(Continued from the previous issue)
(This is the seventth instalment of a very interesting and significant conversation that took place between the Mother, and an old larly of Bapatla by name Rajamma. Mother visited that lady on pretext of being initiated by her and through her conversation hal annihilated her superstition and vanity and finally bestowed on her the final exprience of all spiritual endeavour thereby establishing her absolute oneness with the Universal Mother. -Editor.)
Rajamma: Alright! let me put this morsel in your mouth. We can discuss later.
Mother: (allowing her to do so) Will I attain perfection with this morsel given by goddes Annapurneswari?
R: What is meant by Perfection, girl?
M: Rising above (the illusion of) diversity in all respects.
R: (Highly pleased by the definition) What do you mean by ‘in all respects?’
M: Now you have put the morsel in my month. I am (also) eating the morsel which is in the mounth of this lad.
At that moment, Mother’s youngest son Ravi, aged 3 years, was sitting by her. Mother made him bite a morsel of rice and was about to partake herself of the rest of it. A cat suddenly pounced on her and ate a part of that morsel. Immediately the spotted pet dog of Rajamma also rushed on the leaf plate and ate part of the rice in it. Mother quietly took a morsel of the rice eaten partly by the cat and the dog and her own son and ate it.
“Alas! Alas!” Rajamma cried.
In the mean while a beggar called at the doorstep, entreating for food.
M: The beggar has come.
R: Open the door, girl, he is not a beggar, but a Brahmin lad who wore the sacred thread recent ly; he comes every day.
M: Is not he who comes every day a beggar? Is not he a beggar if he is a Brahmin boy? So asking, she went and opened the door and said. “It is not as you have said; he is an ordinary beggar
R: Be it so; give him this rice. Mother took the boiled rice to the door. The beggar put the child in his hand on the ground, and put forth his bowl. As Mother was putting the rice in it, the child eagerly pulled at the bowl, both the vessel and the child fell down and the child began to cry. Mother took the child in her arms consol ingly and brought him into the house. Shocked on seeing that the child was brought into the house, Rajamma questioned Mother. Quietly Mother put a morsel in the Child’s mouth and ate a part of it herself. Rajamma’s face was all ugly contortions. “Whose child is this after all?” she said as she came out and saw the beggar who belonged to the community of scaven gers, eating the rice. She exclaimed: “Oh, is it you?…….. You are not to be seen these days?
Oh that you should come today of all…………! Porgar: It is 1, mistress.
His words were muffled as his mouth was too full of rice
R: See how hasty he is
M: It is not haste, lady, it is hunger. You don’t know what is to be hungry.”
R: Why are you not cleaning the lavatory these days?
B: My wife is bedridden, mistress.
M: Take your child-it’s crying.
B: 1 entirely forgot about the child.” You have given me a bowlful of rice and my belly is full.
Mother reached the child to him. “Keep it on the ground” the beggar told Her. But the Child stuck to Mother firmly. Mother released the hands of the child and gave it to the beggar. Rajamma’s eyes were red with indignation as she said in a quivering voice. My God! is it his child?
M: I brought the child in when it fell down. I do not know whether it is his child or not. But at
R: What do you feel now? M: Of course it is my child even now.
R: Then why did you leave it on the ground?
M: Even my own childern are not staying always with me. They are always with me mentally.
R: Is it the same with all the others?
M: Yes as long as I look after them and beget them?”
R: But it is only thre childern that you begot.
M: Yes, only the ‘Three’.
R: What do you mean by Three’?
M: The aspects of Time; the Three States; the Trinity.”
R: Then is the whole creation yours?
M: Creation is without a Beginning; it is mine:
The authority and assurance of Mother’s words surprised Rajamma.
R: You have dragged me into a wonderful piece of conversation, girl! I am very happy for it. But the circumstances are painful.
M: The conversation is a product of the circumstan ces and the incidents. Why is the one pleasant and the other painful?
R: Some of them are contrary to accepted tradition. It has caused me heart-burning.
The beggar called out parting words of thank fulness from the road “I shall take leave of you, mistress!”
