Part 2: Recorded by Pravrajika Bharatiprana
It was the day of the Jagaddhatri Puja. Devotees had been arriving from early morning. The Puja was at Yogin-Ma’s house. She came in the morning and went back, asking the Holy Mother to go to her house. One devotee came, bowed down, and said, “Mother, be so gracious as to sanctify the house of your worthless son by bestowing in it the dust of your lotus feet.” “Well, let me see if I can go in the evening. You come again in the evening.
I shall come, if I find it convenient,” responded the Holy Mother.
That noon the Holy Mother and some of us went to Yogin-Ma’s house, had the Darshan of the Deity and returned. The Holy Mother fasted the whole day, as there was Puja in her house. At about four when the Puja was over, she took a little Prasad and rested.
That devotee came to take the Holy Mother. The Holy Mother heard of it and said, ‘He pressed me so much in the morning. I’ll go for a little while.’ Their home was not far away. It was in the Rajvallabhpara. As the Holy Mother got down from the vehicle, they washed her feet and preserved the water. The house was small, and dilapidated. We made Pranam to the Deity and went inside. They spread a seat for the Holy Mother to sit. She spread her seat near the door and said, “I’ll rather sit here.”
One old lady began to talk with the Mother.
Old Lady: Mother, please bless my boy. He had a great desire to perform the Puja, but we have no house or other facilities. Yet somehow the Mother’s worship has been done. He alone did everything.
Mother: Ah! He did well. When Mother has come, then house and everything else will come. Your boy is very good. He has much devotion.
A little later Prasad was brought and the Holy Mother put a little in her mouth and got up to leave. She put a rupee before the Deity, made Pranam and said, “The image is very beautiful. Mother’s expression is wonderful; this is because the worship has been done by a devotee!” Returning home, Nalini began, “What a house, oh Mother! There is no place to sit even. Oh dear, how could he perform the worship in that house.” The Holy Mother said, “What can he do? He is a poor man, but very devoted. Ah, he brought the Divine Mother. Out of compassion the Divine Mother came to his house.”
A letter came from Jayrambati saying that the worship of Mother Jagaddhatri concluded successfully and that many people had Prasad. The Holy Mother said, “By the grace of the Mother, the worship was concluded auspiciously. I was much worried about how they would manage. Jnan was there, so the Mother’s worship was done well.”
One day after dusk the Holy Mother was sitting near Radhu, giving her fomentation. Radhu had a pain under her ribs. Now one woman devotee made Pranam to the Mother and sat down.
Mother: Come my dear. How are you?
Devotee: I am well, Mother. What has happened to Radhu?
Mother: Radhu has the same sickness. Just see, the child is exhausted. The wretched pain-wherefrom has it come? So many doctors are attending, and I am making vows of offerings to so many Deities, but all to no effect.
Devotee: She will get well, Mother, why fear?
Mother: Do bless her.
She took Prasad and left after a little chat. I asked the Holy Mother, “How surprising, Mother? How she has changed! It is beyond my understanding.”
Mother: How can you understand, my dear? When sin enters, is there a way to protect oneself? She is forbidden to come to my place. And so she comes stealthily at night.
Disciple: I saw her earlier staying with you.
Mother: Yes, earlier she used to be with me in day time and go home at night. How much she served Radhu! Her star turned a little and she has become like this. Coming to me is completely stopped. She has done nothing in this birth, all flow from the past birth only.
Another evening the Holy Mother was sitting in the room. The Master’s disciple Puma Babu was quite ill. There was no hope of his survival. His mother came. Seeing her come, the Holy Mother said, “There she comes. How she troubles me coming every day, saying, ‘Mother, please bless. Please make Puma well’. I know that Purna will not survive. Still for their sake I have to say, ‘He will get well.'” Purna Babu’s mother came, made Pranam to Holy Mother and said, ‘Mother, make your child well,’ and began to weep.
Mother: What can I do, mother? Appeal to the Master. He will set everything right.
Purna Babu’s Mother: You can, if only you wish, Mother.
Mother: I for my part can only let the Master know of it. Later the Holy Mother told us, “The Master had said, ‘If you marry him off, he will not live long’. She did not listen then. In haste, lest he should become a Sannyasin, she got him married.”
