Sri Amma

A recent message (June 2001) received from Sri Amma (Sri Akka) is reproduced below for the information of Sri Amma's  devotees:

To: gayathri@nandalala.org
From:: N.R.S., Chennai.

Message from Sri Akka on "Guru Peyarchi" that falls on 13th June:  

On that day, offering prayers to Guru Bhagwan and to think of him has a special significance.  Guru's Parvai is not only limited to marriage but he also bestows on devotees Gnanam, Peace and Happiness.

On 13th, depending on availability, keep either Lord Dakshinamurthy Picture or Vigraham facing North Direction.  I am asking Mani (NRS) to scan and e-mail to you a picture of Lord Dakshinamurthy.  Light a lamp and recite the following Prayer:

Devanamcha Rishinamcha Gurum Kanchana Sannibham
Buddhi Bhutam Trilokesam Tam Namami Brihaspatim.

swami.jpg (733537 bytes)
Sri Dakshinamurthy
Click for full picture.

The number of times to be recited should be in odd numbers i.e., 1/5/7/9/11 etc.  Minimum number 5 times. Yellow cloth and Yellow Flowers should be offered to Lord.  Prasadam - "Kondai Kadalai  Chundal".  Since Guru will be in the new house for one year, this should be done every thursday for one year.  This Parayanam can be done in the respective houses also. Please inform members of Nandalala Mission and others.

With Blessings


End of Sri Akka's message. 

She is known affectionately to many of her devotees as Sri Amma  or  Sri Akka.  To every one who comes into contact with her she is a simple, saintly lady who has great love for all and, in particular, to children and women.

She is a prolific writer in Tamil who has to her credit  many poems, short stories, novels, articles, etc., under the pen name of "Mathioli". Children being her first love, many of her poems and prose-writings are meant for children. 

She is the recipient of many awards including the prestigious NCERT Award in India for her book, "Inaindhiduvom Vaarungal".  She has  many interests and hobbies. She is an expert at crafts and her interests include Tanjore painting, gardening and cooking. She has authored a book on Rangoli (or Kolam, in Tamil), giving interesting information about this age-old art of drawing.

She is the driving force behind the construction of a Krishna Temple in Madras, India, which celebrated its Kumbhabhishekam (consecration of the temple dome) on February 1, 1998. Many children participated during all stages of the temple construction. She also established the Nandalala Seva Samithi in 1978 in India, and the Nandalala Mission in the summer of 1997 in the U.S., aiming at the betterment of people, especially children. These projects remain close to her heart. Her love of plants and nature lie behind the organizations' yearly celebration of "Nature Day," when salutations are offered to Mother Nature, thanking her for the bounties she confers upon us.

She has a keen ear for music, specially chorus and instrumental music. She is also developing a Cultural Center for children in India that will encourage the study and performance of music, dance, painting, etc.

She lives a very active life with her great spiritual energy channeled towards guiding people in the path of righteousness - a mission that is as divine as herself.


Born on October 9, 1940, to Mrs. Jayalakshmi and Mr. T.S. Ramachandran, she was no ordinary child: the divinity within her was first revealed by none other than the great saint, the "Paramacharya," Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi, Jagadguru Sankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, who identified it as the Power Incarnate of Sri Akhilandeswari of Thiruvanaikovil.

Since then, she has tirelessly engaged herself in consoling, comforting, and healing the thousands of afflicted people who flock to her daily. She counsels to cement and mend broken relationships. She provides solace to restless, troubled minds. She patiently listens to all the outpourings of the needy who come to her and alleviates their suffering.  Amidst all this activities,  her gentle smile ever adorns her serene countenance.

She shares a special bond with every individual. She is a sister to one, a mother to another, a guru to yet another, a friend to some...She is everything to many.

She works continuously to build a better world for everyone -- her own 'Utopia', through the Krishna temple in Madras and the  Nandalala Seva Samithi and Nandalala Mission organizations. Her activities are focused specially on children who are the citizens of tomorrow, through various activities that stimulate their minds and delight their senses. She has made great progress in her mission. "Nothing is impossible" was the title of her first poem. That  remains her philosophy in life always. And with her beside us, nothing seems impossible to her devotees.

