Making Everyone Happy

Melita Maschmann, Encountering Bliss: My Journey through India with Ānandamayī Mā
Delhi : Motilal Banarsidass Publishers, 2002

It is as difficult to escape the grace of a Guru, as the revenge of a tiger.
Indian proverb

Last week, I introduced Ram Dass’s “one-liners” of the spiritual life, a life that was  transformed by his encounter with Maharajji. Like Ram Dass, the German Melita Maschmann had  a similar experience with Sri Anandamayi Ma. What I’ve pulled from her book of testimony  is some impressions Ma made on Maschmann and Maschmann’s capturing some of Ma’s teachings. Enjoy!


What distinguishes me from Ma is what distinguishes the light of a candle from that of the sun. 22

I feel when I travel in a rickshaw through the crowded lanes that everything I see around me does not happen outside me, but within me. The skin enveloping my body has expanded infinitely. It includes everything. I am suddenly reminded of the peculiar physical feeling I had when I saw Ma for the first time. I felt, as if my heart—a physical muscle in my breast—had grown to double its size. 52

[Kheyala  is the] spontaneous manifestation of Brahman’s will in her self; it is free from all conditionality; it is a divine “voice” speaking through her and guiding her steps. It intervenes apparently with reckless spontaneity. 55

What I observe here in Ma is hardly humanly possible… an expression of kindness which has lost nothing of its freshness, originality, genuineness and power in spite of its ‘wear and tear’ in the last forty years. 66

Peace and harmony appear so closely woven in every cell of her being that the spirits of darkness would search in vain for a loophole. 133

Ma helps me more than an academic study of religions. 166

Maschmann quoting Ami: We are only a dim flickering at the edge of her field of vision which reaches into the depths of the universe. 178

[She is] a usually intense and powerful personality of compelling fascination, based on qualities which at first evoke sympathy, trust, and veneration. 194

She clings as little to possession, place or doctrine, as also to people. 194

The Buddhist sees Buddha in Ma, the Christian sees Jesus in her. 242


The person performing sadhana chooses a deity, to whom he feels attracted and whom he makes his beloved. When he begins to pray in front of an image, which embodies for him the presence of his beloved, he reaches in the course of his exercises a condition in which he perceives the ishta in whatever direction he looks.  39

For, finding the beloved, is finding, discovering oneself, that God is my own, completely identical with myself, my innermost self, the self of my self 40 

There are many ways to perfection. Service is only one of them. 51

Ma recently said to a young man doing japa in front of a temple, “Don’t forget to dedicate the fruit of your prayers to your god.”  92

When real meditation happens within you, worldly pleasure becomes boring and empty…. When you have come out of meditation, and if you are still able to behave in worldly manner, then you have not as yet experienced inner metamorphosis. After real meditation, you will begin to seek the divine with passion. Your hunger for it will make you recognize that nothing that is ephemeral can give you any more satisfaction. 114-115 

The most important thing is to use all your energy in realizing God. Practice sadhana diligently. Those who cannot in spite of their effort, should try to serve humanity and consider that it is the service of God. 122 

I regard people who come to me as part of my living body. You are my head, you are my right arm, you my left arm, and you are my right leg and you my left… I don’t feel you as a load, even if you hang on to me. So it is with everyone. Their worries and joys are mine. And their deeds, whatever they may be, are my deeds. 145

You know, don’t you, that Rama, Krishna and Christ are the names of the One who is above all names?  160

Purify yourself, fight against the evil within you, then fight against the evil in the world. 187 

Whether you now pray to Christ, Krishna, Kali, or Allah, you pray basically to the one light that is also in you, because it penetrates everything. Everything, what is, is in its essence light. 189 

It is not desirable to lose control over oneself. When one seeks the truth, one should not allow oneself to be overwhelmed by anything…. There is no place for emotional excitement… Emotional excitement and Highest Love cannot be compared at all; they are completely different from one another. 192 

Reserve a few hours for meditation each day, and during the rest of the time, do your work as a service to God. If you think of God throughout the day and consider everyone to be his incarnation, then you can do excellent work and make everyone happy. 193

It is all the same at what time what work is done; give it your full attention and do it thoroughly. Rely on God in all circumstances. It is true; HE permeates everything, and therefore, you can find HIM everywhere, even in your work. Call the Lord of life with your whole being. 252 

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