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Mata Amritanandamayi Teachings

Mata Amritanandamayi, popularly known as the hugging saint of India, provides spiritual guidance and solace to millions of people around the world. The teachings of Mata Amritanandamayi is from talks, books, articles, newspapers etc.

Talking high philosophy often confuses people, whilst a look from an egoless person can lift the clouds of pain and despair in others.

The most serious problem facing the world today is the pollution of the human mind and the increase in selfishness and cruelty. This is the root of all the other problems facing the world today.

Everything in the world is changing — with one exception: our negative mental state! Our personality is a reflection of our mind. The ability of human beings to rise up to a situation and act is slowly disappearing. In the name of stability and competition, mankind is allowing their lives to be led by hatred, revenge and stubbornness.

In life, things rarely happen according to our expectations. This is why it is very important to develop the attitude of surrender to God. This will also help us to live in the present moment. If we learn to live in the present moment, we will be able to cheerfully accept any circumstance we may have to face in life.

Only the present moment is in our hands. So, we must live in it joyfully, with alertness. It is said that the lifespan of a butterfly is only a few days to a week. Yet how joyously it flies around! It spreads delight and happiness to everyone. Our lives should become like this.

If there is anything that is our own, it is our likes and dislikes.

Receptivity is the ability to accept all experiences of life without reacting to them.

Love is seeing and feeling life everywhere. When your heart is full of love, you sense life pulsating through all creation.

Only in the depth of pure silence can we hear God's voice. Silence is like an upright empty glass that is capable of being filled with, and retaining, the water of knowledge.

Question: “How are you able to smile always?”  
Mata Amritanandamayi’s answer: “I do not depend on anything for my happiness.”

Develop one-pointed love toward God. When that love becomes the center of your life and as the devotional practices become more and more intense, your vision changes. You come to understand that God dwells as pure consciousness in all beings, including you. As this experience becomes stronger and stronger, the love in you also grows until at last you become that. The love within you expands and embraces the entire universe with all its beings. This love removes all dryness from you. It is the best cure for all emotional blocks and negative feelings.

Reasoning is necessary, but we should not let it swallow the faith in us. We should not allow the intellect to eat up our heart. Too much knowledge means nothing but a big ego. The ego is a burden and a big ego is a big burden.

Real love arises only when all attachments to individuals, objects and personal interests drop away. Then the battle of life becomes a beautiful play. It becomes selfless service extended toward the entire human race out of compassion. In that battle it is not your ego that is fighting, but love that is consuming your ego and transforming you into love itself.

Fear is completely absent only when love is present in all its fullness. This kind of love is found only in a devotee who has surrendered completely to God. Such a devotee lives in love; he has drowned in the ocean of love. Fully consumed by divine love, his individual existence is lost, for he has merged with the totality of love. He becomes love. He becomes an offering to his Lord. Like a drop of water, which falls into the sea and merges with its vast expanse, the devotee dives into the ocean of bliss as he offers himself to existence. In that state, all fear, all worries, all attachments and sorrows disappear.

If we pour water at the root of a tree, it will reach all the branches. But if we pour water on the branches, the tree does not get the benefit, and our effort is wasted. If we love God, it is equal to loving everyone. It benefits everyone, because the same God dwells within everyone. Through loving Him, we love all. Forming bonds only with individuals, however, just leads to sorrow.

There are thousands ready to die for their religion, but only are few willing to live by its principles. Because of their narrow vision and envy, they have missed the true essence and message of religion which is love and compassion.

The heart sends blood to every cell of the body, and in this way the cells are nourished. The same blood then flows back to the heart. If the flow is obstructed, the person will die. We need to learn this process of give and take from the heart. For the benefit of others, and also for ourselves, we should have the attitude of caring and sharing. We are all links in the chain of life. If one link is weakened, it will affect the strength of the whole chain.

