22: Recorded by Prafulla Kumar Ganguli
It was the year 1916. Durga Puja was being celebrated at the Math. The Holy Mother came to the Math on the Saptami-puja day, and was staying in the garden house to the north of the Math campus. On the Ashtami-puja day at about 8 a.m. she came to the Math to witness the worship of Durga. A number of householder devotees, monks, and Brahmacharins, were engaged in dressing vegetables in the hall adjoining the kitchen. On observing them, the Mother remarked, “Well, the boys seem to cut vegetables fairly well.” One of the monks, Swami Jagadananda, replied, “The grace of the Divine Mother is our aim, be it through spiritual practices or by cutting vegetables!”
On this day a large number of visitors saluted the Holy Mother. Jogin-Ma, noticing that the Mother was now and then washing her feet, said, “What are you doing Mother? You will certainly catch cold.”
The Mother replied, “What shall I say, Jogin? When some people touch my feet, it produces a soothing feeling, but in the case of some others, their touch is like fire on my body. Nothing short of a wash with Ganges water brings me relief.”
Later, one day I asked the Holy Mother in the course of a conversation, “Once during the Pujas I heard you say that when some persons touch your feet you feel a terrible pain.”
Mother: Yes, my son, it is so. It is like the sting of a wasp, but I do not give expression to my feeling.
Soon after, she cast an affectionate gaze towards us and added, “Well, dear, I do not mean any of you.”
I said, ” I am full of fear, Mother; for I feel I have not gained much even under your care.”
The Mother said, “Why should you fear, son? Know that the Master is ever behind you. I too am with you. Why should you fear when I, your mother, am with you? The Master has assured me, saying, whoever takes refuge in you, I shall take him by the hand during his last moments and lead him along the path.’ Wherever you may go, whatever you may do, the Master will have to come during your last hours to lead you to the Light. God created man’s hands and feet, so it is natural that man will use them. The senses will have their sway.”
Once when I was offering food to the Master, I noticed a stream of light falling on the offering. Referring to this, I asked the Mother, “Mother, is that experience of mine a mere fantasy, or is it true? If a fantasy, please do something so that I can be free from it.”
The Mother thought over it a little and said, “No dear, these are all genuine.” Disciple: Do you know what I see?
Disciple: Does the Master receive the food that I offer to him? Do you, too, receive what I offer to you?
Disciple: How can I understand this?
Mother: Why? Have you not read in the Gita that God receives the fruits, flowers, water, and other things that are offered to Him with devotion?
Surprised at this reply, I said, “Then, are you God?”‘ On hearing this, the Mother laughed heartily. We too joined her.