She was speaking on the occasion of her 60th birthday celebrations.
"Anxiety is the misuse of our imagination. It is like a thief, stealing away our inner strength and precious time. We have all become experts at anxiously determining that -- without any reason -- only the worst will happen," said the "hugging saint", as she is called.
"You cannot resolve issues by fretting. Like the old man in a rocking chair, anxiety keeps us moving, without ever taking us anywhere," she said.
"Immobilization, caused by ceaseless waves of thoughts: That is what we call anxiety. When this happens, it is like we pay interest on a loan even before taking it!"
Amma noted that life prompts people to desire success and happiness, but at the same time, all of us are facing problems. These problems vary from person to person. For some, the source of problems is relationships. For others, their problems are financial. There are others whose problems are health-related. However, there is one problem that is common for us all, and that is anxiety," she said.
Acting with an understanding of the heart of suffering people is true service to the world, she said. "For this, we should be able to see ourselves in others and others in ourselves. We should be able to understand the frame of mind of the sorrowful and reach out to them. Amma prays that her children make space for each other in their hearts. May we see the world with a vision of oneness, understanding and compassion," she said.
Earlier Thursday, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was the chief guest at a function to felicitate the "hugging saint". Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy was the chief guest at a similar function in the evening.
--IANS (Posted on 26-09-2013)