Archive for March, 2010

Mother as I see her

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

I do not claim to have true insight into the significance of Divine Mother’s life and purpose of advent and also the various aspects of Her wonderful personality.  But if anyone asks me to what is the outstanding character of Mother’s personality, I would say it is the fully manifested motherhood of God.  With Mother, this cosmic motherhood is not the fruit and fruition of disciplines, nor is it an attitude deliberately adopted for directing Her love and compassion to the seekers, disciples and devotees.  It is Her inherent attribute.  It was there ever since Her birth; though latent, at times it manifested itself to the wonder of Her parents.  To the eye of faith, it was as clear as daylight, and it was in the splendor of such a faith that Her father looked upon Her even in Her childhood, as the Divine Mother of the universe.  Later, she revealed Herself as Goddess Durga to him.

Motherhood implies self-abnegation, compassion, universal love, fortitude and patience, spirit of forgiveness and redemptive power.  These divine attributes inherent in Motherhood, helped Mother to play successfully the self-chosen roles of wife, the mother and the Guru.  In the role of wife, She acquitted Herself in remarkable perfection as the ideal queen of home, as the companion and guardian angel to Her Lord Shri Bhagawan.  Through this role as the wife, shone the Bharatiya tradition of an ideal sahadharmini extolled in the puranas and itihasas.  As the mother – not in the worldly sense, for Mother’s relationship with Her husband had been perfectly spiritual—She showed the world the eternal Brahman is also the eternal Mother of eternal creation.  The triumph of motherhood in Her private circle of home-life, was that She became the mother even of Her ‘patideva’ whom She reverentially addresses as ‘Deva’.  Does this not show that the culmination of bridal intimacy in the life of a dedicated wife in the realm of spirituality is nothing short of elevation into spiritual motherhood?  The woman is the embodiment of the shakti aspect of the Divine.  Quite naturally, motherhood is the latent in her and it blossoms into glory at the peak of her spiritual vision.  Mother has thus revealed to the world of women the immensity of powers latent in them as the God-ordained embodiments of motherhood.  Motherhood is a state, a spiritual status, accessible only to women dedicated to spirituality.  By giving births to children one becomes a mother only in the physical sense and not in the spiritual sense.

As the Guru, Divine Mother chose a sphere hitherto totally neglected, namely Grihasthashrama, for ministry of compassion.  To guide a competent seeker towards the vision of the Supreme is not difficult for a Guru; but to assume the responsibility of guiding and perfecting those who are steeped in delusion and entangled in worldliness, requires exceptional power, patience and perfection.  Hence this time, the Supreme Shakti, in the form of mother and the Guru, descended into the sphere of Grihasthashrama for redeeming men and women sunk in samsara and for restoring the order of home to its privileged position and forgotten glory.  In this respect itself, Mother is unique.  In the hierarchy of spiritual masters and saviours She shines by Her divine right as a personality of peerless compassion of motherhood.

I can only hear with a shudder when anybody says that Mother is a Grihastashrami.  Can Mother of the universe be confined to a particular order of life?  She is in all ashramas and all ashramas are in Her; yet she is above all ashramas.  She is the point to which all recognized orders of life converge, She is the great ocean in which all the four ashramas empty themselves.  Hallowed in perfection and divine excellences, Mother, out of the fullness of compassion, patterned Her life as a queen of home in Grihasthashrama.  That is all.  Let me make it clear that no one can be a Grihasthashrami like Divine Mother.  Emulation of Mother is not possible—we can humbly follow Her precepts and principles, deriving inspiration from Her life and resigning ourselves to Her grace.  This is the course of action open to us.  That picture of Mother’s life, is not a picture among pictures of the world.  It is the solitary picture, the art of divine perfection, the picture of unique charm, drawn by the supreme artist, God Himself in Himself.  No human life can even attain the beauty and the excellence of that picture.  We can realize our identity with Brahman, for that is our ultimate destiny; but to be like Mother in the perfection of a life which She has lived, is an impossibility.  This should not dishearten us, should not affect our ambition and aspiration adversely.  There may be mothers, saints, sages and avatars of Isvara; but Universal Mother is one, secondless.  She will ever shine in Her peerless glory.

