As we walked to Brother A’s house, we saw many villagers on the road, standing in small groups and chit chatting. I could clearly tell that they were discussing politics. A few others were gossiping seated on the benches on the road side. All this was happening right outside the walls of Viswajanani Parishat.
I said to M, who was accompanying me, “Look at the ignorance of people! We have come from such a long distance. People from all over the world are visiting this place. But note how people living in the same village are oblivious to Mother’s greatness”.
“Yes, I too have been observing the same! I wonder how many more great souls like Mother need to be born in this world to uplift mankind,” said M.
I replied, “That’s right! These people are sitting right outside the walls, chatting and discussing politics at this precious twilight hour. But none of them show interest in stepping inside Mother’s temple to sit and meditate peacefully. Besides, there is no discrimination here. Mother loved all, as her own children. Then why don’t they come? Why do they waste their precious time? Moreover, they have constructed another temple in this very place and they sit there singing some bhajans which sound like movie songs. What is all this?”
“That is what I am unable to understand, Guruji,” said M.
“It is very simple. Sri Ramakrishna has said it and Mother too has said the same. ‘A lamp is surrounded by its own shadow, but it's light spreads afar.’ That’s it!” I said.
“But one thing is very hard, Guruji. We lament that we do not have the fortune of seeing and living with great souls. But when they do arrive, we look down upon them as ordinary human beings who are just like us. Human nature is very strange. Isn’t it, Guruji?” said M.
I laughed and told him, “Of course! When Sri Ramakrishna was alive, how many were able to recognize him? They thought ‘He too experiences hunger and thirst just like us. He too suffers from disease like us. So how can he be God?’ When he was diagnosed with throat cancer, many people left him suspecting ‘If he cannot cure himself, how can he grant us our wishes?’ Only his true disciples remained with him.
Same was the case with Mother. When Sister Hyma died, many people left Mother, doubting ‘If she could not save her own child, how can she help us?’ But those who truly wanted Mother, remained with her even in that situation.
The hay goes away and the paddy remains. Those who left did not want either Sri Ramakrishna or the Mother of Jillellamudi. People wanted to use them for their selfish gains, but not for spiritual elevation. People’s love was only for the boons that the great souls could give, but not for God.
Those who come to us for material benefits and other worldly pleasures will surely leave us at some point of time. They will leave us complaining over trivial matters. But those who have grasped our philosophy and love us truly for our own sake will never leave us. They will remain with us come what may.
Men do not change, they will continue to be so forever! It is we who will end up exhausted trying to reform them, but they will never understand the real essence of spirituality. Speaking of such people, Sri Ramakrishna used to say, ‘They are all like worms in the dung. They enjoy being there. ‘This world is like a dog’s tail. No amount of preaching can change it,’ said Swami Vivekananda, looking at this world in his last days.”
“Look over there!” I said pointing to a terrace.
On the way, there was a girl sitting on a terrace, holding a mobile phone in each of her two hands, lost in her own world. It was a modest house which belonged to a farmer. Right in front of it was ‘Viswajanani Parishat’.
“That’s the way it is, M,” I said nodding my head. He too sighed.
In the meantime we reached the house where A lives. Upon inquiry we were told that he was in a nearby apartment, so we headed there.
Brother A is a yogi. His lifestyle included regulated diet and regimen, constant meditation and preaching. He is a householder yogi and an ardent devotee of Mother.
By the time we reached there, he was found sitting in a room surrounded by a few others. I could tell that they were meditating. We too walked into the room silently. Looking at me, he recognized instantly and with a smile, gestured to me to take a seat. He hadn’t changed much in two years, he looked the same.
A woman sat holding brother A’s hand and meditating with eyes closed. He too sat silently. I understood that pranic energy was flowing between them. As others watched them, we too sat quietly. After some time, he got up, washed his hands and feet and came to us.
“She is a good pranic healer, Brother! These people are experienced in meditation. I teach them a little from what I know,” he said. I simply nodded.
His age is over eighty. But he addressed me as Brother. This is quite common with Mother’s disciples. They feel that they are all Mother’s children, so they address each other as sister and brother regardless of their age. He directly got to the point.
“It’s been so many days since you came. I remember coming to your house and you dropping me back here in your car,” he said.
I smiled happily.
“Experiencing for oneself and sharing that experience with others and inspiring them are two different things. The latter is better and one step higher than the former. When you share what you know with others unselfishly, there is no more ‘you’ in you. It is God that acts through you. Am I right, brother?” he asked.
“Yes, you are right,” I replied.
“That is what I am doing and I know that you are doing the same as well,” saying thus, he turned to his followers and said.
“He is not an ordinary man. He has a huge following. I witnessed that when I went to his house. He has written good books. He is a Srividya upasaka. Mother is using him as her instrument. A lot of people are being benefited through his knowledge.”
They all greeted me with folded hands rather fearfully. I too greeted them silently. We continued listening to him with great attention.
He said, “Mother too has said that our body is Sri Chakra. All powers lie within this body. You are inside the bindu, the center point or the dot. Around you are all the petals and angles. Mother used to say that all the powers that drive your body lie in their designated places.
The idol form of God is for practicing concentration on it. Some people worship outwardly. We worship a cone made out of turmeric as Lord Vinayaka. We see God in it. Some see God in idols. Some see him in pictures. Our mind fixates on them during the rituals. Then the devotee attains bahya kumbhaka (retention of breath on exhalation). Others fixate their mind on shatchakras (the six chakras) in the body. According to Srividya, there are nine avaranas (layers) and nine chakras in our body. In addition to the urdhva (upper) sahasrara there is also the adho (lower) sahasrara. Above the ajna chakra, there lie lalana and a few other chakras. One who fixates his mind on them will attain inner kumbhaka (retention of breath on inhalation). Kumbhaka is the same whether it is outer or inner. When one attains kumbhaka, the mind becomes still which spontaneously leads to a meditative state. Then the inner sound will not rise up as speech because we have kept our mouth closed. Then that vibration travels from the heart and goes past the vishuddha chakra directly to the ajna chakra, where it gets burned. Which means our past samskaras are being destroyed. New ones will not take birth. What more do we need? Isn’t this indeed the state of a Yogi?”
I answered ‘yes’ with my eyes. As he was explaining all of this, I slipped into that state. When I am in the presence of evolved sadhakas I can instantly sense their aura and experience their energy. He watched me for a moment, then turned towards N and said, “Your Guru is not an ordinary person. He is presently in a meditative state. Kevala kumbhaka (suspension of breath) has started in him. Any one of you may check his breath by placing a finger under his nose. You will not observe any breathing.”
No one dared to do that.
“Looking at you, I can tell what state you are in. You don’t have any external breathing right now. It is only happening from within. You are in the kevala kumbhaka state. Am I right?” he asked.
I smiled in response as he was right. I was not even willing to nod my head. He felt ecstatic and took both my hands into his.
He said, “I am so glad that you came here today.”
I felt somewhat embarrassed to hear the eighty year old man say that. It was nearly impossible for me to speak in that state, but I had no choice.
“We too are very happy. You are not an ordinary person. You are elder to us both in age and knowledge. You know everything. You have seen Mother and served her for many years. To see you itself is our fortune,” saying this, I touched his feet.
“There is this quote of Mother which you probably already know - ‘In appearance it is two, but in experience it is one.’ The whole of this visible universe is made up of the five basic elements. It appears as many, but it is all one in experience. The difference is only in form, but not in nature. What lies in you and me is the same, isn’t it?” he said.
I nodded silently.
“I used to have another doubt. Here is a verse from the Gita,
matta parataram nānya kiñcidasti dhanañjaya
mayi sarvamidam srōtam sūtrē maṇigaṇāniva
In the first line of the verse, Lord Krishna says - ‘There is nothing else in this universe except Me.’ Whereas in the second line, he says ‘Just as the thread of a necklace on which the beads are strung, I permeate everything.’ If everything is Him alone, then what does it mean to be present in everything like the string in a necklace? I could not correlate these two, hence I asked Mother herself.
“Then Mother explained to me using the simile, ‘gold bangle - gold - soil - that’, which I already told you before,” he said.
“Yes, you did. But it only gets sweeter every time. Please tell us again,” I requested. He explained it to us again.
(For reference, read the previous post under the same series - Jillellamudi Memoirs -13)
As I told you earlier, when I lost everything in business, I asked Mother, “What is this? Why did you do this? I lost all that I earned for years, in a single day. What am I supposed to do now?” Then she replied, “Whatever happens, let it happen. You simply observe everything.”
“How can I simply observe?” I asked.
“Calmly, my dear,” Mother said.
When we are being ruined on one hand, if we are asked to observe everything calmly, how is it even possible? It is easy for Mother to say so. But how can we do that? But karma is inevitable.
So I prayed to her thus, “Mother, bless me with the strength to bear this loss.”
Mother agreed and that’s it. I was bestowed with the strength to bear the pain due to the loss and witness everything with a neutral mind. It is a different matter that I later went on to earn back everything that I lost.
