Archive for December, 2013

Mother: The Mystery and The Revelation

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

 – T.N.Gopinathan Nayar, Trivandrum

(Sri T. N. Gopinathan Nair of All India Radio, Trivandrum, is a disciple of Divine Mother. An author of several books, he is an eminent playwright and short story writer of Kerala: Ed)

Without embellishments, without being adorned with glittering ornaments, my words springing up from the inmost chamber of my heart, are today on a pilgrimage to the highest abode, the Lotus Feet of my Ishtadevata, Divine Mother, in order to offer a flower there. That humble flower is myself.

I met Divine Mother Sree Rama Devi 28 years ago while She was living with Her husband at Tellicherry. Recently I had the fortune to revisit that sacred abode where Mother did Her intense Sadhana continuously for several years. Still I vividly remember the day I accompanied my Aunt, Mrs. T. N. K. Nayar from Trichur to Tellicherry. When I reached Trichur unexpectedly from Bombay that day She was about to leave for the Railway station and invited me to accompany her to Tellicherry. It was sheer curiosity that prompted me to accompany her, the curiosity to see the Sadguru who was responsible for the miraculous transformation of my Aunt who was on the verge of a mental breakdown due to several poignant domestic calamities. In the course of three months she lost two of her illustrious elder brothers. Her eldest brother Dr. Bhaskara Menon, Professor of the Vellore Medical College, suddenly passed away at the London aerodrome when he reached there to attend a medical conference. So too, his brother Madhava Menon, an Engineer of the Iron and Steel Company at Jamshedpur passed away after a heart attack. Her nephew who was studying in the Engineering College at Banaras met the same fate. The demise of her benevolent elder sister was the last stroke. Any one can imagine the condition of the mind of a woman who faced these calamities one after the other in quick succession. She was thus on the verge of a total breakdown. The ways of the Supreme are inscrutable. Fortunately she had the opportunity to meet Divine Mother in the midst of a large gathering of devotees during one of Her visits to Madras. That was the decisive moment of her destiny, the turning point in her life. That small particle of iron was drawn immediately to the stupendous magnet. In Mother she recognized her saviour and the sadguru. She became Her initiated disciple. Mother’s divine power healed all her psychological wounds and made her whole. Thus after an era of ordeals, she regained strength to face life courageously. She got the much-sought-for peace by her contacts with Divine Mother. Now you can more or less guess with what amount of curiosity I accompanied her to Tellicherry to meet her Sadguru.

When we reached the destination, a disciple opened the main entrance with a smile of welcome and said: ‘Oh, just now Mother was telling that Thankam will be coming here accompanied by Gopi. Is this Gopi?’

I was shocked. Strange indeed! How did Mother know I was accompanying my Aunt from Trichur? How did She know of my name? There was nobody there to inform Mother even by telegram. Did Mother foresee my visit? These questions, one after the other, sprang up in my baffled mind.

I saw Divine Mother doing all the household duties there like any devoted Hindu housewife. The concept of holiness and the idea of a spiritual personage received a new form in my mind as I watched the queen of that home of hospitality at work. The one I beheld there, was not a hermit withdrawn from the world, not a being hidden in a cloistered seclusion, but the one who manifested the pure zest of a dynamic life. At noon I was sitting along with a few guests for the midday meal. Mother, the Grihalakshmi, was serving various dishes to all in traditional humility and grace. The last item to be served as per Kerala custom is buttermilk. When I was expecting it, Mother appeared before me and asked: ‘May I serve you milk?’ Thinking that it was a gesture for VIPs I replied in a humble tone: ‘Mother, please give me buttermilk’. Mother raised Her head and enquired whether there was buttermilk in the kitchen. The answer was in the negative. Then I knew that my plight was miserable. There was a moment’s suspense. To the surprise of all, suddenly a female voice rose loudly from the gate: ‘Ma, curd, do you want curd?’ With a broad smile Mother said to me: ‘Wait, I shall give you buttermilk’. She rushed to the gate with a vessel. All were astonished. From which part of the world did this woman reach there with a pot of curd at that particular moment!

