HOW MOTHER CAME INTO MY LIFE

October 21st, 2016

-Smt. Kerala Varma, M.A., F.C.A.

It is nearly ten years since I met my revered guru.  In November 1950 on a Sunday morning I stepped it to the house where mother was staying at Trichur.  In the large hall Mother was seated on a carpet on the ground facing the audience.  Sitting on the southern side I remember being seated just before her at a distance of ten feet.  Before me presented a glowing white figure.  As soon as I was seated I heard distinctly the word Prem, Prem, Prem repeated thrice and suddenly I saw the delicately shaped hand moving up straight above making a V and the twinkling eye balls rolling up and hiding under the eye lids wide open.

Something caught my heart.  I do not know what my feelings were.  They were certainly elevating, enchanting and inspiring.  The scene was novel.  It was exciting.  I sat there motionless: expecting every moment something which will fill my spiritual void.  Excepting a feeling of buoyancy I was not able to experience anything.

I left the place soon.  I cannot help remarking that I was attracted by the singular beauty of the form of Mother.  It was wandering in some ethereal space enjoying spiritual experiences.  Brindaban and Shyamsunder and the charming lovely tender creeper of Prem, Radha, were floating and splashing in my mind.  The word Prem repeated thrice when I entered the hall struck deep into my heart.  The symbol of Prem was Radha, the beautiful Radha, and here before me was the beautifully shaped lady, perchance, the Radha of my beloved Shyamsunder.

We were told that on Tuesday there would be a Bhajan led by Mother.  A large audience gathered in the hall on that day.  I also joined the gathering as spectator.  Mother was seated at the far end on a chair.  On two sides of her, leaving a path in the centre, sat ladies clad in yellow sarees.  The hall was well lit.  For a moment I felt that the Upanishad-sundaris or the female angels of heaven are seated before the Mother of the Universe and praising her in beautiful songs accompanied by the cymbals of Tamburu and Narada.  The scene was wonderful, enchanting, elevating and one which was beyond description.  One was simply off one’s feet.  Was I in heaven or on earth?  Were these real human beings?  I looked at their faces.  The calm, peaceful, smiling, joy-provoking faces filled with divine grace, not human beauty.  How I enjoyed that evening, I cannot now describe.  The very remembrance of that scene brings freshness and fullness to the wearied heart.

After the Bhajan we heard the talks and descriptions of Mother from many of those ladies.  I had not seen such human joy before.  The portals of heaven seemed to have had been opened.  I could say the beam of light which shone on the faces of these disciples was an important reason for my seeking asylum at Mother’s feet.

All of us are running after Santi, Santi.  In the heaven of Mother’s feet these children have obtained Santi.  Naturally I too desired to share that precious treasure – Santi.

There was a fragrance about and all around Mother.  Whatever she touched gave out the fragrance.  One felt it was like the lovely Lotus spreading its fragrance in the early morning air in order that the thirsty bees may be attracted to drink the honey stored in it.  The honey of starvation was here and human beings were invited without distinction.

I wanted to know more of Mother and I gathered from disciples and the daily discourses of Mother a short history of her life and her sadhana and attainment of the supreme bliss.  At Trichur during those seven or ten days of her short trip she poured out what she had not given out after a stay of two months or three months in other places afterwards.

The most illustrious incident worth narrating was her visit to a Bhagawathi temple.  The goddess was venerated by all Hindus.  The custom of the temple is that no person other than the Poojari can enter the sanctum sanctorum or inner shrine.  Violation of this injunction is pollution to the temple and many tantric rites will have to be performed to purify the deity.  Mother went in and stood before the goddess for worship amidst the loud Kirtanas and praises of God, resounding in the temple premises.  Suddenly like a waft of wind from heaven Mother floated into the inner shrine within the twinkling of the eye and before anyone could think about anything.  There she stands as one identified with the idol, behind it.  No one could distinguish her from the idol.  The two ivory white hands alone could be seen with the Abhaya Varada Mudra.  The temple priest had no doubt as to what was supremely necessary to be done at the moment.  He lighted the camphor and waved the light before the “Light of the world”.  This was the most unorthodox thing conceivable.  In Malabar temples the time for the poojas, and the naivedyas are fixed and the priest could not wave the light or offer naivedyas as it pleased him.  This could be done only as part of pooja, which was at fixed hours.  Secondly, the temple was polluted by the presence of a stranger in the inner shrine and no pooja could be done to the polluted deity.  Neither the priest nor the orthodox throng of worshippers in the temple found any incongruity in the violation of these.  Everybody was elevated, transported and led beyond the limitation of ritualism into a realm of freedom before the real presence.  This was a sudden revelation of the Mother before an unprepared audience.  Like Sree Krishna of yore the veil was again drawn and the people forgot all that happened.

