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At the Feet of The Mother

The Grace of the Mother – by Maganbhai Desai

I was simply a country lad, way back, without any hopes or future. Far removed from any city, I did not know if I would see a high school, let alone a college. But my father was ambitious and wanted to see me at least a matriculate. And luckily I got a chance.

Since the age of fourteen I have had a strange pull for religious life. I lived a spartan life, slept on a plank and ate the simplest kind of food. But a hankering for spiritual life was constantly there and hence a search for a Guru. I met a number of them — all types, all creeds and kinds but I was somehow not satisfied. Unconsciously, the idea of heaven after death had no attraction for me. ‘A life built on salvation in this very world’ was my credo.

I went to college but had no money. Mother Ashapuri (one who fulfils all hopes) — a local deity which I visited everyday — made it possible. I prayed everyday in the traditional style.

But my life there was not a bed of roses. I had to walk eight miles a day to earn Rs. 10 a month. This went on for four years till I took my B.A. I read Western philosophies, moral writers but with no satisfaction. For eight years, during this time, I followed Mahatma Gandhi’s preaching assiduously and never bothered about my own condition. But a sense of something lacking, something wanting, was always there.

This lasted for almost 14 years — since the age of fourteen. Till then I had not heard of Sri Aurobindo or of the Mother. A chance meeting with a devotee in 1944 brought a change. He took me to his place and I sat before the portraits of the Master and the Mother and for the first time in my life an ineffable peace pervaded my whole being. From that first time I was assured that he was my Guru and I was instinctively assured my search was over.

But I did not know anything about the teachings of the Mother and had absolutely no money to go to Pondicherry. For four years I read whatever I could get, and in 1948 for the first time I visited Pondicherry and had the Darshan of the Master and the Mother.

But there was no end to the travails I was undergoing. During studies I had to incur a debt and my salary was meagre. Yet there was hardly any worry! This went on for a number of years.

In 1953 I had, for the first time, an interview with the Divine Mother. It lasted for about 45 minutes and she took an intense interest in my well-being. During this talk I told her of some of my experiences and asked if they were simple imaginings. She assured me that they were real experiences. To narrate a few:

I. For some two or three years I felt the nearness of Jesus Christ. Behind him was the Mother Mary. His body would be identical with the shape of my body and a brilliant light (as powerful as a searchlight) would emanate from my heart (the sacred heart of Jesus). It was very powerful and lasted for a long time. (I no longer have that experience though I often feel the presence of Jesus, even as I write this!) All the following were during sleep.

II. I was standing on the battlement of a tall and very big castle. A dark river flowed below. I stood before a very beautiful lady — young and very powerful — and I was sitting at her feet. The Mother told me she was Kali. The dark river below was the river of life and it was the blessings of the Mother that I received.

III. I was standing behind a tall fence on a railway station looking at trains. A train drew up on platform number three. The Mother alighted from the train. Somehow or other the barrier (of the fence) was broken and I was at the feet of the Divine Mother. (The Mother told me that the meaning of the third platform was the breaking of the mental barrier.)

IV. I told her of my difficulties and she very kindly blessed me. As I was coming out I turned back and said, “Mother, I have no money.” She was at that time intensely looking at me and laughed out. Without saying a word she waved me and filled with intense joy (I should say ananda). I stepped out.

When I went home a bookseller approached with a proposition that I should, in collaboration with two persons, write a text book. I agreed. The competition was serious and I was not quite sanguine about the outcome. Yet the book was given first preference. With a single stroke I could wipe out the debt and for the first time in my life I was at economic ease. Since then I have not experienced any ‘want’ though I have no money to speak of.

V. I was a teacher for some 14 years. In 1952, when the A.G. Teachers’ College was started I applied. The interviews were taken. And later on I was informed that all eight vacancies were filled up and I was not selected. I took it as the Mother’s wish and came to Pondicherry for Darshan.

On the same day while going for a walk I met Sundaramji on the road. He was going to Gujarat and was going for the Mother’s Blessings to the playground. He asked if I wanted to see the Mother. Of course I went with him and the Mother blessed me. Without any previous thinking about it, I told the Mother that I had applied for the post. She said, “Of course, you shall get it.” While returning I told Sundaramji that all the vacancies had been filled in. He said that because the Mother had categorically said it I should get it.