The rationalists may be inclined to consider this phenomenon as a mere coincidence. But why should not the woman with the curd appear a few minutes before or after. What power on earth made her arrive at that very moment of need. This no one can explain. The mysterious and the miraculous do not conform the logic.

At night Mother suddenly came to the room where my Aunt and myself were resting. She sat on a sofa. My aunt told Her in a jovial way that Gopi would like to put a few questions to Mother in order to clear his doubts. There was a glow in Mother’s eyes. With childlike simplicity and innocence, She turned them towards me. Silly and arrogant as I was at that time I asked a few questions pertaining to the concept of God. Remember, it happened 28 years ago. Mother answered all my questions in a very simple and convincing manner. Suddenly She went into samadhi. In the dim light She shone like a serene marble idol, absolutely still and motionless. The eye balls had gone behind the upper eyelids. Suddenly waves of fragrance began to emanate from Her sacred person. It was the combined perfume of camphor, sandal and Tulsi. I could experience its approach as if wafting steadily from billows. Intoxicating indeed! Soon the whole atmosphere was filled with that scintillating fragrance. My inner conscience commanded me in whisper: ‘Prostrate, prostrate’. The youthful egoism was pulling me back. That mental conflict lasted for a few seconds. Finally, inspite of me, with a throbbing heart I fell before those Lotus Feet like a jasmine garland. And I was crying like a child. Tears began to flow from my eyes as water from a broken vessel. I do not know where this much tears remained hidden till then. My tears spread the entire floor and Mother reflected on it like a celestial white lilly. A strange experience lingered for a few minutes. At last Mother soothed my mind by gently stroking my head with Her petal like fingers and called me in that sweet tender tone, ‘Son’. I know only this much. When I opened my eyes from that ecstatic thrill, the room was empty. A soul-stirring perfume was lingering still. It spoke volumes!

All this happened twentyeight years ago. My uncle, my mother, mother’s sister, my brothers, why, almost all members of our huge family have since then become disciples of Mother. Mother became our tutelary Deity and Her grace has been protecting the entire family with motherly care. The spiritual movement initiated by Mother’s grace and inspiration started growing day by day. My uncle became the first President of Rama Sakti Mission. A Mandali was formed earlier at Trivandrum which added a fillip to the collective quest of the devotees. Very soon, a beautiful Mandir dedicated to Divine Mother was built in a peaceful and prominent residential locality in Trivandrum. Divine Mother visited Trivandrum in Her extensive tours several times and each visit drew a large number of devotees to the Movement. My uncle and his wife played the leading role in all these activities. Emotionally enriched by my devotion to Mother, I composed several poems and songs on Mother.

But it may look strange that my wife and I became Mother’s disciples only three and a half years back. What caused this delay is still a mystery to me. The words Mother uttered during Her informal talk to me after the initiation, are still ringing in my ears. Mother said: “When you came to mother 24 years ago to Tellicherry Mother tied a knot on your feet and allowed you to roam about in the blue horizon as you pleased. The strings are with Mother. Slowly and steadily now Mother has brought you here.”

