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THE BAPTISM OF TEARS

Ekkirala Bharadwaja
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 19
Month : January
Issue Number : 1
Year : 2020

Why is it that we are drawn irresistibly into the presence of Mother again and again when once we have visited her? Before we had seen her, our life was a quest for something that we did not know; after the first visit to Jillellamudi, it became a quest for the inner solace that we had experienced in her presence. It is a quest for something we finally know but don’t find anywhere else. In her company, we experience that life has been unburdened; we feel that our personality, for the first time, is expanding like vast space, made pure as the sky, blissful as the fresh flowers of the spring season. We feel that our mind is stilled as the still flame and brightened as the morning Sun. In her presence, we feel the Purity and the Bliss that we originally are, and clearly cognise the difference between what we were before and after visiting Mother. It is for this that we visit her again and again! “The Guru is quiet and peace prevails in all” – we are reminded of these words of Ramana Maharshi. And of these: “The cosmic mind manifesting in some rare sage is able to effect the linkage of the individual mind with the inner Self.”

On closer observation of one’s experience in the presence of Mother, one finds that the innumerable problems that vex the mind in our day-to-day life and the myriad purposeless musings and observations in which the mind loses itself every day, are all arrested. The mind is calmed just as a busy city calms down at the onset of the night. Quiet peace prevails; after-thoughts still wander on the vistas of the mind, yet they are only a few, like solitary night-walkers and are mostly confined to Mother, her greatness, and the observation of the activities at the Ashram. Quite imperceptibly, the mind is drawn closer and closer to the state of one-pointedness for which we strive in vain by ourselves. The whole period of our stay becomes, as it were, a steady flow of purity, calm, and bliss. In short, sadhana automatically goes on in us without our effort and perhaps without our noticing! Her miraculous form, her incomparable words, her profound silence, her joy enchant the visitor’s mind and keep him spellbound to one object of thought, the miracle that is Mother. –

One extraordinary experience that is most commonly shared by the majority of the visitors is the sudden gushing of a strange, indescribable emotion that brings about a flow of tears from one’s eyes, the quivering of the lips and the chin. Sometimes a visitor is found loudly weeping either while prostrating before her feet or while leaning in her lap. Even the one who experiences this will not be able to explain or express the reason for it but undergoes the experience even repeatedly sometimes! Once I was bold to ask Mother why most of the people who come to her weep in her presence. On several occasions she evaded an answer; at others, she simply hinted at it by passing an unrelated remark that the real goodness of the other brings tears to one’s eyes and makes one weep. But when I pressed her for a proper reason, she said that the reason for their weeping is the same as the one for a child’s cry at its birth.

“Does it mean that your darshan marks a rebirth of the inner being?” someone asked.

“Yes,” she said. “In fact that is not sorrow at all. Ordinary sorrow has a reason for it, but this has none. You call it weeping only for want of a better word to describe it. It is not real weeping! “It must be remarked here that one’s age, status, or the inner ability to suppress one’s feelings are of no avail when once Mother tickles that mysterious experience in us, throwing open the floodgates of the heart. The moments following that strange experience come nearest to one’s intellectual conception of the word samadhi. When I later pondered over it. I was reminded of the Bhakti Sutras, which describe the flow of tears, choking of the voice, and the quivering of the body as being the external signs of intense bhakti.

This flow of tears is experienced sometimes at the first sight of Mother, sometimes during one’s prolonged stay and sometimes while taking leave of her. That she has a direct control and command of the fountain head of the feelings in our hearts, I had ample experience and proof. I had it when I boasted that I am the only one who could restrain it and be unaffected by such a feeling. I had seen that the glance Mother casts on us sometimes sparks off the explosive emotion. On one occasion, puja was going on and Mother was sitting on the platform raised for the purpose. I was also there. When Mother glanced at me once, I suddenly became sad and I was surprised at what I thought was a coincidence. She purposefully kept her eyes away from me. I did not know why. When I was thinking so, she glanced at me a second time, and then, tears suddenly rimmed my eyelids! My voice choked and my brain became tense owing to my efforts to restrain and suppress the tears. Then I knew why she did not look at me for long. I was so trapped in an inner crux between the intense emotion and the effort to suppress, that I inwardly prayed to Mother to let out the feeling rather than leave me in the hellish trap. Then she turned her gaze in my direction and fixed it on me. Tears rolled freely from my eyes. I was immensely relieved of my inner tension and I knew that our feelings were entirely at her command.

On several occasions I had seen visitors who, feeling too shy to allow their tears to flow freely, became subject to unbearable inner tension. Then Mother calls them near and gently touches their head. There comes an outburst of their feelings and they cry, burying their heads in her lap or bowing at her feet. Some of them continue in the same mood for quite a long time and there are others who, during the several days of their stay, experience a profuse flow of tears whenever they allow their gaze to rest on her form for a few moments at a stretch. It is really a matter of her grace that laymen like us, who hardly succeed in pursuing sadhana with any consistency, are suddenly wafted into such heights of spiritual exaltation that the outward signs of intense bhakti (see Narada’s Bhakti Sutras) manifest in us just by the sight of her form, or her touch, or even by a word addressed to us by Mother. It is the veritable baptism of tears!

What is the basis of such an experience? The following words of Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi seem to contain the clue to it:

“Association with the wise will make the mind sink into the Heart. Such association is both mental and physical.”

“The extremely visible being (of the guru) pushes the mind inward. He is in the heart of the seeker and so he draws the latter’s inward-bent mind into the heart.”

The gist of this is conveyed by what Mother said when she was asked by someone whether perfection can be attained through her (Mother).

“What is there to be attained through me? I am the Mother. Seeing Mother is attaining!

“Finally, we shall conclude by noting this conversation of a devotee with Ramana Maharshi:

Disciple: Horripilation, sobbing voice, joyful tears, etc., are mentioned in Atma Vidya Vilasa and other works. Are these found in samadhi, or before or after?

Maharshi: All these are the symptoms of exceedingly subtle modes of mind (vrittis)…. Samadhi is perfect peace where these cannot find a place. After emerging from samadhi, the remembrance of the state gives rise to these symptoms. In bhakti marga, these are the precursors to samadhi.

Mother, when questioned about it, said that people weep before her for the same reason for which they weep when they were born, thereby signifying that visiting her constitutes a spiritual rebirth. Let us see what Bhagavan Ramana Maharshi said to amplify the same truth:

“That fact of the ego rising from the Self and forgetting it is birth… The present desire to regain one’s mother is in reality the desire to regain the Self, which is the same as releasing oneself, or the death of the ego; this is surrender unto the Mother….”

(Collected from – “The Life and Teachings of Jillellamudi Amma” – by Sri Ekkirala Bharadwaja)

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