Books: Amma’s “Lead Us To The Light”, by Pranada Devi
Sometimes we go through life like a person who is carrying a heavy burden all the time, to the point where he is no longer even aware that he is carrying it or that he could set it down. The burden of our egoic attachments, our fears and doubts and wanting and stuckness, is a heavy weight that we carry for years or even lifetimes before it occurs to us that we could drop the weight and live more lightly, celebrating the freedom to be our true selves.
This lightness is part of what is indicated by the word “enlightenment”, the state of absolute freedom from egoic attachment and full awareness of one’s interconnection with all that is. For those who seek this state, or who simply want to live with more light and more lightness, the best way is to receive the guidance of someone who has already attained the state of enlightenment.
One such guide is Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma), whose activism and organized humanitarian efforts we featured in January’s issue of Parvati Magazine. Amma has been looked up to as a spiritual master, abiding in the supreme state of enlightenment, since she was a young woman. Her blessings have activated or accelerated millions of people on their spiritual path in the past three decades. Having only received a fourth grade education, she nonetheless teaches with profound wisdom and understanding of the human condition. Her discussions with seekers have been recorded and transcribed and form the basis for numerous books of guidance on living a spiritual life whether within a monastic setting or while maintaining a life in the world complete with job, mortgage and family.
“Lead Us To The Light” is one of the many books of Amma’s transcribed teachings. The title refers to the Sanskrit prayer “Om asatoma satgamaya tamasoma jyotirgamaya mrityorma amritamgamaya” (Lead us from untruth to truth, from darkness to light and from death to immortality), which Amma instructs her disciples to chant at the end of daily spiritual practices. In this book, Amma gives instructions and commentary that can help any seeker, who takes them to heart, begin to lighten the burden of attachments they carry.
Among the subjects discussed in this book are the Bhagavad Gita (the sacred Hindu text of the god Krishna’s instructions on the battlefield to the warrior Arjuna, who feels reluctant to fight), the complementary natures of masculine and feminine and how both are needed, the importance of helping children feel loved and nurtured by their caregivers, the importance of compassion and selfless service, practical advice for spiritual seekers, reasons people may experience suffering or disease, and the importance of bhakti yoga, the yoga of devotion.
Amma will be touring North America in the spring/summer of 2012, beginning in Seattle at the end of May and ending in Toronto in mid to late July. The opportunity to be in the presence of a saint and receive their teachings directly is rare and precious. I invite you to consider visiting Amma and lightening your load.
Pranada Devi is a communications professional living in Toronto, Canada. She manages the Politics, Books and Activism sections for Parvati Magazine in addition to serving as Managing Editor for the magazine overall. She serves as an advisor on marketing communications for Parvati’s various projects.