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The Glories of Shravan Bhakti – Part 4

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

Life or death, Mother is our only companion

This is the fourth article in the series on Shravan Bhakti.

  1. The pre-requisites for writing any piece on the life of Mother are humility, faith and pure bhava.
  1. Humility is necessary because it is beyond our capacities to describe accurately the life of an incarnate. Even the Rishis could not comprehend Lord Ram and expressed their inabilities with folded hands by saying that ‘O Ram, we only know you as Dasharatha’s son”.

The story of an incarnate is one, continuous and unbroken story- the origin and end of which is not determinable. The life of an incarnate is known to us only from the start and to the end as manifested to us and to the extent captured by our intellect. We are unaware of the incidents culminating to its start, those following its end and also the aspects which escaped our intellect.

It is for this reason that we should approach the task of writing a story of Mother with humility- for we can never fathom its length, breadth and its depth in full.

  1. Faith should be that her story will get written by itself – if She wills it and not otherwise. We are merely the pen (instrument) in her hands.

Faith should also be in the power contained in her story. For example, we have all heard with faith, the story of Mother saving her consort in Telichery home from the noose of Yama, the Lord of Death. This story should instill faith in us that Mother has capacity to likewise save any devotee, including us. And if such a moment arrives in our life, the same incident shall come true to us too. The story of Mother saving her consort from Yama, when heard by one devotee translates in to a similar lifesaving experience to him and when such stories are heard by us, be sure that we can also likewise be saved. The story of Mother is thus one long non- ending story – enlarging with every progressive experience of devotees.

These are the merits of Shravan Bhakti- listening to the tales of Mother. An experience of Divine Grace by one devotee will become a matching experience in the life of another – who absorbs this story with faith.

  1. The bhava in our hearts, while writing her story, should be pure and of selflessness. The story should be written not with the objective of displaying our so-called argumentative or writing skills – but to share genuine experiences of Mother’s Grace for the benefit of mankind at the large. It must be remembered that Mother is fully Self-accomplished and requires no external support or publicity from us to carry out Her Mission. On the contrary, by writing her story, we improve our own learnings and attain self-purification in the process. Therefore, let us expel any thought in our minds that Mother stands to profit by our writing her stories. It is we who stand to gain.
  1. We had heard that if the life story of Mother has to be written, Veda Vyas himself must come to do it. But, for that reason that we are not Rishis, we need not feel diffident in writing a piece on Mother’s life. All of us have descended from the gotra of some Rishi or the other and therefore, there is gene of this Rishi existing unfailingly in each of too. When we invoke our Mother in moments of pure devotions, this Rishi in us will also surface to write a piece on Mother.
  1. Obeisance to Rama, the Mother of the Universe. Obeisance to Thee, our Guru and Sole Refuge.
  1. There is no difference between Mother and Her Naam. The Name can protect the devout with equal tenacity as She in person.

I remember hearing an episode related to an audience by Jyotiben Hirani in Mother’s Thane Mandir. An evil person was stalking a female devotee of Mother on a street and in state of sheer desperation; the lady entered some nearby premises to hide. The man followed her there too. Just when the man had come in her vicinity, the lady shouted Mother’s name loudly – just once. There was nobody else in the premises to hear the shout and help the lady. But, the man took to his heels and ran by the sheer impact of the Name. God only knows what he saw or felt on hearing Mother’s Name. But, he ran away in fright.

  1. Therefore, great is the merit in reciting the Naam- whether it be Vishnu Sahasranaama or Ram Naam or Sadguru Naam. Invoke any of them – for they are the same. The Shravan of the Naam has capability to defeat any adversity in the life of the chanter –be it a calamity, a debacle or even death.
  1. The sacred Sri Sai Sat Charita describes in Shirdi Sai Baba’s own words – the efficacy of reciting Vishnu Sahasranaam.

Baba says –‘Naam’, has the power to liberate one from sorrows and cares. It can smash mountains of sins and sever bondage of the physical body. Naam can eradicate and destroy crores of passions. Naam can break the neck of Death. It can avoid the pull of birth-death cycles.

 Naam, when chanted with conscious effort, is indeed excellent. Chanted without a conscious effort, it is not bad either. Even if it comes to the lips unexpectedly- it will reveal its power. There is no other means easier than Naam, to purify the heart. It is the adornment of the tongue. Naam nourishes spiritual life. 

