On Image Workship
Our teacher does not approve of it. He instructs people in the worship of the fire and the sun.”
Mother : You should not doubt the words of your own teacher. Why do you ask me about it when you have heard the opinion of your Guru in the matter ?
The nun : We want to know your opinion.
The Mother refused to give any opinion. But the nun was stubborn and began to press for a reply. The Mother said at last, ” If your teacher were an illumined soul, – pardon me for the remark – then he would not have made such a statement. From time immemorial innumerable people have worshipped images and thereby attained spiritual knowledge. Do you want to deny this fact ? Sri Ramakrishna never cherished any such parochial and one-sided view. Brahman exists everywhere. The prophets and incarnations are born to show the way to benighted humanity. They give different instructions according to different temperaments. There are many ways to realize truth. Therefore all these instructions have their relative value. Take, for instance, a tree. There are many birds perched on its branches. They have different colours, white, black, yellow, red, etc. Their sounds are also different. But we say that these are the sounds of the birds. We never designate a particular sound as that of birds and refuse to acknowledge other sounds as such.”
The nuns desisted from argument after some time. They then inquired about the Calcutta address of the Holy Mother and said that they would like to see her again. After they had left, the Mother said, It does not become a woman to argue like that. Even the wise could hardly realize the nature of Brahman by argument. Is Brahman an object of discussion ? “
A few days after, the Mother was to leave for Banaras, and I might not meet her for some time. She was extremely kind to me when I took leave of her, and I was so overpowered by her love that I did not exchange a word with anyone that night.
31st January, 1913
The Holy Mother had returned from Banaras. I went to her place one morning and found her absorbed in worship. After the worship was over, she left the seat and said, I am glad to see you, my child. I was thinking of you and feared lest I should miss you again. We shall soon be leaving for our country home.”