87. The Last Days of the Mother
The revered Sarat Maharaj and other children of the Mother were trying their best to cure her arid restore her to health Allopathy, Homoeopathy; Ayurveda, propitiation of Deities, stars and planets, performance of Homa etc., were all tried at some time or other; but none of them could effect the desired enduring cure, though each of them gave a little relief at the beginning. When they were performing a special Puja and
Homa, a son would come daily from the Belur Math bringing with him flowers and Bilwa leaves. Along with these, he would bring for the Mother ‘Amrul Shak’ (a type of spinach) and ‘Patilebu’ (a variety of small lemon) fresh from the Math garden One day when he came early in the morning and went to the shrine room, he found Kapil Maharaj perturbed. The Ghata (pot) in which the Pooja was being performed, had all of a sudden sprung a leak that morning. They changed it, but found the new one too leaking. Everybody present was struck with fear. Kapil Maharaj then went himself to the shop and brought another pot after minute examination. The Pooja was delayed. This day they were having a special Pooja and Homa for the ‘guardian deity’ of the Mother’s Destiny. So they were all very much upset at these unexpected and evil-foreboding obstacles, especially now when the Mother was very ill. When a Sadhu told about it to Yogin-Ma, she answered in a very dejected mood: “Yes, my child, I do understand it all. It is not the Ghata that has sprung a leak. It is our luck that has done so.” Everybody there remained absolutely mute. Their last hope was being dashed to pieces.
A certain disciple-son often came from the Belur Math to the Udbodhan to have a Darsan of the Mother from a distance atleast. Seeing her peaceful countenance and loving gaze full of kindness in spite of her emaciated body, he would be momentarily pacified. Nevertheless he would return with a heavy heart. The Mother’s health had completely broken down. The photo of the Master had been moved to another place, and the Mother’s bed made on the floor. Everybody’s heart was filled with a feeling of hopelessness, anticipating that the worst might happen any moment. One evening when the above-mentioned son went there just before a downpour, he found that the Mother had been helped to a sitting posture by her daughters who were all standing round her. At dusk the Mother with the help of others just raised her arms a little, keeping them straight, and thus made Pranam to the
Master. Seeing those beautiful round arms of hers, which had bestowed on them so many boons and assurances, now reduced to mere skin and bones, her son’s heart was pained to the very core. He could not keep looking at them for long. Those hands by which the Mother had blessed her sons so much, by which she had given them Prasad and fed them so many times, filling their minds and hearts with her love and affection – alas! to what a state were they now reduced! That heavy Ananta Balai (the bangle that always adorned the wrists of the Mother) had now become so loose that they had to be tied to her wrist with strings. Seeing this, the late Balaram Babu’s daughter got a pair of bangles made, fit for a small girl, and put them on the Mother’s wrists instead. These were with the Mother till the very end even when the last rites on her pure body were performed.
It was in the month of Sravana, (July-August), the season of heavy rainfall, a few days before the Janmashtami (birthday of Sri Krishna), that the Great Master Sri Ramakrishna left his mortal body and the world of men. When that time drew near, the Mother too, leaving her poor children afloat on this shoreless ocean, withdrew from the worldly scene towards the close of one night, and got into her Eternal Form. As soon as this news reached the Belur Math, every one at the place, excepting the aged Sadhus and those who were needed for the service of the Master ran to the Udbodhan to have a last Darsan of the Mother.