06: Recorded by Prabodh Babu and Manindra
I first saw the Holy Mother in 1907. It was during the rainy season of 1908 that I saw her for the second time. This time I arrived at Jayrambati at about 11.30 a.m. After I saluted her, the Mother asked, “Are you a pupil of Master Mahasaya?”
Disciple: No, Mother, but I visit him frequently.
Mother: How is he? Have you seen him recently?
Disciple: He is keeping fine. I met him only eight days back.
While I was taking my noon meal, I asked the Mother, “Will you be going to Calcutta now?”
Mother: I wish to visit Calcutta during the Durga Puja holidays. Then whatever the Divine Mother wills. . . . Do you get paddy from your landed property?
Disciple: Yes, Mother.
Mother: Good. We don’t get good quality paddy in this part of the country. Do you grow Kalai pulse?
Disciple: Yes, Mother.
Mother: That’s fine. While I was taking my night meal, the Holy Mother asked, “Do you stay at home now?”
Disciple: Yes, Mother, I am living at home now. I am in grave danger. I had a serious illness, and it has been followed by my marriage.
Mother: How old is the bride?
Disciple: She is about thirteen.
Mother: What has happened is for good, certainly. What can you do?
Disciple: Master Mahasaya asked me not to marry.
Mother: Ah! He himself has suffered much. That’s why he says, “None of you should marry.”
Disciple: Worldly life is a great impediment. Engrossed in worldly life, one loses one’s manliness.
Mother: Surely. There is only one cry – money, money, money.
Disciple: It is very painful.
Mother: The Master has householder devotees too. Why do you worry?
In spite of these words I was still worried. After a while the Mother said, “My brothers too are married.”
Disciple: Did they marry with your consent?
Mother: What is to be done? The Master used to say, “The worms seen in excreta thrive well there, but if kept in a pot of rice, they will simply die.” These days nieces do not serve their uncles as sincerely as we used to do.
Disciple: Things are changing gradually.
Mother: That’s true. Don’t you see? Formerly I couldn’t kill even an ant, but these days I sometimes beat a cat! The Master used to say, “Tuhu, Tuhu” – “Thou, Thou!” He meant that only after terrible sufferings does a man resort finally to “Thou, Thou (Lord, Lord).” Selfishness – well, it persists as long as a person is self-assertive, but not when that is overcome. Why entertain any fear? All conditions can turn favourable by the will of the Master. Perhaps your wife has some good deeds to her credit. The Master used to say, “Avidya is more powerful than vidya.” That is why avidya maya has kept the world enchanted.
It was Sunday, 20 April 1919. The Holy Mother was staying at Jagadamba Ashrama at Koalpara in the district of Bankura. At about ten in the morning Manindra, Satu, Narayana Iyengar and others had come to salute the Holy Mother. The Mother had been staying here for more than a month. The male devotees were staying and taking their meals at the Koalpara monastery.
The son of the Holy Mother’s niece Maku was seriously ill at Jayrambati; he was suffering from Diphtheria. The child was under the treatment of Vaikuntha Maharaj (Swami Mahadevananda). The Mother was terribly worried as to what might happen to the child. This topic came up for discussion as soon as the devotees took their seats after saluting the Mother. Narayana Iyengar said, “Mother, the child will be cured through your blessings.” The Mother folded her palms and pointing to the picture of the Master inside the room said, “He is superintending everything.”
Satu: He (Narayana Iyengar) has done a lot for Maku’s child. He sent a messenger to Calcutta to bring injections for Diphtheria as well as other things.
Mother: Yes, he is a noble soul. He has spent money to send Kalo to Calcutta. Who would have done all this, had he not been here?
Narayana Iyengar: I am the machine and the Master is the engineer. He is driving me like a machine.
Mother: The Master used to say, “He who possesses food and money may distribute them to the poor. He who does not have, should give himself to repeating the name of the Lord.”
Narayana Iyengar: Is it necessary to wash oneself before doing Japam?
Mother: Yes, washing is necessary when Japa is practised at home. But it will be sufficient just to repeat the holy Name during journeys or walks.
Narayana Iyengar: Only the repetition of the holy Name? Not even the repetition of the Mantra?
Mother: Yes, you should certainly repeat the Mantra also. However, calling upon God with one’s mind steadfast is equivalent to a million repetitions of the Mantra. What is the good in doing Japa for a whole day if there is no concentration of mind? Collectedness of one’s mind is essential, and then only His grace descends.
