posted by Kamala on Apr 20
Dearest Friends and Family,
I wrote yesterday, as I was not certain I would be able to write today. I would write more often about her diaries, but holding the books, seeing her handwriting, her thoughts, opens rooms that I cannot often go into.
Link is on his way back from the Stockholm Challenge launch. Anni has been with me all day, in little ways, and I feel she would like you all to know an event I found today in her Diaries.
It was in 2002, we were on tour with Amma in Palakkad. Anni had just turned 14. Anni was friends with the consecrated nuns and considered herself one. She loved all the Girls; as they were elder to her, she held them in deep respect, and called them `Cheychy’ which means `older sister.’ In this event, what comes clear to me, is her utter fidelity to conscience. Perhaps that is why we feel Irom Sharmila is so much our true Sister, and really, our World Sister.
In the situation, a certain Cheychy had spoken in a slightly unkind way about another young girl in the ashram, to Anni. Perhaps most would have been glad for a comparison that favoured themselves in the eyes of the revered speaker. Not Anni. Her heart and conscience burned, not only to hear it, but more, that she was unable to rectify the Cheychy’s view, to one of compassion and understanding towards the other young girl. She struggled to do so for two more days. And then, when she was able to, the Cheychy again reiterated a negative view of the other child, whilst accepting Anni’s explanation, to Anni’s frustration and disappointment.
From her diary:
27/4/2002 Palakkad Program.
Today is the last day. I woke up at about 9:20, and I got a bath an hour later. Amma came at 11:09, and gave bhajans till 12. She’s giving satsang now. Worked form 12:30 to 3:30. After that worked in canteen from 3:30-4:10, then cleaned steps. Amma came 4:15 – 4:40, and after that, I helped again in the canteen till 6:38 PM then came, cleaned steps – at 7:20 Amma came, and started Darshan at about 9:00 PM.
Had dinner of uppama. Cheychy told me how she likes me more than X, [another young girl in the ashram] because she can talk to me, “X is like a stone…[the following was written in Malayalam, Link's translation] I think I should tell Cheychy about X’s issue, I don’t know when, but I must tell her today.
This ends the last day of the Palakkad Program.
Today I got up at 7:20 and got a bath, finished my laundry, and wrote this. I haven’t been able to find Cheychy.
[The tour then travelled to Thalassery.]
We arrived here at about 1 AM. There will be a program at 6:00, although we leave at 3:00, The place is only 10 minutes away. I FOUND CHECHY (Thank God) [Capitals - Anni's. Then in Malayalam, Link's translation] I told her about X’s issue, and then Cheychy said, “Oh. That’s why she is so closed and angry,” etc.
——————- x ————————
Anni could not do more. Her position was as younger, and there are many lines of heirarchy, and age is one, point being, Anni had already crossed lines, gently questioning an elder’s perception. She could not do more, and left it to the Cheychy and her own conscience.
She kept careful account of her minutes. Anyone who is true to their conscience will have perfect control over their speech. This is why we dedicated Vol. 2 of Practical Applications of Earth Ethics - Discovering the Penance of Speech - to Anni. She continues to be our teacher.
When we read St. Therese of Lisieux’s Autobiography, it is so strongly Anni to us. Therese also loved her family so dearly. Four of the sisters got into the same Carmelite convent together. When we read it, it is as though Anni is with us palpably. Anni’s way, really was the little way, watching with intense attention, all the little slips, catching herself, and spurring herself to keep herself clean and clear before her conscience.
I can never describe the joy we three had together. To live with Anni was to live with sureness, righteousness, expansive joy. We had such a perfect understanding of one another, such a great peace to just be together. It is still there. The world cannot understand it. In truth, I see that very few families have it. If Anni were here in form with us, people would raise less eye brows about Link `keeping his mother with him’, its just the narrowness of the world, particularly, industrial society, that has not tasted lives of consecrated joy. It is only through consecration that life becomes inwardly and outwardly meaningful. A family in which all members consecrate themselves in service to truth and love, works as one unit, life therein is heavenly.
As a Mother, while the worldly sucesses of our children may make us glad, especially glad if they can be of real service to society, while being able to handle this conniving world, it is when we see the sterling qualities of righteousness in them, that we feel real confidence. For if our children are good, we live with unending goodness.
There is always much more, hopefully sooner than later.
Aunty Kamala, Anni and Link