Everyone in the world should be able to sleep without fear, at least for one night. Everyone should be able to eat to his fill, at least for one day. There should be at least one day when hospitals see no one admitted due to violence. By doing selfless service for at least one day, everyone should help the poor and needy. It is Amma's prayer that at least this small dream be realized.

Antiquated, crippling concepts devised in the past are blocking women from reaching spiritual heights. Those are the shadows that still haunt women, evoking fear and distrust within. Women should let go of their fear and distrust, they are simply illusions. The limitations women think they have are not real. Women need to muster the strength to overcome those imagined limitations. They already possess the power; it is right here! And once that power has been evoked, no one will be able to stop the forward march of women in every area of life.

Women have to wake up and arise! The awakening of the dormant power of women is one of the most urgent needs of the age.

Turning away from a reality is like creating darkness by closing one’s own eyes. By recognizing the Universal Truth that is God, and living in accordance with that Truth, we can have a trouble-free passage through life.

Knowing one’s own mind and its lower tendencies while constantly trying to transcend them should be the focus of a sincere sadhak or spiritual aspirant.

Life brings various experiences and situations to different people according to their past karma or actions and the way they live and act in the present. Whoever you are or whatever material heights you gain, only living and thinking in a dharmic or righteous way will help you attain perfection and happiness in life.

At the end of our days on this earth, after all our successes and failures, the measure of worth for our life will be how much we have loved.

We are trying to learn how to see God, or the Pure Essence, in everything and everybody and not the demon in them, even in the wicked. If you see the demon in others, the very same negative forces will swallow you up and you yourself will become demon in the end.

Love sustains everything.

Always have a smile on your face, kind words on your lips and a compassionate heart.

A real yogi is one who can maintain a peaceful mind in the midst of any crisis.

Look at the optimism of Nature. Nothing can stop it. Only ego makes humans pessimistic and causes suffering.

The treasure house of knowledge is not outside; it is within us. To open its doors, develop a reverential attitude.

You are the ‘I’ which is in me and I am the ‘you’ which is in you. The feeling of difference is due to the blindness of ignorance. In truth nothing is separate.

If there is a resting place nearby, the mere thought that the luggage which you are carrying can soon be unloaded lightens the burden. In the same way, when we think that God is near, all our burdens will diminish.

God is very close to you, that is why you cannot see Him. Is it possible to see our own face without the aid of a mirror? And will it be possible to see our image in a mirror if the mirror is completely covered with dust? Look after wiping away the dust particles and cleaning the mirror; then certainly you can see.

Searching for God outside ourselves is like trying to catch fish by emptying the ocean. Therefore, become introspective and look within.

The moment you remember your parents, relatives, friends or your favourite food, you see them in your mind’s eye. You have to build a similar attachment to God. That is the purpose of japa, meditation and satsang.

Discipline helps good thoughts and qualities to develop, which in turn leads to Shraddha or awareness in action. For one who has Shraddha, everything becomes Puja (worship). Nothing will be wasted, everything will be practical.

To control the mind, discipline is needed. We need to meditate, do japa, do seva. Only one who has a strong grounding in the Shastras (scriptures) can survive without this.

What is the use of showing light to a blind person! You have to awaken yourself. Only then will you have that yearning.

Your attachment to Amma or God is like attachment to river Ganga. It will purify everything. Attachment to the world is like being attached to a dirty sewer. It will lead to many diseases.

To become humble is the very goal of spiritual life. Humility alone is the way to God.

Society is made up of individuals. The thoughts and actions of each individual influence the culture of that society. Instead of waiting for others to improve, we should try to improve ourselves. Once our attitude has changed, we will be able to perceive goodness throughout world. If there is a positive change in us, it will also be reflected in others. It is only what we give that we can hope to get back.

There is no harm in having many religions and faiths, but it is harmful to think that they are different and that one faith is higher and the other one is lower. Children, do not see the differences. See the unity in them and the great ideals that they teach.

