Brahman, Absolute Consciousnesses is Attributeless and Formless.
Ishwara is with Attributes and is Formless.
Guru is Attributeless and has Form.
Shree Maa Poornaprajna
Maa’s life a paradigm of the gentle and the genius. Efficacy of one’s surrender lies in final salutations to one’s Gurudev and the eternal Upanishad’s.She is a disciple of a Realized saint,Swami Akhandanand Saraswati ji Maharaj,of vrindavan he was an authoritarian of Advait Pholosophy of this century. His onslaught of powerful discourses on Vedanta and his sea of books on advait darshan has drowned million minds to no return, Moksha, Liberation.
The burning flames of vairagya in Maa, equaled with keen desire to unfold, The Existence Absolute, made her one of the most obedient and ardent disciples of Maharajshree. In this path of spirituality obedience itself is knowledge. Maa’s intense love for her Gurudev made her easily cut the umbilical chord of Maya, duality and experience the Advait Tattva in Oneness-The Pure Self. Maa spends most of her time in ekant, in solitude,dwelling upon the scriptures and on enormous teachings of her Gurudev.Her Gurudev had once assured her, “I shall always dwell with you in the form of Vichara, Supreme Thoughts.”The pharmacy of Gurudev dispenses nothing but only grace, compassion and infinite Knowledge, often inconceivable by most evolved minds.
Maa’s Royal Lineage
Maa’s grandfather, Bhargavendra Singh, was the adopted son of Yadavendra Singh, the Maharaja of Nagod. He was adopted from a neighbouring landlords family and were of the same clan, Parihar Rajputs.Though much later in their life; Maharaja and Maharani of Nagod had their own son, almost after twentyone years but they continued to give their older son the due respect of a Prince. Nagod was a princely state in the central part of our country, MadhyaPradesh. Nagod belonged to the clan of Parihar Rajputs and in history they are well renowned as brave warriors who fought many heroic battles against Mughals. Bhargavendra Singh was the declared Prince and the next Maharaja of Nagod.
In a sudden and a tragic incidence Maharaja Yadavendra Singh passed away when he was on a holy visit to one the oldest holy city of the world, Varanasi more popularly known as Kashi. Whole family went into mourning on Maharaja’s untimely death and a fear gripped them as to who would run the affairs of the fort and the state. The young Prince Bhargavedra Singh , worked hard and took the responsibility of the state on his young shoulders with great proficiency which certainly was a sign of a good ruler.
The young prince, Bhargavendra Singh handled the crisis with great maturity and complete sacrifice. Just after his father’s death he immediately declared his younger brother as the Prince and the heir to the throne. Since his younger brother was too small to look after the welfare of the state he himself took the post of a Dewan and managed the state and never proclaimed to be a Maharaja. Though many people who had great regards for him did not approve of his hasty decision, to leave the honor of a Prince and a Maharaja. Even the British Governor, since India was still under British rule opposed his decision and said under all circumstances with all official rights he was the legitimate Prince. But Bhargavendra Singh was a man of great principles and nothing ; be it wealth, name or fame could shake the firm moral axiom of his life. He was a man of great character and well established in dharma. He never wore any feudal robe but bared his life in self sacrifice and hard work in the upliftment of rural,under priviledged people of his land which not only the love and respect of the poor and the common man but people of honour had also great honour for him. Though officially he was not the king but people of Nagod always believed him to be their beloved Rajasahab. Rajmata till her last days gave her older son the due respect as a Maharaja of Nagod would deserve.
Maa’s father, Kumar Surendra Singh was a brave DIG ,Police officer. He was the second son of Bhargavendra Singh and were four brothers. His schooling was from Mayo college Ajmer, and he finished his Diploma from Prince Of Wales Royal Indian Military College, Dehradoon. He was a very sharp shooter and an excellent sportsman. He was an asset of the Police department and won many medals for his bravery and even an award in 1961 from the then Prime Minister Of India , Pandit Jawarharlal Nehru, for almost crippling the dacoit gangs of chambal ghati.
D.I.G Surendra Sighji would dare to go to such danderous terrains of Chambal, where eagles would think twice. He risked his own life and headed almost all the encounters rather than put at risk, the life of his junior officers. His gracious benevolence avoided under all circumstances shooting a dacoit in an encounter but rather make them surrender. He being an excellent shooter and a daring rajput hunter had killed almost 15 man eater tigers and two bisons. His public-spiritedness and charity of goodwill would always lighten the damp,fuggy atmosphere of any gathering. He maintained a perfect balance between exhibiting respect towards his senior officers to as much he expressed his generosity of love towards his fourth grade staff. After office hours he would sit and chat with the prisoners like a friend without any discrimination.It was his impartial nature and purity of heart which earned the adorations and respect of the prisoners and made them self introspect to change their outlook towards life. He was a custodian of great morale and humane feelings.
Maa would recall an incidence about her father’s honesty; in those days DIG offices used to be in the same residential bungalow premises. Once a personal assistant of her father had picked up a white paper and a pencil from his office desk and had given it to Maa to write something , she was just nine years old. When her father noticed the paper he immediately in a very stern voice asked her to return it back to his desk. He went on to say, ‘ this paper and every single thing in his office is governments property and that no one has any right to bring it under personal use.’ Such high was his moral lessons to his children which truly reflected the strong essence of dharma or righteous living in his life.
He was a man of great virtue and obeyed and followed the vedic culture he was born in. He as such had no orthodox religious adherence but certainly the inner boundaries of his heart was devoted to higher existence,the Supreme Lord, which remained concealed to the external world. He did his Gayatri mala chanting twice a day and without doing his fixed number of mala’s he did not take any food. Shri Udiya Baba used to say there is divinity in spiritual discipline. If for some reasons he reached home late at 2 p.m, even then in cold winter nights he would take his bath, do his fixed number of Gayatri mantra chanting and then take his dinner. Such was his dedication and devotion not only towards his professional life but also towards his spiritual life .
Maa’s mother, Uma Devi, was an extremely beautiful, intelligent and a very soft natured person.She was more popularly known for her remarkable memory and her witty nature. She hailed from a very rich landlords family , Reva state of Bhikhampur. In those days girls were not allowed to go outside to study in schools, however, they were provided all the opportunities at home. She learnt Sanskrit, maths, hindi and astrology at home from a good learned Pundit. She could recite the chaupies,hymns of Ramayana and shlokes of Gita without even looking into the book, and even at the age of 75 she did not forget a single line. She was a great devotee of God and it was because of her strong affinity towards supreme that her children imbibed the religion with love and devotion. As a mother she was very particular that her children did not acquire any wrong habits and it was her silent prayers and watchful eyes that all her children were mannerful, gentle and highly educated.
Maa’s Birth and her remarkable Passions
Maa was born on a very auspicious occasion of Shetla Ashtami on the afternoon of 2nd April 1948.One amazing thing about her birth was that she did not cry during her birth not even when she was slapped by the doctors. After her birth ceremony she was named Kiran meaning rays of the sun.
Maa’s grandfather had no granddaughters and even if they were born they survived for just few months . Her grandfather Bhargevendra Singh being a lover of dharma had prayed to mother Narmada, in India we have a beautiful tradition of calling our rivers as mother to bestow his family with granddaughters. Maa was the second daughter in the family and were three brothers and four sisters ; she is the fourth child and the second daughter. Though she was the fourth child but yet her father insisted to celebrate maa’s birth. Her mother objected and tried to persuade her husband to call for a small family gathering. But her father said, ‘ I have a strange intuition that my this girl shall one day be a great person as she is very different from all my other children.’ Indeed, he threw a big party on Maa’s name. Maa was a beautiful fair complexioned, copper haired child and many used to lovingly call her as ‘bhuri’ ,meaning brown haired girl,though her nick name was Raje. She was extremely bubbly, chirpy girl and she loved to sing and dance. She enjoyed listening to songs and had a beautiful voice. She had a great fascination towards music and lyrics and had a magical memory; if she would listen to any song just once she could sing the song exactly with faultless lyrics and intonation. I would say even till today she has a beautiful, melodious voice.
When she was just a toddler she would start crying insisting her parents to send her to school alongwith her elder sister, Usha Kumari though her parents did not pay much attention to her childish whims. Unlike other children she loved to study and enjoyed going to school. One day when her elder sister was dressed to go to a nearby primary school with her servant, Rasull Baba, Maa quietly followed them. Amongst her many passions one of her most secret passion was ,she loved to play hide and seek. When she was just four years old she hid herself underneath the cot of her newborn brother and the whole family and the servants kept searching for her and finally she was found hiding under the baby cot. Maa silently followed Rasull baba and if he would look behind she quickly hid behind a tree, though a four year old baby she had the intellect of a ten year old child. In this manner she dodged Rasull Baba and others members of the family and reached her sisters school. When he left she went inside the school and sat down in one of the classrooms as if she one of the regular students. The class teacher found small cute baby occupying one of the classroom benches, she lifted her on her lap and asked her , ‘Who are you?How did you come to the classroom? Who are your parents?’ Maa smartly answered without any hesitation, ‘ I have come to school to study.’ She became a barbie toy for the teachers they gave her biscuits ,toffee and told her wonderful stories to entertain her or vice versa. Meanwhile, back home complete squadron was employed in search of baby Raje, from her anxious mother to her worried servants and the responsible police officers or havaldars leaving not a single corner of the house, the backyard and even the well but to no avail. It was her mom who made an intelligent guess that there was a possibility that she had gone to Usha’s primary school as she very well knew her daughters inquisitive inclinations. When Rasull Baba was sent to school he saw small Raje portraying herself with her elder sister Usha. Rasull Baba was shocked and asked Raje how did she manage to reach school. Maa replied with complete confidence , ‘ I followed you from home and when you looked back twice I hid myself behind the tree.’
This inborn mysterious art of hiding helped Maa many years later to escape the most daring, challenging, thick walls of the fort of her home in Bombay. She had abnegated every emotional and gross comforts to ride on a mustang of non- attachment , to gallop away into the wilderness of wild wild renunciation.
Dispassion and Self control from her childhood days
Maa unmistakably has inherited the genes of her grandfather who strongly embarked on the principles of dharma and could not be dissuaded even at the price of his own personal life and it became more obvious as Maa grew old and wise.
Though Maa was born with a silver spoon in her mouth but had absolute distaste for luxuries or any other comforts. Dispassion was very much observed in her life from her childhood days. Her younger sister, Prakash Kumari had once told an incidence which truly reflected that Maa undoubtedly belonged to this respectable, patronizing family and was the granddaughter of her honourable grandfather. Once Maa alongwith other cousin’s , brothers and sisters had gone on a visit to her maternal grandmaa’s house in Bhikampur. During those days Bhikhampur was considered to be one of the richest estate of Reva . According to their tradition the basement in some hidden area of the fort would be flooded with gold and silver bars, jewelry and precious stones which would be opened secretly in some particular time of the year. All these possessions would be worshipped by a very young girl not more than nine years old before her puberty. Maa was a pretty princess with wonderful manners, hardly eight years old and thus she was given the
honour of a deity for a day and was adorned with gold ornaments from head to toe and was taken inside the room to be worshipped as a Goddess. She was worshipped by the family members offering their prayers and puja to get rid of all evil eyes and the prosperity prevails in the family. Maa was quietly standing in the room which she did not enjoy at all. One of her aunt asked her to choose any gold ornament which she desired but the shine of gold could not lure or deceive Maa even at her tender age. She wanted nothing except that she wanted to be out of that suffocating basement and play outside in the freedom of space. They kept insisting her because they considered it to be a good omen if the girl accepts some jewelry but each time Maa turned down their offer. Unlike other girls Maa never had any girlish desires and was never attracted to the shine of gold. She infact , would dream to do tapasya and practice severe austere like Dhruv and Prahallad from her childhood days and she enjoyed reading books of child devotees who did great tapasya to attain God. As our Puranas says ;these two children were great devotees of Lord Vishnu and had done mountain of severe penance to find God. Lord Vishnu was so happy with their single minded devotion that he bestowed them with his cosmic vision and fulfilled all their wishes.
Any long stretch of jungle area while travelling in car,would make Maa stretch out her eager neck to peep into her kaleidoscope of dormant dreams.The smell of familiar wet woods, impatiently waiting to welcome her with an ambience of tapasya, leaving her body racing in the car while her mind gliding in the dense forest of her dreams,tapasya! Tapasya!. She would be fascinated by the tall trees,running rivers, fantasizing tales of severe austere under an old banyan tree ,which God fulfilled much later in her life.
Another incidence which reflects her strong self control when she was still an infant. Maa’s father was posted in Vidisha a small town of Madhya Pradesh. When Maa was just four years old , her innocent body was attacked by deadly twin bacilli’s of typhoid and malaria . Vidisha being a small town did not have proper treatment facilities. Her parents rushed her to Indore a bigger township with much advanced medical facilities and competent doctors. She was hospitalized immediately in an emergency ward since she had very high fever and was revolving around the danger mark. With the expertise and intensive care of the Doctor’s and the nurses, she recovered back to her normal condition. However, the Doctor apart from giving medicines had advised them if they could possibly keep Maa completely on liquid diet for six months,since her liver was badly affected. Maa was adviced a diet chart which was only glucose water and some juice of a particular fruit. Maa as a small child accepted it without any complain and neither expressed any desire for any other variety of food.Even if something delicious would be prepared for other children at home she would never demand. If she would be hungry she would only ask for juice .One day her mother had cooked something special for other children so she asked one of her servants to take Raje outside in the garden and play, thinking Raje might be tempted to have the food which would not be good for her health. But to her parents surprise she said , ‘I know you are sending me outside because you think I will ask for the food you prepared, but I know doctor has advised me not to have anything and I will obey his good advice. ’Hearing this statement from such a small baby her parents felt ashamed for mistrusting their small daughter’s amazing self control. But at same time they were proud of her self discipline and obedience. This remarkable character made her father compliment her, ‘my this daughter must have been a yogini or a saint in her previous birth.’ On the contrary her elder sister Usha was severely ill once and was down with terrible typhoid. The typhoid invasion had left her with a bald head and was robbed off from her power of speech when she was seven years old. Her elder sister got back the voice in her vocal chords because of Maa’s amazing sensitive spirit and smart obedience. Maa’s mother ,Uma Devi used to teach few tricks to Maa, like snatching away anything Usha would be playing with in order instigate Usha’s irritation believing it might make her squeal loudly and the tricks would of course work.She was prohibited from all hot,oily and spicy Indian cuisines. Usha could hardly resist the urge of delicious preparations and would start demanding the food, ignoring the fact that it would be injurious to her delicate health which was very much in contrast to Maa’s self control at the tender age of four. Maa was a five year old child but had a great command over her intelligence and she supported her mother’s wonderful tricks and would exactly do what her mother wanted her to enact. One fine autumn morning Maa was playfully snatching away anything Usha her elder sister wanted to play with and this trick worked to bring back the voice and the first word she uttered was , ‘maa jaje’ , her voice had a sheer complain , ‘ maa Raje is taking away my toys.’ Uma devi usually would be patiently hiding behind the curtains inorder to watch both her daughters actions and this time Usha kumari had noticed her mother standing behind the curtains and so she wanted to tell her Mom that Raje was snatching away her toys and she miraculously got back her voice.
