The Mother Divine
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By Rajendra Nath Chakrabarty
Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath
The grand and vast panorama of the world that seems to lie before us in splendour and beauty like the embodied joy of spring has nonetheless a dark shadow of death and pain, with wail of the hell of misery and grief hovering over it. This pathetic light of the world touched the heart of Buddha, Badarayana Kapila and Kanada. So, none of them seemed to by-pass the problem, and rather helpfully suggested ways and means to get over the trammels and travails of this world, so sad so dolorous, that we mortal millions might  turn towards the divine light and love.

The grim treachery and villainy of this monstrous world, its unmitigated grief and sorrow - both open and covert, have actually been the driving force that turned the face of some of us to God, and prevailed on us to seek solace in heavenly peace. Still, sufferings had not always been the guiding factor that imperatively prompted man to start out for a journey to the spiritual realm. The mystic call of the Great unknown was also sometimes felt beckoning him to the Great Beyond. He now and then felt the lovely Lord lurking through the windows of his life with a charming smile on His lips; or standing perhaps on the hill-top, he felt a stupendous vast, free and serene, looking silently to his face, filling his heart with an exquisite sense of the sublime. He had perhaps sometimes heard the Infinite sweetly murmuring its secrets into his ears, telling him the tales of the realm of love and light, and riddles of the earth and heaven, and beyond. These no doubt were the rare and magnificent experience of a blessed few like Sri Chaitanya, Kabir and the like. Even then, the variegated mass of misery and evils of this unhappy world stand obdurately that set us to thinking and probe deep into the nature of them in the world: What after all is the nature of this world, beset with weal and woe, love and cruelty, jealousy and hatred, tears and laughter. Why should evils and sufferings ever vitiate the atmosphere of this world, and make it so much murky?

But in spite of the prevalence of the forces of inconsistencies and contradictions, conflict and disharmony that make themselves felt so tellingly here, side by side with love, light, joy and beauty, the great Seers from their experience and knowledge assert with a convincing sense of certitude that the Divine exists even in this world, — in everything — above, and behind all things. God comprehends both the elements of good and evil, and reconciles the apparent contradictions into a synthetic relationship which is good at the last resort. It is perhaps better to bear in mind here that the teachings of the Rishis of India and the Philosophical discourses based on the- Vedas are far from dogmatic or speculative, as they result from their direct knowledge and experience and as a matter of fact, illuminating revelations par excellence they are. The scheme of creation is by no means the handiwork of an irresponsible autocrat, himself wholly uninvolved. So, even in this downward scale of creation, says Lord Sitaramdas Omkarnath "it is He who has descended here as the earth, as water, fire and ether, may, even as disease, grief and sufferings, joy pain and peace, virtue and vice. It is He who has come down in the shape of man. It is He who having been burnt in the dreadful fire of the world cries in agony for rescue. It is again He who incarnates Himself as Guru to give him joyful assurance, and holds him in His bosom through the agency of mantra, and brings him back to his true blissful Self.'' So, Guru, is none else than Narayana — the Supreme God. Nonetheless, he says that the higher consciousness of truth Divine amounts to what exists bereft of the 'name and form' of the things mundane.

Descent of God as Man Divine takes place in this mortal world, then from out of the perfect and profound fullness of his compassionate heart, wealth of transcendent knowledge, love, truth and wisdom perennially wells out in profusion. He graciously feels disposed to hold out the divine nectar to the thirsty lips of the devotees and disciples who had so long been solicitously waiting to taste the sweetness of divine experience.

The long cherished deathless dream of the devotee is materialised — Summum Bonum of his life is realised at long last. O, what a fascinating luster sparkles in the firmament of his heart, what an exalted ecstasy of emotion resonant with a perfect melody suspending the activities of senses overwhelms, engulfs him. He feels himself melted into His Light — into His Love — into the nothingness of Beatitude. Sitaramdas Omkarnath has in his inimitable style given an eloquent expression to the abounding joy of the disciple as he is blessed with the grace of Guru: the disciple feels "the ineffable supreme joy before him, behind him, above him and below him: the supreme joy on the right - on the left. The space, time, atoms and molecules, everything throbs in the rhythm of joy. He exclaims in joy and reverence. At your grace my Lord, a mellifluent flow of the thrill of joy pulsates through my flesh and blood, even through the marrow of my bones. From across the dim inane of the firmament come floating the thrilling notes of the celestial music, and benumb me, in and out. The flow of intense joy wells out of each and every pore of my body — all my hairs stand on end, and dance in supreme joy.

