23: Recorded by an Anonymous Devotee
It was a day in Chaitra of 1321 B.S. (1915) when I went to see the Holy Mother at the Udbodhan house.
Once I had wanted to take my grandmother on a pilgrimage. But as the time was inauspicious, she refused to start. I referred the matter to the Holy Mother for her guidance. She replied, “Son, some say that a man loses the merits he has already earned, if he visits a pilgrim centre at an inauspicious time. But it is wise to perform all holy acts without much delay.”
I could not satisfactorily comprehend her meaning, and so expressed my doubt to her once again. I specifically asked her what I should do in my present circumstances.
Mother: People no doubt say that pilgrimages during inauspicious times are prohibited. One can postpone a holy duty out of considerations of time, but look; death (Kala) takes no notice of time. Since death has no fixed hours, one should perform holy duties as soon as an opportunity comes.
* * *
It was Chaitra 27, 1323 B.S. (1917). I was having a chat with the Holy Mother.
Disciple: Mother, everybody says that one who approaches the Kalpataru (wish-fulfilling tree) has to ask for something. But I wonder, for what should children ask their Mother? A mother gives to every child according to its need. As Sri Ramakrishna used to say, “A mother serves different dishes to suit the stomachs of her different children.” Now please tell me which is the correct attitude.
Mother: How much intelligence does a man possess? He is likely to ask for something other than what he really needs. He may even end up creating a monkey in place of Siva. It is wise to take refuge in Him. He will always give you whatever is necessary. However, one should pray for devotion and desirelessness; for such a prayer does no harm.
Disciple: The Master said, “Those who come here will be in their last embodiment.” Again, Swamiji said, “None can have liberation without complete renunciation.” What, then, will be the fate of householders?
Mother: Yes, what the Master said is true; and what Swamiji said is equally true. But householders need not renounce externally. They will automatically acquire internal renunciation. However, some need formal Sannyasa. Why should you be afraid? Surrender yourself to Him and live. And know that the Master is always behind you.
Another time when one of my friends died prematurely in a hospital in a miserable condition, I wrote a letter to the Holy Mother. I mentioned my friend’s pure character and devotion to God and prayed for his liberation. In reply the Holy Mother wrote, “I bless your friend. May his soul be liberated. Let the Master emancipate him from all bonds.”