Unavoidable Change

Unavoidable Change

Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

Children, we are living today in a world of expectations - the expectation that violence and strife will let up; that the prices of fuel, food items and gold, which are soaring daily, will drop. Parents hope that their children will turn out well; children hope that the squabbles and wars of words between their parents will come to an end, and that an atmosphere saturated with love and happiness will prevail at home. Like this, people live their lives with a hundred such expectations. But, today, we see events taking place all around us that confound all expectation. Everyone’s goal is happiness, but no one finds it. Not only that, things unfold in such a way that we lose whatever little happiness we have. The sole cause of all these states of affairs is our rampant egoism and vile desires.

Even now, the problems that people face in their personal and social lives have started affecting their physical and mental health. How many new types of diseases arise daily! For many of them, there is no suitable medicine or remedy. Many people are affected by heart disease, diabetes and blood-pressure problems at a young age. Tension and the ensuing psychological problems have heightened suicidal tendencies among both youth and the aged. The number of youth who are addicted to intoxicants is increasing exponentially. Though Kerala is in the rear end in many other matters, it is at the forefront of alcohol consumption, a statistical fact repeated every year. Similarly, swindlers and cheats are having a field day everywhere.

There are some who fear that the world will end in 2012. In one sense, isn’t the world already ending? After all, goodness and love are dying out every moment. Without them, how can the world prevail? Just because it is swarming with people doesn’t make it a world or a community. There should also be people with goodness and compassion. People should be able to love one another.

If humanity wants to recover at least a little of the joy and contentment that it is losing, it has to embrace a life informed by spiritual thinking this is the only way left. We cannot delay any more. What Amma means by spiritual thinking is that we should forge a life based on strong faith in dharma (righteous behaviour), divine power, and noble deeds. Amma is not saying that we should run after everything that we see or hear in the name of spirituality. This will create confusion.

If we sincerely want joy and contentment, our vision of life should change. Everyone insists that others should change. That won’t happen. First, we must change. If the change in us is genuine, it will inspire others to change. Insisting that others should change when we don’t is a waste of time, like trying to straighten a dog’s tail.

A man went to a ear doctor and told him, “I think my wife’s hearing power is decreasing. I can get an answer from her only after saying something twice or thrice.”

The doctor said, “Try this. When you return home today, ask your wife something, standing 20 steps away. If you don’t get any answer, move five steps closer and ask her the same question. In this way, we can get some idea of how much hearing your wife has lost.”

In accordance with the doctor’s advice, the man went home, and standing 20 steps away from his wife asked her, “What’s for supper today?” He didn’t hear any response from his wife. He moved five steps closer and repeated the question.

He didn’t hear any answer. Moving a little closer, he asked the same question again. After doing this four times, the wife yelled out in ear-splitting tones, “Hey! How many times must I tell you that we are having porridge and beans?”

We must be prepared to see our own limitations and faults and be ready to rectify them. In order to gain the inner strength needed for this, spiritual thinking and a meditative life will be helpful. Only through them can we create a new world filled with happiness and peace.

Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi