Near the seventh mile stone, some people were working on an arch that fell to the ground. Probably, due to incessant rains, that area was filled with mud.
C said, “In those days, two dogs named Ramudu and Bheemudu used to always guard this place. If the dogs found any devotees who, after arriving here by bus, late at night, were going by foot to Jillellamudi, they would accompany the devotees into the village and return back to the mile stone. Who knows which holy souls these dogs were and what their relationship with Mother was? But, they served the devotees throughout their lives”. C knows many such incidents. He can go on narrating them with great passion for hours together.
Immediately, an episode from Swami Adbutananda’s life flashed in my mind. He was a direct disciple of Lord Sri Ramakrishna. During the times of Lord Sri Ramakrishna, Panchawati was a thick forest near the banks of river Ganges. Lord Sri Ramakrishna used to send his close disciples to meditate at night, near a banyan tree in this forest. He used to instruct each one of them with a specific technique. Swami Adbutananda was known as Latu in those days. Latu was once found immersed in meditation under the banyan tree, at the dead of the night. He remained in deep meditation almost until dawn, for five to six hours. During this whole time, four dogs sat at a little distance, guarding him. They sat there in utter silence, as though they were also in deep meditation. Sri Ramakrishna saw this and later in the morning, affectionately looked at his beloved disciple and remarked, “Bhairava himself protected Latu’s meditation from being disturbed.” In Panchawati, there used to be a Bhairava on the banyan tree. Totapuri was blessed with this vision. There are four dogs near Lord Dattatreya’s feet, which are considered as the four Vedas.
It is true that Nature and animals help those who are sincerely yearning to reach God with surrender and those who are deep meditators. I have observed this several times through my humble experience.
Our car entered Jillellamudi and turned into the premises of Mother’s place. Looking at the words on the entrance gate, my children were surprised. Because, unlike other ashrams, it did not have any name, instead, the arch over the entrance gate simply read, “Andarillu” (everyone’s home). They wondered why it was written that way? Observing this, I just smiled. C also did not say a word.
We stepped out from the car and reached the Ashram building. I remembered the day from my childhood when I first had Amma’s darshan. It was probably in 1976, when I was studying 9th grade and was very young. I came here along with a few elders in the family to have Amma’s darshan. Amma was seated on the stage in a big chair. Now, we see a big photograph of Amma in the same place. Almost two hundred of us were standing at a little distance from her and seeing her. She was silently watching all of us. I still remember her glance. It was without any feeling. It was like a breeze that touched each one of us and left. It did not appear as if she was looking at anyone in particular, but when her gaze fell upon us, it seemed as though she paused for a moment. I thought it might have just been my imagination.
I stood exactly at the same spot in Jillellamudi. The same incident unfurled in front of me again. In those days, it used to be filled with people. Now, the stage was empty. Whenever I am in Jillellamudi, I have to restrain myself a lot from tears flowing down my eyes like a stream. I never understood why this happens. C was also in a similar situation. This is a common sight to the people in Jillellamudi, so they do not react to it.
Anyone with a little bit of sensitivity can easily feel the unconditional love that is in the atmosphere there. It is the love without any boundaries, love that does not look at any faults and love that is causeless. It overwhelms us like a flood. In spite of knowing all the sins committed by us since many past births, it completely ignores the fact and showers unconditional love on us. Can there be any heart that does not melt before such a love?
Amma used to say, “I myself gave birth to all of you and put you in your mothers’ care to bring you up”. What incredible love is that ! This phenomenal love can again be seen in Sri Sarada Mata alone. In the entire universe, it is impossible to find anyone who has reached such an elevated spiritual state, who can say that the entire creation including human beings, yogis, rishis, demigods, animals, birds, insects, all beings of the universe are my children. We will not see this in anyone else.
In those days, someone asked Amma, “Amma, why don’t you follow caste restrictions, though you are born in a Brahmin family?”
Amma said, “Son, I do not distinguish between qualities, what to speak of caste”.
Then she said, “Everyone’s caste is the same. It is the caste of the semen and the egg”.
Most people who visited Mother used to cry as soon as they came into her presence. Mother used to look at them silently. People around her used to ask, “Amma, why are they crying without any reason?”. She used to simply say with a smile, “They have come here to cry, so let them cry”, but she never revealed the reason behind their weeping.
A similar incident took place in the life of Swami Sivananda (known as Tarak in those days), who was a direct disciple of Sri Ramakrishna and also my Param Guru. Tarak reached the abode of Lord Sri Ramakrishna at a very young age. Many others, including Swami Vivekananda came to Lord Sri Ramakrishna in their youth. One day, Tarak was in deep meditation. While passing by that area, Sri Ramakrishna stopped when he saw Tarak and immediately, Tarak’s body started shivering, as though he had received an electric shock. Tarak was overwhelmed with a peculiar feeling and tears started flowing from his eyes in torrents. After some time, Lord Sri Ramakrishna left that place. That day, Tarak experienced a state of very deep meditation. After some time, Tarak completed his meditation and came to Lord Sri Ramakrishna’s room, offered salutations and sat in front of him. Lord Sri Ramakrishna said to him lovingly, “Listen Tarak, when one meditates on God, it is a good sign to have tears flowing from eyes. Because of this, one’s sins will be washed out and his heart becomes pure. God loves such people immensely”.
However, the tears should not be forced upon. Usually we find some ladies acting like this. What a pity! But in a way, this is also good.
An incident happened in Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu’s life. During group chanting, it was common for most of his devotees to feel ecstatic with tears flowing from eyes, to enter samadhi state and to have divine visions. But, one of his devotees never even had a few tears in his eyes. Feeling ashamed, he said to himself, “How big a sinner I am? All of these people are having many beautiful experiences, but I am not able to experience anything. My heart must be a big rock that is not melting even in the presence of such a great soul.” Thinking like this, he put chilly powder into his eyes to get tears. Seeing this, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu embraced him and said, “I can imagine the pain you must have gone through that led to such a drastic action. Without having deep love for God, you will not be able to do this.” Saying this, Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu became ecstatic and went into Samadhi. Needless to say, the devotee also fell into Samadhi, touched by the power of the Lord.
With such thoughts on my mind, as if lost in a different world, we entered Amma’s temple. Knowing my situation, C and my family did not disturb me and remained silent in their world of thoughts.
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Ganesh A which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on Aug 21, 2010. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher.