Talks of Holy Mother 04: Recorded by Surendranath Sircar

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04: Recorded by Surendranath Sircar

During the Christmas holidays of 1910, I saw the Holy Mother for the first time at Kothar. Sri Hemanta Mitra and Sri Birendra Majumdar, two devotees from Shillong, had come with me. Sri Ramakrishna Bose, Swami Dhirananda, Swami Achalananda, Swami Atmananda, and Sri Haraprasanna Mazumdar, a devotee of Nag Mahasaya, were staying at Kothar at that time.

It was about 1 p.m. when we reached the place. We had brought with us some fruits, oranges, honey, etc. for the Holy Mother. Ramakrishna Babu carried them to her. After our bath we were called for our noon meal. In the meantime we heard some of the monks whispering, “As they have come from such a long distance, they must be permitted to meet the Mother, but they should not be allowed to talk much.” Biren Babu, who overheard it, passed on the message to me. I told him, “Mother willing, it will be done. What is there to worry about?” When my companions proceeded for their meals, I told Ramakrishna Babu, “I shall not take any food before I pay my respects to the Holy Mother.” Ramakrishna Babu carried this message to the Mother, and he soon returned conveying her permission. On entering the inner courtyard, we saw the Holy Mother sitting in the verandah. She waited for us, covering her body with a wrapper, and her face by the end of her Sari. As I approached the Mother, Golap-Ma said, “He is a mere boy, Mother.

The boy has come to pay his respects to you.” At these words, she lifted up the cloth from her face. We could clearly see the face of the Holy Mother. Since that occasion the Mother never kept her face covered in my presence. I prostrated flat on the ground and uttered, “I take refuge in Thee.” Touching my head, the Mother blessed me, saying, “May you have devotion.”

Disciple: Mother, it is my desire to spend a few days here. But in a rich man’s house like this, it is rather difficult to meet you.

Mother: I shall send for you. Now go and take your food, and have some rest.

After the noon meal we rested. In the afternoon the Revered Golap-Ma brought me a cup of pudding which had been offered to the Mother and said, “The Mother has given you this consecrated pudding.” A little later someone came and announced, “The Mother is calling you.” I saw her for the second time. My salutations over, I said, “Mother, I want to speak a few personal things to you, but I hesitate to do so in the presence of others.” “AII right,” said the Mother. “Please leave this place for a while,” she said to the person who had called me. The person went away.

Earlier I had seen Sri Ramakrishna as well as the Holy Mother in my dreams. Now I disclosed this to the Mother. On hearing it she said, “What you have seen is true.” Mother asked me concerning the other two devotees, “Well, what do they want?”

Disciple: Mother, if you are pleased, they want spiritual initiation from you.

Mother: Well, you all see me tomorrow morning after your bath.

Disciple: Mother, your holy feet were worshipped by Sri Ramakrishna himself. We, too, wish to worship them by offering flowers.

Mother: All right, your wish will be fulfilled.

Disciple: Where shall I find flowers?

Mother: The attendants here will procure them for you. We saluted the Mother and returned to the parlour.

The Holy Mother had asked me, “What do they want?”, but she did not even mention my case. After returning from the Mother, I felt worried over this omission. At last I pacified myself thinking that whatever the Mother wills, would come to pass. I did not say anything.

The next day after our bath we kept ourselves in readiness with flowers and other materials necessary for spiritual initiation. The Mother said to us, “Come inside one by one.” I was the first to enter. It appeared that the Mother had finished her morning worship. As I entered she said, “You will repeat the Mantra that the Master has given you. I, too, shall give you something.” With these remarks, she gave me the great Mantra.

Later we worshipped the holy feet of the Mother. She accepted the offerings standing. I said, “Mother, I do not know the rituals.” The Mother replied, “Offer the flowers, without any Mantra. That will do.” I offered the flowers at her feet uttering ‘Jai Ma’ (Hail Mother). There was one stramonium flower amongst them. Pointing to it, she said, ‘Don’t offer this one, for this is used for the worship of Lord Siva.”

