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IS MEDITATION USEFUL?
When we sit amongst the group of people in Satsang, what is the feeling? This is really an experience, cannot be put in words. Still, to know how this feeling take us to great heights, few descriptions below.
This is silence is unusual which can be compared to a feeling when you sit in the middle of remote forest, still with no fear. In addition, this silence is a source of attraction similar to the melody of the flute enchanting the whole environment. Emerging waves of peace from Amma spread like a sun ray and swallows the atmosphere. Amma just waves her hand in a pose of blessing, only to give signal to the devotees that energy is already flowing and they need to make use of it.
To lead a life of Guru is longing for a divinity, a thirst to spread what is known and only thinking of the benefit of the mass. Amma never admits that she is a Guru, rather she chooses to be one among the group. Guru waits for his whole lift to meet at least one person who is fully fit to receive his Grace, like the quality of the milk depends on the cleanliness of the vessel (after pouring), but milk is the form of purity by itself. Amma says that we should be befitting to receive the grace and one is responsible for his own spiritual growth. Let us make ourselves pure and humble to receive the blessing of Saints like Amma.
Yoga is an expression of joy. Hence, a person undergoing the experience spontaneously expresses the bliss, which is the very nature of Yoga, in the form of Mudras. Expression in the form of Mudra is a refined form and one who has mastered Yoga, if they want, can express in the form of dance, which is known as "Nrutya" in Sanskrit. Occasionally, Amma perform Nrutya and the force and dynamism with which she does it, outperforms her age
Amma says that during such state, there is no consciousness of the body and the person feels very light; Balancing the body, legs and breath is necessary and for Amma all these are equipoised. One can visualize the harmony and depth of the "Abinayas" expressed by Amma. Amma says that spirituality is being active and dynamic; mind is fully vigilant, fully aware and conscious of the environment while undergoing such experiences.
This path found by Amma is a unique method in the evolution of human beings to higher state of consciousness. She has attained this state long before, say 25 Years, and after going through odd situations, persistently making her effort to serve the people who come to seek her guidance, solace and spiritual growth. She treats herself as a humble soul and have had the darshan of many Saints like Shiva Balayogi, Mother of all Jillellamudi Amma etc.
This is a pathless path, and God's creation can never be put into any frame or law. People approach Amma wondering about this method of energy transmission in the path of Bhakthi Yoga. Since this is unwritten law, Amma is beyond religion, dogmas, superstitions and reservations arising on account of religious cult. Rightly, this is universal, but available only to people who are really aspiring to tread the path of God.
Coming back to the first point – How to make oneself eligible to get the grace of Saints? We have to approach with humbleness and open-minded to become a fit instrument to be played, like a flute. When the air passes through the holes of the flute without hurdles, melodious sound emerges. Likewise, we need to prepare ourselves to become humble; humbleness not due to the state of difference as Guru and aspirant, but with a longing for unfolded wisdom blossomed through introspection. A conviction that our effort alone is not sufficient can make us useful in the hands of Saints like Amma.
BLOSSOMING OF A SAINT HOOD
In 1983, Amma got the grace of his Guru to be chosen as divine spouse. In 1991, Amma was given the initiation with the name "Matha Yoganandamayi" by his spouse cum Guru with a declaration that Amma can give the meditation to aspirants and in her presence this would happen spontaneously. By that time, Amma was not aware of any theoretical concept of Yoga. But, she got the direct result of undergoing any Yoga practice with the divine grace.
Amma's father S.M.N. Swamy, a tailor by profession and was running his business on his own. He completed his household duties and also earned more than sufficient amount for his family, departed from this world at the early age of 54. Amma do recollect that She was receiving her father''s love in abundance though Mother was mindful of her duties to her children. Many a times, Mr. Swamy was saying with proud that "my second daughter is extraordinary brilliant".
Mr. Swamy used to meditate for hours together and was inclined to mature in spiritual development. He used to tell his daughter (Amma) that everything lays is small pin point of permanent dot of light and once this is seen, then self-realization is achieved. Amma used to hear from him many stories from scriptures and epics which describes about the incarnation of Gods. While listening Though Amma could feel subtle that her Kundalini was getting awakened and the chakras in her body was getting activated, she had no clue at the tender age of such aspects. Now, Amma is able to say that it was the beginning phase of her initiation to spiritual growth.
During her young hood, Amma had instances to confirm that she did predict few instances in advance or which is about to happen. One such instance is where before bitten by scorpion, Amma thought for a while that I am keeping my hands below the pillow and it is quite possible that scorpion can bite. Second instance was while Amma was on her way to Office (Amma was employed in Government service Madras Telephones) and while walking on the road saw a bull and thought for a while that this bull can hit her and just in a span of seconds, the bull did hit Amma.
Amma got married to Mr. Balakrishnan and she was completely unattached to family in the span of 12 years. This period involved trials, humiliations, suspicion etc. Amma was seeking for a pure love of divinity which can pave the way for liberation. This was the period when Amma had the first darshan of Sadguru Sri Sadasiva Brahmendrar in Chennai. The whole thought process was channelized to seek progress for liberation and Amma could not miss even one day to have darshan of Guru.
SHARING IS SERVICE
During Yoga session with Amma, what are the preparations done to begin with?