In her recent visits to USA, she has encouraged a group activity among the ladies: the worship around lamps.  You light a lamp to dispel darkness -- symbolic of knowledge removing the veil of the ignorance of Reality.  

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TiruViLakku Pooja Slokam

Pooja Slokam and meaning in English



Thiru Vilakkup Poojai Slokam

Deepa Pooja Slokam 

Om Shreem Hreem Kleem

Om Shreem Hreem Kleem (Beejakshara mantra)

Kamale Kamalaalaye Praseedha Praseedha

Kamala Devi! Residing in Lotus! Bless me.

Shreem Hreem OM Mahalakshmyai Namah

Shreem Hreem OM Salutations unto Mahalakshmi

OM Shreem Hreem, OM

OM Shreem Hreem, OM

Gnyaanaayai, Mahaalakshmyai, Aishvarya

Vidya Devi, Mahalakshmi, Goddess of wealth,

KamaladhaariNyai, Shakthyai

Devi holding the lotus, Shakthi,

Simhavaahinyai, Namaha

Simhavaahini - riding upon the Lion,

Vaazhkkayil Nimmadhi, Uzhaiththu Petra selvam nilaikkavum.

May Contentment prevail in our lives always. 
May hard earned wealth be the foundation of our lives always.

Indha slOkaththai 11 muRai dhinamum Solli Iraiviayai vaNangavum.

Recite this Slokam daily eleven (11) times,
do Pooja and prostrate before the Devi.

thiruviLakkup poojai anRu  (9-25-1999) 

This slokam was taught to the devotees by Sri Amma 
On ThiruVilakku Puja day, 
May 25, 1999 at Smt. Mangala's residence in Cerritos, California.

Deepa Pooja was performed on October 24, 1998 at the residence of Smt. Mangala Gulasekaran in Cerritos under the guidance of Sri Amma. In her talk after the completion of the Pooja, Sri Amma explained to the audience the significance of the Pooja. The following is a brief summary of the words of wisdom from Sri Amma.

We meet with stressful situations in our everyday lives. There are many tasks to be completed, each of which seems to claim priority over others. Without guiding principles firmly embedded in our minds, we feel lost like a ship without a compass. Some take one course of actions, others choose a different one. But the wise, those who are well-versed in the principles of correct living generally adopt the same right course of action.

If you too want to act wisely in this manner, you have to cultivate certain basic qualities of the mind. These are represented by the five lights which you have lit this evening and worshipped the divine light represented by the Deepam with prayers which you have chanted.

The first quality which is very important is adakkam (restraint). The mind that produces thoughts constantly which are the basis of our actions and reactions must be kept under control. This will ensure that our actions are restrained and are in accordance with the spiritual culture which we have inherited over the past 5000 years. This needs education and training for which there are Masters and books. The best source however, is Shruthi meaning ‘through hearing’. What is meant by this word is that we should learn from a Guru and subsequently through meditation when the silent mind shall hear words of wisdom from the very Source.

The next quality of the mind which is necessary is Tyagam. This represents the spirit of sacrifice as opposed to the instinct to persue purely selfish interests. There is no end to the desires of the ego-self and our whole life will be wasted in these efforts which will also lead to disappointments and mental agony in the end. Actions undertaken with a spirit of self-sacrifice will ennoble us and give us a glimpse of the universal soul that resides within all of us.

The next quality is Irakkam which means compassion. It is not merely pity or sympathy. When we see another person suffering, we should feel that suffering as if it is ours and take action to alleviate that suffering, putting aside our own selfish pursuits.

Natpu or friendship is the next quality represented by the lights which you have lighted. No one should be considered our enemy and we should be friendly with everyone.

Finally, the fifth light represents Thondu or spirit of service. Service to others should have priority over service to self. If we develop control over our minds, develop a spirit of self-sacrifice, have compassion towards the suffering persons and have friendship with everyone, we will always be engaged in service to others without much effort. When we are faced with choices in action, we will give priority to Service to others instead of serving our selfish-interest. Living in this manner is the surest way of achieving our true goal in life which is Sat-Chit-Ananda.

