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The Miracle that is Mother

Ekkirala Bharadwaja
Magazine : Matrusri English
Language : English
Volume Number : 1
Month : September
Issue Number : 4
Year : 1966

Of a shortly stature, Mother can be said to be of the stature of a medium sized deity in the temple. Even her features, her chin, the shape of the head, and the general cut of the body is like that of the Goddess that is generally installed in the temples with only one difference that is, she has a prominent belly. Passing her hand about it she often says laughingly that she is Pregnant always and that she is always the new mother; she goes on to trace and count innumerable babes inside her belly by a movement of her hand about it. It recalls to the mind the description of the Universal Mother as one who is pregnant with the whole universe in her womb.

Her complexion is un usually radiant though not so fair as is it once was. But the most mysterious feature of it is that her complexion changes constantly, often to match any colour of the clothes which her devotees offer her. So often and so completely does her general appearance change that to verify whether these changes are but the projections of personal imagination devotee took a photos of Mother one dozen at a time. But strangely enough, the photos revealed such differences in her appearances that in some she looked a teen-ager and in some she looked like an old woman. No two photos resembled one another greatly. This change is not what is ‘made’ in herself by herself in the way of the demonstration of a miracle; but it goes on all the time. Only the visitors. do not perceive closely. The per- ceiver in them is lost at the sight of Mother and often they are too much besides them selves to do so. She seems to incarnate the very phenomenon of change, which Creation is, in herself.

Her face is most striking by its brilliance and it radiates peace and calm as it were. There is a distant familiarity about it to every- one; yet there is something new about her face that either consciously or unconsciously the visitor’s gaze goes on searching out for the cause so continuously that it is very common to see most visiters fix their gaze on her for a very long time and that with- out the least movement of their eyelids. This happens not only to grown-ups even to very young children. The remarkably big round of kumkum is one another aspect that strikes the visitor. Well poised between the eye-brows instead of being a mere beauty spot in the centre of the forehead, the very sight of it suggests to the mind the idea of Motherhood.

Her round and elegantly shaped arms, hand and the fingers impart novel un a earthly beauty to the brightly coloured bangles and the rings which she wears. The hands have in their touch a new force that the very pass of her hand on one’s Lead would fill one’s heart with the abundance of maternal affection and love that swa Ilows up all other vexations and sorrows of life. Her feet too are unusually beauti ful in their shape and delicate in the texture of the skin. Once an ardent devotee of Rama by name Ranganna Babu came to see the Mother. “Did you notice her feet? you will not find such feet anywhere else! Is it so easy to come across such holy feet?” he exclaimed to every one by his side and added that nothing more is needed but to testify her divinity. Here the sceptical reader must remember that the ancient mystic love is full of the detailed descriptions of the various signs to be found only on the body of a divine manifestation-viz., the thirty two marks on the body of the Buddha as described in the ancient Buddhist texts.

The delicacy of her body is one of the most unusual features. It is delicate as as that of a new born babe. Even if a devotee lightly presses her feet in bowing before them, they get blood- shot for a long time after. Yet when she chocses, she displays such vigour and resis- tance that even the most athletic fail to meet her challenge in endurance and efficiency in working. How she combines in herself the extremes of delicacy and strength is a marvel. For she is often seen to enter the kitchen room and thrust her hand deep into boiling “Sambar and take out the pieces of vegetables from the depths while even the most experienced cook uses large handled uttensils to meddle with it. Once when some devotees wanted to bathe her in milk by way of Abhi. sheka, the villagers also rushed to seize the opportunity of joining the festivity; and in their fear that such an occassion might not be offering itself again; some brouht milk which they were boiling in pots and poured the steaming milk on her head. She neither moved nor was affected at all. Even afterwards, She never displayed any signs of burning cr pain. Similarly some devotees once wanted to perform the worship with vari ous kinds of leaves perhaps to visualize in her the Goddess of Vegetation and Nature:- these leaves contained some varieties which cause deadly itching on account of their hairs and gum. The hands of these that offered were swellen with itc.ing but she was not affected at all. There is a case of big stones being thrown by a devotee at her from a few yards of dis tance as he felt like doing her pooja wita stones. She never denied him the pleasure.

The absolute fluidity of her form and excellence is nowhere best illustrated than the by the fact that whatever be her mood at a particular mc ment she seems to be the very manifestation of that mood it self.If she were angry, her very look is sufficient to pin down a man to the inches of ground on which he stands. For hours he would be finding it difficult to stir unless she unlocks his nerves by a more benign aspect. At such moments one would doubt whether she was not the manifestation of terri- ble or angry aspects of God: whether she would ever smile. Again when she is gay and playful, one would find in her a child-like joy and mischief, and she seems to be the very manifestation of mirth. She jokes, mimicks those whom she speaks.None would,at such a moment, believe that she can ever be terrible in her aspect. In her mimickry, she is just the person whom she mimicks; it looks as though she were proving to us that all forms are her’s and from her Wn gestures and forms have come to be!

One more surprising aspect of Mcther’s physical form is that she sometimes appears to be very tall and sometimes very short-nct to individual but to several, at a time! Whether she really is taller at these moments, I never had the presence of mind needed to verify. But from this a difference in her physical proportion at various times in a day are clearly illu- strated. One day somecne offered her a sari and a blouse that he got stiched already. The latter was found to be too small for her. “I did not know your measurement, Mother!” the visitor apolo gised with disappointed a heart. “No one knows my measure, I am the measure of all”, she played on that werd to convey a deep mystical meaning implying that all proportion and harmony and the resulting forms all proceed from the One that manifested itself as all. But the visitor felt sad that his offering proved unfit for Mother. In a short while Mother finished her bathi and came out with the sari and blouse which he had brought. He did not notice the blouse. as he already thought it to be useless. But she told him that it sat perfectly on her! And to his surprise he found that it no longer was too tight but had just suited. Similarly, on several cccassions, I had seen that the bangles which some one had offered proved too small for her hands at one moment but slipped over easily to their proper place a few moments afterwards.

Finally it must be admitted that Mother’s form is really wonderful; and that the real wonder does not consist in any of these aforesaid aspects which by themselves are miraculous enough-but is behind them. It speaks the  language of the spirit. It is like the form of flame, assuming several forms, She shines, sitting on her inside a single thatched hut in an insignificant village, in South India, as the very mean ing of Creation. She seems to be the visible manifestation “of the word which is God and having a form yet capable of the word was God.” She is at once the hub and the wheel of cot time.She seems to personify the unity underlying in diver sity that is Creation.

***

One: “Which is the (good) way to know the Atman, Mother?”

Amma: “Any way is good.”

She: Kindly mention one for us, so that we could go along that way”.

Amma: “Follow the way you have chosen. Where is the question of a good way to Atman? When everything you see is That, where is the question of a way?

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