After this, one day, Mother was kind enough to come and bless our house.  Mother was received with the loud chanting of Narayana Nama.  As soon as she alighted from the car a sudden change came in to her.  In the likeness of Gadadhara Vishnu she stood motionless for a time by the side of the car.  The chant of the nama of Narayana began to fill the air and roll about in even higher and higher pitch.  Wave upon wave the thundering kirtan splashed the air and the atmosphere was spiritually electrified.

Slowly then moved the august figure of Mother in Samadhi and reaching the porch sat on the chair kept for her.  The oil lamps burned and the bushel-ful of paddy stood before her.  She placed her feet inside the pan set there for the purpose and accepted the service of washing her feet with water.

She then moved upstairs and walked into the shrine room as a person familiar with the house and sat on the seat intended for her.  A welcome song in Malayalam was sung.  She suddenly rose in Samadhi and her movement of hands and feet re-echoed every sentiment expressed in the song.  She again sat down and after a time came to the normal plane and talked to some of us nearby.  As if suddenly remembering it she took parched rice from her lap and distributed to us as prasadam.  Nobody can say from where this prasadam sprang up.  The shrine has three steps and is covered.  The inside will be nearly 3½ feet high on the sides and 4½ feet in the centre.  No person of 5 feet high can stand inside erect.

Mother hurried into the shrine and embracing the Krishna idol moulded out of mud stood erect on the steps.  How she could stand without her head slating and touching the top is another dilemma unsolved.  She danced and the idol also moved.  It seemed that life came into the idol by the touch of Mother.  Needless to say how intense and suffused with the sense of awe was the whole atmosphere.  The gathering watched in reverence.  To describe the scene is beyond me.  The divinity was manifested there in a manner, which it is impossible for me to describe.  She came down from the shrine and sat on the floor before the shrine.

Mother left a deep impression in all of us.  Divinity cannot manifest more impressively.  Needless to say, I was irresistibly caught up by Mother.  Here I am now an humble follower of Mother from that day onwards.  I cannot remember but with awe and reverence those days we spent on numerous occasions at Tellicherry at Mother’s residence.  The hospitality and love of Mother and the spiritual energy she infused in us are something superhuman.  Without the feeling of the needle piercing your muscles you get such large doses of spiritual injection while you talk, eat and enjoy, that inspite of yourselves, you cannot go back to your old life.

The pleasant thoughts of those days are enough to elevate us, to raise us to heights above the material plane.  What was the Dhyana of the Gopis?  Their Dhyana was the thoughts, the pleasant dream of Gopalakrishna, while walking, talking, and working.  We had also such days many times when Mother appeared to be the very Krishna of yore.

THE HAND THAT HOLDS THE LIGHT

August 27th, 2016

-Smt. T. N. K. Nayar.

Twelve years along the path of light!  It is twelve years since the hand that holds the light led me from darkness unto light.

For years I had been in the grip of a nervous disease.  Existence became agony; in extreme stage of mental malady and bodily weakness, I was led to Mother.  The lost child found its Mother!

All through mental troubles, persisted in me the spiritual urge.  Life and all that it stood for, ceased to interest me; growing in me was, however, the inner conviction that abiding happiness was only at the feet of God.  Yet, I groped in darkness, not knowing how or where to seek the Eternal One.

Who can forget the glorious moment when a soul in travail beholds the Great One; the instinctive recognition and surrender of the soul at the feet of its Master; the first tender touch of divine love that soothes the stricken heart.  My life was transformed.  Disburdened of cares, I rose refreshed, in the cool fragrance of compassionate grace.  Here was the answer to all my prayers-the Mother Divine Herself.

