The Mother Divine
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By Mohendra Nath Dutta
Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath
Eyes are divided into three categories; human-eyes, saintly-eyes and divine-eyes. Human eyes are those which are commonly found. In these eyes ordinary expressions are noticed. In the look of saintly-eyes, transition from the manifested to the unmanifested is expressed. In the look of divine-eyes transition from the unmanifested to the manifested is expressed. Lord Shiva's eyes are saintly-eyes. Goddess Durga's eyes are divine-eyes. In common parlance divine-eyes are called conch-eyes, lotus-eyes and fish-eyes. Conch-eyes resemble a conch divided length-wise into two equal parts. Lotus-eyes are like the petals of a lotus flower. Fish-eyes are like a pair of fishes trying to meet face-to-face. In the idols of Bengal, specially, in the female idols, lotus-eyes are engraved: sometimes conch-eyes are also engraved. According to the language of Raja Yoga, the gazes of conch-eyes, lotus-eyes and fish-eyes are fixed at the tip of the nose, front of the nose, and middle of the eye-brows respectively. All these are included in the category of divine-eyes; in other words, as if they are manifesting the unmanifested.

Those who have observed the expression of Narendranath's eyes at his various moods, would well understand what is meant by divine-eyes. In normal condition the expression of his eyes resembled saintly-eyes. From the expressions of Narendranath's eyes one could have an idea of the various kinds of Shiva-eyes, that is, the different looks of the Shiva-eyes associated with transition from the manifested to the unmanifested. Narendranath's eyes clearly expressed the kind of look which is associated with ascension to a state of trance discarding bodily consciousness. His look used to be immensely powerful, commanding, benumbing and sharp, as though it was moving forward surmounting distance and obstructions. That is why, during his lectures many people used to be unnerved by the look of his eyes; as if he was leading the world as a commander. It was an intense look of irrepressible energy, unmindful of obstructions and dangers, as though he would build the world anew after reducing it to pieces. This was exactly the idea expressed by his eyes.

Paramahansa Mosai's look was calm and refreshing, but expressive of a very high state. I failed to realize the extent of its height, or to understand to what sphere it belonged, or what was its nature. But I noticed that nobody dared to go near him or touch his feet. I do not remember to have seen anybody touching his feet when he came to Ramdada's house or to Simla. We liked him, wished to see him, but from a little distance. The room in which he sat used to be full, but nobody showed any fickleness or even moved his limbs. It could not be understood to what refreshing, boundless region of the ether he used to lift everybody's mind. Leaving aside questions, nobody could even move his head or neck. Hence, at that time, I could not understand in how many different ways the look of his eyes varied. But that it was entirely different from the look of ordinary peoplea vision turned inwardscould be clearly felt. Nobody should compare that to the look of ordinary men's eyes. The pupils of Sri Ramakrishna's eyes used to assume exactly the same look of a man whose mind was then moving towards an imperceptible region, leaving his corporeal body. The expression and the pupils of his eyes used to change according to the state of his mind.

I noticed that Paramahansa Mosai's eyelids moved rapidly. Sometimes, his eyes blinked. When Narendranath used to be absorbed in some deep thought, or when he had some new ideas and tried to express it to others, after grasping it properly, his eyes too blinked. But his eyes did not blink as clearly as Paramahansa Mosai's eyes.

To understand the cause of blinking of Paramahansa Mosai's eyes, it ought to be known that his thought currents used to move so rapidly that all his nerves vibrated in various ways as a result; and to express that current, the eyes would blink. It was unlike the blinking resulting from weakness of nerves or from some disease. I noticed that initially he would sit and talk like a normal man. But after a while, when the discussion warmed up and centred around high thoughts, suddenly his voice, facial expression and the look of his eyes would begin changing. It is impossible to say to what high spheres these belonged. But I noticed that while earlier he was like a common man, suddenly his personality was transformed. Because of rapid thought currents, all his fine-nerves would vibrate and cause blinking of the eyes, which would, after a while, be steady. The eyelids would no longer move. The look of the eyes would change, becoming steady and stationary. Nobody can describe that state. I have just tried to give some hint of it only. This occurs when one attains the highest state of Raja Yoga.

In Determinate Trance

During Paramahansa Mosai's singing of devotional songs in the courtyard at Ramdada's house, Ramdada and Monomohandada used to endeavour to awaken feelings and lift the mind to higher spheres through bodily movements and religious songs. They tried to raise their minds to the world of ideas through bodily actions. This is the method of ordinary devotional songs. But I noticed another kind of idea in Paramahansa Mosai's devotional songs. Due to an excess of ideas his limbs would move and his nerves would be saturated with ideas. Since the body could not contain the energy generated by ideas, it sometimes became motionless. At that time his face radiated a kind of effluvium. I would be inclined to look for the grace in his face, but it was so grave, lofty and unusually serene that it was not possible to look at it for long. Nobody could touch him or go near him. I noticed that during devotional songs he tried to express his experience of the world of ideas, without use of words, through gestures and postures. As if the ideas entered into his body or fine-nerves in concentrated and living forms and that caused movement of his body. That the higher ideas of one's mind can be expressed through gesture was then observed by me for the first time. It is on record that Mahaprabhu Sri Chaitanya also used to have exactly the same experience.

