My stay with Ma



In 1964, I got Ma’s address from her parents but it was not until 1971 that I met Ma in Dalhousie, during my second journey to India

As usual, I had passed the winter season in the Anand Bhawan a peaceful place where I had resumed my self-investigation, but I had missed the presence of “Papa”, the late Swami Ramdas. I had imbibed some more inner clarity, but that bliss was not lasting. And, yearning for Truth about myself, I decided to try to be admitted to Miss Anand (Ma), knowing that everyone who is blessed with gifts, which others do not possess and who has come to higher realization is always exposed to criticism, slander and insinuations, I wished to see for myself, hoping still that she would be able to help me to trace the cause and to find the solution for my inner dismay. At my request, an interview was granted. My first impression of her was of an athlete, an authority maybe a “warrior of the Lord”. I told her that I should be happy to be shown where I had gone wrong, what defect in me was in the way to come to perfect peace. I gave her a brief record of my life’s events.


At my request, Ma began to dictate some essential points for beginners, and she asked me to do some homework by writing letters to the Lord. That was a very efficient and fruitful method. It stimulated the self-investigation, the honest insight into oneself, the frank admission of one’s own shortcomings and failures. For that method I am very thankful, for it is a great help on the path. But my first efforts did not please Ma. Therefore she dictated me a prayer and later, more and that became the key, the guide for my daily meditation.

Ma’s vision of Christ touched me deeply but to become myself “Christ-like” was such a bold thought that I did not dare to aspire for it. Ma pointed it out that until now I had no faith in Him, only confidence; that my life had not been led by the question, “What would Christ have done in all my situations?” The intended weeks in Madhuban became months and I decided to stay there in the hard school and not to return to the gentle, peaceful atmosphere of Papa’s Ashram in Kanhagad. All in Arpana Ashram had done their best to make my stay there comfortable and fruitful: Mrs. Kapoor, Sushil Ji and Vishnu and later Mrs. Mehta and Reva Bhandari. They translated for me Ma’s precious prayers and Satsangs. I appreciated it highly. I learnt a lot from the questions put before Ma in the meetings and from her answers. Her reprimands revealed to me my own errors in many cases. Joy and despair succeeded each other.

Then came a critical moment. “You do not want it, you do not even want the Light” said Ma to me. I became terror-struck as if by a bolt from the blue and I cried – Is that really true? Did I not mean it when I repeated – Disclose to me Thy divine Light – Was that hard fling justifiable? When that was the result of my efforts of years, then I should better resign and acknowledge human powerlessness to anything good? Slowly my tears washed my eyes clean and clear and I vowed – Yes, I am powerless. I have not been able to follow Him in all situations. I have not the strength. I have wanted His Light but I have feared His Cross. I have feared the consequences of His life, rejection, blame suffering, that was true. I felt helpless and I became conscious that only His Grace could help the helpless. That was the effect of the blow and I am thankful. But even if one, after sincerely persevering efforts, has not been able to understand a rebuke, the effect of honest self-investigation can lead to an inner clarity, and despair can turn into bliss.

Though I have been educated in Christian faith, I studied sincerely Hindu creeds and convictions. I could accept willingly the idea of Karma as a means of purification of the soul and as a help to come forward on the Path. But realizing the fate of the poor violated girls, and women in Bangla Desh, I got desperate.

By my function for Public Health Care, I realized that they were pushed into a position worse than the cauterizing fire of hell for sinners, who have not come to repentance. Being dragged to the ‘brothels’ of the army, their situation, left no possibility of purification and improvement. They were ruined constantly, both body and soul. They are condemned and forced to live in a stink of debauch and are brutalized from day to day. They were groping in the darkness and saw no way out. Their desperate question “Why?” got no answer as they did not remember anything for their supposed crimes of the past. Ma’s answer, “ Do not pity them, it is their Karma”* had shocked me.

Could that mercilessness be the Will of God? How beneficent was the most sublime parable of Jesus. I know it was not my arguing intellect that revolted against the consistently drawn consequences of the doctrine of Karma, as Ma reproached me, but my heart chose for the Loving Father, who took the long awaited prodigal son in His arms, as he returned in full repentance and the sincere will not to sin again. He rehabilitated him fully and accepted him again as His child. Had Christ been wrong? I could not believe it. But could I reconcile His merciful acceptance with the hopeless fate of the girls? What could I have learnt from this painful experience? Notwithstanding all efforts, I had not come to another insight. But it has taught me to bow my head to these inconceivable distresses and to bring, in all humility, all my concern to God, in willing surrender, without claiming an answer, leaving it in His hand acknowledging, I do not know, God knows it.

That gave me peace. The only thing we can do is to support those, who try to make life bearable for those girls and to bring them in love to accept their fate, knowing that God loves them still as His children, not less than others.
So I am thankful for the effect of my painful impression and I regret my violent reaction. Was it perhaps Ma’s intention to show me how emotional I still am? I know it now and I will take it to heart. For that consciousness I am grateful to Ma.

May Her labour and Her work for the souls who seek Her help be blessed by the Lord.

*Compassionate Ma meant that emotional people pity and intellectuals act. Theoretical pity leads to frustration – practical actions lead to divinity

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