For Amma, Amrita Hospital’s foundation is laid upon the stone of compassion. As of today, it has provided ₹816 crore (US $105 million) of free treatment that has reached 5.9 million people living in poverty. However, Amma’s vision also goes beyond that focus. Amrita Hospital provides high-quality, innovative healthcare affordable to all people, especially for the middle class. Overall, the hospital has successfully treated 19.6 million patients with this steadfast belief.
Amma addressed the 25th Anniversary Ceremonies at Amrita Hospital, Kochi, with a video message in the presence of Sri Amit Shah, Hon’ble Minister of Home Affairs, Govt of India; Smt Veena George, Hon’ble Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Govt of Kerala; and other distinguished guests.
I bow down to everyone who is the embodiment of Love, whose true nature is the Self. Namaskarams to Honourable Central Minister, Shri Amit Shah, to the other Ministers, and distinguished guests.
At the time, Prime Minister of India, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, inaugurated Amrita Hospital, 25 years ago. It is a matter of great joy that Shri Amit Shah, the Minister of Home Affairs, India, is with us on the 25th anniversary of this hospital.
All these years, the doctor-children, nurse-children, and all the other children served sincerely and with total dedication. Words are insufficient to express my gratitude to them. I bow down to them with all my heart.
Health is the most basic necessity of humanity. Disease will bring an intense state of sorrow. Patients deserve to be cared for with the utmost patience and love. A hospital is their place of refuge, solace and hope.
For a patient, the doctor is God in a human form, as are the nurses and paramedics who serve in the hospital. It is a blessing to be able to bring solace to someone in pain; this is why Amma says that the doctors who serve in the hospital, the nurse-children and others should smile with their heart.
They should be able to say kind words. Their eyes and their words should be tender with compassion. They should be good listeners. They should understand the mental state of their patients and proceed accordingly.
Amma knows that the doctors, nurses and all the other children who care for the patient’s needs have their own personal family responsibilities. Still, it would be good if we could forget that and have the attitude that we are consoling our own child when dealing with each patient. Amma knows you are doing so; Amma only wants to reiterate.
The greatest loss in life is to let go of opportunities to serve. Like the hornbill thirsting for rain, the world is heedful of and thirsting for acts of selfless service. The world is thirsting for good-hearted people. The fragrance of a flower wafts in the direction of the wind. But the fragrance of love and service spreads everywhere, equally.
Amma has been hearing the pain of humanity for the past 50 to 60 years. This hospital was started because Amma saw children born with defective hearts. At that point, there was no indigenous heart valve developed in India. The valves had to be imported.
Because they could not afford the cost of the operation, those who should have been able to live up to 80 died when they were 40. So, I longed for such research—to start a hospital and do research. This is how the hospital took shape.
During the corona times, there was an elderly couple who couldn’t afford to buy their medicines with their pension. The cost of their medicine and treatment was 10,000 rupees each month. Both of them suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure.
Because they lacked awareness, they would take the blood-pressure medications only once in a while. If they took a tablet today, they would skip the next day. Because of this, they both suffered a stroke and now lie paralysed. Others have died.
We now chase after our desires; we do not go after our needs. We will know the correct time whether we buy a watch worth 10 thousand rupees or one lakh. So we should take what we need, and with the rest we should help others.
It would be good and helpful if we could gain such a mindset. I am not pushing anyone; I am only mentioning it. We can bring harmony into society if we can live with restraint.
People may ask, “Why should Amma start a hospital?”
Amma always says in Sanātana Dharma, the creation and Creator are not two. The Sun doesn’t need the light of a candle. God does not need anything from us. There is gold both in the earrings and the necklace; likewise, the necklace and the earrings contain gold.
Sanātana Dharma says, īśȃvȃsyam-idam sarvam—all this is pervaded by God. There is nothing but God. The plane cannot fly if its engine is damaged or even if a single screw is not in the right place. There is nothing trivial or insignificant in Sanātana Dharma. It tells us to see God in all—to love and serve all.
It is our rsis, the ancient seers, who discovered all the medicines of Ȃyurveda. Even though Rāma was near Laksmana, when Laksmana fell unconscious on the battlefield, he sent Hanumān to fetch medicine. This shows that medicine is necessary.
It is said that Lord Krsna incarnated as Dhanvantara Mȗrti as the Father of Ȃyurveda. It is said that just like food is needed to satiate hunger, both medicine and mantra are needed to cure a disease.
