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

One day, the madman, after having discarded all his clothes, was dancing on the bank of the Ganga, and saying, ‘Rama, Rama. Here comes the train.’ Haladhara came there and said, ‘O mad father! Why are you dancing saying, ‘Here comes the train? It seems you that you have completely lost your senses. Put on your clothes, quickly.’

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Here comes the train. I am standing waiting for the train with my bag and baggage. Jai Sitaram.

Haladhara: Why do you say, ‘Here comes the train’? What does that mean?

Madman: Have you not seen that the passengers book their tickets and wait for the train? As soon as the bell announces the arrival of the train, they pick up their bag and baggage and keep looking in the direction from which the train is expected. They board the train as soon as it comes. Since my train is about to arrive, I too, am standing with my bag and baggage, ready to board. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Haladhara: People wait for the train with their luggage but you have taken off your clothes and are dancing and saying ‘Rama Rama’. Where is your luggage?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Well, this cage made of the five elements is the bigggest baggage. I am dancing because I will board the train with it.

Haladhara: What you are calling the cage, is you!

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. As fish and water are not the same, as the water-pot and the sky in the water-pot are different, and as man and his cloth are not one, this cage and I are different. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Haladhara: How do you know that you and your cage are separate?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. I know it well.

Haladhara: How do you know it?

Madman: Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. The Mother of ‘I’ is singing inside day and night. She has overwhelmed the cage by singing tunes and songs that sometimes sound like the cloud, the storm, an engine, a fountain or the cricket. No effort by the cage could stop her singing. Sitaram, by dancing and singing she creates points of light. She dances freely, creating points of light or vast empty spaces. By the impact of her dancing this cage has been shattered and ruined. Through this incessant dancing and singing I have realised that I am not this cage. The cage and I are separate. Rama, Rama, Sitaram.

Haladhara: Well, father, can ‘I’ be seen?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. It can certainly be seen. However, ‘I’ sometimes hides behind the sound of ‘OM’ produced while chanting ‘Whenever…’ or while saying ‘Soham’ or ‘Sohamasmi’ or ‘Shivoham’, and cannot be located. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Jai Jai Sitaram.

Haladhara: How does ‘I’ look?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Does ‘I’ always come out in the same guise?
Sometimes ‘I’ assumes the form of a supreme light; bright, incomparable and charming. Sometimes it becomes a very little point. Sometimes it becomes bigger and bigger, and becomes a vast empty space and smiles softly. Sometimes it swallows up everything and cannot be fathomed. What it becomes and what it does cannot be understood, Sitaram. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Haladhara: What good comes of the realization of ‘I’?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. If one attains ‘I’, nothing else remains to be achieved. Everything comes to an end. One can become self-contented and self-satisfied. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Once the four-headed Master said, ‘I is sinless, free from decrepitude, deathless, free from mourning, free from hunger and thirst, seeker of truth and true to his vows. He alone should be sought. It should be one’s duty to specifically know the ‘I’. Those who get to know and experience the ‘I’, receive all that is desirable. Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Haladhara: What happens after that?

Madman: Without knowing this, Indra, the king of the Gods and Virochana, the king of the demons, went to Brahma. After they had performed penance and observed the code of conduct for thirty-two years, Brahma said, ‘This Purusha that is visible to the eyes is ‘I’.’ Though he tried to illustrate and explain to Indra and Virochana, they could not understand completely. They left thinking the body to be the ‘I’. Virochana took the cage for ‘I’ and went away. While on his way back, Indra realized that the cage was not ‘I’. He returned and performed penance for another thirty-two years. Still he did not understand the truth. He went back to do yet another penance for thirty-two years. He still did not get the desired knowledge. After another five years’ penance, the swan-riding Brahma gave him the complete knowledge. After a total of one hundred- and one-years’ hard penance, Indra received the knowledge of ‘I’. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Haladhara: Mad father, I did not follow what you said about ‘I’.

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Everything is ‘I’. The eye within eye is ‘I’; the ear within the ear is ‘I’; the nose within the nose is ‘I’; the skin within the skin is ‘I’ and the mind within the mind is ‘I’.

Haladhara: Where does ‘I’ live?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. It lives in the eyes. Within the black pupils of the eyes is the dwelling place of ‘I’. The master lives in the right eye and the mistress lives in the left eye. He lives even in the point in the middle of the forehead. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. The madman began to dance saying, ‘Here comes the train, here comes the train.’

Haladhara: Well, stop, stop. I have not completed my queries about the ‘I’. How many forms of ‘I’ are there?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. The Great ‘I’ is one. When he likes to play, he assumes crores of tiny forms and thus arise innumerable universes. He plays with the various forms of himself. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Here comes the train. Those who had come have gone away. Rama, Rama.

Haladhara: If Indra, the King of the Gods, had to stay in the house of his Guru for one hundred and one years to know ‘I’, there is no hope for us.

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Well, this is not heaven; it is the mortal world. It is not the Satyayuga; this is the Kaliyuga. You have only to chant the name of Rama. If you can chant the name of Rama always, know your voyage to be complete. The Big ‘I’ and the tiny ‘I’ will begin to dance freely. In the end, the Big ‘I’ will swallow the tiny ‘I’. There will be no trace of the tiny ‘I’. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Haladhara : Mad father, what is the name of the ‘I’?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. All names are the names of ‘I’; all forms are the forms of ‘I’. ‘I’ itself is taking form of everything and playing. Once the Big ‘I’ told Brahma, ‘At the beginning of the creation I alone existed, after the creation I was whatever there was, and after the creation is destroyed, I alone will remain.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Haladhara : I cannot understand that, please explain

Madman: Yogis call Kundalini as ‘I’. The Vaishnava fathers call it Radharani and Jnani call it Omkara. In the Sharada Tilaka the five-faced God riding an ox says, ‘The consciousness of all beings is Shabdha-Brahma which resides in the bodies of all creatures as Kundalini.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Do you wish to listen to some more?

Prapanchasara, says, ‘This Omkar which is the seed, resides within all creatures. It also extends over the universe consisting of fourteen worlds. It pervades everything, whether movable or immovable. It is called Nada, Prana, Jeeva, Ghosha, etc.’ Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama Sitaram.

Haladhara: How shall I find ‘I’, mad father?

Madman: Ceaselessly go on chanting the Name.
Surely will you gain direct perception of your Dear,
He who chants the Name always is soon emancipated.
God Himself appears as the Name,
Dedicate your mind and life to the chanting of the Name.
Rama, Rama, Rama. Well, well, listen to an old song.
A sweet strain is rising, resonating in the sky
Who is that singing the chant ‘He is I, He is ‘I’?
The cloud roars again and again, not a drop of rain falls.
Being possessed, the body, life and mind are absorbed,
The body is thrilled.
The singer is singing far away in heaven,
The song in that empty space.
It is bringing a flood of joy,
Into this trembling body of mine.
The startled mind longs for you,
Loving Lord, do not remain away
Let me see You.

Singing ‘Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram’, the madman begins to dance with abandon.

Haladhara watches the ceaseless dance of the madman, becomes struck and begins to chant ‘Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.
Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram'.