“My mind is not getting steady for meditation, Mother”
“What can be said about it Child?” (says She), but after pausing for a moment, asks “Could you bring it round if I tell you a way?”
“I shall try”
“Where from will obtain the initiative for successfull trial?”
“Alas, I do not know
That Energy which has given you the intention to medi tate, that which has caused the disturbance you mentioned, that alone will create steadiness for your mind. So, don’t worry.”
“If so, when would my mind get steady Mother!”
When the moment arrives” This piece of conversation would give the reader an idea of what Mother thinks of a successfull saadhana. Saadhana requires a strong intention. knowledge of the Control over means. the mind and circumstances, All these can be obtained only throngly the grace of the Great Initiative. which keeps the universe gone.
In order to convince about the truth of this fact. Mother suggests to those, who asks her to prescribe a suitable you saadhana for them, to get up in the morning very early and take a wash exactly at 4 A.M… not a minute this side or that! “Do it successively for four days and then tell me. We shall think of the saadhana therafter! She says. A number of processes have to be fit into our time scheme if the above practice were to he successful, cite a few, one has to wind the alarm key of the time piere everyday, go to bed without gagging the ringing lever, get up: when the bell rings without silene-s ing it and again reverting to rest. wash at the prescribed moment. All, these are not in our hands to achieve, they can only happen by divine grace” That is what She means.
A few examples can show that saadhanas can fail. A friend of mine, a lecturer in a college, obtained initiation from a a mantra sanyaasi coming from Himaalayan a hermitage. A week later I asked him if his japa practice was going on without a break. He laughed softly, and said that he had discontinued it after the third day! “It is very difficult to do all that” was his expla- nation!… I rememeber reading about a visitor to Sri Satya Sai asking him for a mantra-upa- desham saying that the mantra he got some years ago from a guru did not give him siddhi. The Baba promptly told him that such upadesham should be taken only once in a lifetime and the mantra he got already, would certainly help him if he practise sincerely. This ease. illustrates the impatience of a disciple with a mantra for its not yielding the result promissed by the guru, in the time of his expectation. An uncle of mine. gave up his daily worship of Narasimha, as his wife remon- strated one morning that a cala- mity would befall their family as the pooja was not being done with all the observances pres cribed for it. He had to quietly present the family pooja peetham to the local temple… A girl was brought to Jillella mudi by her father and her so called guru, who taught her Hanuman Chaaleesa and asked her to repeat it eleven times a day. She started it, and after a few days of practice she started getting unconscious and running away from the house in that state. The frightened parent consulted the guru, but that poor know what man to did not advise, he himself not having seen such a condition calier. So all of them rame to Mother for her advice! This is the case of a guru, who did not know the prognosis of a practice he himself prescribed, and is alarmed even by what is obviously a favourable result!… A doctor obtained a mantra initiation from a swamy, who prescribed for him certain condi tions impossible for a house holder. He was nervous with the fright of having transgressed a sacred undertaking and in that mood, (he told Mother,) he had even tried to commit suicide! This example illustrates fear of the (peculiar!) punishment following unsatisfactory saadhana We all know that at the close of any function of family worship. the priest makes us repeat a sloka requesting forgiveness for any lapses of mantra, kriya, or bhakti! If even in a specially got up function of a day, there is not the confidence of having kept to the prescrided conditions, how can there be such a confide nce in a regular daily saadhana prescribed by another?
“Saadhana is only what has been possible for you to achieve says Mother; not what you intend doing, nor what another prescri- bes. It is only after you have been able to do a practice successfully, that, in retrospect you say you have done a sadhana. It is like work. It can come into being only in retrospect, not in the plan or initiation. Where is the question of another’s suggestion for what you could achieve with your limitations or capacities, with the help and obstruction which would over take you? It is You who will have to do and achieve. “Do what? You may ask. “What ever you decide to do” is Mother’s answer: For-‘ says She, “Is it not He who initiates your decision?”
