(Editor’s Introduction: In this enlightening article, Swami Amritageetananda Puri (one of Amma’s senior disciples) shares how the 2016 New Year’s celebration with Amma inspired him to reflect on how we can deepen our dive into the heart of Amma’s teachings. It all begins with seeing how we can develop our “New Ears…” He describes the profound gifts we receive by imbibing the beauty and depth of the Vedic Scriptures.)
Happy New Year, Happy New Ears
On the night of 31st Dec, Amma’s Darshan continued, there were a few cultural programs and Prayers for Universal Peace. When it was 1 am, we entered into 2016 with Amma’s blessings and New Year message. We wished each other “Happy New Year!” I was thinking what should be our New Year Gift to Amma. A very profound thought came to my mind “Happy New Ears!” At Amritapuri, we had just concluded training camps for sevaks and sevikas to handle AYUDH, IAM Tech and Amrita Yoga classes. A very sacred duty to Amma and to ourselves is the study of our sacred Scriptures.
(“Sevaks” and “sevikas” are volunteers serving Amma’s charitable efforts. AYUDH is Amma’s worldwide youth empowerment program. IAM is Amma’s Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique.)
Amma is not only our Mother but our Guru – Sadguru. She is patiently waiting for us to evolve and finally surrender to Her totally and pray to Her to give us Moksha or Liberation. Our Scriptures say “Having purified the mind through Selfless Actions and Worship, one should approach ones Guru with humility and total surrender. One should sit at the feet of the Guru and get Atma Upadesha – Advice and guidance on how to know ones true nature – the Atma, the Immortal Self, the Pure Chaithanyam.
The methodology is called Shravanam (Listening) Mananam (Reflection) and Nidhidhyasanam (Contemplation). It starts with Shravanam or Listening to the Scriptures Mananam (reflecting deeply the meaning of what one has listened) and Nidhidhyasanam (contemplation – a firm abidance in what one has listened). We, children of Amma will pledge, take an oath that we will use our ears mainly to hear and learn our Scriptures and Amma’s Advices.
“Happy New Ear!”
How much time have been wasted in listening to meaningless and hollow talks, rock music etc! Happy New Ear is meant only for Shravanam, listening to talks on our holy books, and listening to Bhagavad Nama Sankeerthan, devotional songs and music.
In Bhakthi yoga or the Path of Devotion also, the first step towards God is Shravanam.
Shravanam Keerthanam Vishnoh
Archanam Vandanam Dasyam,
Listening (to the stories of Vishnu)
Singing or chanting His holy Name,
Thinking of Him,
Serving His Sacred Feet,
Worshipping Him with flowers etc…
Prostrating Him Constantly,
Developing an “I am His Servant” attitude
Looking upon Him as ones Constant Companion, and lastly
Offering oneself Completely to Him.
These are called Navavida Bhakthi or nine types of Devotion in Bhakthi Sastra. But it starts with Shravanam, Keerthanam – listening to the glories and the Divine Name of the Lord.
The Bhaktha Shastras say that Bhagavan enters our hearts through our ears, i.e listening to the stories of the Lord! But in Amritapuri God enters not only through our ears but our eyes also. When Sage Sukadeva was about to start narrating the Bhagavatham many great Rishis and even Gods came to listen to the narration. So let us Amma’s beloved children also develop the habit of listening to both scriptures, Puranas and Nama Sankeerthanam – nothing else can give us greater joy – Happy New Ear.
As mentioned before, following Amma’s Divine Instructions Swami Amritaswaroopanandaji and his team have prepared a syllabus on our sacred texts. Let Amma’s children listen to the talks, understand them and also share the valuable teachings with other devotees around them.
The Sage Tulsidas says that one whose ears are not used to listen to the glories of the Lord, those two ears are only holes where snakes reside! The mouth which does not chant the holy Name of God is only a frog’s mouth which opens only to swallow insects! Those eyes which refuse to see the enchanting form of the lord are only eyes on peacock feathers! If Tulasidas sees us with our ears constantly covered by our “Mobile phones” what would he would have called us?
From now on, let us use our ears for Shravanam, Keerthanam……..
Amma’s Voice So Clear,
Says, “Why Fear? My children dear,
When I am here!”
Happy New Ear
Our ears get a feast usually on Tuesdays at Amritapuri and in all other places when Amma Herself gives Satsangs. Not only our ears but our eyes also feast in seeing Amma’s form. One whose mind is constantly focused on Amma and has absorbed Her completely do not need the scriptures but this is very very difficult. A very rare individual alone can. Therefore we need the scriptures to know Amma better and ourselves.
A question may arise in the minds of the devotees, “When Amma Herself gives Satsangs, why should Her disciples and devotees also do the same?” The answer is, there are certain things which Amma will not say, and we, Her children have to say that to the devotees. For eg. When we hear Amma’s Satsang being played on Darshan days, we hear that Amma starts Her Satsang with “Makkal ellam ivide ethi – My children have all reached here!” But we, Her children can say “Ammayude Makkal ethenda idathil ethi” Amma’s children have reached your Destination – Amma’s Divine Presence and Amritapuri. Who else but Amma can take us to our Eternal Abode!
To understand well that I cannot know my real nature as Immortal Atma by my self effort alone, but the Sadguru Amma’s Grace alone can, learning the Vedic Teachings Shravanam is necessary. That is why Amma now gives a lot of importance to our learning the Scriptures. Let us realise the importance and give more time to listening and assimilating the Scriptural Teachings. Our ears alone can take us to Eternal Happiness.
HAPPY NEW EARS!
Swami Amritageetananda Puri
(As always, thoughtful comments are invited and appreciated. Share your reflections with us! )