Narayana Iyengar: Whatever I am doing, is it sufficient or do I need to do something more?
Mother: Continue to practise what you are doing. You are already a recipient of His grace.
Narayana Ivengar: One can have a vision of God if one earnestly calls upon Him for two or three days at a stretch. I am calling upon Him for so long. Why do I not have His vision?
Mother: Yes, you will have it. The utterances of lord Siva and the words of the Master-they cannot be untrue. The Master told Surendra Mitra, “He who has wealth should distribute it, and he who has not, should do Japa.”
Drawing the attention of all present, the Mother said further, “If you can’t do even that, then take refuge in the Master. Remember this much: ‘I have someone to look after me. There is certainly a Mother or Father.'”
Narayana lyengar: Since you are telling this, we cannot but accept it and have faith in it.
Radhu had given birth to a child. Since the birth of the baby, Radhu was lying ill. It was time to feed Radhu. The Mother got up and said, “Now I shall go to feed Radhu.” The devotees finished prostrating at the Holy Mother’s feet. Narayana Iyengar saluted the Holy Mother touching her feet. The Mother blessed him by touching his head.
When Manindra bowed at her feet, the Mother said, “What a strong faith your mother has! When asked to visit Varanasi, she remarked, ‘This is my Varanasi, I shall not go anywhere else.'”
Manindra’s mother, who used to live with the Holy Mother, had died more than a year earlier. She had served the Holy Mother very devotedly. The Mother had told her, “None except Kedar’s mother and you could stay here for long.”
As dusk approached, news reached that the condition of Maku’s son had become precarious. This made the Holy Mother very anxious. She told Brahmachari Varada, “Keep the palanquin ready. If the boy survives the night, I shall go to see him tomorrow morning. But how shall we get news of the child early tomorrow morning?”
Manindra: Satu and I shall bring the news early tomorrow morning.
After a while Vaikuntha Maharaj returned from Jayrambati. On hearing this, the Mother started and asked, “Is not the child alive?” Finding all silent, the Mother asked once again, “When did he pass away?”
Vaikuntha Maharaj: At half past five.
Mother: Can I see him if I go there now?
Vaikuntha Maharaj: No, Mother, the dead body has been removed.
Mother began to cry profusely. If she stopped crying for a while, she would begin again all the more. When Swami Kesavananda tried to pacify her, she cried out, “O Kedar, I cannot forget the child.”
Once when the boy and his mother Maku were about to start for Jayrambati, he collected a few wild roses and placed them at the Mother’s feet saying, “Look, Auntie! How beautiful they look!” Then the boy bowed down and took the dust of the Mother’s feet. Afterwards he picked up the flowers, put them into his pocket, and left for Jayrambati. Sarat Maharaj (Swami Saradananda) dearly loved the boy. During his illness, the boy called out, “Red Uncle! Red Uncle!” referring to the Swami’s saffron cloth. Now, the Mother observed, “May be, some devotee had been reborn as he. But this must have been his last birth. Otherwise, how could you explain the kind of intelligence the boy showed or the way he used to perform his Puja at the age of three? I brought him up and hence the “loss is so terrible to me.” The weeping and wailing continued until late in the night. At the dead of night the Mother asked the women if they had taken their night meal. When she heard that they had not taken any food, because she had not taken, she took a little milk and two luchis. The next day during the evening hours Manindra and Prabhakar went to see the Mother. She was very gloomy on account of the premature death of Maku’s child. Now the conversation turned to that topic.
Mother: The child once asked me, “Who created red flowers?” I replied,
“The Master has made them.” He then asked, “Why?” I told him, ”Because he wanted to wear them.” The death of the child will cause deep sorrow to Sarat. Sarat used to place the child on his lap without caring about the pain in his leg. Once while seated on Sarat’s lap, the boy asked him, ”Where is your Mother?” Pointing to Maku, Sarat said, “Here is my mother.” Then the boy said, “No, your mother has gone to the school building.” About that time, the Holy Mother lived along with the ailing Radhu in the boarding house of Nivedita’s school; for Radhu could not stand the noise of the Udbodhan House.
Manindra: The Master too suffered terribly on the death of Akshay.
Mother: The Master said, “The pang in my heart was like the wringing of a towel” One of my nephews named Dinu used to worship in the Vishnu temple. Hriday used to worship in the Kali temple. Dinu would entertain the Master by singing “Yasoda used to rock you by calling you Nilamani” and such other songs. Then, Akshay had an attack of cholera.