Sri Amma appealed to the ladies to organize similar group-poojas in the future and thereby, benefit spiritually. On occasions such as birthdays, Deepavali, Navaratri, Christmas etc., they could commence the celebrations with a Deepa Pooja and explain to the guests its significance and the need to develop the qualities of the mind which are essential for the spiritual growth of the mind. They could perform the pooja with only a minimum number of five ladies around the decorated lamp. At the end of the pooja, they could hold cultural events like classical music & dance, bhajans etc.

The five essential qualities, again:

  1. Adakkam:     Mind under control; cultured, restrained behavior
  2. Thyagam:      Spirit of sacrifice
  3. Irakkam:      Compassionate spirit
  4. Natpu:        Friendship towards all
  5. Thondu:      Spirit of service

Sri Amma’s talk after the  Vilakku Pooja (Oct.24, ’98):

What is ParamPorul’?  We think of it as some life or thing, which is far away and certainly not here.. But, all of us easily understand in our daily life that which is ‘Satyam’ --  truth, reality. I would like to tell you that Satyam is the  Paramporul.

Where does  Param-porul exist? In the temples only or in you or in me? It exists in everything that has the characteristic of satyam.

Next is  Ozhukkam. It is not just our character. It must be in every item of work that we do. Another name for it is Rhythm. It exists in Sangeetham in the nature of an orderly pattern; without it, there is no music, only noise.

Then there is cleanliness. Just taking bath is not being clean. Just keeping the house physically dirt-free is not shudhdham. There is another word for it, which is  thooymai. When it is practised daily, it is called suchi-vratam. In those days, they used to insist on  madi: "don’t touch; I will take bath and come.’ You can say that this concept of  madi also is susi vratham, which leads to thooymai.

Another example of rhythm relates to food. When food is served, we do not first serve curd-rice. There is  thooymai in order. Living in accordance with rhythm/order constitutes susi-vratam. When we plant a seedling, it grows and gives out branches in a particular order and grows into a big tree. If the root is not OK, the tree does not grow well. See how the forest grows into a large group of trees from seedlings scattered naturally. That is rhythm in nature.

When human beings take control of this process, what happens can be either beneficial or harmful to us depending on whether we closely follow Nature’s orderly processes or against the natural rhythm and order. 

The English word rhythm is perhaps derived from the Sanskrit  rutam

By Chintanai is meant our thoughts, with determination that  good should be firmly established. This is called Shiva Sankalpam. Shiva is Mangalakara Swaroopam.. Unfortunately, popular notion associates Shiva with Rudra Swaroopam. When we say ‘nalla chintanai’ it is equivalent to saying Mangalam. See how when we go to the temple and say we do not know our gotram, the pujari will state our gotram as Siva gotram. The Lord says: those who are unable to identify the gotra to which they belong, they all belong to my gotram.

I brought this subject on the occasion of Vilakku poojai because Satyam, Ozhukkam, thooymai, nalla chintanai -  all these four come to us from the vilakku which we have lit.

The individual wicks represent the five qualities which I have already mentioned.  We receive prakasam (illumination) from the light, which comes to us when the wicks burn bright. This illumination from the vilakku does not merely dispel darkness. It comes to us as service, because it enables us to perform the various items of work, which we have undertaken. In one sense, we can say that the light from the lamp makes us render service. So, on every occasion when you light the Vilakku let it remind you of the need to do service and grant you the strength to render self-less service.

In India, we say: do not eat at sandhya-kalam. But here people in America generally have their dinner around 6 p.m. which is near sunset and after we switch on the lights. Is this wrong? No, for this is their rhythm. That is why I said America is bhoga bhoomi, India is yoga bhoomi. In India we learn everything through yoga teachings. Here they do everything through experiential learning.