A few days later, the Holy Mother, Yogin-Ma, etc., were lying down after evening Arati. The Mother was drowsing a little. Suddenly she got up, saying, “Is Purna dead, Yogin?” Yogin-Ma was amazed to hear this query and asked, “Who told you this, Mother?” The Holy Mother replied, “I was sleeping. Suddenly I heard some one saying ‘Purna is dead’. Yogin-Ma confessed then, “Yes, Mother. Today evening that calamity occurred. I did not tell you, Mother.” That night the Holy Mother would speak only of Purna Babu. She was quite sorry for his sake.
In Dakshineswar at the time of the Master’s illness, the Holy Mother was serving him. Later the devotees took him to Calcutta for treatment. During that time Golap-Ma said to Yogin-Ma in the course of conversation, “Look, Yogin-Ma perhaps the Master was angry with the Holy Mother and went away to Calcutta.”
The Holy Mother heard this from Yogin-Ma, and hiring a carriage went to Calcutta. Weeping, she asked the Master, “You have come away, being angry with me. Haven’t you?” “No, no, who told you this story?” the Master asked in surprise.
“Golap said,” replied the Holy Mother. The Master was enraged to hear this and said, “Is that so? Did she speak thus and make you weep? Does she not know who you are? Where is Golap? Let her come, I’ll teach her to desist from telling such stories.” The Holy Mother was thus pacified and returned to Dakshineswar. Later when Golap-Ma came to the Master, he scolded her severely and said, “What did you tell her to make her weep? Do you not know who she is? Go this moment and seek her forgiveness.” Immediately Golap-Ma walked all the way to Dakshineswar and said to the Holy Mother, weeping, “Oh Mother, the Master was terribly angry with me. I did not realise the seriousness of what I said, and merely blurted out those words.” The Holy Mother did not say anything except, “Oh Golap! Oh Golap!” She patted her thrice on the back, smiling. All the grief of Golap vanished that moment, and her mind was restored to peace. This incident was narrated to us by Golap-Ma herself.
Revered Baburam Maharaj was performing Durga Puja at Belur Math and he took the Holy Mother there. The Holy Mother stayed in the garden house north of the Math. One lady devotee suddenly presented herself to the Holy Mother one night. Seeing her intense desire to see her, the Holy Mother said, “Look, if this kind of yearning is not there, can one get Him?”
In the year 1918 Golap-Ma was seriously ill. In that crisis, the Holy Mother was praying to the Master, “O Lord, please heal Golap. If Golap and Yogin are not here, I cannot stay here any longer. With them gone, how can I stay here?” She then said, “Yogin and Golap know all the stages of my life. Ah, Golap has no kind of shortcoming. She does not know anything of pride.
And look, Yogin also is like that. In those days Yogin used to meditate with such concentration that even if mosquitoes sat on her eyes, she was unaware of them. Ah, those will be blessed who speak of them.”
One day Yogin-Ma complained to the Holy Mother of the licentious behaviour of a devotee and said, ”Mother, please warn him a little.
Otherwise he will be spoiled.” The Holy Mother replied, “My telling won’t do, Yogin. If I tell him anything, he would not be able to listen. I am his Guru. If he cannot respect my words, then it would be inauspicious for him.” Yogin-Ma did not say anything more.
One evening, after talking about diverse matters, the Holy Mother said, “Look, I suppose everybody says that I am restless with the thought of Radhu, that I am inordinately attached to her. If this little attachment were not there, do you know, this body could not have survived after the Master’s passing away. It is for his work that he has generated this attachment for Radhu and detained this body. When my mind withdraws from her, this body will not remain anymore.”
In the year 1918 the Holy Mother was once quite unwell at Koalpara. At that time Yogin-Ma and revered Sarat Maharaj were with her. Radhu saw the serious condition of the Holy Mother and yet went away to her father-inlaw’s place. The Holy Mother did not want her to go. She said to Yogin-Ma, “Look here Yogin! Radhu has deserted me and gone away.” Yogin-Ma replied, “Why won’t she go, Mother? Did you not walk all the way to Dakshineswar to be with the Master? Do you not remember?” The Holy Mother smiled a little and said, “That is true, Yogin.” The Mother recovered from this illness and came Backto Calcutta.