When I went home there was a letter waiting for me informing me that I was appointed.

VI. One incident in my life stands out, quite vividly. I went to Bombay for some work. I had a couple of days to spare and so thought of visiting Boys Town — a well-known school at Nasik. Nobody knew where it was. The town is about 7 miles away from the station. The bus I rode in was full and the driver was drunk (we did not know that). Half way the bus dashed against a tree and was toppled and it turned a complete somersault. It was completely wrecked and four or five persons died on the spot.

Now here is the wonderful part. I was sitting in the middle — all hale and hearty. When the bus dashed against the tree I became unconscious without any shock or impact. I felt somebody lifting me out bodily through the bars of the window of the bus. When I came to my senses, I was lying full-length on the seat of the bus and my attache was under my chest. There was not a single speck of dust on my suit. And, believe me, I was the only man completely safe and sound. I took all the people in another bus to the hospital and escaped the police by the backdoor!

VII. I always go to bed with the Mother’s name on my lips. When my body touches the pillow I always say, “Mother Divine, I am lying in your lap”. And often I feel that a loving hand strokes my hair. Even if it is an imagination, I feel happy.

One night the Mother came. She took my hand and we started to climb a dark and very high mountain. On the way we met many Rishis and devotees at different heights. The Mother simply looked at them and went up very rapidly. Half way we met a young woman clad in white, standing with folded hands. For the first time the Mother spoke the word “Mira” — the name of the fourteenth century saint. We climbed peak after peak and approached the highest. I did not know the Mother had left me. When I looked up I saw the Mother and the Master standing high up beckoning me to come up. I do not know how I reached it but when I was there the Mother took me to Sri Aurobindo. He took me up to him and his person was merged in my being. He placed his head distinctly on my chest and it melted as if in my chest.

VIII. Whenever I touch the Samadhi I always feel it rocking to and fro. I thought it was my imagination. When I went to the Mother I told her about it and asked her if it was a mere imagination. She said, “No, it is real. You have a very sensitive physique.” I continually feel this even today. My finger tips throb continuously.

IX. Some two and a half years back I had a physical breakdown. The doctors diagnosed it as “coronary insufficiency” — a heart ailment — and I was hospitalised. I was not perturbed.

When I came home one night at about 9 o’clock I had a temperature of 104 degrees. My wife and a young lady were by my side. I was almost in a coma. I awoke suddenly and saw the Mother actually standing near me. I told my wife almost feverishly, “Sushila, the Mother has come. Offer water to her.” She was surprised but immediately went and brought a glass of water and offered it to the photo of the Mother. The Mother was all the while there, looking intently at me and I was looking at her. After a time the vision disappeared. I asked my wife to take my temperature. It was exactly 98 degrees. All this happened within five minutes. Since then I started recovering and have had no trouble.

(The lady who was there was really surprised. My wife afterwards told me that I appeared as if I was in a trance. She did not know that I was looking at the Mother.)

X. Only recently, I experience this. Whenever I think of the Mother I see a being going out of me. It first goes to the Samadhi. It is exactly a replica of myself. Identical in every small detail. It does exactly as I do at the Samadhi, and then I see it going up to the Mother. It sits down at the Mother’s feet (exactly as I do on the Darshan day) and I clearly see the Mother blessing. After this, it comes back. It is now permanently there! I see it moving in the Ashram.

XI. When I close my eyes I see a beautiful blue colour — sometimes very deep blue and sometimes light blue but always blue. Only sometimes it is interspersed with beautiful flowers.

XII. I also feel a beautiful brilliant white light (like that of a sun) behind my head, so brilliant that I cannot see it but do feel it.

XIII. Nowadays, often a prayer wells up in my being. “Sri Aurobindo, Mother, open my mind, my heart, my life to your Divine light, your love, your power. In all things may I see the Divine.” This casually said prayer surges up at the most unexpected time. I implore the Mother to come and reside permanently in the Adhar.

XIV. Last year I was at Pondicherry. I had seen Madhav and came to my room. At noon while I was sleeping the Mother came. Something very dark came out of lower vital. It was a dark fluid. The Mother put it in a bottle and corked it tightly. Then she said, “There, it is taken care of”. I soon awoke.

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It is not the personality, the character that is of the first importance in rebirth — it is the psychic being who stands behind the evolution of the nature and evolves with it.