Before meeting Mother, in the throes of acute fear and despair, I had called and called, night and day, to Devi for succor.  Even in unconscious states of fever and delirium, the beautiful verses of Devi mahathmyam reverberated within me.  I never dreamt then that the great Mother-Devi had already embodied herself, on this earth, to grant my prayers and supplications.  From the moment of meeting Mother my worship was exclusively concentrated and consecrated to that single being.

A few days after, I was blessed with upadesh from Mother.  During the ceremony of initiation, I began to feel the vibrant force, and I sat emerged in the realms of wordless peace.  From that moment, the supramental plane began to be sensed in meditation, in the light of which parokshajnanam from the guru, that I am not the body but the immortal self, got significant illustration.  Mother revealed to me the practicability of the realisation of God through Grihastha Dharma.  Vitalizing her teachings was the exemplification of the ideals of her own dedicated life.  For performance of duties in a spirit of detachment, I drew requisite energy and inspiration from the sadhana prescribed by her.  Gradually, I found her sublime teachings merging and blending harmoniously in my life.

As I glance back over the years past, picture after picture comes.  Through personal experiences, I was guided to glimpse the fundamental truth of Mother’s incarnation; the paramount importance of the dual aspects of Mother as the eternal cosmic sakthy, fully manifesting the divine universal motherhood of God, and the equally important, immaculate role of the great teacher, the Satchidananda Guru.  This rare and glorious combination makes her the divine incomparable personality she is!

From ancient times, there has come to us legends of the lives of avathars of Ishwara.  Unfathomable is their greatness, their splendor indescribable, their countless manifestations bewildering.  Time passed, carrying with it into the dimness of the past, the warm memories of wondrous happenings, until they became faded legends and dreams.  But the great spirit never sleeps.  It bursts forth, from time to time, to fulfill cosmic needs.

Here, before us, is the entrancing and mystic life of Mother, the mysterious play and interplay of her cosmic force, the magic spell of her transcendental glories, transporting us from the shadows of the material world to realms of light and love.

In the trials of live, we have felt the poignant sweetness of love diffused from her divine motherhood.  In the transforming touch of that love, we were only conscious of one presence.  Vain thoughts were hushed; feelings stilled; self itself annihilated.  Love suffused everything.  Love alone was.

Again, the tender motherhood emerges in imperial majesty, the transformation is incredibly swift and complete.  Triumphant and supreme, the whole atmosphere, throbbing with cosmic energy, she compels abject surrender and worship.  We feel we are before one who sees all, knows all, does all, to whom the whole world and all its objects are just pawns on her mysterious chessboard!

At such moments, a glance of Mother had been enough, to dispel delusion, give clarity of mind or vision, and bestow even a sublime spiritual experience.  Flashing with illimitable force, her glance, would pierce to the core of the being, gathering and merging us in her cosmic consciousness!

We see Mother again in the pure, austere perfection of the Sadguru, who through initiation into the meaning of Mahavakya, imparts the knowledge of one’s true nature, who absolves and annihilates the bad tendencies, who infuses the spiritual impulse, and takes the full responsibility for the disciple, and guides him, step by step, to the supreme realisation of monistic oneness.

In the struggle of life and through the various obstacles that beset a sadhaka’s path, I realized the full value of Mother’s dynamic influence and unerring spiritual guidance.  I realized, that trials to the sadhaks become stepping stones to success.  The Sadguru ever impels the sadhaka to higher realizations, to explore subtler fields of experiences, until the sadhaka realizes the effulgent presence of the Sadguru within and becomes the perfect instrument to work the divine will.

In diverse ways the supreme guidance of Mother worked in my life.  Often in crucial moments, there flashed into my mind, Mother’s words, guiding me to tide over many a trial.  Only through direct experience can one realize the great significance and meaning underlying Mother’s words.  Each word becomes a vivid realisation.  Words uttered twelve years back as warning, advice or blessing, took shape, years later, and became light and guidance in my life.  My conduct is still being moulded by them!  They are golden letters ever shining before my vision!

