Without Her…Within Her…A Tribute To My Beloved Mother…

Without Her…Within Her…
…A Tribute To My Beloved Mother…
…Like Her There Will Never Be Another…
She resonates as a melodious hymn for Him…
…with no end…and no beginning…

That holy Thursday etched a pious departure scene,
The second day in the month of February 2017,
This divine lady whom i was blessed to know…
…as my Ma…my Mother…
…decided to swirl out of the physical…
Her devotion made her merging…
…with the Supreme Soul quite mystically aesthetical,
She was…is for all times my beloved one…
…but she was…is the beloved of the Lord too,
Having spent all her time…
…most of her life chanting His Name thoroughly through,
The One Whom she did earnestly with her japa call,
Unto the Shimmering Cosmic Bosom did her now recall…

To each person their Mother is precious…
…and the best ever…
Being the chosen instrument to deliver…
…their soul unto earth…
…therefore certainly perennially priceless…
…is her worth…
Thus it was that…
…in her womb…the journey…
…for this lifetime had begun…
…And with her unique loving ways…
…she became for all times my beloved one…

She was a rare beauty in her time of youth,
And,
As regards the melody…the purity,
…the divine quality in her voice…
…there was ne’er a dispute…
Ma she was for the ladies who served her…
…for the vegetable vendors…
…the plumber or electrician…
…or whosoever chose to interact with her…
…so wondrous were her ways and wonderful her nature…

Though Ma came from a small town – Kalyani,
In West Bengal,
Her courage and will nothing could stall,
Having little formal education…
After her marriage with steadfast resolve…
…she taught herself English…
…and waltzed on the wings of her own tune…
…and exclusive acoustic…
…to cinch an M.A. in Music…
Her children were sole priority,
Till the grandchildren came along,
Her gentle gestures and love had a melody…
…similar to her song…
An enthusiastic octogenarian she was…
…her culinary passion deserved…
…true applause and flatter…
…for invariably incomparable were her dishes…
…frequently bringing forth a most distinctly delicious platter,
Oh! What about her desserts…?
Each innovative creation…
…was a marvellous appetite enchanter…
She knew so well each ones likes and dislikes,
And, her talk was full of diplomatic sighs,
She was most joyous when all did around her gather,
All else would freeze…
…till she fulfilled her loved ones needs…
To her their happiness was all that did really matter…

Her physical self went through an immense ordeal…perhaps an encounter with remnants of karmic debts made her well-being reel. She bore it all so stoically. We wondered if she was in tune with her Lord, was she taking His Name as she regularly did. Normally her Namasmaran, adoringly dedicated to the various deities, adorned the seconds of her day: 25000 times Ma Durga’s special stotra japa…some more potent tens of thousands of Hare Krishna Maha Mantra, Gayatri Mantra, Hanuman Chalisa…and so on and so forth. She never ate anything before offering it to her ‘Swami’…and any new item, be it a fruit, food preparation or clothing had to be first presented to dear Baba…in her ‘Thakur Ghor’…the little room reserved for God and prayers.

During the last few years she had to be wheeled around as she had lost her mobility to a great extent. So she would sit in her wheelchair at the entrance to our ground floor home, look at the plants and flowers and pass her time chanting. While doing so she would be quite vigilant as to the functioning of all the household chores. She was a homemaker par excellent. Then she would give instructions for the birds to be fed a few yards in front of her…and would be delighted to watch the crows, mynahs, sparrows, other beautifully coloured winged wonders feeding or drinking water from the pot specially kept for them. When the neighbourhood cat came along, at times with her kittens in tow, it gave her great joy to watch this feline ‘mumma’ indulge her mewing young ones.

To keep her mind off health issues, she would read books on her Baba or perhaps a Newspaper or watch cookery shows on TV and though her hearing had diminished she would read the subtitles and discuss the recipes with others.  Sometimes i would take her for a spin in the neighbourhood on her wheelchair…particularly to show her the magnificent colours of flowering trees, a wondrous sunset, that charming full moon…or simply take a round of the society, literally down memory lane pointing out homes of persons from her time, recollecting sweet moments. She would come back home, check her own garden and put to task the hired help in charge of keeping it clean. The ladies who came in as our domestic helpers were extremely fond of her and would go to any extent to please her. So amiable was her nature that other women who came to work in the society compound would come up to talk to her, have a drink of water, chat with her…and never forget to wave out to her as they filed out after completion of a hard day’s labour. This was a daily episode as our residence is en route to the exit gate. She admired any new dress they happen to wear, commenting joyfully at the colour combinations, while if one of them did not have their blouses matching with their saris she would reprimand them and they would all start giggling. In her own way she taught those assisting her in the household chores to have a bath every day, keep their houses clean, look after their children well, have vibhuti, say ‘Sai Ram’ and remember God. She would insist and encourage them to send their children to school so that they could enhance their opportunities and income as well as have a better life.