Kindness, forbearance, obedience and self discipline are the ornaments of a perfect Sadhu and Maa was born with these innate ornaments. It was because of these qualities she had won every heart , every mind and even the divine Lord.
Maa’s student life and her first connection with God
She was very popular in her school because of her sharp intellect ,self discipline and polite nature. Though all comforts were at her disposal but she would always admonish kindness and never ill treat anyone. Even if some servants made some big mistakes she would purposefully overlook and never complain. Maa’s mother used to say that Raje was never a demanding child. She would wear the dress whatever would be offered to her by her mother and never express any choice. Very rarely she wished to go out for any teenage entertainments,visiting places or maybe watching movies etc.
Reading was her passion and books of good author’s be it on deep philosophy , fiction or fact based classical novels they were her best companions. She would be often scolded by her mother as a book worm because she did not want her daughter to strain her eyes while glued to the books all throughout the day. But warnings and scoldings could not prevent Maa from reading her books and very cleverly she would hide the book inside her blanket and with a torch read till late night which ended up with a complain of a headache and finally the inevitable spectacles.
Maa also preferred spending time alone in solitude sucked up in deep thoughts. If on rare occasions she she wished to go out , her mom would immediately call the driver and the car would be ready to take her for an outing. At this her other sisters and brothers used to complain at their mother’s partial nature. At this Uma Devi would say Raje hardly demands anything and if she expresses any wish I feel pleased to fulfill her request whereas you all demand every alternate day. Such beautiful was her bouquet of love and trust between her and her parents.
Maa studied her First standard from Padma Vidyalaya in Gwalior. She was not only good in studies but also took active part in all kinds of adventurous games with her friends, brothers and sisters. If caught in some foul mischief she would utter with all honesty to her parents that she was a part of the mischief and would not lie .
Lord Vishnu in her dreams
She studied her second standard from Indore, she had changed many schools since her father was in Police and got frequent transfers. It was here in Indore she had a beautiful dream of Lord Vishnu when she was just six years old.
One day Maa dreamt that she was in her ancestral home in Nagod and was playing with all other children in the elevated platform in the central area of the house which was in the shape of a moon. She saw at a distance many people carrying a dead body on their shoulders and were saying , ‘ Ram naam satya hai’ meaning Lord Ram’s name is the only eternal truth. A holy ritual in hindu tradition , carrying the respectful dead body to the cremation ground , people keep taking Lord Ram’s name in a rhythmic intonation as a collective votive offering. Maa like a mature girl was telling all the her friends, ‘ please stop playing and let us all fold our hands , bow down and pray for the departed soul as a courteous oblation who is proceeding towards his eternal home.’ Maa stopped playing and was did Pranam while her friends were laughing and making fun of her absurd, comic belief.
At that very moment she saw Great Lord Vishnu coming down from the vast ocean of blue sky in his profound splendour mounting on his Vahana, his carrier Garuda ,is the hindu name for the constellation Aquila. The colour of Lord Vishnu was light blue like the colour of the sky and with divine mesmerising smile, caressing Maa with the soft touch of his hand on her head and telling her, “ do you know you are an extremely good child and I love you so much.”He was trying to as if console Maa that do not bother about what people think about you but I love your wonderful mature understanding. Maa stood rooted to her ground completely bathed in love by her beloved God Vishnu and gaze frozesseing The HIM. This beautiful entrancing vision of Lord Vishnu, his big kind eyes , his caressing hands in her dream never got effaced and remained vivid in her memory ever. Occasionally dreams of God not only transcends you from planetary life but also helps to reason out the present life which seems ethereal and unreal.It absorbs the soul towards devotion and an existence of divine which cannot be obliterated.
Dream of Lord Vishnu remained so fresh in her memory that often it would keep knocking the doors of her devotional mind and she would be lost in deep love , and her strong faith at his lotus feet.Faith is a deep , pure melted human emotion. It is complete surrender to divine existence, a silent, pregnant, cosmic energy. The pulsation of faith begins at the very centre point of every heart and it’s radii unmeasured.It is the substratum of all conscious unshaken and supreme standing even above our vital force. She would look up into the blue sky believing that Bhagwan Vishnu ,enveloping the complete world in his compassionate blue blanket and Maa’s heart writhed in pain to be with him.It is this fire of faith which made her withstand every storm of her life.
Goddess Durga Warning her not to Waste Time
She studied third standard from Ujjain. During summer holidays Maa along with her sisters and brothers spend their afternoons playing cards. They were playing some childrens games of cards like matching colors or figures etc. One day Goddess Durga, appeared in her dreams and she seemed to be vexed with maa. She was wearing a gorgeous red sari and her long hair reaching till her knees was open widespread and she had beautiful big eyes. Maa bowed down and asked her the reason of her annoyance. Devi told her , ‘so you enjoy playing cards, and she had a bunch of cards on her palm and she started throwing one card after another and kept saying take this ,take this and kept throwing the cards at Maa spreading it all over the room ,’ Maa spontaneously replied, ‘ I
know playing cards is a waste of time. Maa was overwhelmed at Mother Durga’s breathtaking vision. She always remembered her warning and it kept reminding her all throughout her life, not to waste life in meaningless, perishable prospects.
She continued her studies with beautiful divine forewarnings and their love. Maa’s father was posted back to Gwalior and so she got her admission in fifth standard again in Gwalior, Padma Vidyalaya one of the most renowned girls school built by Maharaja of Gwalior in the name of his daughter. She scored above ninety percent in all her subjects and thus was given double promotion and got promoted to class five instead of fourth standard. They were transferred to Bilaspur and she studied her sixth class from Birgis Memorial School.Her seventh class and half of eight she finished from Jabalpur,Kanya vidyalaya school.In this school she had a friend named Maya though they were not in the same section but during their drill classes they met each other and became very good friends. They both used to share their emotions and had a common ambition in life. They both promised to take up bio- science and become good doctors and serve poor people and never get married. Maa met her after many years, after Maa had become a sadhu and her friend is a pediatrician now and did not marry as per their childhood promise. She told Maa I have kept my promise but the path you have adorned has surpassed all our earthly promises, ambitions and achievements of life .
During those days in Eigth standard one had to choose one’s stream and Maa had taken up Bio Science and her subjects were botany, zoology and chemistry because she wanted to become a doctor. Her father was posted back to Gwalior ,and so she got her admission in Padma Vidyala for the third time .When Maa was still in school she desired to learn Sanskrit because she wanted to read the vedic manuscripts which were all in sanskrit. Maa’s father seeing her daughters keen inclination to learn Sanskrit, he had appointed a Sanskrit teacher at home.
Amongst her many talents Maa had an excellent writing skill in hindi when she was still in school. Her teachers would be amazed at her wonderful , mature writing skill as a teenager. Teachers would praise her and tell her that her writing had the depth of a post graduate student. In her school days Maa had written many dramas and one of the best was published in the school magazine. She even wrote many stories with her elder brother Bhargevendra Singh Parihar, though even he too was a student of science and an excellent shooter but he enjoyed Raje’s company because of her ability to write and they both with their combined effort of imagination wrote many fiction stories.
Silent fire of Patriotism lurking within
In the year 1963, war brokeout between India and China when Jawarhar Lal Nehru was the Prime Minister. Maa was in standard nine and she says ;our country not very prepared for this sudden declaration of war with a powerful country and we lost the battle because of lack of modern well equipped armaments and disorganized war preparation. Despite scarcity of proper food and warm clothes our fearless soldiers were holding onto the front with sheer will and spirit of Bhagwatgita where death seemed mocked in the face of eternal life. Gita powerfully declares in second chap.
‘nainam chindanti shastrani nainam dahati pavakaha,
na chainam kledeyantyapo na sosayati marutah.’
Patriotism is never in scarcity in India even in the direst of it’s days. Children got inspired by their war heroes who were laying down their lives for their country. Maa said schools were given orders to knit woolen stuff for the soldiers . Maa and all her school friends took active part in this mission and they had knitted many warm woolen caps and socks day and night for their brave brothers, she said she used to keep knitting as fast as she could even if her head drooped down in slumber. It was very disheartening we lost the war but the Nations integrity got inflamed. This loss sowed the Indian soil with seeds of patriotism.
Again in 1965 war brokeout between our country and Pakistan; Lal Bhadur Shastri was the Prime Minister of our country. He was a great leader to give the famous slogan , ‘Jai Javan Jai Kisan’ meaning. ‘hail to the soldiers and hail to the farmers.’ He was such a honest, devoted Prime Minister of our country that after his demise he had no savings in his bank rather he had a debt of Rs1500. During the war we had run short on food supply and Lal Bhadur Shastri had appealed to his citizens that for a day in a week each citizen should fast to deal with this grain crisis . The sincerity in his voice had touched every citizens heart from the young , old and even the children and they obeyed him blindfolded. Maa says ,they were in standard eleven but they all fasted for their brave soldiers believing that their brothers should not go hungry stomach to the battlefield. One should indeed salute a leader in whose one call complete nation stood united in patriotism and sacrifice and he led the war to victory. Unfortunately it is sad to observe todays educational institutes are not cultivating any leaders bigger than life but are generating stone hearted human machines where there is hardly any space for human emotions or less national feelings . Nation deteriorates when money power over powers humanity.
Passionate understanding of the Indian Philosophy
Maa was on the last year of her school when her father got posted from Gwalior to someother place,but her parents decided not to disturb her studies and allowed her to continue in the same school Padma Vidyalaya. She was sent to boarding in Kanya Raja Girls College just adjacent to her school.
Once there was Swami Vivekanand inter school debate organized by Ramkrishna Mission. The debate was on modern science and dharma, eternal law of being . Maa was supposed to speak on Dharma, though Maa did not want to participate at all as she had never taken part in inter school debates before and had a stage phobia. She honestly told the teachers that they have made a wrong selection and there are all possibilities that her school might lose .The teachers had absolute faith in her and appreciated her philosophical writings so much that they said , ‘never mind even if we lose but none can speak on Dharma better than you.’ Teachers advised her to take some help from Sir Rudrahan who was a teacher of fine-arts. Maa had many sweet memories with him. He prepared the speech for Maa as he was a great lover of Swami Vivekananda. On returning home from school she started reading sacred book Bhagwad Gita and became so lost in absorbing the transcendental meanings of shlokas of Gita that she forgot to keep a track of her time. When her mind returned to perceive the earth waves; she was shocked it was 5a.m in the morning. She recalls that every shloke of Gita would take her to some other realm ;as if some wise voice was answering all her questions about the purpose of her birth, the eternal journey of soul and the existence of absolute . Though that night she was physically in her room but her mind was in a world of knowledge which was definitely an eternal pathway. Although in her school competition she forgot the last verse of the shloke in Gita due to nervousness and ended up with just a consolation prize but she won the final competition of her life. Though she just won a consolation prize but the judges who were Swamiji’s of Ram Krishna Mission were extremely happy with her deep understanding of the secret knowledge of Gita. She was given a book of Swami Vivekananda, 1893 Chicago speech which she had finished reading when she was just in class eleven. The invaluable admonitions and comprehensive instructions in Bhagwad Gita now stands revealed in her heart today. It seems Maa was born to dwell on scriptures and God.
Though Maa was happy with her consolation prize but she felt her Sir might be disappointed with her performance. When she went to meet him with her friend who had come first who spoke on science, he just patted her and said, ‘ you have got a thin book because the judges knew you were a fragile girl so you would not be able to carry the fat book and your friend is healthy so she got the fat book.’ Maa finished reading the book of Swami Vivekananda and his fiery speeches evoked the fire of spiritualism lurking in her dormant heart.
Since Maa’s hostel was adjacent to her school almost everyday she would quietly sneek into fine arts department during evening hours where Rudrahan Sir would be giving his last touch to one of his oil paintings or to any of his sculptures. Maa used to carry some philosophical books like Raj Yog, Bhakti Yog on Gita and sit quietly in any corner of the huge room silently watching him finish his paintings or sculpting. He would ask , ‘so now the small girl is reading such difficult philosophical books. How does your small brain grasp the concave hidden meanings?’ They both were a lover of peace and silence and enjoyed to dwell in the subtle world and this common taste developed a very sweet consonance between a caring teacher and an awakened student.
