20: Recorded by Nalinibehari Sarkar
When the topic of Japa and meditation came up, the Mother said, “There should be a regular time for the practice of Japa and meditation. For no one knows when the auspicious moment will come. It comes suddenly – one has no hint of it before hand. Therefore, regularity in spiritual practice should be observed, no matter how busy one may be with worldly matters.”
Disciple: The demands of work or illness prevent me from always being regular in my spiritual practice,
Mother: Illness is not within man’s control. And if you are really tied down with work, then simply remember God and make salutation to Him.
Disciple: What time should one set aside for Japa and meditation?
Mother: To call upon Him at the conjunction of day and night is the most auspicious. Night disappears and day arrives, or day disappears and night arrives – this is the conjunction of day and night. The mind remains pure at these times.
When asked about the weaknesses of the mind, the Mother said, “Son, it is Nature’s law, just as you find the full moon and the new moon. Similarly the mind is possessed of noble thoughts at times and haunted by evil thoughts at other moments.”
When the Mother used to go to Baghbazar from Jayrambati, she would ask me to visit Jayrambati occasionally to keep myself abreast of the happenings there, I tried to obey this order as far as practicable. But because of the Mother’s absence from Jayrambati I didn’t enjoy my visits there and so wrote to the Mother to this effect. On her return to Jayrambati, in the course of a conversation she said. “Oh N-! Listen to what Ranni says,” During her last visit to Calcutta, the Mother had retained the service of the female cook and engaged her to assist the eldest aunty wife of Prasanna Kumar. It was summer and the female cook slept with the mosquito net fixed in front of the door of the Mother’s old house. Now, she dreamt that the Mother approached her after her bath carrying a flower basket in one hand and a water pot in the other. “Get up, get up from here,” she said, rebuking her for lying across the door. When the female cook finished recounting her dream, the Mother smiled and said, “Listen, my dear, who knows what she is talking about?”
One day in the course of a conversation I said, “Mother, nothing worthwhile can be achieved in worldly life.” In reply she said, “Son, the world is a great mire. If one gets into it, he finds it difficult to get free. Even Brahma and Vishnu gasp in it, what to speak of man! Repeat His name. If you repeat His name, He will take you beyond worldliness. Son, can anyone attain liberation unless He helps? Have deep faith in Him. Know the Master to be your refuge, just as parents are to children in this world.”
When one day the topic of faith in God was raised, the Mother observed, “Son, does one acquire faith by mere study of books? Too much study creates confusion. Suppose I write to you a letter asking you to bring such and such things for me. How long would you need this letter? As long as you don’t know what it says. As soon as you have known the contents of the letter, what would be the need of it any longer? Then what is required of you is to bring me those things. Without doing so, what would be the good of reading the letter day and night?”
One day I told the Mother passionately, “Mother, I come to you so frequently, and I have received your grace, too. But then, why haven’t I achieved anything? I feel that I am as I was before.”
In reply the Mother said, “My son, suppose you are asleep on a cot and somebody removes you along with the cot to another place. Will you realize immediately on waking that you have been transferred to a new place? Not at all. Only when the drowsiness clears away completely will you realize that you have come to a new place.”
Once I had left home to attend a festival at Belur Math, but en route I had got off at Midnapore to attend to some minor work. As I could not catch the evening train, I went Backto Calcutta the next day. On reaching Calcutta in the evening, I went to see the Holy Mother. When she saw me, the Mother asked, “Didn’t you attend the festival?” “No, Mother, I couldn’t attend it,” I said, and began narrating my experiences during my journey. On hearing of them, the Mother said, “One should attain his objective somehow or other. You see, my child, you missed seeing so many things. First do the work which you intended to do.” Subsequently the Mother said, “Come here tomorrow and partake of the Master’s Prasad.”
As regards food, the Mother used to say, “First offer to God whatever you are going to eat and then take it as Prasad. This will purify your blood, and purified blood will make the mind pure.”
One day, for some reason or other, the Mother became annoyed with her brothers. When I approached her at that time, she told us a few anecdotes regarding the reason for her annoyance. Then she remarked, “My child, they crave for money and money only. They simply keep on saying, ‘Give us money, give us money.’ Never have they prayed, even mistakenly, for knowledge or devotion. Well, let them have what they seek!”
