59. Social Criticism against Mother giving Sannyasa
In the case of another ‘son’ of the Mother, no sooner had he taken Sannyasa from her and left the Mother’s house, than his own mother came and remonstrated with the Holy Mother to make her son return to the household. She wept a great deal and likewise entreated her, and even complained. She said that the whole household depended upon him, the wage-earner. Then he had a young wife at home with an offspring. The Mother listened to it all, expressed her sympathy, but did not agree to make the young Sannyasin go Backto the household. She said with great firmness, “He has indeed chosen the right path for himself and has already made provision for the maintenance of you all. I have heard that you have a proper guardian, too, to look after you So I will not be able to ask him to return to his home.” Though the mother could not take her son Backto her home, she, however, had her heart pacified a great deal through the loving blessings of the Holy Mother, and she returned to her home with great hope and assurance. Though a Sannyasin, the son, under the instruction of the Holy Mother, maintained a relation of regard and devotion towards his mother so long
as she lived.
Here is the case of yet another ‘son’ of the Mother, who was well educated, respectable, well-placed in life, and married. His wife was young and was expecting. Both the husband and the wife had their initiation from the Mother. As the desire in the heart of the ‘son’ grew very strong for taking Sannyasa, he left his job and presented himself before the Mother. After informing the Mother about his intention, he started staying at a nearby Ashrama at Nabasan, waiting for the auspicious day. Some of the aged householder devotees who frequented the Mother’s place, raised their voice against this, saying, “Such a person should not take Sannyasa.” Not satisfied with this, they even expressed this opinion of theirs to the Mother and prayed to her not to give him Sannyasa. They proposed that an appointment as a lecturer in a degree college could be procured for him even in the vicinity of Jayrambati. If he continued teaching, he would be able to build up the character of quite a number of young men, and both the society and the country would be benefited by it. Some of the money could be sent to his wife for her maintenance. Thus there would be no need of his going Backhome. In this strain there was much talk on the subject of his Sannyasa. If such a person were given Sannyasa, it was argued, there would be more harm done to society than good. Hearing all these opinions, this ‘son’ of the Mother was very much perturbed. He found no other way than praying to the Great Master and the Holy Mother with great earnestness in the secrecy of his heart. He was spending his days in hope and fear in that lonely Ashrama. Now and then he would send his prayers to the Mother through a certain Sadhu of the Ashrama who often went to the Holy Mother. The Mother heard it all quietly and said nothing for some days. When the talk of the people had subsided, she sent a message to him through this Sadhu to come to her. Thereupon he set out to meet her. His heart was in great suspense, as it was swayed by hope and fear. But the loving Mother did not keep the desire of his heart unfulfilled. She gave him the ochre cloth and initiated him into Sannyasa with her own hands. That fortunate Sannyasin, during the long span of his useful life, was instrumental in conveying the glorious message of Sri Ramakrishna and the Holy Mother to many an inquiring soul, and bringing peace and solace to many a scarred heart!
Seeing the Mother initiating so many of the boys into Sannyasa, conferring ochre cloth on them with her own hands, the hearts of many women would be filled with fear and sorrow. The Mother, however, laughed in great joy, in the thought that another son of hers had been saved from the sufferings of this world!
Though the Mother would not dishearten her householder sons in following their way of life with wife, family and earnings, she used to give all encouragement to her other sons who preferred to follow the ideal of renunciation