At the Udbodhan, she said one day, “Look, when Radhu broke her attachment for me and went away, I thought perhaps this time I would pass away. But I see that still there is more of the Master’s work to be done.”
Once Yogin-Ma got a doubt: “The Master was a man of such renunciation, and I see the Holy Mother so deeply engrossed in this wretched world, with all her brothers and brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law. I cannot understand this.” One day while meditating on the Ganges Ghat, Yogin-Ma saw the Master. He was saying, “Look at that object floating on the Ganges.” Yogin-Ma saw a new born baby tangled in entrails and filth, floating past in the Ganges. The Master now asked, “Can the Ganges be polluted by it? Can anything sully its purity? Know her to be like that. Do not doubt her. Know her (the Mother) and this (showing his own body) to be one.” Returning from the Ganges, Yogin-Ma bowed down to the Holy Mother and said, “Mother, forgive me.” “Why, Yogin? What happened?” the Holy Mother enquired. Yogin-Ma then narrated the incident and said, “I was unfaithful to you. So the Master made it clear to me today.” The Mother smiled a little and said, “What of that? Doubts will arise and again faith will come. This way alone faith is strengthened. Gradually, after many such attempts, firm faith will come.”
One lady devotee used to come to the Holy Mother at the Udbodhan. The Mother was quite fond of her. She was not of a good character. So among the monks, many used to wish that she did not come there. When the Holy
Mother was apprised of this, she said, “On the Ganges so many impure things float by. Does the Ganges ever become impure thereby?”
One devotee asked some questions of the Holy Mother and left. Later the Mother herself said, “Look, my dear, you must surrender and await His pleasure. Then alone will His grace descend:’
Once I asked her with regard to Japa, “How shall I do Japa’?” The Holy Mother replied, “With whatever thought you do Japa, that thought will take hold of the mind. Think that the Master is always yours.” Later she demonstrated the way of doing Japa on the fingers.
While talking of her days in Vrindaban, after the passing away of the Master, the Holy Mother said one day at the Udbodhan, “Look, my dear, I prayed to Lord Radharamana, ‘Lord, take away my fault-finding nature. May it be that I never can see anyone’s fault.'”
The Holy Mother used to say, “Man is bound to make mistakes. One should not notice them. If one does not follow this rule, it harms oneself alone. By constantly observing the faults of others, in the end one will become a mere fault-finder.” Once she said to Yogin-Ma, “Yogin, never notice anyone’s faults; else, you will end up as a fault-finder only.”
One night at Jayrambati, the Holy Mother was lying down. As usual, I was then massaging her feet. In the course of conversation, she began to tell how she first gave initiation, “Look, my dear,” she said, I was at Vrindaban after the Master’s passing away. Every one was distraught with grief over his loss. One night the Master said, ‘Why are you weeping so much? Where have I gone-except from this room to that?’ One day the Master spoke of giving initiation to the boy Yogen. Hearing that, I felt a little afraid and also shy. Seeing him the first day I thought, ‘what is this? And what will people think? Everyone will say that the Mother has already started making disciples.’ But the Master repeated this instruction on three days in succession: ‘I have not given him Mantra Diksha (initiation). You do it.’ He told me which Mantra was to be given as well. In those days, I was not in the habit of speaking directly to the boy Yogen. The Master said that I should speak to him through Yogin-Ma. I then said the same thing to Yogin. She asked the boy Yogen and discovered that the Master had not initiated him. The Master appeared to the boy Yogen also and asked him to be initiated by me. Yogen did not have the courage to speak of it to me. When I saw that the Master told both of us the same thing, I gave initiation to Yogen.
With Yogen’s initiation my period of imparting initiations began. He served me unstintedly. No one else could have served as he did. Only Sarat could. And Sarat is serving only after the boy Yogen’s demise. To carry my burden is very hard, my dear. Except Sarat, no one can bear my responsibility.
Golap and Yogin-if they were not there, it would not have been possible for me to stay at Calcutta.”
While the Holy Mother was at Jayrambati, one devotee came to her from Ranchi and said, “I have come to take you to Ranchi for a few days. Accommodation etc. have all been arranged.” ”Does Sarat know about this?” asked the Holy Mother. “No,” was the reply. The Holy Mother continued, ‘Then I cannot come. Sarat came here and returned. I shall first go to Calcutta.
