Sri Anandamayi Ma (1896-1982) Spiritual Luminary

Sri Anandamayi Ma

Born in 1896 in a small Bangladesh village (Kheora), Nirmala Sundari Devi entered this world enlightened.

Her name Anandamayi, which means “bliss permeated mother,” was given to her in the 1920’s by her disciples. She taught thousands as a guru, while many saw her as a pure manifestation of God.

Here are Sri Anandamayi Ma’s words on spirituality:

Who is it that loves?
Who is it that loves and who that suffers?
He alone stages a play with Himself.
The individual suffers because he perceives duality.
Find the One everywhere and in everything
and there will be an end to pain and suffering.

Joys and Sorrows:
Joys and sorrows are time-born and cannot last.
Therefore, do not be perturbed by these.
The greater the difficulties and obstructions,
the more intense will be your endeavor to cling to His feet
and the more will your prayer increase from within.
And when the time is ripe,
you will gain mastery over this power.

Aspects of God:
God is without form, without quality as well as with form and quality.
Watch and see with what endless variety of beautiful forms
He plays the play of his maya with Himself alone.
The lila of the all pervading One goes on and on in this way in infinite diversity.
He is without beginning and without end.
He is the whole and also the part.
The whole and part together make up real Perfection.

Acquire a firm will and the utmost patience.

To believe in Him under any particular form is not enough. Accept Him in His numberless forms, shapes and modes of being, in everything that exists. Aim at the whole and all your actions will be whole.

As you love your own body, so regard everyone as equal to your own body. When the Supreme Experience supervenes, everyone’s service is revealed as one’s own service. Call it a bird, an insect, an animal or a man, call it by any name you please, one serves one’s own Self in every one of them.

Give yourself up to the wave, and you will be absorbed by the current; having dived into the sea, you do not return anymore.

Try to treat with equal love all the people with whom you have relations. Thus the abyss between myself and yourself will be filled in, which is the goal of all religious worship.

Indeed, everything is possible in the state that is beyond knowledge and ignorance.

Enquire: “Who am I?” and you will find the answer. Look at a tree: from one seed arises a huge tree; from it comes numerous seeds, each one of which in its turn grows into a tree. No two fruits are alike. Yet it is one life that throbs in every particle of the tree. So, it is the same Atman everywhere.

All creation is that. There is beauty in the birds and in the animals. They too eat and drink like us, mate and multiply; but there is this difference: we can realize our true nature, the Atman. Having been born as human beings, we must not waste this opportunity. At least for a few seconds every day, we must enquire as to who we are. It is no use taking a return ticket over and over again. From birth to death, and death to birth is samsara. But really we have no birth and death. We must realize that.

There is a sense of play, a deep delight, and the constant remembrance of the One.

God is within everyone, but man goes out in search of Him. This is what constitutes God’s Play and God’s Creation.

Suffering is sent to remind you to turn your thoughts towards That which is real – to God who will give you solace.

To find the Beloved is to find my Self, to discover that God is my very own, wholly identical with myself, my innermost Self.

Joys and sorrows are time-born and cannot last. Therefore, do not be perturbed by these. The greater the difficulties and obstructions, the more intense will be your endeavor to cling to His feet and the more will your prayer increase from within. And when the time is ripe, you will gain mastery over this power.

Real silence means there is actually nowhere else for the mind to go.

Just as fire burns away all dross and rubbish, so the three fold suffering purges man’s heart from all impurity and results in a growing single mindedness in his search after Truth. When he becomes deeply conscious of his weakness and tormented by the thoughts of his undesirable impulses and distressing characteristics, when afflictions like poverty, bereavement or humiliation make him feel his life is futile, then and then only does he develop real faith and religious fervor, and becomes anxious to surrender himself at the feet of the Supreme Being. Suffering should therefore be welcomed. Never does the soft moonlight appear more soothing than after the scorching heat of a summer day.

With Paramahansa Yogananda - on right

My consciousness has never associated itself with this temporary body.
Before I came on this earth I was the same.
As a little girl I was the same.
Ever afterward, though the dance of creation changes around me, in the hall of eternity I shall be the same.

A wealthy merchant went on a business trip. A thief in the disguise of a businessman joined him, intent on robbing him at the earliest suitable occasion. Every morning, before leaving the inn which they happened to have put up for the night, the merchant would count his money quite openly and then put it into his pocket. At night the merchant went to sleep seemingly without suspicion. While he was asleep the thief would frantically search through all the belongings of the merchant without being able to find the money. After several nights of frustrating searching, the thief finally in resignation confessed to the merchant his true intention and pleaded with him to tell him how he was able to hide his money so successfully. The merchant replied casually: “I knew from the very beginning what you were up to. So, every night I placed the money under YOUR pillow. I could safely sleep, knowing full well that that would be the one place where you would never look.”
God is within everyone, but man goes out in search of Him. This is what constitutes God’s Play and God’s Creation.

One should think of oneself as a purely spiritual being, as Self luminous, poised in the Bliss of the Self.

God is without form, without quality as well as with form and quality.
Watch and see with what endless variety of beautiful forms
He plays the play of his maya with Himself alone.
The lila of the all pervading One goes on and on in this way in infinite diversity.
He is without beginning and without end.
He is the whole and also the part.
The whole and part together make up real Perfection.

The same inexpressible Truth is experienced in two ways: as Self-luminous Silence, or as the Eternal Play of the One.

