Archive for April, 2012

Past Meets Present

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

– Sri. H.M.Gadiyar, 1961.

Misery is really blessing in disguise in as much as it turns our mind from enjoyment to the feet of the almighty, who is existence-knowledge-bliss absolute. Even though the pleasure-seeking man will find it hard to believe, the experiences of many exalted souls and saints bear testimony to this fact.

In 1936 my wife breathed her last, leaving four small children behind. Her untimely demise hurled me to the abyss of grief. Naturally, the uppermost thought in my mind in agonising moments was to renounce the world leaving the children in an orphanage. But, by the mysterious intervention of an unseen power, that idea did not materialise. The twelve years that followed was one of extreme unhappiness and mental anguish aggravated by other calamities. This state of affairs continued until one fine evening in 1948 I met Mother at a devotee’s house in Thyagaraya Nagar, Madras. The meeting was the greatest event in my life since it changed the course of my subsequent life. Intuitionally I saw my savior in her. I was wonderstruck at her instructive discourses on subtle subjects of philosophy and religion. Though her academic education was up to the fifth class in a primary school, she spoke in exalted moods in alien tongues with incredible speed and with amazing mastery of language. Every word she spoke was charged with irresistible force as it emanated from the very source of supreme wisdom. The super-consciousness into which she frequently entered baffled even those of mighty intelligence and scholastic learning. She appeared to me in the very first sight as a world teacher, a moral regenerator and a great social reformer all combined in one.

Sri Bhagawan, consort of Mother is ever conscious of the supreme divinity embodied in her. His exemplary devotion to her revealed itself when in 1956 at Mangalore, Bhagawan was laid up with high fever. The temperature rose up to 105 degrees and he lay unconscious in the bed to the great anguish of many. One day we were surprised to note that he was repeating the holy name of Mother when he was unconscious.

Mother’s service of Sri Bhagawan is illustration of the purity of wifely devotion in which love and reverence are in perfect amazing combination. Her life is a dedication at the altar of pathi-bhakthi, devotion to husband. Her overflowing love is an ecstatic devotion.

Sri Bhagawan must have fully realized the purpose of her advent. Formerly Mother and Bhagawan were often going together wherever they went. But after the attack of thrombosis, doctors advised Bhagawan not to travel. But still, at great personal inconvenience, he presses Mother to visit various mandalis in order to gladden the hearts of the devotees. From this we get an idea of his great spirit of sacrifice and love for humanity. But it is interesting to take note of the fact that according to him, he always feels the presence of Mother even when the latter is away. Bhagawan is inwardly engaged always in contemplation of her divine form. “My sadhana is one continuous prayer to her to grant me grace so that I may never forget the truth of her divinity”, he was heard to remark.

I received initiation from Mother when she visited Madras for the first time in 1948. She appeared to me as compassion personified because, though I had neither the requisite purity nor scriptural learning, she condescended to initiate me. Verily she is a mother who cannot discriminate among her children. After initiation when she placed her hand in blessing on my head, I knew for certain that miseries were over. The initiation altogether transformed my life. With the power which she infused, I am able to withstand the worst effects of prarabdha with comparative coolness and courage. I feel her presence. Her unseen hands protect me. Peace has become my permanent possession.

In compassion, She was comparable to Lord Buddha. Numberless are the unhappy families that have been integrated into units of peace and contentment under her loving ministration. She understands the problems of life and offers lasting solutions. Her life is infinitely greater than her teachings. The life of spirituality, according to her, is a life established in truth and wedded to righteousness. Truth and righteousness are mutually related to each other and serve as complementary virtues for an aspirant. Without adhering to truth, dharma cannot be practised. Without observing dharma, truth cannot be realised.

Pathivrathya which Mother characterizes as the basic virtue of a married woman is exemplified in her glorious life in all perfection. In my younger days, as a young school going boy, I had not attached more importance to the celebrated life of Savitri of yore than as a mythological story. But when I observe Mother’s life I am convinced that our past has once again been relived in revived grandeur. In a message She says: “In woman past meets present”. The truth of this statement is well illustrated in her own life. A pathivratha according her is at once a perfect jnanin, a dynamic yogin and a devotee of the highest order.

During one of my trips to Tellicherry, Mother’s mother was there. From Trivandrum and Trichur, about a dozen devotees had also arrived for the darshan of Mother. After our supper, there was an informal gathering which was blessed by the presence of Mother, Sri Bhagawan and Mother’s mother. One of the devotees requested Mother’s mother to enlighten us by her account of Mother’s bala leelas, as she was the fittest person for it. Mother’s mother smiled and said “I would like to give but I am not accustomed to give a speech and I do not know Malayalam either”. I undertook to translate her words into English. Mother’s mother was an unostentatious and pious soul and she was not able to put things in the form of a narration or discourse to the educated group of devotees. At this stage, Mother placed her hand on her mother’s back. Whereupon Mother’s mother who was not able to talk, went on with a fine account of bala leela, like one well versed in the language in which she spoke, to the delight of all of us. Spontaneously I started humming the stanza:

“ Mookam Karothi vachalam

Pangum langayathe girim.

