In the past, forests were outside. Now, they have been cleared; the forests are within us. Likewise, beasts, too, lived outside. Now, they, too, have gone inside. Therefore, we should be cleansing the heart, not the face, of all impurities.
Children, Amma is not asking you to renounce anything. When you feel compassion for others, selfishness will fall away naturally. Suppose you smoke cigarettes worth 10 rupees a day; that’s 300 rupees every month. How much would this amount to in a year? Bliss does not lie in the cigarette — it is in us. However, we don’t realise this. In order to realise it, we must purify our hearts. If the heart is to be purified, we must cultivate good qualities. We must have love for God.
With the money a smoker spends yearly on cigarettes, we could build a small hut for a poor person to sleep in peacefully. When we develop compassion for such people, our selfishness will fall away automatically. We don’t renounce anything. On the contrary, we derive contentment from the happiness of others. In this way, when all our selfishness falls away, we become deserving of God’s grace. When we lose our selfishness, noble qualities such as sympathy and compassion manifest themselves. The negative qualities disappear. Children, do not see the faults of others. When we focus on that, we will stop paying attention to the path we are walking. We may fall into a pit.
Some put on ochre robes and take pride in being self-proclaimed sannyasis. Such people are like the marambu plant—if we peel away the layers, we will see that there is nothing below! Ochre is the colour of fire. Only those who have burnt away their body consciousness are fit to don those robes. Sannyasis are sarva-sanga-parityagis—those- who have renounced all connections. Only those who have attained such a state of mind deserve to wear ochre.
Children, is it possible to live in the plan of a house we have drawn? Similar is the case with the scriptures. We must acquire experiential knowledge. A piece of paper on which we have written “sugar” will not taste sweet.
Children, in this world, no one is our own. No one loves another selflessly. Behind human love is a desire for something. Is love for one’s wife real love? If someone else so much as looks at her or talks to her without permission, the husband might doubt his wife’s loyalty and may even be ready to kill her! The one and only reality that holds true for everyone is God. There is no desire involved here, nothing.
Children, cry for God. Don’t grieve instead because of differences with someone or because of something someone said. Children, do not find fault with anyone. Strive to see only the good. God will bless you.
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi