Archive for November, 2012


Sunday, November 18th, 2012

 – Mrs. N. Radhakrishna Menon (1961)

I was struggling for courage, calm and peace. The sudden demise of my husband, within a few months of my mother’s death, jolted me out of my senses. I did not lose my sanity; it was due to the unshakable faith that I had in God. Born and bred in luxury I come from a family of believers. Both my parents were worshippers of Shakthi. In marriage, I felt no want, either. My husband was the epitome of Love and understanding. We were blessed in our love and our four children completed for us, the picture of a perfect home. But has it not been said before that “anything too good will not last long?” It proved true in my case. My husband’s death was a shattering experience. The suddenness with which it occurred added to the severity of the shock. I had been taught to regard husband as God on earth. Since he came up to my standards of adoration, I had always felt that he was my saviour. When he died, I felt the earth slipping from under me. I went to the temple at Guruvayur to seek from God, some measure of solace. For three months, I remained there. I went to the temple, night and day. From that divine presence I imbibed some strength. From Lord Krishna I got assurance of the immortality of the soul. I soon felt that my husband could never really be separated from me, even as I would never be away from God. This sense of oneness gave me perspective that was hitherto unknown to me. I soon began to realize, that in sorrow, there lay strength. I became aware of the multifarious duties that were now mine to be done, alone, by myself.

The same year I started my stay at Trichur. I had been advised by my father to educate my children there. Little did I then know how great a blessing my father was bestowing on me. Little could I then gauge the immensity of the invaluable treasure that I was to find.

It happened in the year 1950. I had been living a secluded life in the midst of my children. Two years after my husband’s death, fate had struck me another blow. My eldest daughter was down with ‘polio.’ I often remembered the saying that “misfortunes never come alone”. There seemed a great deal of truth in it. This, along with the other strokes of ill luck was added to my heaviness of heart, benumbing my senses quite often. I was afraid of the future. I often wondered if there would be another blow for me around the corner. I prayed harder each day. Only my prayer-room seemed to afford some calm to my turbulent mind. I was more eager than ever to meet God. The Holy Scripture that I read through daily kept repeating the necessity of a Guru, to show the right path. I did not then know that I would soon realize why exactly we need a Guru. I often shuddered at the thought of accepting a male Guru. The harshness of criticism that was meted out to such disciples by the general public often dissuaded me from going in search of one. But, the holy ones say that when the right time comes, we would meet our Guru and that a spiritual teacher is a must for any one who seeks God. Every day my heart sent up this prayer: “Oh God, manifest thyself to me in the form of the Universal Mother.” I used to recite the ‘Lalitha Sahasranamam’ every day in worship of Shakthi. It was in this state that I first saw Mother.

The Mother arrived on a Saturday evening, by car from Shoranur. A few of us were there to receive her. I can still visualize that beaming smile of her’s as she got down. It was then that she struck me as an incarnation of light, love and truth. After she was garlanded, each of us did archana with hands full of flower. I remember the flowers that I held. They were red and white, with green Tulasi leaves. I showered them at the feet of the Mother with the name of “Shree Guruvayoorappan” on my lips. Instead of falling at Mother’s feet, the flowers were caught up in a line on Her orange saree. They looked, as though, they were ardently seeking protection and guidance of the Mother. To my mind, it symbolized my wish for guidance. At that moment, Mother’s eyes flashed a look at me – a look that would remain, for ever, in my heart. Her eyes looked like sparkling stars. The smile bewitched me. That look and smile was meant only for me. I knew it, because, she took from her person the very flowers that I had showered, and bestowed them on me. My eyes closed in ecstasy. The flowers carried a message for me. They said “in answer to your prayer, here I am as a Mother. All these years you have served Lord Krishna. I am He, who is your Atman. Have complete faith and surrender all to me. ”

I was reminded of Lord Krishna’s call to Arjuna in the Gita. I felt as though I was in the seventh heaven. I could feel the flow of courage and strength coursing in my veins. Every thing seemed possible to me. So why not the attainment of God! Yes, with Mother sitting there in front of me. Mother, who is all compassion and love, could make her devotee achieve, even the impossible. At this moment, a warning glance from Mother struck me. It seemed to say “My child, the path of spirituality is the most arduous of all ways. The easier it seems the more is the struggle.” I bowed before this divinity in all humility. Already I was feeling as though I had become her disciple.

When I opened my eyes again, Mother was gone. She had gone upstairs to her room to retire. I ran upstairs, with a thudding heart and with an ardent hope that I would see Mother once again that night. But, the door was closed. I prostrated at the entrance and went home. My little son and my servants were surprised to see me, so elated. I went around the place in a daze, spent most of the night in the pooja room. After early bath the next morning, I was back at the house, where Mother was staying. That evening there was bhajan. Mother was superb. There lingered no doubt in my mind. This is the incarnation of God, I said to myself. My one desire was to get nearer to her. To see her and to hear her. That night I understood why the puranas said that bhakta Meera saw Krishna in everything. I could see only Mother in everyone and everything around me. I heard her voice when my little son spoke. If this could bring so much ecstasy I thought what would be the bliss when one realizes God. Oh, the longing seemed to burst my heart. I cried for long, and prayed, that those tears of mine would wash me pure.