Light enables us to do our work with clarity. In this context, let me narrate a scenario in a family where simultaneously many items of work arise to be performed and choices have to be made. Here is a house in which there is a pet animal, which is about to deliver. There is a new indoor plant in a pot, which was bought in the nursery but kept outside. It has started raining and you are afraid the water may enter into the garage floor.. The husband is having fever and needs attention. The pujari from the temple has come from the temple with prasadam from the special archanai performed for family. Your son/daughter has come with boy/girl friend and requests you to give good ethnic food. A phone call announces the medical appt. for the husband. There is an envelope recd in the mail, which appears to be from the Incometax. Your friend has come to take you to the Mall as planned previously.. With so many items of work facing you, how will you make the choice for what to do first and thereafter in what order? (There were interesting responses from many ladies; each chose a different item of work to attend to for the first priority place and gave reasons for their choice!)

Will we say: what a bundle of difficulties come all at once? No; we will not also complain about it to others, but start dealing with it, because we have an inner need to attend to the work as part of our family duty. Each of us however will prioritize the items in different ways according to our nature, as you yourselves have seen just now.. But, the essential quality which is needed in us to deal with the work and discharge our responsibility is  adakkam. We should have the skill to avoid tension and have control over the situation. After all, does not the housewife herself have physical tiresomeness? Still, she puts her own needs aside and focuses on doing her duty to others. This is service.

Compassion is the sensitivity to the needs of the pet animal and of the plant in the rain, though they themselves cannot cry out their needs. You do not also expect anything in return from them. Similarly, a spirit of friendship is there in dealing with the friend who has come visiting you and the Gurukkal who has come to your house with the prasadam. The urge in you to attend to all these needs of others is due to the spirit of service, which resides in you as a most noble divine quality.

You should remember this spirit when you see the bright lamp in which you have lit all the five wicks. It is the Panchamukha light that gives you the special strength and quality that enables you to render service even in difficult circumstances.

Pranavam is OM. If one asks where the pranavam is in our body, we can see the OM shape, the OM figure in one organ of our body, namely the ear. See how it is shaped, ending at the bottom in the ear lobe, which is generally pierced when the child is one year old. The point at which the lobe is pierced is the bindu-sthanam. All shakthi emanates from this place. We do not do this piercing merely to enable the wearing of an ear-ornament. At the time of piercing, a drop of blood should fall and that is the bindu. And that becomes the pranavam. The ear which has pranava roopam, enables us to receive the shruthis or divine messages passed on to us from the rishis and after receiving, to cogitate within the mind and absorb the inner meaning as part of the awareness to guide us in all our actions. Pranava has great shakthi and therefore we should constantly hear the shruthis and other sage advice from competent persons. See how the elephant has great ears in the pranava shape and how it is considered as a wise animal -- to such an extent that we revere greatly Vinayaka with an elephant head.

AMMA's speech at Chinmaya-KasI Centre, Anaheim

On Sunday the 25th October 1998, Sri Amma addressed an audience of the Bal Vihar Children and their parents at the Chinmaya Kasi Center in Anaheim, Greater Los Angeles area, California.

After listening to a group of about 25 very young children from Bal Vihar sing Bhajans and other songs, Amma expressed her appreciation of the excellent rendering of the songs and wanted to give them some present. She chose to give them some draakshi (dried grapes) which they could immediately put in their mouth and taste. The children at once put the drakshis in their mouth; there was no need to clean the hands or wipe the mouths! Sri Amma complimented Mrs. Padma Kutty, the teacher, for motivating the children and training them very well.

Continuing her address, Amma emphasized that the responsibility for teaching good habits is upon the parents and the teachers. Before the parents can train their children, however, they should themselves develop good habits. Only when we behave and grow properly will our families benefit. Before the children can imbibe good habits and culture, the parents should themselves learn all that. By good habits, I do not mean merely praying to God; it is also performing every action through out the day in the right way. . When once the children are trained in good habits and learn our culture, the family as a unit becomes excellent. The society consisting of well-trained families becomes good and efficient; along the chain further up, the nation itself benefits, prospers and grows in a healthy disciplined way. That is why we say: Yatha Raja Thatha Praja (As the king, so his subjects).  Similarly, as the parents and teachers, so the children, as the children, so the families as the families, so the community to which they belong, as the community, so the nation and as the nations, so the world. See, what an important role that parents and teachers play in the welfare of the people of this world.