In line with Masters of Wisdom, Mother too bases Her teaching on the intuition of the ultimate truth.  She has given us the true knowledge about the nature of our diversity.  But her greatness appears where She bridges the gulf between the world and God by the system of Her teaching and by the luminous example of Her own life.  Her perspective of life is one of adoration, not negation.  And to what celestial height has She not raised the sanctity of home!  I can say with all conviction and courage at my command that, if Grihasthashramis have regained today their spiritual status along with the race of ideal sanyasis, if they have ceased to look down on themselves as samsaris, it is because, Divine Mother is on this planet of ours, with Her gospel of Grihasthashrama and the power of Her redemptive grace.  The very remembrance of our spiritual relationship with Mother, the very thought that we are being guided by Mother, dispels gloom and weakness from us and brings the pure air of freedom to our mental atmosphere.  Imagine, brethren, what could be the dimension of such a personality, whose very thought can elevate us to peak of strength and self-mastery!  There are books and books written on the glory of Atmajnana; there are commentaries and commentaries on the Brahmasutra, the Upanishads and the Gita; there are numerous systems of yoga.  All these may fail to rescue the frail mortal in the hour of darkness and delusion and trials and temptations; but I can assure you that the very loving remembrance of Divine Mother Rama Devi invokes Her dynamic Omnipresence and Her protecting Hand appears to save us.  I do not mean that She has to make Herself manifest as a personality in order to save the suppliant.  She is power absolute.  And that power manifests itself as the inner light, as the discerning intelligence, as the capacity for self-restraint, as courage, as fortitude and patience, according to the nature of predicaments and situations.  This is the secret of inner poise in Mother’s devotees, both men and women, for whom life would have been otherwise a burden.  Time and space are no barrier to Mother’s self-manifestation.  With her cosmic eye She watches every step of Her children.  With Her mystic touches She guides, guards, consoles, converses, commands;  She is in constant communion, in an intensely personal way, with each and every ‘child’ of Hers.  That is, I should say, Her Yoga, the Yoga of mercy and maternal tenderness.  It is this Yoga of Hers that will lead us to the summit of yogic excellence.

The most blessed spot on earth is where Mother dwells in Her physical form.  In Her divine presence one enjoys the fruition of sadhana without any effort, namely the peace of the eternal.  The mind becomes calm, collected and indrawn.  A harmony is established between the inner divinity and external form.  We become familiar with a silence which we will not get even in the secluded Himalayan cave.  This silence is the silence of our Soul, not the silence of nature.  In that silence which one enjoys in Mother’s presence, crucial problems get themselves solved.  We get true, lasting, spiritual, education.  And to gaze upon that calm smile of eternal spirit on the placid countenance of Mother!  That is a vision which will never leave our heart.  That is the vision that purifies our minds and makes us captives in Her love.  I am sure that one gets that vision only after finishing in the previous births all kinds of disciplines and penances.  The places which Mother visits become suddenly charged with immense spiritual vibration, devotion and dedicated activity.  Mother remains in silence and bubbling enthusiasm possesses even the lazy ones.  I have come to feel that even birds, beasts and plants sense Mother’s arrival.