I presented her with a rupee and a Sari that I had brought for her. At this the Mother said, “You are in financial difficulties already. Why do you give money?” Strange enough, although there was no talk about the wants in my household, the Mother seemed to know everything about it. I said, “It belongs to you, and it is only being presented to you. If a small fraction of what we earn is used for your service, we shall consider ourselves fortunate.” At this the Mother observed, “Ah! What a devotion, my dear!” I said, “Mother, devotees call you Kali, Adyasakti, Bhagavati, etc. In the Gita it is mentioned that the saints Asita, Devala, Vyasa, and others called Sri Krishna as Narayana Himself. Sri Krishna himself told this to Arjuna. By mentioning it himself in the Gita, the idea has been still more emphasized. I believe everything that I have heard about you. Still, if you will please speak of it yourself, my doubts will be dispelled. I want to hear from you directly whether these things are true.” “Yes, true they are,” said the Mother. After this I never asked the Mother any question relating to her real nature.

I said, “Mother, I want this much – I want to see my Chosen Ideal, touch Him, talk with Him as vividly as I now see you and talk with you. Kindly bless me.”

Mother: Well, your wish will be fulfilled.

The next day when I saluted the Holy Mother before taking leave of her, I saw her smiling face and her very graceful appearance. Golap-Ma strongly suggested to me, “Why not visit Puri before going Backhome?” I replied, “What more would I see? The holy feet of the Mother are a million times more holy to me. I need nothing more.” When the Mother heard this, she intervened, “Well, leave it. You need not go there.”

I saw the Holy Mother for the second time at the Udbodhan house in May 1912. This time the wife of Rajendra Mukhopadhyaya and my wife received spiritual initiation from her. On this occasion I could not have any significant talk with the Mother on account of Radhu’s illness. My mother, grandmother, and two sons, who had accompanied me, were blessed by seeing the Mother and touching her feet.

I saw the Mother next at Jayrambati in 1913. It was three or four days before the marriage of Bhudev, the Mother’s nephew. Arriving at the Koalpara Monastery, I heard that one devotee, Dwarakanath Mazumdar, had passed away at Koalpara on his return journey after meeting the Holy Mother. Swami Keshavananda observed, “Mother has prohibited all from going to Jayrambati now. There is a spell of drought there. None should go there before the rains set in.” Naturally I became a little worried. I had already covered such a long distance; but then how could I disregard the Holy Mother’s instruction and proceed to her place? I took rest after the noon meal. Strangely enough, by the grace of the Mother there came a good shower of rain. The next morning I went to Jayrambati and paid my respects to the Holy Mother. After exchange of a few preliminaries, the Mother said, “My son, we had a nice shower of rain yesterday. It is rather cool today.” Referring to the devotee who had recently died, the Mother said, “He died the death of a holy man. I can see him, as it were, even now. But I feel sorry for his bereaved old father.” With these words the Mother started weeping.

At that time, Brahmachari Devendranath arrived at Jayrambati, from Varanasi. He used to say that he could know the details of his past life. He had told me four or five years earlier that I was his spiritual preceptor in my previous birth. But I knew nothing about it. I used to laugh away these talks as a mad man’s prattle. As soon as both of us presented ourselves before the Mother, she herself said, “Earlier you two were at the same place, and now you have come together once again.” Hearing this, Devendra whispered to me, “Look, now do you see that all I told you was true?” I replied, “It may be, but I know nothing of it.”

After leaving the Mother, Devendra pleaded with me, “I have come to receive initiation into Sannyasa from the Mother, but my desire won’t be fulfilled unless you make a formal request to her. It is owing to the Master’s will that I am here now. The Master has brought you too here, because my prayer will not be granted without your consent. At Varanasi I saw Sri Ramakrishna and the Holy Mother in a vision and talked with them.” I replied, “I am not going to tell her anything on my own initiative. Let me see what happens.” Devendra said, “I say, it won’t do.”

