Ma – As I know Her


Of the millions of human beings that come and go in the never ending procession of life and death, the world retains no trace. The earth covers the nameless legion with the cloak of oblivion. Not all, but now and again out of this mass of disappearing humanity, someone leaves behind imprints on the sands of time, some living thought, some deathless message, that eludes the death grip of time and pulses and throbs with life through the passing centuries. The two are easily distinguishable, the one who goes the way of all flesh, and the other achievement that does not depart. It is of such personalities that one may wonderingly ask, and ponder, what manner of persons were these that lived and died as other persons and yet are living still, deathless in death? If it were not for the heritage left by such personalities, humanity would be poor indeed with stark poverty of barren and arid past, a flat and un-stimulating present and a future without promise.

Fortunately, great teachers come from time to time to represent and re-interpret the essentials of religion in their pristine purity, to take us back to the pure source, as it were. And Rev. Ma – the Saint of Madhuban – is eminently One such. She belongs to the distinguished line of messengers of Eternal Religion, of the prophets of universalism and harmony.

In the history of religion, we find that it is when narrow selfish interests start operating, that division, degeneration and perversions develop. Religion, in general, is pure at the source, at the time of the great founder, but with the lapse of time the pure stream is befouled by the ignorance and selfishness of it less-edifying successors, many of them foolish yet proud. The result is internal schism, antagonism among different religious groups, leading to aggressive onslaughts and to religious wars organized against so-called non-believers.

The end product of all spiritual practice is to experience a total love for all people irrespective of race, religion or cultural background. Saints and scientists, both ancient and modern, having realized that narrow selfishness cannot confer peace on mankind, gave top-most priority to the interest of the whole of humanity and dedicated all thoughts, words and deeds to exploration of the universe, to unravel the “Universal Truth” with one-pointed attention. While the scientists confined themselves to the study of matter, the spiritualists concerned themselves with the study of soul. During the process, they developed such extra-ordinary mastery over the senses that they underwent, what to an ordinary human being appeared to be excruciating pain, with undisturbed mental calm and without any kind of suffering. Any number of names could be cited in support of this statement, but it would suffice to mention here that we have in our midst in Rev. Ma a shining example, a living embodiment of such a sanctified soul In her, we find, that this conquest of pain, this development of mental faculties to the plane of “Non-materialness” has brought in her in its train, an absolute sense of non-possession, therefore, non attachment is so strong and she gets so much engrossed in her pursuit of truth, and she forgets that she has a body. She does not care if she is misunderstood, or she is given rebuffs, or is subjected to bodily discomforts or pain. In fact, she becomes completely indifferent to everything else except to the unfolding of the problem she is after. Her love melts away all attitudinal thoughts and feelings, which give rise to all troubles. Her love includes all creatures in one compassionate embrace, irrespective of their normal material function in the scheme of things. In short, she leads a life like other men of religion, governed by two principles – “all are your own” and, “not I, but thou”. The story of her life is a story of these principles in practice. Her life enables us to see how to cultivate these attitudes.

Science believes in one thing only – not even in God, the scriptures or the heavens. It is committed to one thing alone – the truth, its search and its realization. So is Spirituality, which also professes that there is no religion higher than Truth. In spite of this common goal and also the fact that both these form two inseparable aspects of the study of universe, somehow there is a general feeling of confrontation and discontinuity between the two. Thus while the Scientist believes in a materialistic approach to reach the goal by trying to understand everything around him, the Spiritualist feels that this can only be achieved by understanding everything within himself, his own emotions, his mind and his consciousness. Further, according to spiritualists, while science is an instrument for understanding cosmic principles, the result of scientific investigation and research can ultimately do the opposite i.e. instead of unifying, it can end by destroying and disrupting human relations. The Scientist on the contrary, has the view that since spirituality does not believe in reason, but only in unquestioning submission to dogmas, there is a complete absence of freedom of thought leading to complete intolerance, inquisition of non-believers and religious wars. In the life of Rev. Ma, there is probably a harmonious combination of the two paths. Her life is neither a life of bare contemplation nor of bare activity. It is a harmonious reconciliation of the two paths. According to her view, both are necessary for living a full life. Although I can understand this as applied to the investigation of material things, I have yet to discover for myself the application of this technique, when it relates to the integration of the outer with the inner self.

A great person, as Rev. Ma is, says one thing. She repeats it in many tones of voice and in many contexts and as she is really great, She lives it. It is basically a clear, simple and indeed perfectly obvious message that she has for the world. It is a sort of message which makes one aghast with wonder and cause him to exclaim “Yes, of course, that’s how it is; this is what I have always known and believed in my heart, but never got around to admitting to myself”. The message is extraordinary because it reminds me of one simple and crucial truth that I know already. Ma is such a wonderful teacher. Her message is:  Each day miss no opportunity to serve others, to think in terms of “not I, but you”. In your daily life, just practice service to others. Think in terms of the convenience of others – the feelings of others. Don’t say he has treated me unjustly. Don’t say I want this. Just see what the other person wants.

In this age of skepticism, Rev. Ma presents a living example of a bright and abiding faith, which gives solace to all those men and women around her, who would otherwise have remained without spiritual light.

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