"The Universe was created out of joy and this is why you find joy in the fleeting things of the world. Without joy, life is an ordeal. You must try to attain to that great Joy which has brought forth the world."
It is difficult to realize that Shree Shree Anandamaee Ma is no longer with us physically. For many she continues to be a living presence. If therefore, I write of her in the past tense I do so from my own limited vision, and from memories of her in the nineteen fifties. I write descriptively, as one person from the West who has been deeply affected by an encounter, over several years, with Shree Shree Anandamaee Ma. I would particularly like to address these words to those who never met her, or saw her but seldom and fleetingly. I hope those who knew her far better than I will forgive the limitations of my own experience and understanding.
Description is the least adequate of methods with which to present a being of almost unimaginably rare subtlety. India of course, is famed for her genius at producing individuals who have attained the summit of Self-realisation and uncommon spiritual elevation - saints, sages, seers, the Vedantin, the Sahajin, holy men and women illuminated by the light of divine inspiration, steeped in the wisdom of pure jnana, suffused with the sweetness of immeasurable bhakti, lofty in perfect command of yoga. The variety is almost as great as among the flowers of the forest! Each is unique, incomparable. However, to the disciple and the devotee there can only be one who is Guru, for the Guru is the One, the Beloved.
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