Archive for March, 2011


Sunday, March 27th, 2011

Like many others of my generation, I drifted through life with no firm beliefs or settled convictions.  I knew of only one reality, a world where men live, suffer and die.  I was vaguely familiar with the teachings of the great religions of the world.  But to me, it all sounded like “the brave music of the distant drum”.

During Mother’s visit to Trivandrum in 1953, I walked in casually one evening, when Mother was in the middle of a discourse.  Her first words which fell into my ears where a direct answer to a doubt that was haunting me at the time.  They illumined a dark corner in my mind.  She had spoken out of context.  Yet, I thought it was only a coincidence.  Later I gathered, that many others had similar experiences; when Mother interrupted Her discourses in response to a tormented soul.  This is perhaps the reason why Her discourses sometimes appeared to be a series of unconnected remarks.  I now fancy that Her talks are a sally of the universal mind in the volley of innumerable questions of troubled spirits.  But at that moment, I thought no further about it.  Occasionally, I used to attend Her discourses for a short time and go away.  I also had seen Her often in samadhi radiating ineffable peace.  Yet, so dense was the fog that surrounded my mind, that they left no lasting impression on me.

More by accident than by design, I visited Mother’s home in Mangalore towards the close of 1955.  Some devotees and disciples had also come the same day.  All those who came to see Mother stayed under Her hospitable roof.  A stranger yet to Mother’s ways, I was amazed when we were all received and treated like children coming to see their mother on a holiday.  I saw something new, something loftier still than a mother’s love; a love with no trace of expectation of return.  I felt the presence of divine love in its purest form.

During the four days we stayed there, Mother Herself attended to our comforts with meticulous care.  She Herself looked into every detail.  She would also talk to us again and again for hours together.  She had only one subject – truth and its realization.  Here was harmony between two worlds.  Here was the highest wisdom mixed with a mother’s love.

We listened to a voice which carried a sense of inner authority.  Mother’s message went straight into the heart with the force of an intimate personal impact.  It is one thing to read books containing the wisdom of the past; another, to listen first hand to words of power coming direct from the depths of truth.  It is one thing to have food hot from the oven; and another to feed on the faded food of yesterday.

Mother’s parting advice was to devote half an hour a day to the chanting of the divine name “Sree Ram Jaya Ram Jaya Jaya Ram”.  Inspite of all that I had heard, it was hard enough for me even then to believe that the repetition of a name, however divine, would take one nearer to truth.  But by this time, I was caught in the spell of Mother’s love of the loftiest kind.  So, merely out of devotion for Her, I decided to carry out Her instructions.  Here is perhaps a feeble illustration of Mother’s profound saying: “Devotion is the connecting link between action and knowledge”.

It is difficult to believe that a dark, apparently lifeless seed buried underground, would soon burst into a green shoot. It has to be seen to be believed.  The power of a divine name taken from a divine Guru has to be experienced to be believed.

I soon discovered for myself that Mother was not merely imparting a name but also infusing a redeeming power that slowly vivifies the inner world.

I attended the entire session when Mother visited Madras in 1956.  One morning Mother delivered an inspiring message in English, out of schedule.  The words came with tremendous force and speed.  This message had a strange fascination for me.  The same evening, Mother went into deep samadhi in the middle of Her discourse.  I had seen Her in samadhi many times before; but this time, I had an inner experience which is difficult to describe.  The following words from “Pilgrim’s Progress” may convey some idea, though inadequate, of the experience:

“This made a strange seizure of the Spirit, it brought light with it and commanded a silence in my heart of all those tumultuous thoughts that before did use like masterless hell hounds to roar and bellow and make a tedious noise within me.”

Since then I missed no opportunity to attend the sessions from the beginning to end.

“Like unto those who in a rigorous winter draw near the fire, we go as often as we can to that ardent fire which warms the soul.”- W.James.

I had imagined that the path of spirituality was a dismal negation of life with a doubtful promise of ultimate peace and joy.  So it amazed me when I saw that the very first fruit of spirituality is the disappearance of life’s monotony.  A new enchantment is added like a gift to life.  Every moment is charged with a sense of purpose.  Every event assumes a new meaning. Slowly even misfortunes lose their sting.  The darkness of evil changes by the pale morning light of another world.

I now firmly believe that in Mother’s life, the doctrine of divine descent finds affirmation anew. This not a blind belief.  It is founded on experience.  In fact, it was by listening to Mother’s messages that I discovered for the first time the difference between faith and credulousness, between devotion and sentimental effusiveness, between surrender and fatalism.

“Enter the path ! there spring the healing streams
Quenching all thirst there bloom the immortal flowers
Carpeting all the way with joy; there throng
Swiftest and sweetest hours.”

-Light of Asia.

–  P.Parameswaran Nair

Faith – the Grace of Higher Life

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Faith is the most essential thing in spirituality.  It is the foundation of religious life.  One must have faith in the mercy of God, in the word of the Guru and in the immortality of the Self.

Faith alone is the basis for ethics, righteous conduct, moral purity and religious devotion.

What is faith?  People generally mistake faith for belief and superstition.  Belief is only a mental idea.  It appears today and disappears tomorrow.  It changes with time.  It has no firmness of its own, for it depends on things and external aids.  But faith is spiritual insight, ‘avabodha’.