In Mother’s voice there is a celestial music.  It has the power to penetrate gross material layers of our personality and reach the recess of the soul.  It has captivating potency.  Simple in words, Mother’s utterances are fascinating in their power of appeal.  I have seen people immersed in prayers to just hear one word from Mother and to lock it safely for all times in the chamber of their hearts.  It is such heartfelt prayers that bring Mother down to this terrestrial plane from the imperious height of Her Samadhi and the depth of Her silence.  Listen to any discourse of Mother or to Her casual private and personal instructions, and you will find therein guidance for all times.  Listening to Her discourses at various places I have observed, another wonderful phenomenon, how Her stress is shifted from theme to theme according to the needs of the times and the type of the listeners.  To the bramhacharis, the stress will be on self-control and continence; to the Grihasthas, on disinterested performance of duty; to the woman on devotion to pathibhakti and svadharma; to the ailing and the aged, on the immortality of the soul and fearlessness at the time of death; to girls, on purity and chastity; to the boys, on obedience and ‘Matru Pitru Bhakti’; to the mean as a class, on spirit of independence, sympathy to and co-operation with their wives; to those of emotional temperament, on the glories of bhakti and surrender to God; to the intellectuals, on Brahmanishtha; to the book-learned, scholars and pundits, on the practice of sadhana and direct experience of Brahman; to the social servants, on self-abnegation; to the patriots, on desabhakti i.e., the vision of the country as God; to the soldiers, on courage and discipline.  People enquire sometimes as to what is Mother’s perspective and philosophy of perfection, transcending the schools of dvaita, vishishtaadvaita and advaita, yet including and accommodating all these paths.  For us, Mother is the path as well as the goal.

Mother’s silence too is might and majestic in its power to touch hearts and to transforms lives and minds.  For us, Her devotees, both are charming, Her speech as well as Her silence.  Having got Divine Mother as our guide, guardian and God, there is in us a wonderful sense of fulfillment, a sense of having arrived at the destination.  This is no illusory contentment, for our ardour and aspiration have assumed the form of silent adoration and sincere dedication.  What is there to attain after having got Divine Mother who is the supreme reality?  To be eternally related to Her as Her child, with our wills resigned to Her, with Her radiant image installed in our heart’s sanctuary, is in itself a spiritual experience.  I will go a step further.  It is liberation in the realm of love; it is worship with wisdom; it is life in pure ecstasy’ it is the glorious triumph of devotion over life’s monotony and drudgery.

G. Anandraya Kamath

Unto the Feet of Mother

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

It is essential that an aspirant after God should have a Guru to guide him on the path.  A true Guru is one who has known Brahman and is one with Brahman.  The glories of the Sadguru cannot be exhausted in words, because he reflects divine excellence and is infinite in nature.  At critical junctures in human history, God Himself appears on earth in embodiment, assuming the role of the Guru and the savior.

One comes across a divine personage only by the grace of God.  It is said that when the Jiva aspires for God-vision, the Guru will come to him or Providence will mysteriously take the seeker to the feet of the Guru.  Men belong to two categories:  the seekers of material pleasure and the seekers of spiritual salvation.  Men of the former category always pursue pleasure in the objects of the world.  They are deluded to think that material comforts would bring peace and security.  The men of the latter category, namely, the seekers of liberation, know the hollowness of earthly vanities.  They long for the infinite bliss of God-experience.  With this spiritual yearning in their hearts, they adore the ascetics and sannyasis as symbols of renunciation.  They establish contacts with them with the hope that they will get solace, satisfaction and spiritual uplift.

Having set God-realization as the prime goal of life, I have been carrying an unspeakable burden and restlessness in my mind, in quest of God and search after the ideal Guru.  I yearned to see one who personified divinity, who could authoritatively teach me the sacred wisdom, who could lead me to the goal.  A few years ago, I took to spiritual disciplines and have been following a particular yoga path.  But real satisfaction did not come to me.  Anguish tormented my heart; craving for eternal bliss possessed my inner being; many times, musing over my predicament, I thought within myself that there would be no silver lining in the dark clouds hovering over my path of quest.  I used to estimate and re-estimate my ways of worship and meditation, adopting added methods besides my principal way of sadhana.  It was at this moment of inner turmoil that destiny gave me the privilege of acquaintance of an elevated soul, a staunch disciple of Divine Mother Sree Rama Devi, Mrs. Shanta Kudva by name.  With astonishing patience and affection of a mother, she consoled me.  She narrated to me every day numerous aspects and leelas of the wonderful divine personality of her Guru.  These narrations of Divine Mother’s glory and her own life of devotion, convinced me that here was a Divine Personage who could lead all, along the right and real path towards God-experience.  I saw the photographs of Divine Mother depicting diverse bhavas, Mahabhavas and Bhavaveshas, that revealed Her exalted divine state.  An awareness dawned on me that a Guru who can so easily assume the bhavas of various divinities and Avatars of God, must be transcendental in nature.

