Archive for June, 2010

When Mother was my Guest

Sunday, June 20th, 2010

I begin this with sincere prayers at the lotus feet of Divine Mother Sree Rama Devi.

United prayers of thousands, with one accord shall never go unanswered.  It was such an answer to our prayers that brought Mother to the land of Kauveri. That was my greatest pleasure to have the utmost honour of receiving the shakthi roopini as my honoured guest.

I first heard of Mother from a friend of mine who introduced me to the leaders of Sree Rama Devi Bhaktha  Mandali, in Madikeri.  I was desperate after the demise of my beloved husband.  Everything seemed dark and empty.  Added to this the responsibility of bringing up eight small children alone was a strain and I always prayed to embrace death.  With no interest in life or my surroundings I used to go about like an automaton, eating if I felt like it and crying day and night.  Though a devotee of Lord Krishna, when my husband was alive, I never prayed after his death, as I felt, in spite of all my prayers, God has let me down.

Mechanically, I used to read chapters from Bhagavat Gita, especially the second one, to feel sure of the existence of atma.  Without a proper Guru one cannot understand such things.  Now after I met Mother my ignorance is slowly clearing and I can understand a little of such matters.  After weeping I used to get very often bad headaches and chest pains and omit blood.  In spite of all cares from my parents I felt disgusted with the world which had no meaning to me.  I could not travel.  I was shunning everyone, never liking to talk.

One day my mother persuaded me to go to a bhajan.  She arranged it at the Mahila Samaj, by the Sree Rama Devi Bhaktha Mandali.  Having stayed there for five minutes I came away, unable to bear the noise of the cymbals.  After two days mother asked them to come to my house for a programme of bhajans.  She wanted me to find solace in prayers.  For that Ramnaam Sankirtan, I sat for fifteen minutes.

Next day on October 20th two devotees of Mother, Shanthakka and Sulochanakka came home with prasadam  from Mangalore and spoke to me of Mother who could cure all agonized souls.  A sudden inspiration and a desire to see Mother got into me after partaking of the prasadam.  I who could not bear to hear the noise of cymbals begged for another Ramnaam Sankirtan again in my house as I was unable to go out.  It is Mother’s advice to members of the Mandali to help a suffering child.  On October 28th another Ramnaam Sankirtan was conducted.

Mother was in Bangalore at that time.  Hearing this, my only desire was to see Her.  I prayed hard to God to fulfill this desire.  My people would not allow me to go as doctors had told them that if I travel I risk my life.  Shanthakka asked the ten members of our Mandali to have a mass pooja to pray so that I may be allowed to go.  It worked and I was sent.  Kudva Mam, the kind man with an iron will, assured my parents of my safety and took me to Bangalore on November 3rd with Shanthakka.  From Mercara to Bangalore we spoke only of Mother as I wanted to know all about Her.  Time and distance was lost on us and I who could not travel even two miles without vomiting, travelled that long distance safely.  Just that unseen power guarded us.

For fear of being detained from my one goal, Mother, I never let my sister or aunt in Bangalore know about my coming.  That night itself I wanted to see Mother.  I was unable to do so.  So I rested with the thought that I was at least in a place where Mother is.  Next day November 4th the memorable day I saw divinity.  Mother came.  I offered flowers prostrating before Her.  Patiently Mother let me be there, threw flowers over me, blessed me and washed off all my sorrows.  Lifting me from darkness to light, Mother infused courage in me.

We invited Mother to our land. Mother nodded with a smile.  At once a champaka flower from Her veni fell down.  Being a widow I had no hopes of getting it, but to my luck Mother divining my thoughts gave it to me. She said She would talk in Canarese that day, about controlling the mind for the benefit of sorrowed persons like me.  For the sake of Bombay Mandali I was asked to translate it into English.  I was stunned.  I had forgotten all languages and scarcely talked after my widowhood.  I who was so immersed in sorrow and lost all power of speech to repeat Mother’s words! How could I!  hearing Her for the first time how could I!  I who had no idea of spirituality!