One might say, ‘I don’t feel that someone is guiding each one
of my actions. I feel that I am myself doing, I can do. I may fail once, twice. I shall not be discourged by temporary a failure. I shall attempt again. Please tell me what I should do. Mother would say, ‘Do any practice that is possible for you’. Teachers of philosophy tell us about Bhakti, Yoga, Jnaana etc. Which of these would you recommed to me?’ a visitor may ask. Mother’s word would be, ‘Bhakti, Yoga, and Jnaana are not isolated paths. Each includes the other. So, go ahead with what is possible for you,’
We read from books and hear from scholars of philosophy, about the power of this yoga, and that, and of still another. On close examination, I submit, those ‘Yogas’ will not appear to be the actual paths followed by seekers in the past, but only the generalised results of the analysis of their saadhanas. The yogas give the prinicples but no examples of the actual practices. If we start discussing which of the yogas is good and which is not, we go nowhere: we will just be Arjunas without a Krishna to help. There is nothing like good and bad, high and low in spiritual endeavour. Endeavour itself is good: it is ‘high’ enough.If it were only to a house, you can say, this is the front door, it is very con venient to enter the house”. But if it were to a maidan, to all pervading God, where is the question of a suitable way for you and me, and where is the question of someone showing us the way? Mother once explained, “When everything we can see is He, where is the question of suggesting a way? any way is god.” So, whatever we sincerely do will be a way to reach Him. The way that is possible for us, will be begun with fulsome faith in its efficacy. Ways and methods prescribed by others will not be easy for us and hence will not be possible for us. All the exa mples of failures quoted earlier show that the persons practising were not equal to those practices and the conditions prescribed by others. When we do according to our faith, there will not be the question of our taking up what we cannot do. Difficulty says Mother, is only another name for dislike’. What we like to do will certainly be easy as it will no longer be work, it will be play. With complete faith in our method, we will not experi- ence any difficulty, we will work always with God-mindedness. “God-mindedness according to Mother, ‘is itself meditation,
A review of some stories of saadhanas will help us to infer from them the truth bearing upon the point we are discuss ing. I have heard about an old vaishnavite lady, who took great pleasure in feeding any hungry pedlar resting on the pial of her house during the night, enroute to his village. She did not feel happier with any other kind of worship or bhajana. An Ava dhooteatraswamy is always at getting slals inscribed with Hanuman Chaukesa installed in the mandapas of temples. He prescribe reciting the same every day as a panacea for all evils of life. Swamy Chinmaya brings vedaanta to the market place, and prescribes naama japam for achieving life’s mission. Saint Ekanathi gave away the waters of Gangaaji, which he was carrying to Raamesvar, to an ass jumping out of thirst in the outskirst of a forest: Saint Christopher just helped travellers to cross the rapids of a streami flowing by the side of his village Dokka Seetamme sent her hus band swimming across the Godavary in freshes at midnight with a mess of pottage to feed a labourer stranded on an island. Mohatar grew a garden on the way to Pandhrpur, served the pilgrims with fruit flowers and coconut water, and requested them to tell the Lord that he was not able to come to see the Lord as the garden would dete- riorate for want of attention, We notice in these examples, mutua-hallenges. Our answer to this lly different preference, but the reader will agree that all are ways to achieve the goal of life. Any reader would be too glad to have been one of these or “of the same batch’. These examples validate both sides of the coin, The way for saadhana’, which we have been examining so far. Its obverse is: There is no fixed highway to life’s goal, and the reverse of it: Any way is good.
What Mother said on an occasion would take us a step further. I call whatever you do in your daily routine with atten tion and devotion Saadhana only’ She said. You hear it said: That is real and this is an illusion I say This is real. You think that teaching children, supply ing householders’ needs, defend ing clients etc., is worldly and something else only can be a saadhaha. If you do everything as His work and as He would have you do, what else is there to be desired for?” This attitude that every initiative is HIS, and every achievement HIS, converts one’s entire life into one of dedication, a supreme saadhana.
“When you talk of Rama, you say he is ALL. But, when you enter a temple, do you have the same devotion to Lakshmana, Bharata, Vasistha, etc.? She is as open as the sky, a No. Clearly, we don’t mean what we say when we declare Rama is ALL, Ged is ALL I we work with that conscious then, teaching, selling, treating diseases- all jobs are HIS and should be done as HE would have us do them. We are HIS gardeners; working to bring up HIS garden is all our concern. One plant may come up, another may not. That need not be our worry. The attitude of Mchatar, that would make our whole life a saadhana. A consummation devoutly to be wished for!