Some time ago I have come into contact with the teachings of a modern Indian saint, for the lack of a better word. The term “saint” reflects neither Her state of consciousness nor Her enormous contribution to humanity, I feel.
My analytical capacities whisper that She dwarfs all of the gurus, saints and teachers known to me, save one.
Her given name was Nirmala Sundari (which translates to immaculate beauty) Devi and latter on renamed to Anandamayi Ma (bliss permeated mother). How fitting both names are!
A lot of books have been written about Her and Her teachings mostly by Her close disciples and devotees (link to the e-store >>)
No words can convey the Presence, Mercy, Wisdom, Love and Guidance She commands. Not even death can touch Her Presence.
You can experience Her Presence by yourself, using Her mantra, with respect and surrender:
Aim Hrim Klim Anandamayiei namo namah
Dedication and surrender is the key, it seems, as we can see from the dialog below:
Several years ago, some Westerners came to Anandamayi and had a discussion with her, which throws an interesting sidelight on this question. This is the conversation they had:
Westerner: “How can I achieve Self-realization?”
A: “He is Self-effulgent, it is not you who can bring it about.”
Westerner: “Still, should we not make an effort?”
A: “Yes, the Self is hidden by a veil, you have to wear it down by your own exertion.”
Westerner: “What is the process by which this can be accomplished?”
A: “Do you really want Self-realization?”
Westerner: “Of course I do!”
A: “Then you are prepared to do exactly as I tell you without letting your judgement interfere?”
Here the gentleman became thoughtful and hesitated. He evidently was feeling uncomfortable. She smiled at him encouragingly. At last he said:
Westerner: “I regard Ramana Maharshi as my Guru, but I have not met him as yet. I intend going to Tiruvannamalai shortly.”
A: “Then you must do exactly as he instructs you, but do you really want Self- realization?”
Westerner: “Certainly; have I not come all the way to India for this purpose?”
A: “For this and nothing else?”
Westerner:”For this and nothing else.”
Three times She repeated the question and three times the response was the same. She became very serious. Her voice was definite and powerful when she spoke:
“If this be so, if you want Self-Realization and nothing else, it does not matter whether you do as I tell you. If you really want this one thing only you will find a way, there is no doubt about it.”
– Anandamayi Ma