To take the Naam, a bath is not necessary; Naam has no precepts, no rules – laid down by the Shastras. By taking the Naam, all sins are destroyed; Naam is sacred, always. No other means need be practiced. One can attain Moksha with Naam.

On the greatness of Guru-Naam, Baba says: – “He, who repeats my name all the time, will at once have all his sins washed away.  He who is murmuring my name, all the time, is to me more meritorious than the most excellent of men”.

  1. Similarly, great is also the significance of chanting Ram Naam as cited by the sacred Sri Sai Sat Charita. It is through this Naam that Self-Realization comes. The two letters ‘Ra-ma’ chanted even in the reverse order [ ‘Ma-ra’] by the wayside robber, Valya – made him Valmiki and he acquired such Siddhi that all his utterances came true. Chanting the Naam in reverse order as ‘Mara-Mara’,  the Name of Ram appeared, in effect, on his tongue and the life story of Rama got written  by him even before Ram was born.                                                                               `Where Ram- Naam is proclaimed loudly, there revolves Shri Vishnu’s disc, ‘Sudarshan’ – to destroy innumerable obstacles. Such is this Naam- the Protector of the Meek and the Poor.”
  2. We shall see in the forthcoming paragraphs how the Name of our beloved Sadguru Mother also works similar wonders.
  1. Taking the Name with full faith is equivalent to surrender to God. There is an interesting connection between Name and Death. Sri Sai Sat Charita cites it with precision. Do hear this with care.

“As is their thought at the time of death, so is the next birth to the creature. Out of fear, an insect becomes a bee. And out of love for the young deer, Jadabharat was born a deer in the next birth. 

Whatever the form before the (mental) eye in the moment of his death, it is that same form in which  next birth comes. But he, who has surrendered humbly at the feet of God, has no rebirth.

And it is for this reason that devotees were encouraged to cultivate the habit of ceaselessly chanting the Name. So, that when the end comes, they may not be bewildered, but remember to take the Name.

But, what happens if the devotee is in slumber, when Death approaches him? How does he get the opportunity of taking the Name then for his protection? It is therefore essential that one should be simple and guileless and entrust oneself to a saint (Guru). For the Guru knows our fate of rebirth or otherwise and He alone shall stand as your companion at the hour of death.”

  1. To elaborate – just as we don a physical body, we have also don a sheath of mental body on ourselves. This sheath is image of what we have made ourselves mentally. If we are frightened, we are a ‘deer’; if we are aggressive; we are a ‘lion’. In reality, very few of us are a ‘complete man’ in life- because there is always some animal or other in us – say a deer (fear), a lion (anger), a hyena (deceit), a fire fly (prone to fatal attractions) and so on.  The animals in us are the baggage which we have carried forward from our past lives and also what we have reared in the present.

If, we attack a mouse with a stick and it is cornered, it leaps on us like a lion in a last moment attempt to survive death. We have heard of a saying –‘Fear gives one wings’ and that should explain how an insect frightened in face of death become a bee in the next life.   To the insect facing death , the only mode of escape possibly in its situation was to ‘fly’ away like a bee and this wistful self-conception at the time of death become his form for the next birth.  Which particular mode of fear, we will inherit at time of our death, will be decided by our Karma.

In fact, the law of karma should explain the theory of evolution of species more appropriately than the Darwin’s theory.

  1. But, to the devout, who ceaselessly chants the Guru- Naam; this Naam will protect him from all his karmas at the time of death. Taking the Name with faith is equivalent of surrender at the Guru’s Feet. In taking the Name, the devotee confirms that he is convinced that he is under the Guru’s protection. Therefore, when a devotee is faced with death, he invokes the Name of his Guru and his mental form becomes that of an entity protected from Death. This is veritably what happens next. Death goes back empty handed – for over such a devotee, Death can stake no claim as he belongs only to the Guru- who is deathless.

To the devotee, who relentless chants the Guru-Naam, the Naam will unfailingly protect him. Even if the devotee is in slumber when Death is approaching in stealth, the Naam will awake the devotee on some pretext and cause him to take the Name.

  1. What are the advantages in participating in bhajans? Bhajans are praises of the Guru arranged in a lovely garland of flowers of musical words. We have noticed how we feel ‘light’ and ‘tension free’ after singing bhajans. It is as if all the heavy worries and calamities sitting on our heads have suddenly become feather-weight.

