15. The Mother at Jayrambati
So long as the Mother was at the Udbodhan, she did not have to do much physical work. As she had to shoulder less household responsibilities, she was always in a relaxed and cheerful mood. Above all the care and service that her sons rendered her, the good arrangement available for food and residence, and the healthy climate of the place, all combined to keep her in good health. But at Jayrambati there were so many difficulties and inconveniences besides the health hazard posed by the prevailing scourge of malaria. Naturally even a short stay there affected her health and rendered her weak in body. Every embodied being is particular about his own health and comfort. But not so the Mother. Her anxiety was always for the welfare and comfort of her children. That was why she preferred to stay at Jayrambati in spite of personal inconveniences. For there, free from the formalities of city life, her children could have easy access to her, and she also could shower her love and affection on them and look after their comforts to her heart’s content. And I think there were the following reasons too in favour of her staying there: (1) She preferred the open of the countryside to the cramped atmosphere of the city. (2) Though the Sadhus and the devotees at the Udbodhan were very eager to serve the Mother, she did not like to transfer her worries and responsibilities to them It was not an easy job to serve her along with her nieces and sisters-in-law. This she understood very well, and it was a point that she especially took into consideration. (3) Srimati Radhu, for various reasons, preferred to stay in the village and the Mother did not want to stay without her. In how many ways the Swamijis tried to keep Radhu at the Udbodhan! They had even kept a separate room for her, where she could stay with, her husband. But even then, she did not like to stay there. All these, however, are our surmises. The truth is. “It was all according to the wish of the self-willed One.”
Once when the Mother was very ill at Jayrambati, Sarat Maharaj went there with a doctor and two attendants, one male and the other female, besides Golap-Ma and Yogin-Ma. His intention was to bring her to Calcutta, as soon as she got well. The Mother gradually got well and the Swami was doing his best to help her recoup her strength. They had to stay there for about a month before the Mother got well. But still she showed no inclination to go to Calcutta. Knowing her mind as he did, Sarat Maharaj would not make any request to her to change her resolve. Yogin-Ma’s womanly nature now got impatient with this silence and she finally complained to him saying, “Well, Sarat, what about your requesting the Mother to go to Calcutta? You said you will.” Sarat Maharaj still remained quiet and just bent down his head. When Yogin-Ma still persisted, he slowly said, “When she does not want to go, what is the use of asking her to do so?” Another day when Yogin-Ma complained to him about the troubles, discomforts and other unfavourable conditions that the Mother had to stand at Jayrambati, and pointed out that this way her recovery was doubtful, Sarat Maharaj kept quiet for some time and then said very gravely, “If she has decided to leave the body here, who is there to prevent it?” Hearing this, they were all dumbfounded! These wise and devoted great souls, who knew the glories of the Mother, never said anything against her wishes. But then they would lay at her lotus feet their anxious petition and prayer, and sometimes she acted accordingly, as her own enlightened consciousness directed. They were just infants to her and so could express to her unreservedly what came into their minds, their innermost wishes. The Mother would merely laugh; sometimes she would listen to them and sometimes she would not and sometimes she would cajole them to her point of view.
On one occasion, when the Mother was ill, Kapil Maharaj happened to be at Jayrambati. He nursed her with great devotion and was very anxious on her account. Kapil Maharaj was a great favourite of hers, having served her for along time at the Udbodhan. As soon as the Mother got well, he asked her again and again to go to Calcutta. But the Mother paid no heed to it and said, “They are just naked Sannyasins! With no care or anxiety, they can stay or go anywhere as it pleases them – they just have to put their blankets on their shoulders and they are ready to start! But can I act that way? How much have I to ponder before I take a decision lest it should cause inconvenience to any one!” Even after Sarat Maharaj returned to Calcutta, Kapil Maharaj stayed on and tasted the bliss of her love and affection for some time more. He then left Jayrambati but the Mother did not go to Calcutta. After some time, at the request of her children from Koalpara to go there for a change of climate, she went and graced the Jagadamba Ashrama there, converting it into a mart of joy. The devotees’ joy, however, turned after some days into sorrow, as the Mother again got an attack of malaria. Again a doctor and an attendant came from Calcutta, to be followed by Sarat Maharaj and Yogin-Ma a few days later. When she recovered she returned, to Jayrambati. No sooner did she do so, than she said, “No, this time I must go to Calcutta. They take so much pains to come to me again and again. Does it look well if I do not accede to their request?” Coming to know of this, Sarat Maharaj, when prostrating before her, said, “Mother, this time I will not leave you here and go.” The Mother too was pleased and said, “Yes, my child, select the nearest auspicious day for starting and I shall go with you.”