35. The Mother’s Way of Teaching
How many were the ‘daughters’ of the Mother who visited Jayrambati! Braving the difficulties of long-distance travel, they began to come in such large numbers that the people were dumbfounded with wonder, and thought: “How could all these ladies, till now confined within the four walls of their homes, come so far, without any fear or hesitation?” Such was the Mother’s attraction. Just as one or two of her sons would be with her, so also, besides her three nieces, there would always be two or three of these daughters with her. As a result of staying near her, the hearts of all her children would naturally be always at a high plane of divine consciousness, even when engaged in the daily routine of work. We often make a hard and fast distinction between our spiritual life and our worldly activities, dividing them into two water-tight compartments. The consequence is that we often feel our spiritual practice as something unnatural to us, as something forced into our life which we identify with our worldly activities. Not to speak of the Holy Mother, even in the lives of her disciples living near her, this compartmentalisation of life, and the consequent development of a feeling of dichotomy between the spiritual and the secular, did not arise. Through her love and sweetness there would grow naturally in these disciples traits like proficiency in work, attachment to truth, forbearance, love and affection, eagerness to serve others etc. As regards faith in God and the practice of His worship – that was one’s very life and was as spontaneous as breathing. The faith that gradually became firm in their hearts was this: “There is one all-pervading, all compassionate Lord, who is the Sakti (Power) behind all the functions of the world like creation, preservation and destruction. He is present everywhere, inside and outside. The world is the Lord’s. He created it for His own play. We are mere pawns in His game. Wherever He keeps us, and in whatever way He does so, we have to abide by it contentedly. We suffer as a result of our own actions; it is unfair to blame anybody else for it. We have to surrender ourselves completely to the Lord with faith and devotion, serve others to the best of our capacity, and never be a source of sorrow to anybody.” Teachings like these, the Mother used to impart to her children in a manner that they absorbed them in their hearts unknowingly, without any formal instruction. Through her grace their ego, based on their bodily identity and their attachment for objects of the senses, gradually got attenuated in her company.
A son of hers might sometimes get anxious to practise austerities, seeing some one else doing so. But the Mother, who knew what was good for him, would pacify him sweetly, advising, “Call on the Master, depending upon Him entirely. You will then achieve everything.” To some other aspirants of a higher order, having greater spiritual stamina, she might give a different instruction. In the case of a rare few, whose spiritual aspiration was very powerful, she bestowed her grace in a special way. But all her spiritual instructions were conveyed in an informal and natural manner, which helped them to absorb the teachings through example and suggestions rather than lectures and discourses. Whenever the aspirants found life unbearable because of conflict of ideals and the contradictions of life’s situations, the Mother would, with great love and patience, help them to overcome them and attain harmony. How simple her instructions were! She would say: “Is the Master a ‘part’ of some ‘whole’? No, He is the ‘whole’, the complete, the full. Brahman is the ‘whole’, without anything else beside Him. There is nothing existing but He. Everything that appears before us is the manifestation of
Brahman, of His Power (Sakti). It is His Power that is manifested as all Deities and is worshipped through them. Brahman alone is the Purusha, the Male supreme, the Infinite and the Absolute Being; He is also the Prakriti or Sakti, the glorious Female, the source of this universe of multiplicity. The Master only harmonised all the spiritual traditions, never upset them.” She helped her disciples to think of the Master alone and centre their lives in Him, though she gave them different Mantras and different Ishtams (Chosen Deities) according to their nature and competence. A simple-minded and unsophisticated child of hers might like to meditate only on her as his or her
Ishtam The Mother would then explain: “My son, devotees say that in me, there is only the Master.” That filled the heart of the devotee with joy. The intimate and long-standing devotee-sons of the Mother would often bring home this teaching of the Mother to the raw young men coming newly to the Mother without an understanding of the oneness of the Mother with the Master. Devotees of varying social standing and power of understanding came to the Mother. Some made Pranams to her and recited invocations before her as the Adya-sakti, the Power of the Lord that creates and sustains the universe. There were others without any such theological understanding but knew her merely as their ‘Mother’, their protector in this life and hereafter, whose grace freed them from all causes of fear. All of them, the knowing ones and the ignorant, were alike in the Mother’s eyes; for she knew that they were all calling on her according to their individual capacity. Some may call the same person ‘Ba’ and some ‘Pa’ according to the development of their capacity to speak.