(Countinued from the previous issue)
[This is the sixth instalment of a very insteresting and significant conversation that took place between the Mother, and an ald lady of Bapatla by name Rajemma. Mother visited that I dy on pretext of being initiated by her and through her convers in had 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: Everything about you, even this very mee ting of mine with you seems to be an extracrdi. nary one. There is remar kable difference in the very expression of your face.
Then Rajamma stared at Mother without winking for a long while. There seems to be developing a stir in her as she stared for a few seconds and thought for a while.
Mother: The change of ex pression might be in any direction; of what kind is that?
R: What more is needed if I can describe it? please sit stable, dear!
M: But how can I wash your fect without moving?
R: B looking at me while washing them.
M: But new can I see your feet then?
R: Is it not enough if your hands touch them?
M: The feet are not reached by hands.
Rajamma felt that the great experience she is going to have is being delayed by talking and hastened to say thus:
R: Dear, we can think of all that later; but don’t move.
M: You don’t leave but hold on!
R: Hush: stay (quiet) awhile! Rajamma fixed her gaze on Mother’s face. She per ceived a light that she had ever seen before and a wondrous vision. A thrill went down her body. Her eyes became wet and her voice grew hoarse as she burst out Mother! Mother!! Annapurneswari!!! take off your hands from my feet?” and she proceeded to recite a Telugu poem meaning “The Mother of all mothers”. and said “All the while, I was being merely weighed and judged (by you).”
M: What were you weighed against?
R: Mother! I can’t speak now. With this even her falter- ing words came to a stand still. Her eyes closed of their own accrd. Mother was silently. and steadily gazing at Raja- mma. Nearly fifteen minutes passed like that. What won- drous experience Rajamma had during these minutes and what glorious visions she had is not known But they had only intensified in her the desire to be the ‘guide’ of such a great One. She seems to have felt that to lose this op portunity would be to forego immortal fame. She did not want to be so unwise. So she decided.
R: Finish the washing of my feet, child, I shall serve your meal
Mother exhibited surprise at Rajamma’s words. Mother never took food since her childhood; and being her spi ritual guide, she is considered to be one with Brahman, as being all-knowing; and Raja mma’s ignorance of the fact about Mother surprised Mother. But she recovered her calm expression and asked Rajamma, ‘Do you want me to eat it?’
Rajamma could not under stand Mother and asked, ‘Don’t you ever take a meal?’
M: There is no should not eat. that I
R: You have put me in a riddle.
M: I am caught in a dilemma.
M: That the all knowing teacher should ask me like
With her tear filled eyes and with an upsurge of exulta- tion owing to her tremendous experience, Rajamma burst out ‘Mother! Annapurna !! But suddenly remembering her business, she asked Mother to clear the greasiness On her feet with soap-nut.
M: The greasiness is (stands for) Samskara; now Sam- skara is washed out with soap-nut
So saying Mother washed Rajamma’s feet. Suddenly Mother saw the oily substance floating in water and said “The oiliness that has left your feet is found on water there. If oiliness is there at all, it will be there, wherever it be.”
M: (deliberately bypassing Mother’s statement) Mother! I am dazed and and confused. I am not able to know what you are, what you have come for, and what I should do! I am being pulled this way and that way!
Then Rajamma placed a big wooden seat on the floor and put six plantain leaves together pointing their ends in six directions: she put boiled rice in the centre and around that the thirty two side-dishes. She poured curds of cow’s milk in the centre. Sae also kept a special prepe ration of bananas mixed with honey, turmeric, salt and spices. Then sae asked Mother to get her some lea ves of the tulasi plant in the backyard. Mother gathered them.
Seeing a small twig of Tulasi in Mother’s hand, besi des leaves, Rajamma asked Mother, ‘Did you pluck the twig along with the leaves or are the leaves transformed into a twig?”
M: why did such a doubt arise? I did not perceive either!
R: Come, come! Sit, take a little water in your palm
and recite the ‘samkalpa’
M: Samkalpa is not what is only. merely recited: it is what occurs. The will to recite the Samkalpa did not arise in me; but the will is there.
R: What did you will?
M: All that is happening.
- Nay, girl Recite the mantra Uthishtanthu Bh utha pishaachah. stating our name and our lineage in the presence of God constitutes Samkalpa.
M: There must be the will to do even that!-Moreover, His presence is not here. I am in your presence. You know all about me. R. Be it so! I shall tell you what I please… No! what you like.. whatever it is, first of all, learn the ‘Ado ration of the Guru’.
M: There is much to discuss here- Shall we discuss or stop it? as you please!
R: We can discuss later – first learn this.
M: Asking is for learning
R: I shall first say it. Say one word first. We can think of it later.
M: Yes…..one “word”
R: Is it enough?
M: It is the four lettered mantra: if we break it there are six elements; it can be divided into any number. of elements of utterance.
R: Oh, you can make it any number:
M: The object of my coming, and what you give me must be praiseworthy to all. I don’t mean that everyone should come to us and say that all is well. The pur pose of this meeting is not for us only, but it is for all of us and for the future—
Rajamma was surprised by Mother’s farsightedness and said “what did you say? so marvellous!” Mother said qui etly” It’s the marvel of the Cosmos!”.
