Sad Vani | Teachings of Anandamayi Ma 6



If you say, "Nothing at all exists," it is so; yet if you say, "everything exists", it is also correct.

Do you not see, some declare the world to be an illusion, while others maintain that it is real. Many deny the existence of deities and angels, others are firmly convinced of it, since, if one prays to them fervently enough, one can have visions of them and also hear their voices.

Children look upon their clay and rubber dolls as living beings, but when they grow older they understand that they had been mistaken.

Thus it can be seen that every­one's faith or disbelief in things is deter­mined by the power and intensity of his ideas at any particular time. When genuine one-pointed devotion grows stronger and stronger, it does happen that aspirants in accordance with their conditioning and keen desire receive undeniable visions of deities and also hear their voices.

However, for the serious contemplative, such experiences are nothing more than periodical feasts for the mind.

As one advances on the spiritual path and loses oneself more and more in an unbroken stream of divine contemplation, various partial realizations and visions do occur. Although they may be helpful, they must never be confused with the ultimate Goal.

Water evaporates, rises up into the air and forms into clouds; but the cloud fulfils its calling only when it condenses into raindrops and refreshes the thirsty earth. Likewise, sādhana does not reach its consummation unless one has been merged in Supreme Being and attained to Perfection.


Do you want deliverance from the bonds of the world? Then, weeping profusely, you will have to cry out from the bottom of your heart: "Deliver me, great Mother of the World, deliver me!"

To obtain Her grace you will have to shed tears much more abundantly than when you desire things of the world.

When by the flood of your tears the inner and the outer have fused into one, you will find Her, whom you sought with such anguish, nearer than the nearest, the very breath of life, the very core of every heart.


Offering thanks to the Almighty, singing His praises, heartfelt prayers are all excellent. With the help of these the mind is purified and becomes serene; one develops faith in God and may have glimpses of Truth. Yet, since these practices still belong to the realm of the ever-changing, meditation and con­templation are necessary along with them.

One must dive deep and get immersed in the depths; merely scraping the surface and roaming here and there is simply a waste of energy and will not promote one's growth.

The tendencies (saṁskāras) acquired in many former births, have like a banyan-tree struck their roots in all directions of your nature. In order to eradicate them, a sharp axe wilt has to be applied both inwardly and out­wardly.

Every day, for as long as you can, try to withdraw your senses from all outer objects and let them repose within.


In order to awaken a religious spirit in your family, it is not enough that you yourself should lead a dedicated life. It is necessary to teach them as well to be devoted to God. This will also help you considerably in your own sādhana.

With this purpose in view you should arrange for all the members of your household to assemble every evening at a convenient hour and sing kīrtana or other devotional music, have dis­cussions on religion topics or read from sacred texts.

Those who seek refuge in God gradually reduce their attachment and sense of possession and are able to stand undaunted in adversity and danger.


You say you want to be free from the ties of this world. But actually it can be seen that, like a kite that is held by a string or like an aeroplane driven by a pilot, you are unable to remain without support or guidance of some sort.

If you want to be liberated, you must be like a bird that has broken its chain and, without a thought of food or shelter, fearlessly soars up into the sky.


Ānanda — Divine Bliss, Parama puruṣa — the Supreme Being, and Ātmā — the Self, are different conceptions of one and the same THING.

Do you know what genuine Ānanda is? That which depends on nothing but the One, which is self-luminous, perfect in itself, true and eternal.

You derive happi­ness from what you take in through the senses, but that happiness is elusive and fleeting and this is why you endlessly pursue one material object after another.

With determination and perseverance dedicate yourself to the search of Him who is the source of all delight. Refuse to be satisfied with anything but His divine sweetness and you will not be a slave to the senses, to passions, you will not, like a beggar have to go from door to door.


The mere performance of rituals with pomp and splendour does not constitute real sādhana. It is important to bear in mind that practices, carried out thoughtlessly and without deep feeling are not helpful to true spirituality.

Tapasyā means to endure the fire of purgation. If you cannot bear much more even than the threefold suffering (tritāpa), it means that you are not engaged in tapasyā.

All the senses and passions must be brought under complete control. So long as there is even a slight imperfection in you, it will be difficult to obtain the vision of the All-Perfect One.

Try to fix as your goal Him who by a mere gesture upholds the entire universe; and the thirst for sense enjoyment will disappear of itself.


Standing on the seashore at Cape Comorin, one can watch wave after wave rise, dash against the rocks and break, merging into infinity — nobody knows where.

This world may also be likened to a vast ocean. How many myriads of beings are born and die at every moment and where they go when disappearing from our sight is beyond the grasp of human intelligence.

This constant flux in nature illustrates the fact that, in reality, birth and death do not exist. There is only One Supreme Being That manifests Itself in countless forms, in numberless modes of life.

Learn to see the beauty in the laws of nature, to appreciate their impartial justice — and the contemplation of the Creator of all things will spontaneously awaken in you, you will realize that He alone is and nothing beside Him.


Many hang their heads in disappointment, murmuring, "I have received initiation from a Satguru, but what progress have I made?"

Just think, when a little ink is spilled on cloth, how much time it takes to remove it. How can you expect the thick layer of impurities that obscure human consciousness to be cleared up in a few days or months?