Manindra: Were you then living at Dakshineswar?
Mother: Yes, I was staying in the Nahabat. The dust of the Master’s feet, the dust of my own feet, and the water with which the image of Mother Kali had been bathed were offered to Akshay but to no avail. He didn’t survive. The Master suffered much anguish.
“My youngest brother passed the Entrance Examination creditably. Afterwards he was studying medical science and was doing fairly well. When he went to see Naren, the latter asked, ‘Well, does the Mother have such a person as her brother? Almost all of them are priests, earning a living through that profession:’ He further said to him, ‘You will have to operate on abscesses in the stomach.’ Naren said to Yogen (Swami Yogananda), ‘You will have to meet his (the Mother’s brother’s) educational expenses.’ However, Yogen died. Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) bought books worth forty rupees for my brother. Rakhal and Sarat used to play cards with him. But that brother of mine passed away early.
“The world is a fetter of Maya. . . (In a pitiful voice) Ah! Maku had a child who was so helpless that he couldn’t even turn from one side to another by himself. Just imagine! How painful it was!
“In bringing up this girl Radhu, I have had to endure so much pain. Well, one cannot escape it. When Radhu was born to Surabala (Chota Bau) my mother said, ‘Chota-Bau’s mother wants to take her (Surabala) home. Why not let her do so?’ Then at the time of my morning worship in Calcutta I had a vision which appeared to me in the way a drop-scene appears at a theatrical performance (making a gesture with both her hands). I saw the mother of Radhu in distress at her village home. I saw Radhu lying in the courtyard and picking up from a mass of straw and dust strewn all around, a few grains of puffed rice given to her by her mother and eating them.
Radhu’s mother had her arms wound with red and blue threads, just as a mad woman could have. The other children of the family, I noticed, were taking puffed rice and other things along with sweets. Seeing this I almost started gasping. I felt choked like a person forcibly kept under water. Then I realized that Radhu’s condition would be like what I saw if I left her in the hands of her mother.”
The Holy Mother dearly loved her youngest brother Abhay. She had brought her brothers up. On his death bed Abhay had said, “Sister, I am leaving behind everything. Please look after them.” Radhu was then in her mother’s womb. After her confinement, Radhu’s mother came to Calcutta along with the Holy Mother. Subsequently she turned insane and was sent to Jayrambati. Radhu had to endure so much of tribulations there. One morning when the Holy Mother was performing her worship in her rented house in Baghbazar, she had that vision of Radhu. Remembering the last words of Abhay, she returned to Jayrambati in a few days’ time. The Mother used to say, ”Through this girl I have been caught in the snares of Maya.” At some other time the Holy Mother was lying seriously ill at Koalpara. One day all on a sudden Radhu left for Jayrambati with the idea of visiting her father-inlaw’s house. Before leaving, she said to the Mother, “You have so many devotees to look after you but who have I except my husband?” Referring to this incident, the Mother said, “The way Radhu threw away the bondage of my attachment yesterday and went to her husband’s home worried me. I said to myself that perhaps the Master does not want me to live any longer.” The Mother further said, “My constant doting on Radhu uttering ‘Radhi, Radhi’ is nothing but a form of Maya with which I am bound.”
The twilight of dusk was advancing towards the darkness of night. Manindra and Prabhakar were getting ready to take leave of the Mother. They wanted to reach Arambagh that very night. The Mother said: “You take some food and go.”
Prabhakar: We have come here after taking our food.
Mother: Won’t you please take at least some little refreshment? Dear, please bring some sweets for them.
She later told us, “You should take food and some rest before you leave.” Manindra: Yes, Mother.
Mother: Have you hired a cart?
When we saluted her while taking leave, she blessed us saying, “May your mind be inclined towards God.”
Mahindra: May our bond of Maya break asunder.
On hearing this, the Mother cast an approving glance.
23rd April 1919.
When the devotees went to prostrate at the feet of the Holy Mother, Narayana Iyengar told her, “Mother, your mind is now disturbed because of the premature death of Maku’s son. I am therefore thinking of leaving this place soon.”
Mother: Joy and sorrow, where will they go? They are our companions.
Why should you worry about it? Stay here. You may leave this place on the 4th or 5th of Jaistha (May).