Yathkripathamaham vande

Paramananda Madhavam.”


Sunday, April 8th, 2012

 – Lady M. Venkatasubba Rao ( 1961)

Of the ideals, my husband and I shared between us, what contributed most is our devotion for Mother. His interest in social well-being, his passion for justice, his career as lawyer, his experience as judge, endowed him with an attitude of mind and amplitude of talents, particularly pertinent to the pursuit of truth, under Mother’s system of spiritual discipline.

His enormous range of interests was complementary to his devotion. He could bring a deepened understanding and a disciplined mind, to interpret the subtleties of spirituality. He sought to reach the depth of ancient wisdom with the help of Mother’s teachings. His responsiveness, stemmed from his conviction, that she was divine. In his observations about Mother, there was arresting thought. Mother, in the temporal context, was to him a theme full of moral meaning and spiritual significance. His judicial mind succeeded in arriving at reasoned conclusions about her baffling simplicity and mystical subtlety.

In a scientific way, he wanted to formulate the philosophy underlying her teachings – the content of her spiritual experience, as well as, how it could be made serviceable in the affairs of life. Until the last, on the doctrines of her teachings, he sought clarification from her. He wanted explanation of the mysteries, pertaining to life and death, in terms of her own teachings. After accepting her as Guru, his mind was never allowed to be obscured by exposure to divergent influences and alien persuasions. Of course, he thought freely. He was aware of various perspectives; the experience of different schools; the conflict of views. But, for spiritual illumination, he looked only to Mother. He abided by her wisdom.

Eloquently bitter of superstitions, he was serenely reverent, to what was genuinely pure and pious. Mother alone could give him assurance of the principle of unity, as persistent and operative, through change and multiplicity. He closed his eyes upon this world with this assurance, conveyed during his last interview with Mother, a few days before the end came. Divested of questionings and doubts, his mind was established in peace. Thus, the end of his career was upon the peak of spirituality, at the pinnacle of an intimate spiritual revelation. His intellectual life was further enriched from ancient sources, through the mysticism of Mother.

In his heart there was no ungenerous wish; in his mind, no undisciplined thought. He adhered to the regimen of study and sparse diet, even after the onset of his final illness. His habits corresponded to the character of a philosopher – of peaceful intentions and profound visions. His reliance upon Mother was characterized by the spirit of surrender to the Supreme Being.

In plain propositions he spoke his precise thoughts upon Mother   the uniqueness of her love, the charm of her silence, the sublimity of her Samadhi, the hidden harmony of her purifying presence. He ignored the adage that many are bad and the good are few. He acted upon the assumption that all were good until the contrary was proved. The contributory response of his views to Mother’s ideals was amazing. Through unquestioning acceptance and joyous adherence to her percepts, he came to experience the exhilaration of intellect, without the tensions of emotion. His perceptions were correlated to ideals. In the heightened sensitivity of intensified vision, he realized his purest aspirations.

He tested his own actions by standards of the ethical implications of Mother’s teachings upon domestic and social duties. Her emphasis upon harmony had inevitable appeal to his judicial mind. He was deeply impressed by her solitudes. He believed, that she wielded through them, creative power of practical piety, for the good of individuals and society. He believed that her samadhis marked crucial moments in cosmic evolution.

Authentic accounts of peace experienced, of solace found, by the afflicted, in Mother’s presence, interested him. He was averse to doctrinaire religion. He was non-believer in the supernatural. When for the first time, we together saw Mother, in 1950; he had at last convincing testimony of mysticism, in contemporary historical context, and in a living personality. Critical in thought, cautious in judgment, of Mother, he could believe the performance of miracles and happenings of wonder. He travelled to Bangalore, Trivandrum and Mangalore, in order to be present, during occasions of her visits to these places, to witness the scenes of her holy ministry. He carefully abstained from discussion of philosophical problems during visits to Mother, giving himself up to quiet raptures of spiritual interludes. He believed that his complete recovery from protracted illness which did not respond to medical therapy was owing to the working of Mother’s invisible spiritual powers.

His cherished image in my heart is enshrined in endearing recollections of his liberal ideas and his wonderful devotion for Mother. He has become one with the lasting grace of her divinity. With me remain the solace of her lofty precepts, and the comfort of her compassion.