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At the Feet of The Mother

Lallubhai Patel – A Video Message from 2004

…. Lallukaka was quiet, and he hardly talked. You should have seen him in his white robe, covered from shoulder to ankles… He would reach the Dining Room 10 minutes before meal time and wait in queue in silence. Everyone else was showing respect and giving way, but he was completely oblivious of people’s admiration. While dining he did talk either. And he said that since people kept talking whatever comes to their minds, God gave his a boon of semi-deafness!

Lalukaka joined the Ashram in late 30s, and he was cleaning Sri Aurobindo’s room ever since. When I was attending Champaklalji in the afternoons, at around 4 pm Lallukaka used to come to clean Sri Aurobindo’s room. Champaklalji would, invariably, without even looking, sign me ‘He has come. Hush!’  Champaklalji would maintain silence himself during all the time that Lallukaka was cleaning Sri Aurobindo’s room.

When Lallukaka finished his cleaning routine, he would come to Champaklalji. And both of them would lean a bit towards each other, hands joined in Namaskar Mudra (Champaklalji was lying flat on his bed, down with paralysis and age, as he already crossed 90). Everyday, without fail, when Lallukaka came to bid goodbye, Champaklalji would put everything aside and focus absolutely in this process.

lullu-kaka-8-m One day Champaklalji pointed towards Sri Aurobindo’s room where Lallukaka was working and then said that Lallukaka (for him Lallubhai) was chanting! Lallukaka, from beginning of his stay in the Ashram does this. In the morning, he writes down a few lines from some work of the Mother or Sri Aurobindo, two, three or a little more at times, and takes the small paper with him when he goes up for cleaning. Then during entire day he repeats the lines, especially while he is upstairs, cleaning the Lord’s house. He completed Savitri 6-7 times like this, and we can only guess how many times he has read other books.

He is also receiving sadhaks and visitors for meditation in Sri Aurobindo’s room. On Darshan days one sees him in Sri Aurobindo’s or the Mother’s room, watching, guiding the Darshan Queue. He also distributes Darshan messages on the day.

… some of us youngsters used to go to him to learn French. … when I opened Lallukaka’s house door, silently, I saw Lallukaka sitting in his chair outside his room. With a book in his lap and his back towards me, he opened both his hands upwards and started chanting Mantras. They were The Mother’s prayers in French: ‘Seigneur! Toi a Toi …’, complete prayers. And all the time both his hands were sending waves of his aspiration upwards…

(From 2004 essay by Ashesh Joshi, adapted and abridged)

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