ABOUT           EARLY CHILDHOOD           GROWING UP          RENUNCIATION           AWAKENING           A NEW MISSION

The Beginning of Life’s Struggles

Sri Avinash really enjoyed his primary school years where he made many friends from various ethnic backgrounds. He also loved playing sports such as cricket and football and playing Atari computer games at his friend’s house.

His family lived in shared houses in Sydney’s inner west with other Vietnamese families, which was the only way they could afford to pay the rent. In winter there was no heating in the houses and the skin on Sri Avinash’s knuckles and lips used to crack and bleed from the cold. Most of the clothes they wore were donated by charities.

In his first year of high school he asked his father if he could cook for the family, to relieve his father from the daily cooking duties. His father was surprised because Sri Avinash was so young and had little experience in cooking, but his father said, “Have a try and see how you go.”

His cooking was only basic, but it was good enough to score the fulltime job. With this development, his time playing with friends after school came to an end because he had to catch the bus home quickly each afternoon to start cooking.

After moving from shared house to shared house, Sri Avinash’s father was granted a government housing commission home in North Ryde in 1989. By this time two of his sisters had migrated to Australia from Vietnam to join the family. Sri Avinash and his family couldn’t believe how lucky they were to be able to live in a brand new town-house with four bedrooms, after so many years of living together in one bedroom in old and cold houses.

In North Ryde he struggled to meet new friends that he was close with like the friends from his previous school. Combined with the fact that he found high school much more serious than primary school, this marked the beginning of his life struggles and suffering.

The Beginning of Life’s Struggles

Sri Avinash really enjoyed his primary school years where he made many friends from various ethnic backgrounds. He also loved playing sports such as cricket and football and playing Atari computer games at his friend’s house.

His family lived in shared houses in Sydney’s inner west with other Vietnamese families, which was the only way they could afford to pay the rent. In winter there was no heating in the houses and the skin on Sri Avinash’s knuckles and lips used to crack and bleed from the cold. Most of the clothes they wore were donated by charities.

In his first year of high school he asked his father if he could cook for the family, to relieve his father from the daily cooking duties. His father was surprised because Sri Avinash was so young and had little experience in cooking, but his father said, “Have a try and see how you go.”

His cooking was only basic, but it was good enough to score the fulltime job. With this development, his time playing with friends after school came to an end because he had to catch the bus home quickly each afternoon to start cooking.

After moving from shared house to shared house, Sri Avinash’s father was granted a government housing commission home in North Ryde in 1989. By this time two of his sisters had migrated to Australia from Vietnam to join the family. Sri Avinash and his family couldn’t believe how lucky they were to be able to live in a brand new town-house with four bedrooms, after so many years of living together in one bedroom in old and cold houses.

In North Ryde he struggled to meet new friends that he was close with like the friends from his previous school. Combined with the fact that he found high school much more serious than primary school, this marked the beginning of his life struggles and suffering.

Sri Avinash in his mid 20s with his family.

Left to right: Sri Avinash’s younger sister, older sister, father, step-mother, Sri Avinash. Front row: younger brother.

His Heart Yearned

During his teenage years and early 20s, he felt a hollow sadness and purposelessness which he did not know how to get rid of. He endeavoured to get a good education and career as a solution to his problems, and this led him to enrol in a Bachelor degree at Macquarie University in 1995.

In his first year of university he did a personal training course and it was during this course that he experienced his first spontaneous satori, which lasted for many hours. He didn’t know how it had happened, but it was clear to him that his heart yearned for more of it. The thought came to him that, “There must be meditators who know about this type of thing, so I need to learn from them how to meditate.”

His Heart Yearned

During his teenage years and early 20s, he felt a hollow sadness and purposelessness which he did not know how to get rid of. He endeavoured to get a good education and career as a solution to his problems, and this led him to enrol in a Bachelor degree at Macquarie University in 1995.

