Conversation Holy Mother III – Exhortations

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Conversation Holy Mother III – Exhortations Back

EXHORTATIONS

To a young man of spiritual inclinations

A young man, who was a disciple of the Holy To a young man Mother, had gone to see her during her final illness. The Mother made enquiries about his mother and of spiritual inclinations other relatives, and told him that she (the Holy Mother) might not live long. The young man was much dejected at this and expressed his fear that he would be helpless in life without her. At this she exhorted him as follows: ” Always remember that Sri Ramakrishna alone is our protector. If you forget this, you will find yourself in a maze. Do you know why I asked you today about your mother and other members of the family ? Sometime BackI heard about the death of your father from G – . Then I asked him if your mother had any other relatives and also about her means of livelihood. I further inquired if she were dependent upon you. Coming to learn that she could manage without you, I thought, That is good. This boy has pious intentions. Now through the grace of Sri Ramakrishna, there will be no serious obstacle to prevent him from leading a spiritual life.’ Everyone should serve his mother. It is all the more incumbent upon you, because you have all come to me with the purpose of dedicating your life to the service of others. Had your father not left any money for your mother, I would have asked you to earn money and look after her comfort. Through the grace of Sri Ramakrishna, that obstacle has been removed. Simply see that the money left at her disposal is not wasted. Make some arrangement about it, and look after her as much as you can. Is it a small advantage for you ? One cannot earn money in strictly honest ways. Money always taints the mind. For this reason I ask you to settle the pecuniary affairs of your mother as soon as possible.

Such is the fascination of money that if you involve yourself too much in it, you will feel attracted to it. You may think that you are above money and that you will never feel any attraction for it as you have once renounced it. You may further think that at any moment you may leave it behind. No, my child* never harbour this thought in your mind. Through a tiny little loop-hole it will enter into your mind and then strangle you gradually quite undetected. You will never know it. Especially as you belong to Calcutta, you know how money can draw people into reckless ways of living. Settle your mother’s affairs as soon as possible and run away from Calcutta. Further, if you can persuade your mother to go to a holy place, you both can lead a spiritual life, forgetting your worldly relationship. Just now your mother is stricken with grief. I think this is the best arrangement. Your mother also is now quite advanced in years. Always talk to her about God. You will really fulfil the duty of a son if you can help her to gather the means for her ultimate journey. You have grown by sucking her milk. How much suffering she had undergone to raise you to manhood! Know that service to her is your highest duty. But it is quite a different matter if she stands in the way of your spiritual life. Why don’t you bring her to me ? I shall see what she is like. I may give her a few words of instruction if it may be useful. But beware ! Don’t involve yourself in worldliness on the plea of serving your mother. After all it is only the maintenance of a widow. It means only a very trifling sum. Try to settle her affairs as quickly as possible, be it even at a loss. Sri Ramakrishna could never bear the touch of money. You are all out in the world, taking his name on your lips. Always remember his words. Money is at the root of all the disasters you see in the world. Money may lure one’s mind into other temptations. Beware ! “

* * *

To a young householder devotee

A young householder devotee once spoke somewhat disrespectfully to a Sannyasin.In the course of a talk with the devotee the Mother said: ” The Master is very compassionate towards you. Therefore you have felt such a spontaneous attraction for him even from childhood. You must, however, remember these few things and try to carry them out in your life. Be careful about these three things : first, a house situated on the bank of a river; at any time the river may destroy your house and sweep it away in its current. Second, a snake; you must be very careful when you see one, for there is no knowing when it will come and bite you. Third, a Sadhu; you don’t know that one word or one thought of his may injure a householder. Whenever you see a Sadhu, you should show him respect. You should not show him disrespect by retorts or slighting remarks.” All through his life the disciple cherished these words of the Mother.

To a widowed disciple

The Holy Mother said to a woman disciple after her initiation: ” Look here, my daughter, I do not usually initiate a woman who has just lost her husband, but I have made a departure in your case, as you have a spiritual temperament. See that I do not have to repent of it. The teacher suffers from the sin committed by the disciple. Always repeat the sacred word with regularity.”

Once the disciple was going to her father-in-law’s ‘house, when the Holy Mother gave her the following advice: ” Don’t be familiar with anybody. Don’t take much part in the social functions of the family. Say, * O mind, always keep to yourself. Don’t be inquisitive about others.’ Gradually increase the period of meditation and prayer, and read the teachings of Sri Ramakrishna.”

Another day the disciple was alone with the Holy Mother. The Mother said to her, ” Never be intimate with any man – not even with your own father or brother. What to speak of others then ! Let me again repeat, don’t be intimate with a man, even if God comes to you in that form.”

The Mother forbade the disciple to frequent the monastery and other places where the monks lived. She would say, ” You may have no bad intention in your mind. You visit them with pure thoughts. But if your presence brings any impure ideas into their minds, then you will also be partly responsible for it.” She forbade her to make pilgrimages without
discrimination of time or company. She asked her to feed a few holy men, if she had the material resources to do so. Pointing to a woman devotee present there, she said, ” Look at her. She has learned a great lesson while visiting a holy place.” Quoting from a song, she said, ” 1 Pilgrimage and excursion are causes of misery. O my mind, don’t be restless about them.’ You can attain more in your house, if you are really earnest.”

One day some women devotees were criticizing a particular person. The Mother said to the disciple, * ” Do not lose your respect for her. It was she who first brought you here.”

The disciple wanted to adopt a child. The Holy Mother then told her about her own difficulty by taking such a step in regard to Radhu. ” Never take such a step,” she said. ” Always do your duty to others, but love you must give to God alone. Worldly love always brings in its wake untold misery.”

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In praise of modesty in women

The Mother was feeling better under the treatment of Syamdas Kaviraj. One after noon several women devotees came to see her. One of them was particularly bedecked with ornaments and nice clothes. She was a little restless. Addressing them, the Holy Mother said, ” You see, the only ornament of a woman is her modesty. The flower feels itself most blessed, when it is offered at the feet of the divine image. Otherwise it is better for it to wither
away on the tree. It pains me very much to see a dandy making a bouquet of such flowers and putting it to his nose, saying, Ah, what a nice smell!’Perhaps the next moment he drops it on the floor. He may even trample it under his shoes. He does not even look at it.” (It was reported later that a long time before, the husband of that particular woman had left her and gone away for some unknown destination.)

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