Q: What is the spiritual state of humanity at present?
A: Generally speaking, there is a tremendous spiritual awakening throughout the world. People are certainly becoming more and more aware of the need for a spiritual way of living. Though they don't directly link it with spirituality, New Age philosophy, yoga and meditaion are gaining more popularity in Western countries than ever before. To do yoga and meditation has become fashionable in many countries, especially in the higher class of society. The basic idea of living in tune with Nature and with spiritual principles is being accepted even by atheists. An inner thirst and a feeling of urgency to change can be found everywhere. This is undoubtedly a positive sign.
However, on the other hand, the influence of materialism and materialistic pleasures are also increasing uncontrollably. If things continue in this way, it will cause serious imbalance. When it comes to material pleasures, people use very poor discrimination and their approach is often unintelligent and destructive.
Q: Is there anything new or special about this age?
A: Every moment is special, so to speak. Nevertheless, this age is special, because we have almost reached another peak of human existence.
Q: Really? What is that peak?
A: The peak of ego, darkness, and selfishness.
Q: Amma, would you please elaborate a little more on that?
A: According to the Rishis [ancient Seers], there are four ages: Satyayuga, Tretayuga, Dwaparayuga, and Kaliyuga. Presently we are in Kaliyuga, the dark age of materialism. Satyayuga comes first, a time when only truth and truthfulness exist. Having journeyed through the other two, Treta and Dwapara yugas, humanity has now reached Kaliyuga, the last one, which is supposed to culminate into another Satyayuga. However, as we entered, sojourned, and came out of the Treta and Dwapara yugas, we also lost many beautiful values, such as truth, compassion, love, etc. The age of truth and truthfulness was a peak. Treta and Dwapara yugas were the middle, when we still maintained a little bit of dharma [righteousness] and satya [truth]. Now, we have reached another peak, the peak of adharma [unrighteousness] and asatya [untruthfulness]. Lessons in humility alone will help humanity to realize the darkness that currently surrounds it. This will prepare us to climb to the top of light and truthfulness. Let us hope and pray that people belonging to all faiths and all cultures around the world will learn this lesson, with is the need of the age.