Email From Big Swami

topic posted Wed, April 23, 2008 - 5:25 AM by  Unsubscribed
No one here does this, but I thought the reprimanding was cute, so here it is:

Aum Amriteshwaryai Namah

Dear Ones,

This email is to bring to your attention a peculiar disease that is spreading rapidly
amongst Amma's children at AIMS and other ashram centers and institutions. It is a
contagious disease, a real epidemic. Its origin is somewhere in the United States—I think,
in California, around the Mata Amritanandamayi Center. You may wonder what this serious
disease is. I will tell you. It is known as Obsessive Psycho Abbreviation (OPA) or Omitting
Namah Sivaya Syndrome (ONSS).

The victims of this disease will have a strong tendency to abbreviate all spiritual terms.
Recently, I had an encounter with such a patient. At the end of an email, this person put
her name and then signed off "IAS." I couldn't figure out what it meant. Eventually, I called
her for clarification. To my utter shock, I discovered "IAS" stood for "In Amma's Service." I
helped her to understand the adharma of her actions and she immediately discontinued
the practice.

Basically, I told her that, by not writing out "In Amma's Service," she was denying the
person to whom she was writing an opportunity to remember the selfless service of Amma
and, thereby, a chance to contemplate and meditate upon the age-old value-system of
compassionately serving the poor and needy, for which Amma is a living example.

Dear brothers and sisters, have you ever thought of the consequences of this mistake
many of you are committing either consciously or unconsciously? I could not be more
serious when I say that the consequences are grave. Let me explain:

1. You completely disregard the fact that "Aum Namah Sivaya" is the sacred mantra that
our most beloved Amma—our God and Satguru—constantly utters. Thus, you disrespect
the mantra as well as Amma. Is there any day in Amma's life, when She doesn't sing 'Aum
Namah Sivaya' during bhajans, no matter She is in India or abroad?

2. When you fail to write the mantra fully, you are committing a sin by not allowing the
recipient of your mail to remember and repeat the powerful Panchakshari Mantra, which
would help him or her in their material and spiritual lives.

3. Worst of all, as Amma's devotee/disciple, you are becoming instrumental in spreading
an adharmic message to other members of society and thus are bringing down the
reputation of Amma and Her esteemed organization.

I am sure you understand my concerns, will take them seriously and do the needful to
correct the situation.

In Amma's Infinite Love & Light,
With Prayers,
Swami Amritaswarupananda

Aum Amriteshwaryai Namah

In Amma's Compassion,
With Love and Prayers,
Swami Amritaswarupananda
posted by:
  • Unsu...

    Re: Email From Big Swami

    Wed, April 23, 2008 - 8:55 AM
    hehe, this is cool.
    i have not come across these abrivations yet, being very far away from California, i guess. However, what i found really unpleasant was the unconscious way this mantra is constantly used in Amritapuri and elsewhere as a simple greeting phrase, like you would say hello but without the awareness you would put into saying a mantra, in case people are aware of the significance of it, which i began to doubt there after a few encounters....
    I remember one of my first nights there was a crazy woman banging at our door in the middle of the night and shouting Om Namah Shivayah.
    we did not open the door.

    • Re: Email From Big Swami

      Wed, April 23, 2008 - 9:38 AM
      I had someone last year say "OM NAMAH SIVAYA" (Caps denoting aggression) at me before storming away angrily. It was said in the same tone one might "GO TO HELL",.. That was a new one --

      It was at about 5 AM while i was doing bookstore security in San Ramon..

      Maybe I had my "Bouncer" face on and didn't know it.

    • Unsu...

      Re: Email From Big Swami

      Wed, April 23, 2008 - 9:40 AM
      LOL estrella! Or even worse when devotees push through the crowds yelling OM NAMAH SIVAYAH!!!!!!! Or when devotees insult each other OM NAMAH SIVAYAH!!!!!! Its too funny!!
      • Unsu...

        Re: Email From Big Swami

        Wed, April 23, 2008 - 10:27 AM
        yep, maybe we could compile a list of unpleasant experiences and send an answer mail to Swami requesting that they should teach the devotees the meaning of the mantra so this kind of behaviour diminishes.....
  • tom
    offline 2

    Re: Email From Big Swami

    Wed, April 23, 2008 - 1:00 PM
    Frankly, I have to disagree with BS, pun intended, sort of. Maybe the difference is when someone uses it in a personal email versus discussion groups, but when someone uses the abbreviations in personal emails to me, it actually reminds me of the mantra(s) because I have to think about what the abbreviation means.

    Whereas, when someone writes out "Om Namah Sivaya" or "In Amma's Service", I'm so jaded to hearing that from people who aren't nice people, that I ignore that part of people's messages because I see as being pretentious.

    I constantly abbreviate Lalita Sahasranam as "LS", but have had to catch myself when actually talking to someone to say the entire words.

