Jnana Yoga ~ Amma
“Jnana is intellectual knowledge while vijnana is transcending the intellect, negating even that as untrue, and affirming pure experience alone as the Supreme Truth.”
“It is hard to become established in jnana without devotion. With gravel alone we cannot build anything; we need to add cement as well, and make concrete. We cannot build the steps leading to God without adding the binding quality of love.”
Question: “Does Amma have the opinion that the different names and forms of gods and goddesses are real?”
Amma: “What Mother would like to say is that names and forms are needed for people like us with the kind of mental calibre that exists today. It will help our spiritual growth. Do not say that ours is the best path and all other paths are wrong. If a person’s choice is tea, have it, fine and good. Let those who do not like tea drink coffee, lemonade or plain water. Why should we bother our heads about people’s personal preferences? Why should we say that tea alone is good and all other drinks, bad? The purpose is to quench the thirst. Therefore, whether it is meditation on the Supreme with attributes or the Supreme without attributes, the goal is to attain perfect mental peace in any circumstance. Give up all such doubts about gods and goddesses and do your sadhana.
“Look children, Amma knows very well that all names and forms are limited and that God is nameless, formless and attributeless. Still, the sweet and blissful feeling that one gains from singing the glories of the Lord is an incomparable and inexpressible experience.
“All the names and forms, whatever they are, are only creations of the mind for one who has gone beyond the mind. But this is not the case for one who has not reached the state of perfection. He or she may say that all names and forms are unreal and that Brahman alone is true and real. However, if they have not experienced perfection, it is meaningless to go around declaring the unreality of forms.
“Everything is Brahman, that is right. But have you realised That? It is like a blind person saying that there is light everywhere. Why do you talk unnecessarily about some thing that you have no idea about at all? You constantly experience the world and its objects, but you talk about something which you have never experienced.
“Advaita (non-duality) is the state in which there is only One. It is the state in which you spontaneously see everyone as being the same as your own Self. It is not something you talk about; it is a state to be experienced.”
“When we worship Rama, Krishna or Christ, we adore the eternal ideals which manifest through Them. If they were mere individuals, nobody would have worshipped Them. When they are worshipped, a true seeker is not adoring a limited individual but the same all-pervading cosmic intelligence which you believe is the only Truth.
“For a person who has gone beyond maya (transitory world of names and forms), everything is Brahman since he or she constantly experiences It. But for a person who lives in maya it is not so. He or she has everything around them. Thus, he or she must put forth a deliberate attempt to come out of it. He or she should try to convince themselves that the world and the pleasure-giving objects are flickering and dreamlike.”
Comment: “There is no Rama or Krishna”
Amma: “Everyone ultimately reaches the same place, but you need an upadhi (limiting factor) for doing sadhana. How can you say there is no Rama or Krishna? Even if you don’t see Ochira on a map of India, can you say there is no place called Ochira? Our sense of Advaita is just limited to our words. It is not possible to bring it into our experience without devotion.”