I just looked at Mother who was smiling and something prompted me to say “With thy grace I shall try”.  All the while Mother’s divine eyes were penetrating me and sending courage to every cell in my body.  I held tight the champaka flower Mother gave in my hands and none might believe me if I say that I had it for a year.  Though dried, it used to emanate a heavenly fragrnce, and always gave me strength to talk well. That day, while listening to Mother, I sat transfixed and with Her grace, repeated a few words of it in English.  My sister who had come to see Mother, was wonderstruck listening to me at my sudden change and was delighted to see me shine with an inner glow.

I went to Bangalore as a broken hearted desperate widow too disgusted with life and I returned full of life, my face radiant with the peace I got from Mother.  I cast off my widowhood internally as I had now steadfast faith in Mother’s words that my “Mangalasootra” is the duty of bradcasting Her principales to suffering millions and as my “Kumkum” is pure bhakthi, prem and viswas as “kankanan.”  I felt with these jewels and wedded to divinity I was no more a widow.

I was able to travel back alone as Shanthakka stayed back to drink more nectar. My people were thrilled to see me.  Never have I fallen ill after that as I have no time to think of illness.  During all the time of eating or drinking, waking or sleeping it is thirst for God that was persisting.  All other actions are mechanical.  Endless energy to carry on the additional responsibility filled me with pleasure and I find the meanings of the spiritual words easy. Dhyanam and smarana are my tonics and vitamins.

Doctors were puzzled and pleased to see my increased vigour and improved state of health.  All my problems seemed to be solved by an unseen hand.  My overnight change so sudden and fruitful was a topic for all our people.  Many come to our bhajans and kept on asking when Mother will come here.  We had to request the Vedantha Sangh, a bigger hall for conducting bhajans.  Words about Mother spread very fast.

Mother fulfills all desires of Her children.  We have to become pure vessels to receive Her grace.  In order to cleanse ourselves to receive Mother, we started Devi poojas and mass prayers. This brought fruit.  To our land of Kauveri came the incarnation of Kauveri Herself, on the 7th November 1959, just after a year and four days after my seeing Mother.  We were all happy and felt like birds of joy.  My home is called “Devi Villa’’ as though it predicted the coming of Devi, long before.  After the second Ramnaam when Shanthakka installed Mother’s photo in my house for the sankirtan, she prayed that Mother Herself should come there in person.  How very true it came to pass !

Although there are very many palatial buildings in Mercara it was this lucky house that was sanctified.  Daily before retiring to bed I used to take up the dried champaka flower and pray that the giver of that should bless our land.  Talking to Mother’s photo and laying beneath it all our sorrows and happiness after poojas, we used to feel sure that Mother would emerge out of it and bless us.

Mother came to “Devi Villa” amidst blowing of conches and arathi.  After Her entrance the house seemed to glow with Her brilliance.  We were too thrilled to act or speak as we were in ecstasies.  The thought that the Mother was actually with us in form gave us untold joy.  What touches one most is Her unselfishness, always thinking of other’s comforts first.  Mother’s needs are very few.

November 7th was a day packed with programmes.  Yet our Mother would not rest without seeing my children.  She called every one of them and spoke so lovingly, bringing peace and laughter.  After hearing Mother none can go wrong. What power made Mother pick up a rebellious child of mine among the lot and direct all attention to her, I cannot understand.  It has transformed my child completely.  What amazes one most is that once a name is uttered Mother can clearly remember it, although she has thousands of children to see.

When I am tired I go to bed directly not even wishing to speak to my children.  What a mortal mother could not do, Divine Mother did by speaking to them even late at night asking about their studies and so on. Qualities like this endeared Mother to us most and children are drawn to her irresistibly.  Her heart is an ocean of love.

November in Coorga is a very trying time with a biting cold.  It was a great wonder to us that Mother rise up at 3 am. and take Her bath in cold water. She disturbed none.  In that brahma muhoortam she was submerged in prayers becoming one with the universe.  Without a cup of strong bed coffee first thing in the morning, one cannot do anything in Coorg.