Not grasping the sublime spirit of Mother’s words Raja mma imagined too highly of her own spiritual stature and said: Girl, if you stay for a.. two years with me
M: What is “a two?” Do you mean that two are one or that one is two? Her imagination being ‘pulled down’ to the terra firma Rajamma said: “I don’t know how to speak, girl:”
M: What do you mean? With me?
Rajamma gazing at the round of kumkum on Mother’s forehead Did you mix any sparkling stuff in your kum- kum?,
M: My kumkum itself might shine. I did not mix any sparkling stuff.
R: I want ta know the signi ficance of Kumkum and its application to the face, girl!
M: What’s it that you don’t need to know?
Deliberately evading Moth er’s words, she proceeded to gather the rice in the leaf-plate into a heap and said: “Be seated facing East and put the Tulasi leaves on the heap of rice; now girl, mix the item which I like most with rice.”
Without a moment’s thou ght Moter took whatever item came to Her hand and mixed it with rice. Rajamma lost herself in wonder and cried “Mother! Mother!” and asked,,shall I put it in your mouth or will you put it in mine?”
M: You can’t put it in my mouth if I am not willing to eat nor can I eat it if you are not willing to give it. But I came to be given by you and not to give you.
Struck by the logic and subtlety of Mother’s words that are pregnant with wisdom, Rajamma fixed her gaze on Mother’s face and perceived a sublime glow: overcome by an inexpressible experience, her eyes filled with tears and her voice was choked, she said “Did you undergo any spiritual pracitce earlier? Your face has that strange glow of the hues of Chrysanthemum rese mixed, now and then a stranger glow added to them!
M: I am not able to know my own complexion. I did not practise anything consci- ously.
R: By spiritual practice is meant what is consciously done.
So saying she hugs Moth- er’s head to her heart. As she touched Mother’s cheeks, her tears fell on Mother’s head. Feeling the warmth of the tears, Mother raised her hand to Rajamma’s eyes and found the tears there to be cold. ‘Whe nce is this warmth? Is it from my head or from Rajamma’s eyes? So thinking, Mother said to Herself — ‘Her tears were ever the same. The cool ness of my head made her feel the tears to be warm; and the warmth of my hand made me feel her tears to be cold.”
Returning to her former self, Rajamma said to Mother ‘Shall I put this mixed food in your hand?
M: Will you put it in my mouth or my hand?
R: Which do you prefer?
M: I do not know why I sould eat it at all. Be cause you offered to serve me, I thought I could rea dily swallow it if you put it in my mouth.
R: Let us join in eating toge ther then.
M: What do you mean by our joining one another? Is it eating what comes to our hand from the same leaf plate? Or does it mean the disappearance of the dua lity and both eating as One?
R: I mean not minding the difference between us in eating from the same leaf.
M: The touch of the-mouth comes about only when the morsel touches the palate!
R: Oh what quizical answers! whence do those words roll cut?
M: Whence do they roll? Roll ing is only from an eleva tion downwards. Then such exalted ones as your self impel people like me to speak so subtly. “
R: New mix all the rice with all the side dishes.. We shall eat the morsels toge ther. Oh I forgot to ask this Earlier you said. I can’t eat if you do not give me food. You can not give if I do not eat. If there is any way of our eating simultaneouly other than that, you tell me.
M: I have come to be taught by you.
R: You lie down on your be lly and eat the cooked rice from above the heap directly with your mouth.
M: Will my eating it amount to your eating it! If I eat it, will your belly get filled?
R: If you eat it first, then I shall eat afterwards from the heap.
M: If you lie down on your belly your legs would get pressed ard. Already you suffer from heavy breathing. You only refer red to the discrimination of the touch-of-the-mouth First you take a ball of rice, eat half of it and then give it to me; I shall eat it. Afterwards I shall do as you say. 11
R: If the recitation of ‘Medi- tation on the Teacher’ and the eating of this ball of rice are done simultan- eously. I think it will be very good.
M: Can you tell me what to say while eating the mor- sel? Or do you want me to meditate on you as you eat the morsel? But you have not told me what meditation means!
R: I mean-I shall hold the morsel in my hand and teach the verse of ‘medita tion on the teacher’. You swallow the morsel and repeat the verse.
M: Does the spirit of the verse accrue to the morsel?
R: You have not even heard the verse; but you are asking whether the spirit of the sloka enters the morsel.
So saying she glanced at Mother’s face and immed iately her gaze was fixed, wide eyed with surprise. Who knows what she experienced? Mother also mingled her gaze in Rajamma’s gauge. Half an hour passed like that..
By the time Rajamma regained her composure, her cheeks were wet with tears.. Mother was sitting quiet be fore her apparently unaware of what Rajamma had experi enced. The leaf-plate, the rice in it and the side dishes. were as they had been. There was no change in the surroun dings. But Rajamma felt a change taking place in her body. Her mind entered an other plane of existence and enjoyed a wonderful vision. Again She turned her gaze on Mother’s face and found that Mother was steadily gazing into her eyes. Her face had only the expression of inno cence. Rajamma wiped her tears composed her voice, and said to Mother.’ You raise the morsel to my mouth, girl. “Mother reached it to Rajamma’s mouth. As she took a part of it into her mouth, Rajamma uttered, the teacher is Brahman; The teacher is Vishnu…
M: The teacher is Brahman That much is sufficient.