“Having recognised with the help of a mark, the mark itself
should (be left alone to) disappear.”
THE first and foremost of the various implications of this profound statement of Mother directly explains what actually takes place or ought to take place when a common individual, by what he considers to be his right effort, passes from his limited self into his infinite Self i. e. attains perfection. The statement points the direction in which the effort must be put and thereby defines both the right goal and the right means.
All mystic practice is directed to one end i. e. to direct the whole of man’s awareness to one point — be it a form of the deity visualised, or a sacred formula that is repeated, or the break that is watched or the watching of the I consciousness in man. This is the mark that is referred to in Mother’s statement. With the help of such a mark, the mind is first rendered one pointed by effort and kept like that constantly for suffi ciently long till it becomes natural for the mind to be rid of all disturbance even without any effort to remem ber the mark. In short, it is being always conscious of one’s self, first through effort, and later without effort. The final stage of Self remembering becomes possible only when the mind attains poise permanently: and only when that state becomes natural or else perfec tion is not reached. The culminating experience is what is called the Sahajasthiti or the original state of the Self which is usually translated as Self-realisa tion. The presence of conscious effort in the early stages of Sadhana and its absence in the later stages are signified by the need or needlessness of such a conscious mark as repetition of God’s name, watching breath or visualising a form.
This is as regards the quest for the inner self. In the course, one might encounter a Self-Realised one who would assist him in his endeavour. Such a one is the outer manifestation of the same Self that is within. Recognising such a one is part of Self Realisation. In this sense the statement gains another shade of meaning.
Those who are aware of the the divine, recognise divinity in holy power of men on witnessing something characteristically superhuman in them. It may be the caressing touch of motherly affection, it may be their answering a question in the mind before it is asked, mentioning incidents taking place elsewhere, appearing in a dream and offering helpful instructions, giving an unearthly shock by mere touch, melting down the inner hardiness by steady looks, clearing knotty doubts in philosophy by (obviously) spontaneous response, putting up with acute torture without showing any anguish, visiting dying persons a few moments before their death to comfort them, not having any personal desire, etc., etc. All these may not be observed in one person and any one of these may not impress every person. But one of these (and any similar one not mentioned here) would strike an alert person as an essentially divine characteristic, when it is spontaneous. Divinity is the integral of all non-individual part of human nature, but not just the opposite of human nature. When a person’s behaviour shows the aroma of affection without personal attachment, power without prepa ration, knowledge without the preceeding sense perception, action for no personal gain, and influence without the usual means, and alert person would recognise in him or her a being who is different; godly.
Having thus recognised with the help of one of the above (or any other similar mark), the present saying directs us to leave alone our interest in the mark and stick to the subject instead. The mark has helped us to know, it served its purpose, even as a signpost pointing to a rest-house. On recognising the rest house, we forget the signpost and take shelter. In spiritual quests as well, the present saying directs, the signposts should disappear altogether from our minds and the rest-house alone should be our refuge.
In actuality, however, we do not see this happen ing. We wonder eloquently about the mark of spiri tuality noticed, suggesting thereby more our luck (and desert) as recipients of the grace of that reve lation than pointing to the source of that grace. Grace it certainly is, and revelation it might thereafter turn out to be, but there is no particularity or partia lity in this. The great Mother gives each child what it should have at the moment. She isn’t any more partial to one than an carthly mother is to one of her children. To resume our analogy of a signpost, there is no need to fuss about the discovery of the signpost. It can be the colour of the building that helps another to find it, the height for a third and the facade for a fourth! The rest-house should be what we seek, not the mark of recognition. Hence it is that we are asked by the saying to leave the mark alone after recognising.
Miracles are examples of marks of recognition. These are not generally left alone to fade out into oblivion. More emphasis is usually laid on the miracle than on the subject who does it! We could as well say, all emhasis. People ask a devotee who visited a holy man, “And did he (or she) materialise what you desired? Did he present it to each one present? Did he tell you what was in your mind? Did he cure you of your ailment? Did you get a comfortable berth while coming back? etc. etc. Men are more worried with their desires and signposts to God than for His grace. When someone reports an experience, we are mad after that experience than after the person who gave it. What is more, they expect it to be repeated under similar circumstances just as any human behaviour is! This is tantamount to enthroning the mark of power instead of the power that this mark points to, isn’t it? It is a hundred percent secular treatment of what is certainly not secular, and hence is improper. When great souls do something extraordinary in our lives, ours is not to question why it happened in that way and not in another. That has happened in the way the doer wanted. Believe and benefit by it if you wish, or leave it as jugglery and pass on. In the latter case, your scepticism may yet crack by another incident like that, or you can keep yourself head and shoulders above really credulity.
The second part of the saying teaches us by implication not to apply sensory reasoning to a mark beyond the domain of sense perception. Marks of the – divine are not material for mundane discussion or application. Do a scientific examination if you so want. You will arrive at an “I don’t know”. But don’t make capital out of a miracle by claiming it be seed of miracles and sowing it and speculating as to the branches of the tree that should sprout from it, with the help of the botany of the earth’s plants, which you know of.
– Dr. Sripada Gopalakrishna Murty
“I don’t believe that Mother is God. But, there is no equal to Mother in all persons I know of. There isn’t for me, any thing greater than Mother. I always feel like going to Mother and sitting in her presence” (An agnostic)