16. The Mother’s Solicitude for the physical and spiritual Welfare of Disciples
A mother feeds her boys, makes them healthy and strong. This Universal Mother, too, used to feed the boys that way. It is needless to say that the Mother saw to it that the food was well cooked, tasty and clean. But she did not like any one developing gluttony or fastidiousness in matters of food. On certain special occasions some fine dishes were cooked, no doubt; but these were in small quantities. We never saw anybody getting sick after eating the food cooked by the Mother.
How great was the Mother’s concern for the mental and spiritual growth of her sons along with their physical well-being, will be clear if one goes through what I am writing here. When a son after suffering from malaria for a long time, expressed a desire to go to his birth-place, the Mother was pleased and said, “Yes, you better go there for some time and have a change of climate.” He had not yet completely severed his connection with his own family. When he was taking his leave, the Mother told him, “Please look upon your parents as Hara (Siva) and Gouri, and serve them as such. This will improve your mind.” Three years after this, he fell ill again and asked the Mother’s permission to go home, which he did obtain. But on the day of his departure when he went to the Mother to make Pranam to her and receive her blessings, the Mother, wiping tears from her eyes, said “Please do not stay at home for long. You may be caught in the snares.” The Mother blessed the son by placing her palm on his head and prayed to the Master for him Nevertheless, the worry and pain that the Mother was feeling for him, touched his heart. Was the Mother really seeing the future before her eyes? As a matter of fact, the son got into various troubles after reaching home and was actually being swept off his feet, completely forgetful of himself. But it was the memory of those words of caution of the Mother and her heart-felt concern for him that saved him from enticements. Little by little, when he had sunk very low there, the sad face of the Mother suddenly flashed before his mind’s eye, and he at once ran Backlike one mad, and fell at the feet of the Mother. It was as if the Mother had actually drawn Backthe son to her by her cord of love!
How should one live in this world? The attraction of worldly possessions
affects the minds of everyone. The Sadhus have the advantage of living away from actual connection with lust and gold, no doubt; but there is nevertheless the danger even for them of entertaining hankering for these with the added force that thwarted desires can give. The householder, however, living an honest religious life, may have some of these inborn tendencies satisfied to some extent. But they are sure to exercise a strong influence on him as worldly attachments. That was why the Mother used to quote the Master’s keen observations in such matters. She would say: “The Master saw the duck-chicks floating, diving and swimming in the water of the Haldar Pukur, but there would not be a drop of water sticking to them – they would just shake it all off. He gave their example and said that in this world one should live like these. Though living in the midst of worldly possessions, one should completely shake off all attachments for them from the mind. The Master used to teach one to live in the world completely unattached.”