In his first year of university he did a personal training course and it was during this course that he experienced his first spontaneous satori, which lasted for many hours. He didn’t know how it had happened, but it was clear to him that his heart yearned for more of it. The thought came to him that, “There must be meditators who know about this type of thing, so I need to learn from them how to meditate.”

Sri Avinash in his mid 20s with his family.

Left to right: Sri Avinash’s younger sister, older sister, father, step-mother, Sri Avinash. Front row: younger brother.

Praying to God

Soon after, Sri Avinash joined the university meditation society and immediately fell in love with meditation when it brought such deep peace. He would meditate daily for many hours at home and in between classes at university.

On completion of his degree, he secured a job at a highly reputed firm. Although this was a secure and prosperous career, in his second year at the firm he realized that it was not fulfilling for him.

After realizing that the corporate life was not the answer, Sri Avinash worked for two years as a sales person in various Real Estate agencies. It was during these two years that Sri Avinash seriously contemplated how to live a purposeful life, and he would think of God often during this period.

When he was working, he enjoyed it when no buyers came to the open-house inspections because he would use this time to talk and pray to God for help and guidance. Whilst praying, his eyes would be full of tears and on occasions he had to quickly wipe the tears from his face when a buyer approached. He continued this practice of prayerful contemplation whenever he could over the next two years.

In the hope of finding a new career, Sri Avinash decided to go back to Macquarie University where he completed a Masters in a new field. However, after experiencing the new industry for a few weeks he felt a heavy sadness, knowing again that this was not for him, but still not knowing what to do with his life.

Praying to God

Soon after, Sri Avinash joined the university meditation society and immediately fell in love with meditation when it brought such deep peace. He would meditate daily for many hours at home and in between classes at university.

On completion of his degree, he secured a job at a highly reputed firm. Although this was a secure and prosperous career, in his second year at the firm he realized that it was not fulfilling for him.

After realizing that the corporate life was not the answer, Sri Avinash worked for two years as a sales person in various Real Estate agencies. It was during these two years that Sri Avinash seriously contemplated how to live a purposeful life, and he would think of God often during this period.

When he was working, he enjoyed it when no buyers came to the open-house inspections because he would use this time to talk and pray to God for help and guidance. Whilst praying, his eyes would be full of tears and on occasions he had to quickly wipe the tears from his face when a buyer approached. He continued this practice of prayerful contemplation whenever he could over the next two years.

In the hope of finding a new career, Sri Avinash decided to go back to Macquarie University where he completed a Masters in a new field. However, after experiencing the new industry for a few weeks he felt a heavy sadness, knowing again that this was not for him, but still not knowing what to do with his life.

About-Sri-Avinash---family-and-friends

Sri Avinash with his family and friends at the graduation ceremony for his Bachelor degree, in 1998.

Left to right: Father, younger brother, Sri Avinash, Michael, Hamilton.

about-Sri-Avinash---family-at-fountains

Sri Avinash and his family at his graduation ceremony, 1998.

Left to right: Step-mother, Sri Avinash, father. Front row: Younger sister, younger brother.

About-Sri-Avinash---family-and-friends

Sri Avinash with his family and friends at the graduation ceremony for his Bachelor degree, in 1998.

Left to right: Father, younger brother, Sri Avinash, Michael, Hamilton.

about-Sri-Avinash---family-at-fountains

Sri Avinash and his family at his graduation ceremony, 1998.

Left to right: Step-mother, Sri Avinash, father. Front row: Younger sister, younger brother.

Renunciation

At the age of 30, Sri Avinash felt a natural renunciation towards the world. He lost all concern for name or fame, success or failure, relationships and worldly pleasures. He was tired of struggling and had no feeling to put any energy into those things. He continued reading spiritual books, spent a lot of time in his room in a surrendered state and sometimes played tennis at a local social tennis club. There was a sense in him that he could wait eternally for life to take hold of him in whichever direction it may.

This state went on for three years. It was a beautiful and blissful state and Sri Avinash says, “I wouldn’t lose my peace of mind for any more than a total of 10 minutes in a year.” However there was a feeling that something was missing and that he wasn’t living the life he came to this planet for. He yearned to serve humanity, but didn’t know how. So all he could do was pray to God and wait.