Mischiveous mischief of Maa
During her final year of her school Maa was in Kanya Raja girls boarding . She had taken up Bio-Science and finished her standard twelve with excellent percentage. Though Maa being a good student used to study hard but once in a while she would play some mischief with her friends. A dance programme was organized in her school and some famous artists were invited from other state. The hostel where Maa was staying had many rooms and common bathrooms. The girls were said that these artists would spend two nights in their hostel guestrooms but they would be sharing the common bathroom with them, they were asked to keep their rooms clean and maintain silence. As usual they had gone to have their breakfast in the dining hall when the warden informed them, ‘ guests have already arrived and they would be soon in their guest room.’ Maa and her friends when they heard this, quickly finished their breakfast and rushed back to their room. Usually on sundays the washerman used to come to take their weeks dirty school dresses for washing and give it back to them ironed properly for the next week. But the rest of the clothes the girls had to wash themselves but Maa and her friends used to keep hanging their weeks dirty clothes in the toilet dressing room .Fearing the guests would find the toilet dirty with their unwashed dirty clothes hanging ,they dashed to their common toilet’s dressing room to pick up their dirty clothes. All this while they were giggling ,laughing but could not figure out where to hide their mountain of dirty clothes. One of them had an idea and said, ‘ let us heap it in one of the beds and cover them with a blanket and if someone visits, they would think that somebody is sleeping.’ They were giving final touch to their accomplishment with dedicated diligence by putting the mosquito net down absolutely satisfied with their triumph. Suddenly! behind them they heard somebody coughing. They jumped to look behind and were shocked to see the ladies had been mutely watching their drama from the door .Girls were absolutely taken aback from the most unexpected silent spectators, horrified that their mischief was caught red handed , they ran from the room in herds, climbed down the steps as if some earthquake had come and crossed one corridor after another till they reached the end of the garden rolling down one over the other on the green grass holding onto their stomach bursting with laughter. Maa says they were so embarrassed that they could not meet their eyes but they were nice friendly elderly women and said, ‘ it happens with children so there is no reason for you all to be so tensed.’ Hearing their kind, considerate voice they got back their breath and became good friends with them.
Though Maa was born with all the common traits of a normal girl but on occasions in her solitude she would look up into the sky and cry her heart out alone in remembrance of her divine lord Vishnu, her salty tears could only hurt her eyes and heart subjected to raw pain for which she had no cure. When she was in school and in college she would often see a dream repeatedly. She dreamt that she was with her sisters and brothers running, laughing and enjoying with them. And all of a sudden out of no where icy , shrieking thunderstorm would start prevailing and the sky would turn crimson. She would find herself in a strange place where there were many Shivalingas and many saints meditating in small caves. Amongst them an old wise sadhu would say , ‘ O girl! How did you manage to come here? Do you know I had been waiting for you so long.’ Then he would munch some roasted gram. Maa watched all this with great devotion as if her heart had found what she desired and in over enthusiasm would utter , ‘ I want to be here ,I do not want to go back.’ The sadhu would tell her,’ if you want to live with us you will have to eat this roasted gram and there are no comforts.’ Maa would calmly reply,’I do not mind,but I want to live with you people.’ Much later in life after her marriage she disclosed this repeated dream to her sisters and cousin and one of her cousin’s said : Infact, there exists a place as per according to your description and the name of the place is Kalinjer Gufa.But unfortunately Maa never found time to visit this place .
Though dreams are not any definite predictions and can be absolutely meaningless but sometimes divine dreams comes to remind the soul of his or hers previous births unfulfilled tapasya yet to be accomplished, the souls ultimate eternal destination. Undoubtedly, Maa was born to meet the sun and her dauntless devotion justified it soon.
Maa finished her graduation in Bio.Sc from Bhopal college. One day one of her friend came and told her that Swami Chinmayanandji has come to Bhopal and his spiritual lectures is worth attending. Maa’s spiritual heart immediately gave consent and went to attend his discourse on Vedanta. This was how Maa met Swamiji for the first time when she was in college though not personally. But after her marriage Maa used to go to attend swamiji’s classes in Bombay.It was from his lectures she got so much clarity in Vedanta .After listening to his fiery speeches on Vedanta Maa came back and told her father word by word whatever Swamiji had said in his discourse. One of the most fiery line of Swamiji which Maa quoted her father was , ‘ you can shoot me if you want but today I shall speak the truth .’ She told her father that probably Swami Vivekananda also gave such high voltage speeches.
Childhood Saints in Maa’s Life
During her teenage Maa’s first dynamic spiritual Guru was Sw. Vivekananda and she had read almost all his great inspiring works. She had read Raj Yog, Bhakti Yog, Karma Yog and his commentaries on Gita when she still was in school. She says it was his speeches ,his commentaries which ignited the sparks of renunciation in her heart.
Swami Abhyananda Saraswati
Maa’s mother, Uma Devi was a great devotee of God and saints. Maa remembers when she was still small maybe six or seven years, an old saint ,Swami Abhayanand Saraswati used to visit their house. Swamiji used to wear a very rough cloth made of jute material around his waste and even in chilling winters. He spent half of the year in deep meditation and contemplation in a small gufa or cave in Rajasthan and rest six months in travelling and wandering all over the country. Uma devi Maa’s mother, would soak gram in a small bowl, previous night itself because of strong premonition of Swamiji’s arrival prior to any definite information.Her gadget of intuition would be more confirmative than any mobile connection of today’s modern world and indeed her strong faith would be met with Swamiji knocking the doors in the early morning hours. True love has no boundaries and the rhythm of it’s beat is felt in the heart even when miles away. He would say , ‘Uma give me those grams which you have soaked because I love the way you prepare it.’ Maa’s mother immediately would run to fetch those grams ,she would take them out of water and roast it in low flame in pure ghee with a pinch of salt in it and serve it to Swamiji. There was nothing special in that preparation but one could get the flavor of love, faith and devotion in that simple preparation which made it delicious . Infact, in our scriptures it is said one who cooks good delicious food has definitely a kind ,soft heart and Goddess Anaapoorna is predominant in that person’s life.
It was year 1957 and the main purpose of Swamiji’s visit to their house was ; he wanted to attend the magnificent Kumbhmela of Ujjain near the banks of river Shipra held after every twelve years. Kumbhmela is the world’s most ancient and biggest spiritual fair where millions of people come not only from all the parts of the country but from all over the world. The amazing galore of this fair is, it had been initiated by our great ancient sages and despite so many invasions in this country ,right from Greek, Mongols, Turks ,Mughals and the Britishers but none could stop this awe-inspiring fair of devotional dip of the millions in the holy rivers of ganga, shipra and Godavari where the four grand kumbhs takes place. But kumbh-mela or fair should not be mis-conceptualized as only a devotional dip but it is a practice of giving up the very source of fear of mortality a dip into an awakening in inexhaustible, untarnished resplendent knowledge of one’s own self .Saints and seekers from all over the country come and stay there for a complete month in small straw huts but nowadays they are provided tents by the government. Splendid debates are held amongst sadhu’s on scriptures and discourses on Upanishads , Gita, Bhagwatam and Ramayan are given by many good saints. It is a premeditated concept of our sages to unite every human being under one banner of truth an intangible euphoria which an experiencer needs to experience it himself.
Swamiji was seated on an elevated seat while all the children of the house were gathered around him and Maa was sitting close to him and he looked at Maa and said, bal gopal(small children), ‘ children will also come along with me to take the holy dip.’ Their excitement knew no bounds and they jumped with joy since it was against the usual discipline, Surendra singh, Maa’s father would always avoid sending his children to crowded places but now with Swamiji’s order even he could not disobey and gave his consent. Thus it was decided that around 2o’clock at night when there are not too many people they would go to visit the kumbh and ordain the ancient order of holy bath in river Shipra. This dip not only sanctified her but became an enigmatic experience amongst her childhood memories.
Swami Madhavanand Saraswati
Maa’s mother was very particular that the children absorbed the Indian ethics , faith and devotion effortlessly as an indivisible part of their life . Parents did not encourage any social magazines of cine stars at home apart from newspapers and a popular spiritual magazine , ‘kalayan Ank.’ If they were invited to some parties where they were expecting few guests from silver screen then children would not be taken to those particular parties and send them for a day out without them being even aware of it. Since Maa’s parents were very careful that their children did not get influenced by the upcoming powerful onslaught of western culture . They themselves maintained the civilizational principles of Sanatan Dharma in their life and believed in preserving it by transmitting it to their children.
In this ‘Kalyan Ank ‘ there used to be many spiritual stories which Maa used to enjoy reading. There also used to be a chapter on Maha Mantra chanting for world peace. If they did certain particular number of Mala’s then people could send their name and place and the number of Mala’s they have chanted within a certain period of time, and the name of the place would be published in the magazine. Thus Maa and all her sisters brother’s and even few good friends would chant the Maha mantra for world peace with all enthusiasm and sincerity each occupying quiet corners of the house ,
“Hare Ram Hare Ram ,Ram Ram Hare Hare
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna ,Krishna Krishna Hare Hare”
Once Maa’s maternal uncle ,Padraj, had come on a visit to her sisters house and was very impressed when he saw the children sincerely doing their Japa or taking lord’s name with such devotion. He told his sister Uma, ‘what a lovely brought up you have given to your children, it is amazing to see them chanting mala when other children are hardly bothered or have any understanding at this age,’. He said,’ I will bring my Guruji to your house and he will initiate your children.’
According to his promise he brought his Guru , Swami Madhavanandji at his sister’s house. Members of the family gathered around him and he kept asking one after the other , ‘who is your favorite God.’ Maa’s eldest sister said she loved shiva so she was initiated with a simple shiv Mantra, ‘OM Namah Shivaya”.He similarly gave Durga mantra to her younger sister and so on to her brothers and other members of the family. Maa was also asked the same question ,’ which God did she like most,’ Maa said, ‘Ram’. He paused and looked deeply at Maa for sometime and said , ‘ yes ,in your previous birth also, you were a devotee of Lord Ram and you were born in a brahmin family.’ Thus Maa got initiated with a Ram mantra from him.
Divine winds kept prevailing in her life as Apostles, predictions and dreams of divine, gave her no respite to fly in the materialistic air but to be swung , flung and thrashed in the well maneouvered storm of divine.
The undesired Knot
Maa and her elder sister Usha apart from sisters were very good friends since the age difference between them was just two years.They were in the same year in college because Maa had got double promotion and her sister had lost one year because of severe illness. According to Indian society in those days if a girl is above 18 yrs of age they consider her to be grown up enough to be tied to the most respectful and well acknowledged knot of marriage. Thus like any other Indian parents Maa’s parents started looking for the right eligible partners for their daughters. Both their daughters were very beautiful so they did not have much problem in finding their grooms and even their horoscopes perfectly matched as is a normal routine in all traditional Indian families. When Maa was in her final year of her college she came to know that her parents were looking for an eligible partner and hearing this news she was absolutely heartbroken. Though in those days daughters hardly protested their parents decision and her untamed broken heart sunk in some unknown fear. Her innocent heart knew her ambition to become a doctor and her secret desire to attain her loving Adonai,God would be frozen forever with this inescapable bond. Silent ungovernable tears would roll down her cheeks when she would be alone expecting the inevitable hurricane very soon in her life. When her father came to know about her mental condition he immediately called his wife and said if she does not want to marry he would never force his daughter to get married . He was so open hearted and respectful towards his daughters mind that he would say, ‘if she wants to remain a spinster he would gladly accept her decision and keep her with him all throughout his life.’ An Indian father being so liberal is definitely very rare and this reveals how much he loved and respected his daughters mind. According to some orthodox Indian irreligious understanding of customs of the society the girls parents would be subjected to tremendous social criticism if the girl remains unmarried at home. Even parents felt that the ultimate happiness they can offer their daughter is by getting her married to the right gentleman and the last responsibility towards their daughter gets over. Usha devi being an intelligent housewife handled both her husbands and her daughters emotions smoothly, as Maa had never disobeyed her parents gave her consent and got tied to the undesired knots.
Maa was married in the year1967, when she was just 19 yrs. old . She got married to Arun kumar Singh Gohil who hailed from the family of Lathi, in Gujrat. It was their ancestors who had fought gallantly against the invasion of Ghazni on Somnath temple in Gujrat,one of the richest temple during that century. Amongst many war hero’s history remembers Hamvir Singh Gohil’s bravery.
Inexplicable Paranormal Experience
Just on the twentieth day of her marriage a strange paranormal experience of death completely transformed the diagram of Maa’s life. The mercurial dynamics of her mind which was already synchronized with the symphony of God from her childhood days ; now born with firm conviction that complete manifestation flowed in one rhythm of all powerful Divine and not a single breath of life could escape without the permission of supreme conscious energy.
It was after midnight about 2 a.m , Maa had got up from bed to go to the bathroom and instantly Maa’s husband,Arun Kumarji woke up and asked her whether she needed to put on the bed side lamp. No sooner had she stood up, she felt slightly uncomfortable and within an instant she felt she was in some different realm where she was splurged with divine cosmic experience, with no aroma of any earth smell. Maa’s husband Arun Kumarji relates, he observed Maa taking three hiccups and her body falling down with a heavy thump half on the carpet and half on the bed, though Maa does not remember taking any hiccups or her body falling down except that she felt a little uneasy. However, later in life after reading many scriptures she learnt that she was sent to Bramhaloka which is attained with strong devotion. Maa felt , she was in some in some formless higher realm and there was absolute absence of essence of all earth reel; emotions of joy ,sorrow ,greed, jealousy, achievements, ambitions ,attachments, responsibilities, performance of karma , all seemed mocked when the jury of cosmic time gave it’s final verdict. She could feel the presence of many higher good souls and they were all immersed in the splendor of divine pacific bliss . Unfortunately ,Maa’s this state of profound bliss was very short lived and she heard a deep affirmative voice saying , ‘it is too early to bring her here as she has lot of work yet to be accomplished.’ Instantly Maa’s subtle body was empowered by a force greater than the velocity of sound and with a ear-splitting, deafning noise her body was circulating many galaxies before she was thrusted back to her body. For some moments she could not recall anything as if some powerful hands had completely rubbed out her memory. She slowly looked around the room but could not relate to any of the objects around the room, she felt like Alice in alien land. She looked up towards the ceiling and saw a certain object revolving but was unable to remember the name which was a simple ceiling fan and only thing which kept punching in her memory was that she was subjected to a rumbling rotation before she was sent back to her body.