She was the most wonderful homemaker and her link with Bhagawan was amazing.  Her deep love for her Ishta Devata…her chosen cherished personal Deity, her precious Gurudeva…flowed melodiously as bhajan renditions, some of which like ‘Gurudevaya Namo Namo…Hey Parameshwara Namo Namo…’ were her own compositions. Her ‘sur and taal’…tone and rhythm were definitely a celestial gift. Perhaps she was one of the musical notes that chose to experience a human birth! Many still remember her for the way she serenaded Bhagawan at local bhajan gatherings, especially when the environment reverberated with her matchless articulation of ‘Akhanda Jyoti Jalao’.

Gradually her outward seva involvements diminished and as time and age took a toll on her body her nightingale voice too was withdrawn. This withdrawal hurt her deeply. Singing for her Master was her life. Then, after the excruciating blow in April 2011, when Bhagawan enacted His crucial heart-shattering drama, her health was never quite steady nor her well-being consistent. ‘Kaeno Swami amni korlo… (Why did Swami do this?)’, she would constantly ponder and thus did she always contemplate, wondering about the supreme boon of living at the same time as the Avatar…of joy having been removed from life now. She would keep asking all to call Him intensely – ‘Unka Avahan karo…’ would be her refrain…‘call Him, invite Him…invoke Him’.

A series of ailments beset her frail body from 18th December 2016. She would recover and droop again. In the early hours of 21st January, she woke up had a few sips of water and choked on it. Slumping down, her lips turned blue…somehow by inserting my fingers in her mouth right up to her throat to dislodge the block, i manged to ‘bring’ her back. By the time the doctor arrived she smiled, chatted with her and even told her she loved her. Later however, as events unfolded, the doctor suspected she might have suffered a minor stroke then. Throughout Tuesday, 31st January, she lay in some kind of deep sleep state and opened her eyes at night on her own only when close family members arrived, somehow sensing their presence. She even smiled and looked upon them with immense love.
During her final moments, before curtains down, as a grand finale, she suddenly woke up from a semi coma state, having had no proper ‘outer’ nourishment by way of food or water for a few days, and started chanting ‘Sai Nath, Sai Ram…’ for almost five hours. Though a bit slurred in the beginning it soon got clearer. Inner nourishing of the soul was on…which was a bittersweet relief.  In between she would repeat, ‘Sai Nath Aao…’ (Come Lord Sai).
This occurred in the wee hours of Wednesday, 1st February 2017. It began around 3.30 am and continued on till 9 am. Her face, which reflected pain, was now glowing. As we made her sit up, supporting her carefully while changing her garment, she exclaimed, ‘Mata Aeshayche…’ meaning – Divine Mother has come. We were perplexed at this statement. Then we realised it happened to be Basant Panchami day, dedicated and celebrated with special offerings to Mother Saraswati, the Goddess of Creativity, Music, Art, Science, Knowledge and Enlightenment!

A few days prior to this, all of a sudden, she woke up early evening from her semi-conscious state, as though nudged awake and with a startled wide eyed look stared at Swami’s big picture on the opposite wall – a favourite one. This occurred even as i kept appealing to Bhagawan – Is she taking Your Name, sweet Lord…? Your Name has to be on her lips and hers on Your Lips…it has to be a grand culmination to a Divine Romance…she has to leave with dignity…having adored You exclusively and to the exclusion of all else.
Subsequently, now on the penultimate day of her merger, through her suffering, she awoke to chant His Name, as mentioned earlier. She kept caressing her pillow which had Swami’s Lotus Feet embossed on it. When given the Hiranyagarbha Lingam picture, though her right arm was swollen like a baseball bat, she held the picture lovingly, trying her best to do so with both her trembling hands, tracing her fingers upon it…as though she was touching her Beloved Master…His Hair, His Hand, His Eyes, His Face. We were witness to a celestial rendezvous…a transcendental tryst…a sanctified mystical meeting. Despite the huge swelling in her right arm, she, with some assistance held the picture and even raised it to her lips to kiss it. Before this she had been a bit exasperated with her Swami, saying that He was not listening  to her anymore these days and was too busy someplace else. But apparently ‘they’ had made up, for her countenance which had a pained expression hitherto…was now radiantly lit, her eyes were sparkling…she looked like a beaming bride!

Her granddaughter tried to adjust the cushion supporting her hands and felt a sharp prick of some kind of a current. Her Swami was there…He had come for her! However, the veil of Maya had wrapped itself around us all who were standing by her. At that time we thought she was looking at a picture…but on deep retrospect, we are certain she was ‘seeing’ Him….that was why she was so radiant…and had gathered the requisite stamina to do a chanting marathon.

