9. The Mother’s Life of Detachment
How much the Mother tried to make her Sannyasin children advance in the spiritual field! How many were the instructions she had given! Again, she would speak sometimes in a lighter vein saying, “My dear child, thank God that you have not established a household of your own. You can at least sleep well!” She would cite the words of Swami Yogananda: “Yogen used to say, ‘Mother, I have become a Sannyasin. Now I shall be able to sleep to my heart’s content.'” To the householder disciples too she would give advice in many ways, so that they would not be too much engrossed with the world, but would live a life of restraint and selfdiscipline, having their minds fixed on the Lord. She would say to them, “After the birth of a child or two, you should live like brother and sister, separate from each other. If it is possible, the wife should stay away with the children and bring them up, and the husband should earn money and supply their wants.”
The Mother would feel very much disgusted and sorry at the great desire
for worldly enjoyment shown by her brothers and their daughters and some times give expression to it. If one has to live in the world, one cannot completely give up contact with money. The Mother too had to keep money and spend it as required. But she did it in a completey unattached way. Money corrupts by generating the desire to hoard and by the sense of egoistic self-importance it produces. Neither of these was ever seen in the Mother. In the beginning she would not even touch money. Towards the end, when her household increased, there arose the need for money, and money started coming in profusion. But it was all like flowing water, coming in at one end and going out at the other. It
could not corrupt the Mother in the least.
In Jayrambati the postman would come with the money orders. The Mother would affix her thumb impressions and somebody would attest them The postman would check the total, count the money, and place it before her. She would just gather it all in her hand, go inside the house, and put it at the proper place. She would then give some Prasad to the postman, and with sweet words would bid him goodbye. Nobody would know how much money had come or who had sent it. Then later, according to her convenience, she would get somebody to write for her the acknowledgements to the senders with her blessings. If some Sevaka was perchance present and had received the money orders, she would ask him not to count the money, saying, “My dear child, even the tinkling of the coins produces greed in the minds of the needy – such is the power of money.”
How many things the devotees would bring for her – the choicest sweets, fruits, clothes etc.! The Mother would accept them with joy and would bless them. But this was only for the satisfaction of the devotees. She herself had no attraction for any of these. The clothes she put on were what ordinary middle class people would use and she would use them until they wore out. She would even mend them if they got torn. The new costly clothes presented to her, she would distribute without stint. Her favourite disciple Surendra Nath Gupta, when he was working in Assam, wanted very much to present to her a a piece of the costly Endi cloth, which was a speciality of that place. When the Mother heard that the price of a piece of it at that time would be eighty rupees, she became adamant and would not accept it under any condition. But realizing the eagerness of the devotee to please her, she said, “If he will feel disappointed at not spending the money for my sake, then let him buy a piece of land where the Sadhus and the devotees can be served.”