42. Some Scenes at Jagaddhatri Puja
The Mother would be very happy when she found the boys eating from the same plate like little children. After being relieved from the Bankura famine relief work, a few of her sons had come to her on the occasion of the Jagaddhatri Puja. The Mother’s heart was filled with great joy to have those children with her during the Puja, Some of them could sing very well. So they were all singing
Bhajan collectively with great enthusiasm In the fullness of their heart, they sang Matr Sangeet (or songs about the Divine Mother). Though she had to attend to various items of work, the Mother was at the same time listening to the Bhajan In a very melodious voice a son was singing, “Nobody should any longer have any anxiety about having a vision of the Mother. She is not the Mother of you or me alone. She is the Mother of all in the universe.” The song had a great appeal to the heart of all. A line of it ran thus: “The Queen of the Universe, wishing to hear the call, ‘Mother’, ‘Mother’, from her sons, listens to it from behind; but at last seeing Her face to face, they do not call her any more.” Uttered in a sweet voice and sung in perfect rhythm, the melody of this line touched the very core of the Mother’s heart. A certain son, who just then came from inside the house, let them know that the Mother was actually sitting behind the door and listening to the song with great attention. This filled the hearts of the singer and the other boys with an exuberance of joy, and so they encored this line again and again for a long time.
At the end of the Puja, the Mother made the final offering of flowers and then prostrated herself before the image. The devotees also did likewise. After the Puja of the ‘mid-session’, when the offering of Bhoga and the Arati were finished, they all put on their foreheads the marks of offered vermilion and sandalwood paste, and sat down to have Prasada. There were many things that had been offered to the Goddess. The Mother watched them eating from behind and asked them to be served with ‘this’ or ‘that’ many a time. When at the end of the Puja the Mother offered flowers at the feet of the Mother Jagaddhatri, prostrated before the image, putting the end of her cloth round the Backof her neck (a gesture adopted by a woman to show great reverence), and then stood up facing the image with folded hands, the picture of her face, surcharged with divine fervour, was something that attracted the devotees’ hearts more than the image even. When at the end of the Puja the Mother made Pranam with great devotion to the Guru of her father’s family, who acted as the Tantra Dharak1, he was very hesitant to accept it. With folded hands he saluted the Mother in return saying, “That you should be doing this, Mother!”
The day after the Puja, the Mother made arrangements for a sumptuous breakfast. She brought and offered the famous Jilapis of Kamarpukur, a sweet that the Master liked very much. These she arranged in one plate, and by the side of it she kept another wherein a large quantity of ‘Muri’ was heaped, so that the boys could eat them together. The sons were overjoyed to partake of this sumptuous breakfast that the Mother was giving. All of them started eating from the same plate, and the Mother enjoyed the sight from behind. That year the worship of Sri Jagaddhatri was held at the ‘Drawing room’ of Kali-Mama, and the old ‘Drawing room’ which had fallen to the share of Baramama was used as the dormitory for these young men.