Monday, 12 Jaistha (May-June)
Swami Santananda and Swami Harananda had come from Varanasi. Manindra, too, had come again. In the morning Swami Santananda and Manindra went to salute the Holy Mother. The devotees were put up in the Koalpara monastery and the Mother was staying in the Jagadamba Ashrama.
Santananda: How is your health, Mother?
Mother: I am keeping all right.
One young man, released from internment, had come there the previous day. Anticipating trouble from the police, the devotees tried to send him away then and there. When the Mother was asked about it, she said, “Keep him here for the day. He will go away tomorrow.” Swami Kesavananda, instead of keeping the young man in the monastery, placed him somewhere else; for the village policeman used to visit the monastery every evening and record the names and addresses of new arrivals. The next day the Mother enquired about the young man. “Where is that young man? Has he already left?” she asked.
Manindra: He hasn’t left. He will go after his noon meal.
Mother (to Swami Santananda): Where did he spend the night?
Santananda: I -don’t know, Mother. He didn’t tell me.
Mother: Do you have rain in Varanasi also, when the monsoon sets in here?
Santananda: No, Mother. There the rainy season begins in the month of Sravan (July-August). But in some years storms take place in the month of Vaisakh (March-April) and destroy the mango and other crops. The old women who, go to Varanasi with the desire of dying there suffer terribly. Sometimes the remittance from home is stopped. Besides, they have to live in damp dark rooms on the ground floor.
Mother: Yes, I myself saw the extent of their suffering when I stayed in the house of Bansi Dutta at Varanasi. I saw them taking a small quantity of rice procured by begging and soaked in water. They didn’t cook.
Santananda: Many old women live long, although they go there to die early.
Mother: They earn remission of their sins by seeing and touching Lord Viswanath, and thereby they live long. In Vrindaban, people take consecrated food and sprinkle holy water from a conch on their body; so they live long.
Mother then turned the conversation to the topic of Radhu. She said, “I wish Radhu would overcome her physical weakness now and get up. Her bedroom still serves as her bathroom. I don’t know what the Master will do – how long he will keep me like this!” Then she began telling Swami
Santananda about Maku’s son. “Nothing else overwhelms a man like mourning. Sarat too suffered much on account of Maku’s son. Kalo was sent to Calcutta to bring medicine for him. These people here advised him not to meet Sarat. I intervened, saying, ‘How can it be that he will go to Calcutta and not meet Sarat?’ “
Manindra: Yes, Sarat Maharaj wrote, “Let Kalo come straight to me.”
Mother was dressing vegetables. Pointing to the chelo (a local vegetable) Swami Santananda observed, “This vegetable is not found in Calcutta.”
Mother: It can be prepared as a curry fried in a little oil and also as a sauce.
It is a good vegetable, as it is cooling to the system. (Turning to Manindra)
Is it available in Jehanabad?
Manindra: Yes, Mother.
Swami Santananda raised the topic of the people’s suffering. He said, “I hear that six million people have died of influenza. Paddy and rice are costly – people are suffering much.”
Mother: Yes, my son. People don’t have enough to eat. Those who have children suffer all the more. In fact, this is only the beginning of their suffering. It will end only if there is an abundant paddy crop after a good rain. I heard that some European officer had come to Calcutta. He wanted to ban the movement of paddy and rice from one place to another. He has left, I am told.
Manindra: That attempt is still being made.
Swami Santananda: The suffering of the people is on the increase. Is this the outcome of men’s Karma, Mother?
Mother: How can this be the Karma of so many people? It seems something is wrong.
Swami Santananda: World War I is over. Why then are goods not sold at a cheaper price?
Mother: How is it that people are saying the War has begun once again?
Swami Santananda: They mean in Kabul. So much of suffering, fighting, and killing! Will this usher in a new age, Mother?
Mother (smiling): How can I say? How can I know what will happen by His will? The sin of a king brings ruin to his kingdom. Malice, deceit, and killing of holy men-these are all sins. These lead to the suffering of the people and cause providential disturbances like war, earthquake, and famine. War ceases as soon as all the parties calm down a little.
“Ah, how nice was Queen Victoria, the Empress of India! How happily and comfortably people lived then! Now, even a boy of five realizes the pang of suffering; for he complains of having no clothes to wear. Well, how much rice has already been distributed by Sarat?”
Manindra: I can’t say exactly how much rice has been distributed. But rice worth thirty-four rupees is distributed every week among the distressed.
