Sad Vani | Teachings of Anandamayi Ma 5



You often declare that the ego is the root of all evil; in actual fact however, this is not so. The sense of "I" implies will-power and self-exertion. While the ego is the cause of birth and death, it also helps towards liberation.

The development of the ego and of the spirit of independence has made the individual feel cut off from God. To uproot this sense of separateness, the use of will­power is indispensable.

The man who has merged his ego in the Divine or surrendered it completely to God Almighty, the Lord of the universe, may depend on the working of Providence; but a person with a strong sense of self-reliance, who feels that he is the doer, must exert himself in everything he under­takes.

So long as intelligence rules man's life, it means that the ego still exists and that he is responsible for his actions and their results.

Resign yourself entirely to Him or else be intensely absorbed in Self-inquiry. Although karma may still have to be worked out, by and by the perplexities and problems of the ego will diminish and finally fade away.


Although God is ever present within as well as without, it is necessary to keep His remembrance awake in all one's thoughts and actions. For the tendencies (saṁskāras) acquired in countless former births bind man with such force that the Quest of God does not come to him easily.

Nevertheless, even wet wood is dried by the heat of fire and finally absorbed by it. Similarly will one's interest in the objects of sense dwindle more and more by the power of intense contemplation of God, until a glimpse of Him who is All-Bliss gladdens the heart.

Thus, along with your worldly pursuits, always try to give at least some thought to Him.

I do not ask anyone to leave his family in order to meditate in the jungles. What this body requests of you all is to live your family life according to dharma. Just as a treasury without treasure has no value, equally worthless is human life devoid of religion.


"What is destined to happen, will happen", is a perfectly true saying. If you look back on your own life and on the lives, of others, you will come to realize how little man himself can do to shape events and how most things depend on the inscrutable law of a hidden power.

The universe runs its course in a perfect way according to the Will of the Supreme Father of all. Therefore your maxim of life should be to welcome whatever circumstances God provides for you.

The firmer you become established in this spirit, the more complete will be your resignation in God's Will; and by your devotion and faith in the Divine Power the scales will fall from your eyes.


To say that all action is prompted by God's Will sounds very beautiful; but in actual fact we do most of our work ultimately for sense gratification. This is why success makes us so happy and failure depresses us.

A man who is employed by another is not so very concerned whether there is profit or loss as a result of his work. If everything is done exclusively as God's service, one simply attends to one's duty without giving a thought to its outcome once it is over.

Keeping His remem­brance alive from the beginning to the end of each task, dedicate all action to the Supreme Being and you will be free from care and anxiety.


The Great Mother, Mahāmāyā, is the origin of Creation. When the desire arose in Her to play the game of life She divided Herself into two, namely Ma and Maya and entered the stage of the world, concealing Herself in the many forms of Maya.

When, hard beaten by the blows of fate, a human being awakens to real intuition, he feels the Presence of the Mother behind the fleeting appearances and sets out in search of Her.

Blessed by Her grace, his efforts are crowned with success as he realizes Her as the Prime Cause of all creation, Mahāmāyā.

But this is not the end: experiencing Her as all-pervading, he becomes merged in Her and loses himself in the ocean of Satchidānanda, Divine Being - Consciousness-Bliss.

Thus he comes to see that, what is called moha or māyā in the world, is named Mahāmāyā, the Great Mother, on the spiritual path; although their func­tions are different in manifestation, essentially the two are one.

Play the game of the world and you will be captivated by its delights, unwilling to let them go; or, if you take to the spiritual path you will find Supreme Bliss.

However, earthly joys are transitory whereas Divine Bliss is eternal. Both have their place: the Stage Manager of the world drama provides for each one what he needs at any particular setting, so that he may gradually be led to his final Goal where will be dispelled the error of the duality of mohamāyā, the great illusion, and Mahāmāyā, the Great Mother of the Universe.


For how many more days can you live by external light, like that of sun and moon?

When your eyes fail, when your body becomes feeble with age and your intellect clouded, you will be left to grope in utter darkness. Set to work while there is yet time and try to kindle the inner light.

In the hearth of the mind ignite the fire of Self-inquiry or the fire of God's Name; fan it into a blazing flame by associating with the Holy and Wise, by prayer and meditation.

Little by little this light will grow bright and steady and illumine you both inwardly and outwardly; thereby the path to Self-realization will be made easy.


To be active in some cause is called to work; and the work that is incumbent on any particular person is called his duty, it is important to think out carefully what exactly is each one's duty.

For the householder and the housewife it is to look after their home and family.

But if a man feels with over­whelming force that he should leave worldly life in order to devote himself entirely to the Supreme Quest, then this becomes his undeniable duty.