Once when the Mother was suffering from a dangerous fever at Jayrambati, just prior to her last illness, I was massaging her feet, when she said, “Look, my child, I have been praying for the last few days, but there has been no response. How much I have wept! Even then, nothing happened. At last the Divine Mother Jagaddhatri came today. But Her face resembled my mother’s face. Now I shall recover from my illness. Once when I was young, I was travelling to Dakshineswar. On the way I was seized with high fever. I was lying unconscious when I saw a girl with a very black complexion and feet covered with dust enter my room and sit by the bedside. She began to stroke my head. Noticing that the girl’s feet were covered with dust, I asked, ‘Mother, didn’t anybody give you water to wash your feet?’ She replied, ‘No, Mother, I shall be leaving immediately. I have come to see you. Why do you fear? You will get well.’ From the next day I gradually recovered. This time I have suffered very much, my child. Only after much prayer did I see Jagaddhatri today. I am going to be cured this time also. Why fear, my child? If you call upon Him earnestly, He will protect you in all situations.”
It was in the month of Kartik (Oct-Nov) 1910, a few days before the Kalipuja, that I visited the Holy Mother for the first time at the earnest request of Sri Chandrakanta Ghosh of Shillong. Arriving at Calcutta, I went to the Udbodhan house in the company of one of my friends who had already received spiritual initiation from the Holy Mother. After waiting for a short time, I met the Holy Mother, when suddenly my friend requested her to grant me spiritual initiation. The Mother replied, “All right, he will have initiation tomorrow.” Her reply startled me, for I had not even mentioned anything to her regarding my initiation. Nevertheless, I went there the next day at the appointed hour. I saluted the Holy Mother, and when I was about to offer flowers at her feet, she said, “Not now; I shall tell you when to give the offerings.” My spiritual initiation over, the Mother sat on the floor with her legs stretched out and said, “Now you can offer the flowers.” I offered flowers at her feet and said, “I am offering flowers not from a deep sense of devotion, but because Chandrakanta Babu taught me to do so. I only followed what he told me to do. It is Chandrakanta Babu who sent me here.”
Smilingly the Holy Mother said, “Chandrakanta has shown you the right path, son,” and so saying, she placed her hand on my head.
Another day I went to see the Holy Mother. In the course of conversation I said, “Mother, various worldly troubles as well as my official duties keep me busy. I am therefore unable to devote time to spiritual practices. I do not also find any improvement in the state of my mind.” The Mother immediately assured me saying, “Whatever may happen to you now, the Master will have to appear at the last moment of your life to receive you. He himself said this. Can his words fail in your case? Now, do whatever you like.'”
Disciple: Mother, is it true that those who have received spiritual initiation from you will not be born again?
Mother: It is true, they will not come to earth again. Know for certain that there is One behind you.
Disciple: Mother, we have found you, so we are protected.
Mother: Why do you worry, child? The thought of you all comes to my mind very often. I do remember you all very much.
Another time when the Holy Mother was at the Koalpara Math, I said to her, “Mother, I am hardly able to do any spiritual practice.”
Mother gave me courage as well as assurance saying, “You need not do anything special. I shall do the needful for you.”
Astonished at this, I asked, “Shall I have to do no spiritual practice?”
Disciple: Will my future progress not depend on my own deeds henceforth?
Mother: No, what will you do? I shall do, whatever is necessary.
I was struck dumb by this unrestricted grace of the Holy Mother. The talk next drifted to the pain in her legs. I asked, Mother, I have heard that you suffer only when certain persons touch your feet.”
Another: Yes, son, the touch of some persons makes the body cool; but the touch of some others feels like the sting of a wasp. But I never give expression to this experience.
Now I began to brood whether I belonged to the group of ‘wasps’. The Mother, as if she was indwelling my mind, said instantly,” Son, you are not one of them.”
About a month later during the holidays of the Car Festival, I visited Koalpara once again. On the day of the Car Festival I had the following conversation with the Holy Mother.
Disciple: Mother, my strength and hope spring from the grace I have received from you.
Mother: Why do you worry, child? You have found a place in my mind. Whenever I need anything, your thought comes immediately to my mind. I think, ‘There are Indu and others; what’s there to worry?’ You will not have to do any spiritual discipline. I am doing it for you.
Disciple: Do you do the same for all, who have taken spiritual initiation from you, wherever they be?
Mother: Yes, I do it for all of them.
Disciple: You have so many children (initiated disciples), Do you remember all of them?
Mother: No, I do not remember everyone of them.
Disciple: Then, how can you say that you do spiritual practices, for all?
Mother: I tell beads for all those whose names I can recall. And for those whom I cannot remember, I pray to the Master saying, “Thakur, I have so
many children in various places. I cannot remember the names of many of them. You kindly look after them. Kindly look after their well-being.”