My contacts with Divine Mother’s disciples increased.  At this time, Mother’s program at Bangalore during May 1970 was announced.  I attended the program, I was made to sit very near Mother, which gave me the blissful opportunity of observing Mother’s radiant personality to my heart’s content.  Bhajan was in full swing.  Mother slipped into Samadhi.  My gaze got involuntarily fixed on her form and figure.  Her motionless statuesque form, the divine calm on Her face and the vibrations of elevating spirituality which She radiated:  these produced an arresting silence within me.  I felt a strange current rising up through my spinal column.  As it was ascending, my thoughts gradually lost hold on me.  At a certain stage, the mind was almost thought-free.  A blissful awareness alone remained.  After some time, I felt the downward pull and the mind again descended to the plane of thoughts.  The memory of that experience of thought-free silence thrilled me, increasing my yearning for lasting spiritual experience.  This was the first time, I had such an experience.  This was remarkable for a person who had no access to spiritual realm.  Here was a power, I thought, whose very presence could impart a spiritual calm and bestow a sublime experience.

The next occasion of my darshan of Divine Mother was during November 1970 when there was a program for Divine Mother for about four days.  With a prayerful mind, I took Mother’s darshan several times at close quarters.  Though, I had no occasion of speaking to Mother, I knew that my mind was an open book for her all-seeing vision.  As I was garlanding Mother’s Lotus Feet, the thought uppermost in my mind found spontaneous expression through Her lips.  During the crowded program, I was amazed to observe the “sahaja” poise of Divine Mother amidst surrounding outburst of bhakti and ceremonial demonstrations of worship.  A smile played and constantly stayed on Her lips, as Her natural attribute.  Whether the atmosphere as charged with commotion or quietude, there was not even the slightest change in Her attitude and responses.  Her immortal peace revealed the spontaneity of Her Brahmic Consciousness.  She appeared to be the very embodiment of absolute perfection.

During the diamond jubilee celebrations of Divine Mother held at Ahmednagar, more and more facets of Mother’s personality were revealed to me.  I saw Her absorbed in samadhi;  I saw Her in different divine moods and bhavas;  I saw Her as Supreme Shakti, wielding mystic mudras and blessing the world of jivas;  I saw Her responding to devotion, receiving worship in supreme detachment;  I saw Her in animated conversation with the bhaktas and the purohits;  I saw Her distributing prasad to the poor showering mercy on each and every one;  I saw Her delivering discourses on profound themes of spirituality.  In the midst of all these activities, She was still in Her supreme spiritual isolation, maintaining Her serenity and unbroken divine calmness.  During the ceremonial procession, Her form used to glow and appeared to be changing in size.

With these contacts and experience, I got thoroughly convinced of Mother’s divinity.  Still, a tiny veil stood between me and my peace.  I had heard from many people that it was a great mistake and perhaps unpardonable to leave one’s guru and take to another spiritual personage for guidance.  Doubt and fear were lurking deep within me on account of this.  Emotionally, I belonged to Mother and Her path;  but the doubt within me did not allow me to throw myself completely at Mother’s Feet.  It was at this stage that I happened to attend a class talk of Divine Mother.  During that talk, Mother referred to the Avataric personality as the Guru of the world.  Being the Guru of the gurus, He was the ultimate refuge and savior.  At His Feet, there arose no question of whether it was proper to leave one’s Guru or not, for He is the Satchidananda Guru guiding the jivas through personality of various gurus.  Mother’s assertive assurance that She would accept all those who take refuge in Her dispelled the clouds of doubt, fear and uncertainity from my mind.  I accepted Her as my Guide, Guru and Goal.