    And for those who've sent me BS's chain-mail, I've broken the chain! OMG! or should I say, OMA! ;-)
    I don't believe in chain-emails. OAN
    • Re: Email From Big Swami

      Fri, April 25, 2008 - 8:12 AM
      totally agree about the canned, unheartful use of 'om namah shivaya' and 'in her service' saluation in emails, and, of course, the hostile and otherwise misaligned tone behind verbal 'namah shivayas". that's why i tend to write something original and actually heartfelt as a good bye in a letter. i have used ONS and really don't have a problem with it, but i wouldn't ever email a swami this way (eeek! too california, fur shure, dude!)

      i have even felt so disconnected from 'om namah shivaya' that once i went for darshan and looked at Amma and said, "hi..." with an intense amount of love adoration in my heart and voice. interestingly, Amma laughed and made a funny face and said, "after all this time in America and two programs a day, pretty soon i won't be saying 'om namah shivaya' anymore, just 'hi' ". i do think "hi" is a terrible greeting when you think about it, it doesn't have a real meaning, like hello, an invention for the telephone. i just feel like a klingon when i say "salutations".

      there are times also where saying om namah shivaya feels very wonderful and very sincere to me also. so, it's all a pretense. i just try to flow with the love and realize that mantras are good for me.
      • Re: Email From Big Swami

        Fri, April 25, 2008 - 6:16 PM
        How hilarious! I too was taken aback a couple times when I saw ONS as a salutation from someone...but who am I to critique another person's sincerity or lack thereof. I work at a place where we are barraged with so many acronyms it has become a running joke to create our own. We have a department that calls themselves - "IBS." I am sorry, I wouldn't want to refer to myself that way. or "going to BM this year?" I surely hope so!

        I dont know if that was a real letter from Big Swami. actually, by calling him Big Swami we are doing what he is refering to as a disservice to ourselves by not getting the benefits of saying the full Swami Amritaswarupananda. so, where does it end..?

        "with an intense amount of love adoration in my heart and voice" I think this is the KEY. and then who cares what anyone is saying? :)

        IBS: irritable bowel syndrome/ Institutional Brokerage Services
        BM: bowel movement/Burning Man
        • Unsu...

          Re: Email From Big Swami

          Sat, April 26, 2008 - 7:34 AM
          How funny Amrta! I bet you all have such fun at work.

          In regards to the ONS etc.., I haven't posted or anything about this yet because I was digging through old emails from a couple of Swami's to see how they had addressed emails. Swami Amritaswarupanda Puri aka Big Swami always is very formal, loving and proper when addressing his emails, just like the one above. Though I am sooooo almost positive that I have received emails in the past from another one of Amma's Swamis where he used ONS. No judgements or pointing fingers or anything, just making the point that many people no matter who they are, have done this before,

          Just like Pia said " with an intense amount of love adoration in my heart" I really agree with. It is really in the intention put forth with the word or mantra etc.. isn't it. Just like when we pray.. I know when I have received a message with ONS or OAN etc.. I have still said the mantra in my mind when reading it.

          The original email above is i think a beautiful reminder on the essence of the power of a mantra, esp. when referring to Amma, I know for me, i only wish to hold Her in the highest light..

          As far as people using "Om Namah Sivaya" in crowds or to get their way with a certain tone and in ways that minimize the supreme qualities of the mantra, I think is unfortunate and I does not apear to mirror reflect what the foundation of this mantra truly signifies. Though what to do.. when in the presence of Amma many of Her children act in ways where their vasanas, behaviors, and personalities are heightened. For them to react in such ways, they must be going thru alot in that moment. That or they could just really benefit from a liver cleanse ;o)
        • Unsu...

          Re: Email From Big Swami

          Sat, April 26, 2008 - 8:12 AM
          I have to admit that it took me a really long time to figure out what ONS meant, hahaha. I felt kinda stupid when I did figure it out. Anyway, all this fuss about Big Swami is so silly. Sorry I cannot spell Swami Amritaswarupananda, that's why I say Big Swami...maybe now I don't have to abbreviate his name anymore since I think I finally got it down :) But it is a nice remonder from him that we sould spell out the whole mantra. But also that we should have mindfullness when addressing one another with the mantra. i for one when I'm angry or am in a rsuh, I don't say OM NAMAH SIVAYAH!!!. I just say excuse me pardon me coming through!!! Whatever, i think its all got out of hand at programs....its really ridiculous.
          • Re: Email From Big Swami

            Sat, April 26, 2008 - 11:38 AM

            I like when Amma utters it (supermantra!) that way.
            Moving Her hand in a circular motion.

            I love Shiva too.
            And I really, really, REALLY dig it
            when "I" recognize the Shiva in "You."
            • Unsu...

              Re: Email From Big Swami

              Sat, April 26, 2008 - 8:24 PM
              I get chills when I hear Mother say Siva Siva Sivani....oooo, like now

              Om Namah Sivayah.

              I love you Mother, my guru, my love

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