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Mother through our understanding

Dr Sripada Gopalakrishna Murthy
Magazine : Matrusri English
Language : English
Volume Number : 1
Month : February
Issue Number : 9
Year : 1967

“What is the characteristic greatness of this Jillellamudi Mother’s

“I TOO STARTED with the same question. I asked every one I could net there, to tell me why he considered her a great soul. One pointed out that she does not take any food that?” but continues to be as capable as anyone of us.”

“Are you sure she doesn’t take any food?”

I saw her sipping a spoon coconunt water from a cup offered to her, nailing a tiny chip of the kernel and putting it into her mouth. I saw her also sipping an ounce-yes it was only an ounce of very hot coffee. I do not call these food, do you? all? I heard her husband say oneday, while she was mixing together rice, soup, curry and chutney in a large leaf, “Why don’t you cat one or two morsels? We will be able to see that!** Her mother-in-law said also that she never showed interest in eating and She herself said, “I didn’t for sake food, food forsook me.”

“what does she mean by that

“I am not sure about what she meant, but I felt pity that there was probably no one inte rested in asking her to eat, since her mother died. She was of often heard saying that she did not feel hungry. To her grand father she said one day “In this kali, I have no aakali (hunger)”

“What? Kali? Did she mean that she never felt hunger at all?

“She says that! She told one Moolpuri Subramanya Sastry, that her not eating food was due to food not agreeing with her, but not due to her following any rules of Yoga saadhana”

“Was she known to have practised any yoga?”

“That was what she denied,  when she said about her not  taking any food. No one has yet reported that he saw: her practising this yoga or that, not even her husband or her children. We heard from one of her relatives that years ago, she was known to be just lying under a blanket for hours to gether. Sometimes while thus lying, she was heard to be conversing and that too in English” 

“With whom?

“Oneday, having been asked by that same lady, Mother replied, “With the mother in Aravindaashrama”

“Why do you then say that she did not practise yoga?”

“I don’t think that that kind of talking could be any practice of yoga. It was a ‘siddhi’ like seeing through distances and hearing what people talk else where. As I told you already, no one has seen her practise any dhyaana or yoga. She said once in answer to a question, “I did not do any practice. I just took pleasure or pain as they came to 

me indifferently, and through both happily. Went

“How could she do that, you think?”

“I can’t imagine. But she tells us how it should be possible. No one can inflict pain or pleasure on another; one can only suffer pain or pleasure.” She would say.

“I can’t understand,”

“I shall try to explain in the way she often does. Pleasure or pain are only subjective, they depend on our attitude forbearance. What you think is pain for me may not be so to me, if I take it as for instance the satyagrahis took it at the time of the civil disobedience movement against the British raj. “Take every experience of life as one allotted to you, even like day and night, summer and winter, etc. about which can’t do anything but you go through ‘she says.’ 

“Does she advocate fatalism?”

In a way yes. ‘As in a dramatic performance. every thing is predetermined’ she says. “We can’t get what is not ours, nor avoid having what is our  share.”

‘If it is already decided, what we should get and what not, code.” where is the need or use of our trials at all? We can as well sit quiet, and await the supply of food, raiment, shelter, every- thing?

‘She says. You can’t even sit quiet. That too is not in your power. Just to verify, try and see if even sitting quiet is possible for you?’

“Even if I could show that, it can be said that, such sitting was ordained for me already!”

‘So you believe that we can do anything by ourselves, and

Not anything, as there are others also to do what they would wish to do’

‘Let alone others. You know what you ought to do for your happiness, what you should do with your money, leisure, etc. Do you think you are able to do accordingly?’

“What’ exactly, is your doubt?’

If I were to ask you to fix up a code of conduct for a person like you, you can draw up a scheme, can’t you? Now, I am asking you, if you are keeping exactly to such a code.’


‘You know what is right and what is wrong, what the duties of a citizen in the present emergency are, how we have to conduct ourselves so as not to injure others interests, etc. Why is it you think, you are not able to do what all you think is good?’


“So there is interference with your goodness, my goodness, and everyone’s goodness. Goodness is somehow not able to do all that it wants to do. Let us look at what selfishness is able to do. You may be selfish, but you are not able to deny having taken a loan from somebody just because he has no document to prove it. Everyone’s selfishness is again not able to do all that it would. have him do. There is interfe rence from somewhere.”


Limitation if you like. who limits it?’ But


Then, there is in everyone a propeller and a break, working within limits. These limits are different for each individual, and with each trait of character. If we now think of our trials and successes in the world outside, limits appear there too and for each individual. We don’t get everything we want, and we don’t fail to get what we do not try for. Who limits these?’


‘We see several phenomena in nature, physical chemical biolo- gical etc. Do you think these are also the result of chance or-“

‘Some order characterises na. Ture.’

We too are part of nature? Our thoughts, aspirations, trials successes. disappointments, are all within the macrocosm of na tural forces working in this. n-dimensional universe, and they can’t just result from a random possibility in an accidedtal impact. Laws of nature, tenden- cies, instincts, clearly indicate a cosmic flow with a direction. but not a chaos throwing up those aspects.

‘I agree’

“We are points of a live macro cosm like tongues in a univese of fire. We could not be antono. mous, as in that case, an order would not be obvious in ne universe. I do not mean human beings alone when I say ‘We’. All thoughts the several forms we see, the actions we witness, all belong to the one Great All Cosm, which rolls on according to its schedule.

“In a huge conflagration, every square millimetre of its being can light up a candle. Its energy is not different from that of the whole fire, is it? Same is true of a huge light. Every point in it is a source of light, but not inspite of the whole. In a similar way, action starts with us, and being live or conscious points of the all pervading ‘chit’ we think that that action is our own.”

“Are these teachings of hers printed?’

“Not even well recorded. She does not give any speeches. Just a sentence or two from her, when come someone anxious to clear a doubt asks her. It is from such sentences only that one can guess about the underlying picture.”

‘Can I hear a few of such sentences?’

‘Certainly. I shall quote a few sentences relevant to our present conversation. “Hardship is only what you do not like” “Pain is only that which you can’t bear” Torture is that which you can’t put up with’, are three of such sayings. Suffering, she means, is only subiective’. If our attitude to life’s experience is one of accence, as towards all natural phenomena, there will be no suffering. “What is hoped for will not happen, what is one’s own, wouldn’t fail to reach him” is another sentence. This one is her statement of the nature of (human) experience. It indientes that there is a cosmic order, waves of which reach us. Wer have to heave up and down even as swimmers do on the waves of the sea, enjoying both alike, It is said that man proposés. and God disposes. That is not what is. Man proposes only on God proposing is another sen. tence of hers. This tells us that the cosmic drama is directed. We play the actors.”

‘What does she tell one, who doesn’t believe in God?’

We said a moment ago that there is an order in the Universe. This order is objective, it can’t be denied by any observer. Who looks after this order or, whose order is this according to an atheist?


He stops with naming it Nature. Those that believe in God, go one step further, and ask Whose nature?’, and answer God’s nature. They integrate the Consciousness which unit tains the being without any partiality or preference. i.e. with blissfull indifference into God! Whether you believe in God or not, the implications in her sayings stay. Only, substi tute ‘Nature’ by ‘God.’

“Who taught her all this?

Her husband asked her once, How do you answer these questions, which we, who are more read than you, find it difficult to:’. She replied, “I just feel, this is perhaps the answer, and say it? You asked in the beginning, What is her specia lity?This is one of her specialities.. There are others, but it is better you find them out for yourself.

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