First thing she recalled; she was a girl and in an instant all her memories were simultaneously fed back to her memory box. She remembered her parents , she was studying in college ,got married and was now in Bombay and the last sentence of Arunji asking her whether she needed the bedside lamp to be turned on or not. Maa was afloat in the meadow of some other realm , while back here on earth, Maa’s husband thought that Maa was no more alive. Her sister in laws were still at home to assist her with new customs of the house since it was not many days of their marriage. It is a custom that the new bride does not feel completely at loss before taking the responsibility of her new household. Though both her sister in laws Usha Kumari and Tara Kumari were much older to her and married but they still were at home to help her around since Maa’s mother in law had passed away long back. At night Arunji woke up his sisters and told them that his wife Raje was no more with them. This news evoked thunderous throbbing silence in the room. They decided not to inform their father since he was a heart patient. While in the middle of the night brother and sister’s were still gathering up strength as to how to inform Maa’s parents, on that very same night Maa’s mother had a dream that her daughter Raje had passed away. She woke up with a palpitating heart and tearful eyes , her anguish grew and woke her husband at night requesting him to call up Bombay and enquire about Raje’s health. Surendra Singhji said , ‘ if my daughter is no more alive then it becomes their responsibility to inform us, not our urgency to wake them up in the middle of the night and ask them whether my daughter is dead or alive.’ Thus consoling her advised her to go back to bed believing it was just a horrible dream. The soul of Maa leaving her body had a spontaneous telepathy on the soft sensitive mind of a mother. Mother’s bosom flows with milk just with the remembrance of her children even when miles away and this inseparable disconnected connection is beyond the explanation of material science.
However,Arunji and her sisters before announcing the tragic preamble they decided to take a glance at Maa’s condition and both brother, sisters brigade quietly marched towards her room. Amazingly both their timings coincided , Maa’s soul coming back to her body and them entering the room .Maa was still coming to terms with the twin diversified reality of life and was staring blank faced towards the door when she saw three curious faces peeping from the door. Maa’s elder sister in law jumped with joy and shrieked loud aloud , “Oh! She is alive.”Even Arunji could not believe it and all of them came and stood near her. But Maa could not respond the way she should have but quietly kept gazing at them with an expressionless face. Her body was still visibly vibrating as if someone was shaking her,Usha asked her, “ Why are you shaking ?Are you not feeling well? What has happened to you?”Since Maa was not at all body conscious ,even she failed to observe that her body was shaking like a leaf . Gradually after sometime she started coming back to her normal self but did not feel like talking to anyone since she had a tongue without a voice and was still in the grip of the memory of an entrancing transcendental experience. They kept asking, “ would you like to talk to your servant who has come from Nagod with you ,Maa just with the nod of her head said ‘No’.” Silent tears were rolling down her eyes with complaining thoughts, ‘Why did God throw me back here? Why he did he not accept me?”But none could understand the tempest of yearning and love for God within her heart .She whispered to someone to bring her the book of Shri Ramakrishna Thakur since reading books of spiritual people and their soul elevating advices were her best friends. Almost for five days the parabola of her mind got pivoted to this unforgettable experience, she could not resonate with the wave lengths of her gross body . This experience kept spinning in her mind ‘ Why did God send me back from the paradise of his closeness ’ and she felt cheated by God.
As in Gita Lord Krishna verily says…..
Mattah Smritirgyanam Mapohanam Cha…
Maa was privileged with this experience from God when she was undergoing a period of metamorphosis. All her childhood memories with her friends, sisters , brothers and parents were eroding far in the silhouette of an unknown twilight awaiting to acknowledge new bonds new attachments with the rising sun. But the diplomatic advent of God in an amazing moment of juxtapose between bygone attachments and an archway to new attachments; she stood alone garlanding her firm conviction in God.
Though her body seemed to be in this gross world but her mind pixel was in some other divine meridian. This paranormal experience not only strengthened her strong spiritual bond with God but also strengthened her Vairagya , her dispassion from this ever deceiving world. The meander of her thought waves had taken a different curve in her life and she from now on knew the momentariness of this absurd unreal universe. Undoubtedly we parade on this earth as if we have drunk the immortal drink and with vehemence justify our birth as if we are born for karma to become martyrs for the imperfect values of this unrealistic world. Underneath the deceptive golden parquet of life lurks the poisonous snake of death revealed only by a daring dispassionate mind and a pure selfless heart. She had a firm conviction that life was meant not to be wasted for such gross destructible destinations but for a much meaningful purpose of unfolding the cosmic eternity of one’s life. Maa also knew ;this world appearance is our misapprehension and is just like a mirage, an misapprehension of an oasis on the deceiting desert sands.
Pious Invocation of Swami Chinmayanandji
Maa says Swami Vivekananda was the one who inaugurated Vedanta in her life and Swami Chinmayanandji was the one to introduce her to the legendry Saint Adi Shankaracharya and his vast philosophy on Non- Dual reality. The year she got married from that very year itself she heard of Swami Chinmayanandji coming to Bombay for 15 days and giving his discourses since her father in law occasionally used to go and attend with his friend and thus Maa got the opportunity to attend his discourses.
Maa would be usually accompanied by Dr. Jayanti Ben who was a disciple of Swamiji and also Maa’s family doctor and occasionally she would go to Pawai where Swamiji’s Ashram was , it was a long drive of almost two hours from her house in Paddar Road in Bombay. They used to leave around 3.30a.m in the morning and come back by 10a.m. Maa heard Swamiji for the first time on Vivek Chudamani in Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan and his advent was the most unexpected indoctrination in her life. After coming back home she would deeply contemplate on his discourses and she became one of the most dedicated students of Swami Chinmayanandji. Sometimes kakuba, Maa’s fatherinlaws brothers son would accompany her for the classes. He too was a passionate audience of Swamiji and on their return home he would often make a gazetted remark on Swamiji’s lectures, ‘ I have attended many lectures all over the world right from research scholars to social reformers , politicians and many religious exponents but none can ever beat the old boy.’
During his discourses Swamiji would crack many jokes and Maa used to have a hearty laugh and infact complete hall resounded with laughter. Maa says , ‘in later years these jokes seemed to me like Swamiji was giving a slap on our modest deliberate ignorance and I could laugh no more but keep quiet and tears of repentance would roll down my eyes at Swamiji’s compassion and my ignorance.’She worked very hard on just one shloke of Gita or a mantra of Upanishad she would read commentaries of many people like Adi Shankaracharya, Shri Aurobindo Ghosh, Vinoba Bhave, Sant Gyaneshwar,Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekananda and Swami Akhandand Saraswati who later on became her Guru. She would read usually in the afternoon as long as the children did not come back from school.
In Bombay Maa had a group of spiritual friends, headed by M.M.Dave and they would continue with their classes after Swami Chinmayanandji would be finished with his 15 days discourse. These classes were usually held at Dr. Jayanti Ben’s house and observing maa’s keen interest Dr. Jayanti Ben had especially gone to meet Maa’s grandmother in law to request her that she allows her daughter in law for these classes at her house. During group discussions Maa would give excellent explanations on the shlokas of Gita and Mantras of Upanishads. Mr. Dave would be very impressed by Maa’s well contemplated explanations and even others would acknowledge her brilliant answers. Soon Maa became very popular and respected in that group and Mr. Dave would trust her so much that he would say, “ when I am not here to take the classes, it will be Kiran who will initiate the classes,” . Though Maa was much much younger to all of them but she had won Mr. Dave’s trust and everyone acknowledged her knowledge. Once there was a discussion on the sixth chapter of Gita and there were few bramcharis of chinmaya mission and a bramhachari of pejawar ashram in the group discussion. Maa gave a wonderful explanation on one of the shlokas of gita on sixth chapter and the bramhachari of pejawar ashram immediately asked maa, ‘ from where did you get this explanation it is wonderful, I have read so many commentaries but this one has a very deep methodical explanation.’ Maa said , ‘I got this from Swami Akhanndanand Maharajji’s book.’ Maa said, ‘ If you want to take this book you can take it ,I shall buy another book.’ In this manner everyone from Chinmaya Mission enjoyed reading Maharajji’s books. The first book of Swami Akhandanandji which got introduced in Chinmaya Mission was Dhyan Yog which is the sixth chapter of Gita and in later years almost all his books got introduced and the bramhachari and bramhacharini’s enjoyed the profoundness and the clarity in Maharajshree’s commentaries.
Oneday she was late to attend Swamiji’s classes at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan and the doors of the downstairs hall was already shut down,the watchman told her that she could climb the stairs from behind and go upstairs to attend the classes. When Maa reached upstairs there was not a single man visible and she got more thrilled as she enjoyed being alone with her thoughts and this was the best opportunity to listen to Swamiji without any distraction. Swamiji’s lectures used to be not only soul elevating but as if each of his words were so calculated ,selective and powerful that it would rupture the veins of ignorance at that very moment. That day Swamiji was in one of his chivalrous mood and putting stress on each and every word he proclaimed with an authoritative dynamism , “Shankaracharyaji does not believe in liberation after death but he believes in liberation now and here.” Instantly Maa felt as if the venetian blinds of her life was forcefully torn apart by Swamiji’s powerful ostentatious proclamation and immediately her outer senses withdrew and became paralyzed to the perception of the external world for a longtime as her awareness remained flung into an evident world of Absolute Knowledge , the Supreme Brahman. Maa went into deep Samadhi and did not get up even after the lecture was over. Maa thought, ‘what purpose do I hold to go back home, I do not dwell in the world of forms, they all are false entity ,I am just THE SELF.’ She was submerged in her effulgence of knowledge till one of the guards of the hall found her and asked her to vacate the hall and go home, which did not exist in her perception anymore.
If there is a Will there is a Way
When the children grew up Maa edited her life as best as she could dividing her 24 hrs. to it’s minutest minute details wasting not a single fraction of second , that even the top time management institutes might fail.
1.Time for her grandmother in law
2.Time for her father in law
3.Time for her children
4.Time for household jobs
5.Time for her own self for reading and learning Sanskrit.
6.Time for going to her Gita and Upanishad classes.
Early morning she used to wake up , sit for her meditation from 2a.m to 5a.m.Around 6a.m she would go the kitchen room and tell the servants of what is going to be prepared for the breakfast for the children their lunch boxes and separate breakfast for grandmother and father in law and also help them in the kitchen. In between she would keep running from the kitchen room to the children’s room whether they have woken up, brushed their teeth and packed their school bags and worn their school uniforms properly or not.After the children left for school; she would go to her grandmother in laws room to see if she needed to be taken to the bathroom because she was almost bedridden. Though there were two nurses kept alternatively for her assistance but still her grandmother preferred her daughter in law to attend her .She used to say , ‘you keep me clean very properly and these nurses are very careless.’ Maa used to take her to the bathroom and flush her with her own hands give her bath etc. After attending her grandmother in law and also instructing the nurse for her next job she would proceed towards her father in laws room. At night she would oil his feet and even Arun Kumarji would join her and do his father’s seva he would press his head his body and even the children would join their parents. Yateendra was very sincere in oiling his grand fathers feet as he had imbibed it from his parents. If grandfather said, ‘ please do not press my feet lalji you will get tired.’ Yateendra’s pêt name was lalji and he would seriously reply, ‘No Bapusa I am not tired ,I am enjoying it.’ But if Virendra was said the same thing he would quickly reply, ‘Indeed I am very tired and sweating but never mind I will still continue pressing your feet.’ This would make all of them burst into laughter and the children in their innocence learnt the culture to respect elders and do their seva, not being conscious about it and the deep culture and moral lessons got transfused in their blood in all innocence. Morning sharp 8 a.m breakfast laid out for Bapusa and Maa would attend to him on the breakfast table and his medicines. Preparing separate breakfast for her husband and packing his lunch box till he left for his office.
From 5a.m to 9 a.m in the morning she would be racing from one room to the other on her toes and 9 to 9. 30 she would get half an hour time to breathe and sit down and have her breakfast before being geared up for lunch. Almost by twelve in the afternoon she would try to resolve all her household attentions and distractions, take bath bring Kalpendra from school, if she found the servant too busy. It was only in the afternoon she found time to herself read her books and got an extra bonus of time after the demise of her grandmother in law. Maa as we now know had great passion to learn Sanskrit from her childhood. She told her husband that she wanted an admission in Bombay University as a private student as she desired to learn Sanskrit. Arunji gave her permission as it is a very imperative order in Indian homes to take permission from husband as he is the patriarch of the family.Arunji did love and respect Maa very much and supported her passions except for her over inclination towards spiritualiam because he had some trepidation that one day Maa might leave the house.She was a science graduate and so she had to give a small exam before getting admission for her post graduation in Arts. Without much difficulty she got admission as a private student for her post graduation in M.A from Bombay University. It was an extremely vast course there were almost forty different types of subjects based on different philosophy and scriptures.Philosophy of Vedant, Yog, Sanskrit Grammar, Astrology, Ayurveda, Kalp shastra and many others each having many sub divisions that even one life would not be enough to specialize on any one of the subjects. Maa realized how profound was our scriptures and it’s deep philosophy. Her subjects were Vedant, Mudra Rakhas it was a political drama, Sanskrit Grammar, Literature and because they had to take up another subject in different language so she took up Pali. Vedant was by itself a very comprehensive subject dealing with Bramha Sutra, Gita and Upanishads. Literature was also too vast dealing with subjects Malvika Agni which was romantic drama, Vidur Niti was based on dharma etc. When studying Vedant she had to do comparative study of other school of thoughts like Buddhism, Jainism, Shree Bhasya of Ramanuja, Rashmi tika of Valabhacharya and she needed books of different authors and their commentaries. Maa would run around from one library to another library to collect all these books despite being burdened with so many duties at home. Though they had more than two car’s at home but she would choose to travel in buses as Maa always felt that she would use as less as possible from this house since at the back of her mind it was always working that this house is not hers and she would keep to minimum expenses spent on herself. She would not even hire a taxi which her husband would often object and used to ask her to learn driving herself but Maa would give a sensible reply, ‘ what will I do by learning all these I am happy in buses.’Arunji was otherwise a nice co- operative husband and did respect Maa but the only thing he disliked about her was he did not like her being too spiritual and instead he wanted her to be social but he would be met with disappointments.
