We received the following email from an Amritapuri resident and want to share it with you:
She is either a pathological liar or totally insane. Either way, this is an assault—a form of terrorism, violence. Not only is it an assault against our mother—the one who has physically held us and discussed with us and taught us the meaning of life, the possibility of love—but, foremost, it is an assault against the mother in our hearts. An attempt to mutilate her, to deform her. Amma has said that she is a mother because she gives birth to the understanding that divinity is our true nature. Ultimately, this is an attack against this child that is growing in each of us. An attempted mass abortion—the curettage of amritasya putrah.
When she first made her intentions known, with such “concern” she informed us that the love we feel in Amma’s arms is only indirectly because of Amma; that it was actually not something external, but something internal we are experiencing—not Amma’s love but our own. She artfully forgot to mention that this is something Amma has been constantly reminding us—the very core of Amma’s message.
“If you are so proud that you have to paint lies on the guru so that you will not be seen as weaker than you wanted others to see you—to try to show that the reason you failed to walk this path was because the path itself is impossible to follow—then there is no end to that world of lies, to that world of adharma.”
If you want people to believe a lie, wrap it around a broken-off chunk of truth—weave it around that. Let what is real and what is unreal putrefy until people have trouble seeing the difference. This is what this person has done. It is calculated terrorism. Why? Because when you get someone to start doubting the things they know, then you have them in a place wherein they are ready to believe anything—not only distortions, but total fabrications.
Right or wrong, we pride ourselves on being of a mind-set that establishes its views not on faith, but on experience. If this is how it should be with the spiritual, what about the material wherein the senses are everything? What has your experience been the hundreds of times Amma has held you in her arms, sacrificing her health, her free time, her any semblance of the things we hold so precious, just to give you small push towards independence, towards strength, towards inspiration, towards love? To pull you just an inch further from the mire of darkness in which you began life? That is a truth I have experienced. We all have experienced. We see it and touch it every day. The question is: Will we let something someone has written on a piece of paper—with a heart full of hate and poison—outbalance that? We who are people who value experience over words. This is something we should all meditate upon.
Whatever people may think of me, I know I am a thousand times the person I was before I met Amma—a million. Amma has told us many times we should occasionally look back—like a lion glancing over its shoulder—to see how far we have come, to see if we are making progress. When I look back and see the person I would have become by now without allowing Amma to enter my life nearly 20 years ago, I am disturbed. I see a Frankenstein—a creature fashioned from trying to wrap truth around a lie. I see the grotesquery that comes when we put makeup on a corpse. The problem of the expensive product generated from a faulty mould.
Since joining the ashram, I have seen many people “leave.” I have seen many people decide they need a girlfriend, a wife, a husband, more luxury…. I have never had a problem with that. And Amma has never had a problem with that. She has clearly told me as much, telling me directly that if I felt in my heart that I needed such things, she would support me. Many of these people continue to follow the spiritual path with determination and sincerity—living in the ashram and outside of it. They continue to learn and grow. Not only do they continue to respect the guru, they know that, in fact, any peace they find in their married life they owe to the guru. They know that it was Amma herself who nurtured them to a place wherein they became capable of living a spiritual, compassionate, loving family life.
Spiritual life is intelligent life. It is about learning to live in peace without any crutch. This is intelligent life because, one day or another, all crutches will be kicked out from under you by life. Atmanyeva atmanah tushtah—“Content in the Self by the Self alone”—says the Gita. Says our Amma.
There is nothing morally wrong in taking up a crutch—but just admit it is a crutch; don’t see it as a strength. This is what the rishis like Amma are telling us. Know it is a crutch and do the therapy to gain the spiritual strength to transcend its need.
For the egoists, it is a humbling thing to admit you need a crutch. Perhaps too humbling. If you see it from the wrong view, it means you have failed. In one way, you have—you have failed to walk without a crutch. Ok, use the crutch then. If it is a blow to your ego, that is something you created, not the guru. The guru will support you either way. The guru will help you gain the strength to no longer need the crutch—to carry it triumphantly high above you even—to be truly independent. But if you are so proud that you have to paint lies on the guru so that you will not be seen as weaker than you wanted others to see you—to try to show that the reason you failed to walk this path was because the path itself is impossible to follow—then there is no end to that world of lies, to that world of adharma. We are seeing this: “I left not because of me but because of others, because of Amma. I was perfect; this organization was the problem, the path was the problem, the people I worked with were the problem, Amma was the problem. Me? I was beautiful. I was innocent. Why didn’t I see that earlier? Oh, the wasted years!”
There was a truth: “I could no longer live there, could no longer live that lifestyle. I wanted things that I was not getting there. I started to see everything in a negative light. I was filled with jealousy and anger.” And you wrap lies around that truth to protect your ego, to become the star once again—even if it has to be a dark one.
I remember once about eight or nine years ago, Amma told us that we, as an ashram, have grown up fast, without any external support or parampara. She said we have become like a shiny fruit hanging in a tree and people will start to throw stones.
They are throwing them now.
When the excitement of your new life dies, the excitement of change dies, when the money runs out, when you begin staring at the vacuum of the lovelessness, the ego, that has become the centre of who you are, you will no doubt lash out, you will throw stones, you will want to try to fill the void by whatever means necessary. From the perspective of the ego—the perspective you have adopted—you have become nothing. From the perspective of the ego—you see Amma and her ashram as having become something. From this perspective, you want to strike out, to throw the stone. “Let the eyes leave them and come to me!” Even to lie is your right. But, remember, it was you who adopted this perspective—this perspective of big and small, of important and insignificant. It is not Amma’s perspective. It is not the perspective she is teaching: not the sama drshti, the equal vision, the view from the atma.
You begged for a cure to your cancerous eyes, the doctor compassionately acquiesced and began her treatment, and now, having ripped yourself from the operating table, you are running about screaming about the warped and poisoned world you see all around you. Raving about things that did not happen.
It’s on you.
A couple years back, Amma told us: “Speak kind words, do kind actions. In return expect to be hung. This is the path I have always walked. Can you do that?” I began preparing myself for that, as a karma yogi. I didn’t realize the extent to which Amma was still speaking about herself—the path of the loka-sangrahaka.
True peace is only in becoming like Amma. Viewing life with the vision she has cultivated. Not the vision of the ego, but the vision of the True Self, the True Heart. Someone has scandalized Amma and she is calmly moving forward without even one furrow in her brow, holding each and every person who comes to her, listening to their problems, drying their tears, giving them her everything as she has always done. Laughing the hearty laugh that has always radiated from her. Smiling so easily. For Amma, today is no different than yesterday. She has set a path, she will follow it to the end—peacefully, lovingly, standing firm in the values she has always been rooted in, values that are flowers bloomed from the centre of who she is.
Come look in her eyes and tell me if you see it differently.
Categories: Gail Tredwell