Thus the path of light I traversed, guided and strengthened every moment.  I concentrated more and more on the sublime upadesh of Mother, the Mahavakya and its subtle meaning and great significance.  As time went by, there rose within me a consciousness of inner force that nothing could touch, taint or vanquish, that roused in me the discriminating power and the dauntless will, to cut away delusions that obstructed my path to reality.

“Thou hast taken every moment
of my life in Thine own hands,
In my life Thy will is ever taking shape.
In my heart is the endless play of Thy delight.”
-Tagore.

The Glories of Shravan Bhakti…. 3

June 29th, 2016

Guru Mata, Guru Pita, Guru Amuchi Kuladevata…

Dated: – Gokul Ashtami, 6th September 2015.

Charanam Sharanam Ramambike
Charanam Sharanam Trayambake.

This is the third article in the series on Shravan Bhakti.

1. Shraavan is month of religious observances – festivals, vratas, parayans of granths, namasmarans etc. This is the month of ‘shravan’ of  the Parmatma’s glories for the devout   and hence, it has come to be known as ‘Shravaanmaas’. The ‘shravan’ performed culminates in enhancement of satva gunas in our vritis and unique spiritual experiences.

Of all religious performances, ‘Shravan’ of the Guru’s ‘Mahimas’ absorbs the highest spiritual vibrations.

What better blessed opportunity  can there be than to write for an article on ‘Sharavan Bhakti’ in this month  and that too on the auspicious day of Gokul Ashtami ? Because it is on this very day more than fifty years ago-  a devotee of Mother called Smt. Sharada Mallya of Udipi derived a unique experience, which is covered in this article for case study.

The devotee’s experience appears in the ‘Sadguru Rama Devi, Golden Jubilee Souvenir (1961)’  in story  called ‘Conflict Resolved’ on page no. 78 therein.

While ending the previous article in the series on Shravan Bhakti, it was remarked  that the author was clueless on what to write in the next article and it was resigned to Divine Mother  to instruct on the same. The author had some time  thereafter randomly opened the Golden Jubilee Souvenir and this experience of Smt. Sharada Mallya  confronted him at the first glance.

Hence, the experience of this devotee has come selected in this article for a case study on the subject of ‘Shravan Bhakti’.

Readers may please patiently bear with a short prelude, which shall enable us to understand the style of Mother’s functioning as the Guru in this experience. The prelude (in para nos. 2 to 7 ) to will be followed by the experience cited by Smt. Sharada Mallya (in para no. 7).

2.

‘Guru Mata, Guru Pita ! Guru Aamuchi Kuladevata !
Thora Padata Sankade ! Guru Rakshi Maage Pude !@
Kaya Vaacha Ani  Mana ! Guru Charani Arpana !
Eka Janardhani Sharana ! Guru Eka Janardana!

This hymn was composed by Sant Eknath in dedication to his Guru Janardhan. We have sung and heard this bhajan so many times in our Sunday satsangs.

It’s core meaning is that  the  Guru, ( being the Creator), is both our father and mother. He also shares intimacy with us in our family life as our own  Kuladevata. In this manner, the Guru positions himself  in our proximity to protect us from all calamities – both unseen (that which sneak on us behind our backs) and seen  (that which is  manifest to our comprehension).

Having realized this, let us offer ourselves with absolute certainty – (kaya, vaacha ani mana)- at his Feet, fully knowing that the  Guru is none other than Janardhan.

The compositions of saints are a class by themselves. Saints compose the songs out of their own actual experiences and hence, every word in the same is a reality. They do so with a fond wish that ordinary devotees should also derive such experiences. Matching experiences can therefore be found in lives of ordinary devotees of True Gurus.

In the forthcoming experience of Smt. Sharada Mallya, one will experience every word of this hymn as Truth. Mother’s role as Guru and experience of Smt. Sharada Mallya as disciple -will be found matching in the same format and tenor as related by Sant Eknath.

3. Just as there is day and night in creation, there are periods of light and darkness in our lives. The Guru is the dispeller of darkness in our lives. He comes in the form of light in the periods of darkness in our lives.

What is the darkness in our life? The periods of sadness and calamities are the dark periods in our lives in which we do not find exits out of the same. The darkness may come in any form- prolonged diseases, family problems, financial debt, loss of prestige in society etc.