Sing bhajans soulfully. Mountains of calamities may fall on us in our lives- but they will fall harmlessly and pleasantly as flowers on our heads. This is the merit in singing bhajans. We shall not feel pains at all.

  1. Great is the merit in listening to words fallen from the Guru’s lips. No word uttered by the Guru will ever come false. The Guru’s Word is the ‘Sound-Form’ of the Guru. Let no one think that the Guru’s Word heard by us will fade away in our memories. Once heard and absorbed with faith, the Guru’s Word will reside in our minds in ‘silent form’ to guide us in calamities. If Death happens to attack us in stealth -while we are in slumber, this ‘silent form’ will wake us up and guide us instantaneously with the most appropriate option of countering Death. Invoking the Guru by his Name is always the most appropriate option. Guru-Naam will protect us from Death. Yes! It shall do this unfailingly.
  1. Similarly, great is the fortune of enjoying the Satsang of the Guru. To the devotee, the Satsang may seem momentary i.e. he is enjoying the companionship with the Guru only when the Guru is in his vicinity and the Satsang ends, when they part ways, But, as far as the  Guru is concerned, the Satsang is Real, Permanent and Eternal for all lives to come. The Guru is the Only, Real, Reliable and Constant Companion in not just this lifetime- but also at the time of our death and for all times and lives thereafter.
  1. By the way, a question for the readers? When we see a picture of Mother and her consort Bhagwan in a Telichery background, which leela of Mother crosses our mind first and immediately? Each one of us will answer unfailingly with the same answer. ‘The leela of Mother saving the life of Bhagwan from Yama’s noose’

Blessed undoubtedly are the eyes that have seen the leelas of the Guru. But, those who have not seen the leelas need not feel dejected. It is suffice if they heard the leelas of the Guru with faith and devotion. Shravan of the Guru’s leelas will translate in such leelas coming real in our lives also. Such is the power inherent in the leelas.

  1. Therefore, fortunate indeed are the devotees of our Mother- who enjoyed her company in her abode in Telichery, basked in her darshan, lost themselves in devotional bhajans and heard her ambrosial discourses.

One such fortunate devotee is Shri M. R Prabhu- whose article called “Earnest Prayer” by Shri. M.R. Prabhu  appearing in Golden Jubilee Souvenir, 1961 has attracted my attention.

The article reads as follows –

 

“ I was a frequent visitor to Mother’s house every day and used to leave the house at eight thirty in the night after bidding farewell both to Shri Bhagwan and Mother – who used to retire at 9 p.m. every night. Disciples visited Mother’s house every day for darshan. Mother gave them welcome with bewitching smile. In the peaceful atmosphere of her home, these disciples listened to elevating discourses and participated in many a thrilling bhajan.         

During the day, I used to spend not less than six hours daily in the company of Mother and Bhagwan. I had come across multifarious wonders and miracles. To deal with all will involve me in a lengthy narration. I am going to detail in this article only one of the most memorable incidents. It was a harrowing experience. The miraculous happening and the abatement of my pain almost immediately thereafter- the experience and the miracle which is part of it –stand out vividly in my memory. 

I am a man who used to take only one main meal a day in the noon and my usual night repast was almost light. Some eight years back, I as usual took leave of both Bhagwan and Mother at 8.30 p.m. and had sound and good sleep. At about midnight, I felt a weakness. Total exhaustion ensued. I was unable to speak or move; I felt tired and sinking; I feared life would become extinct within a few months. When I opened my eyes I was very much frightened to see before me a tall black figure with something in his hand stretched against me and he was on the verge of throwing it at me and I really felt that my death had approached. At this juncture, realizing my helplessness and gathering all the strength I could command I shouted on the top of my voice to Mother for coming and helping me in this calamity. The efficacy of earnest prayer was proved. Mother stood before me in answer to the prayer. I knew I was safe in her divine presence. I sat up, rid of my pain, weakness and fear. The black figure that stood before me some minutes back, to my surprise, had vanished. I found only loving Mother before me and no one else, and the next moment she vanished as if in vision. I had a sense of relief, difficult to describe and I felt as if nothing had happened to me and woke up in the morning quite hale and hearty. 

 On the ensuing morning, I prostrated at the lotus feet of Mother in full surrender and she received me in a way as if she knew nothing of the happenings of the previous night. Even today, while writing this article, I shudder to think of the happening. I will be remembering it to the end of my life. I have placed before you this miracle in order to convince you of Mother’s extraordinary protection and certainty of her protection.” 

