Amma, an Extraordinary Example
of Compassion in Action
“In India, at least 20 percent of the thousands of people who come to see me each day are teetering on the edge of destitution and suicide. Seeing the sadness on the face of a woman who recently came to see me, I asked her what was wrong. She said she suffered from chronic kidney failure. After her diagnosis, her husband had left her, leaving her with their two children. Without any education or job, she had to borrow money from loan sharks, who were now harassing her. She said, “Amma, to survive, I’m supposed to undergo 10 weekly dialysis sessions. I can’t even dream of that kind of money. So, I have no choice but to skip some.”
My eyes filled with tears. I told her not to worry — that our hospital would take care of her medical needs and that the ashram would help educate her children. Hearing this, she burst into tears. She then confessed that she had been so hopeless that she had planned to poison her children and commit suicide. “I’d even written the suicide note.
What would have happened if I had not enquired about her life? There are thousands of such families. To see and help them, we just need eyes and a heart that feels.
There will always be rich and poor. However, currently the gap between the haves and have-nots transcends all bounds. It is like a mountain on one side and an abyss on the other. Unless we reduce this gap, it could result in unrest, even violence. We need to build a bridge of compassion.
We need to cultivate an outlook that appreciates the essential oneness of all beings. Although we may see 1,000 suns reflected in 1,000 pots of water, there is only one sun. When we see the consciousness within all of us as one, we will develop an outlook that considers the needs of others before our own desires for luxury.” Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi