In this section we will discuss a number of points that are worthy of our consideration if we are to get the most out of our visit with Amma and also after we return home.
It is normal to have some anxiety or fear when approaching Amma for the first time. The author can categorically promise that when the hug comes, all fear will vanish. The common feeling is that Amma loves us more than our own birth mother. We feel her unconditional love and we know she accepts us and loves us no matter what we have done in the past.
Stay As Long As You Can
It is difficult to discover Amma as the fountain of Divine Love that she is by going to just one program, getting one hug and then going home. As we sit in Amma’s presence we are purified and clarified by her Shakti (Divine Energy). We will then be able to ascend to the ecstatic heights that are the Amma experience. From that vantage point, our view of Amma will deepen and expand greatly. Our experience of the Divine in general will be magnified.
Stuff Comes Up
Many people experience past emotional pain rising up from their subconscious when they are in the intense Shakti (Divine Energy) of Amma. This Shakti is like a stick that stirs up mud laying at the bottom of our psyche. The key to this is in surrendering it all to Amma. Be aware of it and ask Amma to take it. Keep giving it to her. Then it will be gone. If this occurs, plough through it. Don’t let it stop you. The blessing of having this “stuff” come up for redemption, healing and purification is of immense value to us.
Feelings of unworthiness are also quite common. After a hug or two we will suddenly have the feeling that we are not worthy of Amma’s presence. Don’t believe this. Amma has addressed this issue specifically and reminds us that the past is a cancelled check. She also says that if we were all perfect she would not have needed to come to this world.
The author knows a couple who went to see Amma for the first time in Santa Fe. Let’s call them Marvin and Sally. After a couple of hugs, Marvin was bitten with the not-worthy syndrome and decided he would not go up for any more hugs because, as he put it, he did not want to soil the Holy Mother’s presence with his miserable wretched self.
However, Sally was not having any of this and so she went for a hug without her partner. At the hug, Amma gave Sally two chocolate candy kisses. Normally, Amma gives each person one chocolate candy kiss. Sitting down by Marvin, Sally exclaimed, “See Marvin! Amma thinks you should have gotten a hug. She gave me two chocolates!”
Marvin still could not overcome his self-loathing and would not believe what Sally was suggesting. At the end of the program, an isle formed for Amma to walk down as she exited the tent. Marvin was on the inside edge of this isle on his knees as Amma approached. Coming to Marvin, she stopped, bent over, looked at him squarely and holding up two fingers said, “Two chocolates!”
Maya the Obstructer
Perhaps this is the most important item to understand. It is being listed after the previous considerations because Maya often uses these other avenues to obstruct one’s ability to see Amma. We recall that when Buddha resolved to sit under the Bodhi Tree until he attained enlightenment, Mara the Tempter (Maya) presented him with powerful temptations hoping to persuade the Buddha to stop.
The truth that Amma is conveying to us is that we are all the one Self and that we should merge in that. This Self is that about us which is aware. We are that awareness itself. In our minds there is a fictitious personality that we mistakenly consider to be our self. It is identified with the body and the mind and it is through this identification that it is able to continue its charade. This illusory appearance of “I” and “mine” is Maya. We will call it “ego” for short.
Most everyone in the world suffers from this illusion or Maya. In the absolute sense this is all the play of the Divine Mother and it is also Her play that some of us begin to awaken from this illusory dream. The ego is, in a sense, real only because we grant it reality. The actual true reality that is awareness (our true nature) illumines the mind and the ego. Awareness is the air that fills the balloon called ego thus granting the ego the appearance of reality.
The egos of all the humans on earth are joined at a subconscious level in what Carl Jung called the Collective Unconscious. Each ego is feeding and granting reality to every other ego by way of this inner connection. We see this inner connectivity illustrated in the 100th monkey experiment. A group of scientists taught monkeys on an island in the Pacific to wash their food.
By the time they had taught 100 monkeys to do this all the other monkeys began to do the same. Even monkeys on nearby islands who had no contact at all with the scientists began doing this. This ability of animals to learn from the experience of other animals via inner connectivity was further verified through extensive experimentation by biologist Dr. Rupert Sheldrake, PhD. Theoretical physicist David Bohm and Sheldrake published a dialogue in 1982 in which they compared Bohm’s “Implicate Order” to Sheldrake’s hypothesis. At a deep level we are all connected and we affect each other.
The pooling of all the human egos in the Collective Unconscious endeavors to maintain the illusion of the ego. It is intelligent and will vigorously strive to prevent each of us from discarding our own ego and thus realizing the truth regarding who or what we really are.
Most people like their ego and don’t want to get rid of it. They don’t want to wake up from the illusion that it is somehow our friend (the ego is not our amigo). This exerts considerable force to counteract any persons who might be sending signals to the contrary into the Collective Unconscious. So Maya maintains the illusion. For those of us interested in stepping out of the matrix, this is important to understand.
Amma represents the opposite of Maya. She is the dissolution of the ego. Thus, the collective ego will conspire by all possible means to prevent Amma from waking us up.
Maya uses many tricks to deceive us. Words do not exist to express the subtlety and cunning of Maya. For example we make plans to go see Amma. After some time, we are possessed by an obsessive thought that we can’t really afford this. If we ignore this and go anyway, the thought will deflate and we will be scratching our heads amazed that our minds had made such an issue of it.
If “stuff” comes up from the quickening of Amma’s Shakti, Maya will try to capitalize on this and convince us that all this is only making us miserable and that we should flee for our lives.
If we harbor feelings of unworthiness, Maya will amplify this and attempt to convince us that we should stay away from Amma.
The author has, on numerous occasions through the years, convinced a friend to go see Amma only to have the trip scuttled. For example, one of the friend’s long lost relatives, who has not been seen in 20 years, will call to say they are going to be in town on the exact weekend the friend was to spend with Amma. It is uncanny how this happens!
Maya has also, from the very beginning, worked to oppose Amma directly. Maya does this by influencing the minds of others. In the biography we read the description of Amma’s early days and the relentless attacks by the Rationalists (a local group of atheists and non-believers who organized themselves to obstruct and oppose Amma).
They would loiter outside on the street cajoling and threatening others who wished to see Amma. Wherever Amma went, they would yell vulgar insults from across the street and throw stones at her. There were numerous attempts to kill her described in the biography.
Even as recently as a few years ago, someone rushed the stage where Amma was having a program waving a knife. A devotee tackled the man and was himself stabbed but not fatally.
Forewarned is forearmed. Be very watchful for Maya. Maya doesn’t want you to see Amma because Amma means waking up.