Mother would not touch anything till 8am., even then it is only a very light breakfast.  With a busy day ahead it bewildered me how Mother can withstand such strain with a light diet.  Always for Mother’s programme there was a terrific rush and the crowd used to behave very well.  It was all a wonder to us.

Mother not only preaches but practices what She preaches.  This can only be noticed when one comes in close contact with Her. No harsh words, not even a rude expression can be got from Her.  Every servant or employee is spoken to very gently.  My servants and children vied with one another to do any little job for Her. Mother is very particular about punctuality.  Never have I seen Mother delayed for any programme. At home in every step or action, Mother teaches good manners and corrects our speech with perfection.  All that Hindu Dharma lays down is reminded to us to be followed.

It is Mother’s universal love that unites us to her children, irrespective of cast and creed on a common platform.  This She does with compassion in Her heart and elixir in Her voice.  To worried masses of humanity Mother gives a balm of peace, truth, justice and love.  Never has anyone gone back forlorn.  Rich and poor alike, from a general to a labourer who came to see Her, She treated all alike.

When Mother was here we had all our wishes granted.  We always felt a current pass through us uplifting us. One memorable day, Mother put a garland over me after a pooja. The vibrations from Her and the divine touch gave a strength to me to last for ages, rejuvenating me. There was no urge to eat, drink or sleep but just to see and hear Mother.  In my life time I cannot forget the whole sweet experience of having divinity at our home and all my prayers now are for the repetition of it.  May God grant that prayer.  On everyone’s face there is the emblem of divine love.  We see mother in every sister and brother.

When Mother leaves a house She always gives presents of new clothes to servants and archakas.  What a wonderful act?  Simple in attire and habits, ever smiling with nobility and speaking soft words are attributes of Hers to be remembered and followed.  Let us bear this in mind and march forth to spread Her gospel with confidence and truth.

I write this with profound feelings coming from the depth of my heart with loving gratitude towards Mother for taking me from death to everlasting bliss.  With the very good fortune of having such a divine guest treasured deep in my heart I have now found shanthi, where once turbulent waves roared.  May Mother always guide us.

– Mrs Bollamma Appanna

Whither, Whence and How

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

(Continued from previous post)

Divine Mother instructed the devotees how to meditate in one of Her talks.  On several occasions she spoke of the Ajna, which is numbered the sixth in order and one below the seventh, the Sahasrar.

The Goraksha Shathaka gives a description of the seven chakras naming them; 1. Mooladhar, 2. Swadhishtana, 3. Manipooraka, 4. Anahatha, 5. Vishuddha, 6. Ajna, 7. Sahasrara.  Corresponding to these seven chakras the Vaidics have the seven steps 1. Bhu, 2. Bhuva, 3. Suva, 4. Maha, 5. Jana, 6. Tapa, and 7. Satya Lokas.  The latter every dwija or he who has been initiated with Sandhyopasana is aware.  A correspondence between the above lokas or chakras and the musical scale, the Veena, the flute, the mantras Panchadashi, and the Gayathri has been amply discussed in various shastras.  75% of the Indian ancient literature here and there refers to these ckakras and the yogic goal.  The one supreme goal of our rishis was to reach the Sahasrara by meditation.

The tempo of life had been geared with this one aim in view.  Thousands of songs of saints all over India, point to this one chief Goal. It is stated that the identity of the Individual with the Universal is to be established in the seventh stage.  So important is this.

Yet to the modern scientist or doctor this does not appeal.  For, the majority of surgeons say that they cannot find the chakras by the dissection of a corpse.  Few however admit that possibly the chakras are in the astral body which has left the physical behind and obviously the chakras are not in there; one cannot expect to see them by postmortem.  A few medicos who have themselves practiced yoga and claim having roused the Kundalini, however have confirmed the observations of our ancient rishis and yogis.  The activation of a third eye at Ajna is only possible with the help and Grace of Sadguru.  Before proceeding further one should note well and bear in mind the advice:-

“Swayam eva twaya jnatwam gurutascha punah shrutam”.  The Yogashikamani Upanishad states, ‘Bhroo-madhya dwidalam tatha’.  The sixth chakra is called Ajna, and it is also known as Trikuti, Agnichakra, Jnanachakra.  It has two petals or dalas white in colour.  Here the jnana of swaroopa takes place.  Thus its importance.  Mention of this is found in several places in the Bhagavadgitha.