Oh Blessed One! With what words can I express my gratitude to You! I have experienced the nectar of Your immeasurable kindness on several occasions in my life. For the benefit of my readers I feel that I should describe one such occasion at least especially when my Mini, the sweet partner of my life for 23 years suddenly left me a couple of years back. A few months before that incident we, Mini and I, had gone to Shaktinagar to pay our obeisance to Divine Mother. It was our ardent wish to meet Mother at Her chosen abode on earth, Shaktinagar. Mother uttered a very significant sentence at that time. When we reached there, the bhajan was in full swing. My wife got a seat in the last row. I managed to reach the front line. We were not sure whether Mother would come down that evening to grant darshan to the devotees. Our ardent prayers must have reached Mother and Lo! suddenly, Mother blossomed before our eyes like the golden lotus. After paying my respects to Mother I rushed to the last row in the Hall to bring my wife to a noticeable spot so that she could gain a clear darshan of Divine Mother. But she was not seen there. With much despair I came back to my original seat and when I looked at Mother, to my utter surprise, Mini was seen quite close to Mother. With tears of joy, I cried: ‘Oh Mother, the one who is standing near you, is my wife’. With a hearty laugh Mother replied: ‘Mother knows that Mini is your wife. You were searching in vain for her in the back rows. See, by that time, she has already reached Me!’ Prophetic divine words! Yes Mother! Today I am alone. Leaving me behind she has reached You.

My wife became a victim of cerebral haemorrhage and a paralytic stroke while we were travelling in a night train from Tirur to Trivandrum. She was taken to the way side Mission hospital at Tiruvalla. Though we have the satisfaction that all humanly possible medical aid was given, her soul left the cage on 22nd day. As soon as the doctor gave the final pronouncement in a pain-soaked voice, I received an express letter from Divine Mother asking me to leave everything at Her Feet and leave the station courageously to look after my children.

In Her omniscience Mother knew what tragedy was going to overtake me. She knew I would find the anguish of separation from my partner unbearable and sent those words full of comfort and strength. Yes, Mother’s short message timely received by me, filled me with courage and lifted my mind to a state of calm and composure. I clearly perceived that it was Her intervening grace and not my philosophic detachment, that gave me strength to face the ordeal without being overwhelmed by sorrow and to continue my life with a sense of duty and commitment.

In the galaxy of spiritual Masters, Mother is a rare star. The radiance of Her life, work and personality has endowed Her with a status which is unique and Her influence is being increasingly felt on the contemporary society. Unique is Her message and unique the manner of Her delivering it. She is the exemplar of the yoga synthesis expounded in the song celestial, the Bhagavad Gita. It is the impress of Her personal magnetism that makes Her teaching a wonderful gospel of God-realization and a practical manual of Sadhana.

Mother stresses that, one can attain God-realization even while remaining in Garhasthya. Home-life can become a purifying discipline for moral growth and spiritual strength. Among the four orders, Garhasthya has pivotal importance. It carries the noble traits of our tradition. The concept of Divine Spouses in Hinduism (Vishnu-Lakshmi; Siva-Parvathy; and Brahma-Saraswati) reveals the sanctity of the marital order. Most of the venerated Sages in ancient India were householders. So were the Bhaktas whose hymnal outpourings constitute the vast devotional literature. Spiritualized home is the symbol of Bharat’s creative culture.

Associated with home, the order of garhasthya, are moral values which the spouses have to adhere to with religious devotion. The roles of husband and wife are mutually complimentary. Both are inseparable on the ground of moral dedication to the highest end, namely spiritual emancipation. Nowadays when dharma is in its lowest ebbs, Mother’s advent on the Indian spiritual stage as Sadguru and Saviour, assumes special significance. If the householders cast their lives to the mould of Mother’s immortal teaching, the future of this sacred land will be bright. Of this there need be no doubt. In Mother one finds the fulfillment of ancient prophecies.

The divinity of Mother is not a truth open to logical investigation. It is revealed to spiritual faith only. To those who are blessed with this faith, life holds no terror. They are able to live a life of disinterested devotion to duty. Matters relating to religion are absolutely personal. Faith springs from personal experience. One may have faith in Christ, one in the prophet, another in Ramakrishna. All faiths have to be respected and sentiments of devotion based on faith have to be honoured. For thousands of devotees and disciples of Divine Mother, the chosen deity and venerable Guru have become one. That has considerably accelerated their march towards the great goal. In the life time of Lord Krishna and Sri Rama, only a few blessed souls were aware that they were Avatars. Sri Buddha got the rightful place only after his Mahanirvana. Thousands worship Divine Mother as the Supreme Shakti. I am certain that a day will dawn when the world will realize that the Being who created Shaktinagar from nothing, who has brought countless souls to the way of life divine, who has brought about a tremendous awakening in the householders, is none but the Divine Himself.

