[Recently we published an account in the series ‘Mother As I See Her’ of how Amma fell unconscious shortly after receiving a telephone call from Hyderabad informing her that Mr. J.F. Neiland was close to death. This sudden crisis in Mother’s health lasted only a half an hour. Shortly after her recovery a new message was received; Nieland’s condition had taken a dramatic turn for the better and he was now out of danger. We asked our brother from Holland to tell us his own memory of this illness, and also to bring us up to date on his activities, thoughts and aspirations. We thank brother Nieland for the following account which gives a fascinating “inner view” of this illness which also marked a major turning point in his spiritual life.]
Thank you for your nice letter which is clearly born from the urge to promote Mother’s message. I see Her Message as an unprecedented effort to liberate humanity from every sort of “cultural brainwashing” and also to bring Man back to a natural understanding of the whole of creation, an understanding which unfolds itself from within whenever obstructive thought structures are removed.
My last visit to India (in 1974) was motivated by mounting pressure on the psychic channels, the nature of which I could not understand sufficiently, nor could I find any helpful information about it. Furthermore, I had a desire to see some people of the guru-type, to get a clearer understanding of the fascinating factors which are pulling people to these gurus. My friend Bharadwaja was a great help and source of information and took me to visit various yogis and gurus. The last one was Swami Purnananda in Sri Sailam Colony. He was kind enough to let me live and meditate in his nearby forest ashram. However, after a few days, a boy living near the ashram started telling Indian tourists that a European was doing TAPAS (austerities). The result was that the tourists who came to visit a favorite spot of a great ancient sage were also guided to my dwelling place. I decided to leave and consulted Swami Purnananda for a better place. He informed me about a very peacefully situated temple 50 miles away built halfway up a cliff of rock. In this quiet place I was able to obtain greater clarity, but at the same time I contracted various diseases which almost killed me.
For many, many years my mind had been filled with a big question. Step by step I had been losing all sense of purpose until only this fundamental question remained in all its nakedness; What is the purpose of my life or of anyone’s life? The question had for a long time taken over complete control of my reasoning and feeling. It is a very fundamental question for elderly Christians of western countries who, from early childhood have been indoctrinated about the purpose of creation without the individual freedom to search for an answer.
Since I had lost all sense of purpose, there was no urge left to live on and neither was there any urge to finish life, although the thought of it often touched my mind.
When my food was finished I had to leave the attractive and remote rock-dwelling near the temple to return to the hospitably offered accommodations in the house of T. Rajagopalachari at Hyderabad. From there, my travel plans were to go to Delhi and then on to Nepal (my visa for India was finished). However, after buying a train ticket to Delhi I became weak and the following day a quickly mounting fever developed which I tried to cure with a fast. Lalitha, the wife of T. Rajagopalachari, was very concerned and urged me to go to the hospital. The same day I was hospitalized. However, the treatment did not have the results which I had expected. I had a collapse soon after I was in a coma. Again, it was through Lalitha’s concern (as I was told later) that Chari, her husband, physically carried me out of the hospital that I was in and brought me to a newly established hospital nearby. Only at the moment of arrival did I have a few seconds of consciousness in which I saw the porter. Lalitha had also been telephoning Amma to inform her about my condition and to urge her to do something about it, as I was told much later.
In the new hospital, Chari insisted upon a consultation of the available specialists and physicians to analyze the cause of my disease and also demanded that an elderly, very experienced retired physician should be consulted. My blood had started to coagulate, which was visible in the blue spots all over the body. The elderly physician pointed out that the blood coagulation could not be due to death as I showed slight signs of still being alive. From then on desperate attempts were made to treat me for suspected typhus and other diseases. During these attempts life almost failed, the heart beat had become very irregular and weak, and the medical staff had given up all hope of my survival. By telephone, Amma was informed about this, after which she returned to her room and became ‘unconscious’ for some time. All this happened on the morning of the fifth or sixth day of my coma and by that afternoon the medical staff had decided that the crisis was over and that I would pull through.
My personal memory seems to go back to that very afternoon (or perhaps the next day). I was aware of a remote, peaceful and impersonal content of my mind in which the awareness of there being ‘no purpose’ was prevalent and was clearly reaching back into the past. It was a normal energetic sort of consciousness, but without any awareness of the senses. At the same time, there were some fundamental viewpoints on living which appeared worthwhile to communicate to others. All desire to evaluate (judge) and to decide had disappeared-decision processes were no longer accepted by my mind. It had started to accept the absence of a ‘Supreme Purpose’ in the universe; it was the beginning of accepting all and everything as it is, without demanding a reason or a cause and effect relationship as we find in science.