  1. The article by Shri M. R. Prabhu should put the readers beyond doubt about the fortunes that visited him from keeping Sastang with Mother, hearing and seeing her leelas, taking part in her bhajans and hearing her discourses. Shravan of this article will assuredly give us the same fortunes.

Mother is our only reliable companion – not just in our life time, but also at the moment of Death and thereafter.

In this Kaliyug, for us who are Mother’s children- taking Her Name once full heartedly is equivalent in merits to chanting the entire Sahasranaam of any Deity.              

       What to write in the next article in the series, Mother will be the Guide. 

Jai Mata!

Date: 12th December 2016

JAGADAMBA

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

– Smt. P. K. Narayana Pillai

I solemnly believe that the Divine Mother an incarnation of God and as such transcends all human description-ineffable and attributeless.  Ever since I had the good fortune to have her darsan at Trichur, some years ago, She has so captured my heart and permeated the whole of my inner being with her radiant sweetness, that even a momentary thought of her thrills me with inexpressible joy and happiness.  It was not the angelic beauty of her corporal form, but the transcendental and changing bhavas during her ecstatic states, and the sparkle of joy in her eyes, the aura of cheer around her and the scent of purity emanating from her during her conscious states, that first attracted me towards her.

Readers would please excuse me, if I record here a few personal incidents in my life to show, how as a result of the impact of certain circumstances, I had the good fortune to come under the spiritual guidance of the Divine Mother.

I was born as the second daughter of my parents-a couple of very respectable social standing noted for their scholarship, religious fervor and piety.  It is from them that as a child, I learnt the ancient scriptures and puranas and also imbibed the highest ideals of conduct.  My mother used to recite to me stanzas from the Ramayana, Bhagavatham, Bhagavat Gita, etc, and thus though my education stopped at the level of the vernacular Primary school, I developed an admiration for our ancient heritage and culture and this has served me well in my later pursuits for the highest knowledge.  And thus equipped, I had the good fortune to be married to a very great and renowned person, who though a lawyer, and subsequently a High Court judge, was admittedly the brightest luminary in the literary, social and political firmament of that time.  After about 27 years of uninterrupted, happy married life he left me for his heavenly abode and the responsibility of looking after my little children fell entirely upon my shoulders.  Of course my parents were alive and there were a large number of relatives and friends, to comfort me and give me courage, but the void left by my husband’s loss was too deep to be filled up in any way.  At that time, I longed for some spiritual consolation.  A palmist who had studied my palms had corroborated with a forecast in my horoscope, that the time was getting ripe for me to come into contact with a sadguru who would give me peace of mind and tranquility.  I dreamt of this day and waited impatiently.

It was at that time that Thangam (wife of my only brother Sri T. N. K. Nayar) who was at Madras for treatment, wrote to me a very strange letter.  This lady who was suffering for a long time from a severe nervous break down had gone to Madras for expert treatment.  All physical methods of treatment were of no avail and ultimately the doctor who was himself a very religious man, suggested her to go and have a darsan of a divine lady at T. Nagar who was conducting daily Bhajans.  The letter from Madras mentioned above contained her experiences which she has subsequently elaborated into a book “From Darkness Unto Light.”

I longed to see this divine lady.  It was then that Thangam came from Madras and related to and others in the family, her strange personal experiences and how all her physical ailments had disappeared at the first interview with the divine lady.  Some of her experiences thrilled me and made my hairs stand on end.  Here I may take the privilege of recording that the first Bhajan praising the Glory of the Divine Mother ever to be conducted in Kerala was performed at my residence under the leadership of Thangam and all the members of the family took part in it.  An incident that happened during this time is worth mentioning.  One evening, when we were all assembled in the hall for Bhajan and when the little children were adorning Mother’s picture with fresh garlands, a strange sound like “Omkaram” was heard emanating from the picture.  The children naturally got a little afraid and drew back, but the elders assembled there knew the deep significance of this that Mother’s Chaitanyam or sakti has been established in my house beyond doubt and that she has responded to our prayers.

Thus days passed on with Thangam’s discourses about Mother, during the day and regular Bhajans in the evening.  The more I heard these, the greater became my longing to have a darsan of Mother.  It was at that time that the marriage of one of my son’s with Thangam’s daughter was decided to be celebrated at Trichur.  News also came that Mother was graciously consented to grace the occasion with her Divine presence.  This added fire to my burning desire to see Mother.