Divinity is not a truth to be proved by logical reasoning.  It is to be perceived through the eye of faith.  Faith dawns only by God’s grace.  Marvelous faith in Divine Mother’s gift to Her children.  With this faith in their possession, even death poses no challenge to them.  They leave the body in the profound peace of Truth-vision.  Death thus becomes a passage to peace and blessedness for them.  A few months ago, I myself have seen with my own eyes how faith can make men immortal, how Divine Mother’s grace can liberate the jiva from the samsaric bondage.  It was Friday the 20th August, 1971.  After finishing his office duties, Shri P. N. Kudva, an elderly disciple of Divine Mother, returned home at about 6 p.m.  He was looking hale and healthy as everybody knew him.  There used to be bhajan programs at his house every Tuesdays and Fridays.  That afternoon, he went out to bring some household articles from the nearby town.  At the time of ‘mangalarathi’ he entered the bhajan hall in his house and took prasadam.  He chatted with all the devotees.  At about 8.30 p.m. or so, he complained about a slight chest pain.  His wife gave him a cup of mild adding a little pooja prasadam to it and started rubbing his chest with a pain balm, all the while repeating Mother’s Name.  After some time, he became absolutely alright.  Then suddenly, he turned his head towards the nearby photograph of Divine Mother and remained in that posture with his eyes fixed on Mother.  Without any violent breathing or shaking of the body, that blessed soul left the body in absolute peace.  A smile and a profound peace were observed on his countenance until his body was cremated at Mercara.  When an ordinary man dies, he makes such a commotion that personas standing nearby will have a frightening sight, but Kudvamam’s face reflected absolute serenity indicating thereby that death had no victory over him, but he conquered death by his ecstatic merger at Divine Mother’s Lotus Feet.

Out of innumerable incidents, the above is just one that suggest the supreme divinity and saving power of our Divine Mother.  The Divine alone can liberate the jivas.  Whenever I think of Divine Mother’s redeeming grace, I am reminded of the promise given by Bhagawan Sree Krishna:

“Fix your mind on Me;  be devoted to Me;  sacrifice to Me;  prostrate before Me;  so shall you come to Me.  This is My pledge to you, for you are dear to Me.”

–          A. M. Devaiah.

Jai Matha

Thursday, March 4th, 2010
Divine Mother Sree Rama Devi

Divine Mother Sree Rama Devi

Shraddha is the foundation of the yoga mansion. To grasp the essence of the scriptures, to understand the import of the Guruvakya and to rise to the vision of the Divine, there should be shraddha.

A single instruction from Sadguru is enough for a man of shraddha to awake from slumber of Maya into God consciousness.

Shraddha, in the adhyatmic sense is response from the aspirant’s total personality to Guru’s Potent Word and creative silence.

As the operative force which guides and regulates one’s conduct, acharana in accordance with the Guru’s instruction, shraddha is more a faculty than a quality.

In the mundane vyavahara or in the spiritual quest, shraddha is essential for application of talent and perfection of performance. Whatever be the field of you duty and the sphere of your swadharma, whether you are engaged in social service or in domestic chores, or in business affairs or in your office duties, do the work with shraddha. Bring your entire mind and cheer of spirit into your work. Let the work be a Yajna to the Deity.

To perform one’s duty with shraddha is called the spiritual competency in work, which is an aspect of yoga.

Harmony, order, beauty and excellence in duty are all attributed to the fundamental virtue of shraddha.

A man of shraddha attains the Highest: so says the Shruthi.”

– Divine Mother Sree Rama Devi.