“Sister Vasundhara asked us to come and see her after dinner, but if we visit brother Apparao and then go to her, it will be almost 10 p.m. Why cause inconvenience by visiting her at that late hour? Let us go first meet her and then visit brother Apparao. By doing so, we can go straight from there to Guntur and not worry about being late”, suggested my wife.
Heeding to her advice, we went to Sister’s house.
We paid obeisances to Mother's idol in the puja room, saluted Sister with folded hands and got up to take leave of her. Sister gifted the saree adorning Mother’s idol to my wife and requested her to wear it.
When my wife was about to put it in her bag, Sister said “Simply drape the saree over your dress. Mother will be happy if you wear it in front of her. Even when Mother was here physically, she used to ask them to wear then and there the clothes gifted by her. She used to feel happy seeing them wearing the new dress given by her”.
My wife draped the saree over her dress and prostrated before Mother’s idol. Sister looked content.
We took leave from her and went to brother Apparao’s apartment complex. He had two decent apartment complexes built in that remote village where Mother’s devotees resided. He named one of them as Sri Vidya Nilayam.
By the time we reached there, brother was seated in one of the chairs in the open verandah. We introduced ourselves and handed him the book Sri Vidya Rahasyam. Speaking of the book, I told him that I knew neither Telugu grammar nor Sanskrit, but with Mother’s grace, 1500 Telugu poems and 27 Sanskrit slokas came to me effortlessly.
He looked at me curiously and said that the title of the book was good. He inquired what the book was about.
I said “Please go through the book, you will understand. I have elaborated on the pure form of Sri Vidya Upasana in it.”
He added, “The reason behind my asking is that, Mother had once mentioned ‘Sri Vidya means worship of the Supreme Brahman and not mere ritualistic worship. So I was wondering what you wrote about it?”
“I too have written the same about Sri Vidya Upasana. I even quoted Mother’s words at certain places in the book, as appropriate” - I replied.
He asked in what context I had mentioned Mother’s sayings.
I replied that I have cited Mother’s words in one instance, “Experience results in scriptures but not vice versa”.
He smiled happily and said, “Yes, I have personally experienced this. Mother has bestowed me with many divine experiences about which I have written in my book. Have I given you my book? Did you get a chance to read it?”
I replied positively saying that he did give me the book and that I had read it.
He continued, “For us to receive anything, it must be granted by Mother. Only with Mother’s grace all experiences come effortlessly. When I first came to Mother I had many doubts. This happened around 50 years ago. Do you know Swami Avadhutendra?”.
I replied that I had heard about him when I was young.
“I was with him on my first visit to Mother. By the way, have you seen Mother?”, he asked.
“When I was a boy of 12 or 13, I came here along with my mother and family and had Mother’s darshan for a few minutes,” said I.
He continued “Oh, is that so! Back then I had many doubts related to spirituality and have asked Avadhutendra Swami for answers. So he brought me here and informed Mother about my doubts. We sat down in front of Mother.
The person who brought me here is a saint and the person ready to answer my questions is none other than the Universal Mother. Thinking how fortunate I must be, I asked her, “Mother, it is said that Everything is one, the Upanishads also state sarvam khalvidam brahma. Should we think or feel that everything is one?”
Mother immediately answered “We must feel”.
Then I expressed my concern that “I am not feeling it. If it is true, then shouldn't I be feeling that way? Why am I not feeling like that? Why am I seeing the difference? How can everything be one? This book, the clothes that I'm wearing, are these one? No, they are different. Aren't they? Then how can everything be one?”
“Mother was silent for some time. This conversation took place on the first floor in Mother’s room. In that room there is a shelf which has Mother’s bangles. Have you seen it?” He asked.
I replied, “Yes”.
He continued “Mother asked Sister Vasundhara to fetch a bangle from the shelf. Sister brought a bangle and handed it over to her. Mother showed the bangle to us and asked ‘What is this, my child?’ ”
I replied that it was a bangle.
Mother said “No my child, isn’t it gold?”
For a moment, we were dumbfounded. It was a gold bangle and it was indeed gold. With folded hands I said “Yes Mother, it is gold”.
Mother was silent for a moment and looking at me graciously she said “It is not gold, but rather isn't it soil?”
We were astounded. Didn’t Bhagavad Gita say that the one who sees gold and soil equally is the real jnani?
That’s true, eventually gold disintegrates into soil. It comes from soil and goes back into it. Hence it is soil. So with great respect I agreed with Mother.
Mother continued “You all perceive up until this point but for me, it feels like Brahman.”
We were speechless. Is this the true interpretation of the aphorism ‘All this is verily Brahman’ !!
Bangles are our illusion. Gold is also our illusion. Ultimately, everything is soil. But that soil also originated from something. So soil is also not the ultimate truth. The one which lasts forever is the eternal truth. Everything came into being from it and ultimately has to dissolve in it. So Brahman is the only reality.
When I told this to some of the religious heads of ashrams they exclaimed “How beautifully Mother has explained it?” and remembering her, they saluted the Mother.
Bangle is gross body
Gold is subtle body
Soil is causal body
Brahman is the root of all things
Shapes and forms are illusions. They are maya. If we go beyond forms, what remains is the Brahman. Seeing Brahman always and in everything is called Brahma bhavana. Whereas seeing things differently with different forms is maya.
How beautifully, Mother could explain the highest principles of Vedanta in a very simple manner!!! Mother’s sayings were always inline with Vedic principles. Though Mother never read Vedas or Upanishads, her actions echoed these principles.
I remember another saying of Mother. Someone asked Mother in this way “Mother, you haven't read anything but how do your words match with the Vedas? What is the secret behind this?”
To this question, Mother replied in a few words “My words are not what I heard, but what I remember”.
When Apparao said this, I couldn’t control my happiness and they came out as tears.
Saluting Mother with folded hands I said “How wonderfully Mother has put it !!
“Yes, recollections means memories right? That means whatever Mother says is from her experience, her memories. She would only speak from her experience but her words were always in accordance with the slokas and mantras in Vedas” said brother.
To be continued...
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Annapoorna B, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on June 10, 2015. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.