The meaning of Avataram is “descent” (coming down). According to Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, God’s Avatars are like doors, through which we can peep at God and sometimes touch His feet. During the time of Avatars, when God descends onto the Earth with a definite purpose, then spiritual and devotional feelings fill the hearts of the blessed ones. It flows like a stream. Whoever, at least once, bows in front of the Avatar, certainly becomes blessed.
Worshipping an Avatar doesn’t mean that we bow in front of a human being, thinking that He is God; but, we see the Almighty in the Avatar and hence, we are worshipping God Himself. The meaning of Adi Parasakthi is the all pervading Supreme Being, the Supreme Power. Arulthiru Bangaaru Adigalaar is the Avatar of Divine Mother Adi Parasakthi. Amma Himself is the Supreme Avatar! That Supreme Power is the Creator of all lives on the Earth and is the everlasting Super Power! This universe, the solar system, the stars, the planets, the moon, the sun, all living things, the science of alchemy, mathematics, and several other things are derived from that Supreme Power. Most of them are beyond our knowledge. All objects, whether animate or inanimate, merge with that Supreme Power, when they die or perish. It isn’t likely that each one of us can recognise an Avatar. As the Avatar also experiences physical illnesses, pain, thirst, hunger, etc, we think that they are people like us. Otherwise, we think that they have more knowledge than an ordinary human being, or they are stronger than us. Here, a question may arise – what is the difference between the Supreme Power and an ordinary human being? The great saint of Kerala, Adi Sankara explains this,
“Only a Supreme Power has the power to create a living thing.”
Amma Adi Parasakthi has shown Her power on several occasions, proving that Adigalaar Amma is indeed Divine Mother’s Avatar. Once, a devotee of Amma had come to Her to hear Arul Vakku. Amma gave him a Neem leaf. Amma, first, turned it into a lifeless bee and later, gave it life! On another occasion, when Amma had a spiritual procession in Eerod, a senior police officer, Sri Appadurai had come to Amma. Amma gave him two Neem leaves and asked him to close his palm.
Then, She asked him to open his palm. The inspector did not see the Neem leaves. To his amazement, he saw a small worm and a honey bee! As soon as he opened his palm, the honey bee flew away. The poor worm was wriggling. Amma explained the meaning. Amma said, “This is the same way a poor, innocent person suffers in the hands of the law. The unjust, rich person escapes easily, just as the honey bee did.” In the same way, Amma has created a butterfly for Sakthi Thyagarajan; a flying bee for the successor of Thanjai Saraboji Raja; a frog with bulging eyes for Sakthi Pandaribabu; there is a very long list of living things that Amma has created with Her power. However, I would like to stop it here.
Where did we come from...? Where shall we go from here? In all walks of life, we can see differences. Why do these differences exist right from man and woman, religion, caste, etc? These kinds of differences make our lives rather difficult. Joy and sorrow, happiness and pain, the rich and the poor, the healthy and the ill, the birth and the death, the good and bad, the innocent and the wicked, and the straightforward and the crook. When there are people immensely rich on one side, we can see people, who are starving on the other side.
In this world, it is a common experience that we come across atheists, who lead a comfortable life. They enjoy everything in this world. They have a lot of material wealth. We also come across people with deep faith in God, suffering physically and mentally. Why do such problems occur in their lives repeatedly? What is the reason, because of which their wishes do not get fulfilled? Even when they have faith in God, what is the reason, due to which the problems do not leave them; why can’t they find a way to get out of them? Let us try to understand these.
We often talk about karma. Karma is the action a person does in this birth, or has done in his previous birth. Even the thoughts he had in the previous birth, as well as in this birth, are related to karma. Karma doesn’t denote movement alone (action or thoughts). It also shows the results of such actions and thoughts. Whatever happens as a result of action is also included in karma. We cannot say that they are separate from one another. The rules of action also mean the rules of reason. For example, a huge tree has emerged from a simple seed. It is the tree, which produces seeds. If we look at that, we may also say that the seed has come from the tree. From these, we can see result in a reason and reason in a result. We get the result according to the reason. This, in turn, turns out to be an endless chain, which is of reason and result and is common for everything. Each link is important and we cannot say that any link is unnecessary. This is the foundation and the law never changes. The whole universe works according to this law. This law is merciless and changeless.
This universe had been created mechanically. All the practices that we see in this world had once been practised thousands of years ago, in the past. For the same reason, those practices have been perpetuated by tradition. They are still practised. Why do some actions of ours make us unhappy? Why do some make us happy? There are reasons for this. They do have a background. There is no action without reason. This is the law of nature! This is the law of our life as well! The happiness in this life is the continuation of what we experienced in the past! They are today’s friends. Today’s life is the continuation of the life we lived yesterday. Tomorrow’s life is the continuation of today’s life. The wheel of life spins itself in this manner. For this reason only, some people are wealthy and lead a happy life, whereas some others live in poverty. For the same reason, atheists live in luxury and enjoy all pleasures in life. The God-fearing people live a life, which is immersed in sorrow. Readers, please be patient. I can hear the question, which you are asking me, “Why doesn’t God save those, who have faith in Him and who fear Him, from distress?” We have to know a few more things.
