It was night. Mother took a bath and came out. And settled on the cot placed in the verandah. Two women devotees from Singupalem were there. The conversation began. It was about a photo.
Mother: Have you seen the photo there – in that the ‘I’ which I am myself is shown!
Devotees: “The I who is oneself, the one we are perceiving and the “one who we see” – they asked.
Mother: When you say, “I who is myself, you (look upon me) as an object of worship. And (get) merged in me. Your ‘I’ became myself. This is Jnanam (self-knowledge), wisdom. The ‘one’ which I become, is (perception of) the image which you hold in your meditation. It is seeing me as omniscient. The ‘ll known to me is seen ‘through’ sadhana. It aims to merge you. And doing sadhana. (This is) the ‘I’ (self) which begins to perceive (know itself). The outcome of this sadhana is jnana. The ‘self’ that became my ‘I’ is God. Mother stopped here and rested turning to the wall.
(Conversation No. 127)
This passage in Telugu is the simplest possible, the luminous revelation of which is incomparable. Ramakrishna used to say that unless you are simple you cannot know God, the Simple One!
Mother also has an ‘I’, an identity. Yet the identity is purely functional not ‘fundamental’. Functionally a name and a form and the role connected with it. Fundamentally? We do not know the simple Mother’s profound, immeasurable self. “Who is there who can understand what Mother Kali is! The six Darshanas are powerless!” to gauge Her. There is something about HER, incredibly simple. Take the sagas of the Dasa Maha Vidyas. Immeasurable roles they play: with a foregrounding of SHAKTI and related rituals, texts and techniques of sadhana.
Is she an object of worship? Surely. Yet she is incredibly free, transparent in her function as an explicator. You don’t require Brown’s Telugu-English dictionary. You don’t require, for that matter, anything complex. She feeds the Annamaya Kosha first : and skipping through the other sheaths, lands us in Anandamaya Kosha. You do get answers to your questions. But they don’t matter. They are contexts which are needed as texts for her leela. When we merge in joy, the ‘I’ of our self is dissolved. Tuned properly and meditating clearly, are perhaps helpful but not indispensable.
Look at the ending: Mother turns to the wall and closes the revelation. It matters, The wall prevents us: no more questions. You follow what is said. You don’t follow. Equal ! (In fact, I can confess that this seemingly simple, short conversation gave me a lot of indecisive moments for tentative finalizing of the translation !)
In any case we are all in her custody. Whether you like it or not, she feeds you. Not always in a simple way. As this passage proved to be!