The Ajna is between the two eye-brows in the middle.  This should not be interpreted as the middle of the bones.  It is the corresponding part of the brain.  Says the Yoga-Kundalini Upanishad, “Ajna Chakra Cha Mastakam”.  The brain has two sections and the Ajna is situated in there.  One of the surgeons who has himself practiced yoga says, Prana travels from Vishuddha to the Ajna through many fine tubes or threads or channels called Jnana Tantoos. Some of these Jnana Tantoos meet the Jnana Tantoos of the eyes.   Images of external objects are formed on the retina which is full of JnanaTantoos of the eyes, and they go to the brain, where the interpretation takes place and Vasthu Jnana occurs.

The jnana tantoos that come from the eyeball are called the optic nerves.  The optic nerves of both the eyes meet at the Ajna Chakra, and become one, and are known as “optic chiasm”.  Here some of the jnana tantoos mingle, get intertwined and some go to the various sides and some straight towards the brain.

By the Bhroomadhya drishti yoga, control over the Ajna is obtained via the optic nerves.  Once that control is obtained all the vyapara of the whole shareera comes under one’s control”.  The same surgeon has said, ‘We may say Ajna Chakra is the optic thalamus. The brain is in the cranium.  There are two portions of the brain divided centrally. They are called hemispheres or lobes, and they are joined at the centre.  In the brain there are pockets of liquid (possibly water).  These pockets are called ventricles.  The third ventricle is situated between the two lobes of the brain.  On both sides of the third-ventricle are the optic thalamai.  These are the two petals of the Ajna Chakra.

The thalamai are bluish bundles of nerves (or may be tubes of fat) and constitute the “grey Matter” with thin layer of white matter covering them.  The bottom portion of thalmai is joined to the brain.  On the outside there is the important internal capsule.  The outside of each dala (thalamus) is the lateral ventricle.  In the middle of the tubes or bundles of nerves extant in the centre of the thalmai there is the Pineal Gland.  This is said to be the atrophied Jnana Chakshu, which needs to be activated with the help and grace of a Sadguru.  From the Ajna chakra the jnana tantoos go towards the brain as follows:-

  1. Towards the two lobes of the brain;
  2. “optic nerves“;
  3. “front and backside of the brain“;
  4. “corpus stratus of the brain, and the center of motor regions“.

The Ajna chakra is a station in the brain from which all nerves radiate to different parts of the body just as in a telephone exchange all lines to subscribers are terminated and controlled.  All external stimuli first come to the Ajna center and then proceed to different parts in the brain.

Therefore control over Ajna chakra gives control over all activity in the body.  Such control helps one-pointed-ness, which results in Manolaya and the swa-swaroopa-jnana is the final result.  After the darshan of the Prakashamaya Brahman, the sakshatkara of the Nada Roopa also takes place.  Yogashikhopanishad is explicit on this point and says:

‘Nadaroopam  bhruvormadhye manasamandalam viduhu’

From the third ventricle close to the Ajna chakra many auditory nerves emanate towards the ear.  By the practice of Shanmukhi Mudrs the Dhwani produced if meditated upon produces Atindriya jnana in the auditory nerves coalesce with the optic nerve then owing to Atindriya Jnana the Anahat sound arises and the Prana Gati gets controlled by Ajna, and Manolaya occurs.

By Trataka (see Bhagavadgita ch. VI vs. 6 to 13), control on Ajna is got, and Aindriya jnana produces Prakasharoopa Brahma Sakshatkar.  Similarly Shanmukhi Mudrabhyasa on the same chakra produces Nadaswaroopa Brahma Sakshatkara.  Physiologically the jnana tantoos or respective nerves of Indriyas are so closely situated that control of one sympathetically affects others.’

