While working, we must cultivate an attitude of detachment, like butter floating on water. Imagine that God is working through us. Thus, the work will not bind us in any way. Let us be like a conduit. Such an attitude is true devotion.
In order to awaken the correct attitude, we must cultivate selfless devotion. What is really needed is love. Where does that love begin? It must begin at home. The wife longs for the husband’s affection, and vice versa. This is a coming together of two beggars. Neither is wise, neither knows how to understand each other, and neither expresses love to the other. Of what use is honey if it is trapped inside a rock?
Similarly, we must express love towards our children. We might buy them a car, bike or other things, or give them opportunities to pursue higher education. However, if we do not love them and teach them values, they will remain incapable of receiving or expressing love. In order to start a car, petrol alone isn’t sufficient; the car needs a battery, too. Likewise, the values we impart to children during their childhood will hold them in good stead in their life.
There are more people with mental illness in the West than in India. People there have all kinds of wealth, but because they lead purely material lives, their values have eroded. That said, they are gradually coming to understand values and spiritual principles. Amma isn’t saying that we should discard all things Western, but we must inculcate values and then forge ahead in life. An appliance comes with a manual that teaches how to operate it. Spirituality is the manual that helps us understand the principles on which we should conduct our lives.
The sound produced by the coming together of both lips is one. Though we have two eyes, what we see is one. Even if there are two lamps, the light is one. Likewise, though the husband and wife are two bodies, they are different faces of the one ‘self’. Though Shiva and Shakti of the Puranas are different, they are one from the spiritual viewpoint. What makes a family beautiful and safe is the unity of hearts.
Many children ask what the difference is between worldly song and prayer. When we sing songs that arouse worldly emotions, we create similar vibrations in our mind and the atmosphere. Such a mind becomes less and less discerning, and consequently, torments others. In contrast, when we pray, we awaken within ourselves noble vibrations that purify the cells of our body. If one listens to bhajans attentively, one’s heart becomes soft and tender. Like the salty seawater, which evaporates, condenses and comes back to us as rainfall, praying to God gives us inner and outer strength.
Every attitude has a unique vibration. Each one has its own consequence, too. The vibrations created by laughter are not the same as that created by anger. Anger is like a double-edged knife without a handle. We must sublimate emotions like anger. The vibrations of love are different. The writer is a world-renowned spiritual leader