There are many external challenges that a doctor has to face, yet the doctor’s life is for the patient. My children may be thinking of the incident where a young woman was murdered by a patient. It will remain forever etched as an ineradicable pain in everyone’s heart. Doctors now have to move around in fear; Amma knows it.
Amma takes this opportunity to pray for the parents of that daughter. How can they forget? I pray they may find peace.
In our life we have to deal with many situations. In some situations, we may have the freedom to decide our course of action. When we have the freedom to choose how to act, we should not sit idle saying everything is God’s will. We should use our discernment and perform the right actions in such situations.
For example, if we fail an exam, it is incorrect to say, “Oh it is God’s will,” and stop studying. We should study thoroughly and attempt to rewrite the exam better than before. But there will be situations where the choice of action is not in our hands. In such situations, where we have no choice, we should try to accept it as God’s will.
For example, we wish to be six-feet tall, but our genetic makeup is programmed for us to be just five feet. Therefore, even if we try hard, we may not be able to add even an inch to our height. Even if we stand on our heads or stretch our arms—even if we take medicines—we will not be able to grow as tall as we desire.
Such unnecessary actions will drain away our time and strength and create more complications in life. Some karmas can be removed through prayer, and some others through remorse and atonement. But some karma returns even after we repent or atone for it.
Likewise, some diseases can be cured with medicine, while some others require operations. Some diseases recur even after they have been operated upon. Diseases like third-stage cancer tend to recur. What can we do in such a situation? We can only accept. Yet, we can strive, offering ourselves to the Paramȃtmȃ.
Like every other decision, happiness must also become a decision. Whether we laugh or cry, time will move on. Even the next breath is not in our hands. Life is like a bubble that can burst at any moment. We should live each moment with discernment; only then do we truly live.
Understanding this, we should ponder what is possible for us to do. Shouldn’t we strive to be good human beings? Let us be able to perform good actions. This is the only everlasting thing that will lift us from death to immortality, both within and without.
At the same time, many of my devotee-children who live in the West, even while they are alive, put down in their will that: “In case something happens to me, my organs should be donated to someone else.”
Let me narrate one such incident. The mother of a son whose eyes were donated upon his death said to me, “When I am sad, I look into the eyes of the boy who received my son’s eyes. I say to myself, ‘These are my son’s eyes…. These are my son’s eyes,’ and when I look into them, I find great relief.”
We perform hand transplants here. They also came to see me—both the one who received a hand and the mother of the boy whose hand was transplanted. “These are my son’s hands, these are my son’s hands,” she repeated to me. She also got relief.
When we die, our body becomes a handful of ash, or our body decomposes, becomes food for worms, and itself becomes worms. Instead of ending like this, if we were to donate our organs to someone, our body could live on even after our death, and our life would attain more value than even while we were alive. After we die, our body could live on through others. The donors will reap the merits of their good deed.
Since the start of the corona pandemic, I have been constantly listening to the wails of mothers and fathers. Their children are glued to their mobile phones and they are addicted to drugs. They cannot sleep and are uninterested in their studies. Instead, they sit behind the closed doors of their rooms. The parents ask me in desperation, “What should we do, Amma?”
Children are flowers that should spread their fragrance throughout the world. But now they are withering and falling, even while they are buds. I beseech my darling children, holding on to your feet, don’t take drugs. To the government, I say more than war, we should be afraid of the menace of drugs.
We should always be grateful—to this world that brought us up and nurtured us, that made us who we are today. We have a responsibility towards this world and to all living beings in it. This Earth is our mother. Nature is our mother. We should never forget our duty towards our mother.
We should heed the cries of our brothers and sisters. We should do whatever we can to assuage their grief, to give some relief. We do not need much wealth or a high place in society to achieve this. A loving word, a tender glance, a smile, and a small act of help, assisting in whatever way we can.
These acts will illumine both lives—theirs and ours. The value of life is decided not by what we have gained, but by what we have been able to give. If we can give joy to at least one being for even one moment, our life is fulfilled to that extent.
The horrific train accident that happened the day before stunned everyone. The ones who died are no more. But the relatives and friends of the dead are in limbo—neither dead nor alive. No medicine can cure their agony. Pray that they gain mental peace.
My darling children, let us sincerely pray that we may act with awareness in each action. Let everyone have a healthy body and a courageous mind. And feel compassion for all.
May Grace bless everyone.
ॐ नमः शिवाय