Light and Shade

Ekkirala Bharadwaja
Magazine : Matrusri English
Language : English
Volume Number : 1
Month : January
Issue Number : 8
Year : 1967

ALL the world we see is a pro- duct of light and shade. All the life we experience is an interplay of joy and sorrow, faith and doubt, fear and hope. So is it with the quest for peace, for the Divine.

The initial thrills of the first few visits and the early spells of sojourning at Jillellamudi past, the devotee enters the calm and deep high seas, He is no longer looked upon as the new visitor, a guest. He becomes one in the family there It is for him to receive the new visitor, to look after him and join hands with the others to make the new visi- tor at home and comfortable. So to say, it is a period of weaning of the child from the Mother and the transition has its own vexa tions. If it is so in a social sense, it is equally so in the psychologi cal realms. Having passed through it ourselves, it is fun to observe others experience the same vexation and slip in the same mud wherein we had slipped. There are tears blended in that  laughter.

The first few visits and pe riods of stay at Jillellamudi are usually marked by special atten tion bestowed on us by Mother and consequently by all. When the hall is too full and when a new batch of devotees have to be given the Darshan of Mother, those who had it would be asked to give room to others– if Mother’s seat is not already arran ged in the outer court yard. But the new asked to sit on. comer would be Mother perso nally enquires about his needs and comforts. She sends word to him when she comes out into the hall if he is waiting for her somewhere outside.

In the normal world of ours we are not accustomed to be treated so even in our own house unless we have in us some special merit or qualification. When once the visitor meets with such treatment here which he imagines to be invidious, unless he is extremely humble, the latent ego is puffed up. He feels himself to be specially qualified. Probably he did not hear or remember what Mother once said, “IfI were to talk in terms of deservedness, there would not be a single soul here that is worthy to step on this side of the seventh mile. Mother’s love is inspite of the child’s failings and perhaps on account of them: it is because the child is never at fault in the eyes of the Mother however faulty it might be. This puffed- up ego is certainly not in the interests of the devotee’s impro- vement and so he shall be weaned.

The whole process, I feel. serves a manifold purpose. The initial concern acclimatises the new-born child to the infinite love of Mother which he would never find anywhere and which he would never succeed in forget ing even if he tries. Once this is over, there is no need to look upon him with special care. This also serves another purpose of bringing to the surface any family. hidden defects of one’s persona lity which one would never know, much less rectify but for this treatment of Mother. When he is asked for the first time to make room for others in the hall

or when for the first time he notices that Mother is no longer taking personal interest in his daily needs, or that she is talking all the time with other children, the resentment he feels reminds one of the parable of Jesus Christ. He narrated how a father gave his property to both the childern and how the one became a dili gent worker and how the other became a squanderer. When the prodigal son returned to the father empty-handed, the father ran to him, embraced him and celebrated his return with a feast. His honest son resented it because none of his diligence ever caused such joy to his father as the return of the prodigal. The father explained that the son who is lost has returned whereas what ever belongs to him (the father) belonged to him, the deligent son. The weaning child takes time to understand that he, in fact, has become more completely a mem her of the Universal family, that he has come nearer to Mother in that sense. The reception given to a guest is different from the one given to a member of the family. 

This experience has its coun terpart in deeper realm of the mind. He starts questioning himself. Of what use is coming and staying here. Is not the im provement in my spiritual sta- ture transient and vanishing when I leave Jillellamudi? Why does not Mother verbally assure me of the attainment of perfection?

On careful self-observation one certainly notices a change in him during his stay at Jillella mudi. His mind is more peace ful. His intellect gets flashes of illumimination when he never thought he is capable of getting. His heart is more benign to all. His mind is less hankering after narrow personal needs. He is able to meditate better. So complete is the transportation to a higher level of existence, that a prolonged stay more than convinces one that he is originally made of nobler stuff than he had ever dreamed or others per- ceive. But alas! once he leaves. Jillellamudi, the mists of noble purity gradually fade out and only a keener awareness of one’s short-comings, a more unsparing self-searching is all that re mains. When this experience is repeated, it is natural to ask one self, “Is there no permanent benefit in coming here? Will there be no lasting change?” I felt like that and I asked Mother almost on the verge of tears. “How do you know that there is no change in you? When the transformation is perfect, you

remeber so little of your former self that you imagine you had all along been what you have now become. Real transformation is imperceptible, she replied. Now when I look back I remember what once Mother told a devotee when he expressed a similar doubt “No one steps on this soil in vain!”

I must confess I had been foolish enough to repeat my complaint to Mother. “If you don’t feel that you are in any way benefited, then stop coming here,” she coldly replied. I was dumbfounded, shocked, per plexed. I struggled to decide that way. Years after, I find myself going there as often as I could and staying as long as possible.” If it were really a waste, you won’t be coming,” she once remarked. You feel a peace, a joy, a solace when you come and stay here. It is for that you come.. Is not that purpose served? Do you ask about lasting benefit in matters ulterior? Then you are talking of what you had never known by experience. You had just heard other people talk about it or found it in books. You never really knew it. So you don’t have a means of judging whether your progress ing towards that or not. Don’t bother about that. Every thing will come in its time.” She told me. I swallowed all that she said half-heartedly.

Later I happened to read that a similar question was put to Bhagawan Ramana and his answer was similar. This assured me. I must confess my approach to Mother was full of doubts and fears seeking assurance at second hand i.e. by correlating her state ments with those of other great saints. Yet I found I could not help running to her feet as often as I could. I found that doubt. can often be the garb of faith, that doubt can bind us as much to God as faith does.


Feeling I am doing is humin.

 Feeling that He does” is Inaana.

 Being all is divine.

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