At Trichur I had a darsan of Mother.  She was sitting on a couch in an ecstatic mood.  I was standing at a distance, benumbed as it were, fixing my gaze on the form in front of me.  As mother was for a long time in that mood, I feasted my eyes to satiation.  In the huge marriage pandal, the ceremony was conducted under the guidance of Mother.  What a privilege I thought for my Son?  After the function Mother again relapsed into a deep Samadhi, which lasted for a long time.

Still I had not the courage to go near Mother.  If she asks something, what shall I say.  During this time I was laid up with an attack of influenza for 2 days.  My son and his wife were waiting to accompany me to Trivandrum.

Then came that crucial day in my life, the day on which I got spiritual initiation from Mother; ” Thiru Onam day in Chingam is the day on which according to the legends King Maha Bali came down to earth to bless the people.  But I was actually blessed that day.  My brother T. N. K. Nayar came to me and said that mother wanted to see me.  There was nervousness and palpitation in me.  My brother accompanied me to Mother’s presence.  She was seated on a couch.  The same radiant and inimitable smile was lit on her face and a wonderful glow emanated from her eyes.  I prostrated before her and then stood up.  Mother spoke with a smile.  “Were you not well? You would be all right.  Go and come to the pooja room after bath.”  Then I understood what mother meant.  She was going to initiate me in the spiritual path.  All the while I was doubting whether Mother would ever give me initiation, because I was conscious of my limited equipment.  Now Mother has seen through me and thought me fit to get a spark from her spiritual dynamo.  This thought gave me courage.  After a hurried bath I went to the pooja room where Mother was waiting for me.  I prostrated before her.  She asked me to sit down in front of her.  She gently patted me over my shoulder.  Immediately I felt overwhelmed and saw that the walls of the room and everything around me was whirling and vanishing.  I felt a spiritual power tangibly emanating from her.  She raised her hands in benediction over my head giving me instantly a vivid consciousness of an eminent presence.  I realized that the whole universe was merged in that presence.  That day I got a glimpse of the divine nature and power of the Guru.  I was literally translated into a new life.  The power she transmitted to me that day is still working within me.

Instances of the Divine grace of the Mother are very many to be recorded here; but one is worth mentioning.  Some years ago my only son-in-law had a sudden attack of paralysis of the left leg.  All kinds of native treatment were ineffective.  A famous Brain specialist was consulted and he definitely said that a brain operation was necessary.  So it was decided to have the operation done at Madras.  Mother was at that time at Mangalore.  We greatly desired to go to Mangalore and get her blessings, but as my son-in-law was not in a condition to undertake the journey, we decided to go to Madras directly.  But to our great surprise and astonishment, when we reached the residence of Thangam at Trichur on our way to Madras, Mother was there!!!  She had arrived there the previous evening without giving any previous notice at all.  She blessed my son-in-law and gently rubbed his head with her hands and said that there was nothing to fear.

The operation day was fixed.  At that time, I was at Trivandrum.  All of us were very anxious.  On the night previous to the operation day; I had a vision of Mother.  I distinctly remember the sweet smile on her face.  She consoled me and said that under her grace, the operation would be successfully performed.  Next day afternoon I got a wire from Madras stating that the operation was successfully performed and that the patient was doing well.  By Mother’s grace he is still active and working.

Whenever Mother comes to Trivandrum she resides in one of our houses and my sisters, children and myself have the privilege of serving her in our humble capacity.  Her discourses and her ever present superconscious state, attract a large number of people of all classes and creeds, men and women, young and old, educated as well as illiterate.

The Bhakta Mandali, Trivandrum has erected a temple dedicated to Mother-Sri Rama Devi Mandiran-an attractive and imposing structure which is fortunately for me just in front of my residence.  In spite of my advancing years and spinal deformity which sometimes gives me excruciating pain, I manage to go to the temple morning and evening and participate in all the special functions conducted there.  Mother gives me the strength to walk.  I am sure that had it not been for her infinite grace I would have been in bed long ago as an invalid.  I again prostrate before the lotus feet of the Mother, always bearing in mind the following stanza:

“Dhyana moolam guror Murthi
Puja moolam guror Padam
Manthra moolam guror Vakyam
Moksha moolam guror Kripa”

“The form of the Guru is the root of meditation; the feet of the guru are the root of the worship; the teaching of the Guru is the root of all sacred syllables; and the grace of the Guru is the root of salvation.”

