66. The Mother at Kamarpukur
After spending more than a year at Vrindavan, the Mother visited Haridwar, Hrishikesh, Prayag, Varanasi and some other places of pilgrimage, and then went to Kamarpukur to take up her permanent residence. Golap-Ma also was with her; but after a few days, leaving the Mother there all by herself, she had to return to Calcutta. The lonely life at Kamarpukur kept the mind of the
Mother always at a very high plane and so she did not care at all about material wants and bodily troubles and woes. At that time, there often lived in Kamarpukur the widow of the Mother’s brother-in-law Rameswar, with her two daughters-in-law, the wives of Ramlal and Siva Ram, and her own daughter Lakshmi-Didi. Though Ramlal-Dada stayed for most of the time at Dakshineswar, he would come to Kamarpukur now and then Shiv Ram, the Mother’s foster son, would almost always be present there, perform the regular puja of Raghuvira, and look after the house. The Mother’s mind was then always in the subtle plane. That was why, keeping herself completely away from the family affairs, she spent her days merged in her own thoughts. Staying in the room that had come to her through the Master, she cooked simple rice and greens at one corner of the kitchen, offered it to Thakur and sustained herself with the Prasada. She was completely free of the household worries.
I have heard that at that time Laha’s daughter, the aged Prasannamayi, and Shankari, the younger sister of the Master’s foster-mother Dhani the blacksmith woman, took affectionate care of the Mother as their own kith and kin. I have heard of another child-widow, whose name I do not at present recollect. She was the daughter of the
Master’s boyhood friend, the devotee Srinivas or Chinu, the bangle-seller. She was of moderate means but still had, like Prasannamayi, leanings towards the service of the Deities and the Sadhus. These three ladies had parental love and devotion towards the Master and the Mother, and so long as they were living, they always made enquiries about the Mother and helped her in various ways, loving her as they did, like a daughter. If the necessity arose, Shankari would even stay for the nights in the Mother’s room When the Master got into the divine mood and left his work as priest, the authorities of the Dakshineswar Kali temple had arranged that his daily share of temple Prasad and his monthly monetary remuneration should be continued to be given to him The Master himself did not take the money, which therefore used to be paid to the Holy Mother. This payment, however, was stopped when she left Dakshineswar. Though Narendranath and other disciples of the Master tried to get it restored, they did not succeed. The Master had arranged to keep a small amount of money for the Mother. This gave her a small monthly income – her only provision. The Master had also got some land bought at Sihar and endowed it for the service of Raghuvir, the family deity. This gave her some quantity of paddy. She received also a portion of the paddy as her share from the yield of the piece of land known as Lakshmi Jala, measuring a Bigha and ten Chhataks in extent, presented to her father-in-law, Kshudiram, by Sukhalal Goswami at the time the family settled at Kamarpukur about the year 1815. The Mother pounded the paddy herself to make it into rice. She cooked a little of this rice and any greens or vegetables she could procure, offered it to the Master, and maintained herself with the Prasada. Her mind being always in a superconscious plane, she did not in the least pay attention to these physical hardships. The Master had asked her to live at Kamarpukur after his time, and she was obeying this command. It may be asked what the monastic disciples of the
Master were doing. Could they not help the Mother? They themselves had no roof over their head and no food for their stomach And besides, they had not the slightest inkling about the hardships in regard to food and clothing that the Mother was going through then
However, when the news about these privations of the Mother reached their ears, they contacted the householder devotees and had the Mother brought to Calcutta from Kamarpukur with their help.
So for a short time the Mother lived sometimes in Calcutta and sometimes in Kamarpukur. Then her mother
Shyamasundari Devi prevailed upon her to come and live with her at her own place, Jayrambati. The great regard that the Mother had for her mother, and the love that Shyamasundari had for her daughter, combined to make this decision possible. Even at Jayrambati, the Mother could not initially live for long at a time. While she used to help her mother in all her chores, her mind would always be in a high plane. For most of the time she would be merged in her own thoughts, and she would maintain no connection whatsoever with the household or its inmates. Nobody would dare to approach her at such times. None the less she maintained her loving relation with her devotee-children all the time. They would sometimes come to her after a long and difficult journey to pay their respects to her, stay at her feet for some time and taste the bliss of her divine love. It was some time after this, that ‘Radhu’ appeared on the scene, brought the Mother’s mind out of the exalted plane, and made it possible for people in general to avail themselves of her infinite love and grace.