Spiritual Practices: Quotes from Amma

In the beginning stages, due to the power of the vasanas (habitual tendencies), it is difficult to fix the mind firmly in meditation. At that time, companionship with great souls is more beneficial. Satsang (spiritual company) can be a close association or companionship with a Self-realized soul. It can be discussing or listening to spiritual truths expressed by them, that is, the scriptures. The scriptural statement and dictums will act as weapon to fight against the mental conflict and weakness which might arise during the course of sadhana (spiritual practices).

Do not worry about Grace, as you have a Guru. It is enough if you do sadhana.

Anyone can develop spiritual qualities through constant practice. Sadhana should be done properly.

Without becoming a caretaker of someone else’s wealth, become the owner of it. What is said in the scriptures should be brought into experience through sadhana.

A spiritual being should lead a pure and straightforward life. A sadhak (spiritual aspirant) should have forbearance and endurance. Forgetfulness and inadvertence are not the proper attributes for a spiritual aspirant. A spiritual being should be like a tree that gives shade even to the person who cuts it down. A spiritual person should be like the wind. The wind blows over fragrant flowers as well as foul smelling excreta without bias … Like this, a sadhak should have neither attachment towards those who show him affection nor malice towards those who abuse him. To him, everything is equal. He should see God in everything.

A real human being is one who is endowed with self-control and strength.

Our hearts are the shrine where god should be installed. Our good thoughts are flowers with which He is worshipped. Good deeds are the worship, good words are the hymns and love is the offering. Eternal beauty and divine fragrance are potent within you. Through spiritual practice, the flower bud of your heart will eventually open up its petals …

Real satsang is the unions of the individual self with the Supreme Self.

Spiritual life is possible only for one who has patience. Spiritual advancement can be understood to a certain extent on the basis of one’s reaction to adverse circumstances.

The mind must hold on to something. This is not possible without faith. When a seed is sown, its upward growth depends upon the roots growing deeply into the soil. Without faith, spiritual growth is not possible. Having faith in self is having faith in God or the Guru, for Guru is the Atman, the Self. When one is endowed with faith, one knows through one’s own experience and nothing needs to be proven.

Only a person with patience can guide people. Ego should be completely annihilated.

A spiritual seeker is one who has surrendered everything to God. He should not expect any special privilege. Self-restraint is absolutely necessary for a seeker. It is important for you to study the rules and principles of spiritual life, but what good is study if you cannot practice what you learn.

A sannyasin is one, having renounced all attachments, is blissful in all circumstances. He is beyond everything. He has great patience, perseverance and forgiveness. Dwelling in his own Self, he is not affected by all time and place and finds happiness within.

A person who has peace within is relaxed and his life is balanced. He is never over- excited or over-anxious. He never grieves about his past. He confronts situations in life calmly and intelligently because he has great clarity of vision. His mind and vision ate not clouded by unnecessary thoughts.

If you really love Mother, do sadhana and know your Self. The more you chant and more you pray, the more the mind becomes pure. Sadhana is important. Even though the seed contains the plant, only when it is properly cultivated and given fertilizer will it bear fruit. In the same way, even though Supreme Trust in all beings, it will shine only through Sadhana. Our attitude towards each and every object in creation should be free from expectation. Sadhana is for this…

A sadhak’s progress should be judged by his deed. Through sadhana we get shakti (spiritual power) and the body is freed from diseases. It will be possible to perform action on any occasion without collapsing.

In the beginning, it is beneficial for a sadhak to go on a pilgrimage. A journey with hardship will help him to understand the nature of the world. One who does not have the strength of sadhana will break down due to facts of the world. Therefore, what is required is continuous sadhana while staying in one place without wasting time.

Sadhana should be performed regularly and with patience. Pray and shed tears as you think of Him. That is the greatest sadhana. No other sadhana will give you the bliss of divine love as effectively as sincere prayer.

Selfless service, even mindedness, seeing good even in the mistakes, these are things which Mother likes.

God-realization is not possible without sadhana. First, we need a regular discipline. The fence of regular discipline is needed to protect the young plant of spirituality from the animals of worldliness. Sadhana is not a suffering or a hardship for one who has determination to reach the goal.

Children, negative thoughts might arise in your mind as you proceed with your sadhana. Don’t worry; don’t give them too much importance. Ignore them and continue your sadhana. Declare an open war with your mind. The mind might pull and push you into the same old habits. Understand that it is only a trick of the greatest trickster, the mind, to divert you from your path.

God Himself will be the servant of person who has gained one-pointedness of mind. Mother guarantees this. Try and see what happens.

A sadhak should consider each and every work that he does as a sadhak, a means to purify his heart. It is external discipline and attention that leads to internal alertness. A spiritual seeker should learn to do things in an orderly way.

