[The perfectness of a Divine Manifestation is revealed by the profundity of spiritual experiences that it is able to confer on common mortals-not mere miracles.
This feature presents before the reader one such instance in Mother’s life when Mother con ferred the highest spiritual experience on an old lady of Bapatla Raiammagaru. Rajamma was already famous for her austerity, scholar ship and the zeal to initiate people into mysti cism. Approaching her on the humble pretext of being initiated by her. Mother restored her soul from formalism and dogma to real mysti cism. – EDITOR]
“My Lord hides Himself, and my Lord
Wonderfully reveals Himself”
It always rests with the Divine either to manifest itself or to reveal its manifestation as such to anyone- No amount of effort on the individual’s part can take one to God Realization. Hence it is that Lord Krishna declared
“Not by the performances of sacrifices or giving of alms, penance or study can I be seen in this way by others.
(The Bhagavadgita Ch. 12, Verse 53)
Mother once said: “I can not be known; you know me only when I make myself known to you.” She meant that it is by her grace only that one would be enabled to experience her divinity. The truth of Lord Krishna’s state- ment is amply borne out in Mother’s case when She graced an old lady of Bapatla, by name Rajamma garu, with Knowledge of who she is.
The whole story began when one of Mother’s aunts wanted to take Mother also to her spiritual guide, Desiraju Raja- mma Garu, for initiation.
On 23rd of August 1949, at about 5-30 in the evening Mother was taken to Rajamma’s house. Mother took sugarcandy (Misri) with her as an offering. Rajamma ex- pressed her reluctance to take it directly from Mother’s band by asking her to keep it on the ground and then accepting it. In accordance with forma lity, Mother bowed to touch Rajamma’s feet when the latter hastily withdrew her feet saying that if she allows her feet to be touched, others’ sins would cling to her.
In the course of fcrmal enquiries, Rajamma knew that Mother came from Jillella mudi, and that her husband is the Karanam of that village.
R: Have you children?
R: How many?
Her aunt intervened and told Rajamma that Mother has three children. What answer Mother could have given if it were left to her is a matter of guess for us.
R: What can I do for you?
M: What for can I approach you except seeing?
R: Is it only seeing me or have you any other pur pose in your mind? (i.e. like getting initiated)
M: No other purpose till this moment. I heard about you from my aunt and so I came to see you.
R: Do you spend your time striving for the Real?
M: What is that?
R: (I mean) talking about God always and such noble pursuits.
M: Pardon me for asking you again and again; I do not understand what is meant by elevated talk; please elucidate it for me.
R: Aren’t you educated even a little?
It is strange that these days a girl can not underastand this much!
M: Any number of girls one might see; still there would always be some who are not seen; I am one of them
R: In view of the present times (conditions) and your family background, I was only surpised that you should be uneducated.
M: Time is one but experiences might vary.
R: When time is one, how does experience vary? Suppose the sun has set, all of us would be lighting our lamps. Don’t we?
reality. So to God who is identical with time (Compare ‘Kalosmi’, ‘Kalah kalayatam aham has two facets the manifest and the unmanifrst. Here she is talking in terms of the Absolute for she is That.
The statement also means that variation in experiences mark the passage of time as past, present and future, for the common man whose life is bound dy forgetfulness beyond birth and death. One who transcends these barriers (that is how Lord Krishna described himself in the Bhagavadgitha) experiences time as one eternal present. So she says to Rajamma that in reality time is one and what makes it appear as diffe rent is difference in experience.
M: The time of sun-set is the same for all but the time of lighting the lamps (in different houses) is not. The lamps in all the houses are not lit by one person only; in some houses there are no lamps at all!
R: Will there be any house where there are no lamps?
M: Are there no vacant houses?
R: Oh, I thought that some poeple live without lighting their lamps in their houses.
M: That may also be true.
R: Is it your experience?
M: Experience does not mean not having a lighted lamp. in my house; even seeing such is my experience.
R: Fetch the matches and light the lamp, dear.
M: Can I enter the house and touch all things?
R: What do you mean?
M: You said that some (things or persons) are worthy and The others unworthy.
R: If the match box is on the wooden plank you can take it.
M: Where is (it in) Reality? It is not known. If you direct me, I shall see whether it is there or not and tell you.
(Meanwhile Rajamma’s grand daughter brought the lighted lamp.)
In a deeper sense the match box symbolises the cause of inner illumination i. e. the Reality that is said to be manifested in the HRIDAYA which Rajamma is expected to know with certainty and to which she is expected to direct every one while initiating them. Hence it is that R is capital in Reality and the square brackets are inserted. What is contained in the square brackets renders the ostensible meaning prominent and without it the true spirit of Mother’s words is better conveyed. Mother meant that Rajamma herself does not have true Jnana of the Reality and its seat of manifesfation in us; her knowledge of it, like her knowledge of the situation of the match box, is vague. So she is incapable of initiating anyone especially Mother.
M: It is not the case with THIS lamp only; all doubts must be resolved like this.
M: Do I certainly get a dream? or shall I tell you if I get a dream?
R: Yes. Do come at seven O’ Clock tomorrow morning. You note what you see in your dream tonight.
M: If, by your grace, I at least get dreams, shall I narrate to you whatever I see? Do you mean that I am sure to get a dream? (or) shall I tell you if I get a dream?
M: Do I certainly get a dream? or shall I tell you if I get a dream?
R: Why do you ask it so many times?
M: Nothing special; I am very fond of dreams. And fond ness is always for what we don’t haves.
R: Don’t you ever get dreams then?
M: I never dream, nothing is illusory (for me).
R: How long is it since you stopped getting dreams?
M: I could have told you that if ever I had dreams,
R: Didn’t you ever experience dreams?
M: Perhaps it is improper even to talk of dreams-for even a slight experience is wanting.
R: Come again after 10’0 Clock at night.
M: I cannot say.
R: You mean you don’t come?
M: I can’t say even that.
Mother means that if God be an omnipotent reality then even a blade of grass does not stir without His will, leave alone human beings acting according to their free will. Rajamma professes belief on the one side and on the other, talks with disciples as though they can say what they do and do accordingly without fail. To point out this paradox Mother talks as though about herself.
M: If you personally have no objection, you apply the Kumkum to my forehead.
R: I am not entitled to do that.
M: Do you really feel so? or do you fear the public?
R: That is a very ancient tradition.
M: So you mean to say that there is no real harm if you put it on my forehead provided the public and the tradition accept it.
M Then you please put it.
M: There you hesitate only because evil is said to befall me thereby. If brin ging misfortune atleast is in your hands, do it, I shall see. All women get Kum kum put on their foreheads only by those whose hus bands are alive. Then why does widowhood befall to some at all?
R: That is their fortune.
M: Then your Kumkum cannot be the cause (either of good or ill fortune).
R: No, it can’t be; (Any way) take rhe Kumkum and take leave.
Mother took the Kumkum and left for her house.
(To be continued)