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

Hari: Well, Dada, where had you been?

Hara: Well, brother, I had been to see a Sadhu.

Hari: What kind of Sadhu was he?

Hara: He was sitting in the middle of a small room with his head leaning on a wall, and women surrounded him from the other three sides.

Hari: What sort of women were they?

Hara: Children, elderly and young women. They were from six-year old children to sixty-year-old women. They had surrounded the Sadhu. The room was packed. Those who could not enter the room were unhappy. They were looking at the Sadhu through the windows.

Hari: What was the sadhu saying?

Hara: ‘Come in, there is room for more.’

Hari: Is the Sadhu beautiful to look at?

Hari: No, no. He is very old, with grey beard and moustache. Even his eyebrows are grey. He seems to be about 70 or 72 years old. He is toothless, bony, sickly and emaciated.

Hari: Why are the women so eager to see such an emaciated Sadhu and sit near him? What is going on? Does he smoke hemp or such other drugs?

Hara: O, no, no. Leave alone being addicted, he does not even smoke a cigarette or chew betel leaves or tobacco.

Hari: Does he accept much service from women?

Hara: Not at all. He does not accept any kind of service from anyone.

Hari: What do the women do?

Hara: They sit there; call him ‘father’ again and again, and chant the Name.

Hari: What does he do?

Hara: He narrates stories about God and reads to them from books. The women just do not want to leave his company.

Hari: Do the women surround him day and night?

Hara: No, no. Perhaps the women remain for two hours. Then the men come in for the next two. Then the women come in again, followed by the men. This way he remains surrounded by people, day and night. Only by mid-night does he get some respite. Then he and his disciples go to sleep. The crowds return in the morning; alternating sessions of men and women. This has been going on day after day. Is it good for a Sadhu to remain in the midst of women always in that way? Many men are speaking ill of him.

Hara: He does not remain always with women. You say that men also surround him. Then why do people blame him?

Hari: They speak ill of the Sadhu but also go and prostrate before him, and remain standing with folded hands. The matter cannot at all be understood.

Hari: What does the Sadhu say when he hears of his dispraise?

Hara: The Sadhu says that Muni Sanatsujata gave King Dhritarashtra the advice that it was the nature of those who were honest, to praise and those dishonest, to blame. So, one should be neither be elated on hearing one’s praise nor deflated on being dispraised. The Sadhu loves his critics. He says ‘A detractor is a great friend of mine. By speaking ill of me, my detractor frees me from the sins that none of my relations, sons, friends and disciples will take.’ He is an interesting Sadhu. He himself bows three times a day to the critics and asks everyone to do so. To him his detractor is much dearer than his admirer. He loves the drunkards, thieves, impostors, rogues and the licentious more than the ordinary people. He says, ‘Can a man who is good be made better? If a licentious man and a drunkard take to the good path, the world will be greatly benefited.’

Hari: A strange Sadhu indeed! Is he not afraid of disrepute?

Hara: He is afraid neither of disrepute nor of fame. The Shastras and the Sadhus say that a man should put his fingers into his ears and leave the place as soon as anybody praises him. But that withered Sadhu listens to his praise without the least uneasiness and with great delight.

Hari: What does the Sadhu say after listening to praise?

Hara: He says, ‘This is the praise of God. Nobody praises me. God has given me His Name to sing and keeps me near Him. Hence, so many people say so many things. Nobody will look at my face if today I give up chanting His name and commit something unjust.

Hari: I see that he is a unique Sadhu. But what needs to be considered, is why do boys, girls, the elderly, the youth, the rich and the poor, love him? Why do they seek his company? Why do they look upon him as their own? What is the reason for this?

Hara: I do not find any reason, dada. I have fallen in love with him at first sight.

Hari: Does he know any hypnotizing mantra?

Hara: What will he gain by hypnotising anybody? He does not want anything from anybody. Rather, he gives everybody what he wants, according to his ability.

Hari: Where does he get it?

Hara: The disciples supply it. He does not pay attention to anything.

(Outside the madman chants ‘Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram'.) There comes the mad father. Let us ask him. (The madman enters dancing and singing ‘Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram’)

Hari/Hara: Mad father, we bow to you.

Madman: Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. I too bow to you. Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: Mad father, tell us why do men and women of all ages surround a Sadhu day and night? Why do women and men take turns to sit around him? We cannot clearly understand what the matter is.

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. How does the sadhu look? Does he like singing and dancing? Rama, Rama.

Hara: He is bony, old and toothless. All his hair looks like flax. There is no telling his age. It does not seem that anyone in his past seven generations knew how to sing.

Madman: What attraction makes men and women love him? Rama, Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: That is what we are asking you.

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. If there is no outward reason for their love, Rama, Rama, they love him for the root cause. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: What is the root cause?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Bliss! Rama, Rama, Sitaram. All the creatures are born of joy. They live in joy and will re-enter joy in the end, Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Perhaps he has attained bliss.

Hari: What is the proof that he has attained bliss?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. The proof of this is that young and old, men and women, rich and poor, love him. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Is anything known of his previous life? Rama, Rama.

Hari: Yes, he has lived with the name of God since his boyhood. His disciples also try to live always with the name of God.

Madman: Rama, Rama, Jai Rama, Jai Sitaram, we now know the cause. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. That God, who is bliss, appears in the gross form as Name. The Name and the one who has the Name are not different. That is why the men and women, hankering after happiness, always surround the Sadhu. Rama, Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: Does he who chants the Name, find the blissful Lord?

Madman: Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. Yes Sitaram. The name of Hari is the purest essence. The place where the Name is chanted becomes filled with the purest essence. Therefore, men and women tormented by the Rajas and Tamas surround that Sadhu, to get rid of their suffering. Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: How does the place where the Name is chanted, get filled with purest essence?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. If iron is kept in fire what becomes of iron? Rama, Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: Iron is transformed into fire. All the energy of fire enters the iron.

Madman: Similarly, the power of the Name enters into him who is always immersed in the Name. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. This is a unique transaction. Great scholars and learned men also start proclaiming the person who has the Name, as God. Rama, Rama, Sitaram

Hari: I see that the Name has great power.

Madman: Rama, Rama. Chant the Name and see what happens. Jai Sitaram. People will bow down to you as God. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Jai Jai Sitaram, Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram. In the end, you will have to flee the place, overwhelmed by people’s attention. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Chant the Name, father, chant the Name. Sin and suffering, disease and grief, sorrow and poverty flee from him who chants the Name. Heaps of money is poured at his feet. Men and women, rich and poor, run frantically for the dust off his feet, a loving look or a moment’s company. Rama, Rama, Sitaram.

Hari: O mad father, are you speaking of this age?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. I am not speaking of the Satya, Treta and Dwapar Yugas. I am speaking of this age. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Jai Jai Rama, Sitaram

Hari: Can you show Him to us?

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Surely, I can. Rama, Rama, Sitaram. ‘The Name and Hari are indivisible Hari appears there where the Name is chanted’. (The madman begins to dance with abandon).

Hari: It will not do merely to dance like this. You must show Him to us.

Madman: Rama, Rama, Sitaram. Surely, I will show you, come along with me. (The madman goes out dancing and chanting ‘Sri Rama, Jai Rama, Jai Jai Rama’. Along with him, Hari and Hara also go out dancing and singing ‘Sri Rama, Jai Rama, Jai Jai Rama’).