“In the company of saints.
the mind hankereth not wildly;
the soul attaineth to happiness;
Man glimpses the invisible;
He endureth the unendurable;
We reach the heights of the spirit;
We enter the Lord’s Presence;
We acquire all the virtues;
We are aware only of God;
We are granted His Name, life’s treasure”
So sang the Adi Granth of Arjan Dev, the first martyr of Sikh history and the builder of the golden temple of Amritsar. These lines precisely describe what the visitor generally expe- riences in the presence of the Mother during his stay at Jillella mudi. Hours and days trickle by and he does not feel that he had stayed sufficiently long. The stay at Jillellamudi slowly gets identified in his mind with his very existence and the recurring thoughts of his leaving the place feel like the fears of death in the midst of a bridal they like day dreams too unreal when the date of leave taking is far enough.
Not every minute of his stay is spent in Her presence. For she often retires as often as four times in a day to take a bath; and those who give her a bath de tain her there in enjoying her proximity. Besides, some of the visitors might have something confidential to put before hor and again we are left to oursel ves for a short while which seers long enough. When the interval is long, and when one has acqua- inted himself with the premises already, has naturally to spend his time sitting alone,talk- ing to himself about the place reviwing his own impressions and so on. But after repeated visits none of these occupy the mind. One slowly learns to discern an endless flow of inner peace that he had missed earlier in occupy- ing himself with thoughts. Thoughts rarely arise and the bliss of thoughtlessness, so grea- tly praised in books on mysti- cism, is what one experiences. In the early visits, one’s mind assumes the form of a single ques- tion ‘Why’ Why he came there: why he was drawn to the Mother’s feet; why so many came and stay there to serve, leaving all worldly ambitions, and far back in his mind, as a back drop to all these considerations, is intutively felt the question ‘Why and whence is my existence; nay, all Existence’. But no sooner Mother comes out again the question vanishes as though she were the answer.
The reactions of the different minds to Her presence are as varied as their natural inclina- tions. A few feel their ego rise up in an attempt to test her wis- dom, to size her up so to say. Only prolonged experience shows that she assumes the size we assign to her, unless she graces us with a blow to our ego. Others feel intense devotion express itself in a feeling that resembles sadness. Yet others feel that she is quite normal, without any thing special: such people realise in course of time that their de scription is only a description of ‘the thoughtless state’ that they had experienced. Of course abso lute thoughtlessness is the fortune of a few. But even the cammio nest of visitors feels the inner peace and contentment swallow up the world of cares and vexa tions. The few thoughts that cross their minds are like the solitary night walkers of the cities whose presence only serves to emphasize the calm of the place.
As days pass, the sense of time that makes us cry ‘we have no time to stand and stare’ in the normal world of ours loses itself thraldom. It is felt only as a prolongation of one’s stay and. not as a force that binds and limits one’s stay. The whole of one’s stay in Jillellamudi is a verified experience of time i.e. time is not experienced as the passage of hours, minutes and days but as the flux af a ‘con tinuous Present Tense’. Some readers and visitors to Jillellamudi might question these state- ments but I can say that their stay had been too short, or their stay was frittered away in empty conversation with one’s compan ions or their had been little atten- tive to what is happening in the depths of their minds. For several of our brethern who questioned my views carlier have later came to aflirm them. Seve. ral of these who had complained about their early visits that they had no experience worth the name, in course of time and on careful retrospective intro- spection have come to realize that their self-study was at fault. In fact I am one such. Mother, so many peak about their expe- riences, why do I have no expe rience at all?, I asked Iler once. Pat came the reply No-experi ence is an experience in itself! I was at first dazed.
But to-day I can only say that the no-experience of which I complain is not a continuation of mental state of our daily lives; on the other hand it is mar- ked by a lulling of the mental flagellations. Similar was the answer of Sai Baba of Shirdi to a similar question. Even Blaga. van Ramana Maharshi said that visions and such experiences do not necessarily constitute the elevation of the inner spirit to a great height; the peace that radiates from the silence of the age is a greater manifestation of inner alchemy in us accord ing to him. Cmditioned con tentment that swallows up all vexations and waries, all worl dly ttachmen’s, a perennial flow of inner purity and bliss fill the very core of me’s being. This expanse of the olf this flow of purity and bliss is in itself the goal of all true spiritual ende avour and is felt in Her presences even by those who never exerted themselves in that direction.
Those that follow a particular line of Sadhana say nirajapa or Namajapa – have experiences of their own and they are generally of a few types. The more fortunate ones like Sri Yarlagadda Ragavaiah of Singu palem have a mystic darshan of their deity in Mother’s form; some find Mother in the picture of the deity they worship. Yet others find that in Her preselice, the Sadhana which they could not carry on with regularity by any amount of effort, goes on of its own accord so incessantly and with such depth that constitutes their real intiation. into it. But the strangest of all is that some of them-even those who had pursued their Sadhana consistently for years earlier-feel that once they came into Her presence, all Sadhana is superfluous; they find that even if they break their rigid routine to be in the company cel the Mother, they are only bettered. A few of them even given up all Sadhana; for they are fortimate 10 realize an experience wardly the truth That she took their welfare s her responsibility leaving nothing to their limited cap.cities and efforts. This may also be the case in Whose hearts their Sadhana gave rise to a false pride and scuse superiority over tellows for this stunts their spiritual development. For Christ said Judge not lest ye be judged” and the sacred text says Virtue is no virtue. In short, those who are already pursuing a line of Sadhana find that in Her presence their effort widened, deepened and rendered more all-embracing and uninteremittent. In those who never practised any type of spiritual discipline. This profound influence presence results in their mind getting more and more centered on Mother-her miraculous form, her incomparable words daher profound silence. Any habitual fickness of the mind is checked chanting of Mother’s name that goes on from the lips of everyone all the time what ever task they might be physically engaged in at the moment..
Another experience that is usually shared by many people Her presence is that, gradually vices and faultsini in one’s personality get rectified. The thraldom of vices is slacke ned. Excessive irritability, pride, neurotis are all graduly elimi nated. Seeptics aud scoffers of Mother divinity get gradually their transformed-mainly because they find in Ler the enlliment of the truth of all religions in its prestine form and not its degenerate forni which is the result of distortion by ignorant rhodoxy (and of which they had been severe critics). Humi lity is automatically induced in the heart of the visitor by her august presence-chiefly because he finds in her utter simplicity and perfect wisdom a contrast to his own vanity; secondly because er the logic of her words anni. hilates his egoistic arguments; her questions corner him to a helpless corner where he is stripped naked of his illusions of him-elf. Sometimes her rebuff to thy rise of wuce vanity is silent and subtle. A proud musician miserably fails; a sadhu who is proud over the camphor or the sugar candy that he can materia- lise is taught a lesson that it is nothing. The proud pontiffs run helter skelter under the shower of hailstones of her questions and replies.
In the original text, the first line was used as a sort of a refrain alternating with every other line, but in quoting it, we have omitted the refrain for the sake of brevity without sacrificing the meaning. -Author.
Mother, why is a cocoanut broken before God?
Why ask me? Perhaps as a substitute for breaking the head.
To the question “Who am I”, the reply is the thread of the Garland.
When the bead is pulled aside, the I thread is discovered.