Once she could not find Rashmi Tika of Vallabhacharya and some books of Bramha Sutra so she went to MadhavBagh in search of these books .The librarian of Madhav Bag was so happy that he said , ‘I am glad to see that there are still some sincere students of sanskrit because this section usually remains dry. Despite being the world’s most ancient, scientific language , having maximum number of epics it is gradually shrinking away.’ Maa continued her studies with an unsurmountable struggle and diligence. Indeed, one who respects time in meaningful pursuits even God cannot stop him from his rewards.
One of these days she was suffering from over precipitation of bile which had dramatically upset her digestive system. She soon met an alkaline friend her close relative, BhaskarBhai who took her to a competent Ayurvedic Doctor in Ghatkoper. The wise old Ayurvedic Doctor examined her properly and gave her anti acid ayurvedic medicines which had almost brought instant relief from her acid invasion. The Doctor was very well versed in scriptures and when he came to know that she was studying sanskrit and that she hailed from the royal family of Lathi he expressed his sporadic happiness in overstretched broad smile which almost cracked his dry lips which otherwise would be reserved in the privacy of his closed room but this was an involuntary reaction. He blessed her by keeping his hand on Maa’s head, ‘ one day you will be as renowned as Kalapi Bapu Of Lathi, you will definitely make the sun shine again in your family.’ Kalapi Bapu was a king and more renowned as being a noble laureate in complete Gujrat. He was her father in laws father’s elder brother.Even today complete Gujrat still sings praises of his devotional songs with great philosophical bend and was a great devotee of God. The old Doctor was so impressed with her that he gifted her his lifetimes collection of good books in Sanskrit and many other scriptures. He said, ‘ in my family nobody will read all these books anymore so I will be glad if there is still somebody to read all these books.’ Maa’s chappel was now full of gifts, inheritance, blessings , inspiration and perspiration of knowledge.
Giving due respect to all their emotions of trust her mission never drifted away from her regal goal .In the evening hours she would take her children and her text books to the park while children would be busy playing games and in the mean time she would engage herself in reading her book. One day while reading Malvika Agni a subject of literature which was a comprehensive romantic story, Maa thought to herself, this is an an irrelevant subject to read which has nothing to do with my spiritual pursuit because i want to learn Sanskrit to read scriptures.’Thus thinking she had given up her post graduation.
She was not gifted with the honour of best daughter in law in free or because of her good fortune but she earned her way to this honour with her dedication of seva towards elders and her family. Today’s children cannot even think of doing so much seva as they are so selfish and their self hypnotized cataract eyes cannot look beyond me and mine. The disgusting fact is, even today’s parents do not give their children any moral lessons or their duties towards their parents or grandparents only lessons on making them self centered money earning vermins.
Maa would work tirelessly all throughout the day elbowing none of her duties and when the complete family would retire to bed she found time to herself. She would study till 11p.m at night when the complete family would be snoring away still, it would be she the first to wake up in the morning ,2pm meditate for two hours and by 5a.m she would be on her toes organising the chores of her six member family.
Indeed in Mundakopanishad there is a mantra which says –
Pranavo Dhanu Sharo Hiatma Bramha Tallakshyate
Apramatten veditavyam sharavat tanmayour bhavet
Omkara is your bow,Atman is your Arrow and Bramhan is your Aim.One should pierce once aim with absolute alertness and be completely absorbed like the arrow of your aim.
Indeed the mantras of Upanishads adhered not just to her tongue but but it became the very essence of her very life.She had dethroned sleep, lethargy, forgetfulness from her life and craved and carved her life to liberation.
Tears Rolling down from lord Ram’s Eyes
The geography of her mind had completely changed absolutely unexplorable by materialistic minds. Maa had realized happiness could not be gained from objects but from cessation of mind from perception of all deceiving objects. All these earthly possessions seemed to be like dung, dust and poison to her. Real snake could not be as poisonous as the plagued , deluded minds of the worldly people. They might be intellectually very rich but are spiritually, thoroughly bankrupt.
Maa had adopted a life of perfect karma yoga. Yoga is not just keeping oneself physically fit but the true essence of yoga is how an aspirant intelligently tackles all worldly whirlwinds by keeping the inner tranquility of mind undisturbed. Her life had become a ceaseless meditation, she would constantly keep reminding herself , ‘there is no end to all this work, there is no end to all this karma’ it became a magic mantra. She would keep chanting her ram mantra day and night. Infact, the buoyancy of devotion depends upon the submergence of mind into the fluid of divine remembrance and the Jiva,or “the individual self” is slowly lifted upwards onto the court of divine empire. According to Vedanta definition of meditation is one whose mind constantly adheres to supreme thoughts and not confined to specific time and place, those disciplines are for immature minds.Intellect with right understanding can alone lead to flawless inner journey through meditation. Maa would keep doing all her household works like a responsible maidservant who always knows at the back of her mind that this is not her real home but her home is miles away in her beautiful village. Her determined, ardous soul was adamant to reduce the space between her and her beloved Lord.
When nobody would be around she would ask her servants not to disturb her and she would lock herself in her room and cry her heart out asking god the reason of sending her back to this cruel world again. She used to sob incessantly sitting in front of lord Ram’s image in a photo frame on her worshipping table. Maa recalls, as usual when there was no one at home, she was absorbed in deep meditation and her heart was sailing in the boisterous sea of yearning, pain and tears , rolling in the sea of remembrance of lord Ram. When she opened her eyes she was absolutely overwhelmed, and her eyes froze to watch cosmic tears rolling down from the framed photograph of Lord Ram on her worshipping table. However, artlessly inarticulate must be her devotion but it shook the divine chambers and flooded her with his compassionate tears of promising love.Indeed Lord Ram is a personification of salvation and he transcends his seeker towards eternal journey.Chanting of Ram Mantra achieves much more than just ephemeral gains .Maa’s heart writhed with pain as if a sharp blade was shredding it apart, very caringly she took the photograph in her hand and cuddling it near to her bosom she wiped the glass still wet with tears of her beloved Lord Ram which had flowed from his beautiful lotus eyes. It pained her more to realize that how hurting those salty tears must have been to his soft compassionate eyes. She promised Bhagwan Ram that she would never cry again because her tears must have hurt him so much.True love never demands but only desires to do selfless seva for ones beloved. When thousands of roaring waves of dispassion keeps dashing against the shores of deep yearning then how can small waves of Maya be any barrier. Her irresistible devotion melted the biggest heart of the creator himself and tears of unbroken love , longing rolled down from the oceanic eyes of Lord Ram. Even the almighty felt ashamed to delude his earnest lover into the effervescence of this ever evaporating world.The fragrance of Maa’s devotion was so intense that even Almighty found himself captivated.
Swami Akhandanand Saraswatiji Maharaj
Maa had for the first time heard of Swami Akhadanand Maharaji’s lectures in Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan on Vivek Chudamani. She came to know about him and the venue of his lectures from paper ads. However, it was very strange that despite her home being so close to Prempuri ashram she never came to know that Mahajshree also used to give discourses here, perhaps because Prempuri ashram never gave any advertisements on papers in those days.
Though earlier she never had the opportunity to get a personal introduction to him but definitely once their eyes met in intimate acknowledgement. After Maharajji’s discourse ,Maa used to spend some time looking for some good books of Maharajshree which used to be on display in the main entrance hall and alongwith his books many other books of other school of thoughts would also be on sale like Jainism,Buddhism etc.She would find the severe practice of austere of Jain and Buddhist monks very inspiring and would try to implement it in her life . After a while when almost all the people had left, Maa saw Maharajshree walking towards the exit door. He was accompanied by two other Bramhacharis and some of them who were still in the hall were doing pranam to Maharajji.However, Maa stood with bowed head, hands folded in namaskara to the man of venerations at one corner of the hall allowing them to give way . Her eyes followed Maharajshree’s big majestic strides and even he too glanced at her when he closely crossed Maa. Maa’s eyes were not yet quenched with the cooling drink of his dynamic persona and amazingly as if to overflow her glass of drink he turned back his head and looked straight at her ,piercing the very core of her heart with his magnetic looks. Indeed, his compassionate looks had pulled the right chords and she became one of his most devoted disciple of Maharajshree. Meanwhile, she continued reading his commentaries on scriptures and kept attending his lectures in Bombay. Her first fresh small bridge of intimacy broadened into an effulgence of Absolute Knowledge, years later.
Secret Subway to Highway
Her secret subway felt the need of certified advice of a wise saint on her daring drive towards the highway. She wanted to confirm whether she was doing dharma or was it against dharma to leave her home and children. However, she would justify her decision by lord Krishna’s declaration in Bhagwat Gita.
Ananyashcintayanto mam ye jana parupasate
Tesam nityabhiyuktanam yogaksemam vahamyaham
To those men who worship me alone ,thinking of no other,to those ever self controlled,I secure for them that which is not already possessed (Yoga)by them,and preserve for them what they already possess (Kshema).
Engrossed in thoughts of her secret mission she went to pick up Kalpendra from his school who was studying in nursery, she coincidently met an old Sindhi lady in whose house occasionally Swami Akhandanandji Maharai used to come and stay . Maa recognized her and went quickly in soundless running footsteps hoping the lady knew about Maharajji’s whereabouts, and asked the lady , ‘ do you have any idea where is Sw. Akhandanandji Maharaj nowadays.’ The Sindhi lady informed her in a way as if it was a very uncommon question being asked, because Swamiji’s arrival was sung by small laughing kookaburra almost in all the swinging streets of Bombay, ‘ Oh! He is in Vipul ashram near Nepansee road.’ Maa was shocked to know, Maharajji had an ashram so near to her house and she was not aware of it for so many years. But destiny tumbles upon one another, when the time is ripe and so did Maa’s fate, colliding with right people in right places on perfect time.
At night she wrote a letter after an ocean of deep contemplation. Rolling the storm in her trembling hands she went to Vipul Asram ,next day to meet Maharajshree. Her letter strong and bold revealed the untold story of her icy tears, yearning pain, hopeless desolation caught in the weeds of inescapable ‘samasara’. Almost all through night with her premeditated tormented thoughts of inner perplexity,mountain of conflicts tossing her mind but she daringly faced them all, begetting only liberation . Indeed, liberation is earned through well earned merits of millions of birth.With a throbbing emptiness of an indefinite source she knocked the ashram door which was just a flat of three rooms and a long corridor. Swami Prabuddhanandji opened the door and Maa felt that there was nobody in the ashram and she hesitated to go inside the room because her grandmother in law had told her once, ‘ never go to meet any sadhu alone even if he is a 90 year old man.’ She stretched out her neck and peeped into the long corridor to her relief she saw there were other woman sitting inside the room. Thus wearing the pericardium of confidence in her heart she went inside the room . She sat down in the main hall and told Swamiji that she wanted to meet Maharajshree and gave the letter in Swami Prabuddhanandji’s hand to give it to Maharajshree. Sw. Prabuddhanandji immediately opened the letter and started reading it which was quite an impolite act and Maa completely disapproved of his misbehaviour since the letter was meant only for Maharajshree. However, later on she came to know that Maharajshree had some problem in his eye’s so all the letters were read to him by his Bramhacharis. Sw. Prabuddhanandji grew serious while reading the letter and asked , ‘ Who is kiran?’ Maa replied , ‘ It is me.’ He again confirmed , ‘ You have written this letter.’ Maa reconfirmed , ‘ Yes this is written by me.’ It seemed Swami Prabuddhanandji could not believe it because Maa looked such a calm, quiet and a docile person to write such a powerful letter of dispassion and renunciation.
After sometime he went to Maharajji’s room and asked Maa to come in but Maa again hesitated to go inside but when he asked her politely almost thrice , ‘ sister please come inside the room , Maharajshree would like to talk to you.’ Maa thought it would be insulting his request and thus haltingly she went into the room. Maharajshree was read out the letter and the contents which Maa vaguely remembers, was like this, ‘ I believe I do not have great spiritual quest for God but definitely I am a lover and seeker of God. I have many responsibilities at home my old grandfather in law ,three children and a husband but I have no desire to be at home and I want to leave home to seek my God which is not possible while being at home.’ Sw.Prabuddhanandji after reading out the letter left Maa alone to speak with Maharajshree.
Maharajshree was very serious and asked, ‘From which place does this daughter belong?’
Maa: ‘I originally belong from Madhya Pradesh.’
Maharajshree: ‘ I knew, you cannot be from Bombay ,only people from Madhya Pradesh can be so honest and earnest .But where will you go ?If you go to Mahatma Gandhi’s ashram it is not safe. If you go to Raman Ashram ,Vinoba Bhave’s Ashram none of these places are safe. If you go back to your home your brother’s wife would soon make you feel unwanted. It is better that you be at your inlaws home and carry on with your spiritual journey.’
After a long pause he again said: ‘ listen if you have any other doubts you only come and ask me and do not go anywhere else. I am here for another three four days.’
Mahajshree got up from bed after he finished advicing her and Maa also did her pranam and left the room. Another thought was lingering in her mind that probably she could ask Maharajshree, ‘Where was Anandmai Maa’s ashram ? Since she was not much familiar with Maharajji and it was her first close acquaintance she pushed this question for her second meeting and thought for now this much guidance was enough.
When she finally found time to go and meet Maharajshree again ,to her disappointment somebody told her Maharajshree had already left for the station few hours back for Mathura as the expected arrival time of the train was 11 O’clock.
Maa was very disheartened and she felt like howling violently and cursing her fate. Her mind was always vulnerably exposed to constant conflicts, one thought wave would unsettle her rising hopes but soon replaced by an overpowering wave to uplift her depressing spirit. She had received divine instructions to go to Anandmai Maa’s Ashram. She would contemplate, ‘ just because I possess a body of a girl Maharajji has asked me to stay back home and carry on with my spiritual life maybe he is testing my attachments towards this body.’ Maa had read many puranas of great saints and she would start thinking even Dhruv was a small child and god had asked him not to leave his palace but yet he went away in the jungles to do tapasya. She thought maybe God wants to see her surrender and her determination. Each set back would only fortify her resolution and she knew no retreat.