Sometimes we think: this is the only birth of which I have knowledge; let me enjoy it to the full, without any lack. This is how each day passes for most of us. This I call the American thinking. Why care much for tomorrow. Let me be happy today. But if we have to have a goal in life, a higher purpose to achieve, it is only the good habits, which we have learned in our childhood days and nurtured and nourished it during our adulthood that will help us to reach the goal, achieve the purpose.

The habits, which we cultivate when we have grown up, seem to give us pleasure. Ask a smoker or one who takes hard liquor. He will tell you that he enjoys the cigarette/drink and because it gives him immediate pleasure, he is continuing them. Does anyone ever refer to the fact that it might affect his health? No, because the habit has taken control of the person.

We can realize how our habits are of two kinds: those that do good to us which we may call our friends and the others that do harm to us which we may call our enemies. Thus, habits can either make us or mar us.

If we want to do good deeds and succeed in doing them, the first quality which we should develop in us is avoiding hatred towards others. You can’t be engaged in any good work if your heart is filled with dislike or hatred towards others. But how do we acquire this quality? We have to develop this from our childhood days with the assistance of our parents who should teach us: this is OK, this is not OK. In the past, there were grandparents who would help in this task. They would be constantly repeating their advice even if the child did not immediately listen to it and follow it. But when the child grew into an adult, the message dinned into the ears of the child would suddenly be revived and remembered and will have the desired effect. You all must have heard of instances where an adult suddenly says: today, I remembered my parents’/grandparents’ advice when I was a child, acted upon it and it changed my life.

Each one of us is endowed with an apoorva shakthi. We should know about the existence of this Shakthi in us. It is because we are not aware of its existence that we are unable to discriminate and choose between good and bad. We should develop a faith in the existence of this shakthi within us. It is this Shakthi that will enable us to control and direct all our thoughts and actions in the right direction. Once we enlist this shakthi on our side through implicit faith in its existence, our self-confidence will at once increase greatly and we will be able to execute our actions effectively and reach our goals.

Most of us do not manage or utilize our time effectively. Sometimes, I too feel I am also not using my time fully. But somehow, even those who are aware of this non-utilisation of time fully, seem to desire this waste of time, instead of feeling regret and taking action to rectify their conduct. It is this attraction to be lazy in time that should be removed by conscious effort since such waste does not really amount to genuine relaxation between periods of intense activity. I will be happy if you all develop the habit of not wasting time and adopt this policy: Act right; act now, instead of later. As soon as the thought arises in you that this action is worth doing and it is the right action, do not postpone doing it; do it without loss of further time. Who knows whether we will be there to do it tomorrow or not? And even if we are there, where is the certainty that we may change our mind? If you want to give in charity either service or material including money, do it without postponing.

We should try to do every item of work in our daily life in time. The sun rises in the morning at the appointed time. Is it ever late? Natural rhythms also follow a definite pattern of performance within time. So too all other living creatures such as birds and animals. Should not we who are part of nature also follow nature's rhythm  and perform our daily tasks in time? On weekdays when you have to go to work at the appointed time, you wake up early, have your bath, groom yourself well, eat a breakfast in time and leave for your work place and reach it in time. But on weekends, you give up this orderly pattern and grant yourself the luxury of lolling on the bed long after the sun has risen, have your breakfast late even without taking a bath etc., etc. This weakening of the will to maintain a rhythm in daily life and becoming lazy periodically is an indication of a mind that is not under your control. One may be very knowledgeable in scriptures, philosophy etc. But if one’s own mind is not under disciplined control, one cannot benefit from such knowledge.

