Amma ‘s Time Management – Unique and Yogic Style
Everyone in this world has only 24 hours in a day, be it a VIP of the world or an ordinary person.
In Indian culture, Goddess Kali is worshiped as the embodiment of time and energy. The formless divine principle, which is beyond time and space, has assumed a human form and is living in our midst as our beloved Amma. Like every one of us, she too has only 24 hours in a day. We can learn a lot from Amma, especially in how effectively she utilizes each available moment of the 24 hour day.
Amma’s time management style is unique; we can call it a Yogic or Divine style of time management, or we can also call it AMRITA TIME MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUE – ATMT.
She never wastes a minute; she sleeps and eats very little; she works 20 to 22 hours a day; she never gets tired nor becomes stressed out; she remains energetic always; thousands approach everyday without appointment; she hears problems of everyone with patience and responds to them within minutes and physically hugs them; she reads hundreds of letters everyday; she makes more than a thousand decisions in a day; she plays with the kids; she sings bhajans, performs marriages and other rituals; she advices spiritual seekers; she discusses social problems with government authorities; she manages huge network of institutions; she is always on the move, going around and embracing the world for at least six to eight months in a year; still yet she is always smiling, loving, sharing and inspiring others.
How is Amma able to perform these thousands of tasks in a day without feeling any fatigue? Is it a human possibility or we are witnessing a divine miracle or leela ? What is the secret?
Amma says, “I am always directly connected to the source.” The source is universal energy and consciousness. She often says it is a human possibility to live directly connected to the source. Can we try it?
Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Geetha advises Arjuna, “Work in this World, after firmly getting established in Yoga.” (Yogastha kuru karmani). Yoga means union with universal energy and consciousness.
Through Yoga, if we practice awareness in every action, if we think that “I am eternally connected with universal energy”, if our thoughts, emotions and energies produces a synergy, if we learn the art of attachment and detachment as stated in Geetha, then we can gradually achieve what Amma is demonstrating for us.
The more energy we have, the more joyful we are, the more peaceful we become, and the more good works we can perform in any period of time.
When we look into the cosmos, the whole of nature behaves with a rhythm. The movements of sun, moon, planets and stars follow a rhythm; seasons come and go in a rhythm; flowers blossom, birds respond, animals behave in tune with nature’s beat. Modern human beings are an exception to this cadence, hence we are getting stressed out. There is a regularity to the repeated events in cosmic intelligence.
Amma, the very embodiment of nature, manifests this regularity in her day-today interactions. For the past 40 years, she has maintained a rhythm in her timings. Her dharshan days of the week are known to everyone and fixed; when the dharshan starts is known to people, it is normally around 11AM. Once she starts dharshan, she is available for 12 to 15 hours in a day for the public. While giving dharshan, she discusses many issues relating to people, ashramites, and institutions run by the ashram. She talks to researchers from the colleges, to students, and also plays with kids. Every action she does with complete awareness. During non-Dharshan days, she reads letters, discusses important issues, conducts satsangs, bhajans and meditation sessions.
As Amma’s timings are almost regular and fixed, people can connect with Amma without fail. When the sun shines, all of nature responds. There is a synergy in the movements of sun and earth, so all beings on the earth follow that rhythm. This connectivity between various planets and their influence on us is also called “Yogam” in Indian astrology. This is the essence of Amma’s time management. When we follow a rhythm or schedule in our day-to-day activities, the whole world around us follows us according to that schedule. As we connect to the world, people connect to us. When we value other’s time, people value our time and respond accordingly. This is a simple yet profound secret of time management that nature is teaching us. Amma is demonstrating it to us.
Amma also values other’s time and changes her schedule accordingly. Five or six years ago, parents would wait till the end of Ammas dharshan for the new baby feeding ritual which is personally performed by Amma. This means parents and babies had to wait till 1 AM in the morning. One of the parents wrote Amma a letter about the difficulties of waiting until 1 am and the end of Amma’s Dharshan. When Amma read that letter she immediately rescheduled the feeding ritual to 5PM in the evening. This means at that particular time Amma stops her Dharshan and performs the ritual. The flexibility displayed by Amma and the concern and value Amma gives for other’s time is something unique, an important lesson for all of us in time management. We could call it compassionate time management.
During Amma’s Satsang, after Amma’s speech in Malayalam, there is a translation into English. Amma uses the time gap for fabric painting. Amma spends every minute of her life for others. She never wastes a single minute. Her compassion and concern for others reflects in her time management. She never tolerates wasting time, energy or nature’s resources.
Four principles of time management we can learn from Amma as discussed in this article are:
- Every moment – Get connected to universal energy and consciousness through yoga , meditation or japa while working. (Yogasthu kuru karmani- Geetha 2/48)
- When you follow a rhythm (maintain a regular schedule), the world around you responds according to your time. (Yogam – Indian Astrology)
- Spend every minute of your life for others or for self-learning without attachment. So do not waste time.
- Have concern for other’s time. Value other’s time with compassion and oneness.
A Yogi who is intelligent in eating, sleeping, working, and in his movements, never comes to grief. (Bhagavad Geetha- 6/17) If we use six hours of our time everyday for sleep and ablutions, then we are left with 18 hours every day to work for others or for self-learning.
Amma values everything as the manifestation of universal consciousness or God. Time is precious and eternal for Amma because she is very embodiment of time – Goddess Kali. Events evolve within her; events get sustained in her; events disappear into her. She remains to us the Universal Mother of Love in human form. Let us invoke her blessings by being sensible to Time.