We had been staying at Jayrambati for seven or eight days. In the meantime Devendra was found to have become quite restless, which struck me as something unusual. However, one morning I saw the Holy Mother all alone and said, “Mother, can I say something?” Smilingly the Mother replied, “Well, please come a little later when I prepare the vegetables.”

After a while the Mother began dressing vegetables. As soon as I went up to her, she said, “You can now tell me what you wanted to say.”

I said, “Mother, you are quite aware that the Master appeared before Devendra in a vision. You too blessed him similarly. Now he wishes to take the vow of Sannyasa. He is not going to continue in the worldly life. Then why not please grant him his prayer?” When the Mother heard this, she said smilingly, “If he takes the vow of Sannyasa, will it cause any suffering to others?” I replied, “His parents are already dead. He has one elder brother who has embraced Brahmoism, but he is an earning man. I don’t think his Sannyasa will cause suffering to anyone.” Then the Mother said, “All right, his prayer will be fulfilled. Get a new cloth dyed ochre from the Koalpara monastery. He will be given Sannyasa tomorrow itself.” I disclosed everything to Devendra, who was extremely delighted. All the preparations were made. The next morning the Holy Mother performed the worship in front of the picture of Sri Ramakrishna and handed over to Devendra the new ochre cloth and loin cloth. She asked Devendra to see her after changing into the new clothes. I was then sitting near the Holy Mother brooding over my situation. Just then the Mother, as if understanding my feelings, said tenderly, “Son, will you take the sugar syrup offered to the Master?” “Yes, Mother, give me,” I replied.

The Mother herself drank a little of it and lovingly handed over the glass of syrup to me. In drinking the syrup which the Mother also had taken, I considered myself blessed. I thought, “Compared to this good fortune, what is there in Sannyasa? This is not even within the reach of gods!” My heart was filled with a wondrous feeling.

When Devendra entered the room with ochre clothes on and saluted the Holy Mother, she said to me, “Do you see? He is a new man, as it were. He is no more that old self of his.”

Uncle Kali, the Mother’s second brother, who was also Bhudev’s father, began to persuade me to accompany the party in connection with the marriage of his son Bhudev, but I wanted to stay with the Mother. Mother appreciated my attitude and intervened, saying, “No, he need not go. Let him stay here.”

Brahmin cooks were busy cooking for the marriage feast. Devendra and I were watching them from a distance. Observing us, the Mother said, “You make fun of them because they do not wear the sacred thread. But who can equal them in cooking?”

As part of the marriage festivities, one of a group of athletes broke into pieces a stone placed on his chest. While he was pounding the stone to pieces, the Mother was constantly praying, “Master, protect him.” When the performance was over, the Mother asked me, “My son, do they know some Mantra (esoteric incantation)?” I replied, “No, Mother, there is no such thing behind this display of strength. He has gradually mastered this feat by practice. I once heard a story. An American cowboy used to carry a calf in his arms every day to a far off grazing field. The calf gradually grew into an ox. Still he could carry the ox and used to surprise others by his great strength. All this is the outcome of practice.” The Mother observed, “Well, do you see how effective the power of practice is? In the same way, man achieves the highest goal through the practice of Japa. Japa leads to success. Yes, Japa leads to success!”

In the biography of Nag Mahasaya it is mentioned that once the Holy Mother herself fed Nag Mahasaya with some food after herself tasting a bit of it, thus converting it into her Prasada, Overwhelmed by this benevolent gesture of the Mother, Nag Mahasaya said, “Mother is kinder than Father, Mother is kinder than Father!” When I read this portion of the biography, it struck me, “Will the Mother ever feed me in that fashion? But I shall never express this desire to the Mother. Let it happen only if she chooses to do so.” Strange enough, one day she fed me with consecrated food in that very way!

