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Prof M Sivaramakrishna
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 6
Month : October
Issue Number : 4
Year : 2007

This is the second part of the essay, the first of which appeared in Mother of All (July-September 2007 ed in Mother issue)

Does doing anything lie in our hands (including perception of what Mother tells us)? Yet, we want to implement what we hear from Amma. Hence Amma’s clarification: “Does implementation lie in our hands? (Except) doing whatever strikes us whenever it does. Isn’t there a Power which eludes our comprehension, which we cannot understand? But, even when some Power which we do not understand makes us act, since we are doing, we cannot but assume that we are doing”. Giving an analogy Amma says: “Though there is something else which makes us move, since our legs move, it is impossible not to think that we are moving, we are walking”.

Two facts can be drawn: one, even when there is a possibility of our knowing that there is a Power which impels our doing, the consciousness that we are doing, we are walking clings to us. Two, is there not here a discrepancy between our knowledge and our action (which is the concrete, expressive form of our knowledge)? As the Bhagavad Gita puts it tersely: “we know what is negative but do not resist doing it. We know what is right but do not do it.”

A brother present there, somewhat impatiently, jumps in to name this paradoxical situation: “That which we do not know and understand is Kalimaya”, cosmic delusion. Whether we know or do not know that there is a Power which impels us to do, there is a Power behind. But, is it necessary to name it, to give it a verbal expression? By that are we not, in fact, reducing the colossal nature of that Power, to a unilateral dimension? To name a phenomenon like this is to nullify and neutralize the enormous possibilities of comprehending it in various ways, depending on our levels of perception. Like, as “what’s in a name?” – The famous Shakespearean assertion is exactly what happens: it limits, circumscribes.

This is especially the case in Mother’s presence. When she hears the name “Kalimaya”, she immediately responds: “Name it according to your liking: Nature, God, ……Names are different but what is (wha exists) is the One, alone.”

These are razor sharp statements. One has to walk on the edge gingerly, cautiously. One slip and the sharp razor of Vedanta cuts us to pieces. We call “Amma” “Amma”. Can we call her by any other name? We can. She is Parasakti and all her names. When she is the Mother of All, and creator of all then all are her forms, though named differently. But alongside, we should also remember that names carry emotional loads. Words are emotive and evoke strong positive or negative feelings. They have various auras, various nuances. Does the name Kamsa evoke the same feeling as that of Sri Krishna does? Though, Kamsa too is Sri Krishna’s creation!

This now brings us to the world not of one Reality but of many realities. The one behind the many also implies that many behind the One. This is the great puzzle in Vedanta. How does one reconcile the One and the Many? The experience of many is a fact. But that this is an illusion is a fact, too. Sparing us this endless debate, Amma now brings us back to the actual and factual event (of the Ten year old boy from Adusumilli running to Mother without telling any one.)

Now Amma intervenes with a retrospective of the incident: “Look, dear child! At whose behest – at the instance of who’s telling did that boy come like this? The moment he saw me, he cried loudly. There is nothing special here. The (presence of) the ordinary mother only. Isn’t it? “I don’t feel like leaving you. I will stay here only!” the boy said. What is the special thing he saw here, to speak like that? What teachings did he listen to, what sadhanas did he undertake and come here? That’s all; Each has his intrinsic qualities (sanskaras). That boy’s sanskara is his own.” (p.214)

The questions Amma puts are rhetorical questions. The special thing he saw – Mother of All-neutralized the need for sadhana. For, it seems obvious that Amma’s darshan is itself, the be-all and end-all of all sadhana. What you saw, what all your samskaras and sadhanas are oriented to see, then what else is there that needs to be done? But then, are we convinced about this Truth? Hence the need for further clarification by Amma. Let us look at it in the next issue.

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