The Lalitha Sahasra Nama also gives an account of the seven chakras.  There in it is said the Ajna is presided over by the Yogini Hakini with her two attendants Hamsawathi and Kshamawathi.  That  is the seat also of the Rudra Granthi.  Elsewhere it is said that Prana remains at the Ajna daily for two ghatikas and 47 palas.  It is mentioned Mahakali (Kleem) and Mahalakshmi (Hreem) live in the dalas giving Nijananda, and Nityananda to the adept.  The chakra is said to be crystal clear like suddha sphatika (quartz). Its day being Sunday, and Ravitulya Atma is its devata.  The Akara of Brahmananda begins here and the experiences of the Brahmananda Darshan are had here.  Ajna is the ‘ardha-matra sthana’, and the foundation of turiya avastha.  Says the Trishikhopanishad:

“Turiya Bhroomadhya samsthitham.”

The spot is called Kashi-kshetra (Varanasi) i.e. Benares, also the Avimuktha Pradesh, and the Triveni Sangam.  The seat of Jyotirlinga or the Itara Linga to be meditated upon by the aspirant.  It is said in the Brhma Vidyopanishat:-

‘Jyotirlingam bhroomadhya nityam dhyayetsada yatihi’.

It is also called the Sadashiva Sthana.

In the Pinda Kalpana Nasik is swargaloka, and Kapala is the Paraloka and the meeting place of two (sandhi) is called Avimukta Pradesh.  The confluence of the rivers Varana and Asi is Varanasi (Benares).  The great sage (Yajnavalkya) says ‘He who wishes to contemplate on the Ananta or Avyakta Atma should do so in the Avimukta for he is there.’  The following is the conversation between him and Atri:-

Atri: What is Avimukta?

Yaj: It is between Varana and Asi.

A :  What is Varana and Asi?

Y : That which washes away the mistakes committed by indriyas is Varana, and that which washes away the sins committed by indriyas is Aasi.

A :  Which is that place?

Y:  Here the Prana and Bhroo meet.  This is the meeting place of Swarga and Paraloka.  Brahmavids call this Sandhya, and do their Sandhyopasana there.  Do the upasana of this Avimuktha.  He who understands this avimuktha thus bestows avimuktha jnana on his disciples.

Therefore by incessant and hard practice one should with the sweet mellifluous grace of Shri Sadguru do his Upasana at the Ajna.  It is here, in the lotus of the two petals, that the command of the Sri. Sadguru is received from above.  It is here the triveni sangam takes place i.e. the three nadis Ida, Pingala, Sushumna rivers Yamua, Ganga, Saraswathi; Indra and Sachi; Ravi, Moon, and Agni; the three dalas of the Bilwa Patra meet.  Bathing at this sangam yields abundant fruit, so declare all our ancients.  Here the Antaratma shines like a flame.  He is Ravi-tulya.  By contemplation on this chakra one becomes Advaithachara-Vadi.

The Bhagadgita and others declare that at the time of leaving his body the yogi concentrates on this spot,  places his prana here, and then enters the Supreme Primordial Paramapurusha, who came into existence  before the three worlds.

The greatness and importance of this sadhana is thus apparent.  Motherly love of our Beloved Holy Divine Mother who is that Supreme Power, is so overwhelmingly abundant.  She has distributed Her Grace in  the highest measure to everyone who has approached Her.

A pupil is straight away admitted to the Sixth Form of this spiritual High School, for She initiates the pupil and then directs him to do his meditation at the Ajna level.  Never before neither saint nor avatar has so freely bestowed a sadhana and watched the daily progress of the pupil wherever he may be.  Only the ever compassionate Divine Mother has a Melting heart that goes to every one of Her many children all over the world.  Come Ye all to the Golden Lotus Feet of Our Divine Mother and take your share of the Divine Grace.

Let me ones again remind the reader or the hearer of the wholesome advice:-

‘Swayam Eva twaya jnatwam Gurutascha punah shrutham.’

With my humble and deepest Pranams at the Holy Feet of Divine Mother.

–  Sri. B.V Rao, Bombay