As a river in spate cannot hold this burden of restless rippling flow of water in check within its bed, and likes to overflow its banks so that land on either side may smile in lovely crops, so the God-intoxicated Guru who has a message of immortality of an unknown world to inculcate also pines to unburden his heart full to the brim of boundless love. His mission has got to be fulfilled; his message must soothe the fretful world. His is an urge of the "categorical Imperative". So, we find even in the Vedic age lost in the mist of antiquity, Acharyyas would pine for the worthy disciples and pray:

Oh God, as the flow of water moves downwards, as the months pass into years, so let the Brahmacharins come to me from all quarters:

Ever since then, the importunate clarion call of Guru was heard again and again down the subsequent centuries:

Awake and arise ……………
Mamekarri Saranam braja .....
Come unto Me alone, for shelter………………………          
O come unto me, ye who are tired and weary          

In our age, have we not had the self-same testimony in the life of Sri Ramakrishna? In the hushed silence of the evening when the shadows deepened, the murmuring of the breeze was languorous, he would stand on the roof surrounding the shrine of Mother Bhabatarini and actuated by some inscrutable spiritual urge would cry with longing yearning to Mother to get him worthy disciples, that his message might be broadcast throughout the length and breadth of the country, and lands across the seas. When the flower blossoms with all the wealth of color and fragrance, and honey within, the bees from all quarters would invariably gather around Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa Deva. This is remarkably significant and this is what actually happens. Man Divine condescends to come down to this mortal world, and let alone the worthy disciples who will inevitably be there as his close associates, even thousands of other devotees would come around him in congregation. We look to Buddha, to Jesus, to Sri Chaitanya, to Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath and to our great astonishment we find the self-same feature age after age.

The work-a-day-world, madly running after the god Mammon, time and again turned a deaf ear to the call of love and light divine.   Day in and day out, the fretful bird of desire has been dashing its head against the cage of our heart. It whispered one morning into our ears to catch hold of the "Blue Bird," the Phantom of Delight, and be happy. In quest of it we set out, all at once, - how long ago, we cannot recollect; and even sometimes we feel as if we had been able to get hold of it within our clutch. But lo! It has gone, vanished into thin air, into nothingness. Utterly exhausted  and bleeding, in course of our mad quest after pleasure and happiness, supposed to be attainable by means of wealth, and in pursuit of worldly gains,  some  of us at long last grow conscious of the futility of the endeavour, and are fortunately disposed to start out for a journey to God.

This goes to indicate that a particular attitude of mind towards the world and life is thus a pre-requisite for indoctrination to the spiritual life.   The Upanishad characterizes this:

The Eternal One does not admit of being realized by Karma – and thus, after examining the results born of Karma as fruitless for this purpose, a Brahmana should take to renunciation. With a view to having knowledge of the Eternal One, he should come up, Samid in hand to Guru who knows Brahman and is conversant with the knowledge of the Vedas.

It is this mental make-up, this particular attitude of the mind that counts, as it goes a long way to enable him to eliminate his cribbed sense of egoism and finally inspire him to surrender himself totally to the Infinite.If behind this phenomenal world – behind the play of the material forces and life, mind and intellect, there exists the Infinite as the Supreme cause of this relative world, then man steeped in nascence is reduced to a position in which he is no better than an unconscious instrument of God and this therefore, well warrants his surrender of body and soul. The actual act of surrender as this is of course, by no means an easy task to put into practice, althoughit is not altogether impossible on the part of a devotee, on fire with intense aspiration; and when his life is instinct with this.mood, a glorious dawn is not long in coming in his life. As the west wind of fervour and devotion sets blowing the waterladen cloud of Grace and favor gathers in the sky of his life and promises a cool and delightful shower on him.

And anon, Guru is very pleased to infuse such spiritual power into such Sadhaka either by touch, or by glance, or by Mantra. His grace comes down in shower of ineffable peace and tranquility like the soothing affection of a benign mother, like the flow of the sacred stream of Mandakini, like a sweet dream of immortality, like the mellow note of a murmuring music. The spiritual evolutionary urge of the disciple is now instinct with life, and his progress and advancement gains momentum to a degree. New light breaks upon his consciousness; all the trammels snap and sunder; all the doubts and dilemma are miraculously set at rest. The life’s flower it first discerned. He finds his lord in the smile of a flower, in the blue of the sea and sky, in the glow of the dawn, in the joy of moon light, nay wherever he happens to turn his eyes to, he finds the loving Lord of his heart smiling sweetly. What is the most splendid, the most sublime, the most exquisite and the best of all, the poets of the world are scarcely expressive enough to represent the disciple’s exalted state of consciousness which, though it beggars description, mat still be epitomised in the language of Wordsworth:  

“………………………that blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,-
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul;……..”