Q&A with Br. Dayamrita Chaitanya
Preparing for Darshan
Darshan
Swamiji, Amma will be with us shortly and many of us will be attending Her programs. What should our attitude be around Amma to be able to fully receive Her blessings? Should we prepare ourselves mentally through Sadhana, ahead of time?
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When we go to see a spiritual master, we have to have an open mind. An open mind means a mind that does not carry any negativities or preconceived notions. We cannot go to a Mahatma with certain ideas, for example, "I want this, I want that" or "When I go to Amma, Amma is going to fulfill this or take away my problems."
 
We can categorize people who go to Amma into two categories - One category wants something -- they want a house or a good wife/husband or children or a good boss. The other category doesn't want something they don't like their job or their boss or their wife or husband, or they don't like the situation they are in and they want to get out of it.
 
When we go with all these preconceived notions and desires, Amma's blessings will, of course, be with us, but we cannot obtain the full fruit of our darshan with Amma. Going with an open mind means a mind that is absolutely blank and not expecting anything -- a mind that is completely calm, subdued and free of thoughts. So, how do we reach that state of mind is the question.
 
Usually, our mind is not quiet. It has a lot of thoughts coming up and there are many distracting ideas occurring in our mind, and so it is always agitated. We have so many problems due to thoughts arising in our mind. That's why, one of the things recommended is spiritual practice. The basic purpose of performing spiritual practice is to subdue the mind and make it calm and thoughtless. Definitely, you can fast or do mantra japa or chant Sahasranama (1000 names) a few times before you go to meet Amma. This will definitely help and facilitate your darshan with Amma.
 
I cannot prescribe a specific method that will fit everyone. If I suggest, for instance, to fast for seven days, it will not work for a diabetic. They cannot fast. They can do mantra japa or chant Sahasranamas a few times before meeting Amma.
 
In addition to all these spiritual practices, Amma always says that our greatest duty to God is to relieve the suffering of the poor and the underprivileged. We have to consider them first and if we help them, Amma's grace will flow into us, and we will be more able to receive Her love and care than we would otherwise be able to. This is the most important thing. Of course, we have to do our mantras or other spiritual practices, but we should also be doing something which will help people in need.
 
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