If you fall, get up and try again with enthusiasm. Consider that the fall was meant to make you more alert.

We must cultivate a spiritual culture that respects and worships the sanctity of all beings.

When you correct your inner vision through spiritual practices, the already-waiting light of pure knowledge will dawn from within.

It is uncontrolled ego that makes the world problematic. A little more understanding and compassion can create a lot of change.

When we cultivate feelings of enmity, it is like drinking poison and hoping our enemy will die. If we see someone in a wheelchair, we feel compassion. A person who cannot control his anger is similarly disabled.

An awareness of the need for coexistence amidst diversity is the only way to alleviate the suffering of others.

When we engage others with respect, understanding and acceptance, then we will be able to communicate at the level of the heart.

The real purpose of life is to experience and realize divinity within.

Pure love transcends the body. It is between hearts. It has nothing to do with bodies.

Bhakti is love – loving god, loving your own self, and loving all beings.

Love just happens. Nobody thinks about how to love, or when and where to love. Nobody is rational about love. Rational thought hinders love. Love is sudden rising in the heart. Love is an unavoidable, unobstructable longing for oneness. There is no logic in this. It is beyond logic. So do not try to be rational about love. It is trying to give reasons for the river to flow, for the breeze to be cool and gentle, for the moon to glow, for the sky to be expansive, for the ocean to be vast and deep, or for the flower to be fragrant and beautiful.

Many people meditate in order that the third eye will open after the two eyes that see the world go blind. Such a thing will never happen. We can never close our eyes to the world in the name of spirituality. Self-Realization is the ability to see ourselves in all beings, even while our two eyes are wide open. We should be able to love and serve others, seeing ourselves in them. That is the fulfillment of spiritual practice.

Just having a respectful approach to everything can bring about a huge transformation in our society and in the world. To rise triumphantly in life, we should begin from the bottom. To build a tall tower that stretches to the sky, we should start by building a solid foundation down in the earth. It is humility that makes us rise high. It is respect that gives one real power.

We live in an age wherein despite immense scientific and technological advancements, we are witnessing the disintegration of many other important aspects of our lives. Therefore our focus today should neither be on dependence nor non-dependence, but on interdependence. This is because humans, animals, plants, the earth, the sky, the atmosphere, the sun, the moon and all the planets are all interdependent.

The world is like a mirror. Knowingly or unknowingly, we bring out the best or worst in each other. Every word, look and action is reflected in others. Usually, we project our own attitude onto others. A wrong word is enough to make a good friend our worst enemy, whereas, a kind word at the right time, can melt the heart of a cruel person. So we should always try to awaken the goodness in ourselves and others.

Children, there is nobody in this world who is entirely good or bad. There will be traces of goodness even in the “worst” person.

We should first understand our own limitations and mistakes. Only then can we forgive others for their faults. When we try to see the world through the lens of agitation and anger, we will see only those traits everywhere.

On the contrary, if we have goodness and generosity inside of us, we will see those two qualities in others as well. We will also be able to help others to awaken those positive qualities in themselves. May grace lead you children in achieving this transformation.

If you fall, get up and try again with enthusiasm. Consider that the fall was meant to make you more alert.

Our efforts to remove hatred and indifference from the world begin by trying to remove them from our own mind.

We spend our entire lives trying to learn about the external world, yet we never try to learn about ourselves, the inner world.

Pick just one virtue and follow it with utmost faith and optimism; other qualities will automatically follow.

Instead of using a magnifying glass to look at other’s faults, use a mirror to look at your own.

When people commit mistakes, experience failures or downfalls, their first response is to try to defend themselves. As much as possible, they try to hide their failures. They also try to justify their actions, pointing out that other people are making mistakes as well. However, if we respond in this manner we will never learn to overcome our negativities.

Once a doctor was examining a patient. When the examination was finished, the doctor told him, “This is a hereditary disease, and therefore it will be very difficult to cure it completely.”