Amma gives simple instructions like loosening the garments, sitting posture keeping the back straight, limited food in stomach etc. Not much efforts required.
Whole atmosphere is serene and calm. Mind becomes still and thoughtless. Breathing corrects itself and controlled as per the rhythm Amma defines for each one. Everything happens effortless and experience happens in silence in the presence of Amma. The instructions given by Amma goes directly inside to kindle the Lotus of Kundalini Yoga. For Amma, every petal of the Lotus in Sahasrarakamala is a string which emits energy to benefit the assembly.
"Love Peace Bliss" – The theme which Amma conceptualized for her service. Directly experiencing this state is something which is unique and unseen. Even for the sake of one person, Amma would arrange satsang and there is no difference of caste, creed or race. This is universal in approach.
In the initial period of starting her spiritual service, Amma had to adjust and accommodate to meet the priorities in personal life. Amma's primary motive is "Guru seva" and time left after attending to Guru is the only time she took to meet the devotees and render service. Hence, there was no possibility of regular schedules or programs or venue. Still, aspirants leave no chances to make it an opportunity to meet Amma during special occasions such as Birthday, Deepavali and other festivals which is celebrated with merry in India.
In the current world, things are fast and quality of life is deteriorating. Hence, Amma recommends to adopt shortcuts (only for realization). It is not possible today to learn Sanskrit, a vedic language which has its origin in India and read the scriptures to attain God. Amma quotes the popular hymn "Bhaja Govindam" rendered by Adi Sankara more than 10 centuries before. One word used by the legend of Hinduism in the script is "Dukrun Karanae". The essence of the hymns means that scriptural intellect of books would not come to one's rescue for salvation when there is a call of death.
How this direct experience is possible in the presence of Amma? The answer is simple – Grace of her Guru. Before the Saints, worldly enquiry has no merits. Kabir, the Saint who lived in North India few centuries before, in one of his songs has rendered thus –"what is the use of asking the community of a Sadhu? Ask for grace and wisdom. Otherwise, it would be focusing on the design of a wrapper instead of looking at the knife."
Amma says with a smile – when you have sweet prepared by someone and ready to eat, whey we need to bother about ingredients? Amma refers to the direct experience here without any knowledge of yoga, scriptures or intellect. It is enough to be a layman to receive the energy that is emitting from Amma.
Before concluding, in this satsang of Amma there is no garden for the breeze to flow, no statures or deities, no attenders or gate keepers, no big buildings, no visiting time, no set of rules & regulations. The purpose of the mission of Amma is to share here divinity to the real seekers and aspirants than building organization.
SOME THINGS ARE SPECIAL
Something unique in Amma's meditation session
Few devotees have confirmed that they could feel that the physical body is drawn up from the floor where they are sitting. Hence, out of fear, the hands of devotee will automatically used to hold down the floor with much effort to keep the body balanced with the earth''s gravitational pull.
Amma clarifies that while undergoing such experience, the breathing level of a person is undergoing low pressure of air within the body because of the breathing automatically slowed down. The physical body will try to fly up because during this time the astral body is holding the physical body down to balance the gravitational pull of the nature.
Amma continues – In Lalitha Sahasranama, there is a mention about knots (known as "Granti" in Sankrit language). This denotes blocks in the chakras and removing such blocks is essential for undergoing experiences in Kundalini. 3 types of knots are mentioned there; one is Brahma Granti, second is Vishnu Granti and third is Rudra Granti (respectively denotes the creator, protector and destroyer of the world).
A person, who does not know anything about dance, dances in Amma's presence
"Mudras" is one of the method of expression in performance of dance. In Natya Sastras, these have been defined. Amma's divine spouse Satguru Sadasiva Brammam also has authored a book by title "Cosmic Dance of Lord Nataraja".
Statues in Indian temples would depict some or other form of mudras. Finger positions, elbow and leg movement etc. conveys meaning. For a specific God, specific mudra or posture would be consistently maintained. Amma clarifies that the real state of human beings is "bliss". Having forgotten our real nature, we live in chaos, stress etc. Amma clarifies – "From the energy transmitted by Amma, Chakras are kindled inside our body to experience the bliss. To continue in that state, the body expresses dance which is known as "Nrutya". Then, abhinayas or mudras are expressed. Eyes become bright, face becomes glow and whole body becomes fresh".
Ultimate goal to be reached in Yoga
Amma says – we need to go the level of Brahmananda before which all the worldly pain vanishes. Amma has undergone such experience when she was performed surgery for medical treatment.
After anesthesia was given, Amma felt that she has no connection to the physical body and was in some other word. Amma's Guru showed Amma "Lord Siva" and "Goddess Parvathy" in the form of light. During that experience Guru explained Amma – "See the creation". Amma could see the two balls of light one in red and another in blue color appeared and then disappeared after merging. Then, hospital staff brought back Amma's consciousness to this world and instantly Amma felt pain in the physical body.
Note: The conversation between Amma and her Guru was audible when her physical consciousness was not there. A devotee who took care during this time seen this phenomena and explained about this in Amma's satsang. What is special in this? Both the voices were heard from Amma's mouth
Amma says that "Neela Bindu" (in Tamil) known as "Blue pearl" is the ultimate light which one can see only when he attain the state of "Sat Chith Ananda". Many devotees of Amma have seen blue pearl light emanating from Amma during her satsang.