Consequently there is no ab­solute standard that can be applied to one and all; each one's duty is determined by circum­stances, time, place and the nature of his purpose in life.

That the contemplation of God is the first and foremost duty of every human being has been forgotten by the majority of people.

In ancient Hindu society man's life was regulated by division into four āśramas (phases):

Brahmacharya, the life of a student with the essential condition of conserving the life-force for the sake of ultimate Self-realization; Gṛihastya, the stage of the householder with its various duties to society; Vānaprastha retirement into solitude for the sake of divine contemplation; Sannyāsa, complete renunciation.

But at the present time only the householder's āśrama is still in force. Therefore the opportunities that people used to have of preparing themselves for the highest Goal by worldly experiences as well as by renunciation are not available any­more.

Pleasures and enjoyment are sought from beginning to end and the majority of men spend their whole life in worldly pursuits. This is why nowadays far too little thought is given to questions such as: What is the purpose of life? What is this world and what the next?


In the world people become rich by adding zeros to "one”: and on the spiritual path the aspirant concentrates on "one" alone in order to attain to the One Truth. Thus it is obvious that these two paths lead in entirely opposite directions.

It will be worthwhile to ponder seriously over the fact that without the "one" the zeros have no value what­ever. Therefore one should with complete faith and reliance on the One ever strive after the One Goal so that there may be no dread of poverty under any circumstances.


The efforts prompted by one's true nature (svabhāva) that are made in order to discover one's own real wealth (svadhana) are called sādhana.

Potentially every action is a sādhana, every individual a sadhaka and God, being man's real treasure, is the sole purpose of all sādhana.

So long as man is worldly, he per­forms his sādhana by work done from personal motives for the sake of material success; yet, unconsciously he is even thereby seeking God, for nothing is outside of the ONE. Whatever anybody does is in the last analysis undertaken in order to attain to the Supreme; this is self-evident.

The sādhana of the mundane person is directed towards the satisfaction of his wants. Here the sense of possession prevails, and outer activity and enjoyment are the objective.

There will be a powerful incentive for this kind of sādhana so long as man is harassed by the lash of pain and misery, humiliation, disgrace, grief and affliction.

In a way this sādhana also is prompted by man's true nature, for not until one has acutely felt the sting of ceaseless wanting, does one awaken to the urgency of discovering the Self.

When a person grows eager to become established in his true being, to find his real treasure, this marks the begin­ning of spiritual sādhana and he learns to act without desire or personal motive. Thereby is laid the foundation for detachment, renuncia­tion and all-embracing love.

Young and immature people desire what others possess and hanker after petty enjoyments. When as a result of religious practices and good works, man in the midst of prosperity is reminded of his real treasure, he starts labour­ing vigorously for its recovery. The more he exerts himself in this activity of his true nature, the fuller will be the knowledge he gains of his inner wealth.

When fire breaks out in a house, it will not die down until everything combustible has been burnt to ashes. Similarly, once real sādhana has begun, it is impossible to drop it; on the contrary, it will gather impetus and intensity day by day and push the aspirant into the swift current of his own particular path to Enlightenment.

First of all the sadhaka ceases to identify himself with his body and mind; then his cravings and desires are dissolved to the last trace; thereupon the consciousness of complete equality will be born; and finally the Self which transcends mind and body will be realized by direct experience. This is the ultimate goal of all sādhana. Single-minded­ness is its very life; faith, trust and patience constitute its powers.


Without observing the injunctions of the Śāstras it will be difficult to achieve purification of the mind (cittaśuddhi).

There is a saying that the house built on the rock of śāstric observances cannot be demolished. It is important to follow as far as possible the rules of good conduct laid down in the Śāstras and to be particular about outer and inner cleanliness and purity.

In order to be received into the presence of a king one has to submit to any number of rules and regula­tions. How much more urgent is the necessity for purity and meticulous care when one goes to visit a Deity in a temple or wants to contemplate the Divine.


A man who is well established in his true nature, who, in other words, knows Himself, who is indifferent to pleasure and pain since he is ever steeped in the bliss of the Eternal, Is called a sādhu.

Filled with universal love, he is free from cares and worries, munificent, of childlike simplicity and contentment. The very sight of such a great person sponta­neously suffuses one's whole being with a heavenly joy, and his proximity evokes divine thoughts and aspirations.

Just as water cleanses everything by its mere contact, even so the sight, touch, blessing, nay the very remembrance of a real sādhu little by little clears away all impure desires and longings.

Union with God is the one and only union man should seek. Sādhus or saints have had communion with God and hence there is a saving grace in their presence.