The patient responded: “Okay, if that’s the case, please send the bill to my parents.”

In the patient’s attempt to attribute responsibility for his condition away from himself, he failed to focus on the one truly relevant aspect: what he could do to control the disease.

It would have been so much more beneficial if he had inquired about how he could he mitigate his illness through diet, exercise and medication.

Unfortunately, when it comes to our own negativities and problems, many of us fail to truly confront the situation and instead react like this patient.

The reason we try to hide our failures and accuse others for our mistakes is because of our pride and ego. So, if we want to succeed in life—both spiritually and materially—we have to overcome these factors.

When we experience such failures, we must learn to look within and understand the nature of our negativities and limitations.

Even death is not complete annihilation. It is only like placing a period mark at the end of a sentence. Just as we continue writing, life continues. Understanding this, we shouldn’t succumb to depression. During our life, there will always be a mix of pleasure and pain…

Establishing  an equilibrium in the midst of life’s swinging pendulum is the purpose of spirituality.

There are many paths of entertainment and pleasure. However, heartfelt smiles and kind words have become extremely scarce.

In our haste, we forget the greatest truth of all – that the source of all problems is to be found within the human mind.

Since war is born from the mind of human beings, it is in the mind of human beings that we must erect the castle of peace.

Along with an understanding of the outer world, it is essential that we also get to know the inner world.
Love has no limitations such as religion, race, nationality, or caste.

May the tree of our life be firmly rooted in the soil of love.

Love is the only religion that can help humanity rise to great and glorious heights. And love should be the one thread on which all religions and philosophies are strung together.

This human birth is intended for the purpose of realizing our true nature: infinite happiness. Do not miss out on the precious opportunity to find your eternally blissful Self by running behind temporary joys.

A must deer searchers for the source of the fragrance of musk, but however long it searchers, it will never find it because the fragrance comes from within itself. Similarly, bliss is not to be found on the outside; it exists within. Once we contemplate this, and develop detachment, the mind will stop running after external pleasures.

If we can give up the attitude of “I” and “mine”, then there is no more sorrow and we can enjoy the infinite bliss abiding within. But we have to give up the attitude of “I” as an individual. Happiness is within everyone, but we are not able to experience it because of our ego’s likes and dislikes.

Prayer means humility. Peace is an experience that fills all aspects of our life when we bow down to the whole of creation with humility.

Simply transferring the world’s nuclear weapons to a museum will not in itself bring about world peace. The nuclear weapons of the mind must first be eliminated.

Our ancestors, the great saints and sages who attained the peak of human existence, have given us a lot of advice on how to lead a peaceful and harmonious life. The real question is whether we are willing to put that into practice.

The very words ‘nation’ and ‘religion’ tend to connote division and diversity. Each nation and faith has its own characteristics, ideologies and interests. The diversity may seem to create obstacles in fostering peace, happiness and prosperity in the world. Yet, in reality, it is this diversity that brings richness and beauty to the world and to human life – just as a bouquet made from a variety of flowers is more beautiful than a bouquet of flowers that are exactly the same.

If you want your suffering to end, pray that your desires are eliminated. Also pray that your faith and lover for God grow. If you can do this, then the Divine will fulfill all your needs.

Some people say, ‘God is just a belief’, but in truth, Divinity is within the heart of each one of us. God has no separate hands, legs, eyes, or body other than our own. The cosmic Power inside each one of us is God.

Have faith in your own Self. Try to understand who you are, your true Self. That is sufficient. If you do not have faith in your Self, it is difficult to advance even if you believe in God.

Always remember that when dusk arrives, it is already carrying dawn in its womb. Darkness cannot remain for long. In due time, dawn will surely break out and shine. Optimism is the light of God. It is a form of grace, which allows you to look at life with greater clarity.

Mata Amritanandamayi

Mata Amritanandamayi Devi Teachings on Sadhana

All sadhanas (spiritual practices) are methods to decrease the thoughts and to increase peace and thus slowly man can become God. Not only does one enjoy peace oneself but can give peace to others as well.