This is Divine Mother’s Oracle, “Son! The shadow of each person follows him. In the same manner, each one’s karma follows him. You should live, understanding this principle.” Each action has a reaction. The reaction will be similar and equal to the action. It happens with the same speed as that of the action. Sir Isaac Newton has explained this. ‘Each action has an equal and opposite reaction.’ Similarly, each thought, desire, imagination, and attitude becomes the reason for a reaction.
We attain Punya, or merits, because of our good actions. It brings about happiness. Paapam, or sins bring us sorrow. The law of reaction works in this manner. God doesn’t punish a wicked person; God doesn’t compliment a person for his merits. It is the karma, which does both. It brings happiness to a good person and sorrow to a wicked one.
This is Amma’s Arul Vakku, “Son! I don’t hate a person, even if he is a robber; I don’t love a person, even if he is a saint.”
In everyone’s life, all things that happen from birth to death are decided by the principle of Newton’s Theory – ‘for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ This can be seen every day. This rule is applicable not only to physical and mental movements, but also to planetary movements. This rule prevails everywhere. Renowned spiritual leaders like Lord Jesus Christ, Lord Sri Krishna, and Prophet Mohammad were bound by this law. Even They couldn’t escape from this law! Because Lord Jesus took over all the sins of His devotees, He had to meet with a very painful and unbearable death at the end.
Similarly, Lord Krishna, at the time of His death, had to shed blood. During the Mahabharata battle, there had been innumerable deaths on the battlefield. This had been painful even to the Lord. As if to compensate for the loss of lives and to wipe out the results of the war, the Lord Himself chose a very painful, unbearable demise.
When we compare the very long life journey a soul has to go through after the death of a person, his present life is nothing. This is a very short span. The good and bad habits, thoughts, and deeds of a person remain deep in his mind. His virtues and vices accompany him to his next birth. It is a person himself, who brings the results of the good and bad deeds along with him, to his next birth.
Therefore, even a God-fearing person suffers, because of the results of the sins, which he had done in his previous birth. Even then, the deep faith, which he has in God, stops him from committing further sins. This again helps him attain Salvation. When a person asks that, even though his sister had been very pious and practised spirituality, if she had to undergo many sufferings, then why should he remain God fearing? Why should he worship God? – These are meaningless. No one can accept these. If we indulge ourselves in spiritual practices, worship God, do good deeds, remain righteous, and give alms to the poor, we shall reach our target – Mukti (Salvation). The above are the strict rules, which we have to practise. The practice of meditation and the service, which we render unto living things, appease God. We become aware of the inseparable relationship between Almighty and His Creation. Hence, when we cannot solve our problems, it isn’t right to keep ourselves away from spiritual practices. That can never be a good idea. From a single seed comes out a small plant. This plant grows into a big tree. When people use the bark as firewood, heat is given out. This heat is used to cook food.
Even if there are ten bad people, there will be two good men, whose good deeds make good the effects of the bad deeds, which the former do. This law results in equality among the people, peace in Nature, and good relationships among human beings. Each one of us has to obey this law and no one can work against this law of nature.
These are the reasons, why Incarnations (Avatars) come onto Earth. Lord Krishna had said to Arjuna, “Whenever righteousness gives way to sins, I shall come onto Earth as an Incarnation!” Therefore, whenever human beings forget the Divinity within and begin to commit severe mistakes, God appears on the Earth as an Incarnation. There comes an Avatar!
Each wrong deed, wrong thought, or crime brings about its own result, according to the Divine Law. They themselves are responsible for the punishment, which follows. One, who robs another person, robs himself first. One, who hurts another person, hurts himself first. One, who cheats another person, actually cheats himself first. Each one of us needs to remember that God is not responsible for a person being wealthy, or for a person’s poverty. Several phenomena, which take place in this universe, do not happen accidentally, or by coincidence. They happen in continuation, in a systematic manner. These continue in a definite pattern. Between what you do today and what happens to you tomorrow, there is indeed a definite link. Hence, always think about good things, talk about good things, and do good things. These are necessary for a good future. Besides this, we need to remember that only Amma can help us according to our merits and sins. For this reason, we may not compare one person with another. It is because of the sins, which we have accumulated ourselves, that we don’t get the results of the good deeds immediately. When a hard-working person becomes unable to reach his goal, or a noble-minded person suffers in his life for some reason, it is a clear reflection and the result of his sins. Certainly, all of us must understand one thing.