At that time a monk, who did not belong to the Ramakrishna Order, but was known to the Holy Mother, came to Jayrambati. One morning I was taking food. The new Swami too was sitting there a little away from me. The Mother said to me, “My son, do you think accepting ochre robes is as simple as that?” Then pointing to the monk, the Mother said, “Just see what he has done.” To me she said further, “What’s the necessity of the ochre robe? You will have everything even without it.”

I had brought a pair of Saris for the Holy Mother. As I presented them to her, I said, “I hear that you distribute presented clothes to others, Mother.

But I shall be greatly delighted if you will kindly use these clothes yourself.”

When the Mother heard this, she said nothing, but smiled a little. When I went to see her the next day, she said, “Look, my son, I have put on the cloth you had brought.”

On my humble supplication the Holy Mother gave me one of her old Saris. While handing it over to me, she said, “It is quite unclean. Please wash it.” I said: “No, Mother, I want to preserve it exactly in the condition in which you have presented it to me. I don’t want to send it to a laundry.” “Well, as you please,” replied the Mother.

One day, Devendra and I presented ourselves before the Mother while she was taking her food. The Mother asked, “Would you like to have Prasada?” Both of us extended our hands to receive it. After she had partaken of a small quantity of the food, the Mother gave a good amount of it to each of us. Lest it should fall from our hands, she pressed it placing it on our palms. The Mother belonged to an orthodox Brahmin family and I to a Kayastha. With an utter disregard of the caste rules she touched my hand and began taking her food. Indeed, she looked upon us as her own children.

Whenever I went to see the Holy Mother, I brought fruits or some other articles I could procure. I had heard that the Mother could not offer to Sri Ramakrishna things brought by anybody and everybody, and so I sometimes felt an apprehension whether the Mother would accept our presents because of our not being very pure souls. But I used to feel reassured on the Mother telling, “My son, I presented to the Master the article you had brought. It was quite good, very sweet. I too have partaken of it.”

One day I asked her, “Mother, does not the practice of repeating God’s name gradually reduce the accumulated effects of a man’s past actions?” Everyone must experience the consequence of his past actions,” the Mother replied. “Nevertheless, the remembrance of God’s name helps one this much – instead of losing a leg one may suffer merely from a thorn entering one’s foot.”

I said, “Mother, I can hardly perform spiritual practices, and I don’t think I shall ever be able to.” The Mother assured me saying, “What else will you do? Do what you are doing now. Remember that the Master is behind every one of you. I, too, am behind, you.”

One day the Mother observed that Radhu was feeling restless owing to illness. She said to me, “O my son, please see what’s the trouble with Radhu.” I did not know how to feel the pulse. However, to satisfy the Mother “I felt Radhu’s pulse and said, “There is nothing serious. She is somewhat weak. Please give her some milk to drink.” The Mother, who was of a childlike nature, immediately began feeding Radhu with milk. After a while Radhu’s mother came and seated herself close to Radhu. This made the latter excited; she did not like the idea that her mother should stay nearby. Pushing her a little with her hand, Radhu said, “Please move away.” The Holy Mother’s hand accidentally touched the feet of Radhu’s mother. Being already very much perturbed, she cried out, “Why have you touched my feet? What will become of me now?” The Mother had a hearty laugh at the behaviour of Radhu’s mother. Rashbehari-Da, who was standing nearby, said, “Mother, you see how this madcap of a woman speaks ill of you always and even tries to hurt you? But now she seems to be frightened because your hand has touched her feet!”

The Mother said, “In spite of his knowing that Rama was but Narayana, the infinite Brahman, and that Sita was the primordial energy, the Mother of the universe, Ravana nevertheless created so much trouble. Does not the mad woman know who I am? She knows everything; yet she creates all this fun.”

Referring to the rheumatic pain in her leg, I told her, “Mother, I hear that your accepting the sins of others is responsible for this illness of yours. I have one earnest prayer to you – kindly do not suffer on my account. Kindly allow me to undergo sufferings for my past deeds.” The Mother replied, “How is that possible? Let all be happy, and I shall suffer for them.” Ah! What an unfathomable manifestation of compassion I saw in her!

Prior to leaving Jayrambati, as I prostrated before the Mother, she placed her hand on my head and mentally repeated the name of the Lord. Then she said affectionately, “Ah! They feel like staying with me. But what can they do? They have so much of household work to look after!” Expressing her solicitude like the mother of a man bound for a far off country, the Mother walked with me some distance from her house and stood gazing with her eyes full of tears.

Once I stayed in Calcutta for three weeks. I went to the Holy Mother’s house at Baghbazar. After making obeisance at her feet, I said, “Mother, I shall be in Calcutta for a few days. A rule has been introduced here permitting

people to see you only twice a week. If you kindly permit me, I shall come to see you now and then.” The Mother replied, “Certainly. Come whenever you can and inform me.”

During this period, one day I approached her, and said, “Mother, I do not find peace of mind. My mind remains agitated all the time. I am not free from desires.” On hearing this, the Mother looked intently at me for a long time, but did not utter a word. Her look of distress brought me remorse. I wondered why I should have told her these things. Taking the dust of her feet, I bade her farewell and went to Master Mahasaya’s residence in Guruprasad Chowdhury Lane. I saluted him and said, “You massaged the Master’s feet many a time. Kindly stroke my head a little; for I feel greatly agitated.” Master Mahasaya replied, “What’s this? You are the Mother’s son; she loves you dearly. Why should you seek consolation from me? Didn’t the Mother cast her benign glance upon you?” “Oh yes, she looked at me for a while,” I replied. Thereupon Master Mahasaya said: “What more do you need? If Shyama casts her glance on a man, he swims in Eternal Bliss.'” He emphatically repeated this saying three times. Now I realized the significance of the Mother’s looking at me for a while. I became quiet. It now appeared to me that the Mother had sent me to Master Mahasaya just to enable me to understand the meaning of her gracious glance.

Early one morning I went to see the Holy Mother. My wife and one of my daughters accompanied me. I told her, “Mother, my wife and daughter cannot see you often. Permit them to stay with you for the whole day. I shall come in the afternoon to take them home.” The Mother agreed. My wife had not put on her forehead the vermilion mark of married women. One of the lady devotees then asked her, “Well, why do you not have a vermilion mark on your forehead?” When the Mother heard this, she said, “What does it matter, if she has not? She has such a noble husband. What if she hasn’t worn the mark?” Saying so, the Mother herself put a vermilion mark on my wife’s forehead.

My wife was thinking, “If the Mother permits, I shall massage her feet.” Strangely enough, the Mother called her after a while and said, “Daughter, please rub some oil on my head and body.” While my wife was combing the Mother’s hair after putting oil on it, the thought came to her, “Mother permitting, I shall take these hair-strands home.” The Mother smiled, and on her own took out the hair-strands from the comb and presented them to my wife saying, “Take these.”

A woman devotee asked the Mother, “Who is this daughter?” The Mother replied, “She is the wife of Suren who lives in Ranchi. Suren has great faith in the Master.”

That day the Mother took my wife to the Ganges when she went for her bath. The Brahmacharins had mixed up the Sari and towel we had brought for Mother with a few other clothes. But the Mother picked up our Sari and towel when she went for her bath. After the holy bath in the Ganga, the Mother paid one paise to the ‘priest at the ghat’, saying, “Put a sandal paste mark on the forehead of this daughter.”

While taking her meal the Mother gave my wife Prasada from her own plate. After the meal, she asked my wife to massage her feet. My young daughter, who was lying on a piece of blanket, soiled it. My wife was about to wash it when the Mother took it from her and washed it herself. My wife asked, “Well, Mother” why should you wash it?” The Mother replied, “Why should I not, dear? Is not the child my own?”

