Devotees are always fond of talking about “miracles” associated with their teacher. Miracles are just the operation of natural laws about which we know little. They are just things that seem unnatural or out of the ordinary to us. My wife and I have been the recipient of a few and so I well know why people feel driven to talk about them because they are so unusual.
The first and most eye-popping miracle we received from Amma was when we were following her “caravan” from Fort Flagler, Washington, to the Edmonds ferry at Kingston. We were behind all the other cars. The moment we turned left from Fort Flagler onto the highway leading to Kingston we knew we were in trouble.
It was Sunday evening after 6:00 p.m. The highway from where we were to Kingston was all but deserted. There wasn’t a gas station over the whole stretch of perhaps twenty miles. And our gas tank was empty, which we realized the first time the car sputtered. We began to chant “Om Nama Shivayah” and pray to Mother almost immediately because we knew we were in deep, deep trouble in the middle of nowhere, with no other cars passing on the highway.
Now very few people can get the significance of what I’m about to say. A car near empty, when it goes up a hill, will run out of gas because whatever gas remains will fall to the rear of the tank away from the intake. A car, near empty, when it begins to go down the hill, will seem to have gas again because the remaining gas moves towards the intake.
Paramahansa Ramakrishna, Avatar
With us it was the exact opposite. When we went up a hill we had gas. When we went to down a hill we had none. But as you can imagine, we don’t need gas going down a hill because we can coast. And the road from Fort Flagler to Kingston was very hilly. So our car roared back into life whenever we went up a hill (unbelievable) and lost power whenever we reached the top.
With one exception: at one point, there is a super long bridge, perhaps two-miles long, that is absolutely flat. We cannot coast on it. When we reached that long flat point, our car roared back into life across the whole of the bridge.
Finally as we approached Kingston, the car ran out of gas completely and we had to coast the last several hundred feet coming to a full stop at the only gas station there was. The man was just shutting the blinds when we pounded on the door. He agreed to open up again. We just barely made the ferry that Mother and the caravan were on. None of this made any sense to us nor was it meant to. We felt as if Mother was showing her long arms to us. That experience had us laughing and crying the whole way.
A second miracle occurred on another trip we made to Seattle. Outside of Everett, we hit a wet patch on the road and slid into another car ahead of us. No damage was done to the other car, but ours was damaged enough that the insurance company wrote it off. We rented a car and continued on to Seattle.
When we reached Mother in the darshan line, I shrugged at her, as if to say “What gives?” I did not actually tell her what happened. She said to us that she saw a dark, dark cloud over us that had to be released somehow. If it had not been released in this way, and had she not intervened to protect us, the accident might have been much, much worse.
I’ve told the story many times of how a man with no legal education or qualifications was made a Member of the Immigration and Refugee Board even though he turned the experience down when it was handed to him the first time and even though he sat for an examination with 500 other people, many of them lawyers. The Boss told me in one reading that I was meant to have that experience, but I always attributed it to Mother’s grace.
Many other things that happen around Mother are “miraculous” but you have to be attentive to notice them. Meetings that seem miraculous occur. Items that were lost are found. But the most obvious miracle that happens at every retreat is that Amma will sit for 10-15 hours receiving people, talking to each, giving each a hug, for ten to fifteen hours a day, never once rising or eating anything.
Meanwhile we devotees get up, walk around, have dinner, have snacks, drink copiously and even sleep. But Mother keeps going day after day after day. The stamina that she has is unimaginable.
Mahavatar Babaji on the world financial crisis, from 2009.
And her mood never varies. Yes, she will wear a frown from time to time to bring a server scurrying to her from a distance. But she loses the frown a second later and is all smiles for the next arriving devotee.
Still another “miracle” can only be gotten by sitting in a certain place. It’s one thing to sit in front of Mother and see the beaming smile of universal love she has for each person who approaches her. But it’s quite another thing to sit on the stage above and behind her. From there you see how each arriving devotee bursts with gratitude as they see that Mother has recognized them. Every one who has seen her previously has the same warm smile which shows that they know they have been recognized by Amma. Certainly I always did so I know that smile very well. Amma always used to smile broadly when D’Arcy and I came forward for darshan, as if we were long-lost friends. And she would say something that showed that she recognized us and gave us a thread of continuity, for twenty years.
Seeing people’s broad smiles of gratitude also reinforced how Mother greeted each being with the same, unvarying universal love. How did she do that when I was saying to myself this one was too fat and this one was too thin. Mother demonstrates what the galactics are talking about. Her love is overpowering. One’s barriers fall in the face of it.
Another powerful lesson is Amma’s charities. The Buddha’s equanimity was legendary, but Amma’s compassion is legendary.
Her charities have built hundreds of thousands of homes for people dislocated by tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, etc. She furnishes tens of thousands of widows with regular and continuous pensions, sons and daughters of suicided farmers with scholarships, homes for orphans, hospitals for the poor. I could go on and on relating Amma’s charities, part of her program called “Embracing the World.” There isn’t another being like her on the planet today, bar none, and, like Inelia, I’m sure she is here to raise the vibration of the planet.
We’ve seen her here in Seattle. We’ve visited her in India. That was our twentieth anniversary of meeting Amma in Vancouver, in 1991. I’m feeling especially calm after her “darshan.” and now we set about the relaxing part of our trip, visiting Pike Place Public Market and the University District of Seattle and just relaxing.
Back here in Vancouver, what has changed? I can’t be sure if these are permanent changes or simply a “workshop high,” although sufficient time may have passed to remove the latter possibility.
One change I notice immediately is that time is passing swiftly. I arose from bed and did nothing major, only to find that, in what seemed like five minutes, eighteen minutes had passed. In another spell of what seemed like five minutes, a second interval of eighteen minutes had passed. Time seems to be passing around three times faster than my internal clock says it is.
A second change is that I turned on the TV to watch the news and see what was happening in the world, as far as CNN and the BBC will reveal it. The minute anything of no consequence hit the screen, whether an ad or a superficial news report, I could not watch it and had to change the channel.
Moreover, when I left the news channels and watched anything fictional, like a movie, I felt positively nauseated and had to turn off the TV. At the same time, I felt drawn to meditate. At the same time again, my normal operating modality felt like meditation. I didn’t need to close my eyes or remain stationery to feel I was meditating.
That’s all I notice so far as I return to work, that and finding myself bursting into tears at the mere remembrance of her. Of the seven billion people on the planet today, I have been ushered into the presence of several avatars. I am so fortunate and so grateful, I cannot express it.
(1) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Nikhilananda, trans., The Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna. New York: Ramakrishna-Vivekananda Center, 1978; c1942, 257. [Hereafter GSR.]
(2) Ibid., 351.
(3) Ibid., 257
(4) Ibid., 104.
(5) Ibid., 238.
(6) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Swami Chetanananda, ed. and trans. Ramakrishna as We Saw Him. St Louis: Vedanta Society of St. Louis, 1990, 241.
(7) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in GSR, 811.
(8) Ibid., 217.
(9) Ibid., 128.
(10) Paramahansa Ramakrishna in Anon., A Bridge to Eternity. Sri Ramakrishna and His Monastic Order. Calcutta: Advaita Ashrama, 1986 , 54.
(11) David K. Miller, Connecting with the Arcturians. Pine, Arizona: Planetary Heart Publications, 1998, 65.
(12) Ibid., 84-5.