The Mother Divine
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Excerpts from MADMAN’S JHOLI

By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath
Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

Madman: Oh, how terribly dark it is! Where have you brought me? I am suffocating! My beloved! In what kind of hell have you left me? Where have you gone? I am yours! Protect me.What did you say? There’s nothing to fear? Well, if that’s the case, I shall open my eyes. Ah, what a beautiful land this is! Trees and creepers; how captivating! The birds are chirping sweetly! It appears that music plays with every ripple in the river! I see that this land too has earth, water, fire, air and ether. Every morning the Sun rises, illuminating the Eastern sky. The Moon too saturates the people of this land, with streams of nectar. A path runs along the bank of the river. Let me follow this path. Here comes a man muttering something. Hello, brother! Where does this path lead?

Stranger: Money! Money is the sole object of pursuit in the world. Nothing can be done without money. Whatever be the credit of your gooddeeds or virtuous living, you cannot achieve anything without money. He, who has no money, lives a life worse than animals. His parents do not love him; his wife and sons do not come near him; his kith and kin, friends and relations, flee from afar.

Madman: My brother, where does this path lead?

Stranger: Neither happiness nor peace can be had without money. Death is a boon to one who has no money. I want money! I want money! Money must be gathered by hook or by crook; by theft, robbery, fraud or villainy. Money! Money! Money!

Madman: What is this? Is this man insane? He goes away muttering ‘Money, Money’ without answering me. Here comes another gentleman. Sir, where does this path lead?

Gentleman: He who gives you money is venerable; whatever is his station in the society. He,who has money, is a god. We have fallen on such times that we cannot move a step without money. Only he who gathers money has a meaningful life, whether he does so by slavery or any other means. If you wish to be known as a man, gather money. Money!Money! Money!

Madman: This man too did not listen to me. He went away speaking of money. Here comes a Brahmin. He bears on his upper body a cloth with Ram-naam written all over… a Namavali, and he has marked his forehead with a long tilak. He seems to be uttering the name of God. No! No! It is not the name of God; he is also meditating on money! Yes Sir!

Brahmin: In this world man becomes strong and learned by virtue of money. As a little pond dries up in summer, the deeds of a penniless man are destroyed. The writers of the Shastras have said this and it is an irrefutable truth, ‘He, who has money, has friends and relations. He scatters pearls when he laughs and sheds rubies when he weeps. A penniless man has no one in the world to call his own. The fourfold path of virtue (Dharma), money (Artha), desire (Kama) and salvation (Moksha) is in the possession of the man who has money.’ If you have money you can have peace; just as your hunger is satisfied when you have food. If I do not get peace in this life, what shall I do with it in the life to come? That a Brahmin should not take up service, is a worthless belief. Earn money by all possible means; by selling the Vedas, taking up service, stealing, lying, forgery or fraud. I am a devoted follower of this belief. My ideal is, ‘Think always that money is meaningful.’

Madman: Alas! This one also goes away without answering me. Everyone speaks of the same thing: money, money and money. What is the matter? Is everybody insane? Ah, here comes a sadhu; a personification of peace, clad in saffron robes, with a water-pot in his left hand. He is telling beads of a rosary withhis right. He is coming straight this way. O,Lord! Is ‘money’ his mantra as well?

Sadhu: I don’t chant ‘money, money, money’ for my own enjoyment. I do not want it for my own use. Seekers and saints grace my house with the dust of their feet and it is to serve them that I need the money. Here, look at my saffron clothes, my kamandalu and my rosary.I have given up all enjoyments. Whatever I have, is for others. I shall go on a pilgrimage. Give me money.

Madman: O Lord! The reverend sadhu did not cast a single glance at me. He proceeded on his way, saying, ‘give me money, give me money.’ Where have you brought me, O Lord? I hear a distant chanting and the sound of drums and cymbals. A group singing the name of the Lord is coming this way. Whatever be it, let me join that group and chant the name of God. O Master! What sort of chanting of the Lord’s name is this! ‘Carry on chanting, money, money, money, money, money, money. Carry on repeating, money, money, money, money, money, money. Chant it! Chant the great mantra of money, money. Chant it. Chant it.’

Madman: What has happened? Everybody says the same thing. From the mouths of many, I hear the cry for money and more money. Oh, the thousands that are running after wealth are not concerned whether they stumble, fall or even die. All are running; I am the only one standing and watching in wonder. Just tell me if I have gone mad or not, my beloved; my everything; tell me, tell me, tell me.

Voice: This is only a dream, so be steady.

Madman: Dream! O Lord, have I been dreaming while standing here since morning? I shall not follow this path now. Let me go the opposite way. Here comes a handsome youth. Obrother! How far along this path is a human habitation?

Youth: I am born as a human being to enjoy. If one does not get intoxicated and enjoy sensuous pleasures in the company of women, it would be better to be born a bird or a beast instead. Since God has created you as a man, enjoy yourself; sing and play music; live with women and gratify your senses.

Madman: O Mother! This is a new malady! This person too goes away without answering me. Here comes a middle aged man. Sir, which way lies the village?

Middle-Aged Man: Woman is the queen of this universe. He, who can satisfy a woman has a meaningful life; he alone is famous and is worthy of being remembered in the morning. Father and mother will die one day, so what is to be gained by serving them? Serve your wife and she will fulfil your four values of life. Instead of worshipping God with flowers, tulsi leaves and sandal-paste, you must worship the woman. Is she to clean the utensils of the God who dwells in a dark and damp room or lives in a nest of bats? Is this soft-bodied woman, a cook, meant to make bread every day for that God who is the lord of lowly creatures? Do not put her to the trouble of serving guests. Serve the woman with dedication and sincerity. The entire world will be contented if the woman is contented. Woman! Woman! Woman!