At one time, in several sections of orthodox male dominated societies in India, widowhood was one of the worst darkness that plagued lives of womenfolk. Widows had to face seclusion in homes and also exclusion from the mainstream activities of the society. The plight of the widow is so acute that she is driven to conclusions that there is no place for happiness in her life and God has forsaken her.

We will see a reality of this in the forthcoming experience of Smt. Sharada Mallya.

4. Why does God accept services or offerings from his devotees – when he is fully self-sustained, self- reliant and requires no external support for his existence? The truth is God ‘deliberately’ accepts services from his devotees – even though he does not need it. There is a clever strategy behind this act. God, by his nature, also does not accept anything free and returns whatever is given to him, manifold times the value of what is received. By accepting a service, God thus gets an excuse to become ‘indebted’ to the devotees and cause welfare to the devotee by repaying him much more than what he received.

God also reserves to himself the best time to repay the devotee. He repays the devotee when he is in most need of assistance from God i.e. in his calamity- so that the repayment is most useful.

We shall also see this truth in the forthcoming experience of Smt. Sharada Mallya.

5. The merits of congregational worship ( samoohik upasana) has always  been emphasised by Mother in her     discourses. The vibrations emanated in congregational satsangs and absorbed by devotees are several times multiple of the sum of the same -if the worship conducted individually by the devotees in their private chambers.

In the process, a devotee who participates in satsangs reaps spiritual experiences far beyond his individual capacities.

Taking of a single name of Ram has total redeeming effect. Therefore, stretch your imagination to reckon the efficacy of Akhand Ram Nam Jaap performed in congregational gathering.

It is for this reason that many devotees got unique spiritual experiences of Mother, – even when they had visited for first time- a site of congregational worship or bhajans conducted by Mother’s devotees.

6. Many are the diverse ways by which Mother imparts specific, instructions to individual devotees. She does so – according to the specific   need and life situations of the devotees. To some – she may impart instruction by words, some by gestures, some in silence, some in dreams and some even in visions and so on.

The vision granted by the Guru specifically caters to the devotee’s specific need in life. For example, to a devotee passing through a dark phase in life – without any solution in sight, Mother may show herself  to him in a vision as a Lamp. The visions granted by Mother are therefore symbolically realistic and not randomly meaningless.

7. Why do we celebrate anniversaries like Ram Navami, Gokul Ashtami, Ganesh Chaturthi ? What are the gains to the devotees from these observances?

We have seen above that God does not accept anything free  and returns any devout services manifold the value received.

By observing these anniversaries as auspicious events, be sure that we shall be rewarded by some auspicious experiences in return on that very  day itself.

8. With the above preludes, let us take up the experience related by Sharada Mallya in the Golden Jubilee Souvenir and one will see all the aspects described in the above preludes as clear features and realities in her experience.

The article of Sharada Mallya called ‘Conflict Resolved’ reads as under …

“The passing away of my husband who was throughout his lifetime pious and devoted and with whom I had shared a peaceful life for two decades compelled me to draw two conclusions. They were (1) all earthly pleasures are transient. (2) To me God is not merciful.

A friend of mine in order to console me took me for a bhajan which was conducted at a devotee’s house under the auspices of Sree Rama Devi Bhakta Mandali, Udipi.

A twelve hours’ akhanda ram nam yajna was in full swing. I felt that I had come to a new world. The atmosphere of devotion, the melodious notes of Ram Nam sung in chorus, had a marvellous effect of me. The lighted lamp adorned by a garland of multicoloured flowers attracted my attention. Charmed by the grandeur of floral decorations on the lamp, I was staring at it when I had a singular experience. The lamp was suddenly transformed into the blissful form of a very divine being, a venerated mother in a sitting posture, which was the exact resemblance of Sri Rama Devi’s photograph worshipped by the devotees. My body vibrated to the thrill of the experience.

My friend gave me an interesting narration about the various supernatural powers of Mother and how she was widely acclaimed and worshipped as a divine incarnation. The singular experience which I had on the first day lent support to her view but within me was lurking doubt because the tutelary deity to whom our entire family was devoted was Ganapathy. The very thought of the captivating form of the Mother which was imprinted in my mind would be sufficient to transport my mind to a region of exaltation. But the idol of my chosen deity whom I have been regularly worshipping for years together was equally evoking love, reverence and adoration.

