The Mother Divine
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(Excerpts from Madman’s Jholi)
By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

I felt sorry to hear Krishnachandra’s tale of his imprisonment. There is so much toil in the prison; drawing the mill, grinding wheat, digging earth. Even a little slackness is punished by whipping. All he gets is burnt rice, burnt bread, clothes and blankets discarded by others; they have such a foul smell! How many such things one has to bear!

As I was mulling over these thoughts, I realized that I too have been jailed. I was confined within a decaying and ailing body. Filth was being incessantly discharged through nine outlets. I nearly died of fear. What is this! What is this? I seem to be forgetting myself. After entering the jail, I have begun taking this room to be myself. Though I know that this room and I are not the same, yet I am treating this wonderful room made of twenty-four elements, to be me. A guard keeps watch on me. I work day and night and still he keeps beating me.

I am going to die! Look at the numerous marks on my back. Please do not beat me anymore! I have undergone your beating, not once or twice, but eighty lakhs times. See! See! My back has become bloody due to the beatings and I have been crying for countless ages. What is it that you give me to eat? A rotting body! I have eaten this meal countless times. Take it away. Take this away from here! Now what else do you bring me to eat; sons, daughters, houses and relations! Take them away! I do not want to eat these things. You have kept me under an illusion by feeding me this burnt trash. Oh, what have you fed me that I have lost myself and become the jail! This is I. This prison is not me! What should I do? Who should I tell? Who will deliver me from this prison?

O, dark-hued boy! Flute in hand, you stand aloof and smile. Please deliver me from this. I cannot see anyone else. You only deliver me.

Look, I have been seeing for a long time that you are calling me. I too have been longing to come to you but there is a great barrier! Whenever I think of coming to you, the guard whips me and I forget everything. Both you and I seem to get lost. I remain confined to this prison, entangled with my relations, wife, son and possessions. Again, a few days later, I see you smiling and calling me. As soon I try to come to you, the guard lashes me with the whip of diseases, and everything is destroyed. Both you and I get lost. Again I look; and I see you calling me. This time, my brother, come and take firm hold of my hand and take me away from here so that I can save myself. I do not have the strength to keep holding on to you. Please come near so that we can embrace.

Ah! My soul is calmed. Come, nearer still; enter the innermost recesses of my heart. See! How have the jailors beaten me; see the marks of the beating. Sometimes I turned into a goat on being lashed by the whip of lust. See it has left its mark here. Sometimes I became a buffalo on being lashed by the whip of anger. Here is its impression. There are not one or two, but eighty lakh marks here; I have been beaten very soundly. Whenever I stepped on the path towards you, I was flogged with the whip of fame. Forgetting everything, I have blundered from one prison of praise to another. Struck by the whip of prestige, I have been misled and have accepted service of so many. After being deceived so many times I have now understood that in order to reach you one has to be blind and deaf, and as tranquil, steady and pure as you. On plunging into this great ocean, I have to forget ‘my’ and ‘I’. Is it not so?
O the dark-hued one! O piper! Tell me; why don’t you speak a word? Are you made of stone? If you are in fact stone, then what is the use of calling you? What is the good of worshipping you? Did you not learn to speak? Don’t any words come out of your mouth? O naughty fellow! Seeing your naughty face it seems to me you are the master of the prison and the jailer is your mate. This drama has been created by you! For goodness sake, brother, please release me from this jail. I am ready to quietly bribe you as well. What more have I to give? I have a mind. Please take it and keep it with you. Then I will not have to undergo any more pain. The mind will no longer act as the prison. Take it! Take it! Please do not hesitate and delay. Here, take it; take my mind. Keep this mind carefully with you; I will not want it back. Do what you please with my mind.

What else can I give to you?
O Shyama, Supreme!
At your lotus-feet, I place
My mind and my worldly dream.