The Mother Divine
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(Excerpts from Madman’s Jholi)

By Sitaramdas Omkarnath

The madman is sitting under a Bel tree, silently chanting ‘Rama Rama’. Just then Haridhan comes and says, ‘O madman, have you heard?’
Madman: Rama, Rama. What, Sitaram?

Hari: I am speaking of the misdeeds of that sixty-five years old sadhu.

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. No Sitaram.

Hari: There is a hue and cry in the country about his character. Everybody is condemning him. What is this, mad father? He is such a great Sadhu and has twenty five thousand disciples; still he has such bad inclinations. What is it, mad father?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. That is nothing. That is nothing. It is only the doing of the headless goblin. Rama, Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: Well, mad father, I cannot understand all this. I become very depressed when I hear such things about the character of the sadhus. What is this? Do people who are teachers and spend their time in the worship and service of God, also get detracted? I have heard such things about not only of this sadhu but several others. You must listen as well.

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: Long ago there was a famous sadhu. His lectures had taken the country by storm. Then he was tried for sexual offence and was imprisoned. Many years ago an old sadhu lived in a village near Vaidyabati near the Ganga. He sexually assaulted a disciple of his. There was a great hue and cry about it. People condemned him.

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Sitaram.

Hari: Long ago I heard from a woman that one day an old disciple and a young Sadhu came to their house. The young sadhu told her, ‘You are the mother of my previous birth’ saying this he showed some signs in that very house and said, ‘I did these things in my last birth.’ Listening to the events narrated by the Sadhu and the signs showed by him, the woman started to believe that he was her first dead son. At night the Sadhu asked the woman to breastfeed him. When she agreed, her husband came to know and attempted to kill them both with a sword. The woman left with her two sons for a monastery in Calcutta. The Head of that monastery said, ‘Has such and such Bhattacharya killed such and such Sadhu?’ The woman said, ‘No’. He said, ‘I had sent him to the mother of his previous birth to breastfeed. Did he escape? I am glad his desire is ended.’ How many kinds of things are heard about Sadhus! It is one thing that such things are said about ordinary people but it is very painful that blame is imputed to the character of Sadhus. What are these things, mad father?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Sadhus say that all these things are the atrocities of the headless goblin. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. As, in a battlefield, after the head is cut off, the headless trunk rises and dances, these things that happen to a Sadhu who has won over the world, are the atrocity of the headless goblin. Rama, Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: Do not sadhus suffer from any loss on account of this?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Sitaram. Man is born carrying the balance of many past actions. Demerits acquired in a previous birth purify the Sadhus by having them commit such offences and making them subjects of blame. Following these incidents, they go far away from the company of human beings. For Sadhus, the company of the people, honour, and fame are as dangerous as poison. The sufferings of the foolish Sadhu that cannot abjure the company of human beings, know no bounds. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. A magnet need not be told, ‘Attract iron,’ and the ghee near the fire need not be told, ‘Melt away.’ A magnet is sure to attract and ghee is sure to melt. So, Sadhus need must be on their guard. If they are not cautioning; Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram; they will be disgraced. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. All aspiring Yogis need to be cautious about attraction to women. The same female power is also the invincible Vaishnavi. Even Brahma, Shiva and other Gods have been unsuccessful in winning over her.

Hari: Sadhus know this and remain alert; then why do they fall?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. A Sadhu’s desires from his past lives get eliminated by his fall. This is a trick played by Prarabdha. The foundation for ascent is strengthened by this fall. The notion ‘I am the greatest’ is shattered and if the Sadhu moves carefully from there on, due to the elimination of his past actions and desires, he can stay away from human company and progress on his path. Rama, Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: Baba, how do we know that this is an outcome of past actions or present ones?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Jai Jai Sitaram. If a person sits down to eat and as he takes the first bite, someone tells him not to eat the food as it is poisonous, the man will spit out the food immediately and not look at the plate again. In the same way, if the misdeed happens due to outcome of past actions, he will never return to that path again and go a different way. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Like the dance of the headless trunk, the past action will be over. However, the people who do not shun the misdeeds but repeat them will need to pay for the actions of this birth in their next. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Sitaram.

Hari: Cannot this Prarabdha be conquered?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. It can surely be conquered. If one can utter the name of God, the Prarabdha will not be able to exert its full influence. Chant the Name, only chant the Name. Chant it always; at all times. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Sitaram. The Madman begins to sing aloud ‘Sri Rama, Jai Rama, Jai Jai Rama