Prayer during a crisis also helps greatly. In Bhagavad Gita, Sri Krishna says,“Surrender to god’s will. I will take all your troubles on me and give you peace of mind.” Holy mother Sarada Devi also said, “I am the mother of the wicked, as I am the mother of the virtuous. Whenever you are in distress, just say to yourself, ‘I have a mother’.” There is the episode of the untouchable Adimoolam, who later on went on to become a foreman in Visakhapatnam. In 1909 when the mother was in Bengaluru, the boy Adimoolam used to visit the mother separately and she used to give him Prasad, as the other high caste boys did not like the untouchable boy meeting the mother along with them. One day all devotees of mother invited her for a Bhandara for which she agreed on condition that Adimoolam also will be allowed to partake. The mother called Adimoolam early in the morning and when all sat for taking food, she told Adimoolam to serve food to everyone. All were in a fix as they could not get up as the mother was sitting along with them. Then the Swamiji, who was in charge of the Bengaluru Ashram, made a declaration, “From today, in our nation the movement against untouchability has been started by Sri Sarada
Devi.” Later on, Mahatma Gandhi came from South Africa and started the movement against untouchability on a national scale. In another instance in Kolkata, the mother was not well and a young man came to meet her. When Swami Saradanand was not allowing him to meet the mother, the young man insisted that he had come all the way from Mumbai and would meet her, a message was sent in. The mother called the young man in. After quite some time, he came out of the room and told the Swami that she not only met him, gave him Prasad, but also gave him Mantra Diksha. Many decades later, one day a call was received in the RK Mission office in Mumbai that a film producer wanted to meet a monk of RK Mission. The Swami from the mission office reached the given place to find an elderly person in his chamber on his death bed. He found the photograph of the holy mother in his chamber. The old producer-
director said to the Swami,“As a young man I had gone to Kolkata to meet the mother who gave me her blessings. Now that I am on my death bed, I seek the blessings from the monk of RK Mission. The mother is calling me and I am going to join her.” The dying producer- director was the famous Parsi from Mumbai film world Sohrab Modi, who made “Jhansi ki Rani” and other historical movies. If you surrender to the will of god, if you pray and repent for your sins, you will be saved out of your trouble and you will get solace and peace of mind. Those who are non-believers need to fight doggedly with full will power and determination, never once giving up. The maxim is – “Do your best and leave the rest. You have the right only to work and not to the fruits or end results. Be prepared for the worst and start afresh.” This formula has given solace to many. In his small book Work and its Secret, Swami Vivekananda said, “Pay as much attention to the means as to the end. Failures are the beauty of life. What would be life without that? Life is not worth living if there are no failures.” Try for 1,000 times. If you fail 1,000 times, attempt once more. The holy mother Sarada Devi died in 1920. After the death of Sri Ramakrishna in 1886, she lived for 34 years spreading Ramakrishna’s message. Swami Vivekananda and all other disciples of Belur Math invariably consulted her on all matters, though she held no official position. She had no formal education, but had infinite practical wisdom. Swami Vivekananda could not decide whether to go to USA and sought the blessings of the mother. When permission came from mother, he was overjoyed and said that he would now conquer the world, which he did in fact. He later said that he could spread the message of Sri Ramakrishna far and wide because he was blessed by the mother. Just three days before she gave up her body, the mother found her devotees were feeling that they would be orphaned after she passed away. The mother consoled them saying Sri Ramakrishna would look after them. Then she gave a message, which was her last, as she did not speak afterwards — “If you want peace of mind, do not look at the faults of others. If you want to see faults, see your own faults. No one is a stranger in this world. The whole world is your own.” This is the simple way in which she gave the essence of Vedanta, which states that the world is one and it is a holistic universe. The modern quantum mechanics also has come to the view that all particles of the whole universe are interconnected at a deeper level and it is one super consciousness permeating the whole universe.
In our day to day life, right from the time we get up, most of us are on a fault finding mission and it continues the whole day, both at home and in the work place. A management expert very wisely said, “Don’t read newspapers in the morning. They are sad, bad and make you mad.” The front page of all newspapers in India carries negative reports of crimes, corruption, disasters, accidents etc, while the positive news appear in small columns in the inside pages. In foreign countries, they carry the positive news on the front pages and the negative news in the inside pages. While starting the day reading all the negative news on the front page of the newspapers, our day starts on a negative note and our mind is on the lookout for negative traits and faults in others all around us throughout the day. With so much negativity, we lose our peace of mind and then find that we do not get sleep at night and take tranquilizers. This has become the lifestyle of most of us. This is where the significance of the last message of holy mother comes in. Sant Kabir also said, “When I try to see my faults, I find so many of them and in trying to correct them, I do not have time to look at the faults of others.” If we try to analyse ourselves, most of the time we will find that we are also at fault, may be partially. This self analysis or introspection will help us in rectifying our faults and improving ourselves.
Sarada Devi was full of compassion for everyone. She had the strangest of companions living with her who were either full mad, half mad, quarter mad or of abnormal behavior, with some of them even turning violent and beating the mother. Yet, she was the embodiment of tolerance and was always calm and full of compassion. She was the mother of all and said to Sri Ramakrishna that if some one addressed her as mother, there was nothing in this world which she would not give him or her. She is the greatest role model of modern women. The sheer love of mother had reformed even dacoits. Once when she was 24 years old, she was crossing a forest named Telo Balo, which was notorious for dacoits, with a temple of Kali in her dreadful form, located within the forest. Her companions left her behind as she was not able to walk fast with them. She walked slowly and when night came, she was still in the forest. Suddenly, a ferocious looking dacoit appeared with a stick in his hand and asked – “Who are you and what are you doing here?”. Sarada Devi immediately replied – “I am your daughter”. Hearing this, the dacoit softened and he said that his wife was also with him. As soon as Sarada Devi saw the lady, she embraced her and said, “Mother, it is good that you have come. I have lost the way. I was thinking how I will reach Dakshineswar where your son-in-law is. Now that my father and mother have come, please take me there.” They both were melted on hearing these words. She could conquer the hearts of a dacoit and his wife with her dialogue.
(The writer is a head, Ramakrishna Ashram based in Rajkot.)
Friday, 06 December 2019 | Swami Nikhileshwarananda
| in Devbhoomi Spiritual