Mother: How much rice does every person receive?
Manindra: Everybody receives one quarter of a seer (equivalent to 0.930 kilogram).
Mother: How much does a family get?
Manindra: Six, seven or eight seers according to the size of the family.
Mother: How many people have received the dole?
Manindra: I don’t know exactly. But the Muslim women constitute the largest number.
Mother: Yes, the Mohammedans are poorer here. Well where else is Sarat distributing relief?
Manindra: At Bankura, Indpur, and Manbhum. Relief is being given wherever there is famine.
Mother: Are my sons working there?
Swami Santananda: Yes, they are going from the Math.
Manmdra: Indpur is the place where Satu was expected to go.
Mother: Satu’s sister has been married to a man of Shihar.
Manindra: Yes, Mother. As Satu did not go to the marriage festival, his parents.
Mother: Yes, they are sorry. That is natural. But how can a monk participate in a marriage ceremony? He will go there at some other time. It will be nice if Prabhakar’s son turns out to be good. The Master used to say, “Everything in the world is jugglery. Though a jugglery, it is unfortunate that men are not aware of it.”
In the afternoon of the 16th of Ashada (June-Jury) Manindra, Prabhakar, and Prabodh Babu of Shyambazar (Fului Shyambazar) came to see the Mother. As soon as Prabhakar saluted her, she asked, “Is your son all right? I heard that he was ill.”
Prabhakar: He is all right.
Mother: When did you arrive here? Have you – taken your lunch?
Manindra and Prabodh Babu wanted to get their daughters admitted into the Nivedita School. Prabodh Babu raised the topic, asking for the Mother’s approval.
Mother: That’s right. Write to Sarat.
Prabodh Babu: We have written to him already.
A woman devotee: Will they be able to stay there? They are too young.
Mother: Certainly they will. Girls of six or seven from East Bengal live there. They don’t like to leave their hostel even when their parents come.
Prabodh Babu: I went to see the conditions in my native village today. The sufferings of the people are terrible. Men and women don’t have even clothes to wear-they couldn’t present themselves before us. Thatching can hardly be found on their house-tops.
Mother: Have you (i.e. the Panchayat Board of which he was the President) distributed rice to those people?
Prabodh Babu: It was distributed yesterday.
Mother: Do you distribute clothes?
Prabodh Babu: We distribute clothes selectively. Mother, I hear that you had seen in a dream a woman standing with a pitcher and a broomstick.
Mother: Yes, I saw a woman standing with a pitcher and a broomstick in her hands. I asked her, “Who are you?” She, said, “I shall sweep off everything.” Then I asked, “What will happen next?” She replied, “I shall sprinkle the contents of this pitcher of nectar.” It seems that this vision is coming true. I heard from my mother that when famine sets in, it continues for three consecutive years. Has it continued for two years now?
Manindra: War has been going on for a long time:
Mother: There has been war for the last four or five years. That’s something different. Has the famine continued for two years? If so, it may last for one year more.
The Mother then asked, “What’s the price of paddy?” She was told the price in terms of the local rate.
Mother: Is it so costly? And everything else – cloth, oil, and all such things – must also be expensive. Those who have these things are also likely to be worried. This time “I shall eat your skin, and you will eat mine.” One has to gracefully accept the sorrows and miseries that God is bestowing. Whatever He wills comes to pass.
Prabodh Babu: Mother, since even you have to suffer so much, what hope is there for others?
Mother: It’s as if I have been put in a cage. I can’t move about; there is no way for me to escape.
Prabodh Babu: Problems have again cropped up regarding the plot of land owned by the Master’s family at Kamarpukur.
Mother: Who is creating the problems? Is it Mahim Babu?
Prabodh Babu: No, Fakir Babu and Hem Babu.
Mother: What’s the point in these trifles? Will the shifting of the boundary fence solve the problem?
Prabodh Babu: I have already fixed posts at the four corners of the plot. The area goes up to the road. Mahim Babu is rather pleased with the arrangement. We would have done better to fix the boundary posts, a little further ahead. Then in the event of their raising objections, these could be moved Backgradually. When one has to deal with such a businessman; one has to apply the same kind of intelligence.
On hearing this strange solution to the problem, the Mother laughed heartily.
Prabodh Babu: I have written to Sarat Maharaj. We shall do whatever he advises.
