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Amma and Ramakrishna

It was mentioned earlier in this book that Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886) displayed some of the same divine qualities as Amma such as granting spiritual transmissions (divine experiences) and going spontaneously into ecstatic states of love for the Divine.   However, Amma has been a much more powerful, far reaching and voluminous manifestation than Ramakrishna.

There appears to be some association between the incarnation of Amma and the incarnation of Ramakrishna.  Your author will present the information here and the reader can make of it what they will.

Amma and Ramakrishna both worshipped the Divine Mother and specifically the form of Kali (destroyer of the ego). 

In the early years (and the practice may persist to this day) new arrivals at Amma’s ashram were given a copy of the Gospel of Ramakrishna to read as an introduction to spirituality.  Later, when the first full size temple was built on ashram grounds – the Kali Temple – there was only one major statue of a deity installed and that is Mother Kali. 

Amma requested that the statue be made in an exact likeness of the Kali statue in Dakshineswar that Ramakrishna worshiped and that the statue be made by the same family that made the original Dakshineswar statue around 1856. 

After some years of having renunciates live in her ashram, Amma instituted the practice of initiating those who had come to live with her into sanyasa (renunciates).  Starting out first as brahmacharins and brahmacharinis (male and female), these renunciates would eventually graduate to be a swami or swamini at which time they would wear orange clothing which symbolizes the destruction of the ego in the fire of Truth. 

Amma, adhering to tradition, did not initiate them.  The first to become a swami was Balu who is now Swami Amritaswarupananda and the writer of Amma’s biography and the Awaken Children dialogue books.  He was initiated into the Ramakrishna Order of monks by a swami in that order.  Then in turn, Swami Amritaswarupananda, initiated all those who followed him.  All of them in the Ramakrishna Order.

Amma stopped the process of initiating people for a reason that is known only to Amma. Then over 20 years later, in 2019, Amma initiated over 200 renunciates that had been frozen in time since she had stopped the process. Many became swamis and swaminis.  

Ramakrishna stated that his incarnation was a “scouting mission” and that he would return to this world in approximately 100 years.  At that time, he said he would grant liberation to many people and those that did not take advantage of the opportunity at that time would have to wait a very long time for another opportunity to present itself.

Ramakrishna passed away in 1886 and Amma was born in 1953 which was 67 years.  It was not quite a hundred but Ramakrishna’s use of a rounded number (100) indicates he could have been approximating.  Had he said 97 years we could more easily take that to be an exact number.

Liberation or mukti means to get off the wheel of birth and death known as samsara.  The cycling of birth and death is caused by a state of ignorance in the mind whereby it wrongly perceives that it is separate from everyone and everything with this being supported by the illusory feeling of “I” and “mine.”  The nature of samsara is suffering.  Therefore, it is most desirable to transcend this condition which can be rightly viewed as a wretched state of being.  Samsara is thoroughly discussed in both Buddhist and Hindu spiritual texts.  To do this, one requires the help of a Self-realized being and these beings are very rare.

Amma says this:

“To be born as a human is very rare... It is rarer still to have an interest in Liberation... And extremely rare to have a relationship with God in the form of the Guru.... If we waste our life even after gaining these three, it is like a pitch-dark night...”

As discussed earlier in this book, Amma is the Jubilee Amma whereby her incredible spiritual power can grant liberation to many people.  She has said that most persons who faithfully chant the mantra she has given them will be given liberation at the end of their life.  Those for whom liberation just cannot yet be given will be granted an exceptional birth which affords every opportunity to make great progress toward liberation. 

Over time, your author has read most all books about Ramakrishna and years ago, came across the quote in which Ramakrishna stated that he would return in a hundred years to grant liberation to spiritual seekers.  Your author has not since been able to find the quote so you will have to take my word for it.  The quote was also mentioned in a 2017 Matruvani magazine (Amma’s organization publishes this) in a story told by devotees who had also been devotees of Ramakrishna.

Amma and Kali

It is mentioned in this chapter the fact that Amma had a statue of the Hindu Goddess Kali installed in the main temple which is called the Kali Temple. It is the only deity that is installed in this way in the temple. Kali is a form of the Divine Mother of the universe - Kali is the destroyer of the ego; that aspect of the Divine which liberates souls. To follow is a quote by one of Amma's swamis:

"Amma did not just tell me to meditate on Kali, She also said, 'Kali is Amma. There is no difference between us. I am Her, my son.'"

Swami Jnanamritananda
Matruvani , April, 2018Mother Kali

To the right is a picture of the Kali statue that is installed per Amma in the Kali Temple at her ashram in Kerala, India. As mentioned above, it is a duplicate of the Kali statue in Dakshineshwar that was worshipped by Ramakrishna.

Arati is being performed as a worship to Mother Kali and we can see a hand in the lower left that is holding a ladle containing burning camphor.

There is the likeness of a Naga (snake god) of fire coming out of the base of the flame. It is your author's opinion that this is a cosmic event. It would be most unusual for any fire pot to make a single leaping flame bounding so high above the fire pot and to be shaped like a snake as well. The snake-like flame is not from movement or we would see some bluring around the edges of the hand and the edges of the fire pot which are all very tight and well formed - no blurring. Rather it is a cosmic apparition that has shot up out of the fire pot to worship the Divine Mother as Mother Kali.


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