Even when we are able to do a certain thing, it turns out to be good, only when Amma gives us the permission. If we say in simple words – when we breathe, it is not because of our healthy body; it is because of Amma’s blessings that we are able to do so. Amma says, in Her Oracle, “Son! Usually, when you suffer as a result of your action, I leave you to your fate. When you have unshakeable faith in Me and with limitless reverence (Bhakti, piety), you surrender to Me and do whatever I tell you with immense faith, then I shall change even your destiny!”
I had been thinking of completing this series with this, but a few friends of mine have asked me certain questions. I thought of sharing the answers, which I am going to give them, with the readers of Sakthi Olhi. Hence, it continues. A friend wanted to know about God in general. I have firm faith. Whoever be the God we worship, that God is common for everyone and each one of us must have access to Him. For example, people, who belong to a certain religion, wouldn’t have been the followers of that religion before it started. In the early years of human society, there was equality among the human beings. The society, itself, existed in such a way that they were equal in all respects. In those days, these kinds of problems were not there, as we see today, and no one raised unwanted questions. Mother Nature was worshipped as the God of the entire universe! We really wish that the same rule should have continued even today. Today, there is no value for qualities, like humanity, unity, or love. Every day, untoward happenings occur everywhere and they are strong enough to break the bond of unity among mankind. Such incidents continue to happen everywhere.
When did these kinds of changes begin to take place? How did they happen? Due to what did they start? Most of us think about these questions, for which we need to find an answer.
I have mentioned earlier that nature, itself, was worshipped as God. When the formation of different societies began to become complicated, each society had its own faith and ideas about their God. They began to express their ideas among one another. If you look at the history about different civilisations, which existed in different times, you may come to know that there had been spiritual people, who were able to know about the Super Power, God, Which an ordinary human being couldn’t. For instance, spiritual people, like Abraham and Joseph, who lived one thousand seven hundred years before Lord Jesus, themselves knew about the Divine Power. When there were different opinions about God and His deeds, these great men told the people that God is One and it is His quality of being omnipresent, which is reflected in Nature.
In later years, it is this one and only God, Who was referred to as Jehovah by Moses. I shall say that these spiritual people have really known about God. The path shown by Abraham and Moses, which leads to the knowledge about God, is said to be Judaism.
There might have lived people, who knew about the existence of God even before these men did. However, the histories of these people and the help, which they have done to other aspirants of God, have disappeared in course of time.
Similarly, in 6th century B.C., in Persia, there lived a spiritual person called Zoroaster, who had knowledge about the existence of God. He also talked about the One and Only God in this universe. He called this Universal God, Ahura Mazda. The path, which leads to the knowledge about this God, is called Zoroastrianism. The followers of this path, later on, came to be known as Parsis. While these were happening in the Middle East, there had been several spiritual leaders in India, who were travelling on the path of spiritual growth. These people spread their knowledge about the Divine orally and not through writings.
Two thousand years before Jesus Christ, there had been several citizens in India, in north and south, who had attained spiritual growth. These paths, which lead to the knowledge about God, have been known as Sanathana Dharma. It can also be called the path of our life, which leads us to God. This path has been, now and then, corrected by several great men. These paths, which help us know about God, came to be known as the Vedas. The word Veda means ‘knowledge’ (gnanam). If we look carefully at the Vedas, we can understand that they also advocate the worship of Nature as the worship of God. In ancient days, there had been the habit of worshipping nature.
The summary is that God lives within you; He exists around you as well!!!
Great men, who have known God, have been born in this world now and then. Such great men have taken birth both in the Middle East and in the Indian Peninsula, but people in those days were so ignorant that they couldn’t recognise those manifestations. Not only that, later on, people began to change the teachings of those great men, as per their wishes and added many more new ideas. For this, the social, political, and economical state of the country was also responsible.
What will happen, if a flower garland is given to a monkey? It will tear it into pieces. In the same manner, the teachings of the great saints were all changed and later on, became forgotten. Whenever a need comes for the spiritual awakening of the world, once again, great men are born. They show the right way to live. A few such great men were Abraham, Moses, and Lord Jesus Christ. Lord Jesus came to show the Jews the right path of life. It was the path that led to God Himself. Similarly, when people in India were steeped in superstitions and ignorance, great men were born to their rescue. These great men helped safeguard and perpetuate the Sanathana Dharma. Adi Sankara talked about the dharma that is written in the Vedas. He travelled the whole of India by foot. He had several debates with those Buddhist saints, who tried to spread atheism. He talked about the principles of Advaita. Sankara tried his best to find unity among diversity. Because of Sankara’s teachings, the number of saints, who believed in Advaita, increased. Adi Sankara said that, it is the Paramatma, which is also called Brahmam, which is seen in every life. After Jagadguru Sankara, once again, ignorance prevailed among people.