Ravana’s life story is a good lesson for all of us if only we delve deep into it and find its significance. You just mention his name and immediately the response will be: he was a rakshasa, a bad man who abducted Sita and had to be destroyed by Rama. But we should also remember that he was a vedic scholar, who had done great tapas and obtained boons from the Lord. He ruled his kingdom in Lanka very well and his subjects had no complaint against him. What we should remember is that similarly even though it may appear to us that we are knowledgeable and OK in many respects, we may slip very badly when the mind is not fully under our Dharmic control and then suffer like Ravana. In each one of us, there is a Rama element and a Ravana element. We have to be on constant vigil and make great efforts to see that the Rama-mind in us prevails.

There is an account in Ramayana which many may not be aware of. When Ravana lay severely wounded on the battlefield and was about to breathe his last, Rama sent Lakshmana to Ravana to enquire about him. Lakshmana was naturally puzzled at this instruction; nevertheless, he went to Ravana and stood near his head-side. When Ravana did not look at him, Lakshmana went back . Rama then told Lakshmana to go back and stand near Ravana’s feet and face him. When Lakshmana went back and did as he was told, Ravana opened his eyes and smiled at Lakshmana who then knew that the same individual may be a bundle of both good and bad qualities and suffers for his actions when the negative is predominant.

What are the good habits which we should cultivate in our day to day lives? We can commence the day by getting up early in the morning, taking a walk, doing some exercises or Yoga according to our inclination and ability. Then we should give some training to the mind daily. For this, we should read some good books, which will instruct us on right thinking and right action. This will enable us to think better and become effective doers.

We should think of God and pray first in the morning and last before going to bed. Choose any deity you like –your Ishta devata. Choose any simple prayer, which you can chant correctly. Tell yourself every day: God, you know what is best for me. You will give me what I need and what I deserve to receive. This thought is expressed beautifully in the Tamil poem:

Vendath'thakkadhu arivaai nee 
Venda muzhuvadhum tharuvai nee

Ev]fdtftkfkT `bivayf nI
Ev]fdMZvTmf tRvayf nI

I shall always abide by your decisions and will constantly engage myself in actions according to dharma and will accept all results as prasadams from you, whatever they may be. For, you know best what is good for me and I have complete faith in you. This Bhavam or attitude of mind is the equivalent of Sharanagathi.

We all know how the growing healthy child behaves apparently in an undisciplined way at home. Admit a child in a school and at once you see a change: the child starts behaving more orderly and becomes aware of doing things in a time-frame. The child also starts accepting certain disciplined modes of doing things. What has happened is that the abundant energy of the child has been channeled in constructive and useful ways.

Broadly, we may think of four such channels:

  1. Be attentive ;
  2. Avoid anger and temper tantrums;
  3. Be loving and kind;
  4. Develop the spirit of sharing.

This should be emphasized by the parents at home constantly so that the child remembers them as action-points always. The natural, wild energy of the growing child will then be harnessed to effective purposes by these good habits in daily living. Since the future of the country is in the hands of these children, it is our duty to attend to this task of developing good habits in our children in this manner.

There are many paths that people travel in. It is not necessary that the path should always end in a goal. The path itself could be a way of living. There is a slokam in Chapter VI of Bhagavath Gita for which Adi Shankara has given the meaning.

yuktaahaaravihaarasya yuk{}tacheshhTasya karmasu .
yuktasvapnaavabodhasya yogo bhavati duHkhahaa .. 6\.17..

yuKtaharivharSy yuKtceòSy kmRsu
yuKtSvßavbaexSy yaegae -vit Ê>oha. 6.17.

That food which is suitable to us, we should take it in the proper manner, in proper measure and properly done.
We should do such items of work as are natural to us; if we do everything at the proper time (such as waking up, going to bed), many difficulties will leave us. Living in this manner is itself a Yogam. It is capable of destroying all miseries.

We eat every day in every month. But we should try to exercise some restraint upon ourselves and avoid eating on certain days. On some days, we may not eat dinner. Or, if we cannot avoid completely, at least we should try eating less than normal on certain days in the month. Ayurveda says this practice is good for our health. He who eats only once a day is Yogi; twice is bhogi; he who eats any number of times is a rogi. Hunger itself may be considered as a disease; then food is its medicine. Bharatiyar has said: unavE marundu; marundE uNavu. (Food is medicine; medicine is food). To cure this disease of hunger, as for any other disease, we should take just the right amount of medicine at the right times. We will suffer more if we take too much, too many times. Generally, we have a false notion that we are born to enjoy all pleasures, to eat as many things and as much as we can. This is our false concept of enjoyment and pleasure and is one reason why people are not regular and limited in their eating habits.

