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Prof M Sivaramakrishna
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 13
Month : October
Issue Number : 4
Year : 2014

Finishing her bath, MOTHER came into the hall and sat in her usual place. Some visitors from Guntur and Amaravati were there. One among them gazed at Mother for a few minutes. Then he asked her :

Visitor : Mother! What is the definition of the word ‘Mother’ ?

Mother: In my view, one who is eternal, endless.

Visitor: They say, Jaganmatha. Does it mean that she is the Mother of the universe ?

Mother : She is not the Mother of the universe. The universe itself is Mother. It is very supportive (adhara). Look at the flowers: to make them into a garland, thread is the support. For the flowers, the branch of the tree; for the branch, the tree; for that tree, the earth is the support. Where is the end for this?

For everything, something else is the support. All are supported for the all- in their own autonomous way.

Visitor : Mother, we need a firm, steady mind to worship the Universal Mother. How can it be achieved?

Mother : The very one who created the aspiration to worship will also do what is needed (to achieve it)

Visitor : But human beings are fickle – minded. Aren’t they, Mother?

Mother : The fickle-mind is also a part of that. Isn’t it? when you feel that everything is Mother, where is the scope or need for (thinking about) your role? At the proper time, the Mother who herself is the eternal movement, makes herself stable, unmoving. Don’t you know? Among Her countless ‘names’. She is invoked (adored) as the “one who is eternally moving”.

(No. 125; p. 206)

Let me make a confession: in translating this seemingly simple passage I had a problem. Of course, translation can never be satisfactory. In the case of this conversation, two words are in English: “Worship” is an English word which both Mother and the visitor used. The ‘definition’ was used by the visitor. And “mother”: does it refer to the Mother of All, or simply mother as a generic term? If it refers to “Mother of All”, definitions are of no use. Seemingly simple, she is anirvachaniya : indescribable. And definitions which are exact, precise, unambiguous and transparent are of little use.

Similarly, there is the question about the mind which is fickle. Deep meditative state is not achievable by empirical, tried and tested tools. The nature of the mind is innately complex. Look at Mother’s bringing us back to nature and its components: she goes to the root of “support” – adhara – which ‘unites’ all. Look at the examples: flowers, trees, branches, thread etc., From the interconnectedness of everything with everything else in the cosmos, she answers the question about “fickle mind” its support as a counterpart is freedom from any distraction. In short, since the analogies are real, spirituality (and its aspects such as meditation) is also a natural phenomenon. Its logic is natural.


If we can venture further, Mother tells us about the spiritual truths behind facts. These truths are not ‘phantoms of the brain’ which neurologists are exploring (notably by V.S. Ramachandran). Such an investigation may throw light on what “realities” are.

Why should nature give us a mind which is both the window to perception and experiences which are spiritual realities and yet endow it with a fickle nature? The reason is: dualism. We live in an apparently divisive world of bifurcation. Thus if there is Krishna – Kamsa equation, the equation marks everything we experience. From the vedic rishis down to our times, the prophets, saints and sages proclaimed the spiritual aspects of harmony, peace and joy. Yet, nothing substantial seems to have happened. Violence continues, imbalances – social, economic, political etc – persist. But, then, they are alongside the presence of the UN and other agencies (though not much seems to happen). We tame the imbalances, that’s all.

To simplify this point, let me cite Coventry Patmore, a philosopher of sorts: “The virtues are nothing but ordered passions and vices are nothing but passions in disorder.” The energy behind is the same but flowing though different channels. And that energy, in whatever form, is the same. Therefore, should we not enrich “Mother of All’ with its inseparable counterpart MOTHER IS ALL?

I wish to thank the renderer who appreciated this regular feature (published in the previous issue) and especially his explaining them to the youngsters.

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