On spiritual practices and experiences
Mother : No, not at all. Speak what you have to.
I spoke to her about some experience I had, and at On spiritual this the mother remarked, ” Ah, practices and ex- my daughter, can one experience Pfc.ru.ncis such delight every day ? Every
thing is real. Nothing is untrue. The Master is all – He is Prakriti, He is Purusha. Through Him you will achieve everything.”
Disciple : Mother, one day while doing Japa with great concentration, a long period of time passed quite unobserved. I had therefore to get up for attending to my household duties without carrying out the other items of spiritual practices that you had instructed me to do. Was it wrong on my part to have done so ?
Mother: No, no. There is nothing wrong in it.
Disciple: Someone told me that while meditating at the dead of night, he hears a mystic sound.
Generally he experiences it as coming from the right side of the body; sometimes, when the mind is working on a lower plane, it comes also from the left side.
Mother (after thinking a while) : Indeed, the sound comes from the right side. Only when there is body-consciousness it comes from the left side. Such things happen when the power of the Kunda-lmi is awakened. The sound that comes from the right side is the real one. In time the mind itself becomes the Guru. To pray to God and meditate on Him for even two minutes with full concentration is better than doing so for long hours without it.
I did not feel inclined to question the Mother on the significance of ‘ body-consciousness ‘ for the Mother was not doing well.
I was about to take leave. Instantly the Mother raised her head from the pillow and said, ” Well, my daughter, I have raised my head.” She did so, because it is not the custom for a devotee to bow down to one lying. When I bowed down, she said ‘ Come again. Come a little earlier in the evening. Can’t you finish your household duties a little earlier and come ? “
Then uttering the name of Durga as a prayer for my safety, she bade me adieu. Even after I had come to the verandah, l heard her uttering the name of Durga in a compassionate tone. What an unbounded love! So long as we are by her, we forget all the sorrows and sufferings of worldly life.
The Mother’s illness showed no signs of improvement. Her body was getting weaker and weaker. I went to see her one afternoon. She was about to go for her evening wash. She asked me to help her to get up. She said, ” I am getting fever very often, and the body has become very weak.”
14th March, 1920
The evening Aratrika (service) in the shrine was over. The Mother had fever. Rashbehari Maharaj was rubbing her hands and Brahmachari Varada her feet. They were taking her temperature, and the Mother was lying with her eyes closed. I stood by her side. Once the Mother asked, ” Who is there ? ” Rashbehari Maharaj replied to her in a low voice. I heard that the temperature was 100.1 degrees.
Sister Sudhira was giving a treat to the girls of the Nivedita School, as it was the New Year’s day. So Sarala, the disciple who was attending on the Mother, had gone to the school. The Mother asked Brahmachari Varada to bring Sarala from there ; for she had to feed Radhu’s child. It was not yet time to feed the child but as he was weeping, Radhu wanted to feed him just then. The Mother tried to dissuade her. This only enraged Radhu who began to abuse the Mother. She said, ” May you die, and I shall light your funeral pyre ! ” We were deeply pained to hear this. The Mother was so badly ill, and Radhu was abusing her in such a fashion at that time! Radhu, however, went on shouting out many more abusive words. Such conduct on her part was quite frequent. The Mother, who had unbounded patience, would put up with such behaviour on all occasions. But this time, due to her protracted illness she too got annoyed and remarked, ” You will realize the consequences of this afterwards ! What a sad plight you will be in after my death, you will understand ! I do not know how many kicks and thrashings with broom-stick are in store for you ! ‘
At this Radhu became still more irritated and abusive. After a time Sarala arrived and fed the child. The experiences of that day cast a gloom over my mind. The Mother asked me to rub her feet.
Just then Rashbehari Maharaj entered the room and began to fit up the mosquito netting. So I took leave of her and the Mother said by way of bidding farewell, ” Come.” This was the last command and the last word that I heard from her.
I had to go to Kalighat that day. Afterwards for several days I could get no opportunity to visit her, due to the illness of many at home and other difficulties. I used to get regular information about her health, and came to know that she was sinking day by day. At the earliest opportunity I went to see her, my heart filled with the fear that we are to lose our most precious possession in life very soon. I was, however, still hoping against hope.
It is sacrilegious to offer to a man the gifts that are meant for the Deity, and hence this fear that it may bring about some misfortune. Sri Ramakrishna also seems to show this feeling at first in his mood as a humble devotee, but the subsequent part of the Conversation would show that worship of him is not improper if one understands his Divine aspect. It is indicative of the alternating moods of a devotee and of the Divinity that used to be on him.
Tradition has it that the birth of Sri Ramakrishna was heralded by the vision his father had at Gaya of the Deity who announced that He would be born as his son. Hence the spiritual association he had with Gaya was likely to overwhelm him if he went to that place.