Questioner: Are God and the human soul different. Or is man himself God? Is it true that the maturity of the human mind is Divinity?
Amma: If you ask, ‘What is true and what false?’ I say all that appears is true. We are using the name ‘God’. For whom? For what kind of a being? We don’t know what He is like. We don’t know the meaning of that word ‘God’. ‘God’ means what? Truth, Reality (Asalu). What is Reality? ‘What is’ is God.
In answer to your question, I say that man, you, I-all that appears is God. We hear it said that God is formless and invisible.
‘God’ means ‘Reality’. What is Reality? All that is seen as objects, water, air, fire, light isn’t this Reality? They say, ‘For these objects to have come into being, and to have become so many, there must have been some cause’. Did the forms come through God, or are the forms themselves God? All that appears is God. Shave not seen a form that differs and is separate from all this which appears. Creation (srishti) is God. There is nothing other than this entire creation.
Creation is that which has become many.
Questioner: Is human life the highest form of existence in creation?
Amma: I don’t think that human life is the highest. It doesn’t occur to my mind that one is higher and another lower. Is everything created for man’s sake alone?
Man thinks, birds too have thoughts. If birds had no minds, how could they build their nests? Some birds can even be taught to talk. In that case, what do you mean by ‘highest’? Is it in intelligence?
They too have intelligence, but we dot understand their knowledge. May be no snake could invent television; may be no bird could invent an engine; but if you look at it in that way, has mankind collectively invented anything? Birds and animals have their own ways of doing things. They can easily do some things that no man can. Can we fly as birds do? Even a fellow considered ignorant thinks of many things a highly educated man may not have such thoughts. I don’t think that one thing in this creation is greater than another. That is the miracle (mahatmya) of creation. It doesn’t seem to me that the miraculous is elsewhere. All these are in creation itself. Only if you, I and everything is included, is it creation.
Questioner: In some Hindu temples we see nothing but commerce.
Amma: What you say is true of course. But when everything is regarded as God, there’s no problem. The idol the surroundings and the temple walls are all made of the same stone. Do we pay homage to the stone, to the colors or to the artist? No. On seeing the idol we pay homage to the story it represents. If it holds a lute, we think it is Sarasvati (Goddess of Arts); if it stands in a lotus Flower, we think it is Lakshmi (Goddess of Fortune). We respect sanctity (madi), custom (achara) and culture (samnskara). We are unable to disregard all these and appoint anyone a priest, can we?
Questioner: What is sanctity?
Amma: Limits. Deciding to be like this on this occasion being pure and making the mind pure. A bath gives some pleasure as well, and eating is necessary for the body. Bathing, sanctification, and so forth are for the mind. ‘Sanctity’ means ‘the particular limits observed on this or that occasion’. Some consider that a flower, which has come from the ground, is unfit for worship if it is dropped on the ground. In creation there is nothing but That. `What is’ is That alone. In truth, you know, the image in the temple is the stone on which the sculptor sat while chiseling it.
Questioner: In our country one must give bribes to advance even one stepforward. When will the country improve?
Amma: Perhaps it was always so. We have never been without problems. At any moment what is being undergone always seems particularly serious. Each age has the problems appropriate to its times stupid customs in one period, slavery in a second, epidemics in a third, famine in a fourth, floods during a fifth there is always some problem or the other. People are never contented, happy and smiling. We often mention those early times when Rama reigned; but even those days had their characteristic problems. All of us are bribing, giving and taking, so there is no need for any special mention.
These problems, in varying proportions, are always with us.
Questioner: Man preys on man in our present day society, like snakes eat frogs, and the government simply keeps quiet.
Amma: Only if all of us join together is there a government. We ourselves elected them to govern. Their minds won’t change simply because leadership is bestowed on them.
Questioner: But they should be worthy of their leadership.
Amma: No. I say we should retain their leadership. How can they know the little works we perpetrate? The cook should manage to cook without wasting materials, the server should serve without omissions and the eater should eat without throwing food away. You judge another according to your point of view. Someone may leave some food on his plate. It may not have been to his taste. Was it a defect in the cooking, in the service, or in his attitude? Each one onus thinks in a different way. The same applies to governments also.
Questioner: Why don’t the rains come when they should? The sun blazes and the hot winds blow. Why is it like this?
Amma: There are proper times not only for the seasons, but for man also. Why can’t man follow his dharmas (moral principles)? It is so for nature also. Even we are parts of creation, just as the seasons are. As with us, so with them. Even we cannot proceed according to our dharmas. The intention is there, but it does not become possible.
Questioner: You feed so many every day. What maintains this? Do you have any property or special powers?
Amma: Property? None here. I feel that all of you are my property. Children are the mother’s property, aren’t they? Everybody gives whatever he thinks he can. Everything is going on without lapses. Aren’t you feeding your children? You don’t get children exactly in proportion to your capacity to provide for them, do you? It is your duty (dharma) to bring up your children somehow or the other. That for your part, this for mine.