In such frame of my mind I was sitting, one auspicious Gokulashtami day in my shrine room, just before starting the midday worship. My mind drifted into meditative mood. With closed eyes, I was concentrating on my ishta devata when in a powerful beam of light I beheld the radiant form of Mother, her hand raised in benediction. In that I visualised the beautiful form of Ganapathy, indicating thereby, that Mother was identical with supreme being manifesting various aspects of divinity including Ganapathy.

The experience granted to me by Mother intensified my longing to have her darshan. By this time I had no doubt about her divinity. In fact my chosen deity and my sadguru was identified with the Mother whom I saw in my visions.

My first darshan took place at Mangalore during a flag hoisting ceremony. She looked exactly similar to the Mother of various earlier visions. I felt safe in protection of universal Mother who had descended in our midst taking on herself the role of sadguru. The inner path which she prescribed to me appeared to be smooth and easy because it was illuminated by love. As against the customary life of seclusion imposed by widowhood, I now courageously associate myself with all the activities of the mandali with new strength and determination.”

End of article by  Smt. U. Sharada Mallya

9. Readers should find all aspects discussed in the prelude (in para nos. 2  to7) as features and realities in the experience cited by Smt. Sharada Mallya (in para no. 8). Therefore, for sake of brevity, the same are not repeated again in the  conclusion.

Readers will  also find their own experiences  by doing Shravan Bhakti of Mother’s leelas in the experience of this  devotee

10. Such is our Divine Mother, who has come as our Guru  for all times and lives to come. Let us just love her for all times and  in all lives to come.

Jai Matha!

HYMN TO HOLY

May 10th, 2016

 – Smt. Leelavathi J. Shenoy

I am a humble worshiper of Mother.  Though by birth I am the younger sister, nearness and familiarity have only increased in me the sense of awe and majesty of the gracious presence.  To sublime virtues in her are found added a vivacity and freshness of constant love, gentleness and generosity.  It is sheer rapture to gaze upon the animated countenance during interludes of Samadhi.  Before and after Samadhi, speech would flow from her like a spring of ambrosial sweetness.

Lakshmi’s charm, Saraswathi’s eloquence, Parvathi’s grace meet in her.  In her complexion of pearl-like whiteness there in blending of lovely hues and magic tints, in delicate shades, and subtle gradations.  The virtues, her gentleness,, her spontaneity, her sympathy, her sensitivity, her intensity and her innocence, seem to achieve perfection in the total charm of her wondrous personality.  Her chief care, then as now, is for duty and her highest teaching is obedience to the moral law.  She gives a sense of freedom from the ensnaring network of worldly occupations.  Her girlhood suggested to our pious family purohit, the grand-imagery of the ceaseless celestial flame.  Praise of her, he said, was offering to the sacrificial fire.  Before touching the spirit, she gladdens the heart of the devotee at mere darshan.  Her loveliness gives assurance that with it is entwined a divine purpose.

There is no diminution visible of her patience upon earthly contact with human want and suffering.  She can at any time withdraw into a splendid isolation of being, admitting of no penalties of contact with profanities of the world.  Her love purifies and exalts without itself being sullied by anxiety or anguish.  For those who come to her, what is dark in them gets sudden illumination.  When she opens her lotus eyes, there is efflorescence of a soul in the richness of a new realization, the plenitude of spiritual power finding the rapture of a solemn dedication.

In early years of which I am writing, she looked like an angel of peace.  She was the comfort of her mother, the pride of her father, the guardian goddess of our home.  When she parted her ruby lips to speak her premature wisdom, she revealed her flashing teeth of pearly whiteness.  She could soothe the mother’s grief as well as curb the father’s temper.  From tender years she began receiving the timid homage of the children of her own age.