HOW MOTHER CAME INTO MY LIFE

Friday, October 21st, 2016

-Smt. Kerala Varma, M.A., F.C.A.

It is nearly ten years since I met my revered guru.  In November 1950 on a Sunday morning I stepped it to the house where mother was staying at Trichur.  In the large hall Mother was seated on a carpet on the ground facing the audience.  Sitting on the southern side I remember being seated just before her at a distance of ten feet.  Before me presented a glowing white figure.  As soon as I was seated I heard distinctly the word Prem, Prem, Prem repeated thrice and suddenly I saw the delicately shaped hand moving up straight above making a V and the twinkling eye balls rolling up and hiding under the eye lids wide open.

Something caught my heart.  I do not know what my feelings were.  They were certainly elevating, enchanting and inspiring.  The scene was novel.  It was exciting.  I sat there motionless: expecting every moment something which will fill my spiritual void.  Excepting a feeling of buoyancy I was not able to experience anything.

I left the place soon.  I cannot help remarking that I was attracted by the singular beauty of the form of Mother.  It was wandering in some ethereal space enjoying spiritual experiences.  Brindaban and Shyamsunder and the charming lovely tender creeper of Prem, Radha, were floating and splashing in my mind.  The word Prem repeated thrice when I entered the hall struck deep into my heart.  The symbol of Prem was Radha, the beautiful Radha, and here before me was the beautifully shaped lady, perchance, the Radha of my beloved Shyamsunder.

We were told that on Tuesday there would be a Bhajan led by Mother.  A large audience gathered in the hall on that day.  I also joined the gathering as spectator.  Mother was seated at the far end on a chair.  On two sides of her, leaving a path in the centre, sat ladies clad in yellow sarees.  The hall was well lit.  For a moment I felt that the Upanishad-sundaris or the female angels of heaven are seated before the Mother of the Universe and praising her in beautiful songs accompanied by the cymbals of Tamburu and Narada.  The scene was wonderful, enchanting, elevating and one which was beyond description.  One was simply off one’s feet.  Was I in heaven or on earth?  Were these real human beings?  I looked at their faces.  The calm, peaceful, smiling, joy-provoking faces filled with divine grace, not human beauty.  How I enjoyed that evening, I cannot now describe.  The very remembrance of that scene brings freshness and fullness to the wearied heart.

After the Bhajan we heard the talks and descriptions of Mother from many of those ladies.  I had not seen such human joy before.  The portals of heaven seemed to have had been opened.  I could say the beam of light which shone on the faces of these disciples was an important reason for my seeking asylum at Mother’s feet.

All of us are running after Santi, Santi.  In the heaven of Mother’s feet these children have obtained Santi.  Naturally I too desired to share that precious treasure – Santi.

There was a fragrance about and all around Mother.  Whatever she touched gave out the fragrance.  One felt it was like the lovely Lotus spreading its fragrance in the early morning air in order that the thirsty bees may be attracted to drink the honey stored in it.  The honey of starvation was here and human beings were invited without distinction.

I wanted to know more of Mother and I gathered from disciples and the daily discourses of Mother a short history of her life and her sadhana and attainment of the supreme bliss.  At Trichur during those seven or ten days of her short trip she poured out what she had not given out after a stay of two months or three months in other places afterwards.

The most illustrious incident worth narrating was her visit to a Bhagawathi temple.  The goddess was venerated by all Hindus.  The custom of the temple is that no person other than the Poojari can enter the sanctum sanctorum or inner shrine.  Violation of this injunction is pollution to the temple and many tantric rites will have to be performed to purify the deity.  Mother went in and stood before the goddess for worship amidst the loud Kirtanas and praises of God, resounding in the temple premises.  Suddenly like a waft of wind from heaven Mother floated into the inner shrine within the twinkling of the eye and before anyone could think about anything.  There she stands as one identified with the idol, behind it.  No one could distinguish her from the idol.  The two ivory white hands alone could be seen with the Abhaya Varada Mudra.  The temple priest had no doubt as to what was supremely necessary to be done at the moment.  He lighted the camphor and waved the light before the “Light of the world”.  This was the most unorthodox thing conceivable.  In Malabar temples the time for the poojas, and the naivedyas are fixed and the priest could not wave the light or offer naivedyas as it pleased him.  This could be done only as part of pooja, which was at fixed hours.  Secondly, the temple was polluted by the presence of a stranger in the inner shrine and no pooja could be done to the polluted deity.  Neither the priest nor the orthodox throng of worshippers in the temple found any incongruity in the violation of these.  Everybody was elevated, transported and led beyond the limitation of ritualism into a realm of freedom before the real presence.  This was a sudden revelation of the Mother before an unprepared audience.  Like Sree Krishna of yore the veil was again drawn and the people forgot all that happened.

