Desires and birth
“As long as a man has desires there is no end to his transmigration. It is the desires alone that make him take one
body after another. There will be rebirth for a man if he has even the desire to eat a piece of candy. It is for this reason that a variety of
food-stuffs are brought to Belur Math. Desire may be compared to a minute seed. It is like a big
banyan tree growing out of a seed, which is no bigger than a dot. Rebirth is inevitable so long
as one has desires. It is like taking the soul from one pillow-case and putting it into another ; only one or
two out of many men can be found who are free from all desires. Though one gets a new body on
account of desires, yet one does not completely lose spiritual consciousness if one has to one’s credit
good merits from previous birth. A priest in the temple of Govinda in Brindavan used to feed his
mistress with the food-offerings of the Deity. As a result of this sin, he got the body of a ghoul after
his death. But he had served God in the temple. As a result of his merit, he one day appeared before
all in his own physical body. It was possible for him to do so on account of his past good actions. He
told people the cause of his inferior birth and said to them further, ” Please arrange a religious festival
and music for the redemption of my soul from this state. That will free me.”
Disciple : Is it possible to be freed from such states through religious festivals and music ?
Mother : Yes ; that is enough for the Vaishnavas. They do not perform such obsequies as Sraddha and so forth.
Once I visited the image of Jagannath at Puri at the time of the Car Festival. I wept in sheer joy to see so many people having a view of the image of the Deity. ‘ Ah!’ I said to myself, ‘ it is good. They will all be saved!’ But later on I realized that it was not so. Only one or two who were absolutely free from desires could attain their salvation. When I narrated the incident to Yogin-Ma, she corroborated this by saying, ‘Yes, Mother, only people who are
free from desires attain liberation (Mukti)’
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One morning, while taking my breakfast on the verandah of the Holy Mother’s room, I asked her ” Mother, will I have to be initiated into Sannyasa if I am to live in Belur Math ? “
Mother: Yes, my child.
Disciple: But, Mother, the monastic life begets a terrible vanity.