Dispassion is an acme of human effort since a man is born with the innate quality of passions and to fight against it, is a true pursuit or heroism. Upanishad says he alone is wise who believes in the spirit of spiritualism. It is disciples preparedness and Guru’s eagerness which results in a beautiful consonance of eternal knowledge. Her exaulted state of spiritualism had evoked the fire of renunciation and had turned the world and it’s worldliness into asshes.
In the year 1982, Maa wished her final adieu to all her nearest, dearest and closest before auctioning herself to the highest bidder, the divine Lord. Nothing mattered to her now , neither grace or disgrace, ambitions or apathy , ,defamation or coronation and had no other thirst or appetite but her heart and mind kept resounding with the deafening sound of thousand conches …. liberation, liberation, liberation.
Disappointments and determinations were at daggers drawn to each other and her determination received a disappointing information , the last train for pithoragarh had just left and the next train was only tomorrow. Certainly her determination had not yet extinguished , flames of hope was still burning in her heart ,when they informed her to try her luck for buses from ISBT bus stand, meant for distant routes. It was the month of august and it had started raining welcoming her courageous, august move from the illusions of dualism to Absolute Non – Dual reality. When the rain stopped as well as the rush of stampeding crowd she headed for the exit and hired a shared auto to ISBT bus terminus. When Maa arrived at the ISBT bus stop she enquired for the bus to Pithoragarh but here too she met with a disappointing answer. The enquiry office said that the bus had just left and the next bus would be only in the evening around 7 p.m.,she was left with no alternatinve but wait for her bus. Though it was not a very heart elevating news but disappointments, destiny and fate are not in the dictionary of determined seekers. She went upstairs and found a quiet corner and squatted down on the floor in –order to avoid getting identified from any search warrants.
Pithoragarh. Bus left exactly at 7p.m and was supposed to reach Pithoragarh by 11a.m.next day.
Next day early morning around 4 a.m ,the bus stopped at Tanakpur, which had a railway station but after Tanakpur the road twisted and turned in an uphill mountainous road , towards one of the world’s most embellished, intricate and sophisticated piece of acrhitecture, the Grand Himalayas .
Embracing the Solemn Summit
When the bus halted for some time in Tanakpur the Himalayan breeze completely sweeped her mind off the memories of samsara and she felt her feet was not touching the ground anymore but was afloat in the abode of Shiva, the land of immemorial tapasya, knowledge and legendry monks. The bus left and proceeded towards Pithoragarh and meanwhile Maa kept thinking she had wasted her life in small petty desires this is the life she had desired since her childhood and she kept singing to herself the beautiful dohas of kabir.Indeed we human beings waste our nights in sleep and pleasure and days in amassing money for family and secured future.Despite the fact even the best of inventions and discoveries of Einstein could not give us any assurance or certainty of life but we continue to live with the addiction of ignorance.
The bus finally reached Pithoragarh around 11 a.m and Maa got down inhaling deeply the exotic beauty of the himalayas but she had miles to go before she reached Narayan ashram. She went to the only office near the bus stop where she found few men seated and asked them ‘ What time is the next bus for Tawaghat’. Man said, ‘ it is expected anytime.’ She thought of waiting near the bus stop , thus deciding went and sat down on the steps underneath a tree as the sun was shining to it’s glory. Maa noticed a young girl probably in her late teens sitting on the steps above her.
The girl seemed to be very happy to see Maa and she started up with a conversation : Where are you going ?
Maa: I have to go to Narayan ashram because I want to do some sadhana in solitude. And where are you going ?
Girl: I have to go to Lohaghat, which is just few kilometers from here. But I am a feeling slightly nervous because my husband has told me to come on my own accord because each time he cannot escort me.
Maa: True, look at me I have travelled alone all the way from Bombay to your place, kumaon ,so surrender to god he takes care of us and do not be scared .In any case we have all come alone and will have to leave alone.
Girl: Thank you so much , your powerful words have strengthened me and now I am not feeling nervous. But which bus are you waiting for?
Maa: I am waiting for the bus to Tawaghat.
Girl : The bus for Tawaghat has already left and there are no buses now and the next bus is only tomorrow morning.
Maa: But these office people have just informed me that the bus is about to arrive.
Girl : They must be lying. Come with me let me enquire.
Maa and girl both went to the office and Maa saw the men inside the office were smiling to each other.
Girl : Why are you people misguiding a young lady who have come from so far ,and we all know there are no buses to Tawaghat.
Office person: It was supposed to come but has broke down somewhere on the road.
The girl who just few minutes back was feeling nervous but now she was fighting boldly with men for the injustice towards a woman. Truly this is women’s empowerment never misjudge her to be meek and docile underneath her soft bosoms lurks the power of Kali and Durga. Maa said, ‘they were upto some mischief which was clearly visible on their face.’ Goddess Parvaty cannot see the dishonor of a girl in the land of Himalayas. So she had send her messenger in the form of this kumaon girl.
Girl : Where will you stay during the night ?
Maa: I have not yet decided but the men from the office had said that there is some Trishul hotel nearby where I can stay.
Girl: Never go to that hotel it has a terrible reputation.Instead there is a hotel called Ranjana very nearby , they have many sisters take my name and they will be more than glad to help you ,they are my very good friends.
Soon the bus for Lohaghat arrived and the girl bade her farewell to Maa and left Maa alone with her destination .Maa thought of not wasting her time and went in search of Ranjana hotel. When she finally found the hotel and went close to it she saw a boy reading a paper on the main desk and there were many other boys sitting in the hotel talking to each other , laughing loudly. Maa hesitated to go inside the hotel because of so many boys and so she retreated her steps and thought of going to Trishul hotel .Maa asked one of the local people , ‘ do you know where is this Trishul hotel .’
Man : It is up there. He stretched out his hands to show some white dotted buildings .
Maa saw a small white structure right at the top. She started climbing up the steps. While she was climbing up she was visible to the boys in the Ranjana hotel. Maa stopped abruptly and gave it a thought, ‘ the girl had asked me not to go to that Trishul hotel so I should listen to her warning since the men from the office were not very trust worthy. And so what if the boys in that hotel were laughing they were just teenagers and must be of Yateendra’s age .’ Thus thinking she climbed down the steps and with a confidence went inside the Ranjana hotel. As soon as she entered the hotel the boy on the main desk got up immediately and stood in an attention position and while other boys left the hotel.
Boy : Come in sister. How can I help you?
Maa: I actually need a room for a day. I have come to do Sadhana and want to go to Narayan Ashram tomorrow so I have to take the early morning bus to Tawaghat.
Boy: Yes, we do have a room.
Maa : What is your name ?
Boy : My name is Bheem Singh Waldia.
Bheem Singh : Even I read lot of books of Swami Vivekananda and I myself wanted to become a monk and I will be very happy if you guide me in this spiritual path.
It seems Swami Vivekananda was in the air right from the Himalayan heights to down south in the depths of the ocean in Kanya Kumari. Indeed one person’s dedicated Sadhana purifies heart of many souls in generations to come.
Bheem Singh showed Maa her room and left. Maa was very tired after a long long journey but her over enthusiasm did not make her realize it. She took her bath washed her clothes and lied down on bed without any lunch because she had thought she would take food only after she reached the Ashram. She woke up with a knock on the door, it was already evening .She opened the door and found Bheem Singh standing outside her door and offering her some mangoes .Maa with little hesitation and thanking him for his kindness accepted the mangoes.
Bheem Singh: I actually came to take permission from you, can I come along with you tomorrow morning. Since I have to go to Dharchula and Tawaghat comes on it’s way.
Maa: Yes ,of course you can come with me. I would not mind at all.
Thus the boy left and Maa shut her door but her mind remained awake in single pointed destination.
Next day early morning she woke up and peeped outside the window it was still dark and saw some coolies waiting to carry luggage of the tourists in the hotels. Maa shouted loud asking one of them , ‘What is the time and is the bus arriving.’ They could not hear her since the hotel was at some altitude. One very old coolie climbed up the steps thinking she needed a coolie for her luggage .Maa felt very bad that he had to come all the way up and in a sorry note in her voice she said, ‘ no I do not need a coolie for my luggage because I have hardly anything to carry. I just wanted to know if the bus is coming or not.’ The old coolie replied,’ it is about to come ’ Maa offered the poor old man some mangoes and he was so happy to receive it .To express his obligation and thanks he immediately offered Maa to take her to the bus station. Maa quickly collected her little things scattered outside and made an exit from the hotel.
Bona fide Friendship
When she reached the bus stop she saw Bheem Singh coming.
He said :Good morning madame ,the bus has arrived. Do you have any permit because this is very close to Nepal border.
Maa :No, I do not have any pass.
Bheem Singh: Do not bother.I will take care of it.
They both boarded the bus shared many funny and serious conversations on the same seat shared their affinity towards spiritual life thus laughing , singing they reached Joll Jibby check point .Bheem Singh jumped out of the bus and vanished for more than an hour meanwhile some army personnel came inside the bus ; they were checking everyone’s permit; Maa just kept quiet. But none of the army personnel came to ask Maa for any pass but they kept giving her curious glances .After two hrs the bus restarted it’s noisy engine to continue with it’s journey and Bheem Singh came back and sat down near Maa again. He asked Maa: did anybody come to you for any checking.
Maa : No
Bheem Singh: Because I am a regular traveller and I have told them that you are my Madame in college and so not to disturb you.
The bus finally reached Tawaghat around 11a.m and they both got down.
Bhem Singh: There is one small restaurant and they prepare wonderful ‘aloo parathas’ of pure ghee and since you are like my sister I shall not allow you to go before you have this because for two days you did not take anything and the climb to Narayan Ashram is very steep and tiring.
Maa started trekking up alone and after an hour she realized she had forgotten her water bottle and she felt extremely thirsty. After walking for some time she saw an old couple sitting in an open shed with water in big mud pots to provide water of contentment to the thirsty traveller’s. Maa stopped to quench her baked heart, arid throat and parched lips with a glass of ‘mime’ , glass of contentment . Old couple felt embarrassed and said, ‘ we are poor and we do not have much facility.’ Maa said , ‘ there is no greater heaven than your cozy shed and you both are providing paradise to people. Indeed, one selfless deed or seva is bigger than conquering a kingdom.’
Maa said that she could not walk a single step from here and she wanted to rest in this village itself. The old men said but here there is no such place where she could stay. And the young army man kept insisting that she carries on with her journey because the walk after Pangu village was no more a steep but a gradual climb and it was full moon silver night. Maa was very firm as she did not have the strength to drag herself and if she made an attempt to walk she would definitely drop dead. So she told the old men of the village , ‘now you all will have to find a place for your daughter .’ These old men after listening to her praises from the young army man they were more than ready to accept her as their daughter. They kept discussing in whose house they could send Maa where there were not too many men around. Finally they remembered an old rich couple, Pan Singh’s house, they were alone since they had only daughters ,now they were all married and none of their daughter’s were with them. They took Maa to their house and one of them went inside to take permission from them. He came out and showed Maa a room which was near a cowshed but Maa was more than happy with whatever fate was providing her.
Indebted to Hospitable Hosts
Maa went inside the small dark shoddy room, full of mosquitoes and an old worn out hanging cot with lose strings which was smeared with dried cow dung to enhance it’s shoddiness further but right now everything seemed to be a luxury room and paradise to Maa. Maa felt her body to be just a bundle of pain and did not bother where her body sunk and she covered her body with a shawl to keep the mosquitoes at bay and slipped deep in dreamless sleep. She woke up to find herself surrounded by mosquitoes singing in chorus all over her body but relieved to find her back less hurting because a good half an hour ‘shava asana’ had strengthened her aching back. She went outside and asked the old lady to show her the bathroom. She came out of the bathroom feeling as fresh as a lily . Maa saw the old lady of the house struggling to make chappatis with her old shaky hands. Observing this she went inside the kitchen and asked the old lady , ‘I will help you in making the rotis and you just keep putting it on gas,’ and thus maa with swift hands made wonderful round chappatis and the rotis were made very fast. The old lady told Maa, ‘ I have already prepared the vegetables please call your old father from upstairs for dinner.’ When Maa went to call Pan Singh for dinner the old man said something very funny, ‘ What a miracle my old lady has prepared the dinner so fast today.’
The old lady had already spread out two mats on the floor and served their plates and asked Maa to have dinner with him .The old woman told her husband, ‘ she is a wonderful girl she has helped me to make the rotis so fast.’ Pan Singh said with a little pause , ‘ Now………… I get the clue how the dinner was so fast served today.’
They were served hot chappatis , with sabji and a small bowl full of ghee.Maa had the food as if famished for ages and had swallowed down more than half bowl of ghee. After their dinner they had some interesting conversations and Maa told them some beautiful stories of God and how she had reached here to do Sadhana .They were so impressed with Maa that they felt their own daughter was with them. The old lady asked her : ‘How did you sleep in that room weren’t there too many mosquitoes ?’
Maa: I was absolutely fine because I covered myself with a shawl so the mosquitoes did not find any chance to bite me.
Old woman: No ,you do not need to sleep there anymore but you sleep with us. And they showed Maa a big room with a big bed which was almost a kilometer long for Maa’s fragile, small structure.
Pan Singh: This is the bed on which Swami Narayan used to sleep when he used to visit our house . We even do not sleep but you are a monk so you alone can honor this bed.
He also ordered his old woman , ‘ take out the fresh new quilts and pillows for her.’
He then went on to narrate the story of Swami Narayan how he did his tapasya in this village and later on the villagers had donated this land and now this big ashram is in his name.
Maa resigned to a respectful sleep on a respectful bed munching her bonafide journey of friendships. Next day she woke up enveloped in himalayan aureole to begin her journey for which she had been waiting for an aeon. Maa took her bath and got ready to take her leave from her hospitable hosts.
Old Man: I cannot allow you to leave our house without taking some food.Do you know my old lady had got up so early in the morning to grind fresh wheat with her own hands and also she made fresh butter to make ‘halua’ a sweet dish for you. Maa was dumbfounded at the old couples love and generosity which melted maa’s heart. Old lady got a full plate of ‘halua’ a very popular homemade sweet dish in India but the quantity served was embarrassingly too much for Maa.
