Divine grace : God is one’s own
Disciple : How does one get love of God ? Even if one’s own son be brought up by someone else, he does not recognize his own mother as his mother.
Mother : Yes, that is true. The grace of God is the thing that is needful. One should pray for the grace of God.
Disciple : How can one speak of deserving grace, or not deserving it ? Grace is the same for all.
Mother : One must pray sitting on the bank of the river. He will be taken across in proper time.
Disciple: Everything happens when the proper time comes. Then where does God’s grace come in ?
Mother: Must you not sit with the fishing rod in your hand, if you want to catch the fish ?
Disciple : If God be our own ‘, why then should one sit and wait ?
Mother : That is true. It may happen even out of season. Don’t you see nowadays how people get fruits like mango and jack out of season ? How many mangoes grow nowadays in the month of Bhadra!
Disciple: Is this our limit, that He sends us away by giving us what we desire ? Or, can one get Him as one’s very ‘ own ‘ ? Is God my very own ‘ ?
Mother: Yes, God is one’s very own ‘. It is the eternal relationship. He is everyone’s own ‘. One realizes Him in proportion to the intensity of one’s feeling for Him.
Disciple : Intense feeling is like a dream. A man dreams what he thinks.
Mother: Yes, it is a dream. The whole world is a dream ; even this (the waking state) is a dream.
Disciple: No, this is not a dream, for then it would have disappeared in the twinkling of an eye. This state exists for many, many births.
Mother : Let it be so; still it is nothing but dream. What you dreamt last night does not exist now. (As a matter of fact, on the previous night the disciple had an amazing dream.) A farmer who lost a son dreamt at night that he was a king and the father of eight sons. When the dream vanished, he said to his wife, ” Shall I weep for my eight children or for this one ? ‘
After arguing thus with the Mother, I said, ” Mother, I don’t really bother my head about what I just said to you. All that I want to know is whether there is anyone whom I may call my * own 7*
Mother : Yes, such a One exists.
Disciple: Surely ?
Disciple: If He be really our ‘ own ‘, then why should we pray unto Him in order to see Him ? One who is truly my ‘ own ‘ would come to me even if I did not call on Him. Does God do things for us as our parents do ?
Mother : Yes, that is true, my child. He Himself has become our father and mother. He Himself brings us up as our parents. It is He alone who looks after us. Otherwise where were you and where are you now ? Your parents brought you up, but at last realized that you did not belong to them. Have you not seen a cuckoo brought up in the nest of a crow ?
Disciple: Shall I realize God as really my ‘ own ‘ ?
Mother : Yes, surely you will realize Him. Whatever you think, you will get. Did not Swamiji (referring to Swami Vivekananda) realize Him ? You will realize Him as Swamiji did.
Disciple: Mother, please see that I am not overcome by fear or slackening of faith.
Mother: There is no such danger for you. For I myself have hooked the fish.
Disciple : That is good. We all shall enjoy it.
Mother: Yes, that is right. One makes the mould and many others make their images from it.
Disciple : Yes, we shall get everything if you only work for us. You cannot set us aside.
Mother: Yes, my child, you will have all if I do it for you.
* * *
In the forenoon a devotee had arrived from Shillong. Doubtful about the divine nature of the Mother, he had taken a vow that he would not visit her unless he had seen her in dream seven times. He had the requisite visions. Therefore he had gone to Jayrambati to pay his respects to her. In the afternoon, as he was about to take leave of her, he said.
Mother, I shall say good-bye now. Do I need anything else ?
Mother; Yes, surely. You must have your initiation.
Devotee: I may have it at Baghbazar in Calcutta.
Mother : Better finish that task, my child. Have your initiation today.
Devotee: But I have eaten the Prasada.
Mother: That doesn’t matter.
After the initiation, the devotee departed.
Earlier in the morning another devotee an eccentric young man, had come and clamoured before the Mother for Sannyasa. He also demanded that the Mother should make him ‘ mad ‘ and give him the vision of the Master immediately. The Mother somehow pacified him for the time being and sent him home. The mental state of the eccentric devotee took a turn for the worse after he returned home from Jayrambati. He became restless for the vision of the Master and felt piqued to think that though the Holy Mother could, by her mere will, make him get a vision of Sri Ramakrishna, she refused to do so. In a very angry state of mind he came Backto Jayrambati and said to her, ” Mother, won’t you enable me to see the Master ? ” The Mother said tenderly, ” Yes, you will see Him ; don’t be so restless.” He could not stand it any longer. He said in an angry voice, ” You are only deceiving me. Here is the rosary you gave me. Take it back. I don’t care for it any more.” With these words he threw the rosary at her. ” All right,” said the Mother, ” remain for ever the child of Sri Ramakrishna ! ” He left the place at once.
Afterwards the devotee went really mad. He began writing abusive letters to the Swamis of the Ramakrishna Mission and did not spare even the Holy Mother in this respect.
One day, referring to this devotee, I asked the Holy Mother, ” Did he also return the Mantra ? He threw away his rosary. Can anyone ever return the Mantra ? “
Mother: Can that ever be possible ? The word of the Mantra is living. Can anyone, who has received it, give it Back? Can he, once having felt attraction for the Guru, get rid of him ? Some day in the future this man will come round and fall at the feet of those whom he now abuses.
Devotee: Why does such a thing come to pass ?
Mother: One sees such things. One Guru may initiate many disciples, but can they all be of the same nature ? Spiritual life manifests in a devotee according to his nature. He once said to me, ” Mother, make me mad.’* ” Why ? ” said I. ” why should you be mad, my child ? Can anyone, without committing much sin, ever be mad ? ” He said, ” My younger brother has seen the Master. Please let me also have a vision of Him.” I said in reply, ” Who can ever see him with the physical eyes ? But one may do so by closing his eyes. Your brother is a child. He may have visualized the Master with his eyes closed ; but he thinks that he has seen him with his eyes open.” I asked him to continue his spiritual life – to practise spiritual disciplines and pray to the Master – and told him that he also would have the vision. Man knows in his own mind how far he has advanced and how much knowledge and consciousness of God he has attained. He knows in his innermost soul how much of God he has realized. Besides, who has been able to see God with his physical eyes?”
This devotee, after having been scolded at the Udbodhan Office, used to live on the bank of the Ganges. Sometimes he would sit on the door-sill of the Udbodhan Office and would take his meal there. After some time, he was brought once to the Holy Mother with her permission. She tried to pacify him in various ways and said, ” The Master used to say, ‘ At the time of death I shall have to stand by those who pray to me. These are words from his own mouth. You are my child. What should you be afraid of ? Why should you behave like a madman ? That will disgrace the Master. People will say that his devotee has become mad. Can you conduct yourself in a way that will discredit the name of the Master ? Go home and live as others do. Eat and live like them. At the time of your death, he will reveal himself to you and take you to him. Can you tell me if anyone ever got a vision of him with physical eyes? It was only Naren (Swami Vivekananda) who saw him thus. That happened in America when he had intense yearning for him. Naren then used to feel that the Master was grasping his arm. That vision also lasted only for a few days. Now go home and live there happily. How miserable are the worldly people! The other day Ram’s son passed away. You can at least sleep with an easy heart.”
The devotee was much pacified by the Holy Mother’s consolation and words of instruction. He took his meal at the Udbodhan Office and later returned to his native village. He gradually regained his normal state of mind.