At the fourteenth year when she was given in marriage, she had a slender frame of ravishing beauty.  She had ripeness of understanding and seriousness of outlook.  She had matured wisdom, discernment and discrimination.  Exceedingly handsome, she from girlhood showed, exceptional confidence in herself, far beyond her years.  Though she read little, strangely enough, she was familiar with sastric injunctions and esoteric meanings of religious rituals.  She had marvelous powers of organization and arrangement, and artistic regard for details.  She had precise knowledge of the ithihasas and the puranas.  She had inborn sense of rhythm and music.  She remembered and could accurately recapture and sing in appropriate tunes a vast repertoire of devotional songs, holy hymns and kirtans in a variety of languages.  She had powerful memory and spontaneous wit.  She had fondness for animals and was familiar with the characteristics of birds.

Later I came to know that rarer powers were in her than what is imported by this assemblage of qualities.  Treasures of experience are in her; pearls of wisdom too in her universal consciousness.  Clearly her proficiency and powers are divine attributes, not human inheritance.

To Bhagawan’s home at Tellicherry I accompanied her and enjoyed their hospitality and affection for several months.  There I had my first impressions of the exemplary home; the exemplification of the exalted duties of the wife.  In the role of the wife I saw her in her domestic avocations.  I saw her in the morning hours worshiping the tulsi plant; I saw her bending her graceful body in humble prostrations to Bhagawan; consecrating the holy shrine with sacred hymns; encircling the image of Sri Krishna with a chaplet of fragrant jasmine flowers; I heard her sing kirtans at the evening bhajan in her home; with palms, soft as leaves of fresh lotuses, I have seen her showering flowers in propitiation of deity before pictures of its holiness.

After the routine of these appointed occupations, she retired into an inner chamber for prayer and meditation.  Those silent sessions of solitary retirement lasted far into nights and sometimes would touch the fringes of the golden morn.  As sign of holy maidenhood, her sacred person was encircled by a mysterious aroma of camphor, tulsi and sandalwood.

Purity invested her home with the air and atmosphere of a hermitage.  To it came unknown ascetics as to a temple of divinity.  Those versed in the Vedas came to do obeisance to her.  Her insight into the human mind and the nature of its working was revealed in the recovery she effected of an unfortunate woman, an inmate of her home with serious mental derangement and nervous prostration.  This victim to mental malady was restored to absolute normalcy of physical health and mental efficiency by her.  The patient’s moods were at times so stormy and her behavior so violent that they were strange and frightening.  It was surprising the way she responded to Mother’s love and kindness.  The cure was complete through the simple ministrations of her endearments, showered in tender solicitude with touching abundance.

Hour after hour in her home I experienced happiness as though from an inward spring of perpetual gladness.  It was the very home of peace and purity and piety.  One day, like a mass of thundering cloud, the temper of a serving woman mounted to a high pitch of rage, directed against another serving woman of the household.  There was exchange of words and stormy scenes.  Only a flight of steps above was the prayer room where Mother was in meditation at the while.  The silence was so profound as to forbid the slightest sound or movement.  The loud altercation seemed a sacrilege and violation.  Repeated appeals were of no avail.  In the increasing fury of words all attempts at pacification failed.  Symbolic of divine intervention in remediless situations and dire calamities, all on a sudden, the more vociferous of the two in the quarrel became abruptly silent.  Her frame trembled, the pupils of her eyes quivered; her wandering eyes cast all round a glance that intense grief had made vacant and repentant tears had dimmed.  She stood mute and motionless, as if there occurred sudden deprivation of speech and motion.  She was the picture of sorrow and repentance.  The quiet of the place super induced by Mother’s meditation should have cast its spell and hushed her into silence.  Tranquil vibrations had inspired awe and inherent solemnity had instilled reverence.

Those early days are here recalled as part of a happy dream.  My own marriage and departure to Bombay took me far away from the holy presence.  This period of separation too was educative.  There were enriching experiences.  Years brought sorrows too.  I have returned to Mother with chastened heart to receive the higher instructions.

The occasion on which I could summon courage by the grace of her to face the greatest calamity of my life was the death of my husband.  The impact of grief I felt, but its impetuosity was restrained by an inward calm, which I was unaware of until then, but which Mother had already made part of my nature.  When grief rushed with storm of sighs and torrent of tears, I could repeat her name and all I felt was strength and solace thereafter.  There is solace in her name and there is strength in her teachings-upon the evanescence of life and the immortality of the soul.