62. Mother’s Regard for Sannyasins: Other Instances
Another incident comes to my mind about the Mother’s regard for a Sadhu One evening at dusk, a son of her’s was reading out her letters to her. The Mother was sitting on the floor on a carpet with her legs stretched out before her. In front of her there was the hurricane lamp burning. The boy was sitting by the side of the Mother and was reading the letters, with his head bent down. All of a
sudden his attention was drawn to a big scorpion which was advancing towards the Mother. He was afraid that it might sting the Mother. He at once jumped up and killed it by stamping on it. The Mother looked at it with compassion and said “It loses its life struck by a Sadhu!” She said it in such a way as to convey the idea that the creature was thus elevated to a higher place. The son knew very well about the extent of his own saintliness! Nevertheless he realised that through the good wishes of the Mother, it would certainly come to pass. Another thought that came to his mind in this connection was about the high regard that the Mother had for Sannyasins!
On another occasion, the Mother
was not at home when two up-country Sannyasins came for Bhiksha (holy alms). One of the sons gave them a good amount of provisions. Some of those present there remarked, “They are not real Sannyasins but are only beggars. They cheat people by putting on the ochre cloth.” The son replied, “It does not matter who they are. When they have come to the Mother’s house expecting something, it is not good to disappoint them” Getting more than their expectation, the Sadhus departed happily. After a few days when the topic came up before the Mother, she was very much pleased with what the son had done and said, “My child, a man may be anything. If he comes in a Sannyasin’s garb and you offer him something or help him in any way, you are doing Sadhuseva – service of a holy man.”
In the days when the Mother stayed at Kamarpukur, she built a hut for an Oriya Sadhu there. And when he was sick, she herself arranged for his food and nursing. When she went on a pilgrimage to Varanasi, she presented a blanket to the veteran Sadhu Chameli Puriji of that place who, like the Master, was a disciple of Tota Puri. The Mother had great respect for Sadhus and Sannyasins, and she instilled it into those who stayed with her. She kept a strict watch to see that they showed no trace of disrespect in their behaviour with the Sadhus, even in word or deed. If she found the slightest flaw in this respect, she would at once correct the person concerned. She would instruct her ‘children’ to foster the same regard also for householders who practised renunciation within, even though they did not leave home. It was only for the Seva of the Sadhus and devotees that the Mother thought of purchasing some land at Jayrambati. Not only that, both at Jayrambati and at the Udbodhan, the respectful treatment that the Mother gave to the mendicants of all denominations evoked our wonder, and served as an object lesson for us.
The faith and devotion that the Mother showed to the places of worship of all religions filled us with wonder.
Below the Chitpur Bridge, by the side of the road, there was a famous Muslim shrine known as the Bhut Sahib’s Dargah. When some of the ladies of the Udbodhan and its vicinity were going to have a Darsan there, the Mother sent one of her sons, who was sickly, along with them When, after offering worship there, they returned with the ‘Prasada Raja’ (dust) and gave it to the Mother, she took it with great reverence and put a little of it on her head. Then she gave the rest of it to this sickly son and asked him to rub it on his head and body, saying that it being Baba Bhut Sahib’s Prasad, it would make his body healthy. When he was doing so, the Mother prayed to Baba Bhut Sahib with great
earnestness to cure her son