If we eat to enjoy, what about those who have nothing or very little to eat. After all, one has to eat to live. How great a pleasure it would be for us if we can give food to those who do not have it? It will be as if we give life itself to them. When we eat too much, more than what is needed, we are inviting sickness and death to come nearer to us. But if we choose to cut down our eating and give food to others, we are driving death away from them. This is a good way of living. Annadanam is therefore considered the greatest gift. The only way we can be really contented and blissful is to make others happy and the simplest way of doing this is thro’ Annadaanam.

In those days, Sidhdhas who lived in forests used to take Pomegranates with honey and a root known as kaattuvaasai. It gave them the needed nourishment and also avoided feelings of hunger for two weeks. Saints like Sankarachariar used to accept and eat pomegranates given by devotees.. It left them free to meditate without interference from pangs of hunger.

When Viswamitra took Princes Rama and Lakshmana to the forest, they ate less but remained active and vigilant. That was due to Mantra Shakthi. Viswamitra taught them the mantras Bala and Athibala. The princes ate real cooked food only when they reached Sabari.

Mother earth seems to bear a lot of burden – the huge mountains, the large oceans, the tumultous rivers, the great, dense forests etc. When the mountains disappear in earthquakes or some large tracts of water too disappear in the cracks of the earth and forests get swallowed up in great conflagrations, the common belief is that ‘Bhu-bharam’ has become too great and hence the calamities. But the real burden which Mother earth suffers is when her people suffer due to hunger and due to being turned away by the affluent persons when approached by the hungry for food and shelter. Poets have felt this in their imagination and written eloquent poems about it. You can include me also as one among those poets.

What do we call a person who is capable of doing work but prefers to stay idle and live as a burden upon others? We call him a lazy person Somberi). Similarly, one who does not work but squanders away the wealth of his ancestors is called a wastrel (Udhavaakkarai). Another person misappropriates money from a close relative or friend and lives on that money without himself exerting to earn an honest penny; we call him a stealer. All these persons do not appreciate the worth/value of honest labor and we call them oodhariis, useless persons. Here is another person who is engaged wholly in earning money; and has no time or inclination to use the money either for himself or for others. We call him a fool who does not know how to live his life and merely accumulates money and wealth.

Even when some rich persons start giving gifts of money either for charity or to others, there is this danger that he starts developing a large ego which affects him adversely. Simultaneously, the ones who approach him for donations also develop a habit of inventing excuses to get money from him and thereby becoming dishonest. This is the power of money. Let us not use money in such a way that we ourselves or others get adversely affected and suffer decline in moral standards. When you feed the hungry , you give life to that person and ennoble yourself also. This is the easy way, best way, humble way, practical way. Anna-daanam, in my view, is the best way. Every other daanam, even if OK, comes after that in greatness and worthiness.

In this context, I remember the famous statement by Ramalinga Adiyaar. He said:  Pashiththiru. In very simple words, he said 'Be hungry'. First, by not over-eating we may become mildly hungry soon, but it is good for health. Never think you know every thing to be known. Then, you will be hungry for knowledge, eager to learn further. When you want to give, never feel you have given enough; there are many more to whom you can give. Give, till it hurts, so the saying goes. Of course, you should not be hungry for bad/evil/adharmic things in life!!

Gopala, the main deity of Shri Krishna, installed in the Mission's  temple (Prayer Hall) 
at 117, Dr. Ranga Road, Mylapore, Chennai – 600 004

(Click on the thumbnail picture for actual size)

Daily prayer suggested to me by Sri Amma:

                                    N A R A Y A N E E Y A M  (Ch.1.1, 100.10 & 100.11)



Devi Stotram

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