Brother: Mother, I don’t feel like asking; I have not come to ask you anything. I don’t know what I should say. Suppose I speak something….
Mother: (before he completed the sentence)
No need to speak (and after some interval) Brother: Is it possible to continue our sadhana while living in the ordinary ‘business’ of life?
Mother: You can, if you don’t feel it is a burden… (showing another visitor….)
Brother: Ok. We accept your position. Look at this person (showing another devotee). He doesn’t have any issues with the world. But he is unable to concentrate, he says. If that is the position he has, what about us?
Mother: It may not be possible for him. It may be for you.
Brother: It doesn’t happen when we think about it. But, sometimes, it happens even without thinking about it. Naturally it occurs. I keep making rail journeys many times. Four or five hours pass just like that… without my notice. Often I have to stop my sadhana. When I feel impure, and think (sadhana) becomes defiled.
Mother: Impurity for us, not for HIM, Is it not? Brother: If I do (sadhana) without taking a bath?
Mother: Why are we inclined to take a bath? It makes us feel fresh. Therefore, you can do japa at any time. It hardly matters. Suppose we go out. (to relieve). You recalled your mantra. Instantly, impurity is dissolved.
Brother: That’s it. You told me what I was unable to say. It is not in the prescribed time, except that, at other times only it is possible (to focus). Then the thought occurs to me : you are told not to do like that.
Mother: We don’t utter it through our mouth. Yet, comes by itself in the mind. Isn’t it? Therefore, nothing like that. You can do it at any time.
Brother : It is enough if there are people like you to clarify in this way. We get enough courage and confidence.
Mother: Do (mantra, japa) at any time. Do it if it strikes the mind. It does not get defiled or impure – in whatever state you are. Mantra is meant to purify us. Therefore, do it. We cannot defile it, ever. (Conversation No. 69 pp. 117-118)
Whenever I wish to do the self-imposed, mandatory job of writing my response to Mother’s discourse, invariably the feeling comes: what is so simple. I am needlessly complicated. Perhaps, academic background is built on making transparent things intolerably complex. Moreover, there is one more aspect: Mother’s language is crisp, clear, homely and does not complicate her thought.
Look at the problem of the brother: he in fact came, of course, for Ma’s darshan. But this is not a complete reason. We, like him, are somewhat hesitant to ask questions: unless we are brash or given to ‘show yourself. This Ma easily perceives’. Genetically we feel overpowering ‘awe’ seeing a person like Ma. We have preconceptions. They are so high that we the ‘lowly and the lost’ feel diffident. Fear overrides faith that she is our Mother. This is one problem.
The second is: there are many myths about rituals and spiritual life. For instance, we are given to believe that sadhan has to be undertaken in a rarefied world of utter purity. And concentration is possible only for a purified mind. We forget that ‘mind’ is a notoriously Jumping Jack. And generalize : for it is possible to concentrate with ease. For us it is difficult. And imputing impurities, we freeze in our sadhana and seek clarification. “It may be possible for him. It may not be possible for you. Moreover, self-prescriptions for our mind-generated doubts and puzzles is surely what the business of the mind is. Yet, the same mind can (and ought to) clarify our doubts.
‘Don’t touch ism’ is rampant in spiritual life. It leads to comparison and we always dery ourselves. Then purity, impurity raise their heads victoriously. Without a bath, doing sadhana, is heretical. This issue rages in the most simple to the most complex levels. Mother tells us about ‘Mouth – Mind’ vis-a-vis Mantra. “It comes by itself in the mind’ – Mother says. In short, it rises to the peaks of the higher levels of purity and its opposite impurity. “Do it if it strikes the mind” – says Mother. It is Mother’s leela, after all. Perhaps, a song which Sri Ramakrishna relished can tell us how
Mother plays with us:
Mother! what a machine is this that Thou hast made!
What pranks thou playset with this toy
Three and a half cubits high!
Hiding Thyself within, Thou holdest the guiding string!
But the machine, not knowing it,
Still believes it moves by itself.
Whoever finds the Mother remains a machine no more;
Yet, some machines have even bound
The Mother Herself with the string of Love.
Love: That is what matters. Everything else is a secondary factor.