Swami Amritageetananda Puri tells new students that Amrita University is perhaps the only university in the world where the students can meet the Chancellor in person and discuss their problems! The Chancellor of Amrita University is, of course, Amma.
Since not all students are devotees, Swami Amritageetananda explains why we regard and worship a human being–we mean Amma–as Jagadamba (the Divine Mother) in an unassuming human form.
The Teachings are Offered
I told some students of an experience I had many years ago visiting a home in North India. The host was an elderly person who had a twenty-year-old skeptic son. The young man asked me why we would worship a human being. Very bluntly, I told him that we are worshiping God in human form.
The young man showed me his room, which had life-sized photos of the famous pop singer Michael Jackson. Now it was my turn to ask him, “Why do you worship a human being!” Most of us, one way or another, practice ‘aradhanapurushan’ or ‘hero worship’. Whether a film star, a cricketer, or any famous person, we want to be like him. In the case of our young friend, Michael Jackson was his hero and role model. He wanted to be a pop singer like him. So too, we worship Amma and run to Her without brakes because She is the very embodiment of everything all of us really want: Infinite Joy, Infinite Love and Infinite Freedom. This is what we get by worshiping Amma!
The Teachings are Then Practiced
If you want to learn to ride a bicycle, anyone can teach you. To ride a motorcycle, you go to a more experienced person, and so too with a car. And if you want to learn to fly, you’d better get a good flight instructor. The more advanced the skill, the more qualified the teacher has to be. The most complicated and sophisticated vehicle is the human mind. It’s like some crazy car that can go a 1,000 miles an hour without a steering wheel or brakes. This is the human mind! And the teacher who shows us how to fly this machine is the Guru–our Amma!
I may have a violin, but does that mean I know how to play it? I also have a mind, but do I know how to use that? Happily, I have the right teacher.
The Teachings are Finally Realized
Everyone wants continuous, unbroken happiness. This is the Amrita that only a spiritual master like Amma can reveal to us.
The beauty of the Creation lies in its variety. Countless species of living beings and countless beautiful forms come from the One Supreme Being and in time merge back into it. The entire universe is one cosmic family. This is the true Universal Knowledge, the ‘Viswa Vidya’. University is for knowing this unity in Diversity. The entire universe is the Amrita University.
And where can this be known? It has to be known in one’s own heart. The most important knowledge to be gained is: Who am I and what is this Creation that I see around me and my relation to it? This inquiry, guided by my Guru, takes me deep within myself where I discover the ultimate cause of myself and of Creation. Such is the firm abidance in true knowledge.