80. Mother’s Readiness to bear others’ Sorrows
Whenever the Mother would hear about the sorrows and afflictions of somebody, she would at once be overwhelmed with great emotion. Seeing the upsurge of her sorrow, the hearts of those near her would melt. The news of a sudden death, or of some similar calamity, would overwhelm the tender heart of the Mother, and she would not be able to control herself. When people, overcome by great afflictions and sorrows, came to the Mother in the hope of getting her sympathy and consolation, the Mother would, as it were, draw their sorrows into herself and actually suffer for them Thus she made their hearts lighter, removing the poison by consuming it herself I shall try to give here a description of how the Mother would sometimes completely lose herself and cry like a helpless little girl when her tender heart got affected by the sorrows and sufferings of others.
The Mother was then staying at the Jagadamba Ashrama in Koalpara. She
was really the Mother to all the neighbours – the poor, the destitute, the lowly and the untouchable. Whoever came to her, had a Darsan of hers, was received with sweet words, got Prasada and had his or her heart filled with the abundant joy, peace and goodwill emanating from her. The son of a certain widowed lady had died. The bereaved mother came to the Mother, and as she was talking to her about her son, started crying loudly because of the grief that welled up in her heart. The Mother, participating in her sorrow, began to feel it within herself, and started crying with the woman loudly. Hearing that loud cry, the inmates of the Ashrama came running there. They were all speechless on seeing the Mother crying so pathetically, as if it was she who had just lost her son and was bemoaning his death After some time the pangs of sorrow in the bereaved mother abated somewhat, and she wiped the tears from her eyes, made Pranam to the Mother, and was ready to take her leave with a lighter heart. The Mother too wiped her eyes, consoled her with sweet words, gave her some Prasada, and bade her goodbye, saying, “Come again.” If I remember right, the Mother gave her a piece of new cloth too.
Whenever the Holy Mother heard about some sorrowful incident, her tender heart would at once get agitated. The First World War was on, and there was a great scarcity of cloth in India. As a consequence it had become very difficult for some women to hide their shame. One day Bibhuti Babu, a disciple-son of the Mother, came and told her that he had gone to the house of the late Sureswar Babu at Vishnupur. Sureswar too was a disciple of the Mother. The young daughter of Sureswar Babu said to him from within the house! “Uncle, I am making Pranam to you from here. My wearing cloth is in such a condition that I am not able to come outside.” At this Bibhuti Babu threw his Chaddar inside the house. Wrapping it round her the girl came out and made Pranam to him Hearing this, tears came out of the Mother’s eyes. After this, a neighbour brought a newspaper and read out to the Mother that in certain places, some women, not being able to cover their bodies properly for want of cloth, had committed suicide in their despair. Thinking about these heart-rending tales, the Mother started sobbing, and then burst out crying like a small girl, unable to control her pent up emotions any longer. “What will the women do, not getting cloth to cover their nakedness? What else can they do to hide their shame than commit suicide?” Utterances like these were coming out of her lips from time to time, and she was profusely crying in great agitation. We had no words to console her. Those who were listening to these lamentations of the
Mother had their hearts filled with great sorrow and their faces became tense. Was it the accumulated sorrow of all the women of the country due to the lack of cloth that was finding expression through the heart of the Mother! Those who witnessed this scene, became conscious of their own helpless condition The Mother, thinking that this calamity was due to the fault of the rulers of India, the English, said again and again in an agitated voice, “When will they go away? O Lord, when will they leave?” In her anguish the Mother was asking those around her, “When will the English leave this land? When will that happy day dawn?” Her hearers stood in perfect silence, overcome by the atmosphere of grief and sorrow. Then controlling herself a little, she started expressing her sorrowful thoughts. “All this is due to the people giving up their old habit of spinning and weaving their own cloth. The Company made them happy by providing them with cloth very cheap – four to a rupee with some change returned! They became Bab us with the cheap cloth on. Now they are suffering.” The Mother became very much agitated and cried a great deal when she heard about the sufferings of the young pregnant girl Sindhu Bala at the hands of the Police. At that time she had desired the end of the British Rule and had said that it was necessary for the people of the country to stand up against these tyrannies and make an effort to bring them to an end, and that those who did so deserved praise. When the Mother was a little girl, the British rule under Queen Victoria had brought about peace and order in the land and so the people had great respect for it. But due to the constant drain of India’s resources, the sorrows and troubles of the people increased day by day, and they lost their faith in the British Government and started working against it. This made the rulers unleash a reign of terror on the people. Seeing many instances of these with her own eyes, and hearing many accounts of them, the Mother with a sorrowful heart wanted to see an end to the British Rule. Otherwise, for the
English as a nation, or for their religious bodies, she had no antipathy. Rather, she considered them as her own children Those Englishmen and Christians who had come under her wings, had received the same love and affection from her as the others.