18: Recorded by Swami Parameswarananda
It was the birthday of the Holy Mother in the month of Pous (December-January). The Mother was sitting on a cot in her room at Jayrambati, keeping Radhu’s child in her lap. Everybody was worshipping the Mother by offering flowers and sandal paste at her feet. I put a string of large marigold flowers round her neck and offered flowers at her feet. Then I said, “Mother, today is your birthday. Many devotees wish to see you and worship you, but they are not able to come to such an inaccessible place. On this auspicious day, I pray for your blessings on behalf of everybody. Kindly give your blessings, Mother, for the good of all.” The Mother graciously said, “Yes, my son, I pray to the Master, for the welfare of all. May he bring good to all!”
As desired by the Mother, I was at this time staying with her. I was kept very busy with many duties like performing the worship of the Master. One day I heard that a few monks of the Belur Math were going out for practising austerities, and so I said to the Mother, “Perhaps it is not good for me to remain confined to all these duties. I want to go and practise austerities. Please give me your permission.” The Mother said, “Why so, my child? You are doing my work. You are doing the Master’s work. Are these in any way less worthy than austerities? It will be futile for you now to go out. When you feel a really strong urge to practise austerities, well, go for a month or two.”
Jayrambati was infested with malaria. Intermittent fever had made the Mother’s health very bad. So at the bidding of the revered Sarat Maharaj, no interview with the Mother was permitted for some time. During this period a certain devotee from Barisal came and expressed his great eagerness to see the Mother, but I refused to allow him. And so a heated argument ensued. The noise gradually reached the Mother’s ears. She came to the door greatly excited and said, “Why do you prevent him from seeing me?” I said, “Sarat Maharaj has imposed this restriction. If you give initiation when you are ill, your health will deteriorate further.” The Mother replied, “Who is Sarat to say that? I am born for this purpose. I shall initiate him.” Then the Mother said to the devotee, “Come, my child. Take your meal today. You will have initiation tomorrow.” The gentleman, however, had taken the resolve of taking his meal after he was initiated.
One evening the Mother was sitting quietly on the verandah of her new house, when we went to prostrate at her feet. Of her own, she began to say, “Just see. K- says, ‘Out of greed for good dishes, the boys (monastic workers) are moving from one Ashrama to another.’ Do you see how he speaks? Why should my children – the children of the Master – suffer for want of food? Certainly this will never be. I myself prayed to the Master, ‘O Lord, please see that your children never suffer from want of food.’ How can he say that the boys move about goaded by gluttony? Why should they not take good food? Only he who has attachment will suffer.”
After finishing her worship of the Master, the Mother was sitting quietly in the shrine, when one of my fellow disciples suddenly asked, “Mother, how do you look upon the Master?” The Mother remained silent for a while, and then said solemnly, “I look upon him as my child.”
One day the Mother said spontaneously, “Look, do not try to start a sensation by shouting vande mataram. Rather you should make looms and weave cloth. I wish to spin thread if I can get a spinning wheel. Do constructive work.”
In the course of conversation I said to the Mother one day, “Mother, such is our mental condition that at times our mind becomes so distracted that we are seized with fear lest we should be drowned!” The Mother replied,
“How’s that, my child? Why should you be drowned? You are the children of the Master; why should you be drowned? No, never. The Master will protect you.”
The Mother was then staying at the Jagadamba Ashrama at Koalpara. One day she said, “You see, I saw the Master here today after a pretty long time. He was taking rest after his meal.”
One day I asked, “Mother, how does one attain to knowledge of Brahman?
In the beginning does one have to practise Sadhana step by step? Or does it come spontaneously?” The Mother replied, “This is a very difficult path.
Call upon the Master. He will make you understand this at the right time.”