If he approves, then we shall see.” The devotee persisted saying, ‘Mother, we have made all arrangements!” But the Holy Mother was firm. “Why did you do so without letting us know of it first?” she asked.
The devotee left. Later the Holy Mother remarked, “Look, my dear, they think that to take me is very easy. They are led away by popular excitement. Another time in Dacca, they printed pamphlets that I would be going there. Yet I knew nothing of it. Anyone can serve for two or three days. Is it easy to carry my whole responsibility? I have not seen that anyone is capable of it except Sarat. He is my Vasuki. With a thousand hoods he is engaged in so much work. Wherever a little water drips he will hold an umbrella there.”
One day a woman devotee told the Mother about her strained relations with one of her friends. Thereupon the Mother said, “Look, my dear, if one loves a human being one has to endure grief and sorrow. If one can love God, one is indeed blessed, one has no more grief or sorrow.”
Another day one woman devotee wished to learn the rituals connected with the Master’s Puja from the Holy Mother. The Mother replied, “Look, you are in the world. You will not be able to do so much. You have received His name; let me see how much you can do with it. If you could do that properly, everything will be all right.”
Once the Holy Mother gave me a silk cloth. Some one objected and said, “Why are you giving the cloth to her only, Mother? There are five more people waiting.” The Holy Mother replied, “If I do not give it to her, who else will give? Tell me who else is there for her?”
Because of Radhu’s illness the Holy Mother was staying at the rented boarding house of Nivedita’s school in Bosepara. I was there to serve her. One day she asked me to make food offering to the Master. I did not know the Mantras etc., for offering food. So I told the Mother, “But, Mother, I do not know how to offer food to the Master.” The Holy Mother then explained, “Look, my dear, think of the Master as your own and say, ‘Please come, please sit down, please take, please eat,’ and you must think that he has come, he has sat down, and he is taking food. Do you need Mantras etc., for your own near and dear ones? All ceremonies and forms are like the honour and respect shown to relatives when they come. With your own people you won’t need all that. With whatever attitude you give him, with the same attitude he will take.” After that the Holy Mother taught me a Mantra for making food offering to the Master.
The Holy Mother once said to a disciple, “Look, my dear, it is not that you will not face difficulties. They will arise. But they will not remain. You will see that they pass away like water under one’s feet.”
One devotee asked the Holy Mother, “I have done so much Japa and austerity, yet nothing has happened.” In reply she said, “What you seek – is it any greens or fish that you could buy it by paying so much price?”
In Jayrambati the Holy Mother’s close relatives used to harass her in various ways. One day she became so much vexed that she said, “Look here, do not trouble me too much. If the one who is within me once raises his hood, there is none among Brahma, Vishnu or Maheswara that can save you.”
In the year 1919 the Holy Mother was at Koalpara. On the day of the Dassera festival some devotees worshipped her holy feet with lotus flowers and left. Later she asked me, “What is the matter today, that all those boys offered flowers at my feet?” “Today is Dassera,” I replied. “That is why they did so.” The Holy Mother smiled a little and said, “Oh dear, am I Goddess Manasa, then?” And folding her hand in the direction of the Master she continued, “He alone is Manasa, Ganga and everybody else.”
Radhu was like a madcap during her stay at Jayrambati because of her neurosis. Many times the Holy Mother used to feed her. Often, she would take food in her mouth and spit it out on the Mother’s body. One day the Holy Mother was annoyed and said to me, “Look, my dear, know this body (showing her own) to be a divine body. How much more defilement and insult could it endure? If it is not a divine body, can any human being endure so much? The Master never struck me even with a flower. He never addressed me as tui but always as tumi. How much he was distressed because once he addressed me as tui mistaking me for Lakshmi! Biting his tongue he said, Oh dear, is it you? Please do not take it amiss. I thought you were Lakshmi and so addressed you as tui’ But see how these people take the life out of me, my dear. This time if the Master somehow cures Radhu, I will have nothing more to do with them. Look, my dear, as long as I live, none of these can know me. Later they will understand everything.”
