The Mother Divine
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A disciple of Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath who works in a multinational consultancy was faced with several problems at work. Try as he might, one junior at work just kept making things difficult for him. It was evident the junior was experiencing anxiety and insecurity but sometimes you just can’t assure someone that there’s nothing to worry or feel threatened about. The problem kept aggravating, there seemed to be no way to deal with it.

He prayed often that things sorted in the office. “Thakur, sort this for me!”
One day, after a long prayer and a feeling from within that he should let go of the reigns, he freed the junior of all accountability and offered him full freedom. Recounting it to a friend, he said, “I don’t know why I did it, but I just told him that he need not report to me. In fact, I told him, I could put him in another team and he could report to my senior instead. And this changed everything. The junior was freed of all bitterness and insecurity. His behaviour changed. He now begs me to be commanded and his performance has improved. This is all Thakur’s Kripa isn’t it? I could have never found a solution to this, I feel grateful...very grateful...”

At this the friend said, “If you feel so grateful, hang up and go to your Puja room and offer a sashtang pranaam to Gurudeva. Let Him know that you are grateful.”

Thus the disciple rushed to the Puja room and offered a sashtang pranaam repeatedly saying, “Thank you Thakur! Thank you for this. Thank you for everything!” Tears flowed from his eyes. When he rose, he felt very light and spirited. He called up his friend and thanked him profusely for this suggestion. The friend was glad, he said, “I do this all the time. Every time something happens that overwhelms me, or makes me feel it’s not I but something from high above, I rush to Puja room and submit myself at His feet. It is very enriching to do that.”

To go to the Lord and to submit. This seems to be a profound practice. The Lord tells us to perform nishkaam karma in the Gita. And an important aspect of performing nishkaama karma is to offer the fruits of our karmas to the Lord. This is precisely what the disciple mentioned in the episode above did. He found a way of surrendering the fruits of his karmas to the Lord.

The Gita again and again emphasises that one should cultivate an attitude of non-attachment or detachment. It urges us to live in the world like water on a lotus leaf. “He who does actions, offering them to Brahman and abandoning attachment, is not tainted by sin as a lotus leaf by water.”

Cultivating a habit of continually going to the Puja or a picture of one’s Guru or Ishtadeva is a useful practice because that way we can start to feel that all our actions and their fruits are a divine offering. This association of our karmas and their fruits on a daily, activity-to-activity, event-to-event basis can imbue us with a spirit of non-attachment and sacrifice. True, many wish to make this offering mentally and may not want to go to the puja room or the photograph every time. This is understandable, but an external act helps us make things real for us.

The Gita says, Daivam evaapare yajnam yoginah paryupaasate; Brahmaagnaavapare yajnam yajnenaivopajuhwati.

Some Yogis perform sacrifice to the gods alone, while others (who have realised the
Self) offer the Self as sacrifice by the Self in the fire of Brahman alone.

How beautiful and profound. This verse compasses the whole range of offering or sacrifice. One starts with offering of actions and their fruits and then graduates to offering oneself. That is the final acme of Atma Nivedan, so characteristic of devotees like Raja Bali.

Our friend in the episode offered gratefulness. The Gita speaks of many offering. Offering of wealth, austerity, Yoga as sacrifice, self-restraint, rigid vows, study of scriptures and knowledge.

How greatly can one regularise the offering than pouring ourselves as sacrifice in every breath! Gita speaks of making our very breathing a fine art of offering.

Apaane juhwati praanam praane’paanam tathaa’pare;
Praanaapaana gatee ruddhwaa praanaayaamaparaayanaah.

Offering as sacrifice the outgoing breath in the incoming, and the incoming in the
outgoing, restraining the courses of the outgoing and the incoming breaths, solely absorbed in the restraint of the breath.

More and more of what our friend did is needed. We must find more and more occasions so that everything in our life becomes an offering to Him and we can be free.

Yatkaroshi yadashnaasi yajjuhoshi dadaasi yat;
Yattapasyasi kaunteya tatkurushva madarpanam.

Whatever thou doest, whatever thou eatest, whatever thou offerest in sacrifice, whatever
thou givest, whatever thou practiseth as austerity, O Arjuna, do it as an offering unto Me!

This is not a tall order if we start remembering Him in smallest of our actions.

In this context we remember how Thakur Sitaramdas Omkarnath consulted God on all important occasions and made his offering and surrender.

Sri Sujan Singh Uban took a week’s leave and he went to Kashi to meet Sitaram. Sitaramji took him to a Durga Mandir. Only the two of them were present in the temple. Ubanji asked Sitaram to introduce him to Mother Durga. “Alright,” said Sitaram and added, “Mother, this is Sujan- he will have to go to the warfront in near future. You must protect him and help destroy his enemy. O Mother, make him a powerful instrument for the nation’s victory.”

This is an incidence of 1970. There was no possibility of war at that time. The trouble concerning Bangladesh had taken place in March 1971. It was in this war Ubanji had made a significant contribution and won the highest award for gallantry. We can clearly see how his Guru made an offering of the karma to the Mother right at the outset.

How to practise devotion? That’s the question every devotee faces. Krishna asks Arjuna to fix his entire mind on Him. As often as the mind wanders it should be brought back to the Lord. If this process of concentration is difficult he should dedicate all his actions to Him, feeling that it is His power that activates everything. If this also is beyond his ability, he should offer all his actions to the Lord, abandoning the desire for their fruits. He should take complete refuge in Him. The devotee who surrenders himself to the Lord attains perfect peace.

We at The Mother hope we are all blessed by God to grow in our offering and surrender to God.

Raj Supe (Kinkar Vishwashreyananda)
The Editor