DIVINITY does not consist of four hands and a diadem’, said Mother. The sculptors of ancient India put in multiple – four, six or eight – hands to symbolize the power and omnipotence of God. The diadem signifies over-lordship of the Universe. In the theistic approach, God is conceived as a personal being and sculptors find it easy to endow him with human form. The Vishishtadvaita approach to God lays equal stress on the benevolent characteristics of God and his form. In the pantheistic concept, personal God spreads over the whole of the universe and the attributes of God virtually displace his personal aspect. God is no longer confined “to the Kaaba or Kailas’ ‘, he is beside every one. Both the concepts, theistic and pantheistic, rest on faith, though the latter slightly leans towards realistic understanding.
‘Limited affection marks human nature, while affection for all characterizes divinity,’ said Mother. Affection and attachment to one’s family and a limited circle of relatives or friends is a human characteristic and is common to all. “Affection for all beings is divine,” says Mother. Monkeys, squirrels and birds were seen playing with Ramana Maharshi and the Jillellamudi Mother was known to stroke snakes, rats, cats and bullocks alike.
‘What are you doing, Varalakshmi?’ asked Mother, one everything.
‘I am preparing Coffee for grand-mother’ (Mother’s mother-in-law).
‘Prepare Coffee for grandma’s daughter-in-law also,’ said
Mother, meaning herself.
‘How nice!’ said Srimati Ramabayamma, ‘Grandma’s daughter-in-law? If so, father’s
‘Wife,’ answered Mother.
‘And Subbarao’s, Ravi’s and Hymas
‘Thereafter, mother of all’ said Mother. All visitors are children to her. Her own children have no better claims on her than anyone who comes to see her.
One evening, Mother Ramakrishna, Mother’s daughter Hyma, and another girl Savitri were sitting on the terrace of a building. Hyma was feeling thirsty; she got up to go and drink some water. She is a weakling. So, Ramakrishna said to Savitri, ‘Please go and get some drinking water for Hyma.’ Mother intervened: ‘You go Hyma, hasn’t the doctor prescribed that you should do frequent walking?’ and turning to Ramakrishna she said, ‘No, not Savitri; she has come just now from the fields.’ She knew about Hyma’s weakness; it was Ramakrishna who told Savitri and She could have just kept quiet. But no! Savitri was not any different to her from Hyma.
‘Any intention which accords with dualities is human’ said Mother. Good and bad, beautiful and ugly, pleasant and unpleasant are called dualities. Any intention calculated to obtain the one or avoid the other accords to dualities and it is human according to Mother. One man’s food is another man’s poison. Your values and mine differ; my good may not be to your good; my prosperity can be one linked up with your adversity. Intentions that accord to anyone of the dualities may cut into the prosperity of others. Bernard Shaw was invited by the king emperor to partake in the thanksgiving service to God, after the victory of 1918. He asked ‘Thanksgiving? to which God? German God or English God?’ Any intention or act, which is in accordance with the dualities is characteristically human.
‘Any intention that accords to unity (and not duality) is divine’ (Mother). That which is not ‘good only to a few, but bad to some others’ does not accord to duality, it accords to unity. Discovery of a medicine which can cure a malady helps all the patients and it is not bad to anyone. If that discovery is not calculated to help the discoverer to a fortune, it is above dualities, its aim is unitary, it is divine. Davy’s dedication of the safety lamp to miners, Madame Curie’s separation of radium, Dr. Jamer’s Vaccination process were all the results of labor divine. They are good to all. The surgeon’s operation is equally ‘bad’ to all. That act again is divine. An intention that is ‘good’ to all or ‘bad’ to all, (including the subject) is not human, it is divine. Scientific research, social service, education etc., can be divine if they do not spring up from a personal motive of any kind, including name or fame. Any act which does not result in dual consequences i.e., action at one end and reaction at the other is divine.
Our attempts in life sometimes succeed and sometimes fail. When we succeed we attribute the success to our carefulness or capability; when we fail, we attribute it to the intervention of fate. Sometimes this mentality acts the other way. Success is attributed to God’s help and failure to our Karma. “To believe that results are made partly by our efforts and partly by fate is human”, says Mother. Though we are part of the cosmos, we feel that we are free to act in accordance with our interests. We do not explain our failures or successes as the final results of the many efforts of our contemporaries, each one trying to push the result in his own way. We say a cosmic initiative has directed the result in the way it has happened. It is as if we are set along that initiative sometimes and at an angle to it some other times. Life is therefore taken as an eternal struggle to achieve ends, and fate as a relentless giant wanting his own way. Constant worry and suffering is the result. This view is human according to Mother.
We are, each one of us, a speck of consciousness in the cosmos. Just because we are not able to mark consciousness everywhere, it does not follow that consciousness is confined to life alone. Electricity actually flows between one lamp and another through wires, while we may not see them above ground. In a similar way, cosmic initiative spreads through the whole universe, though we are able to mark it in humans. Individual initiative is only a localized speck of that universal fire, and does not act in spite of the cosmic initiative. What can happen is only that which is in conformity to the cosmic one. There is thus only one effort in the universe but we, localized areas of consciousness, think in terms of the small ‘I’, and attribute the effort to beings like ourselves, but the final decision to the cosmic l’. Hence the rub. Mother means that. That mentality which attributes all to the ‘I’ (that is in all as in ourselves), is divine. She says “The mentality which realizes ‘all is I’, is God’. The cosmic mind is the integral ‘I’ and that is divine. The individual mind, which is only the differential of That, thinks that the course of events follows the resultant of the action of the differential and the integral, each acting on its own, and suffers all the time, trying to achieve what it wants. That mentality is divine, which sees the action of the integral in everything, including what appears to be its own. This is not mere acceptance, it is better understanding; it ends all worry.
Reproaching the inmates of her house, Mother said one day. ‘As I remain sitting here, you think that I will not know what you do, away from me. I know all that is happening. Why I don’t say anything to you is because I think you are not ‘responsible’. She attributes the damage, loss etc., to the work of the great Initiative.
One day I was reading an essay in which I freely mentioned some incriminating facts about an old acquaintance of Mother. I had heard about them in Bapatla. I did not know that they were not admitted and accepted. There was some stir in the company and someone was already shouting in the verandah outside. All got up to put a stop to my reading and I apologized to Mother for mentioning incidents which I had not checked up for authenticity. She simply said ‘It is time for them to come out and so the facts have come out’. She was not the least worried about the results of my inadvertent revelation.
(Courtesy to M.D.C. Jillellamudi)