Time and space had become united into one grand concept of change-growth-life-energy-consciousness. Fundamental peace had come although it still had to blossom.
The next time that I became conscious I felt an urge to sing “Jayaho Matha Sri Anasuya Rajarajeswari Sri Paratpari” and, with some small awareness of the nurse-sisters who were present, I urged them to join me in the singing- The thought content of the song was not important to me; it was the force with which it dissolves limiting thought structures that seemed meaningful at the time.
Soon some of the brothers from Hyderabad and Raju, the son of Chari and Lalitha. started coming to visit me one at a time. Then, while my capacity for sense awareness was still very limited, a large group of brothers and sisters, including Chari and Lalitha, came to see me. Chari stood very brotherly near me, but ray attention was particularly directed to Lalitha standing shyly in the doorway with the other brothers. I felt that she had been the motor behind all the medical efforts, and through my look at her I tried to convey that I knew it.
After a few weeks Amma made a special trip to Hyderabad to visit me; I was overwhelmed. Despite all the things which Amma may have done, I am unable to put this one into corresponding words and sentences. There is, in my mind, no difference between NATURE and the AMMA-FORCE which is behind the little woman on the cot at Jillellamudi.
A few days after recovering from the coma I discovered that my legs were paralyzed. The necessary operation prolonged my stay in the hospital to three months.
I cannot remember whether I paid a subsequent visit to Amma at Jillellamudi, but I do remember that she told me, “There is no need to come to Jillellamudi”, I presume because Amma the CAUSE of everything is everywhere. The total undivided presence of Nature is Amma.
On my return to the Netherlands I observed in my mind a continuous awareness of all and everything in my environment. All fundamental questions had left my mind. There was an urge however to produce some clarity regarding a big category of parapsychic phenomena. Later on another task was added. I developed an urge to help dissolve the dramatic confusion in the field of economics which is the primary cause of the present international chaos and destructiveness. In both fields, Nature (Amma) has given me some very clear insights. Unfortunately, these efforts, together with the building of my home, have totally drained my mental energy, so that at the moment I am unable to present my view in an effective manner to the local community.
On my return to Holland I took with me some invisible companions. They were amoebic-dysentery and malaria hidden in the liver. Both diseases are very difficult to detect, requiring special techniques. My physician in Amsterdam did not recognize them, but fortunately in Friesland I consulted a young physician with tropical experience who quickly confirmed my own suspicion and was able to help “in the nick of time”,
Throughout my experience of the last ten years there has never been a feeling of perturbation. This is undoubtedly due to the recognized presence of Amma = Mother Kali Nature. This growing awareness has influenced my way of thinking greatly. However, I see the influences and changes entirely as a growing process of NATURE itself. Whenever you and others think that Amma is the cause of something, I confirm this, but at the same time say that Nature is the cause. In Jillellamudi there is undoubtedly a great volume of mental growth (unfoldment) taking place. There must be some powerful mental fertilizer present. In Nature there are many places which are specifically fertile for the unfoldment of chosen forms or aspects of life. My body was once a very good feeding ground for amoeba, typhoid and malaria. In the same manner there are strong feeding grounds for many other aspects of life.
Since August 1973 I have been jobless. At the end of 1973 a medical examination board decided that my standard of health made me unfit for delivering an acceptable amount of work in this competitive society. Due to bureaucratic errors and complications I was never informed and my complaints were not recognized: For this reason, the last 5 years have been extremely difficult. However, last week I received a letter from the authorities in which my claim for an invalid pension was recognized. It will probably take a couple of months before the pension materializes.
During the last 3 years I have reconstructed an old, dilapidated little farm house, which through circumstances became my home in May, 1975. Rules and regulations from the Government, and Municipality were demanding that I execute all the building work for the renovation and modernizations of the house according to set standards. There was no money to pay for the labor so that the work had to be done entirely by myself. The house is finally ready and suitable for a large family. Compared with the Jillellamudi style of living as in the ‘House of All’ my house can accommodate about fifty people. However, that will probably never happen.
My health is nowadays rather severely affected by the local sunless and cloudy-humid climate which is worst in this part of the Netherlands. Therefore I hope to find an opportunity to spend a long period in a warm and sunny climate to recover my health. Furthermore, I am looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of life.
At present I am planning to sell my house and move to the south of France where the climate is considerably better. This will bring about a great change in my way of living. Your brother in Nature, J.F. Nieland
(Courtesy: Matrusri Monthly Journal, November, 1978)