Madman: This gentleman also goes away crying ‘Woman, Woman’. Now whither am I to go?Here comes a learned Brahmin. I wonder if I can rely on the Namavali and Tilak. It could be just a show! However, let me ask him. Sir, how far am I to go to find a village?

Brahmin: Inquiring about relationship will not do. Enjoy all that is meant for enjoyment. Thereis no certainty when you will die, so enjoy while you can. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. If you have to meditate, chant the mantra of ‘Woman, Woman’. If you have to worship, worship the feet of a woman. If you are to serve as aslave, better be a slave to a woman.

Madman: The Brahmin goes away saying, ‘Woman,Woman.’ What has happened? Where I have come? Thousands of old and young men are running around, shouting, ‘Woman, Woman’. Is this the abode of Brahmacharis; the holy land of the Aryans? Or is this a vast burning ghat? Are these men or ghouls? What a dangerous trend! Save me, save me, I am in your refuge. Is this truth that I behold? Please tell me.

The Voice: Wake up. This is only a dream, so be steady.

Madman: Rama, Rama, I have been dreaming again! Let it go. I shall go nowhere now. Whatever may befall me, let me sit here. There comes a woman. I shall not speak any more. But then, what is she saying as she is approaching?

Woman: Men get blinded by the desire for women, so they put them on pedestals and act as their slaves.

Madman: Oh what is all this! What terrible uproar the world over! Enjoy, enjoy. You have come to the world only for a few days, enjoy everything. It seems as if the birds and the beasts, worms and insects; and the trees and creepers too are saying, ‘Enjoy’. The breeze too says, ‘Enjoy, Enjoy.’ It appears that the waters of the rivers lap against the banks, saying, ‘Enjoy, Enjoy’. Is it so? Is this the purpose of the noble human life? I feel very sleepy….I seem to have become very small… A little infant!! Who are you? You want to put me in your lap and breast feed me?

Mother: I am your mother, suckle at my breast.

Madman: But how did you become my mother? I have just come to this country. Everything seems to be scattering. Everything is getting mixed up. It seems that I had someone who loved me very much. I used to play in His lap likea drop of water on the ocean. I feel very sleepy. Now, who are you?

Father: I am your father.

Madman: Father, mother, I don’t seem to remember anything. I forget when I try to remember. I had someone who used to keep me always in his embrace. Well, tell me.  What do you want of me?

Father: One should learn to read and write. One should serve one’s parents. One should earn money and accumulate wealth.

Madman: Is that so? Where has that dear one of mine gone? Oh, I feel very sleepy. Who are you?

Woman: I am your wife.

Madman: Same old story! I cannot remember except that I had someone. Where has He gone? Who are these people that have come? Tell me what I am to do?

Woman: I am your wife; it is your duty to provide for me, to love and take care of me, to earn money and indulge me.

Madman: Father, mother and wife; all are speaking of wealth. I remember a kingdom of dreams. What a beautiful country it was! He was there and I was there. Now it feels as if I was never there! I feel very sleepy. Who are you?

Crowd: We are your sons and daughters and friendsand relations. You should provide for us. Do not remain so indifferent. Earn money.

Madman: Wherefrom have so many people appeared in the middle of this path? All are talking about money. Money is very essential. Well, shall I do as they say? Well, where is He hiding? How dear was He to me! But who was He? What relation did He bear to me? How much He loved me! Oh, oh…How terrible! All my relations have turned into snakes of expectation and are biting me. Death! Oh, I am dying, I am dying! O my mother and father, my friends and relatives, where are you? Save me! I am dying! I am burning with poison. I am dying from the fire of the poison! Is there anybody here? Save me! Save me! ‘Save me, O Lotus-eyed Hari, from the ocean of the world.’ Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om.

Hari: What is the matter? Are you frightened by my appearances? Don’t be afraid.

Madman: Here you are! Now you have come. Were all those people, your own forms? You have now appeared as a Guru to grant deliverance. Who are you? Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om.

Hari: Are you dancing, madman?

Madman: Should I not dance? When you have appeared to me in the form of Shabda Brahman, why should I not dance? It is not only I that is dancing. My hands are dancing, my legs are dancing, my tongue is dancing and all the blood cells are dancing in my veins. I amimmersed in the Ocean of Dance. Hari Om,Hari Om.What? You have again become the Mother, the Father, a Woman and a Man….Glory to you!

Hari: You there! Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om.

Madman: O Lord! You only have assumed these various forms. You only appeared as father and mother, wife and son; everyone. See, I did not recognize you at all. How painful and agonizing my journey was! If you had sensed this agony, you would not have played such a game. You have appeared in multiple forms. You alone can assume so many shapes. You assume the forms of men and women, beasts and birds, worms and insects, trees and creepers, and play withus. Oh, why did you not tell me all of this beforehand?

Hari: Look, I am all. Those who come to this land and go to sleep are tortured with nightmares. Remain aware. Only then will the knowledge ‘I am all’ take root.

Madman: But sleep is so overpowering!

Hari: Chant. Chant ‘Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om’, incessantly and loudly. Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om. Then nothing can make you sleepy. Those who are asleep will also wake up at your cry. They will join in and chant your tune of ‘Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om’. No matter how many obstacles appear before you, do not be afraid and don’t give up chanting the Name.

Madman: Afraid of what? You are and I am. Hari Om, Hari Om, Hari Om. Glory to Guru!