Like attracts like, for this reason, in our times, the company of the Holy and Wise — satsang — offers the most potent aid and inspiration to the earnest seeker.

Saints may be compared to trees: they always point upwards, and grant shade and shelter to all. They are free from likes and dislikes and whoever seeks refuge in them wholeheartedly, will find peace and fulfilment.

When the burning desire to know Truth or Reality awakens in man, he has the good fortune of meeting a Saint or Sage.

The Holy and Wise must be approached with a pure heart and a steady mind, with genuine faith and reverence. Much greater benefit will be derived by sitting still and meditating in their presence than by discussing or arguing.

The behaviour of saints is not to be copied by ordinary people. But one should endeavour to carry out in one's life the teaching or advice received from them: Otherwise it would be like sowing any number of seeds without allowing a single one to grow into a plant; this would indeed be a matter of deep regret.


The Way to Release from Bondage:

1. Work and Prayer: The performance of meritorious acts and good works in harmony with the laws of nature, with an eye to the real welfare of one's body and mind and the world at large. Keeping God's name in one's heart and mind and on one's lips with the help of japa, prayer, the study of sacred scriptures and discourses on eternal truths.

2. Spiritual Experience: The search after Truth through meditation with undivided concentration.

3.  The State of Pure Being: Personal effort and identification with body and mind have come to an end. There is beatitude, complete equanimity, realization of the oneness of all. Man has become established in the fulness of Truth.


On the ektāra one can play only one note, on the harmonium the whole scale of seven. The average person enjoys hearing the harmonium, but to the ear of the contem­plative the single note of the ektāra sounds sweet, for are not the seven but a dividing up of the one note?

Endeavour to let your body be like an ektāra; on the string of your mind play unceasingly only the one song: "Jai Jagadīsha Hare! (Hail to Thee, Great Lord of the World!)"- If you go on doing this you will come to love singing the praises of God and cease to derive pleasure from anything else.


Just as the water of a lake cannot remain smooth while a breeze is blowing, so the mind can never become still so long as thoughts arise.

With great determination try to drive away all thought and become calm and serene. At intervals take recourse to silence for set periods of time; this will considerably increase your power of concen­tration.

Whenever you find worldly thoughts agitating your mind, resolutely try to chase them away by every possible device.

Just as with the help of ingenious machinery, extensive canals and marshes can be drained of all water, even so the well of desires and longings will finally be emptied through sustained and single-minded practice.


Sugar solution can be purified by boiling it with a few drops of milk; similarly can saṁskāras, the impurities that cloud cons­ciousness, be removed by the contemplation of God.

Worldly people as a rule take to religious practices only at an advanced age and soon grew weary and lack in energy.

This is why men and women should be taught from early childhood to make God and the search after Truth the center of their lives so that they may not in their old age have to cry out piteously:     

"Eventide has come, my life is ebbing away. O Lord, have mercy upon me and take me across!"

For the maintenance of the body one has to earn money and collect goods; it is tight to remember at all times that it is of even greater importance to cultivate and develop one's inner wealth.


Self-restraint is necessary for every human being.

First of all one must practise self-discipline with a view to mastering the body as far as may be. When, with the help of various rules and regulations the body is trained to obey, the mind also gradually realizes the necessity of thought control. Then the proper thing to do is to combine the practice of physical and mental discipline.

Once body and mind have been brought under control, the desire to know one's Self is kindled spontaneously. If one does not remain lukewarm but gives one's heart and soul to the Supreme Quest, the discovery of the Self becomes easy.

So long as one is conscious of the body it is impossible to achieve anything without action.

It is imperative ever to keep in mind that unless one is strict with oneself as a miser who amasses wealth or as a bee that collects honey, one cannot make headway on the spiritual path.


Listen! Do not let your time pass idly. Either keep a rosary with you and do japa; or if this does not suit you, at least go on repeating the name of the Lord regularly and without interruption like the ticking of a clock.

There are no rules or restrictions in this: invoke Him by the name that appeals to you most, for as much time as you can, the longer the better.

Even if you get tired or lose interest, administer the Name to yourself like a medicine that has to be taken.

In this way you will at some auspicious moment discover the rosary of the mind; and then you will continually hear within yourself the praises of the great Master, the Lord of Creation, like the never ceasing music of the boundless ocean; you will hear the land and the sea, the air and the heavens reverberate with the song of His glory. This is called the all-pervading pre­sence of His Name.

The world consists of Name and Form: the Name is its beginning and the Name is its end. When the aspirant achieves perfec­tion by concentrating on the Name, he loses himself in It. The world ceases to exist for him and his ego disappears. What then is, and what is not? Although some may realize this, it can never be expressed in words.