Without giving up the taste of the tongue, you will not get That Taste, the taste of Self-realization. The taste of the heart will not be had without giving up the taste of the tongue.

A spiritual aspirant should not cry for ephemeral things; he should cry only for Truth. Tears should be shed only for God. A spiritual aspirant must never become weak. He has to shoulder the burden of the whole world.

One who is intent on reaching the goal will overcome all adverse circumstances. To be really focused on God is to be fully and absolutely in the present moment, forgetting the past and the future. That alone is real power.

Worship performed with one-pointedness helps to diminish thoughts and this in turn will cleanse purify the mind.

An attitude of Self-surrender and renunciation is necessary in order to serve others selflessly. Only then will everything you do become worship. Perform your actions in the world with the attitude of selflessness. Only action rooted in the principles of spirituality will take you to the goal. Selflessness is the goal to be attained. For a spiritual seeker there is only one desire. Once it is fulfilled, desire is no more.

Genuine meditation is the end of all misery. Meditation is not just sitting with eyes closed. We should feel every action to be worship. We should be able to experience His presence everywhere. In the beginning stages of meditation, you will have to sit and apply a little force. Otherwise, it is difficult to teach patience to the body and mind….

Once you start getting a taste for meditation, to sit will not be difficult and it will slowly become spontaneous. Until then, you must strive hard.

To gain concentration, faith is needed. You may not get it fully in a day or two, a month or even a year. You may feel that you are not making progress, but you are. Therefore, do not stop. Do it patiently and wait for the Guru’s or God Grace to come.

Concentration is nothing but stillness of mind. It stops the flow of thoughts. The path towards God is concentration which arises in the ego less state.

Children, to compel the mind to do meditation is like trying to submerge a piece of wood in water. If the grip is loosened, the wood will pop up immediately. If meditation is not possible, do the japa. Through japa, the mind will become amendable to meditation.

However one meditates and whatever the object of meditation may be, concentration is important. What is the use of fixing excess stamps on a letter if we don’t write the address? Doing japa and meditation without concentration is like this.

Meditation increases our vitality and strength our intelligence. Our beauty is enhanced and our mental acuity is improved.. We gain the mental fortitude and patience to face life’s problems.

Only through meditation can we find the treasure we are looking for.

Children, every thing depends on the mind. Through japa and meditation, the mind will improve. Then it will become pure and one-pointed.

Just as the filter fixed on the water tap absorbs the impurities in the water so we should absorb the impurities in us with the filter of meditation. One who does meditation can be understood from his character. His attitude will be, ‘I am nothing’. He will have humanity. We should have the mentality to bow down to any one without shame. Meditation is remembrance of God, constant and loving remembrance. Consider Him as your beloved or just consider yourself as His child. Or consider Him as your father or mother.

To gain concentration we must be intent on reaching the goal.

Meditation is the technique of knowing how to be in the present moment. Meditation and spiritual practices give you the power and courage to smile at death. Meditation helps you see every thing as a delightful play so that even the moment of death becomes a blissful experience. Meditation is the technique that allows you to shut the door and windows of the senses so that you can look within and see yourself.

Remember that when we worship of Mahatma (A great soul), it is not his body that we worship or adore, but the higher principles which are manifested through Him…

A real disciple properly discriminates and accepts the things that he needs and rejects all the rest ruthlessly. Heart and intellect are necessary for both a sadhak and a person who leads a regular life. Usually, the balance between the heart and intellect is hard to find. A seeker should discriminate between what is real and what is ephemeral and live with caution. He should hold onto eternal alone. The eternal is God; worldly matters are not eternal. For him these qualities are greater than his life. He will give up life but not the principles by which he lives. He is willing to die for his spiritual principles.

Any spiritual path, whichever it may be, involves renunciation. Without practicing renunciation the desired benefit will not be obtained. An attitude of self-surrender and renunciation is necessary in order to serve selflessly. Only then will everything you do become worship. One who seeks the Truth shouldn’t demand anything. He should not ask for comfort and pleasures. A sadhak should feel content with whatever comes to him.

Contentment ensures from egolessness, and egolessness comes from devotion, love and utter surrender to the supreme Lord. Egoistic people cannot be content or happy.

A sadhak should not have even a trace of selfishness. Selfishness is like worms that suck the honey from flowers. If worms are allowed to grow there, the fruit will be infested with them. There is no use for such fruits.

Concentration will not be gained easily. This can be overcome if kirtan (devotional singing) is performed. Not only that, the atmosphere will also become pure. To attain concentration, Kirtan is better than meditation. A silence and peaceful atmosphere is needed for meditation. Other sounds can be overcome by singing devotional songs loudly. Even beyond concentration is dhyana (meditation). Kirtan- concentration-dhyana, this is the progression.

Reprinted from AmmaChicago.org

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