The next day was the famous Guruvayoor Ekadasi. Ever since I can remember, and more so after my wedding, from the time my husband initiated me into this famous temple of Vishnu at Guruvayoor, I had become a Krishnadasi. I always observe this day with severe austerities. I observe silence and complete starvation. I do not even take a sip of drinking water.

On this great day, after I had finished my poojas at home, I had rushed to see the divine Mother. It was then that Mother’s personal attendant and her first disciple called me aside and said that Mother has asked me to come there that evening at 4 o’clock. I went home feeling very joyful. At 4 P.M. I was back again at Mother’s place in hopeful expectancy, bubbling with ecstasy. The beloved Mother was seated in a chair. She was clad in an ethereal shade of heliotrope. I was overjoyed to note this, for it has always been my favourite colour. She smiled and asked me questions. Very soon I was laying bare before Her the history of my life up to then, the fact that my daughter was subjected to the attack of Polio. I told Mother of all the agony that I had undergone until then. Speaking to her was no strain. She seemed very sympathetic and kind. Then she smiled and I felt that all would be well for me and that I would find peace after all. She then asked me to go and sit for meditation in the prayer room. She wanted me to concentrate on my “Ishta Devatha”.

That day holds great significance to me. It was one of those days that is held important and sacred by the Hindus. The first Monday in the month of Karthika, Guruvayoor Ekadasi. Each of these held a meaning for me. I sat contemplating on the One – on Krishna – whom I now saw in Mother, and on my Atman, which I recognized as Mother, again. Mentally, I prostrated again, at the feet of my new-found-Guru-Mother. My first prayer was for a capacity to preserve my faith unflinching and full. Unto this day, it has been granted. My faith in her is strong and deep; it is reinforced with belief. I might have sat there for over an hour or more. I had no idea of time. It was the one day when time stood still for me, when time was of no consequence, either. I was suddenly awakened, with a thrill. I felt the divine touch on my shoulder. It was Mother’s. That miraculous touch, it sent a sensation through my whole being. I felt that my heart and mind had been electrified. Everything seemed brilliant to me. I felt an overpowering sense of love for all in the creation of God. Life seemed a joy. I then realized that, that was just a taste of the bliss that could be mine, if I practiced all that my Guru taught me; if I turned out to be a Satsishya of this Sadguru. Mother blessed me. After sitting there for a couple of hours or more I came out. I felt that I had just been born again and that I was all clean and pure. The air I breathed seemed cleared of all impurities. The voices I heard were melodious. Everything I saw looked beautiful. Everything was ecstasy. I came out blessed. I am blessed, to have been born, to be a disciple of such a Sadguru. And today, after ten years, I say again, that I am thousand times blessed. Today, my faith in my Guru is stronger than it has ever been. And, today, I am a stronger and a more courageous person. How can it ever be otherwise? Anyone who has enjoyed that rapturous feeling, even though transitorily, and for only a few seconds, will understand what I write here. And, my Mother my Guru has vouchsafed it to me. Hence, I say with conviction, that Mother works miracles of the heart. May the Sadguru be eternal. May I live only to sing her praise and to hear her glories.


Sunday, November 4th, 2012

Sri. M. Shankar Menon
Retired Director of Agriculture (1961)

What a grand idea, Mother conveys in these five simple words! Like the Upanishads of yore, Mother’s words are pregnant with suggestiveness, grandeur and beauty. What sweet memories arise in our hearts as we speak of the word home, and what sublime thoughts picture before us when we hear the word Temple!

A temple is a place of worship. It is the place where we hold communion with the divine. It is the home of God. We go there and surrender to the will of divine. We pray not only for ourselves and those near and dear to us, but also for the common good of all, and we come out with a sense of satisfaction, hope and above all of peace.

There are temples big and small, ancient and modern each with a story of its own. They have all been constructed with idea of housing the divine, and they have the splendour and glory due to divinity. Some of our temples are marvelous in their designs and exquisite in their workmanship. The sculpture and carvings and paintings of our great temples are masterpieces of art. We have our temples spread out throughout the length and breadth of our country, from the snow-bound peaks of Himalayas in the north, to the Cape Comorin in the south, as living monuments of our culture and civilization.

We associate our temples with everything that is elevating and beautiful. We have the chiming of the bells heralding the approach of dawn. We have music and the ringing of bells as the worship proceeds. We smell the incense proceeding from the shrine. We have garlands and flowers arranged in all their beauty giving out sweet fragrance; and above all we have the crowds of worshippers making their way to the sanctum sanctorum to have the darshan of the deity. Such is the picture of a temple.

Mother tells us to make every home a temple! Are we to take this in its literal sense and put up new constructions or remodel our homes so as to convert them into temples? No by no means. It may not be possible or feasible for every one to put up new constructions. But it is possible for every one to create the atmosphere of a temple in every home by carrying out in our practical daily life the high principles Mother has taught us. A temple stands for certain high ideals and principles like truth, purity, love and dedicated work. If we could enshrine all these high qualities in our home and make ourselves living centres of truth, love and the high principles Mother stands for, we may feel satisfied that we have done Mother’s bidding. The temple of God is within us all. It is also everywhere. Oh! Mother Divine, pray help us all to realize this truth.