Women must have forbearance
Nalini, the Mother’s niece, was in an angry mood.
The Mother reprimanded her and said, ” Women should not get angry so easily. They must
practise forbearance. In infancy and childhood their parents are their only protection and in youth their husbands. Women are generally very sensitive. A mere word upsets them. And words also are so cheap now-a-days. They should have patience and try to put up with parents or husbands in spite of difficulties.”
Radhu sat near us with her cloth pulled over her knees. The Mother reproved her and said, ” Dear me ! why should a woman pull her cloth over her knees ? ” She cited a verse which says, ” It is as good as being naked when the cloth is pulled over the knees.”
Chandra Babu’s sister came to see us. She asked me in the course of conversation, ” Is the husband of the Holy Mother still alive ? Are these his children and daughters-in-law ? ” ” Goodness gracious ! ” said I, ” have you not read the teachings of Sri
Ramakrishna? He always exhorted people to renounce lust and gold.” The lady was nonplussed and said, ” Excuse me, I took them for her own children.”
It was the time of the Durga Puja. The Mother had a bundle of new clothes before her. She separated the clothes intended for the husbands of her three nieces. She took a cloth in her hand and said, ” G. – will put on this new cloth at the time of the Puja and go to the Belur Math.”
After the noonday worship, we had our meal. The Mother was resting. I sat by her side and began to fan her. She said with great tenderness, ” There is a pillow there. Bring it and lie down near me. I do not require any more fanning.” I hesitated to use her pillow and brought one from Radhu’s room. The Mother said with a smile, ” This pillow belongs to Radhu’s mother, that crazy woman. She will make a fuss. Please use my pillow. There is no harm in it.” Then she said to Radhu, ” Please come here and lie by your sister.” The conversation drifted to the remarks of Chandra Babu’s sister, narrated above. The Mother said, ” Well, you could have easily replied that her husband is there in the shrine room, and that all of you are his children.” I said, ” All the men and women of the world are his children! ” The Mother laughed and remarked, ” People come here with various selfish desires. Someone comes with a cucumber, offers it to Sri Ramakrishna, and prays for the fulfilment of selfish desires. This is the nature of average people.”
After a little rest we left the bed. A few women devotees were in the adjacent room. Two of them wore ochre robes. They prostrated themselves before the Mother. They brought some sweets for offering. We came to know they were the disciples of Sri Narayan Paramahamsa of Kalighat. Their teacher was just then engaged in performing a grand sacrifice. One of the nuns asked, ” Is there any truth in image worship ?