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Questions by readers- Answers by The Mother! These answers are in no way definitive; nor do they make any claims to authenticity. These are supposed to answer the seeking. The insights contained in these answers issue from patrons of The Mother, among who are saints, holy men, scholars and advanced seekers. To submit a question, send email to Do not feel disappointed if The Mother does not publish the answer to your questions. The Editorial Board will choose questions to be published in The Mother depending upon its significance and service to the spiritual seekers at large. However, we will strive to answer most queries and personally communicate the answers to those who put forth genuine queries. Editor.


After reading through various spiritual books I found that one visions or perceives God in his chosen form. For example there is a paragraph in Gospel of Shri Ram Krishna which goes as...

" MASTER: "I went to Benares with Mathur Babu. Our boat was passing the Manikarnika Ghat on the Ganges, when suddenly I had a vision of Śiva. I stood near the edge of the boat and went into samādhi. The boatman, fearing that I might fall into the water, cried to Hriday: 'Catch hold of him! Catch hold of him!' I saw Śiva standing on that Ghat, embodying in Himself all the seriousness of the world. At first I saw Him standing at a distance; then I saw Him approaching me. At last he merged in me."

It would be far... farther than my reach to put question about Shri Ramakrishna, but in general if seekers like us have a vision, couldn't it be due to continuous pondering of our mind over our chosen deity or say playful creation of our mind. Considering this possibility, how would I actually be able to distinguish between the real Vision and creation of our mind?
Another question which I am not sure if it happens really to a person like me or if I am just believing any nonsense just because I have read something alike in various books.
For the last couple of months, I have noticed that sometimes, if I say something, it actually happens dramatically from nowhere. All said, shall I take these kinds of thoughts seriously or let it go away just like it came to the mind.
Avinash Chaubey., New Delhi

You’re right, it’s beyond our reach to speak of darshan of Paramhamsas.
But for ordinary masses yes, it is often seeing what one has been wanting to see. Therefore when a glimpse or vision happens in wakeful/ meditative or dream state, it is just that and nothing more.
If it does not bring about fundamental changes in our being, if it does not shake us totally (God is an immensity and His touch should necessarily be earthshakingly profound), then it’s just a creation of the mind. But whatever it is, even an illusory image of God is still an image of God and it’s a good thing if one is not carried away into thinking that one has become specially endowed or reached a divine state.
These are to be experienced and dropped then and there.
There is a lot of auto-suggestion from books in this as you suspect. And a lot of ego-pandering of which one must be cautious.
About envisioning things in advance, gaining a precocious foreknowledge, things spoken coming true etc, again, there is a great likelihood of being deluded often. It is not given to us to penetrate the mysteries of past, present and future, it is God’s secret and God alone will secure it. Humans occasionally stumbling into such things, through astrology or meditative insight etc, is just a chance occurrence. No real power of that kind rests with anyone except a perfect Siddha or a Trikaal Jnani. So it’s best not to dwell on these things and continue living our life performing one’s sadhana and dealing with life from whatever is the reality of the moment through ordinary perception.


Of late my mind (in its relatively besieged state) has been wondering about forgiveness and redemption.
Safely presuming that most ordinary individuals go through life mis-stepping and making many errors, how does one seek forgiveness for all that has occurred either knowingly or unknowingly? How does one counter the effects of one's own misdeeds, so to say? We are told that the Divine is compassion personified - how then can we reach a stage where we feel loved and accepted despite our flaws?
A.S., Mumbai

One does not have to make specific efforts to wash off the effects of misdeeds. Our regular sadhana contains a “strain” when we do it intensely, that takes care of the paap.
The regularity of sadhana requires us to put up with some discomfort/ kashta, and that kashta or taap purges us of our misdeeds and missteps.
Therefore it is essential that the sadhana be not too “comfortable” or “convenient” and it should not be made to vary depending upon life’s pressures. It should be pursued with constancy even if it is strenuous.
Mantra becomes Siddha only when sins are washed; the first quantum of our spiritual exertions automatically go towards shuddhi. No separate efforts are needed.
Again, as sadhana becomes more and more regular, it starts to become pleasurable and one feels like doing more and more. That is when we automatically feel the compassion of the Divine and that we are loved, accepted, unconditionally. This is not experienced without regular sadhana. The more we love God, the more we realise His Compassion. We should just love Him and forget about our incapacities and failings, He is there precisely to elevate us, why should we care?
Jai Guru
Why do we do pradakshina (circumambulation)?
Vipul Sharma, Delhi
We cannot draw a circle without a center point. The Lord is the center, source and essence of our lives. Recognizing Him as the focal point in our lives, we go about doing our daily chores. This is the significance of pradakshina.
Also every point on the circumference of a circle is equidistant from the center.
This means that wherever or whoever we may be, we are equally close to the Lord. His grace flows towards us without partiality.
Why is pradakshina done only in a clockwise manner?
The reason is not, as a person said, to avoid a traffic jam! As we do pradakshina, the Lord is always on our right. In India the right side symbolizes auspiciousness. So as we circumambulate the sanctum sanctorum we remind ourselves to lead an auspicious life of righteousness, with the Lord who is the indispensable source of help and strength, as our guide - the "right hand".

After the completion of traditional worship (puja), we customarily do pradakshina around ourselves. In this way we recognize and remember the supreme divinity within us, which alone is idolized in the form of the Lord that we worship outside.

Whether Vykta Guru (Guru in sharir) is MUST for a seeker for the ultimate goal or following just "Guru Principle" will do? Will a seeker who has taken prapatti at the lotus feet of the Guru, be in a position to find human side of the Guru? If the seeker has firm belief that whatever happens is for his (seeker's) good, is there a possibility of lowering respect for Guru even if, the seeker visits frequently for His darshan?
Shashank Athalye, Pune
Yes, Vyakta Guru or what is known as a living Guru is a MUST except in extraordinary circumstances.

In general, over familiarity leads to taking higher principles for granted. Also, more interactions lead to exposure to “human side” of the Guru. However, if the disciple is careful, the usual folly can be avoided and with more interactions, he or she can also be exposed to increased “divine side” of the Guru.
Care must be taken to understand what is Guru’s will and not what is disciple’s/ own will.
If the Guru desires to see the disciple, the disciple must make himself or herself available unquestionably. The Guru may summon the disciple to assign tasks, seek service or impart special instructions, that’s entirely Guru’s outlook.
What the Guru does when the disciple visits the Guru according to own sentiment and convenience is not to be mistaken as Guru’s will, it is a disciple’s own initiation.