After this, one day, Mother was kind enough to come and bless our house.  Mother was received with the loud chanting of Narayana Nama.  As soon as she alighted from the car a sudden change came in to her.  In the likeness of Gadadhara Vishnu she stood motionless for a time by the side of the car.  The chant of the nama of Narayana began to fill the air and roll about in even higher and higher pitch.  Wave upon wave the thundering kirtan splashed the air and the atmosphere was spiritually electrified.

Slowly then moved the august figure of Mother in Samadhi and reaching the porch sat on the chair kept for her.  The oil lamps burned and the bushel-ful of paddy stood before her.  She placed her feet inside the pan set there for the purpose and accepted the service of washing her feet with water.

She then moved upstairs and walked into the shrine room as a person familiar with the house and sat on the seat intended for her.  A welcome song in Malayalam was sung.  She suddenly rose in Samadhi and her movement of hands and feet re-echoed every sentiment expressed in the song.  She again sat down and after a time came to the normal plane and talked to some of us nearby.  As if suddenly remembering it she took parched rice from her lap and distributed to us as prasadam.  Nobody can say from where this prasadam sprang up.  The shrine has three steps and is covered.  The inside will be nearly 3½ feet high on the sides and 4½ feet in the centre.  No person of 5 feet high can stand inside erect.

Mother hurried into the shrine and embracing the Krishna idol moulded out of mud stood erect on the steps.  How she could stand without her head slating and touching the top is another dilemma unsolved.  She danced and the idol also moved.  It seemed that life came into the idol by the touch of Mother.  Needless to say how intense and suffused with the sense of awe was the whole atmosphere.  The gathering watched in reverence.  To describe the scene is beyond me.  The divinity was manifested there in a manner, which it is impossible for me to describe.  She came down from the shrine and sat on the floor before the shrine.

Mother left a deep impression in all of us.  Divinity cannot manifest more impressively.  Needless to say, I was irresistibly caught up by Mother.  Here I am now an humble follower of Mother from that day onwards.  I cannot remember but with awe and reverence those days we spent on numerous occasions at Tellicherry at Mother’s residence.  The hospitality and love of Mother and the spiritual energy she infused in us are something superhuman.  Without the feeling of the needle piercing your muscles you get such large doses of spiritual injection while you talk, eat and enjoy, that inspite of yourselves, you cannot go back to your old life.

The pleasant thoughts of those days are enough to elevate us, to raise us to heights above the material plane.  What was the Dhyana of the Gopis?  Their Dhyana was the thoughts, the pleasant dream of Gopalakrishna, while walking, talking, and working.  We had also such days many times when Mother appeared to be the very Krishna of yore.

THE HAND THAT HOLDS THE LIGHT

Saturday, August 27th, 2016

-Smt. T. N. K. Nayar.

Twelve years along the path of light!  It is twelve years since the hand that holds the light led me from darkness unto light.

For years I had been in the grip of a nervous disease.  Existence became agony; in extreme stage of mental malady and bodily weakness, I was led to Mother.  The lost child found its Mother!

All through mental troubles, persisted in me the spiritual urge.  Life and all that it stood for, ceased to interest me; growing in me was, however, the inner conviction that abiding happiness was only at the feet of God.  Yet, I groped in darkness, not knowing how or where to seek the Eternal One.

Who can forget the glorious moment when a soul in travail beholds the Great One; the instinctive recognition and surrender of the soul at the feet of its Master; the first tender touch of divine love that soothes the stricken heart.  My life was transformed.  Disburdened of cares, I rose refreshed, in the cool fragrance of compassionate grace.  Here was the answer to all my prayers-the Mother Divine Herself.