In the afternoon I went to the Udbodhan Office and found that Upen Babu was the only visitor there. I learned that all the others had gone to attend the celebrations at the Vivekananda Society. I went upstairs straight to the Mother and saluted her. She said, “Look, there is no male attendant here today. Devotees will be coming to see me. Today you will serve as the usher and also distribute Prasada to the devotees.” A little later I showed some devotees into the Mother’s drawing-room, and after they saluted her, gave them Prasada. Gradually the devotees thinned out, and finally all left.

Mother: Today you have served as a member of this household; you showed the devotees in and gave them Prasada.

Disciple: Why! Don’t I belong to your household?

Mother: Yes, that’s right. You are my own son.

Saying this, the Mother continued, speaking to my wife, “Yes, dear, all are my children, no doubt. But some of them are specially related. He bears a special relationship with me. Don’t you see how he frequents this place? He is close to me.”

Then the Mother gave us Prasada and betel leaf. Touching my chin endearingly, she said, “You need have no fear hereafter. Feel quite at ease. This is your last birth.”

Disciple: Certainly, your grace makes everything easy.

My wife brought for the Mother an asana which she herself had made. It pleased her very much. Showing it to everyone, she said, “Ah! Look at it. What a beautiful asana my daughter has made.” Even a trifling thing from a devotee used to gladden her so much!

Another time I proceeded for Jayrambati in the company of four devotees. We left the monastery at Koalpara early enough to arrive at the house of the Holy Mother before sunset. But we were delayed. Though we had with us a local porter, and though I too was familiar with the place, we took a wrong road when we were close to the Mother’s house. We found it difficult to ascertain the road leading to our destination. The local porter too got confused and could not help us. Dusk passed into night and the surroundings were scarcely visible. My companions got bewildered. Finding no other alternative, I spread a blanket in a bamboo grove and sat down. I was overcome with the thought, “Mother, how is it that we alone should search for you, and you yourself should do nothing whatsoever?” Soon after, we noticed Rashbehari-Dada and Hemendra coming, with a lantern in hand. We were amazed at their appearance at such an odd hour. They explained, “We had no plan to come by this road. But luckily we just happened to take this route!”

When we met the Mother and saluted her, she asked, “Well, sons, you have wandered a lot, haven’t you?”

Disciple: Yes, Mother, we took a wrong road.

At that time the Mother’s new house was being constructed and the two Brahmacharins just mentioned were terribly busy with the work. Two devotees from Sylhet had come. Of the two, one was a devotee of Swami Dayananda of Arunachal. The latter had declared this disciple of his to be an incarnation of Prahlada. I escorted them to the Mother. After they saluted her, I said, “Mother, in Arunachal there is a monk by the name of Dayananda. He proclaims himself to be an incarnation of God. This gentleman is a disciple of his. Dayananda says he is Prahlada.” The Mother laughed and said, “An Incarnation indeed!”

The Mother gave those two devotees spiritual initiation this time. Referring to the monk, I told the Mother that he was giving spiritual initiation to many persons. The Mother said, “They belong more or less to the class of commercial monks. Still, even they bring some good to people. Men normally do not do any spiritual practice. But following the advice of these monks, they will at least do some practice. If one is sincere he will finally come here. Don’t you see how the holy name of Tarak Brahma is spreading? Those who have worth in them cannot help but come under its influence.”

The Mother initiated all the four companions of mine. One of them was rather young. When his initiation was over, the Mother told him, “Repeat the Mantra one hundred and eight times.” But this did not satisfy him. He wanted to chant the holy name one hundred million times a day. Smiling a little, the Mother observed, “Now you are thinking like this. But because of your multifarious duties you can’t do that much. Well, it would be fine if you can do more.”