When you recognize the existence of God, He will reveal Himself to you as compassionate, or gracious, or merciful, in accordance with your attitude toward Him at the time.

All this, which is His creation, is under His dispensation, in His presence and is He.

The sovereign and universal remedy is the contemplation of the One. To think only of Him and to serve Him at all times is essential for every human being.

Your body, which is part of and depending on this illusory world, is on the other hand the expression of a hidden inner process. You are yourself the many, appearing in various aspects, forms and modes. Each one of them exists in fact to fulfill a particular need. Yours is the give and take of the universe, yours the need, and yet you your­self are the fulfillment that hidden inner process is generated by you.

Human-birth — does it not ordinarily mean experiencing desire, passion, grief, suffering, old age, disease, happiness, pain and so on? Yet it is man’s duty to bear in mind that he exists for God alone— for His service and for the realization of Him.

To say, “I do not know, I do not understand” is only ignorance. It is this veil of ignorance that causes agony and misfortune.

Man must go out in search of That which is concealed behind the world. He should choose an abode that will make it easy for him to proceed to his true Home.

Force of character is man’s great strength. If he uses it in his dealings with the world he will indeed be victorious in most direc­tions.

Worldly life is no doubt a battle-field. By becoming conscious of one’s spiritual wealth one must strive to emerge triumphant from the battle.

To remain calm and at peace under all circumstances is man’s duty. To form a bad opinion of a person just because one has heard some gossip about him is wrong. Hostility, condemnation, abusive language, ill-feeling and so forth, even if kept con­cealed within one’s mind, will and must fall back on oneself. Nobody should ever harm himself by harboring such thoughts feelings.

To perform one’s worldly duties is a good thing. At the same time, one has to be mindful of man’s real Duty.

What is perceived in this world is in the nature of a dream, similar to what one sees in dreams. The only difference is that the former takes place in the waking state and the latter during sleep. Albeit I am always with you, mother.

How much karma from former births remains yet to be worked out! Just as when, for example, someone has ruined his digestion by indulging in excessive and unrestrained eating; even though he later adopts a frugal and well-regulated diet, the results of these wise measures will not be noticeable straight away. Thus: whatever be the nature of one’s actions at the time, one has also simultaneously to enjoy and suffer the accumulated consequences of one’s previous conduct. In God’s creation there is perfect justice. Generally speaking, man is born into this world in order to reap the pleasant results of his good deeds as well as the outcome of his wrong-doing. What about the consequences of any impropriety or injustice he commits at the present time? He will of course have to endure them. Man enjoys the fruit of his accumulated former good works, but he will also have to suffer the effects of evil deeds. The Almighty’s Will is being fulfilled. Man must foster the desire to perform right action. Even the impossible becomes possible by God’s Will. Let His Lotus-feet be your sole refuge.

No two days pass alike. Do not allow yourself to be overcome by despair. Have complete trust in Him in spite of everything.

To Him you should call out in happiness and in pain. If you have fallen to the ground, use it is a lever to raise yourself up again, for it is man’s duty to exert himself, no matter what he undertakes.

He Who has given you what you possess in this world — wealth, distinction, youth —appeal to Him for his own sake.
You cannot? Why? You will have to! Verily, man can do all things. Who can say what He will give to whom and through what? Everything is His, entirely His. What did you bring with you at birth? Were you not empty-handed? And all you have acquired — is it yours, really?
All is His and whatever happens is His Will. Endeavour to maintain this attitude. Saying: ‘It is mine’ you grasp at everything— this is the way to court sorrow. Call out to Him because all is His. To yearn thus for Him is real prayer.
All that the world can yield — what is its worth? Have you not discerned down the years the inevitable course of events? In His store-house, where there are riches, relations, the vigour of youth, there are also old age, death, disease and poverty. You will have to experience them all. In this world there is no room for undisturbed ease; don’t you see that there is distress at every step? Does it not dawn on you even now to whom you belong? This serious illness of yours, is anyone suffering~ it for you? Can anyone even share it? Why all these worries?
All is His; all is He ; to leave everything to Him must be your sole endeavor. Invoke His Name, meditate on Him; ever abide in the remembrance of Him. Not praying for anything that is of this world, strive to abandon yourself without reserve to Him. In Him no want of any kind exists, no pain, no agony — in Him is all attainment, the summit of fulfillment, rest, repose, tranquility.

Life’s journey is bound to proceed inevi­tably in the manner you describe. Search in every home and see how many people can be found who have never known bereave­ment. This is why the only way out of this misery is by the path to Self-Realization.

Having obtained the great boon of human birth, do not waste a single moment. Plants, trees, animals and birds also live for some time and after generating other plants, trees, animals and birds of their own species, pass away. If you too live in a similar manner, what difference is there between them and yourself? Everyone should make a strenuous effort not to leave this world with a “return ticket.”

What this body always says is: Become a pilgrim on the path of immortality. Shun the road that leads to death; tread the path of immortality. Bring to light that you are imperishable, immortal.

The true progress in one’s spiritual experience depends on the sincerity and intensity of one’s aspiration. The measure of a person’s spiritual advance will be reflected in the manifestations that are vouchsafed to him of his Ista (object of worship), who will by no means remain inaccessible or separate from His devotee, but let Himself be contacted in an infinite variety of ways.

Realization must be all comprehensive, all embracing, and one must recognize one’s Self in everything.

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The world is blessed by the eternal presence of Sri Anandamayi Ma

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