Maa: But I cannot have so much early morning.
Pan Singh and old lady together: We will not hear any ‘no’ from you.You will have to eat this.
Maa somehow managed to gulp down half the plate of ‘halua’ into her stomach careful not to hurt their feelings. Since early morning such heavy sweet preparation with ghee overflowing from the plate, was certainly not acceptable to her delicate stomach unless one is born with a strong digestive system. In just one night they had become so attached to her that they wanted her to spend few more days with them but this bird was desperate to fly. Indeed, poor might be my country in material wealth but none can compete with my motherland in the wealth of warmth, kindness and hospitality.
In the Company of Regal Monks
She stepped out of Pan Singh’s home only to be welcomed by a stunning surprise , the magnificent Himalayan cavalry was waiting eagerly outside for her to join their nomadic freedom. Himalayan morphine, drugged Maa into dizziness and she kept gaping spellbound at the incredulous himalayan gown spread out in the endless blue horizon with frills of flowers overlapping each other in illustrious,mystic colours till the colours lost it’s name and the tall alpines gracefully embroidered at the edge of it’s snow topped white peaks. She walked amongst the stretch of majestic tall trees with diversifying prints of flowers of white, red, pink , violet only to converge in colourless ,Oneness of peace and tranquility. Her bouncing happiness was unfastened today and she remembered the triumph of regal monks Swami Vivekananda, Adi Shankaracharya,Sage Vashist , Vyas,Shukdev walking with her holding her hands in this adventurous expedition. The elegance of Himalayas gets enhanced with such great ascetics and shall keep adorning the himalayas with great Sages for centuries to come. She felt as if they all had joined the synchronizing chorus of freedom and were marching with her in timeless space of Absolute Stillness. Maa would sing loudly with the symphony of Beethoven flowing fluidly in the Himalayan galore. She would often swing her hands high above her head and her feet in the air as if someone had just given back her lost wings because there was not a single human apparition to be seen anywhere in visible distance.
Thus dancing with the rhythm of wind teasing the chirping birds praising her lord’s name she reached her most cherished destination ,Narayan Ashram.
When she went inside the gate she met a man just near the ashram gate.
Man: Who are you ?Where have you come from?
Maa: I have come from Bombay to do Sadhana.Is there any place for me in the ashram.
Man : Wait I shall call the manager.
Manager: Where have you come from? Who is with you ?And, What is your name?
Maa: I have come from Bombay to do Sadhana and my name is kiran .And nobody has accompanied me, I am alone.
The manager with whom Maa was talking was luckily a lady, her name was Gangotri Garbeyal. She was a retired principal of Almora College but now a manager of this ashram. When she heard Maa had come alone from Bombay to Kumaon to do sadhana she exulted with joy and came running towards her.
Gangotri Didi: ‘I am today proud of my country that there are still such brave girls who could travel so bravely from Bombay to kumaon all alone to do sadhana. And she hugged Maa like old good friends.’
Her Himalayan Home
Gangotri didi showed Maa her room it was just adjacent to her own room with a common door between them. Their room was also connected to a beautiful glass house which was Gangotri didi’s meditation room but later on Maa also used to join her there for meditation . Ashram was truly beautiful in the heart of Himalayas very calm and quiet .There were many gardens of various colours in the ashram a small cozy temple made of stones , wooden carvings and wooden floorings to maintain warm temperature inside the mandir during winters.The genuine uniqueness about this temple was ;the Marble idol of lord Vishnu in a sitting meditating posture.
Each construction in the ashram was carefully built maintaining a considerable distance from each other at different altitudes so that each one is not disturbed by other’s activity. One of the most exquisite ,centerfold piece of construction was ‘Shunya mandir’, a temple of void, built at a secluded area of the ashram to give privilege to silence and peace .It was the meditation room of Swami Narayan but after his demise nobody was allowed inside this room and the keys of this mandir were with Gangotri didi. But soon Maa deservedly gained her way to the holy secret room , Shunya Mandir.The most knockout beauty of the ashram was, it was very close to Kailash Mansarovar the ultimate paradise on this universe, the abode of lord Shiva. Mansarovar was a part of our country until we lost the war from China and it is now in their occupied territory. Pandurang a boy from kailash also resided in the ashram and he used to narrate the nightmares of the poor innocent Indians residing in the Chinese territory. How the villagers of this region were victims of severe persecution and malignant torture of the atrocious Chinese soldiers. When the Indians cross the chinese border in exodus especially the old people they embrace the Indian soldiers and keep sobbing and blessing their brave sons and revealing their pangs of severe impalement.
When Maa was in the ashram luckily there were not too many people just Gangotri didi, a Swamiji from Divine life society from Rishikesh who was a disciple of a prominent saint Swami Chidanandji, a bengali saint who was slightly handicapped and Pandurang a boy from kailash Mansarovar , a panditji for the daily rituals of the mandir and few servants. The story line of the ashram was played with the concept of deep sadhana where seekers could carry on with their serious spiritual pursuit feeling not burdened with too much seva ,only if one wished to do it on his own accord.
Gangotri Didi: When you finish taking your bath come and join me in ‘Annapoorna nivas’ , the dining and kitchen room of the ashram.
Maa after having her lunch came back to her room and the alchemy between Maa and Gangotri didi blended smoothly. Maa spent most of her time in reading scriptures and in deep contemplation. She would only come out of her room to help Gangotri didi in chopping vegetables in Annapoorna nivas and in the evening to attend the Aarti in the temple ,a devotional practice to sing praises by ringing bells and blowing conches , offering flowers ,incense and lighting lamps of ghee , these were the only curricular activities in which she participated. Infact, Gangotri Didi was so happy to see her seriousness towards this spiritual life that on Maa’s second day in the Ashram she had given her the keys to the Shunya Mandir which was otherwise prohibited for other people.
Gangotri Didi : You can go and meditate in Shunya Mandir, my guru’s meditation room ,and do not tell anyone that I have given you the permission.
However ,it could not be concealed for long but everyone respected and loved Maa due to her compassionate, benevolent nature. Maa spent hours in deep meditation in that Shunya mandir from where the Himalayas could be clearly visible .
During afternoon all five of them , swamiji of Divine life society, Bengali saint ,Gangotri didi, Pandurang and Maa would sit for a discussion on Vedant and especially on Mandukya Upanishad and Gita.In these discussions Maa would as usual give excellent perspicuous explanation that even many monks could not have such brilliant efficacy on scriptures. Maa would quote very pertinent mantras of Upanishads even though she must had heard once , this distinguished her prodigy from others. The Swamiji of the divine life would be so flabbergasted to hear profound relevant explanations that he would tell her, ‘ You say you are married , you have children, you had a father in law and a grandmother in law to look after but then you speak as if you were a monk who has dwelled in scriptures for a long time.’ Maa, ‘ true,I did not waste time and I have heard lot of Swami Chinmayanand ji’s and Swami Akhadanand ji’s discourses.’ Maa said , ‘when I used to read Maharaji’s ‘Adhyas Bhasya’,to attribute the nature of one thing on another. I used to feel I shall not read anything further but first I shall vanquish my affinity towards this body which is my biggest obstacle in the path of realization.’ Swamiji laughed heartily, ‘ what else remains to know when you realize you are not this body but the imperishable Atman. Indeed, you are a praise worthy person and I respect your mountain of spirit, which even we monks do not graduate. I cannot believe you have so much knowledge’
Mean while the boy from kailash Mansarovar, Pandurang was so impressed with maa and her tapasya,penance that he brought for Maa handful of beautiful rounded stones with a natural shine on them. It would be unworthy to call them stones because they were Shiva lingas which he had collected in Mansarovar lake and it is a belief every stone of Mansarovar is Shiva linga and many people bring them home to worship those beautiful sacred Shiva lingas.
Pandurang :Please accept one Shiva linga I will be very happy.I have brought it from Mansarovar.
Maa: But where will I keep them I am a wandering monk as you know I have no permanent place where I can keep and worship it and nor would I be able to give the attention which it requires. It is very kind of you to offer me these but I still cannot accept it because I do not trust my devotion.
Maybe Pandurang was hurt but probably understood what Maa meant.
Maa would go up to the mandir which was surrounded by trees and beautiful wooden steps on which she would sit down and if there was nobody around she would open the musical strings of her vocal chords and sing loudly till her diaphragm stretched to the maximum because she enjoyed singing from her childhood days. One day as usual she climbed up the temple and met the disabled Bengali Swami on the steps. He started up with a conversation,‘Maa who is your Guru?’
Maa: I do not have any Guru as yet?
Bengali Sadhu :Oh my god! Such an awakened soul and you do not have any Guru.
It hurt Maa to hear that she did not have any Guru and thought how unfortunate must she be that God did not endow her with a Guru , with tears in her eyes said: ‘ but if you bless me I will certainly have a Guru’
Saying this maa bowed down and did her pranam to swamiji and pleaded again
‘please bless me that I find my Guru soon.’
Sadhu : Sure you will definitely find a Guru and it is the law of nature an earnest seeker soon is blessed with a divine Guru. An awakened soul will meet an awakened Guru.
On the fourth day of her stay in the ashram there was a big celebration of Krishna Janmashtami the day lord Krishna is born .It is a big occasion and celebrated in all Indian homes and hindu religious places and is celebrated with devotion right from children to old people.
Gangotri Didi: We read Bhagwatam every year on this day , the chapters on krishna’s birth so we would be happy if you read it.
Maa : I cannot read because I do not have much practice of Bhagwatam.
Gangotri Didi : Never mind but we would still like to hear it from you.
The celebration usually takes place at midnight because Krishna was born at 12p.m , but here they used to celebrate it before it got dark because people came from far of villages and it was dangerous for them to go back home in narrow mountainous path. As usual Maa after her lunch and little rest went and sat down in the ‘Shunya Mandir.’ While sitting there she went into such deep meditation that keeping up with the pace of time became a distraction for her. She rose from her aasan (squatting on the floor on a small square shaped carpet in a swastic a yogic posture which all sadhus adorn during meditation) and climbed down the steps of shunya mandir and walked towards the Vishnu Mandir. She saw the Bhagwatam was already read and some sweets and fruits were being distributed to the villagers who had come to celebrate Janamashtami. She quietly stood at one corner and did her pranam.
Oblivious of Time
One day Gangotri didi had to go to some other village to attend some function to which she was invited .
Didi: I have to go out somewhere but will you please keep an eye on the Panditji that he does the ‘Aarti’ of the temple on time because in my absence he is not punctual. And I shall come back tomorrow.
Maa: Yes, sure you do not bother I will take care.
She left the ashram around 2.30p.m in the afternoon and Maa was left alone in her room to cheer the company of her own Atman. There was one good library in the ashram and Maa went there to pick up few books and she selected Avdhoot Gita from the library to read it in her room. Maa always had the habit to read one shloke of gita and close her eyes and contemplate deeply till she was well established in it’s deep meaning. She was sitting in the glass room and reading the the Avdhoot Gita which she had brought from the library, the 12th chapter and 12th shloke in Avdhoot Gita says, ‘ you are non – attached pure Atman then why do you get attached to others.’ Maa soaked the meaning of this shloke to her bone marrows and felt that she was no more confined to this body and it’s limitations but her identity was all pervasive integrated True Self. She was not conscious how many hours had passed sitting in this same posture because she was oblivious of time of this world of oblivion. She heard a voice coming from very far, ‘Maa , please come for dinner.’ The voice kept repeating ‘ Maa’ softly several times. But Maa was unable to respond to this voice .It was already dark outside must be some 7.30p.m.Maa got up from her aasan slowly and stumbling slightly she went outside to find Swamiji of Divine life waiting for her outside.
Maa: Is the aarti over?
Swamiji : Long ago. We were waiting for you for a longtime for dinner.
Maa : I am extremely sorry to keep you people waiting.
But Maa’s voice was stammering while talking because senses takes time to function in it’s normal order when the mind loses it’s co-ordination with the inferior functions of the body. Maa could herself hear her voice coming from a great distance.
She went with Swamiji to the dinner hall since he had a torch in hand. While sitting in the dining hall Maa still felt that she was swinging in an awareness which had nothing to do with this transitory world. There was one old servant his name was Jassie who had done lot of seva or looked after Swami Narayan his guru when he was in his body. He looked at Maa and started sobbing and said, ‘ after a long time I feel my Gurudev has come back. Even he used to be in this bhav Samadhi and took long time to come back to normal. He too would meditate from dawn to dusk and not be bothered to have his food.’
He went on to say, ‘ once I was with him and we both were in a boat and gurudev went into ‘ bhav Samadhi’ in constant remembrance of god and when the boat reached the banks he still was not conscious so I had lifted him in my arms .This was his love for God.’ And saying this started weeping again.
It brought tears in Maa’s eye’s and everyone in the hall became very serious.
Maa : Panditji why did you not ring the bell in mandir.
Panditji : We did ring the bell but very softly because we could see you meditating in the glass room so we thought of not disturbing you.
Maa thought indeed this place has strong vibrations of meditation because Kailash Mansarovar was hardly few miles from this place.
It was 9th day in the ashram and Maa as usual was in the temple in the evening to attend the aarti , and she was sitting in a quiet corner of the mandir and meditating. Even after the Aarti was over Maa continued meditating and did not get up.
Maa heard Gangotri didi asking someone : Where have you come from?
Gentleman : The lady sitting there and meditating is my younger sister.
Didi : Ok, let us not disturb her now, please go outside and wait.
Maa did not feel like opening her eyes and was absorbed in meditation. Then Gangotri didi sprinkled some holy water on her face and Maa opened her eyes with a little jerk.
Gangotri didi: Go to your room and meditate because we need to shut the mandir.
Maa slowly got up from her aasan and went to the glass room to submerge herself in her deep thoughts. It was a lull before a storm and she knew her brother must have come to take her back home.
