‘Amma’s candle’—this topic has been discussed by many of our Ashramites and devotees for the past three or four months. I have seen it on our websites and thought I would also write something about it.
Amma was born on Karthika star day, and Karthika is connected with light—the Karthika Deepam [the festival of lights from the India state of Tamil Nadu]. In fact, the lives of all Avatars, Sadgurus and Mahatmas are like a candle. They spread the light of knowledge, peace and bliss around them and melt away.
From one candle flame, thousands of other candles can be lit. Yet, the flame of the first candle remains the same- its heat and light not decreasing! The Upanishad says about this Supreme Truth,
“Poornasya poornam aadaaya / Poornam eva avasishyate.” (When the whole is taken away from the whole, the whole still remains.)
Unlike money and other material things that decrease when given away or shared with others, knowledge remains with us the same when we share it with others.
Amma gives completely what She has—Her nature of Knowledge and Bliss—and makes us complete and infinite like Her. Like the candle that just gives light, so, too, Sadgurus like Amma just give and give—without ever asking for anything.
Along with the candle, Amma gives another example. She compares Mahatmas’ lives to a scented stick—an agarbatti—which gives out fragrance to the surroundings and burns away. Such is the life of a Mahatma, a Sadguru like Amma—a role model benefitting the entire humanity.
But, unfortunately, there is another set of people who also burn away, like cigarettes and bidis [an Indian cigarette]—a nuisance to others. Unlike Mahatmas who perform actions selflessly, this group of people is constantly engaged in activities arising out of selfishness, hatred, anger and vengeance—to destroy others.
Shumbhan and Nishumbhan, two powerful demon brothers, belonged to this category. But we say that there is a third demon more powerful—Kushumban—crookedness born out of jealousy. Shumbhan and Nishumbhan were killed by Durgadevi in the Devi Mahatmyam. Kushumban is more difficult to be killed!
(The demons Shumbhan and Nishumbhan represent different aspects of pride and arrogance.)
Kushumbans are those people who, totally incapable of improving themselves through devotion and selfless work, try to pull down others by their crookedness and cunningness. Amma’s great devotee and Bhagavatam Acharya (teacher and learned person who offers discourses on Lord Krishna) once said in the 1990s, “There are two diseases which cannot be cured: Kashandi and Kannukadi (baldness and jealousy in Malayalam).”
In the 1980s, Amritapuri was not seen even on the map of Kollam District. But today, under Amma’s Divine loving arms, Amritapuri has expanded so much that it can be easily spotted on the world map! And this is causing a lot of agitation to these unfortunate Kushumbans. In the Bhagavad Gita, Bhagavan Krishna calls this negative quality Asooya—fault finding. Sankaracharya says, “Guneshu dosha drishti” (seeing only bad even in the good)!
Amma’s Light is the Light of Pure Consciousness—it is Her Light alone which makes the sun, the moon and the stars and all of us (including, of course, the Kushumbans) shine! Even a gale cannot blow out Amma’s candle!
Let us, children of Amma, wake up. Let us pray to Amma to make each one of us Amma’s candles, and light up our hearts and our lives. Let us spread Amma’s Light over the entire world.
Amma’s candles—Her Love, Grace and Blessings, Her humanitarian activities and we, Her blessed children—are a reality.
Author: Swami Amritageetananda Puri
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