The Mother Divine
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By Sri Sri Sitaramdas Omkarnath

The madman was telling the beads of the Tulsi rosary, repeating the name of Rama. A patriotic gentleman came to him and said, ‘Well Sir, all are working hard to attain Selfrule (Swaraj) and you are only sitting; silent and inactive.’

Madman : No, son, I am trying very much for Swaraj, but the result is in the hands of God.

Patriot : You do not carry out the instructions of the Mahatma. How do you claim that are you trying for Swaraj?

Madman : What has the Mahatma instructed?

Patriot : He has said ‘If you want to be free of this slavery, join the non-cooperative movement. Shun violence, shun untouchability, spin the charkha and ply the loom. By doing so you can get Swaraj.’

Madman : Even before the Mahatma preached this message, I had adopted these very means for the attainment of Swaraj. Sri Guru, the invisible ruler of the infinite universe, had given those very orders. I have been trying to attain Swaraj by following these orders since then.

Patriot : I do not quite understand you.

Madman : Well, I will explain. I do not remember how long I have been enslaved. I am serving as a slave, having accepted the bond of slavery. And is it the slavery of just one master? No! I am a servant to hundreds of feelings and objects. I have been serving my relatives and my friends as a slave. I have forgotten that I am a king. I have been waiting on them, as do bought slaves and dogs. Their smiling faces give me delight and a single sweet word from them makes me thank my stars for the success. I place at their feet without hesitation, whatever I get after the whole day’s labour. In exchange for this, I get bondage upon bondage. That is about my slavery to human beings. In addition, I am slave to things such as houses, gardens and tanks, clothes, shoes and umbrellas, utensils, cows and calves, paddy, rice and straw. I keep watch over these all day and night, with a lathi (stick) on my shoulders, as if I am their unpaid guard. What a strange thing! One day I took off my shoes outside the temple and went in to see the Arati. O Hari! Glaring with blood-shot eyes, the shoes scolded me, ‘I am left outside and you are watching the Arati? Come, out quickly.’ Though my eyes were gazing at the image of the God, my mind was meditating on the shoes! What am I to do? I am a slave to my shoes. I hurriedly came running to my shoes. From that day I developed contempt for this sort of slavery. Whether willingly or unwillingly, I am serving these five things; sound, touch, form, taste and smell. I cannot live a moment without serving the eleven sense organs of ears, skin, eyes, tongue, smell, speech, hands, feet, rectum, genitals and mind. Say nothing of lust, anger, greed, delusion, pride and envy; which are standing on my head. They have thrown me down and are kicking me. Oh, what agony it is! A great deal of contempt rose in my mind at this sort of slavery. As I wondered if there was a way to gain deliverance from this, I saw Sri Guru before me. I held his feet with my hands and said, ‘O, Lord! Put an end to my slavery, show me a way.’ Then he advised, ‘Be non-cooperative. Give up attachment; work and fight at being free from delusion. Then only will your slavery come to an end.’ On hearing this I quietly began to withdraw cooperation from my relations, houses, money, from taste, smell, eyes, ears, nose, anger etc. This attitude yielded benefits. Tell me, am I not obeying the orders of the Mahatma? There is no way other than giving up co-operation if I am to conquer these enemies who are disguised as my friends. So I am abjuring cooperation through uttering the name of Rama. Sri Guru then made the second commandment ‘Be non-violent. Give up cooperation but do not be violent, remain aloof and never try to kill anyone. Rather take the blows while repeating the name of Rama. At this non-cooperation your former masters, will make terrible attacks on you. They will give you a sound beating. Do not retaliate in any way but take their blows lying down and continue to call upon Rama. They will grow tired and become powerless to beat you anymore. Give up violence and you will have no enemies. Prefer death to the abjuration of non-cooperation and to non-violence.’ Son, do you follow what I say?

Patriot : This is utterly confounding! A riddle at best!

Madman : At first this seems puzzling but later on everything becomes simple and clear. Sri Guru then commanded, ‘Give up untouchability. That means doing away with the sense of discrimination. When I am everything, how can you distinguish between touchable and untouchable? Look upon all as equal.’ Till you can look upon all as equal, your attachment and malice will not leave you. What else has the Mahatma instructed?

Patriot : He has us instructed to give up foreign clothes and to wear khaddar.

Madman : Yes, My Sri Guru too has enjoined, ‘You are wearing three foreign clothes. You will not be able to attain Swaraj unless you can give up the three coverings of the Gross, Subtle and Causal bodies.’ So I am trying to burn these three attires. I have begun to use the khaddar of meditation. What else has he said?

Patriot : He has told us to spin the charkha.

Madman : My Sri Guru also has said the same thing, ‘Spin the charkha of the mind always, spin yarn of the Name.’ So I began to spin the yarn of the Name incessantly on the charkha of my mind using the cotton of karmic impressions (Sanskars). At first the yarn was not uniform; it was thin sometimes and thick at other times. It would break. But this problem did not continue for long. At first a long thread formed in the heart, which extended to between the brows and at finally up to the Sahasrara. How bright it was! The charkha began to turn in the darkness. One day I found that a long thread of light had stretched from the base to the head. It was so subtle, that without great concentration, its thinness could not be perceived. See, I have lost the thought again! Yes! Yes, then I began to gather and wind that thread on the reel of devotion. Then I began to hear a big bell ringing at some distance. I would listen to the ringing of the bell and keep drawing the thread. What else has the Mahatma enjoined?

Patriot : He has told us to work at the loom.

Madman : I too, at the command of Sri Guru, began to weave the khaddar of meditation with that thread of divine Love. Oh, I have lost the thought again! Yes. When I put on that coarse khaddar of meditation, the sound of a cricket’s chirp arose, the whole body became still; almost unmovable! Oh! I got lost again. Meditation became khaddar, Digambar became Self - the eternal being. Isn’t this excellent? He smiles to himself in his thoughts. He sings to himself, weeps and then sinks back in his own Self. Do tell me whether I am trying for Swaraj or not? O son, why are you not getting Swaraj?

Patriot : The foreigners cite ‘ineligibility’ as the reason.

Madman : Crossing the point that marks the ‘lack of eligibility’ is Swaraj. This point is elusive and proving very difficult to transcend.

Patriot : Sir, now I realise that you speak of spiritual freedom!