At the Udbodhan, during the Mother’s last illness a certain monk came to see her. The Mother was then sleeping. The monk began to massage her feet. There was no veil over the Holy Mother’s head at the time. After the monk went away, the Mother rebuked me, saying, ”There was no veil over my head. Why did you not arrange it? Am I dead? Even now you are doing like this!”
At this time the Holy Mother had practically no taste for any food, and could not eat anything. Her food therefore was very meagre. One day while she was taking food, Dr. Kanjilal arrived there. He thought the quantity of the Holy Mother’s food was a little too much, and said to me in front of the Holy Mother, “You will not be able to serve the Mother. Tomorrow I will bring two nurses for her service. You need not do anything.” The Holy Mother heard these words of the doctor and said later, “Ha! Does he think that I will be served by those booted ladies? That I cannot do. You will attend upon me as you have done. Why does Kanjilal make so much fuss over my eating rice? Am I able to consume rice? He does not know!”
A few days after this her rice diet was completely stopped. One day the Holy Mother said, “Look, that day Kanjilal was annoyed at my taking rice. From that time on I could not eat any rice at all.”
During those days the Mother’s nature became like that of a five year old girl. One night at twelve when I went to feed her, she became stubborn. “I will not eat. You know only to say, ‘Mother, eat,’ and to put that stick (the thermometer) under the arm.” Seeing that the Holy Mother was refusing to take food, I said, “Then, Mother, shall I call Maharaj?” Often she would eat at the mention of Maharaj’s name. But this time she was totally unwilling. She said, “Call Sarat. I will not eat from your hand.” As soon as Sarat Maharaj heard of it, he hastened to the Holy Mother. She made him sit and said, “Just pass your hand over me a little, my son.” Then taking both his hands in hers, she continued, “Just see, my son, how they are troubling me! Her constant utterance is ‘Eat, eat,’ and she knows also to put that stick under my arm. You ask her not to trouble me.” Maharaj replied, “No, Mother, they will not trouble you anymore.” Pacifying her thus, he later enquired,
“Mother, will you now take something?” The Holy Mother replied, “Give me.” Maharaj asked me to bring food. The Holy Mother heard this and said, “No, you feed me, I will not eat from her hand.” I poured milk in a cup and gave it to Maharaj. He somehow fed a little of it to the Holy Mother and said, “Mother, rest a little and eat.” Hearing this, the Holy Mother said,
“Look now, what sweet words these are – ‘Mother, rest a little and then take food!’ Do they not know how to say these words? But see, what trouble they have given the poor boy at this time of night! Go, my dear, go and sleep.” Saying this, she stroked his body. Later Sarat Maharaj arranged her mosquito curtain and said, “Mother, I shall go now.” The Holy Mother said, “Come, my dear, what a trouble we have given this poor boy.”
For the last few days before her passing, the Holy Mother would not ask for any news of Radhu. One day she told her, “Look, you go away to Jayrambati. Do not stay here any more.” She told me, “Tell Sarat to send them away to Jayrambati.” I asked, “Why is she asking them to be sent away? Can she do without Radhu?” “Certainly I can,” said the Holy Mother. “I have taken away my mind from her.” I repeated these words of the Mother to Yogin-Ma and Sarat Maharaj. Yogin-Ma then came to the Holy Mother and asked, “Why, Mother, do you want them to be sent away?” The Holy
Mother said in reply, “Yogin, hereafter they have to stay there only. H——
is going; send them with him. I have taken away my mind from them. I do not want them any more.” Yogin-Ma protested, saying, “Do not say that, Mother. If you thus take away your mind, how can we live?” The Holy Mother replied, “Yogin, I have cut off my attachment; now no more of it.” Yogin-Ma said nothing and informed Sarat Maharaj of all that took place.
He said, “Then we may not be able to keep the Mother any more amidst us. There is no more hope, now that she has taken away her mind from Radhu.”
I was standing there. The Maharaj told me, “Look, all of you are with the Holy Mother for long hours. Try and see if you could turn the Mother’s mind a little towards Radhu.” But all our efforts were in vain. One day she said quite forcefully, “The mind which I have withdrawn will never come back. Know it for certain.”
Two or three days before passing away the Holy Mother called Sarat Maharaj and said, “Sarat, I am going. Yogin, Golap and others are here. You look after them.”