The goal of sadhana is to eliminate the mind, which consists of thoughts and desires. The Self is beyond all these. To know the Self, the mind should be eradicated.

Everything will be known spontaneously if you do sadhana. Understand who you are. Know the Self. Then you can lead a life without attachment to anything. Such a state of mind will come if you do sadhana sincerely.

We are like pure rainwater that has become impure by falling in the gutter. The water in the gutter needs to be cleaned by connecting it to a river, and this is what sadhana does.

In the deep sea there are no waves. It is on the shore that the waves strongly break because there is little depth. Peace can be experienced when the mind becomes expansive and deep through sadhana.

For a better living – Mata Amritanandamayi Teachings

The tide is shifting. Society is no longer about unity; it's about individual isolation. The mantra seems to be: ‘Everything only for me.’ As this selfish attitude becomes more firmly established, we find that our happiness is slowly slipping through our fingers.

Unity is the law of Nature. Without give-and-take there is no life. When the sun shines, rivers flow, birds sing, and trees bear fruit, they do so without expecting our acknowledgement or praise. Everything in Nature gives as much as possible. Our tendency to swim against the natural flow fills our minds with tension, sorrow and fear. Hence there is the rich-poor divide and so much conflict and suffering.

We rush about, with packed schedules and back-to-back appointments. There's so much to do and so little time. But if we lose our peace of mind and happiness as a result, what is the point? It is not enough to be on the fast track; we also have to go in the proper direction. Otherwise the whole trip is a waste of time. Because of our obsession with speed, many precious opportunities are passing us by without our being aware of it.

There is one Truth that shines through all of creation 

There is one Truth that shines through all of creation. Rivers and mountains, plants and animals, the sun, the moon and the stars, you and I – all are expressions of this one Reality. It is by assimilating this truth in our lives, and thus gaining a deeper understanding, that we can discover the inherent beauty in this diversity. When we work together as a global family, not merely belonging to a particular race, religion or nation, peace and happiness will once again prevail on this earth which is drenched with the tears of division and conflict.

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.

The foundation of spirituality is not blind faith – Sri Mata Amritanandamayi

God is not confined to a temple or to a certain place. The divine is omnipresent, omnipotent and can assume any form. Try to behold your Beloved Deity in everything.

God is not a limited individual who sits alone up in the clouds on a golden throne. God is pure consciousness that dwells within everything. Understanding this truth, learn to accept and love everyone equally.

The foundation of spirituality is not blind faith. It is sincere inquiry; it is an intense exploration within one’s own Self. Faith in a higher power helps us to control our mind and thoughts.

What we need is faith in a supreme power that controls the entire universe, that is beyond the mind and senses and that makes even the intellect function. We should inquire into the source of that Power, which exists within ourselves. Faith in that Cosmic Power, together with meditation to know that Supreme Power, will help us attain knowledge of the Self, unit, peace and tranquility.

Mata Amritanandamayi Teachings on Mind

The mind of a self-realized soul is a mindless mind. It is expansiveness.

A self-realized soul uses the mind for interacting with the world. However, there is a big difference between the common human mind, which is full of various thoughts, and the mind of a self-realized soul. Self-realized souls us the mind, we are used by the mind. They are not calculative, but spontaneous. Spontaneity is the nature of the heart. A person who is overly identified with the mind cannot be spontaneous.

There are plenty of occasions when people identify with the heart and its positive feelings. When people are kind, compassionate and considerate of others, they dwell more in their heart than in their mind. But they are not always able to behave like that. So more often people are identified with the mind because it is more powerful.

In order to remain attuned with the positive feelings of the heart, you should strengthen your connection with the silence of your spiritual heart and weaken your connection with the disturbances of your noisy mind.  (Source book titled ‘From Amma's Heart’ page 43 - 44)