Her kindness to the poor
It was the time of the noonday worship, when a
party of three men and women from a distant part of the country came to pay their respects to the
Holy Mother. They were very poor, all their possessions consisting of one piece of cloth each. They begged their passage to Calcutta. One of the party – a man devotee – was having a private talk with the Mother. There seemed to be no end to the conversation. The time for the noonday worship was passing, and the Mother must perform it. The inmates of the Udbodhan Office became annoyed* One of them said to the devotee in unmistakable language, ” If you have anything more to say, you had better come downstairs and talk to the senior monks.” But the Mother declared with some firmness, ” It does not matter if it gets late. I must hear what they have to say.” She continued to listen to him with great patience. In a whisper she gave him some instructions. Then she sent for his wife as well. We inferred that they must have experienced something in dream. Later on we came to learn that they had received some sacred Mantra in dream. After about an hour they took leave of the Mother. The Mother said, ” Alas, they are very poor ! They have come here with great hardship.”
After the noonday worship, we had our meal. The Holy Mother now wanted to have a little rest, and we retired into the adjoining room.
It was four o’clock in the afternoon. After the worship in the shrine, Rashbehari Maharaj said, ” An European lady has come to pay her respects to you. She has been waiting for a long time.” The Mother asked him to bring the lady to her. As she bowed down before the Mother, the latter clasped her hand as one does in shaking hands. The words of the Master, that one should behave according to time and circumstance, were verified in this instance. Then she kissed the lady by touching the chin. The latter knew Bengali and said, ” I hope I have not inconvenienced you by this visit. I have been waiting for a long time downstairs to see you. I am in great difficulty. My only daughter, a very good girl, is dangerously ill; so I have come here to crave your favour and blessings. Please be gracious to her, so that she may be cured. She is such a nice girl. I praise her because one seldom finds, now-a-days, a good woman among us. I can vouch that many of them are wicked and evil-minded; but my daughter is of quite a different nature. Please be kind to her.”
Mother: I shall pray for your daughter. She will be cured.
The European lady was much encouraged by this assurance from the Holy Mother and said, ” When you say that she will be cured, she shall be cured. There is no doubt about it.” She spoke these words thrice with great faith and emphasis. The Mother, with a kindly look, said to Golap-Ma, ” Please give her a flower from the altar. Bring a lotus.” Golap-Ma brought a lotus with a sacred bel leaf. The Mother took the lotus in her hand and closed her eyes for a few moments. Then she looked wistfully at the image of Sri Ramakrishna and gave the flower to the lady, saying ” Please touch your daughter’s head with it.” She accepted the flower with folded hands and bowed down before the Mother. ” What shall I do with the flower after that ? ” she asked.
Golap-Ma: When it is dried, throw it into the Ganges.
Lady: No, no! This belongs to God. I cannot throw it away. I shall make a bag out of a new piece of cloth and preserve the flower in it. I shall touch my daughter’s head and body every day with it.
Mother: Very well, do that.
Lady : God is the supreme Reality. He exists. I want to tell you something. A few days ago, a baby was bed-ridden with fever in my house. With great fervour I prayed to God, ” O Lord ! I feel that you exist, but I want an actual demonstration.” I wept and laid my handkerchief on the table. After a long time 1 was surprised to find three sticks in its folds. I gently touched the body of the baby thrice with the three sticks. Soon it was cured of the fever.
As she narrated the incident, tear drops trickled down her cheeks. She said, ” I have taken much of your valuable time. Please forgive me.” “No,” said the Mother, ” I am greatly pleased to talk to you. Come here again on Tuesday.” The lady bowed down and took leave of her.
When I went to the Mother a few days after, I learnt that the European lady went to see her on Tuesday. The Mother had shown her special favour and initiated her. Her daughter, too, was cured of her illness.
24th March, 1920
The Holy Mother had been staying in her country home at Jayrambati. After about a year she returned in spring to Calcutta. She was extremely unwell, having been in the grip of malarial fever for a long time. I prostrated myself before her, and she blessed me by placing her hand on my head. She asked me how I was. I offered her a little money for her expenses, and she accepted it. At the sight of her emaciated body, I lost all power of speech. I looked at her face wistfully and thought, ” Alas, how pale and weak her body is! ” My sister’s maidservant was with me. She was about to touch the Mother’s feet in salutation, but she said to her, “You may bow from a distance.” The maid bowed from near the door-sill and went away.
The Mother was so weak that she felt it painful even to utter a word. I was seated on the floor. In the meantime, Rashbehari Maharaj came up and asked me not to talk much with her; but the Mother now and then asked me about various things. I gave her very short replies. Then Radhu came with her child. I took him in my arms and gave him some cash as a present. Radhu insisted on his not accepting it. The Mother said, ” What is this, Radhu ? She is your sister. Why should you not accept the present when she gives it with so much love ? ” The Mother accepted the money herself. She felt so sorry for the sufferings of the child caused by his mother’s and grandmother’s negligence. Radhu protested in bitter words. The Mother said, ” There is no use talking to her ”, and kept quiet. After a while Sarala and a few women devotees came there to see the Mother. She was lying in bed. She began talking with them.
30th March, 1920
I went to pay my respects to the Holy Mother after five or six days. She had no fever for the past two or three days, but she was much worried on account of Radhu and her incapacity to look after her little child. Moreover, today Radhu’s hand had bumped against an iron railing, and with the swollen hand dressed in a dirty linen soaked in castor oil, she came to the Mother’s room to consult Dr. Kanjilal who had come to examine the Mother.
After Radhu’s hand was properly dressed, the Mother lay down on her bed, and asked me to rub her feet. While rubbing I asked her whether I could question her about something, and if it would inconvenience her.