Sadhguru on Mayamma, A Mysterious Devotee

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Storytelling / Wisdom For Seekers


Sadhguru tells about Mayamma, a pious woman who lived in Kanyakumari. She lived like a beggar woman on the streets of Kanyakumari. Because of her ways, many times she got harshly treated by society - because people saw her as a thief and not as a saintly person.


Duration: 6 min


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4 min read

Sadhguru on Mayamma, A Mysterious Devotee

The following is an unedited transcript of Sadhguru's video. For better readability, breaks and highlights have been added by the editors.

Mayamma was – nobody really knows where she came from, but looking at her, physical features, most probably she came somewhere from north-eastern states, either from Nagaland or somewhere where the features are Mongoloid. She could be from Tibet for all you know, because I think she never spoke, is that so? She never really spoke. So she was in the town of Kanyakumari, which is the very tip of southern India, Indian peninsula.

So she just wandered the streets like a, like a beggar she walked around, but with a different kind of pride in her. And all the local dogs gathered around her and became her friends. So she had built a whole dog family, because she fed them. Whenever she got any food, she naturally fed them, even if she didn’t eat.

So she went to such extremes – in South Indian hotels, some of the dishes, you never buy them, I am telling you, some of the dishes are displayed in a glass case in front of a restaurant like idli, not idli usually, vada, some sweet and laddoos. These are usually done on a holy day like a full moon day, they are “Today’s special.” So she would go to that extent that she would grab this food and throw it to the dogs. So there have been incidences where a few times she has been beaten up and abused and everything. So she was getting the social harsh treatment because she’s seen just as an irresponsible thief, not as a saintly person, because nobody could see anything saintly about her. Because a saint means, he must be dressed in such a way, there must be three lines on his forehead, and he must say the right things and, you know he must be lifeless, but she is spunky.

But sometimes people found her floating upon the waves, she was just floating upon the waves, that amazed people and they started looking at her with little more respect. Later on some person who was involved, in her old age, he brought her to a place called Salem and she lived there and she died there, she left her body there. Her Samadhi is a fantastic place, fantastic means not in anyway, it’s just one cement thing, very barely built, a small house but it’s really strong – strong, strong it is.

So I happened to be in a small hill station which is close to this place and that day happened to be a pournami, that is a full moon day. So somebody was talking about this Mayamma, her Samadhi, and many things I had heard about her from many people. So we thought we will drive down from the hill and just go there because it’s pournami evening, let’s see. And somebody came and said there is something special happening there on pournami evening. So when I went there at 5:00, 5:30 in the evening there was nobody. So we went in and sat in a small room, just ten by ten kind of room with a large picture of hers. She looks totally weather beaten like most of the Tibetan women, just about the same kind of face. But it’s explosive, that place.

And there is one particular devotee, this is a man about fifty years of age at that time, his face has become exactly like hers. This man is a Tamil man, he can’t have Tibetan or Nepali or Nagaland features. He is a Tamil man – his face is almost like hers. Just the same his face has become. This is what devotion can do.

Devotion is always the quickest way, because when you create unwavering emotion towards something, everything in you just gets focused. Not just your emotion, your mind, it takes it off, completely. Your physical body also gets oriented towards that, your energies also get oriented towards that. And this man reshaped his face just like hers. His love for her is such, and I thought this is an incredible man.

Devotion just means this – it’s become a one-pointed consciousness. It is not wavering here and there, it’s just one way. Once everything is put,everything that is there in this being is put in one direction, things will happen in ways that you have not believed possible. I want you to just look back on the spiritual history of India. You will see devotees doing incredible things. Things that happened around them are too magical for anybody to believe. They had no knowledge, they had no other mantra, tantra going with them. The only thing was single-pointed devotion, that’s all. Things that happened within them and around them are too magical for anybody to believe. Incredible things happened around them, and millions and millions of people were moved simply by their presence. All they had is single-pointed devotion, that’s all.


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