Welcome to the Newsletter from www.SriAnandamayiMa.org!
Our Miraculous Ma
(Note: The following three stories were told to me directly be a very senior, scholarly and saintly devotee of Ma who spent twenty-two years in close and intimate contact with Ma.)
Ma always responded to the sincere yearning of the heart, sometimes coming to the longing devotee in surprising ways. One day this man and his wife were in a city bus in Pune on the way to Anandamayi Ashram to see Ma, when suddenly to their amazement from the window they saw Ma walking on the side of the road completely alone and unaccompanied by any attendant (a rare phenomenon in the later part of Her life). They had to wait for the bus to reach its next stop before they could get down, but after a few minutes they left the bus and hurried up the road in the direction they had seen Ma walking. Reaching a crossroad and not seeing Ma anywhere, the man noticed a sign for a Christian convent a short distance ahead. Intuitively feeling this is where Ma went, the couple started for the convent and upon reaching its gates, inquired within if Anandamayi Ma had been there. They were directed to one of the principle workers in the convent who told them that Ma had certainly just come and left. He confided that since he had heard that Ma was visiting Pune and staying at Her ashram nearby, he had been longing for Her darshan, but due to the press of his work had been unable to get away and visit the ashram. To his great surprise and joy, Ma came in the door, greeted him and spoke warmly with him for several minutes. Asked where Ma went, the man pointed to the direction of a small hut where a poor family of workers lived near the convent gate. Still searching for Ma’s whereabouts, the couple entered the house, only to find a scene of mourning for a death that had just occurred. They described Ma to the people and asked if She had been there. They told them that a lady meeting this description had come and mercifully placed Her hands on the dying man’s head and blessed him just minutes before his passing, and then left.
The couple left and made their way back to the ashram, expecting to see Ma on the way as they were following just minutes behind Her. Upon reaching the ashram they inquired of Ma’s attendants when Ma had returned from outside. They were met with questioning glances and informed that they had been directly with Ma the entire day, and She had never left the ashram. Upon seeing Ma, She simply looked at them and smiled knowingly.
Ma suggested for this man and his wife to learn Sri Vidya (the meditations and worship connected with the holy Sri Yantra, or divine geometric symbol of the Divine Mother). The fruition of this suggestion came about in an amazing manner.
One day in the Vrindavan Ashram, Ma asked the couple what the astrological junction was for the day and the hour. Not knowing the answer, the man went and brought Swami Satchidananda, a very learned Danda Swami (Brahmin Sannyasi), and the three of them sat before Ma. Learning the exact astrological figures of the moment from the Swamji Ma exclaimed, “This is a very auspicious moment” and then fell silent. After a few moments, She raised Her eyes upward and to the astonishment of the three onlookers, turned completely red! Her skin, Her hair and even Her immaculately white clothing turned brilliant red and remained so during the entire episode that followed. (Note: Red is the color associated with Tripura Sundari, the form of the Divine Mother associated with Sri Yantra.) Next Ma opened Her mouth and a stream of Sanskrit mantras proceeded rapidly with perfect articulation. While the intonation was proceeding, Swami Satchidananda leaned over and whispered to the man, “These are the mantras for Sri Vidya.” After several minutes of rapid chanting, Ma again fell silent and Her normal color returned. She then instructed the couple to meet Swamiji the next morning and he would teach them the puja of Sri Yantra.
The next morning they met with the Swamiji in the Ashram Temple . Swamiji asked them if they remembered any of the mantras that Ma had spontaneously spoken, as the ritual was complex and he felt that they should only learn the part that they intuitively remembered. They replied that all the mantras were new to them, and they couldn’t possibly remember a single one of them. When told to try, they looked into each other’s eyes, and suddenly both husband and wife simultaneously began to chant, reciting the complete text of mantras that Ma had spoken from beginning to end, taking several minutes. Swamiji simply smiled and said, “This is Ma’s way of saying you should learn the entire puja.”
This same man and his wife were at another time sitting with Ma when a sadhu entered the room and began to speak with Ma in a desperate and pleading manner. He related that for years he had practiced an advanced yoga kriya, but was unable to accomplish the next stage of the meditation that was required for his advancement. He had approached the great Sri Aurobindo of Pondicherry , considered to be the greatest Yogi of India at the time. Sri Aurobindo had told him, “I am familiar with the kryia you practice and I am aware of the state you have attained. I further know how to proceed, but unfortunately neither I nor any other Yogi can instruct you in this accomplishment, as this is an advanced matter far beyond words. The only person living who can help you is Ma Anandamayi. Go to Her.”
So in desperation he had made the long journey from south India to where Ma was staying. He beseeched Her repeatedly to help him, but Ma simply replied, “Fir se koshish karo”---Try again. He began to weep and said imploringly, “Ma if you refuse me, I have no where else to turn, and my spiritual progress, which has reached such a height, will be forever stopped!” At this Ma sat silently for some minutes. Then raising Her eyes She made a dramatic sweeping motion with both hands as if opening the heavens, loudly saying, “Kol diya!” (I have opened!) At the sound of these words, the man was drawn up erect like a statue and sat motionless for over an hour. Upon returning to outer consciousness, he fell at Ma’s feet with tears of gratitude proclaiming that he had entered a deep state of Samadhi which far exceeded any experience he had had so far, and in this state he had all his questions answered and been taken to the next stage of his advancement.
Matri Vani (Ma’s Words)
(From Matri Vani, Volume 1)
Who are the truly wealthy? Those who are possessed of the Supreme Treasure---they alone are really rich and live in abundance. Poor and destitute must be called the man in whose heart the remembrance of God abides not. To depend solely on Him is man’s one and only duty.
The intense desire for God-realization is itself the way to it.
Whether it pleases you or not, you will have to make the Eternal your constant companion: just like a remedy that has got to be taken. Without loving God you will not get anywhere. Remember this at all times.
Speak the truth to all. Secrecy, slyness and deception amount to cheating. They only taint the mind and set one floating on a sea of misery. A truthful, pure and holy life tends towards joy and happiness supreme.
Your Mother may not show her affection outwardly, yet she is and always remains your real mother. Even though you may want to put God the Mother aside, She will not leave you. Are you not Her offspring? Keep in mind that everything is under Her dispensation; She provides for each the right thing, at the right time, in the right way. Yes, certainly, it is to be welcomed if the desire for the Real awakens. A mother is she who has the capacity to know precisely and measure out to her child exactly what he needs. It is because she knows how to make allowances for her child’s mistakes, how to forgive, that she is called “Mother”.
During the school break of the hot season, April—June, several of the Omkareshwar School students come to the Indore Ashram to study special classes in music, dance and other extracurricular activities.
Vimal Parek, a young man from England who visited us this year and taught English in the ashram school has established a very nice website to help attract teachers to the school. We hope that new teachers from abroad or India who would like to get experience or internship will come and dedicate some time teaching. Please see www.teach-india.com. Thanks, Vimal!
During the summer school break, Swami Gurusharanananda and Brahmachari Sharad have re-established the BRF (Bhagavatkriya Research Foundation) youth group that was once very active in Indore in previous years. The activities have begun with great success with an effort to increase environmental consciousness and have had several clean-up projects. Now the young people are establishing waste disposal containers all around the island of Omkareshwar , which is a crucial necessity.
As always, we end with Ma’s words:
God alone is Truth, Happiness and Bliss. Do not set your hopes on anything except Supreme Beatitude, the bliss of the Self.