Rather than trying to estimate how efficacious the power of the Guru and the mantra is, you should lay emphasis on exerting yourself to the utmost. By sitting back comfortably and without paying the price, spirituality does not come. Hard and sincere labour is indispensable in order to realize the Self.

With implicit faith and a sacred regard for the Guru's instruc­tions, continue your practice with the greatest possible regularity and concentration — rest assured, success will be yours. Those who serve dharma will be gripped by it and led on the path of dharma.


Essentially there is no difference between the "I" of the path of Self-inquiry, the '‘'Thou” of the path of devotion and the "I and Thou" of the path of yoga or action.

Those who use their energy to place Him first and foremost in all their thoughts, feelings and actions and thus advance into the realm where the 'l" and the "Thou" melt into one, will be immersed in the great ocean of Infinity.

Only as long as one remains floating on the surface, there are bound to be differences of religion, sect and so on. But if by some means one is able to dive down into the depths, it will be seen that the Essence of things is one, that Truth and Love are one and the same.


Man, like the spider, weaves web after web and does his best to keep himself entangled in its meshes throughout eternity. Caught up in the attractions of the senses and in delusion, he does not even pause to reflect how agonizing the ever recurring action and reaction of birth and death are.

Resolve irrevocably and once for all that the bondage of karma must end with the present life and, like a war lord, rally all your forces in the desperate effort to tear through the veil of māyā;

or else, like a besieged garrison lie prostrate before the Almighty and surrender yourself unconditionally to His mercy — and He Himself will take care of everything.


What is not to your liking you can easily give up; but why can you not leave what you regard as wrong? Try to discriminate between right and wrong and eschew sin like poison.

At the same time cultivate good and rightful desires and inclinations by the constant contemplation of God and by the daily per­formance of beneficent actions.

You may conquer the world, but if you cannot master yourself, it will be very difficult for you to tread the path of liberation.


The mental dispositions and tendencies (saskāras) accumulated in a great many former births, are at the root of all bondage. By action these saṁskāras have developed and by action they will again be destroyed.

In the manner of a gramophone record the structure of man's mind has been fashioned by his past actions, thoughts and feelings.

When through identi­fication with the senses old memories are revived, the mind acts as a gramophone needle, stimulating the repetition of ideas, Emotions and deeds of the past.

As by the sustained practice of God-centred actions, thoughts and aspirations, good and beautiful tendencies gain strength, in the same measure the undesirable ones will be wiped out.

At the end, just as fire dies down of itself after reducing to ashes everything combus­tible, even so the good and laudable dispositions of the mind will also ultimately become extinct of themselves.


"Remember Him, remember Him, day after day, hour after hour, remember Him!" By constantly sustaining the flow of God's name, the days of your imprisonment in this world will expire.

That you are working for your own uplift, goes without saying. But this is not enough: wherever you may be placed, call others also to join you. Untiringly entreat those of your fellow-men whose lives are divorced from religion to turn their thought to the Divine.

Associate with seekers who with a pure heart aspire towards the realization of God and try to join them in their endeavour; and further, let your life be blessed and fulfilled by the company of those who by first-hand knowledge know the greatness of God.


So long as you go about repeating outwardly: "Everything happens by His Will", it is a sign that your own strong will is still very prominent.

Look, when His Will begins to work within you, your will becomes fused with It in such a manner as to make it impossible for you to distinguish the one from the other.

So long as you have a will of your own, follow the various rules and observances of the Śāstras that are expressions of His Will, accepting success and failure with equanimity.

Absolute surren­der to the Divine Will is the duty of every lover of God. In this way the time will dawn when nothing is left that may be called your own will and when you experi­ence everything, the outer as well as the inner, solely as the play of the Almighty One.  

Truly, this wonderful world has no significance unless one realizes that by His Will all of us are progressing every moment towards undifferentiated union.


All work has to be done with a definite purpose in view. Aimless actions are fruitless and devoid of grace.

The one way to realize Him is prayer and meditation, in other words, to leave the surface and to penetrate into the sanctuary.

Prayer and meditation act as a bridge between the individual self and God, the Self of all. By watchfulness and the regular practice of the Presence of God one must try to get communion with Him.

Just as medicine is necessary to counteract bodily ailments, so the contem­plation of God is indispensable to free the mind from the dross of accumulated saṁskāras.

For this reason one should not only attend to one's spiritual exercises morning and evening, but try to steadily increase the time and intensity of one's meditation, just as one applies oneself diligently when pursuing some worldly object.

Kīrtana fails to have the desired effect if it is out of tune and rhythm. Similarly religious practice must have its regular tune and rhythm, otherwise the mind cannot become steady.

The Self or God is unknowable to the ordinary intelligence but He is not unknown to us as the life-breath. When a man dies, one says he has breathed his last. If one uses the rhythm of one's breathing as a support in one's meditation, this will increase one's power.

Therefore one should daily for some time sit still in a meditative pose in a solitary place, turn the mind within and repeat the name or a mantra in rhythm with one's breathing, without straining, in a natural way.

When through prolonged practice the Name becomes inextri­cably linked with the breath, the body quite still and the mind one-pointed, one will come to realize that the individual is part of the One Great Life that pervades the universe.