A letter from Amma Regarding Hurricane Katrina
17 September 2005
Amma is heartbroken over Hurricane Katrina and how it killed hundreds of people and destroyed an entire city and all its wealth. No words can pacify those whose life and livelihood were intricately connected with this city. It looks like humanity is going through an “age of agony.”
In December of last year, the tsunami killed hundreds of thousands along the coasts of Southeast Asia. Thereafter, we had a flood in Gujarat. Shortly after that, heavy downpours in Mumbai caused the deaths of thousands and left many more homeless.
This was followed by Hurricane Katrina in the US and a stampede in Iraq. We also had several plane crashes this year. Hundreds died in each of those as well. Amma’s heart is in deep pain when she thinks of all the innocent people, particularly the children, who lost their lives in these consecutive incidents. However, Amma’s heart sinks even further when she thinks of the survivors. Think of their helpless situation—destined to carry their grief as long as they live.... It’s as if they remain to tell us a tale.
In the depths of their depression, these people can see only darkness when they look to the future. How can we console them? How can we relieve their pain, the emotional turmoil they are going through? Besides providing food, clothing and shelter, how can we help them regain faith, courage, optimism and self-confidence? Most importantly, how can we lend a hand to the children, the sick and the elderly? We should contemplate deeply on these questions, find the right answers and implement them immediately.
God’s ways are incomprehensible and often strange. It is difficult for ordinary human beings to understand the severe and unpredictable laws of Nature. Still, children, those of us who are healthy and who have the resources must rise to the occasion and do whatever we can to help these innocent people. May God’s love and compassion flow through us and out to the suffering and grief-stricken.
Also, children, as we try to help the victims of these tragedies, let us not forget that Divine Grace alone can truly save us from situations like these. In the modern world, people think that everything can be achieved through human effort. Ego and selfishness rule the world. Just as we, in our greed, are grabbing the wealth and possessions of other people and nations, we are also aggressively encroaching into Nature’s treasury and stealing her bounty.
For ages, we have trusted our own power and wealth—the ego. And now, through these natural calamities, God has proven to us that it is high time that we shift our focus from the ego to Divine Grace. Let us do so without delay. There is no time to waste. Amma still sees dark clouds enveloping the world. Only the cool breeze of sincere and innocent prayers can lift these clouds and turn them into a shower of Divine Grace. Remember, only Divine Grace will help us.
May all those who died in Hurricane Katrina and in the other recent tragedies attain peace. May all their friends and relatives also be peaceful and happy. May there be peace throughout the entire world.
“Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”
Affectionate kisses to all of Amma’s children.