17: Recorded by Swami Tanmayananda
Once I was suffering terribly from colic. One day I was feeling drowsy, and in that condition I seemed to hear someone telling me to take water sanctified by the feet of my Guru, The next day I went to Jayrambati and drank a little water sanctified by the feet of the Holy Mother, I said to her, “Mother, I had a desire to worship your feet, but now I have drunk water.” The Mother said, “What’s wrong in that? Come into the room.”
After worshipping her feet, I placed them on my head. At this the, Mother said, “Ah, foolish child, should you place a person’s feet on your head! The Lord resides there.”
Disciple: Mother, I have not seen the Master.
Mother: The Master is God Himself.
Disciple: If the Master is God, then who are you?
Mother: Who else am I?
Disciple: If you so wish, You can show me the Master.
Mother: When the Master touched Naren (Swami Vivekananda), the latter got alarmed. Practise spiritual disciplines and you shall see him.
Disciple: What’s the need of spiritual disciplines for a person who has you as the Guru?
Mother: Yes, that’s true. But the point is this: the house may have all kinds of food-stuff for cooking, but one must cook them and take his meal. He who cooks earlier gets his meal earlier too. Some eat in the morning, some in the evening, and there are yet others who starve because they are lazy and reluctant to cook.
Disciple: Mother, I don’t understand what you mean.
Mother: The more arduously one practises spiritual disciplines, the more quickly one will attain to God. Even if he doesn’t practise any spiritual disciplines he will attain to Him at the last moment of his life-he will certainly. But the person who spends his time raising a hue and cry without practising spiritual disciplines will take a long time. You have renounced the world for performing spiritual practices. But as you are not able to practise them always, you should do work, looking upon it as the Master’s work. Since you suffer from colic, you should avoid too austere a life. Take care about your food. This disease is not fatal, but it is painful.
While living at the Koalpara monastery it was my duty to clean the kitchen and scour the brass pots two times daily. It was rainy season. As my hands got often wet by scouring the pots, they became sore. I was suffering. One day I went to Jayrambati. When I made Pranam to the Mother, she enquired, “Well, dear, are you keeping all right?”
Disciple: No, not quite.
Mother: Why? Are you having pain in your stomach again?-
Disciple: No, Mother, I’m not suffering from colic now, but my hands have developed sores because of frequent contact with water. I have to scour and clean cooking pots two times a day.
Mother: ‘A man eager to keep away from acid food builds a home under a tamarind tree’ – so goes the proverb. Whereas you have renounced the world to repeat God’s name, you are now entangled in activities. The Ashrama has become your second world. People come to a monastery renouncing their families, but they become so deluded that they don’t want to leave the Ashrama. Since you are not keeping good health, you should go to Daharkund. There you should teach the boys as much as you can, and practise meditation and worship.
Disciple: Mother, I wish to go to a lonely place and perform austerities, but I’m not keeping good health.
Mother: Now, keep yourself engaged with some work, and when you feel a strong urge, you may go for practising austerities.
Disciple: I perform Japa but my mind doesn’t become steady.
Mother: Whether the mind becomes steady or not, practise Japa. It will be nice if you can perform a certain number of Japa daily.
Disciple: Bless me so that I may have a vision of the Master.
Mother: You have seen him in dream; well, you will have his vision.
Another day on my way to Jayrambati I was thinking that I would be very glad if I could do some personal service to them other. On arriving at her house, I found her sitting with her legs stretched out. A cup containing massaging oil was kept by her side. I began to rub her leg with the oil. The Mother said, “See, I feel acute pain in this leg. Rub oil on this leg putting some pressure.” I did it for about twenty-five minutes. Then the Mother said, “Are you satisfied, now? I shall go for my bath now, and then I shall have to perform the worship of the Master. Take your food here before you leave.”
Disciple: No, Mother, I have to go right now. I shall come some other day.
Mother: No, no, I say. Kedar (Swami Kesavananda), I suppose, has forbidden you. Will you obey me or listen to him? Tell Kedar that the Mother did not permit you to go.