Mother: Formerly a day-labourer used to earn four paise a day. I still remember when people used to write letters on large pieces of paper and send them to Calcutta by messengers who walked the whole distance. There was no postal arrangement.
Prabodh Babu: Now the postal system has made things convenient, Mother.
Mother: That’s true. I am only narrating some details about the olden days. One could get a large quantity of oil for one rupee. Now a handful of paddy sells for one rupee. People are disposing of their stock of paddy, for it fetches them a good amount of money. Even the small quantity of paddy that is left cannot be stored for very long, for they have to use it for their own consumption. They have to appease their hunger. Prasanna sold paddy worth four to five hundred rupees. A portion of his remaining stock was pilfered. Raj Ghosh too has sold out his large stock of paddy. He received a letter saying, “There will be a robbery in your house unless you pay a certain amount.” He produced the letter before the police. Perhaps some local ruffian played this trick.
When Manindra and Prabodh Babu went to salute the Holy Mother, Prabodh Babu asked her, ”Mother, should anyone leave the worldly life forcibly?”
Mother (smiling): Some persons are actually doing so, my dear.
Prabodh Babu: One perhaps runs into difficulty if one renounces the world whimsically without obtaining the grace of Mahamaya.
Mother: Such a person returns to the world.
* * *
Manindra: Swamiji (Swami Vivekananda) also suffered terribly. But he was able to overcome his suffering and his physique could withstand the tribulations.
Mother: No, he too had to suffer much from urinary trouble (diabetes). He had a burning sensation all over his body. In spite of his bad health, he ‘spilt his blood’ in hard work.
Manindra: Did he actually lose blood?
Mother: No, he didn’t. But he worked so hard that he almost bled.
Prabodh Babu: I have heard that once at Darjeeling, Swamiji put his arm around the neck of Hari Maharaj and shed tears, saying, ‘Brother, are you all to concern yourselves just with religious practices? See, I alone am working myself to death.”
Mother: Yes, my son, he shed his blood for the sake of others. It is Naren who on his return from abroad did all this. That is how these young men have come to find a shelter. Four of them are now preaching in foreign lands?
Prabodh Babu: Yes, Swami Abhedananda, Swami Prakashananda, Swami Paramananda, and Swami Bodhananda.
Mother: What’s the Sannyasa name of Kali?
Manindra: Swami Abhedananda.
Mother: Vasanta (Swami Paramananda) writes letters to people here and sends them money. He delivers lectures there. . . . Yogen (Swami Yogananda) practised much austerity. At places of pilgrimage he used to store dried crumbs of bread. He took a small quantity of this daily along with water held in his cupped palms. As a result of this he had some serious stomach trouble. It resulted in his premature death. . . . Is there happiness in the world? There is and again, there isn’t. The world is like a tree of poison. Poison permeates the whole of worldly life. But those who have plunged into worldly life – what else can they do now? Even if they understand the implications of worldly life, they can’t act otherwise.
After saluting the Holy Mother the devotees returned to the Koalpara monastery. Manindra and Prabodh Babu went to the Holy Mother again in the afternoon.
Prabodh Babu: Sarat Maharaj has replied to my letter. Should I read it out? Mother: Yes, read it.
Prabodh Babu read it out. Among other things he had written, “What can be done even if I agree? As regards keeping Prabodh Babu’s daughter Bina here, (i.e. at the Nivedita Girls’ school) the Master’s will is otherwise.”
Mother: Well, why has Sarat written in this way? He has closed the topic entirely. It must be that Sudhira did not agree. Sudhira told me, “Mother, I can’t pull on any more. I am suffering very heavily.” What an amount of trouble she takes for the girls. When she fails to meet the expenditure of the girls, she earns forty or fifty rupees per month by giving music lessons to the girls of well-to-do families. She has taught the girls of her school sewing, dress-making, and other skills. The institution earned three hundred rupees the other year and utilized it for the girls’ travelling expenses during the Puja vacation. Sudhira is the sister of Debabrata (Swami Prajnananda). Keeping himself in the background, he taught his sister how to purchase a ticket in a railway station, how to board a train without anybody’s help, and so on. In the Nivedita School there are two unmarried girls from Madras between twenty and twenty-two years old. Ah! How nicely they have learnt to do various kinds of jobs. And then, just think of our girls! Here in this wretched part of the country, people insist on a girl getting married as soon as, or even before, she is eight years old. Ah! Radhu would not have been in such a miserable plight had she not been married!