Higher than mental belief and intellectual conviction is faith.  Mind and intellect are modes.  They are fleeting in nature.  Hence belief and conviction on the mental and intellectual levels is not steady.  But faith is a grasp on the Reality.  It is an illumination.  It is a revelation from the beyond.

A faith that wavers, a faith that depends on anything in the world, is not faith, it is only belief.  Faith is unshakable like Mount Meru.  Doubts and delusions cloud mental belief.  But faith is free of all taints of ignorance.  It is utter clarity of inner vision that can never be affected by anything mundane.

There is no such a thing as blind faith.  Faith is never blind.  Faith is awareness free of doubt.  Faith is glistening vision without any mental distortion.

Mind doubts.  Intellect questions.  But faith sees the reality face to face.  Faith is unerring intuition of the spiritual order.

From faith are born courage of conviction and a bravery that challenges death.  Look at Prahlada, that boy of marvelous faith.  In the face of extreme adversity, even in the yawning mouth of death, he did not waver in his faith in Sri Hari.  He declared in utter fearlessness that Hari was the only reality.  He did not even pray for life, for he knew that his Self was imperishable.  What brought Hari from inside an inert pillar was the marvel of his faith.  Prahlada symbolizes the supreme spiritual faith in the Atman.

When faith reveals to you that your Self is verily the Supreme Being, you become fearless and free.  Hence faith alone is savior.  Even when the whole world stands against him, a man of faith remains tranquil.  There is no calamity that can shake the citadel of his faith.

It is such faith that you should possess if you seek the Highest.  Then alone can you glorify God and your spiritual tradition.  With dawn of faith alone begins the true life in spirit.  Faith is the sheet-anchor of life, here and hereafter.

You may lose everything that you hold dear in life.   You may lose wealth, health, power, position, near and dear ones, and even your own body.  Yet mother tells you, it is not a loss to you.  But if you lose faith in God, then there is no loss greater than that.  Loss of faith is the greatest tragedy.  It is the greatest misery.  There is no prarabdha greater than that.  When faith goes, all graces of life depart.  Everything rests on faith alone.

There are devotees who were severely tried and tested, who were put to greatest trials and tribulations.  Near and dear ones left them.  Society condemned them.  Kings persecuted them.  Yet they stood the challenge with remarkable fortitude and patience, all by the power of their faith, blessing everybody.  They made history.  Faith made them immortal.

Faith works wonders.  Faith moves mountains.  Faith makes impossible possible.  Faith turns death into life.  There is nothing in this world or in the other that cannot be achieved through faith.  Faith is omnipotent.

Where arguments of mind stop, where intellect ceases to question, where reason becomes silent, there faith is.  Faith is direct perception.  It needs no proof.  It is silent certitude.  It is established in truth and spiritual verities.

Ways of faith are mysterious.  In some faith may dawn all on a sudden; in some it has to be nourished and cultivated; but everyone, without exception, has to be vigilant against currents of nature, for everyone is in the realm of Maya where doubts and delusions operate.

Scriptures only point they way to reality.  But faith is the very light of the reality.  Learning and erudition, mental powers and occult siddhis, all these instinctively pay homage to the marvels of faith.

A man of faith lacks nothing.  He is the heir to all blessings of spirituality.  Through faith, he contacts and converses with the Divine; and from the Divine come sthe fulfillment of his prayers and invocations.

Faith is the real awakener.  If you have firm, unshakable, absolute faith in the Mother’s Word, this very moment you will be free, for Mother’s Word is the authentic intimation of the reality of your own Self which is ever-free.

Giving first the glimpses of reality, faith as a loving mother, prepares the mind for enduring enlightenment.  Finally, faith transforms itself into the wisdom of intimate experience, “anubhuthi”, dissolving the mind in the ocean of Reality.

Sadguru brings Truth nearer and nearer as it were, lifting veil after veil, through signs and symbols, through word and silence, to the vision of the seeker.  But that disciple, who is endowed with firm faith alone, perceives the Truth as a fruit on his palm.  He only awakes to Enlightenment.  Such is the eternal law in spirituality.

Faith is not given or acquired, not gifted by any external force or unseen power.  It is innate in everyone.  Why then all do not become men of faith?  It is because, there is a thick veil of ignorance and illusion which screens faith.  When that veil is lifted, the dormant faith shines forth in undimmed splendor as the sun that rises from behind the clouds.  Once awakened, faith can never set.

It is not study or scholarship or wordly experiences that give you faith.  Faith is born in simplicity.  Approach God in the utter simplicity of the soul and the guilelessness of a child.  Exhaust the mind of all vanities.  Await and aspire.  Watch and pray.  And you will get that marvelous inner light called faith.  Neither the temptations of nature nor tempests of life, can put out that inner lamp of faith.

A soldier shines in the battlefield with courage alone as his savior.  The ornament of a sadhaka is his faith in the Guru’s Word.  His courage comes to the forefront at the hour of trial and temptation.  With faith as you shield, fight the battle of life and win the throne of immortality.

Verily, faith is the grace of higher life.

–          Divine Mother Sree Rama Devi