One day I procured some lotuses for worshipping the Mother. She said, “Go and offer some to Simhavahini and keep the rest here.” One devotee said, “I want to worship you with all the flowers I have brought.” To him the Mother replied: “Well, it may be done! But don’t you see these old feet of mine? Why would you worship them?”

A number of devotees were near about when I told her, “Mother Sri Ramakrishna used to say, ‘Pure devotion is the essence of all.’ You kindly bless me so that I can have that kind of devotion.” The Mother kept quiet. The people present gradually left the place. Then the Mother quietly said, “Is it possible for anybody and everybody to have that? But you will have it.”

The Mother told Radhu, “Radhu, he is your elder brother. Salute him.” I wondered, “How’s that! I belong to a Kayastha family. Won’t it cause me harm if she, a Brahmana girl, salutes me?” At last both of us saluted each other.

One day I had a great desire to take panthabhat and asked the Mother for it. She said, “Wait for a while. I’ll fry hot chillies and pulse-cake in oil. People in your part of the country are very fond of chillies.” The Mother mimicked

the tune of a traditional gramophone record, saying, ‘I shan’t give you even one less than thirty-two chillies.’ Saying this, she began to laugh heartily.

Another day at Jayrambati, the Mother said, “I have to face much hardship, you see, all through the day. Devotees come every minute, one batch following another. There is no end to this. This body of mine is almost at the breaking point. Praying to the Master I have somehow fixed my mind on Radhu and thus kept it on the “worldly plane.” It struck me that this was parallel to Sri Ramakrishna’s keeping his lofty mind on the worldly plane by clinging to such desires as “I shall drink water” or “I shall smoke.” Was not the Mother bearing so much trouble for the good of the many?

While taking leave of the Mother, I said, “Mother, you have millions of children like me, but I have not another Mother like you.” On hearing this, the Mother with tears in her eyes endearingly fondled me, touching my, chin with her hand.

Once I went to Jayrambati to request the Mother to go to Ranchi for a change of climate after her illness. It was the month of Chaitra (March-April). When she heard this proposal, the Mother remarked, “One should not go out in the month of Chaitra. Even Sarat (Swami Saradananda) came here to escort me to Calcutta and stayed here a long time awaiting my convenience. Calcutta should therefore have my preference.”

About that time one of the sisters of Swami Keshavananda died. Referring to this, I observed, “Mother, it is a pity that Swami Keshavananda’s mother should suffer bereavement in her old age.” The Mother replied, “Bereavement will not upset her peace of mind.” On my return journey I met the old lady at Koalpara and found that she had no trace of grief at all. She was all smiles as usual. I wondered, “Even a great sage like Vasishtha experienced bereavement. But here I find the contrary.”

Once I called upon the Mother at the Udbodhan house in the company of Sri Rajendra Mukhopadhyaya. When we saluted the Mother, she prayed to Sri Ramakrishna with folded palms, “Master, kindly fulfil all their desires,” Thereupon I asked, “How’s that Mother? We shall be ruined if all our desires are fulfilled. How many bad desires are there in the heart!”

The Mother laughed and said, “You need not be afraid of that. The Master will grant only those desires which you really need and which will bring you good. Continue to practise what you are doing now. Why fear? We are with you.”

Very early one morning a calf was pitifully crying in the outer courtyard of the Mother’s house at Jayrambati. The calf was kept separated from its mother for the purpose of milking the cow. On hearing its cry the Mother rushed out, saying, “I am coming, child, I am coming. I shall release you just now.” Coming to the courtyard, she freed the calf. I was wonderstruck on seeing this revelation of the compassion of the Divine Mother towards all beings. Alas! Only such an anguished cry can bring about the release of the soul.

I do not have the language to give expression to the Holy Mother’s boundless affection, infinite compassion and limitless kindness. We are all blessed by seeing her lotus feet, touching them, and receiving her grace. Our families have been made holy and our mothers have been blessed. Hundreds of devotees have been turned into gold by this touchstone.

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