Before meeting Mother, in the throes of acute fear and despair, I had called and called, night and day, to Devi for succor.  Even in unconscious states of fever and delirium, the beautiful verses of Devi mahathmyam reverberated within me.  I never dreamt then that the great Mother-Devi had already embodied herself, on this earth, to grant my prayers and supplications.  From the moment of meeting Mother my worship was exclusively concentrated and consecrated to that single being.

A few days after, I was blessed with upadesh from Mother.  During the ceremony of initiation, I began to feel the vibrant force, and I sat emerged in the realms of wordless peace.  From that moment, the supramental plane began to be sensed in meditation, in the light of which parokshajnanam from the guru, that I am not the body but the immortal self, got significant illustration.  Mother revealed to me the practicability of the realisation of God through Grihastha Dharma.  Vitalizing her teachings was the exemplification of the ideals of her own dedicated life.  For performance of duties in a spirit of detachment, I drew requisite energy and inspiration from the sadhana prescribed by her.  Gradually, I found her sublime teachings merging and blending harmoniously in my life.

As I glance back over the years past, picture after picture comes.  Through personal experiences, I was guided to glimpse the fundamental truth of Mother’s incarnation; the paramount importance of the dual aspects of Mother as the eternal cosmic sakthy, fully manifesting the divine universal motherhood of God, and the equally important, immaculate role of the great teacher, the Satchidananda Guru.  This rare and glorious combination makes her the divine incomparable personality she is!

From ancient times, there has come to us legends of the lives of avathars of Ishwara.  Unfathomable is their greatness, their splendor indescribable, their countless manifestations bewildering.  Time passed, carrying with it into the dimness of the past, the warm memories of wondrous happenings, until they became faded legends and dreams.  But the great spirit never sleeps.  It bursts forth, from time to time, to fulfill cosmic needs.

Here, before us, is the entrancing and mystic life of Mother, the mysterious play and interplay of her cosmic force, the magic spell of her transcendental glories, transporting us from the shadows of the material world to realms of light and love.

In the trials of live, we have felt the poignant sweetness of love diffused from her divine motherhood.  In the transforming touch of that love, we were only conscious of one presence.  Vain thoughts were hushed; feelings stilled; self itself annihilated.  Love suffused everything.  Love alone was.

Again, the tender motherhood emerges in imperial majesty, the transformation is incredibly swift and complete.  Triumphant and supreme, the whole atmosphere, throbbing with cosmic energy, she compels abject surrender and worship.  We feel we are before one who sees all, knows all, does all, to whom the whole world and all its objects are just pawns on her mysterious chessboard!

At such moments, a glance of Mother had been enough, to dispel delusion, give clarity of mind or vision, and bestow even a sublime spiritual experience.  Flashing with illimitable force, her glance, would pierce to the core of the being, gathering and merging us in her cosmic consciousness!

We see Mother again in the pure, austere perfection of the Sadguru, who through initiation into the meaning of Mahavakya, imparts the knowledge of one’s true nature, who absolves and annihilates the bad tendencies, who infuses the spiritual impulse, and takes the full responsibility for the disciple, and guides him, step by step, to the supreme realisation of monistic oneness.

In the struggle of life and through the various obstacles that beset a sadhaka’s path, I realized the full value of Mother’s dynamic influence and unerring spiritual guidance.  I realized, that trials to the sadhaks become stepping stones to success.  The Sadguru ever impels the sadhaka to higher realizations, to explore subtler fields of experiences, until the sadhaka realizes the effulgent presence of the Sadguru within and becomes the perfect instrument to work the divine will.

In diverse ways the supreme guidance of Mother worked in my life.  Often in crucial moments, there flashed into my mind, Mother’s words, guiding me to tide over many a trial.  Only through direct experience can one realize the great significance and meaning underlying Mother’s words.  Each word becomes a vivid realisation.  Words uttered twelve years back as warning, advice or blessing, took shape, years later, and became light and guidance in my life.  My conduct is still being moulded by them!  They are golden letters ever shining before my vision!

Thus the path of light I traversed, guided and strengthened every moment.  I concentrated more and more on the sublime upadesh of Mother, the Mahavakya and its subtle meaning and great significance.  As time went by, there rose within me a consciousness of inner force that nothing could touch, taint or vanquish, that roused in me the discriminating power and the dauntless will, to cut away delusions that obstructed my path to reality.

“Thou hast taken every moment
of my life in Thine own hands,
In my life Thy will is ever taking shape.
In my heart is the endless play of Thy delight.”
-Tagore.