After reaching the spiritual height through a course of self-inflicted ordeals and rigorous tapascharya, Mother did not choose a life of ascetic withdrawal in a forest retreat to vanish from there unnoticed. She was conscious of Her great divine mission of uplifting the human race. Hence She remain in the midst of suffering humanity, engaging Herself in a mission of mercy. Hers is a universal heart that feels the pulse of humanity.

I am told that there is a pillar in the harbour of New York with an inscription inviting those who are in fetters, those who are poor, those who are in distress, to the free land. Today even from that free land people in quest of peace have started coming here to take refuge at the Lotus Feet of Divine Mother. There is an unseen pillar at Shaktinagar too, inviting those who are in utter distress, who are the victims of cruel destiny, to take shelter under the canopy of Divine Mother’s Grace.

The Saviour is like a Railway engine ready to carry any number of bogies and any number of passengers to the cherished destiny. Yes, the engine is ready at the platform. Those who have tickets of faith can get in. Those who are longing to reach the desired goal should never miss this opportunity. There is no use of lamenting when the train has departed.

To be linked to Mother in the simplicity of heart, is the happiest experience, the rewarding fulfillment for me, a child. I seek no other reward. When I think of Her form I touch the philosophic height, I enter the realm of rapture, I visualize the golden orb of that mystery of mysteries, the Life itself! Through those eyes, the infinite gives me the message of comfort. At times calm and serene are those eyes as the moon-lit sea. At times the heavenly ambrosia pours down through them. At times there dawn in them sudden flashes of lightning. At times they have the freshness and vigour of the dewy dawn. At times they are deep and mysterious as the starry night. Always the rainbow of compassion glows in them.

Mother is the mystery and the revelation unified.

Mother as I see Her

Sunday, December 1st, 2013

– Smt.Chandrakala P.Shenoy, B.A., B.L.,  Kayamkulam.

‘Mother’- a very small word, but how significant it is! It sounds small and sweet. Nevertheless, if one wants to know the meaning and depth of the significance, one has to go to Shaktinagar, a paradise of peace and power, which is being visited by all, rich and the poor, the sinner and the saint, the depressed and the downtrodden, irrespective of caste and creed. Shaktinagar is a retreat par excellence for adhyatmic sadhana. It is an asylum for those who seek and for those who suffer.

A casual visit to that blessed place would clearly show that it is something uniquely distinct from a home and an ashram. The worldliness associated with home and the sense of isolation associated with the ashram, both are not there. It is an ever-expanding divine Gurukula, where the Divine is the guiding preceptor and the presiding deity. It is an island of peace in this turbulent world and people from all walks of life go there for peace and salvation.

Shaktinagar is a veritable Kingdom of God on earth, where we can see our Creator and enjoy the bliss of divine presence. So overwhelming is Her presence that even untutored minds are brought into order by just being in the precincts of Shaktinagar. Beholding the divine splendour so tangibly revealed, we can surrender at those Lotus Feet and be saved from the cycle of births and deaths. Shaktinagar is really a ‘Moksha dham’.

This whole world, is as Shakespeare puts it, a stage where everyone has to act the drama of life. But acting life is not so easy as it appears to be. We should act well if we are to be applauded. For this, we should study the art of acting. This technique of acting life can be taught only by one who is well-versed in that art.

Divine Mother Sree Rama Devi, whom today thousands worship as their Deity, has brought about a revolutionary change amidst thousands of Her devotees through Her unsurpassed love and unique teaching.

Mother’s advent in this world is for the uplift of whole mankind. Her power and grace is boundless. It is not circumscribed. Mother’s path is unique. In short, Mother is incomparable.