Swamiji came to boost up her spirits with some strong philosophical thoughts and said, ‘If there is no manifestation in your vision than there is no manifestation. There is no creation and all is your own imagination. If you are liberated the whole manifestation is liberated.’
Maa’s Brother.Dr. Yogendra Singh also popular by abbreviated name as Dr.Yogi ,was a very senior doctor and was the Director of the Doctor’s association of the Central Coal fields. He was sitting in the room where Maa was meditating.
Dr.Yogi: How can you say that if one person is liberated others are also liberated.
Swamiji : I am not telling you . I am telling her. She will understand what I am saying. She has Vairagya in life.
Indeed Swamiji was discussing the highest philosophy of Mandukya Upanishad. ‘Ajatwad’ was being discussed where it says there has never been any creation however in puranas there are eighty two ways in which the description of creation has been given. Our existence exhibits this creation and when you are not there creation is not there like in deep sleep state everything vanishes. Thus this world existence is a state of dream.
Swamiji : How did you reach here?
Dr. Yogi : Do you know I have reached here with so much difficulty.
Swamiji : But do you know she is happy because God has followed her, with a little irritation in his voice
Dr. Yogi : You mean to say God is partial he is only happy with her and not with me or others.
Swamiji : True, had God come with you would have been smiling and not sulking.
It did hurt his pride which was egoless because he thought himself to be a spiritually humble man and with great spiritual knowledge and this was for the first time someone hurting his egoless pride, but this was a land of Shiva and Shiva will break one’s pride one’s humble ego which becomes more dangerous. Since in one’s humble ego one tends to become so self hypnotized that he becomes immune to Supreme teachings or have respect for any person’s renunciation and all in good humility. Swamiji did not know that he was Maa’s brother maybe he would have been on a little softer note .The conversation ended there and Gangotri didi entered the room. She showed Maa’s brother his room.
Maa asked her brother : How did you find me here?
Dr. Yogi : This is a long story ,search warrant had been filed immediately the day you went missing and complete regiment of Bombay Police and Garhwal Army were in search for you for the past nine days.
Gangotri Didi: Please freshen yourself after all you had a long journey and join us for dinner.
After having a quiet dinner in the Annapoorna Nivas Dr. Yogi resigned to his room.
Virgin Breeze brought Knowledge
Next day, fresh himalayan bounty breeze refreshed the tired traveller Dr. Yogi . He was an excellent Doctor privileged with some innate good habits which won him the accolade of a best brother. Early morning walk and treating the plants in his garden as if those plants were his children, this reflected his patient inborn parenthood. His calm , caring nature would avoid unpleasant environment or ease off disputable arguments which won him adorations not only at home but in his work place as well.
Irresistible smell of Himalayan incense pulled him out of his to bed to explore it’s fragrance in an early morning walk only to bump into Swamiji whom he had met the previous night. Both wished each other good morning forgetting their previous nights slightly incandescent arguments.
Dr.Yogi : Yesterday I contemplated on what you said that god is with my sister and not with me. I have understood the essence of what you meant by it .Indeed she has surrendered everything in the hands of God and so she is happy and we have not yet surrendered we are holding onto our ego and thus we are not priviledged to feel the exodus of divine happiness. But the second conversation I did not understand. How can one person’s liberation lead to the liberation of the complete mankind?
Swamiji : That is the secret of all secrets . If I wake up from a dream the dream vanishes leaving not a trace of it’s real existence only the memories of a dream which is not real. Similarly this world is my illusion so with my awakening from this misunderstanding, this fallacy instantly evaporates and so does my dream. Thus with my liberation I see nobody ignorant because the universe is not there before him anymore and neither is ignorance. This world is as much real to a realized soul as much as he awakens from a dream. He knows he is watching a movie on a silver screen though watching a movie might bring tears in his eyes but he knows neither his tears nor this movie is real.
Dr. Yogi : What a beautiful philosophy and how beautiful is liberation and I respect you for explaining it to me in such simple words.
Indeed thoughts make a man and a man should generate perennial powerful , logical soul elevating thoughts that it earns accolades for centuries to come. Man is not eternal but thoughts definitely are.
They parted and Dr. Yogi went around the ashram and it’s activities and it’s beautiful garden which he usually was so fond of.
Maa as such had no prospects of going back home and be encased in a jar again .When she had left her home she had already burnt her body and had taken the money of her funeral services and it was for her ,A Sine Die leave.
Gangotri Didi met Doctor during breakfast and had many serious talks on taking back Maa alongwith him. She told him, ‘ with great difficulty she has left her home and please do not take her back to her in laws house and she is happy doing her Sadhana and allow her to continue in this life. After all how many women would leave the comforts of their home and the attachments towards one’s beloved kids, in search of eternal Truth.’
Maa’s brother knew her sister’s inclination for a long time and he seemed to understand her sister’s strong spiritual propensity. Thus he did not insist her much and decided to return back .
Unfortunately her happiness did not last long and her brother came back to the Ashram and told maa, ‘My inner conscience did not allow me to leave you here.’
Maa : But brother I am absolutely fine here ,I have no problems at all.
Brother : But my dearest sister there is no facility here. There is no medical facility , there are no proper roads, no electricity and as a responsible brother I cannot leave you here in so much discomfort .And moreover what will I answer my parents.
Gangotri Didi : It is true there are many drawbacks to this remote place.
Brother: It is my earnest request please come with me and I promise I will not force you to go back to your in laws house. But I will take you to a nice place in Madhya Pradesh where you can carry on with your Sadhana.
Gangotri Didi: If you promise not to take her back to her in laws house then even I would give you consent to take her back . Since after two months we all will go down because of heavy snowfalls and the ashram will remain closed till summer and after march you can come back.
Maa : O.k I agree to go back with you only if you keep your promise.
Brother : Of course my sister. I promise.
Thus Maa took leave from everyone and infact in these few days each one had become so closely attached with her because of her gentle nature that they could not stop their tears. Gangotri didi and maa embraced each other and Maa continued her uncertain journey.
On their way back Maa decided to hault at Pan Singh’s house in Pangu Village. The old couple greeted them with a greater hospitality than before and Maa remained indebted to their love forever.
At night in PanSingh’s house Maa’s mind was completely withdrawn within in an icy silence and remembered the divine voice asking her to go to Anandmai maa’s Ashram but then she remembered swamiji telling her “ there is no point going there because Maa is very old and has left having her food only to surrender herself to divine lord. And more over there are no discussions on Vedant.”So that alternative was also ruled out and then she thought the voice she used to hear resembled Swami Akhandanand Saraswatiji Maharaj , and hopes to find a guru got inflamed. She thought if he is my Guru I will certainly go and meet him in Vrindavan and he has to tell me to be with him since I am his disciple and this is also in way to test him whether he could read my mind her not. Mentally Maa had made up her mind to make Swamiji her Guru and new life rejuvenated in her sunken heart. Next day she woke up with all the preparation to convince her brother to take her to Vrindavan the land of Radha and Krishna.
Maa : I would also stop at Pithoragarh to thank the boy, Bheem Singh, he had helped me a lot.
Brother : In fact even I need to thank this boy because he too had helped me so much in finding you .
They reached Pithoragarh and expressed their gratitude to Bheem Singh for all his help.
Bheem Singh: Do you know sister after you left many army personnel arrived and were questioning me about your whereabouts and showed me your photograph but then I had to tell them truth. My friends said that I had given refuge to a spy that is why army is after her. But I told I can bet million dollars but my sister is not a spy. She is a genuine Sadhak until your brother came and asked me.
Maa: Sorry that you had to undergo so much trouble because of me.
Bheem Singh: I can take complete world’s trouble if need be because I have accepted you as my sister.
They boarded the bus for Tanakpur from Pithoragarh .Thus both sister and brother were engrossed in their own journey of experience ,learning and knowledge and slowly the himalayan beauty ebbing away within them as the wheels rolled down to Tanakpur. On their way back Maa hesitatingly asked how he was planning to go to Madhya Pradesh.
Finally the Halo of Gurudev
Maa : Is there any train via delhi?
Brother : But we will first take a train from Tanakpur to Bareily and from Bareily to Madhya Pradesh.
Maa : Will that train go via Mathura.
Brother : But why are you asking me all these questions?
Maa then revealed her desire to meet Swami Akhandanand Saraswatiji Maharaj, in Vrindavan
Brother : If you want to meet him I will take you, you do not need to ask me so many questions .And why are you hesitating?
Maa : I am hesitating because I know you have taken leave from your job and I do not want to bother you with my problems.
Brother: You don’t worry I have time . I am so happy that you have come with me that I can take you anywhere at your request.
Thus they boarded the train from Tanakpur to Bareily and from Bareily to Mathura. They reached late evening Mathura and booked a hotel and decided to go to Vrindavan nextday .Mathura is hardly 40mins drive from Vrindavan. Despite her tiredness of two days journey she was bouncing with energy to meet her Gurudev. She woke up early and quickly washed her clothes and spread it out for drying .Dr. Yogi also took his bath and quickly got ready. Maa had picked up all her belongings and was ready to leave.
Brother: Why are you carrying your things? We will come back in few hours.
Maa : Brother as it is I have almost no luggage, so I do not mind carrying my few things.
But Maa had something else working in her mind.
She had no address of Maharaj ji’s ashram because the diary on which she had written she had forgotten it at home but she knew his name. However they did not have much difficulty in finding his ashram since Swamiji was one of the most renowned saints of Vrindavan and immediately people recognized him by his name and showed them the way. They reached Maharajji’s ashram in Motijheel,Vrindavan. The ashram has a small beautiful temple of small dancing Krishna popularly known as Nitya gopal. Meanwhile before Maa’s arrived police had come to enquire for her here and had asked Maharajji if he had seen this lady in his ashram but Maharaj ji said, ‘ I had met her in Bombay but she did not come here.’ Maa saw Maharajji coming out from his room and going towards the temple but she hesitated to go before him and bow down. She saw him coming out of the temple and heading towards a small local open air three wheeler motor car with comfortable seats waiting for Maharajji. It was basically used for short distance travelling because Maharajji during those days his health condition was not good and with little difficulty he got up on it and left for Shree Udiya Baba’s ashram,which is our great grand Guru’s place, to give his morning discourse which was hardly five hundred yards from his own ashram.
Dr. Yogi said: ‘Come let us go back to Mathura since you have already met him.’
Maa: No brother, he gives excellent discourses on Vedant so let us go to Shree Udiya Baba’s ashram and listen to him.
Maa went and sat down right at the end of the women’s block but she thought if I go and sit down right at end Maharajji will not notice me so she got up and sat down in the front row. Maa was listening to him keeping her eyes closed with intent absorption. When she opened her eyes she saw the same Swamiji whom she had met in Bombay at Maharaj ji ‘s ashram in Vipul,he was sitting just opposite to her in the male area and even he seemed to recognize her. After Maharajji’s discourse was over Sw.Prabuddhanandji came to Maa directly and said, ‘Where did you come from? Police had come searching for you , but anyway come and meet Maharajji in the ashram.’
Maharajji went back to his ashram and Maa and her brother walked back to Maharajji’s ashram.
Sw.Prabuddhanandji: Please wait outside I shall tell Maharajji.
Maa was feeling relaxed that atleast now she need not bother to introduce herself because police had already helped her with that work. But her heart was beating frantically irratic and she felt breathless because her think pad was full of anxious thoughts whether Maharajji could truly read her wishes. Soon they both were ushered inside the room and Maa’s heartbeat could be heard loudly in the pin drop silent room, they did their pranam to Maharajji and sat down in front of him.
Maharaj ji: I have met you in Bombay. I remember you had come to meet me once, but where did you go?
Maa in a nervous faint murmur looking down said : Yes, I had come to meet you in Bombay and I went to Narayan Ashram in Kumaon.
With a cheerful note in his voice he said : Now that you have left your home there is no need for you to go back, stay here with me as you are my daughter.
Maa’s already epitomized anxiety flew asunder and had no words to express her gratitude towards her reverent Gurudev. She could not believe her ears that Maharajji had not only accepted her as his daughter but had a permanent place in his cottage of knowledge.She was now born of an unshakeable conviction that he was undoubtedly her Guru and her yearning heart rejoiced with the thought that she finally had divine light of Guru in her life. The lingering abyss in her life was now filled with Guru’s divine nectar and his secure refuge. Indeed Himalayan galore had abducted her from her home but today Maharajji had abducted her complete soul and it remained with him ever forever.
Basked in Benediction
Maharaiji’s was indeed showering Maa with his blessings of seven commandments:-
- This time you go back home since your family people have come to take you.
- 2.You father in law is too old so go back home and look after him thinking that it is my seva you are doing. And more over even if your husband marries again there is no gurantee that she will take care of him as you would do.
- 3.Since you have left your home many people will talk many things about you but forbear all your criticism with smiles and to practice forbearance, home is the best place. This is the first austere or tapasya I am giving you to practice, fobearance.
- And though I agree as a mother your duty towards your children is over and that they can put them in boarding school if they want but your youngest son is still too small.
- Moreover I do go to Bombay and I will be able to give you more time than here in Vrindavan.
- I shall never allow you to remain imprisoned in this samsara, formidable illusiory world. It is my responsibility to liberate you.
- When you go back home live like a true sadhu,monk.
What does a disciple need to worry if a Guru embraces a disciple captive in his compassionate cage as Shri Krishna had been beholding the Pandavas, who could defeat them.Maya became a puppet with Guru’s blessings and maa’s obedience. Infact, few days ago Maharaj ji had told her while taking a walk in the ashram,
- I have given you a mantra without any formalities.
- I have taught you the art of meditation in a very simple way .
- And I shall liberate you as simply before you would even realize.
The thought of leaving Maharajshree brought volumes of tears in her eyes but his overpowering assurance,made her silent retreat take refuge at her Guru’s feet ever ever.
Sw. Prabuddhanandji: ‘Sister please do not cry in front of Maharajshree because his soft heart cannot bear to see anybody shedding tears.And he gave her a book of Shri Udiya Baba Updesh which helped her a lot when she went back home but only to return to Vrindavan after two years.