Renunciation

At the age of 30, Sri Avinash felt a natural renunciation towards the world. He lost all concern for name or fame, success or failure, relationships and worldly pleasures. He was tired of struggling and had no feeling to put any energy into those things. He continued reading spiritual books, spent a lot of time in his room in a surrendered state and sometimes played tennis at a local social tennis club. There was a sense in him that he could wait eternally for life to take hold of him in whichever direction it may.

This state went on for three years. It was a beautiful and blissful state and Sri Avinash says, “I wouldn’t lose my peace of mind for any more than a total of 10 minutes in a year.” However there was a feeling that something was missing and that he wasn’t living the life he came to this planet for. He yearned to serve humanity, but didn’t know how. So all he could do was pray to God and wait.

About Sri Avinash Do - The feet of Sri Avinash

The feet of Sri Avinash’s beloved Master, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.

Coming Home

Through a stranger’s recommendation, Sri Avinash met Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, also known as Amma the ‘Hugging Saint’, in Sydney during her 2006 Australian tour. Soon after, he flew to India to stay at Amma’s ashram, Amritapuri. As soon as he entered the ashram gate he felt, “I have lived here for a thousand years. I am finally home again.” He immediately had a tremendous love for Amma and Amma’s disciples.

Many years earlier, Sri Avinash had once been asked, “If you had seven days left to live, what would you do?” He answered, “I would look for an enlightened Master and spend my remaining days learning from them.” So being at Amritapuri was a dream come true.

In Amritapuri, Amma gave him a Guru mantra and his spiritual name, ‘Avinash’, which means ‘indestructible’.

About Sri Avinash Do - The feet of Sri Avinash

The feet of Sri Avinash’s beloved Master, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi.

Coming Home

Through a stranger’s recommendation, Sri Avinash met Mata Amritanandamayi Devi, also known as Amma the ‘Hugging Saint’, in Sydney during her 2006 Australian tour. Soon after, he flew to India to stay at Amma’s ashram, Amritapuri. As soon as he entered the ashram gate he felt, “I have lived here for a thousand years. I am finally home again.” He immediately had a tremendous love for Amma and Amma’s disciples.

Many years earlier, Sri Avinash had once been asked, “If you had seven days left to live, what would you do?” He answered, “I would look for an enlightened Master and spend my remaining days learning from them.” So being at Amritapuri was a dream come true.

In Amritapuri, Amma gave him a Guru mantra and his spiritual name, ‘Avinash’, which means ‘indestructible’.

Life as a Spiritual Seeker

For the next three and a half years Sri Avinash dedicated his life to serving Amma. This involved serving Amma on her Indian and international tours and at Amritapuri. His main seva (‘selfless service’) on the Indian tours was cooking rice for the large crowds that attended Amma’s programs. During the European tours he served as a kitchen assistant and in Amritapuri his main seva was cutting and stacking paper which would be made into books, magazines and other products.

For Sri Avinash, it was such a great joy to serve Amma. He felt tremendous gratitude for the opportunity and for God’s blessing to be able to live such a life. He says, “I would often sit down at the end of the day to eat rice and curry at Amritapuri, and I’d feel so much love and gratitude that just the thought of Amma would bring me tears of joy.” As well as the love of serving Amma in Amritapuri, Sri Avinash greatly cherished Amma’s weekly satsangs on Tuesdays. He always felt sad when her satsang ended because he had to wait another week for more.

Sri Avinash crossing the backwaters at Amritapuri, Amma’s Ashram in Kerala, India.

Life as a Spiritual Seeker

For the next three and a half years Sri Avinash dedicated his life to serving Amma. This involved serving Amma on her Indian and international tours and at Amritapuri. His main seva (‘selfless service’) on the Indian tours was cooking rice for the large crowds that attended Amma’s programs. During the European tours he served as a kitchen assistant and in Amritapuri his main seva was cutting and stacking paper which would be made into books, magazines and other products.