Mother also said another thing to me, “In your life, your effort is nil.”
“What? How is it possible? Without effort, how can we possibly achieve anything?” I set out to Jillellamudi to sort this out once and for all.
I used to live in Eluru at that time. I took shower early in the morning and reached the station only to hear that there was a strike going on. Those were the days of Jai Andhra movement. I tried to come to Jillellamudi, but I faced many obstacles. Determined not to give up, I somehow reached Jillellamudi taking every possible means of transport available such as a lorry, bus etc,. Mother was sitting in front of me at about a hundred yards distance. I sat far away near a wall. With a strong resolve to clear my doubt I got up at once and walked up to Mother. Here, it is evident that I put my effort into reaching her, isn’t it?”
Mother said again, “Your effort is nothing, my dear.”
“How is it possible? Haven’t I reached here with a lot of effort?” I asked.
“Before your effort, a volition arose in you to come here. Even when you were sitting far away, you resolved to come near me. What is the origin of that resolve, my dear?” asked Mother.
I was speechless.
I then understood that the source of all thoughts is the same. Though our effort seems valid, it is not so in reality. That is why Mother used to say, “What appears as two, is only one in experience. The difference is only outward. Deep inside, everything is the same.”
Even I stayed away from such a person as Mother, for ten years. At last I came to her one day.
“It has been so long, my dear,” Mother said.
“Yes Mother, 12 years,” I said.
“No my dear! Nine years, ten months and twenty days have passed since you last came to see me,” said Mother.
I was astonished.
“The last time you visited me, you offered me rotten oranges. That was the last time you came here,” said Mother.
“No Mother! I did not bring them,” I said.
“No my dear! You did. Try to recollect,” said Amma.
Then I remembered that I bought the oranges at Pedanandipadu bus stand. The oranges had turned soft and somewhat black at the stem end of the fruit. Thinking that they were only slightly black and not so bad, I bought them anyway and offered to Mother. Mother remembered this out of hundreds of people that were there. She is beyond human. We simply cannot understand her.
I stayed away for ten years from someone of such stature. If you ask me why? I’d say that having to stay away from her and not being able to come near her are all part of Mother’s plan. Sometimes, she deliberately keeps us away. At that time, one has to go through a lot of suffering, regret, anguish, contemplation and great despair. This is also a part of sadhana.
When a fruit is in the process of ripening, it undergoes change every hour, but we can only notice the change after it has completely ripened. Same is the case with sadhana. Until it reaches a certain stage, we cannot understand the changes it has brought about. So keeping us away is in fact a part of sadhana and the training.
Many people come to you. They remain close to you for sometime and then suddenly leave you. Again after a long gap, they come back to you, don’t they?” he asked.
I remembered all the people who left me in the past.
I smiled silently. Everyone was listening excitedly.
He continued, “After Mother’s demise, I was in a miserable state for almost a year. I later recovered from the loss gradually. I then practiced yoga from which I have good experiences.”
“Then I understood the depth of Mother’s words. When I lost my property, Mother asked me to simply remain a witness to everything that is happening. When I practiced yoga, I experienced the same. The pranic energy flows in the entire body. We just have to witness it. I then realized how deep a message Mother’s words carried! Isn’t it?” he asked me.
“Yes,” I said softly.
He distributed to all of us, a sweet made of coconut, jaggery and ghee that was offered to Mother. Needless to say, they were delicious with a unique flavour.
“I am very happy to see your state,” he said again. I did not say anything. A yogi can only be recognized by another yogi. Only he who has experienced those states can identify them in a fellow sadhaka. Ordinary human beings cannot understand them. What he said was true, so I remained silent.
The clock was about to strike seven. As we had some work on our way back, we had to take leave.
All of us touched his feet silently. He affectionately held my hand and walked with me as we were about to leave. He went into his house and returned with a bundle of books named ‘Amma Amme’ and asked me to distribute them to whoever I saw fit.
It is a great book indeed. He combined his yogic experiences with Mother’s teachings and did a good job.
He went on to say, “Try to come and settle here in the future. This is not an ordinary place. I’m sure you understood this from how effortlessly you experienced that state earlier. I have a great following in Eluru. When I came here leaving all of them behind, I felt very sad. But after coming here I realized that there is a hidden energy in this place. Here, one can attain the yogic states effortlessly. It is due to Mother’s grace. That is why I am urging you to settle here in future. We too will be happy to see you here.
I said, “Sure, brother.”
We greeted him again and took leave.
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Sowjanya D, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on June 20, 2018. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.