People who worship Mother do so out of their own experience, faith and conviction. In Her kingdom, there is no compulsion, no force, no threatening. Everything is controlled through Her unseen power. Hers is a reign of love.

What is the secret behind this gigantic power of Mother? This is an open secret which has been proclaimed time and again by saints and mystics. Divinity, experience and exemplary life of dharma constitute Mother’s spiritual authority. No man can describe Mother’s divinity, Her supernatural powers, superconscious states and divine bhavas. They are beyond human comprehension.

In Her role as the Sadhaka, Mother practised all the yogas. But the peculiarity with Her yogas is that She did not retire into any cave or forest or hermitage for the pursuit of yoga. She built Her yoga in the privacy of life’s teeming problems. Home and seclusion both appealed to Her. Even in apparent involvement in life around Her, She was alone and aloof inwardly. Smile and serenity never left Her. Alert always to the call of duty, She was in constant communion with Her own Self. Any time She could withdraw into a splendid isolation of being within Herself. Her spontaneous samadhis, divine bhavas and magnificent personality carry credentials of Her supreme divinity.

Viewed in this context, Shaktinagar is also a vast temple where we worship our Deity. But our worship is not based on hearsay knowledge. Before coming to Divine Mother we did worship gods and goddesses seen in photos-the inspiration of the artist who drew or painted them. But the Deity in Shaktinagar is not the imaginary expression of any artist. You can see the Divine whom you worship and also be convinced of what you see.

Mother’s path is an open path suited for all. It is a path of dharma, a path which Mother has trod Herself. Mother does not command any one to take shelter in caves and woods for the sake of Realization. We can have Realization remaining where we are, provided we have shraddha in Her Teaching and intense yearning in our heart. Mother does not put Her disciples to any test. She does not demand their services. Selfishness, petty-mindedness, love for indulgence, these flee the minds tuned to Divine Mother.

Mother teaches us how to install our home-life on the pedestal of yoga, how we should convert our homes into sacro-sanct ashrams and thereby usher in the Himalayan peace in our homes. According to Her direction, we are not to discard association, for life means association, co-operation, co-existence. What is to be given up is attachment to objects, persons, conditions. Illusionism of the world and escapism from action find no place in Her dynamic teaching. Her advaita is permeated with the elixir of Bhakti. The supremacy of God, Grace and Dharma forms the dominating theme in Her discourses and writings. She is the embodiment of all these three. Mother’s clarion call to seekers is to take active participation in life with constant remembrance and consciousness of the Divine.

The great spiritual movement that has been initiated by Her grace is gradually gaining recognition by the society and revealing little by little its global significance. Mother’s mission is not restricted to any particular region or section of population, not even to our country, India. It is universal in nature, scope and function. Her Teaching like ancient scriptures is valid for all times. Faithful and honest application of Her moral and spiritual commandments will lead us to the vision of the highest. Universal fraternity can emerge only from universal vision.

Messengers of God have made their appearances in the world from time to time. They have sung the glories of God. Devotional literatures that are an inspiration even today constitute their heart’s outpouring. But Mother has come to reveal a path for mankind to follow which is suited to modern conditions. Reinstatement of the dharma, ‘dharmasthapana’ is possible only for Divinity.

The devotional link with Mother has enabled Her devotees to create within their own homes a spiritual paradise. Home as Heaven according to Mother, is not a field for enjoyment, ‘bhogakshetra’; it is a dharmakshetra. Mother’s message of salvation is a standing promise to those who fulfill the law of dharma under Her guidance. Unconditional surrender to God is the pathway to salvation. The electrifying currents of Mother’s spiritual power and message have started operating not only in India but even abroad, as a result of which even foreigners have begun to take refuge at Her Lotus Feet even though Mother has not physically gone to any foreign country.

