Amma hugging



The mother is the embodiment of patience.  No matter how many times the child errs, the mother forgives him repeatedly and showers her affection on him.  However most mothers have such love only for their own children whereas the Divine Mother’s attitude combines both love towards all beings in the universe and spiritual discipline. 

Some ask why we refer to Devi (the Divine Mother of the universe - God) as maya (cosmic power of illusion).  Doesn’t maya lead us to delusion, sorrow and bondage?  Why then do we worship Devi?  The universe is the visible manifestation of Devi.  She pervades all forms.  As She is everything, maya too is Devi.  Devi is the one who liberates both maya and the mayavi (magician) from delusion.  She is knowledge and ignorance. 

Knowledge leads one to truth whereas ignorance leads one to untruth and sorrow.  Because Devi is everything, She is both knowledge and ignorance as well as the supreme truth, which is the substratum of both. 

Maya is nothing other than our own mind.  Maya is the root form of the mind and the mind is the cause of bondage and liberation.  Once a band of thieves robbed a person of his valuables, bound him with a rope and pushed him inside a well.  The victim shouted for help.  Hearing his calls a few people went to the well.  Seeing him they threw a rope in the well and saved him.  A rope bound him.  Later another rope saved him.  Similarly the mind alone is the cause of both bondage and liberation. 

We can unlock the door only when we turn the key in the right direction and not otherwise.  The key remains the same.  Similarly the mind alone is the cause of both bondage and liberation.  Most of our sorrows are caused by misconceptions.  A child cries imagining the sun is drowning.  Such is the case with most of our sorrows.  We become liberated when we awaken to our true nature, which is spiritual awareness. 

The mind becomes bound when it is ensnared by thoughts of worldly objects.  Therefore one must conquer the mind with the mind.  Suppose a thorn becomes embedded in our leg.  We use another thorn to remove it and then throw both thorns away.  An obedient dog is an asset to the master.  However if that dog becomes afflicted by rabies, it might bite its master.  Similar is the mind. 

When the mind falls under the sway of desires, it behaves like a rabid dog.  Such a mind lacks discrimination.  That is why some people abuse children sexually.  It is because they are unable to control their lust.  Though married, they might still abuse children or even the elderly.  When one gains spiritual understanding and moral values, one gains the inner strength to refrain from such deeds.  Such a person firmly instructs the mind, “No!  Don’t do that!” 

A child went to a horseback riding school for children.  He spent a long time watching other children mounting horses and riding them.  When the horse trainer left to eat, the boy stealthily mounted a horse.  As soon as the boy was on its back the horse started galloping wildly.  Seeing this the boy’s friends asked him where he was going.  He said, “I don’t know.  Ask the horse.”  Similar is the state of our mind now.  It is taking us for a ride.  This must change. 

If we act with utmost discernment, the mind will lead us to spiritual liberation.  Everything in this universe is a visible manifestation of God.  There is nothing insignificant.  Even a worm plays a vital role in the running of the universe.  We worship even the most insignificant idol in the bommak kolu (dolls used during Navratri) as a part of Devi.  Supreme devotion is seeing, loving, serving and worshipping everything as the Universal Mother.