Some spiritual Instructions
The women devotees were talking in the northern porch of the shrine room. That created a great deal of noise. The Mother asked someone, ” Go and ask them to talk in low tones. They are disturbing Swami Saradananda.” There was no one in the room. I asked her a few questions regarding spiritual practices. The Mother said, ” Do not make any distinction between Sri Ramakrishna and me. Meditate on and pray to the particular aspect of the Divinity revealed to you. The meditation begins in the heart and ends in the head. Neither Mantra nor scripture is of any avail; Bhakti or devotion alone accomplishes everything. Sri Ramakrishna is everything – both Guru and Ishtam. He is all in all.”
Then the conversation drifted to Gauri-Ma and her disciple, D – . The Mother spoke highly of both. She said, ” Listen, my child. Many may take the name of God after their minds have been hardened by the contaminating influence of the world. But he alone is blessed who can devote himself to God from very childhood. The girl is pure like a flower. Gaurdasi has moulded her character nicely. Her brothers tried their utmost to arrange for her marriage, but Gaurdasi took her from place to place and concealed her. At last she took her to Puri and made her exchange garland with Jagannath and made her a nun. That is to say, she was married to Jagannath, the Lord of the Universe. Thenceforth she has been leading the life of a nun. Such a nice, pure girl! She has been well-educated. I have heard that she is preparing herself for a Sanskrit examination.” I also heard from her many incidents of Gauri-Ma’s early years and thus came to know that she also had to pass through a stormy life.
A little later four or five women devotees came. They offered the Holy Mother green cocoanuts and some other fruits. One of them was about to approach and touch her feet. The Mother said, ” Please salute me from a distance.” They offered her a few coins. She forbade them to do so. They then wanted some spiritual instruction. The Mother replied with a smile, ” What shall I instruct you about? The words of Sri Raraakrishna have been recorded in books. If you can follow even one of his instructions, you will attain to everything in life.” After they had taken leave, the Holy Mother said, ” Where is that competent student who can understand spiritual instruction ?
First of all, one should be fit; otherwise, the instructions prove futile.”
Annapurna’s mother entered the room and said, ” Mother, I saw you in a dream asking me to take your Prasada which would cure me of my disease. But Sri Ramakrishna had forbidden me to eat the Prasada of anybody. Still I shall be glad if you will kindly give me a little of your Prasada.” The Mother refused to do so; but the woman began to insist upon it.
Mother: Do you want to disobey Sri Ramakrishna ?
A.’s mother : Sri Ramakrishna’s words were applicable so long as I made a distinction between him and you. But I now realize both of you to be identical. So please give me your Prasada.
The Mother had to yield. A little later we took leave of her.
* * *
Another day when I went to see the Holy Mother, she inquired about my husband. I said that he was not in very good health. She asked me to write a letter for her. She dictated it. After the noonday meal, the Mother had been resting for a while when a few women devotees came to her room. When the greetings were over, one of them said,”I have a nice goat. She gives four pounds of milk daily. 1 also keep three birds. I spend my time with these. I am now pretty old.” I was reminded of the words of Sri Ramakrishna: ” Mahamaya, the supreme power of cosmic illusion, makes us bring up a cat and thus forget God. This is how this world is going on.” The Holy Mother simply nodded to the words of these devotees. Alas, what a great agony she had to bear for our sake ! We did not allow her even to enjoy a little rest. We disturbed her with mere idle gossip. I took leave of her in the evening.
* * *