(Translated from the Telugu Record of Miss; Bala Tripurasundari)
ON 16th May. 1961. Mother visited Tenali to attend a marriage at her uncle’s house. That marriage was postponed on two ccasions earlier owing to certain calamities. The elders of the Family then decided to take Mother to the marriage. They offered! to take her by car but She decline the offer saying that She would go there by some means or the other. Inspite of that they tried to secure a car for the purpose, but failed. Just in time, somebody came in a jeep to visit Mother and he gladly offered his jeep to take Mother to Tenali.
Before the marriage ceremoney was commenced. Mother was asked to put kumkun. on the faces of the couple and to explain the significance of marriage, which she did. On that occasion, Sri M. Subramanya Sastry, a great scholar who was instructed by H.H. Sri Sankaracharya of the Sringeri Mutt, was observing Mother carefully. Afterwards he sought a personal interview with Mother. Mother directed him to seek the consent of her husband Sri B. Nageswara Rao, which he secured later.
Next day Mr Sastry along with his brother. visited Mother. The three assembled in a room. Some fifty or more of Mr Sastry’s pupils gathered outside the room. They were arguing among them selves as to which of the two Mother or Sastry was the superior in wisdom. Mother immediately came out and settled their dispute by telling them to believe the one whom they already believed.
When they sat for the proposed interview, fifteen minutes passed in silence. Urged by his brother, Mr Sastry commenced the conversation.
Sastry: Mother! can we expect some thing like a philosophical dis course from you?
Mother: I don’t understand what you mean!
S: Are you to be merely worshipped, or do you expound the (Philosophy of) vedanta for us?
M: Vedanta is not some thing that can be expounded or discussed.
Again a few minutes passed in silence.
What is your concept of Advaita?
M: That which is all is Advaita. Sastry wanted his brother to note her replies carefully and he was very happy to hear them. He stared at Mother for a while with a heart full of devotion and then continued “We are caught up in Samsara. How can we become free from all volition (Samkalpa) and be liberated from this (i.e.. Samsara)? It is said that Yoga. Jnana (Knowledge) and Bhakti (Devotion) are the paths… Mother, is a restriction of diet necessary in the path of Yoga? what is it that leads to perfection in Yoga? Now we are wallowing in the muddle of our family (i.e. domestic pro blems) and children. What is the way out of all this?”
M: What do you mean by Samsara?
S: I have told you just now. I mean. the muddle of domestic life of family and children and all that.
M: I say that even the way out of it is Samasara. Volition is Samsara.
M: (After prolonged silence) How far were you educated?
M: My father, mother and husband are here. You can ask them about it.
Sastry asked Sri B. Nageswara Rao about it and was told that Mother was totally unlettered.
S: Where from do you get these truths which you utter, and which are testified even by the Vedas?
S: Is a restriction of diet necessary for the practice of Yoga? They say that saline dishes, hot ones like those dressed with chillie powder, and sour ones should be avoided, as they excite the passions.
M: Then low is it that even those who live in countries where such a food is not eaten have strong passions? Whether we eat chillies or not, the corresponding quality is within us.
S: But the restriction of diet was advocated even by the Bhagavadgeeta?
M: Milk is essential during infancy. rice is needed when one has grown to manhood! There is no relationship between food and mind. Any way that is what I found from experience. But I can’t tell you so because I never practised any Sadhana. If I stopped taking food. it’s only because I couldn’t digest it but there is nothing that I practised and there is nothing that I acquired. I have not acquired any thing now which I didn’t have earlier. I have been the same.
S: When you were talking. I felt that Goddess Parvati came directly from Kailasa and spoke to me!
M: Did you feel like that when you entered the room? Or did my appearance-ie.. my kumkum, nose-drop etc-make you feel like that?
S: Our conversation made me feel so
M: Then, did you feel so because I happened to clear the very doubts that plauged your mind? suppose, my state ments were not to your liking: then, do you feel that I am. goddess Parvati?
S: I thought so from what I read about Her in the Scriptures
M: Of course, the same truth can be perceived differently by people according to their level of understanding.
S: What are Bhakti (Devotion), Jnana (Knowledge) and Yoga?
M: Bhakti is (like) Childhood. Yoga is (like) Youth, Jnana is (like) old age.
S: How is that?
M: In child-hood. one yearns for what one loves, not bothering to know what it really is. Youth is characterised by the feeling “there is nothing that I cannot accomplish,” in every effort. Old age is characterised by the feeling what more do I want! That means, when once the fruit is ripe, its stalk gets detached of its own accord. After experiencing everything, one has the feeling of resignation- why all this for me?” But while childhood is not remembered in youth, youth is remembered in old age. In youth one cannot rightly understand the states (of expereince) attained.
Sastry was rapt and silent for a few minutes and then said: Mother Please permit me to prostrate before you”
Then he prostrated before her feet.
After a few minutes he requested her “Mother, please per mit me to make my learning worthy by expounding the scripture Tripura Rahasya in your holy presence”.
M: The discomfiture of the demon Tripurasura signifies the breaking of the triple-knots. Tripura Rahasya’ means the secret of the three-fold time- of dawn, noon and sunset; and the seasons. When you analyse it, it means Bala, Sundari, and Tripura Sundari. Is there any thing more in its teaching than in that of Lalithasahasranama?
S: No. Mother!
After a few moments of silence, Mother asked Sastri Tell me, how can we understand the other person?”
S: It is only with the help of intellegence.
M: I know that; but this intellegence is not stable. (For example) Your opinion regarding nie is not the same now as it was when you entered the room. Real intelligence is unchanging.
After sitting quiet for a while, he took leave of her and joined his pupils outside. A few minutes later someone came from the crowd and reported to Mother that Sastri told his pupils that Mother was only a few steps higher in spititual attainment than himself.
M: Smilingly said, “Then ask him about the total number of steps to perfection.