Although there were saints, who tried to spread the principles of Advaita, they couldn’t defend themselves against the kind of struggle, which was going on among people of different ideas.
Until Adi Sankara was born, people in India believed that there are thirty-three crore Gods (330,000,000). Some people in India followed the teachings of Sri Buddha and Mahavira. If I write the names of the philosophers, who tried to show people the path to reach God, I am afraid there won’t be any space left!
The main reason, for having many different ideas about religion, was the lack of knowledge among people. For this reason, one religion broke up into several religions. There were differences. Then again, a great saint would incarnate. This goes on happening even now. The food is the same. Only the style of eating differs. We can eat the food on the plate with our hand, or we can use a spoon. It is enough if we satisfy hunger. Similarly, we do need God’s grace and blessings. There are several ways to reach God. Whichever way we follow, ultimately, we can reach God.
People in different countries talk different languages. They follow different life styles and they have different customs and traditions. Different! Different! Still, we must strive to gain God’s blessings and lead a simple life. All of us want our sorrows to end. We need peace. Rivers are many; all of them flow into the ocean. In the same manner, there are different religions, but all of them lead to God! It is the lack of understanding that results in communal riots. There is only one God. There are different ways to reach God! We forget God and waste time telling one another that, “Your path to God is not right. What I say is right!” We don’t walk along the path we have chosen and finish our journey. Instead of doing this, we indulge ourselves in unnecessary quarrels and disputes, because of our ignorance and ego.
Let us forget what has already happened. Now, there is our Adigalaar Amma in Mel Maruvathur, Who is the incarnation of Divine Mother Adi Parasakthi. He is a great saint, Who has experienced the Divinity.
Swami Paramahamsa Yogananda, an Indian saint, has written a book. Its name is “Autobiography of a Yogi”. In that book, Swami has written particularly about a few saints, who have lived in India. Swami has tried to project the unity (in thought) among these saints, who were totally different from one another. Thus, Swami talks about the unity that really exists among different religions.
Swami Paramahamsa Yogananda has written clearly, in his book, about how people fail to understand the Truth about Vedas and thus, how they indulge themselves in ignorance and problems and hence, suffer throughout their life. The saint has also described how, in India, the religious teachers influenced the people by misleading them with wrong ideas.
The path shown by our Mel Maruvathur Amma is very simple. It is common for all. Amma says, “Do selfless service with devotion to God! You can reach God! One and only Mother! One and only clan! That is the clan of humanity!” In this way, our Amma shows us the right path of spirituality. Amma says that, if we do selfless service to others, we can find happiness in life. Such acts of ours lead us to God.
IS THERE A SIMPLER WAY THAN WHAT AMMA SAYS?
Annai Adi Parasakthi, in Mel Maruvathur, is the Divine Mother of the whole Universe. There are several books about Divine Mother. Try to get them and read them. This Avatar of Divine Mother is mainly for the purpose of uplifting the poor and the women along the path of spirituality! Divine Mother Herself has let the world know this fact through Her Oracle.
In this physical world, what can be the reason for such an Incarnation of Annai?
The answer is simple. It is to inculcate spiritual awareness and to uplift women! It is a well known fact that from time immemorial, women have been denied an equal position to men in any field, or respect. Amma has never told anyone to leave his religion and follow Amma’s path to spirituality. Amma is a true Guru! Amma doesn’t force anyone to follow Amma’s teachings.
There is a girl in our family. She is a Roman Catholic Christian. Once, she asked our Amma, “Amma! Do I have to change my religion in order to get Your blessings?” Amma said to her, “There isn’t any need for you to change your religion. It is the mind that should change. Religion need not change.”
Among our Adi Parasakthi group, there are Christians and Muslims, too. Mrs. Mumtaz Balakrishnan has been writing her experiences in Sakthi Olhi. This series has been named ‘Malarum Ninaivukal’. There is a book in Tamil called ‘Mel Maruvathur Annaiyin Arputhangal’. The English book is called ‘AMMA, Magnificent Miracles of Bangaaru Adigalaar’. Both these books help us know and understand a lot about Amma. Read and understand them.
In America, there are several Christians, who are devotees of Amma. These are typical examples for “One and Only Mother! One and Only Clan!” When we say Christianity, it doesn’t mean that those teachings are applicable to Christians only. Those ideas are meant for everyone. Like Christianity, each and every religion shows us the ways and the paths to reach God. These ways may be old, or they may be new. They might have been there in the past, or they are yet to come. However, an aspirant can reach God by accepting any religion.
Amma has said in Her Oracle, “Science is knowledge. Spirituality is Salvation (knowledge of the Supreme Being)! Knowledge without Salvation is false!” Hence, may all of us be blessed by Amma!