Inward renunciation is the sine qua non of spirituality according to Mother. the ego, the sense of ‘I and Mine’, the violent passions like anger, greed, attachment, etc, should be eradicated through devotion and discrimination. These are our only enemies who prevent us from feeling the presence of God. Inner manasic prapancha is the main cause for our suffering and deterioration.

Wherever Divine Mother has visited, an adhyatmic centre called the ‘Mandali’ has sprung up and these mandalies where Her devotees congregate for worship and meditation, have become the source of comfort, strength, inspiration for Her devotees. By participating in the Mandali activities we grow spiritually, our devotion to Mother increases, our selfishness diminishes, and we develop the feeling that we are all children of the same Universal Mother.

What the world needs today is the transformation of hearts. The working of the brain alone will not be sufficient to root out the evils. Bothe the brain and heart must work simultaneously for this purpose. In Mother’s system of sadhana, the place is for synthesis, the synthesis of brain and heart. This is what She exhorts Her audience whenever She condescended to address. Mother responds to the call of a child, adult, poor, rich, the sick, the destitute, the sinner, all alike. These differences are in our vision only, not in Mother. for Mother, all are children only. Mother recognizes no sin. Her teaching and discourses abound in positive stress on purity, divinity, holiness, perfection, immortality and omnipotence of the Atman. The sweep of purification automatically comes over us when we give a place for Divine Mother in our heart. Who else other than God incarnate could control and direct the destiny of countless disciples spread all over India and abroad?

Deterioration steps in not because gods are feeble, but because our prayers are powerless. We should not try to weigh God with our worldly possessions. All worldly objects are perishable. As such we can never see God so long as we are slaves to these perishable objects.

Mother’s presence on earth is the greatest boon to mankind. To deny Mother’s all-pervasive divinity perishable. As such we can never see God so long as we are slaves to these perishable objects.

Mother’s presence on earth is the greatest boon to mankind. To deny Mother’s all-pervasive divinity is indeed a sin. We need not sacrifice anything to see Mother. No one who has seen Mother once, ever returned disheartened. Having seen Her and having glimpsed Her divine nature, Her devotees do not have any further urge for wanderings here and there in search of God and peace.  Having listened to Her discourses and personal instructions in sadhana, they do not stand in need of any holy book for guidance. Every word of Mother is a gem of wisdom. Her teaching contains the essence of Vedas and Upanishads.

Brothers and sisters, we are but tiny ripples on the surface of water, which could burst at any time. Man’s life is short, but it is long enough to lead a good life. Within this limited time, let us strengthen our faith, deepen our devotion and stabilize our inner link with the Omnipotent Mother and get freed from the shackles of samsara. Now is the golden opportunity for us, for God is in the form of a Mother accessible to man and woman alike, who approach Him with simplicity of a little child. Our Deity is now before our vision. The ancient yogis and sages had to perform intense tapas to behold a ray of divine radiance. Now with naked eyes, with no strength of tapas to our credit, we are beholding the Divinity and receiving guidance direct from Divinity. Realization of God is the ultimate goal. Where is the question of realization when we have God in our midst! We have only to open our eyes to Truth. Darshan of Mother is a spiritual vision, if there is the enlightenment as to who Mother is. To those who have got this enlightenment, there is no seeking. They revel in their attainment, in their love for God, as Uddhava, Akrura and Sudama and Gopis of Brindavan did in days of yore.

Denial of Truth is man’s fundamental folly. But we should remember that Truth never ceases to be Truth merely because it is denied or ignored. Mother is Truth. She is in all hearts. And She manifests Herself in everyone. But we should also remember that She manifests only in pure hearts.

God is not a concept. He is the Reality. Existence proclaims Him. Every breath of ours is nature’s prayer to her Lord. God is controlling, directing and steering the course of the universe. It is He who has come down to earth, this little planet of ours, in the garb of a Mother. Let us pray to our Deity to tear asunder the veil of ignorance and cement in us the conviction that there is no other God than the One who is with us.