Archive for August, 2012


Sunday, August 26th, 2012

– Sri. G. P. Chandrashekharan (1961)

To write about a holy personality is always a difficult and delicate task. For one thing, none but a sage can understand another saga. Mother is unique in many respects; she is such a fascinating and compelling personality; she does not fit into any known pattern. But here we are concerned, not so much with the assessment or interpretation of her personality or teachings, as with the way, contact with her has influenced, moulded and transformed the pattern of life, thought and conduct of hundreds and thousands of people and how far she has lighted the torch within us.

Despite what scholars and philosophers have written life is a mystery and will remain a mystery to most of us until we have the direct experience and perception of the reality. Sir Winston Churchill, with his uncanny discernment of men and things, in the full maturity of his wisdom, wrote this many years ago: “Little things very often shape our lives more powerfully than the deliberate, solemn advice of great people at critical moments”. How profoundly true these observations are, were borne out in my experience of life and the circumstances or scattered incidents which led up to my initial contact with Mother.

My first information about her was an accident, through picking up casually from the library a copy of Mrs. T. N. K. Nair’s exquisitely written reminiscences,      ‘From Darkness unto Light’. I believe it was some time in 1953 or 1954. I was impressed and instinctively felt a keen desire to meet the holy personality depicted in it. But then it was a private house where she was staying. I felt shy to knock at the place to make enquiries. It was nearly two years later, early in March 1956, that I learnt that she had come to Madras and was staying somewhere in Theagaroyanagar. Next evening I took the bus to Theagaroyanagar. On the way I saw a big crowd at ‘Vraja’ – Sir M. Venkatasubba Rao’s house. I got down from the bus and came to the meeting held in the pandal in front of the bhajan hall. That was the public meeting in connection with Mother’s birthday on the 4th March 1956. It was rather late when I arrived; most of the programme was gone through. I saw Mother seated on the platform, her figure bathed in beauty, calmness and repose. She had just commenced speaking. I could not take my eyes off her and I looked on. I noticed my thought waves gradually subsiding within me and a silence and quietude of mind stealing over me, and for the moment I almost forgot myself. There was complete artistry about her. Her presence seemed to me an utsavam – a festival of joy. As she spoke, every word, gesture and emphasis had meaning and grace. Her smile was most wonderful and completely chased away anxieties. Her discourse was all wholesome spiritual fare delivered in homely style, half in Malayalam and half in English interspersed with sparks of wit and humour. The impact of her discourse was decisive on me and her presence soothed the fever of mind.

Here let me pay my humble tribute to Sir M. Venkatasubba Rao. Great as he was in many ways – as a judge, jurist, social reformer, philanthropist and educationist, he excelled himself as a devotee. He was a prince among Mother’s devotees, a model and inspiration to all. His royal old heart melted in love at the mere thought or mention of Mother, and tears would well up in his twinkling eyes. It was a joy to hear him speak about her. He used to exhort us, to live up to her traditions and ideals.

After my inward submission to her on that memorable day, 4th March 1956, I came to the Mandali on the succeeding days. There was the Akhand Ram Nam which I saw and attended for the first time. I was thrilled to hear the chant of Ram Nam for the first time in my life, and the pradakshina round the jyoti in concentric circles. That evening Mother performed the puja and I heard her singing. I felt lifted out of myself. To hear Ram Nam as it flowed in vibrant and melodious tones out of her holy lips and indrawn face was an unforgettable experience, and I felt like being transported by the magic of her divine melody to the seventh heaven of ineffable vision and hope incommensurable. I became Mother’s devotee and two years later she was pleased to give initiation and I became one of her disciples.

If the divine, as we know, can incarnate in every age, it must fulfill the needs of the times in silent, though not spectacular but nonetheless effective ways. And it is Mother’s mission to activate grihasthashrama dharma to meet the challenge of the times without losing sight of fundamental values which places Her in the front rank of human benefactors or avatars. Her approach is a three-pronged drive towards reforming and elevating the family life, by rousing the divinity latent in the mother, father and child. One of Gandhiji’s sayings which I shall always cherish is this. “Take care of the vital things ; other things will take care of themselves. Rectify one angle of a square and the other angles will be automatically set right.” Mother, through her message of prem – and prem includes all sister qualities and virtues like ahimsa, kindness, compassion – and her prescription of Ram Nam as the sovereign remedy for all the ills of body and mind seeks to raise family relations to higher reaches and values.

