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Mother Through Our Understanding

Dr Sripada Gopalakrishna Murthy
Magazine : Matrusri English
Language : English
Volume Number : 2
Month : May
Issue Number : 2
Year : 1967

‘SAINTS have been known in all Countries and all times. What is it you find in this Jillellamudi mother, which you do not find else. Where?’


“The school of philosophy founded by compte?”

There may be some similarities between what Mother says and what Compte strove to establish But what I mean here is Mother’s positivism compared to the traditionally known teachings of our Indian advaitic philosophers. She was born and bread up in rural and unsophisticated atmosphere, and one can only wonder how She learnt all that She says.’

‘I would like to hear some examples.”

“I have quite a lot to quote. Someone put Her the question, “What is advaita? That which is all’. She answered simply. We know that the word advaita literally means non-dualism. Whatever be that duality, which is sought to be unified by the word advaita. Her explanation spreads over it. An advaitin might say ‘Brahman and Jiva (or the individual soul) are the two that are referred to; a visishtaadvaitin might say that the two are Brahman and Jagat (the universe made by the souls and world); and the pundit in the temple, ‘Shiva Vishnu’. As if by a spontaneous conspiracy, all these varying explanations dissolve in Her simple. explanation, That which is all’. Each one of those quarrelling religionists must agree with Her. The word itself has a patent negative aspect, which becomes positive with Her touch. A great vedantic scholar asked his brother to make a note of it when he heard this explanation of advaita.

“Indeed her explanation is noteworthy.’

“You would have heard it said that Brahman rs quality-less (nirguna), action-less (nishkriya), motiveless (nissankalpa) and formless (niraakara)’. This negative description is adopted probably to save the logical purity of the absolute. If he were to be endowed with any quality, form, motive, or action, He gets to be limited by that, He can be circumscribed by that, He becomes definite and describable. Some thinkers introduced a prefix’ Anan takalyaana’ to the ‘gunaprapoorna’ that they want God to be. But this kalyaana’ is only relative, relative to the human being, who is in the coils of the dualities. So, ‘Ananta kalyaana guna prapoor natva’ is still a step below the Absolute. I feel that Mother fills the gap between experience and the ideal by including ‘all qualities (everything that can come into the domain of quality)’ all forms, all actions etc; as His. What is more,She renders the dry-logical. intellectual, understanding of nirgunatva, niraakaa ratva etc, sweet and acceptable by Her saying, ‘He is nirguna only because He has All gunas, niraakaara only because He has All forms, nishkriya only because He is responsible for All actions and nissan kalpa only because His are All sankalpas’. Her conversion of the negative prefix into a totally positive all, is like the touch of the philosopher’s stone, of the elixir of life. “He is not this (alone), He is al. The suffiixless’ of the several vibhootis mentioned above, does not mean ‘Nil,’ it only means the absence of localisation.” “He is not this or that, because He is all.” The “Not this, not that of the advaitin looks like scrupulous elimi nation is warranted from all; as it is agreed that All this Brahman’ (sarvam khalvidam Brahman)’. That advaita is not shoonyavada was maintained by the great Acharya, but it was this negative prefix that gave a handle to his opponents, whether they be dvaitis or some others! The ‘not’ denies (according to Mother) finiteness but does not eschew it from the Infinite (afer all, infinite’ includes ‘finite doesn’t it!). Constant reading and hearing placed before our scholars only the negative aspect, the positive having bounced off from all we see and know, to ‘those unknown depths of space, where He shines with resplendent glory (and poetic beauty).. Mother does not tire us into indefinite sojourns She tells us “He has this quality and all the others, He has this form and all the rest, He has this motive and all the rest, etc.” The ‘vaa k-, maanasa agochara’ of the shastras is ‘gochara’ alright, but agochara in the infinity of His attributes, forms, motives etc. The gap between the finite and the, infinite is closed, we see in everything only the finite. aspect of the infinite! Any form, any quality, which enchants you is Hers, surrender to it, and you Peach Mother, who is not fearful in Her infinitude but loveable in Her finite aspect. She is smaller than the atom for your reach, and larger than all you can see for your comprehension.”


“The relationship of the finite with the Infinite, and of attachmet to one’s own with universal love, are confused by the scholars, who vivisect localisation from the universe, and the individual soul from the universal. They eschew all attachment from the trial for God-attachement! They recommend the negative, (i.e) running away from the positive (attachment). Mother says, “You would like to know, what my vairaagya is? It is sarvatra anuraaga’. Vairagya or non-attach ment is not opposite of attachment, it is not negative attachment, according to Mother. Vairaagya is the spreading of attachment to a few to all. The negative prefix ‘Vai’ is made positive by being replaced by ‘Sarvatra-‘. In answer to someone’s question, Mother said, ‘It is enough to discover everywhere (outside), that which you see in your own child’

“What does she mean?”

‘What is it you see in your child? Something belonging to you, something your own. When you can discover, that everything you see, living and non-living, is your own

“That is wonderful’

You then see yourself spread about every where. This is what She herself sees through Her sarvatra anuraga

‘At what age did she come to realise all this?

‘While yet a girl, She replied to a question by Sri Vasudas “I want (the state of) not wanting anything (in particular)”. And to-day She defines a sthithaprajna as one, who does not even sthithaprajna” want

“You said that her particular characteristic is positivism. Outside religion-,’

“She said once, ‘My state is one with knowledge about all, but nothing (in particular) all the same. ‘In the very early days, when visitors started trickling to Jillellamudi, She was once seen entertaining a sickly lady by playing cards. ‘So you know how to play?’, asked Srimati Manikyamma. Mother replied, ‘I do not know any play (in particular) before sitting to play. When I sit to play, there is nothing I can’t play’. You would have heard the story of the disappointed multi specialist. He declared, ‘I have specialised in Physics, Chemistry, Botany, and Philosophy. I specialised in-” ‘That will do’ said the appointing authortiy, ‘You have Not specialised in any particular subject’. We are used to hearing the later part of the sentence in a slightly different form in Indian philosphy, ‘He is not this, He is not that.Vishnu is known as Damodara, but He is the Lord of of Lakshmi alright.

By her counting the aspects of the phenomenal world as those of Brahman, does she not attribute heterogeneity (svagata bheda) to Brahman?’

I feel that Her saying that He is all. infuses eternal homegeneity into the concept of Brahman. If all is He, there is no second to Him, there is no vijaateeya bheda. Even if we imagine that he, who has all forms is different from one, who has all sankalpas; and also different from another, who is all actions; etc, these all’s get fused together by Her statement, “Advaita is that which is all”. Several times did She say, “I am That, you are that, everything is that”. So there is no sajaateeya bheda. Her sayings, “Why say Brahmajnaana? Jnaana itself is Brahma; ‘Aatmasaakshaatkaara is everything appearing as Aatman’; ‘he, who knows himself knows All’; “unless you start with ‘un-atman’, all will not show as Aatman,” make clear the fact that She has not even the ghost of a doubt or feeling that Brahman has svagata bheda. All that remains for us therefore is the necessity to understand and realise that fact. It is the all-ness that characterises the absolute. The argument of the logician points at ‘not-this-ness’ but not all-ness. It is ‘not-this alone-ness’, and ‘all-ness’ that we have to realise. It is this positive statement that Mother makes.

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