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Anandamayi Ma: ‘I am not an Alien’

Ma in Crowd
December 1 2009

I was reading something I wrote years ago. “Sri Anandamayi Ma plucked elaborate rituals, whole scriptures and languages from the wisdom-laden air. All teachings of the one wisdom teacher, the Guru tattva, were hers. I know it’s insane, but I want to be like Ma.

Ok, that was a bit over the top. But my point is this: Ma manifested, as she put it, because of our aspirations.

We aspire to Self-realize. Ma shows us where we are going. Precisely because she is human, she demonstrates that realization is within human reach.

Anandamayi Ma

Anandamayi Ma with her devotees

This is what Ma came here to show us: how to be fully human.

But, you might argue, over and over again the Tantras emphasize that we must see Guru as God. Why? Because we are but lowly worms and sinners? NO.

We must see Guru as God so that we can realize ourselves as God. Yes. Humans are God, too.

To the extent that we cannot recognize God in Guru, we are that far, or farther, from recognizing our own Self.

Some writings about Ma emphasize her difference from ordinary humans, or even talk about her in a dualistic way as if she were a God with no relation to being human.

Of course, Ma’s manifestation was extraordinary, but she was a human among humans. This is the point, exactly. Extraordinary is human, too. Extraordinary realization is the natural potential of human life.

Ma said, “Why, do you take me for an alien? Just make me your own. . . In Reality, there is absolutely nothing except the One. (Ananda Varta; Vol. 38, No. 2; page 86)

Anandamayi Ma

Anandamayi Ma manifesting as Lord Krishna

Make me your own. This “make me your own” could be a description of the entire process of Self-realization.

If we made Guru our own Self, we would Self-realize.

Ma famously incarnated Shiva, Krishna, Durga and Kali. When we see pictures of Ma in these bhavas (dispositions), we see her blazing with the wisdom virtues of Gods, but shining through a human lens. She does not become inhuman; she becomes more gorgeously human.

Ma left us with thousands upon thousands of images of herself. Each image is startlingly unique and expressive. There seems to be no aspect of human possibility that she did not embody. We can learn to appreciate the potentials of  human life through contemplating these images.

In Ma’s love,