Messages From Amma - Janine Canan
"Spiritual practice doesn't mean sitting in lotus position with your eyes closed, but also serving the suffering, offering a consoling smile and loving words." --Ammachi

For the past 30 years, Amma has dedicated her life to the uplifting of suffering humanity through the simplest of gestures - an embrace. In this intimate manner Amma had blessed and consoled more than 21 million people throughout the world. Over time, Amma's popularity has risen to the point where in India she has been known to individually hug over 18,000 people in one day, sitting sometimes for over 20 hours. She travels all around the world to receive all her children around the globe.

When asked, Amma says that her religion is love and service. Ever since she was a young girl, she would meditate and sing beautiful songs to the Lord, often slipping into God-intoxicated states. Because she was born with dark skin and acted "un-childlike" with her intense spiritual devotion, she was viewed by her parents as inferior to other children. Some villagers called her "crazy girl". She served the elderly, the poor and sick neighbors with love and care. Her parents were horrified to see her mingle with untouchables and forbade her to give away any more of their food, but she continued to do so despite their punishments.

As an adult, Amma has inspired innumerable humanitarian activities all over the world. Some of these outreaches include free food and clothing programs, charitable hospitals, hospices, disaster relief programs, free homes for the poor and the needy, medical camps, orphanages, schools, educational institutions, free legal advice, preservation of nature and so on. The list is long and growing everyday, and in 2002, Amma was awarded the Gandhi-King Award for Non-violence.

In 1990, psychiatrist Dr. Janine Canan met with Amma and, with Amma's blessing, began collecting quotations from Amma's public talks, personal dialogues and songs. Messages from Amma: In the Language of the Heart is the result of Dr. Canan's compilation and translation, and features the beautiful, inspiring, and healing words of this living saint. Photos of Amma are also shown throughout this 176-page book.

Here are some selected quotes from Messages From Amma:

Nurturing Energy

Man egotistically claims
he can push a button
and burn the world to ash
when he doesn't understand
the power that moves his own finger.
We must return to the world
the nurturing energy of the feminine.

Never Blame

If you fall into a hole,
you don't poke out your eyes
because they have failed you.
Why not tolerate other's faults as well?
When you hurt your hand
you don't reproach it,
you apply medicine and nurse it with care.
So too should we care for others
never blaming them for their faults.

Beloved Deity

Meditating on a divine form will help you
develop concentration and mental purity.
The pure aspect of your beloved divinity
will grow within you without your realizing it.
Love for a formless God rarely develops
as easily as for a God you can visualize.
Following the path of knowledge without love
and devotion is like eating stones.
Formless all-powerful God readily assumes a form
for the sake of the devotee.
With complete faith and confidence
in your beloved deity, you will reach the goal.

I found this 176-paged book uplifting, comforting, and profoundly insightful. If you enjoy meditative quotes, spiritual poems, and wise sayings, you'll enjoy Messages from Amma: In the Language of the Heart.

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Content copyright © by Janet Boyer. All rights reserved. This review was written by Janet Boyer. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission.