Message
27 September 2003
Amma has never considered that She has a birthday or that it should be celebrated. It is the sankalpa [resolve] of Amma’s children that has borne fruit in the form of these celebrations. It is an occasion for all of Amma’s children to come together to pray to the Paramatman [Supreme Self], thus lighting the lamp of love and peace, during a time when there is so much darkness, sorrow and strife. This occasion is a festival of love.
As this celebration helps in kindling the awareness that we are children of the Divine Mother, Amma also agreed to join Her children to share their happiness. May this celebration pave the way to bring smiles to the faces of those in distress and also help in wiping their tears.
Today, children did padapuja [ceremonial washing of the feet] to Amma. Cleaning the drains, within and without, would make Amma happier.
One should not view serving others as a tiresome labour but as an opportunity given by God. We should also be able to serve society with the same attitude. We should be able to see these actions as an offering to God and experience contentment.
Let us reflect a little on what we see in today’s society:
1. To study about the worlds within the ocean and about the mysteries in space, we spend a lot of money and organise expeditions. But we are not ready to explore the world within, which is nearer than the nearest.
2. The size of the TV screens in our homes is getting bigger and bigger. But at the same time our mental screens are becoming smaller and smaller. It is our selfishness and ego that is responsible for this.
3. We have powerful vacuum cleaners today that can suck even the smallest speck of dust. But we are not at all aware of the pile of rubbish [negativity] within that is increasing day after day.
4. We have decorated the walls of our houses with wallpaper featuring beautiful images of Nature. We love it very much that way. But at the same time, we cut down the trees around our houses, and we do not hesitate to dump garbage into rivers or ponds.
It is the mind that makes life beautiful or ugly. We should first beautify the mind. Ages before, during the Satya Yuga [the Age of Truth], there were intermittent wars between the demons and gods. However, they lived in different worlds. When Sri Rama incarnated, the enemy came a little closer and occupied the neighbouring island. During the time of Sri Krishna, the enemy was in the same family. In this age, the enemies have come even closer, and are inside us. Only by winning over the inner enemies can we achieve real victory.
Who are the inner enemies? Ego, jealousy, hatred and greed are some of the enemies. To defeat these enemies, we need to strengthen the army within us. Discrimination, humility, service and love for God constitute this army. If we use these positive forces effectively, we will be able to attain victory and experience real happiness.
In today’s society, the biggest complaint that everybody has is the shortage of time. Everyone from top to bottom is busy. Even a small child can be heard saying, “I am in a bit of a hurry.” This is spreading like a contagious disease.
This is the condition of many people. They have thoughts of hundreds of pending things but are not able to accomplish anything. Why does this happen? It is because the mind is not at all steady and still. We are not able to live in the present. Our thoughts are always about the future. There is nothing wrong with planning. Suppose we are drawing the plan of a bridge, our attention should be focused totally on that. When we are building the bridge, our whole attention should be on that. But because we are anxious about the future, the mind is always tense.
Tension is the cause of many diseases. Many are alive because of a pacemaker. If we install a peacemaker in our hearts, we can do without most of the pacemakers.
What is this peacemaker? It is spirituality.
When difficult situations arise in life, we try to change the situation rather than trying to find and change the cause of it. But unless we go to the root of the problem, we can never arrive at a solution. For example: A little child is crying out of hunger. The mother consoles the child by giving it toys to play with. The child remains quiet for sometime. But soon, when the hunger increases, the child starts crying even louder. For the child to really stop crying, its hunger has to be appeased. The cause has to be traced and treated first. Normally, the way we solve a problem is by substituting it with another problem.
In order to understand the root cause, we must remain alert. We must learn about our mind and its thoughts.
There are four ways through which we effectively communicate with each other: 1. Reading, 2. Writing, 3. Speaking and 4. Listening. We are given good training for reading, writing and speaking right from our childhood. But our faculty of listening is not as well trained as the other three. Hence most of the people are poor listeners.
God has given us two ears and one mouth. We have to listen twice as much as we speak. But it is the other way around. We go on speaking without listening properly. We need to develop the art of listening. If we are good listeners, we will be benefited in life, and we will be able to give others happiness also. This art will help us act appropriately in all situations and relieve us of many problems.
The reason behind the wars and the increase in terrorism that we see in the world today is the hatred in the individual mind. Keeping hatred within towards our enemy is like consuming poison and expecting your enemy to die. It destroys all our peace of mind.
When we see a physically handicapped person in a wheelchair, it is easy to feel compassion towards that person. A person who is not able to control his or her anger also has a similar handicap, only it is not visible. Just as we feel compassion towards the physically handicapped persons, we should also feel compassion towards people with the handicap of anger. It is our love and compassion that will help them to recover.
All our negative emotions arise from the ego. To recognise the ego is difficult. The medicine to eliminate the disease of the ego is love. If we love somebody sincerely, we will never have any anger or jealousy towards that person. If we set our minds to it, we can increase the love within us. Likewise, if we so wish, we can increase anger, jealousy and other such negativities within. We have both within us. We have the freedom to choose what to discard and what to nourish. We must decide what to discard and what to nourish. By constant effort, we will be able to kindle the love within and thus overcome the ego.
What are the gifts God has given us? Discrimination and love. If we use these appropriately, we can realise God. Even though we have both discrimination and love within, we often do not use them. We thus become instrumental in destroying our own unused gifts.
Love and life are not two, but one. A life devoid of the sweetness of love is like a parched desert. Life and love are as inseparable as a word and its meaning. Realising that life is love and working with that awareness every moment of our life is the aim of all spiritual practices.
When we begin to thus live life, others will follow suit. We should love one another and become one. We should express love. We can then create heaven in our lives.