Only the potent grace of Bhagawan could allow anyone the awareness and strength to do so in their final moments. Her intake of food or water had completely stopped…that night, however, as she intoned His Sacred Name, we alternated between putting drops of holy ganga jal and vibhuti water in her mouth.

She was against being taken to the hospital as she had undergone quite a few harrowing visits over the years. During the last hospital stay, we had to sign a paper of indemnity that verified that we were taking her home, out of the ICU, at our own risk. This was in January 2013. She was happy to be home…and here she wanted to stay as her body worked out the last vestiges of karmic debts. She was surrounded by her loved ones and pictures of the One she adored wholeheartedly. Bhagawan’s grace was such that her doctor loved her enough to go out of her way, overcoming personal schedules, to pay home visits, even on Sundays. This time round her maladies pursued her from mid December 2016 to early February 2017. With her extremely low food and water consumption, worried family members contemplated taking her to the hospital every now and then, but respecting her wish, the decision would invariably culminate in allowing her to remain in the environment she loved so much…that she was comfortable in…the utmost advantage being that she was encircled by those who adored her and whom she adored. Moreover, she was also surrounded by pictures of Swami, in all shapes and sizes and chants were being hummed and played for her highest benefit all through the day and night.

The pain of watching her suffer was acute, for her agony was a personal anguish. She would recover and slide back….and with that our spirit would sag and slack. Lord, grant us the strength to accept Your Will…was the constant prayer…please let her live with dignity or else draw her unto You with dignity.

Though prolonged, yet soon, much too soon for us all, her call had come, the shimmering glades of forevermore…that lay in that ‘Vishaal Hrudaya’ were beckoning her…perhaps to overcome, pay off the dues of kismet…she kept slipping in and out of various ailments sequentially. Earlier on, she had asked me to help her get well…i had helplessly looked at Bhagawan, even as i reassured her. His plans for her ‘wellness’ was something much higher than what the human mind can fathom.  It was late evening on Thursday, 2nd February; Bhagawad Gita chapters had just been read aloud…bhajans had been sung…her oxygen and pulse counts were being closely monitored. Suddenly, the gadget kept tripping, the screen blank with no reading on any finger except the thumb. We tried it on our fingers and it seemed normal. The Doctor had attended to her and left. We wondered if we should call and verify. I recollect speaking aloud my feelings – Maa, you are our jaan (life force). You have given us more love than God Himself.

Then, even as we watched she appeared to have stopped breathing despite the oxygen generator that she was on…we quickly raised the level up as advised by the doctor. Simultaneously we all started chanting ‘Sai Ram’ aloud. She appeared to breathe again and we all exclaimed – She is coming back! However, it seemed she was waiting for vibhuti water and ganga jal, for as we placed drops of it into her mouth, she took a couple of deep, deep, deep breaths and merged in the Supreme Beloved eternally.

An era had come to a close. No more suffering for the mortal body, nor for the mind any agitation. Transcending karmic retribution…the soul had finally won. Bhakt and Bhagawan were One.

She remains a melodious hymn for Him…with no end…and no beginning…

We remain forever within her…for there is no such place as without her…together we are One within the Divine Mother.

Amazing are the Lord’s ways…balming expressions…ever so exclusive and distinct…of His Presence.
After a serene conclusion to the formal prayer offerings…satisfying certain customs for the soul’s onward journey, the notification that propped up on the cell phones of some dear family members was – ‘Welcome to Puttaparthi’… ‘Prasanthi Nilayam 400 m’… ‘It looks like you are at Radio Sai’…! This episode made the priest officiating the prayer ceremony too beam knowingly. Prior to this the location status showed the exact present area in our city – Pune, which is approximately 644 Kms/400 Miles away from Puttaparthi.
But our Beloved Lord knew as to how tender were our emotions…
…and thus did uniquely clarify…
…that the soul had chosen to suffer enormously so as to unify…
He was guiding and watching over us all…
…and that ‘our mother’ was now One with her Mother…
…the Divine Empress of the Universe…the Cosmic Mother – Mother Sai.

PS – Ma’s bhajan composition – Gurudevaya Namo Namo…which has been infused in between these pages above via a link was a ‘home recording’. Ma was then in her late seventies.

 

 

 

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About For Beloved Mother Sai

Breathing Beloved Every Single Moment Of Living!!! Tum Shwaas Ho!...Tum Pass Ho!!...Tum Vishwaas Ho!!!
This entry was posted in Bhagawan and Bhakt, Feelings, Mother Sweet Mother Of Mine, Reflections, Tribute To My Ma and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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