Letter to Gail Tredwell – Suresh Kumar

suresh kumarBelow is a letter sent to Gail Tredwell by Suresh Kumar, biological brother of Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.

Respectful Gail Tredwell,

This is Suresh Kumar, eldest son of Sugunacchan and Damayanti-amma.

Dear sister,

You came to my house in 1979, and you stayed there for about nine years. Because you were not earning any money and because others were taking care of your expenses, we never asked you to pay any rent. You thus continued staying in the house until 1988. At that time, you said that you had come in search of a Guru. I take it that what this meant was that you had accepted my sister as your Guru and would live in accordance with Her words. Am I right?

In all those years, we considered you a member of the family. For instance, in 1982, when my eldest sister had just given birth, you might recall that instead of tending to her, my mother took care of you, who were recovering from a surgery following the diagnosis of an illness. Such is Indian culture, which exhorts the guest is to be regarded as God Himself (‘Athithi Devo Bhava’).

You must have been aware that even then, more than three decades ago, we were earning our own keep and doing our bit for charity as well.

You are well aware that the Mata Amritanandamayi Trust was registered in 1988. Back then, the ashram’s property included a 10-cent plot of land and a house, which my father had bequeathed. My father-in-law bought the adjacent plot of land required for the ashram’s next building and donated it to the ashram. This is well-known to you and many others. Thereafter, it was my father-in-law who purchased the first vehicle for the ashram. Hence, you must have been aware that even then, more than three decades ago, we were earning our own keep and doing our bit for charity as well. In spite of the fact that the ashram began with our family’s help, none of my family members are trustees or office bearers; we were not interested in those positions either. We chose our own paths in life, and whatever we earned was through hard work. We have never begged for alms either from you or the M.A. Math. Why then did you lie?

Back then, you used to say, “Suresh, Amma is our Guru. Look upon me as your sister.” You often used to instruct me on how one ought to behave towards a Guru. You would wax lyrical about the Guru-sishya (Master-disciple) relationship. It was your words that inspired me to venerate Amma and to start calling Her “Amma.”

At that time, were you thinking of how you could take from those bags of tricks in the future?

You might recall how, on one occasion, seeing a pool of blood issuing from some cut fish, someone spread a false rumor that Neal Rosner (now Swami Paramatmananda Puri) had been hacked to death and thrown into the sea. Hearing this, my younger sister had burst into tears, and seeing her wailing, you had exploded, “You can’t find people like this anywhere else in the world. How cruel these people are!” Perhaps, those people had merely been ignorant. But when they realized Amma’s greatness, they repented their wrongdoing and became devotees and relations of Amma. At that time, were you thinking of how you could take from those bags of tricks in the future? I have always been in contempt of your spiritual life, then and now. May I remind you that I was never a believer of your ilk. Exploiting blind faith, you concocted fantasies, placed yourself on a divine pedestal, and garnered a ring of lackeys around you. Whether it was preparing curries, chutneys or tall tales, you cooked them all up, with the sole aim of fulfilling your ambition to be a Maha-guru. Do you know how my sister and Mother, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, became God in my heart? Seeing all moving and unmoving creatures in this universe as a part of Herself—seeing their sorrows as Her sorrows, seeing their happiness as Her happiness—She sacrificed Her own life for the happiness and welfare of others, burning Herself up day and night like a candle. Seeing this, I felt that my Amma was equal to God, was God Herself. This is how I acquired my faith, and not through the stories you cooked!

Perhaps, you wanted to separate them from Amma, but you will not succeed. Their faith has been redoubled, and they are ready to dedicate their lives to Amma, their all-in-all. Their love, sincerity and faith are amazing.

Amma is a glorious, flowing river, ever resonating with the sound of “Om,” issuing the nectarous elixir of immortality, taking on the impurities of people, and gushing towards the infinite, blue ocean. The blade of grass that you and I are, growing on the banks of this river, can do nothing. Is it your aim to destroy the religious harmony of my country? You will never be able to do that, my sister. Perhaps, you might think that Malayalees stand in the way of anything good. (There might be a few like this.) For your information, my friends—Nasar, Kabeer, Sabu Jacob and Manoj Joseph—are among those who have come out to proclaim Amma’s goodness and to sing Her glories. We have figured out what your pernicious intentions are. Do you know how many innocent people have been hurt by your barbed arrows? You will have to pay for their tears in the years to come. Perhaps, you wanted to separate them from Amma, but you will not succeed. Their faith has been redoubled, and they are ready to dedicate their lives to Amma, their all-in-all. Their love, sincerity and faith are amazing. Thank you for bringing about this elevation in them. Our Amma (and yours, too) teaches us to forgive, forget and forbear. Therefore, we bear no hard feelings towards you. Isn’t it said that hatred destroys discrimination? Keeping hatred at bay, we have become stronger. Sister, you, too, must strive to become stronger and nobler. If there is any goodness left in you, your heart will feel remorse. To heal it, let me teach you a mantra. Close your eyes and pray with all your heart, “O Amma, who welcomes stones and thorns as a shower of flower petals, please forgive me.”

My dear sister, I cannot write any more. My eyes are filling up with tears. My hands are trembling. May God shower only goodness on you.