R: What consolation is your calling me a mistress? You have made a mess of every thing. It is no use blaming you. Only my past sins have ripen ed for the retribution in that form.
M: When sins are ripened out, good alone remains in tact! It is the natural culmination.
B: My mistress, the child is crying for the younger mistress; please request her to come out once.
Mother heard the call of the beggar and came out of the house. The child slipped from the hands of the begger and fell on Mother’s feet and lay there for half an hour. Its body became stiff. The beggar feared that the child might die. Mother stood motionless. 12 Not having anything to do, Raja mma sat resting her on both of her palms. The wayfarers crowded there. Meanwhile Rajamma’s
son Sri Baparao came there and was vexed to see the crowd and cried out “what is all this fuss about?”
R: Oh! Nothing.
B: It is I, master.
Baparao: Oh it does not pertain to us!
So saying he went into the house. The daugh ter of the beggar returned to her senses. The child fixed her gaze on Mother’s face for a few minutes and began to cry for the ‘dise’ crying out ‘Mother!”
B: What’s that mistress; Why does she ask for a dise?
M: I don’t know child. After all I don’t have any; my hands are empty.
B: Then what is it that she had seen for so long? Mother! what’s all this – the child lying at your feet for so long, this crying for the disc? The child is generally very shy of others!
The beggar was obviously baffled. Rajamma began to regret that time is being wasted. Unable to stand it any longer she said “it is already even ing, girl; we had set about the task at four oclock in the morning but we have not finished the business,”
M: The business that we have in store for us is after all being accomplished.
R: What’s it that we have in store; is it pollution?
M: Even that is what is ordained for us!
R: Let us end all this talk at least now. Let us clean every thing and finish our business, come on girl!!
Mother sympathised with Rajamma. Imme diately she fetched the broom stick and cleansed the floor with water. Rajamma was enthused at the sight of this and said–“will you finish your bath also?” M: Is it so essential to bathe in the sanctifying com pany of your’s? Your states of perfection is my goal.
Rajamma lost her patience and blurted out. “Don’t raise that subject again with me! I had initia ted several people but never was there such confu sion as there is now. Atleast now wash your hands and feet and put on the sacred garment and don’t say anything now. So saying, she lit the lamp as it was already late in the evening. Mother dressed herself in the sacred garment and bowed before Rajamma.
R: There is a lot to be discussed with you, girl! But let us finish this business now. Get the five delicious substances. which you had enumerated, ready.
When Mother fetched milk, curd, cream. – tter and ghee, Rajamma mixed them and gave the mixture to Mother and asked her to drink it.
R: This morning you have stopped just with a part of the verse of ‘meditation on the Teacher. Now learn the whole verse atleast.
M: There is no objection to learn that but only questions will have to be answered after that! But those answers are not for my sake.
R: You should not reciprocate my words like that!
M: Does it means that I should not talk anything with you?
R: Who said that?
M: But talking naturally includes questions and answers!
R: Talking like that with me is improper, though it is proper to do so with anybody else.
M: But perhaps the Teacher-disciple relationship is necessary based on questioning and answering! Even that, you are telling me only; why did you not say so yesterday itself? Does this rule apply only at this moment? Was it not valid yesterday? Is this injunction supported by tradition?
R: Yes, it is!
M: Tell me in which scriptures is it enjoined
R: You don’t know anything even if I tell you!
M: Then why do you try to teach me all this- now that you are saying that I cannot know anything even if you tell me Leave me aside for while. Tell me who a teacher is in general, and who a disciple is; what is the purpose of a mantra? What exactly is meant by the word ‘mantra”? Which are the mantras?
R: With ignorance of even what a mantra is, do you ask me about the various mantras, and their meanings? There are innumerable mantras!
M: It is only about a mantra that I am asking you. When I do not know what ‘mantra’ means, why should bother about their number?
As Rajamma was afraid that time is again slipping in the course of idle conversation, she said Come come!!” “I shall explain everything to you after finishing our allotted task.”
M: I am quite close to you. Perhaps I did not un derstand how far I should come; Where do you want me to come?!”
R: What meaningless questions are these?
M: The day is drawing to a close.