In September 1957 I had been to Mangalore to see Mother during the sadhana week allotted to the Madras mandali. I was one of the two from Madras mandali and so got the rare opportunity to see a little more of Mother and to have longer interviews. Mother was gracious enough to ask me about the progress I was making and on my confessing, with tears in my eyes and a trembling voice, that but for her Ram Nam upadesh and the akhand Ram Nam in the mandali which I was regularly attending almost full day I would have gone mad. She out of infinite compassion and tenderness blessed me by placing her hands on my head and added by way of assurance (so it seemed to me) “you will improve”. I have looked upon this as the supreme moment in my life. That blessing, that assurance, has been with me as the staff of my life. She also taught me to keep the breath indrawn, so as to make the consciousness indrawn and check the outgoing tendency of the mind. A year later I was initiated by her in Madras and given the mantra. In the result I may say this. Though the old tendencies recur, they do not have as much force, and I try to give battle them by the remembrance that Mother’s words can never become untrue and it is my duty not to place myself deliberately on the side of the hostile forces to falsify her expectation. She has thus been the redeemer and saviour of my life, as she has been to numerous other erring mortals.

The devotees of Sadguru Rama Devi are in a specially vantage position. In her we have our loving mother. She is also our guru. She is also our ishtam and we can think of her in any of the three roles and pray to her in any way we like at the moment. As the affectionate and tender-hearted mother to whom we may cry out for help in distress, she comes to our rescue to feed, protect and console the crying child. As the guru she guides us through safe and sure ways to the highest peaks of spiritual attainment and as the ishtam, she is the formless in all forms, immanent as well as transcendent. There is nothing so effective as meditating on her and meditating in her holy presence for rooting out the taints of the mind and resolving doubts and difficulties. So let us meditate and pray to her.

Lead, Kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom,
Lead Thou me on!
The night is dark and I am far from home!
Lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene-one step enough for me.

– Newman.

Lifting of Curtain

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

– Sri. R. Ranganathan ( 1961)

The avatar best suited to the present time became a fait accompli in the advent of the Mother. When the mind and the body of the human fraternity are not as strong in kaliyuga as they were in previous yugas and as they cannot successfully endure the ordeal of severe austerities and intense penance, the divine power in its infinite mercy has manifested itself in the form of the Mother to protect dharma, to inculcate the sense of duty, to instill the power of truth, to spread the glory of ahimsa and viswa prema in order to make easy the passage to eternal bliss, through grahasthasrama. No austere penance, no painful ordeals are required of us by the Mother. She treats the entire humanity as children and has a message for every one. The message is universal and comprehensive and is based on eternal principles. The message is suited to any avocation, religion or school of thought.  It is beneficial and is acceptable in all climes and in all civilization. A very brief text of her precepts is given below:

1. Devotion to duty (dharma) and its discharge as an offering to God without seeking for a reward.

2. Pathivrathya Absolute faith in the guru and complete surrender (saranagathi).

3. Realisation of the illusoriness of the ego and divesting oneself of it.

4. Keeping away from one’s mind and action from all that is opposed to truth. Meditation or dhyana, for control of mind.

The realization, the real realization of the atman which the Mother profoundly and repeatedly expounds to the world, is possible only to those, who tread the path of truth, who follows the precepts of duty, who through self-discipline give up pride, whose faith in her is permanent and whose surrender is absolute and whose meditations are pure and steadfast.

To such of us as have been blessed at least with the glimpse of the divine an occasional lifting of the curtain of maya, revealing the truth is possible; but the cloud of maya again might envelope the reality and only ceaseless efforts will lead us on to the ultimate goal.

Let us concentrate on the parabrahman that is Mother. Let her Samadhi and divine bhavas be ever present in us, and let us seek saranagathi at her lotus feet who will lead us on, in the realization of the atman which all along abides in us and thus let us obtain the atma- santhi in this life and the final merger with the paramathman thereafter.