For Sri Avinash, it was such a great joy to serve Amma. He felt tremendous gratitude for the opportunity and for God’s blessing to be able to live such a life. He says, “I would often sit down at the end of the day to eat rice and curry at Amritapuri, and I’d feel so much love and gratitude that just the thought of Amma would bring me tears of joy.” As well as the love of serving Amma in Amritapuri, Sri Avinash greatly cherished Amma’s weekly satsangs on Tuesdays. He always felt sad when her satsang ended because he had to wait another week for more.

Sri Avinash crossing the backwaters at Amritapuri, Amma’s Ashram in Kerala, India.

Putting Amma’s Teachings into Practice

His main daily spiritual practices were seva, mantra japa, archana (chanting the thousand names of the Divine Mother), treating others with kindness and directly bringing his awareness to the present moment. Throughout each day he would consistently make sure that he was in the present moment. Whenever he became aware that his mind had drifted away in thoughts, he would immediately bring himself back to the present moment at will. For him this was a second-to-second, minute-to-minute activity, all day. He says that there were some occasions when he would lose the awareness of the present moment for an hour or so, in distraction. When he realized this had happened, there was immediately an immense determination to make up for the error by bringing himself back to the present moment and staying there for as long as he could.

Sri Avinash had such faith in Amma that whenever any unfavourable situation appeared in his life, he would not be concerned about it. He would just surrender it to Amma and be at peace.

The nature of Sri Avinash’s seva for Amma, as well as the large number of disciples around Amma, meant that he did not have a physically close relationship with her. For example, he never had an opportunity to have a one-on-one talk with Amma. Because of this, he says, “I had to make the most of Amma’s help from a distance.” When he heard Amma’s satsang on Tuesdays, there was hardly a time that it didn’t bring him heart-quenching tears. Each week, he couldn’t wait to put her teachings into practice in his life.

By this time, Sri Avinash was experiencing many hours of satori every day. He would either induce the satori state or it would come to him spontaneously. His main goal was then to stretch out this state to every waking moment, while serving Amma. He kept his experiences quietly to himself, sharing about them with only a few of his friends.

Putting Amma’s Teachings into Practice

His main daily spiritual practices were seva, mantra japa, archana (chanting the thousand names of the Divine Mother), treating others with kindness and directly bringing his awareness to the present moment. Throughout each day he would consistently make sure that he was in the present moment. Whenever he became aware that his mind had drifted away in thoughts, he would immediately bring himself back to the present moment at will. For him this was a second-to-second, minute-to-minute activity, all day. He says that there were some occasions when he would lose the awareness of the present moment for an hour or so, in distraction. When he realized this had happened, there was immediately an immense determination to make up for the error by bringing himself back to the present moment and staying there for as long as he could.

Sri Avinash had such faith in Amma that whenever any unfavourable situation appeared in his life, he would not be concerned about it. He would just surrender it to Amma and be at peace.

The nature of Sri Avinash’s seva for Amma, as well as the large number of disciples around Amma, meant that he did not have a physically close relationship with her. For example, he never had an opportunity to have a one-on-one talk with Amma. Because of this, he says, “I had to make the most of Amma’s help from a distance.” When he heard Amma’s satsang on Tuesdays, there was hardly a time that it didn’t bring him heart-quenching tears. Each week, he couldn’t wait to put her teachings into practice in his life.

By this time, Sri Avinash was experiencing many hours of satori every day. He would either induce the satori state or it would come to him spontaneously. His main goal was then to stretch out this state to every waking moment, while serving Amma. He kept his experiences quietly to himself, sharing about them with only a few of his friends.

“It was like a garden for spiritual growth, I couldn’t believe my luck. I had such immense gratefulness and I gave it everything I had, to serve the Master and live the Master’s teachings.”

– Sri Avinash Do

“It was like a garden for spiritual growth, I couldn’t believe my luck. I had such immense gratefulness and I gave it everything I had, to serve the Master and live the Master’s teachings.”

– Sri Avinash Do