The common man's devotional singing leads from motion to ideas. Paramahansa Mosai's devotional singing led from ideas to motion. That is why there existed a significant difference between the devotional singing and dancing of the ordinary people and that of him. The common man's dance is human dancing, Paramahansa Mosai's dance was 'divine dancing,' or 'The Dance of Shiva', as it is commonly called. It has nothing to do with fickleness. It related to some high state of the mind. While witnessing this dance people used to be motionless and fully absorbed, it was as if he carried their minds to the world of ideas. In spite of a big gathering, nobody could move or speak: it was as if everybody became spellbound and motionless like a doll and completely absorbed, while their minds rose to a high sphere. In ordinary devotional songs there is an element of fickleness and the mind becomes restless, but when such devotional songs were sung, everyone became quiet. It was quietness in restlessness and steadiness in movement.

During that time another spiritual body seemed to emanate from his body.  Nobody could guess to what great heights that state belonged. Everybody, however, could feel that it was a very high spiritual condition. As if Paramahansa Mosai assumed a physical frame of ideas and being himself saturated with ideas, transmitted it to all others in some measure. I could feel what living ideas meant and how they could be clearly perceived. I had always the feeling that it is possible to have deep meditation through devotional songs. That is why during devotional songs, whatever particular kind of song was being sung, whatever was the language used and the other related matters were not remembered. Everybody's attention was fixed at Paramahansa Mosai. All of us used to watch how stage by stage Paramahansa Mosai transformed himself from a ‘human’ to a ‘divine’ and how the latter functioned and radiated energy. It could be clearly perceived that from an ordinary state he transformed himself, within a few minutes to an altogether different person. A physical appearance of ideas or a divine appearance used to emerge from the human frame. All around a great energy or vibration seemed to radiate.

I particularly noticed that during devotional songs Paramahansa Mosai always moved up and down within the same circle, taking exactly the same measured steps.

I had seen Narendranath moving up and down exactly like this at the Baranagar monastery one afternoon at about 4.00 p.m. I had gone to the Baranagar monastery to meet Narendranath in connection with some work. Having reached there I saw him constantly pacing up and down on the outside verandah with his eyes fixed, looking upwards, having no consciousness, as if his mind had long since left the body. His legs were moving mechanically with the steps falling exactly on the same spot, without the slightest deviation. Having seen this I became unnerved. I proceeded to the hallway and found Rakhal Maharaj, Niranjan Maharaj, Sarat Maharaj and some others. Everyone was very much perturbed and unable to decide what to do. It was reported that after his lunch Narendranath began walking up and down like this and that for the previous few days he had been engaging himself in continuous meditation and talked on determinate and indeterminate forms of trance etc. Rakhal Maharaj very earnestly told me, ‘Dear, none of us dare approach him, could you go in front of Naren and bring down his mind by yelling.’ With these words Rakhal Maharaj made earnest entreaties to me. By then evening was approaching, but Narendranath was still not in his normal state. Having no other alternative, I began calling him at the top of my voice. After I had shouted for a long time the pace of his steps gradually slowed down and his mind descended to the body. I do not know if Narendranath had this type of an experience on any other occasion.

In Buddhist literature it is mentioned that after attaining enlightenment Lord Buddha walked up and down for seven days on a particular spot. Then out of exhaustion he fell down on the ground. This is known as 'Chaankraman' (sauntering) or moving up and down. At that particular spot a pillar has been erected in the Bodhgaya temple. According to Buddhist literature, each step of Lord Buddha caused the blossoming of a lotus. Here the word 'lotus' stands for 'religion'. Hence, subsequently his followers attributed various supernatural interpretations to it. But from the point of view of ‘nerve science’ and Raja Yoga this is a kind of determinate trance.

This kind of determinate trance has the distinguishing feature of causing the length of the subsequent steps to be exactly the same as that of the first one, without a deviation of even an inch. During this state there is rhythmical vibration everywhere. The vibrations of the steps happen to be the same as those of the nervous systems. Another symptom is that the look of the eyes changes. The pupils of the eyes are so adjusted that the vision turns inward. During this state, the mind or the thinking faculty enters into very fine-nerves leaving the different gross-nerves in stages. Hence, the gross-nerves, the nerves for external expressions, cease functioning. Only the initial stepping and other functions of the body continue, that is the initial impetus remains.

Paramahansa Mosai's devotional songs were sung in like manner. It was unlike ordinary devotional singing marked by jumping, moving in a circle and making movements with the hands and legs. During this devotional singing all the people present would watch him from a distance. This devotional singing was a form of determinate trance. Paramahansa Mosai's neck used to be a bit tilted towards the right side and he would move forwards and backwards stretching his hands forward; and then stand still on one spot without moving at all. From determinate trance he used to enter into an indeterminate trance. In ordinary language, this was the devotional singing of Paramahansa Mosai. It was not, however, an ordinary devotional song, it was something entirely different.

Many things may be said about Paramahansa Mosai's devotional songs. But it is not a matter for only talking or reading about, rather it is a matter for thinking or meditating. In order to understand something about this devotional singing, one has to think and meditate, for it cannot be expressed in words.