Return of Precious Days with Damayanti Amma

March 24, 2009 Kamala Amma's Grace

Dearest Friends and Family,

Before Amma left for the 10 day north India tour, she had the Tour bookstall storage room turned into a room for her Mother, Damayanti Amma. That room, located directly beneath Amma’s interview room, in her ‘house’ was originally the ashram meditation hall and Vedanta Vidyalaya. Now, it seems restored to that former glory, in the service of Damayanti Amma.

For the ashram, for those who know Damayanti Amma when she was younger so much more active and able, so involved and graciously gracing innumerable ashram activities, it is a great relief and joy to have her here amidst us again, despite the shocking sadness of her declining condition.

For the last 2 years, she has lived in Kasturi Akka’s house (Amma’s eldest sister) on the other side of the backwaters. Many could not see her easily..

We have been going daily, and very often, Damayanti Amma is seated outside the room, distributing ‘prasads’ being adored by her many daughters and granddaughters, and occasional sons…Nina from tailoring flits back and forth, from tailoring to the room and back again…deep concern writ on every inch of her face…

It is a precious, precious time, all can sense the fragile beauty of these moments and days with her.

I remember when Anni was sick…I was trying to keep some sort of record of what was happening,, what the dr.’s were saying, when they called. I remember that every time I looked at the calendar, and saw the date, I had the thought, its a good day. A happy day. I did not realize, it was my heart telling me, that all these days of my life, had been so good. I had my precious, precious daughter with me. Later, I entered a different life.

It is the same now. For the entire Ashram, these are the days of greatest glory. Amma, her Father, her Mother, her family, all are here. The dream of togetherness is still intact. It is still so beautiful….the circle of love is full and flowing….

Amma’s natal family, are Heart people. They love everyone who comes to love Amma. For them, all of Amma’s devotees are wonderful, they accept them all. For them, all Seva done in the ashram is equal, its all Amma Seva, it all helps in some way, for them, there is no high and low in what people do in the Ashram.

In their love for Amma, they rejoice in everyone who also loves…its a path of inclusion, not exclusion. As her natal family, they are certain of her, in a way that is natural, so they are overjoyed to share what they love, they get their own happiness from this….

Damayanti Amma is the pillar of feminine decency in the ashram. Under her guidance, the role of women was clearly understood to be much more than playthings for men…Not for one second would she dress or adorn herself for pleasing a man. Nor did she countenance that in the ashram….she never had to say anything about it…life is duty, and attention to duty….not attention to anything else….it was a clear understanding that ethically formed the foundation of ashram life…

In her own lifetime, the scene here is so tragically changed. Female students, the puppets of media, are decked, adorned, and displayed in ways that would make a crow turn pink….

While visiting her, someone put the TV on. A scene of two women, arguing, one making ugly faces behind the other ones’ back appeared…..what more is needed to destroy the threads that make the fabric of sisterhood in India? And then what will be there? The aggressive, competitive, distorted woman hood so prevalent in the west where women have lost the art of supporting each other and sisterhood? Where they watch each other with hidden daggars in their eyes? Where they steal each other’s husbands, and go ruthlessly after men half their age, or twice their age? Where they get used as playthings, and their minds get messed up? Where,until past menopause, they keep their sexual fires on full tilt? In the last 3 years, the media inroads upon the consciousness of young India that we witness here among the students has been stupendous….disheartening and disgusting..

Damayanti Amma is from a time of ethical clarity…She is the only human being that Amma has given the title of GURU to….

Just her return to the ashram, revealed the aching hole that was caused by her absence. Sitting near her, despite the forgetful condition of her mind, that sense of peace that has always pervaded the atmosphere around her, is palpable.

So many things I wish I could ask Holy Mother Amma. Amma said:

Can you think of a quality, for example love or truth, unrelated to a form? It is not possible to do so because qualities are formless in themselves. To think of a quality, we need an object which has that quality as its attribute. Then what can be said of the Attribute-less Brahman, which is beyond all conception? Our mind is so gross that we cannot possibly think of a God who is formless, changeless and attribute less. Therefore, we need an object which is endowed with divine attributes. Krishna, Rama, Buddha or Christ are such Beings.

From: Awaken Children 2:302-303.

Sitting near Damayanti Amma, the quality of peacefulness pervades. If it is only in the body object that we perceive the quality, where does the quality go when the body object is no more? Why can’t we perceive all the qualities of the body object regardless of the body’s presence?

It seems that we can only perceive them in ourself after that, or in another body object…so, do qualities exist if they are formless? What kind of existence? I just don’t understand how it works….Amma says the ‘Attribute less’ so are qualities even real?

Are we , the body object identified mind stuff, our qualities? Even the ones we don’t exhibit? Truth is, un Truth is not….so, the Real IS….do we say attribute less or with attributes? Is that just form and formless? So, then, is the feeling of peacefulness around Damayanti Amma, is that feeling the form of peace? But then, are attributes Real, are they IS?

Its hard to frame intelligent questions worthy of Amma’s answer….or that will evoke an answer that satisfies….many times, different translators will answer them for me, confident in their knowing, and afterwards, I feel to stupid to ask…

Its interesting. I find, perhaps because of Anni, that my thinking on life has shifted into eternal life. Life is eternal….only suffering comes and goes…but Life is Eternal….

Now, I don’t know if I really understand this, or if I have just convinced my intellect. I was really puzzled when a friend wrote to me about life here, I didn’t understand what they meant until I understood they were saying, Physical Life….

Yet, its all very precious. Its very very precious because we can feel ethical qualities…although, they are still not visible…we can feel peacefulness, honesty, sincerity, joy, generosity…so, whatever the answer is, its an amazing place…this place of form…perhaps, because that which Is, IS attribute less, and through the gross form of our bodies, becomes a quality? Something that we feel, so we say it is a form?

Don’t know….I only know, we are all so glad that Damayanti Amma is here…She is so , so precious…to our beautiful dream of Ashram life….

Loving you,

Kamala Aunty, Anni and Link

Our Anni, with Damayanti Amma and Janhvi.  The two were seeking her blessings before their med school entrance examinations to AIMS, in 2005.

Our Anni, with Damayanti Amma and Janhvi. The two were seeking her blessings before their med school entrance examinations to AIMS, in 2005.

2 Responses to “Return of Precious Days with Damayanti Amma”

  • Gabrielle says:

    There is a glimpse of rare, sheer beauty radiating from Her Lords own Mother..
    I often was astounded, while being in India, seeing the old age so graciously, with such dignity, that is seldom seen in this hemisphere.

  • Kamala says:

    So True…you are so discerning, darling Gabrielle! Beauty, rarest Beauty has always been her adornment…This we see in Amma also….

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