R: That is my complaint!
M: That is my pleasure!
R: Is it our failure to accomplish our task, that pleases you?
M: Because it is manifest that one can’t avoid what one has in store.
R: Oh, there is no end to this conversation, there is no method in it.
M: It is so because there is no End and there is no Beginning to it because It is the End and the Beginning.
R: What is It? Which is the Beginning and Which is the End?
M: I am the Beginning and I am the End.
22 R: How can you be both?
M: I am the Beginning at Birth I am the End at the time of Departure.
At that moment Baparao Came there and told Rajamma that some close relative expired and they have to observe’pollution’ for that day. This is considered by the Hindus to be unfit for any auspi cious performance like initiation, marriage, etc. Rajamma was vexed by the series of obstacles to the fulfilment of her wish.
R: Fie! Man proposes one thing and God disposes some other way!
Mother always holds that even the minutest thought of man is inspired by God’s will only mani festing itself as the Self within. So she retorted–” “Only if God wills it, man conceives a droposal There is nothing that he can think of independently” Rajamma (surprised at the unique argument):
Neither your words nor your deeds have any rule or rhyme! there is no disciplined austerity in you. Your actions are not guided by any law.
M: It implies that I have everything other than what you had mentioned.
R: (Confused by Mother’s queer arguments): It is all totally dark and incomprehensible to me.
M: Yes, one can’t see even if there is a lamp. Rajamma stared at Mother’s face in surprise
Mother: You can’t see even if you have eyes.
R: Why? what is the reason for that?
M: For want of the cognition (mind) to recognise.
R: Is it the eye or the mind (cognition) that per ceives? My god! I don’t know how to speak with you. Besides this, there is pollution of berea vement.
M: To whom is that?
R: To us.
M: Then what prevents you from initiating me?
R: The period of pollution is unworthy for initiation.
M: But you look the same both before and after the pollution ef bereavement!
R: That pollution is not visible to the eye. It is only a belief, a supposition.
M: What then if we suppose and believe that there is no pollusion.
R: You don’t seen to observe these traditional codes. of life the pollution of bereavement and the pollution of birth.
M: Why not? But where is the need of deliberately observing them? When there is the joy of a birth in the family there naturally is the pollu tion of birth, when there is sadness of bereave ment, there naturally is the pollution of berea vement. They are there as naturally. Where is the question of our voluntarily observing them?
Baparao came again and said to Rajamma: “I forgot to tell you that the pollution is freed by taking a bath!”
R: Thank God! You have revived me!!
Hopes rose high once again in the dejected heart of Rajamma. She wanted Mother to draw water for her from the well. Mother gave her a bath and in the midst of it said “Earlier you said that you were revived, is it the same one that takes the life out?”
R: How to answer you if you go on asking like that about every word that I utter? You extract a strange meaning from every word!
M: What am I to do if it strikes me like that? Who else would tell me if you don’t? Whenever I had any doubts earlier I could not express them be cause I had no one to clear them. I had told you yesterday that I don’t have my mother to teach me all these in the natural way.
R: Dont’ go on harping on that, poor girl! When Rajamma finished her bath, Mother dried her body with a towel and assisted her in dressing herself up.. It was already 8 O’Clock in the night.
R: Set a lamp with Cow’s Ghee.
M: There is no wick, no cotton, no ghee.
R: I will give you everything necessary.
M: I don’t want you to merely give me ready-made ones. Please explain their significance and then ask me to do accordingly.
R: Do you want me to explain even the offering of the light? Don’t you offer the light to the deity everyday?
M: I know the purpose of a lamp. But why should there be a need for the offering of the Light when already there is a lighted lamp? That is why I want to know the significance of the
offering of the light. Tell me granny, if our darkness is dispelled by the common lamp. does the offering of the light dispel the darkness of God?
R: How can there be darkness to God? You always talk in a shocking manner.
M: What is meant by ‘God’? R: Lord! are you asking me what God means?
M: Yes- I am not asking you to show Him to me. I am only asking you for the meaning of the word ‘God’. If you can spark faith in my heart by your explanation, then you are one with God.