There are, perhaps, no specifically spiritual contexts. All texts are implicit in every context. The most mundane is instinct with the most marvelous interior insight. The borderline between the sacred and the secular is conceptual not perceptual. Every incident in Mother's life illustrates this. Whatever is done or happens in the environment is a potential context for enlightenment.


Mother one day takes black gram to the backyard and begins washing. Then Sitapati guru happens to come and, surprised, asks Mother:How come, Mother, you are doing work?" And she replies:I felt like washing the gram". Very commonplace context and conversation! But when we begin to watch and hear what Mother says after that reply, we realize that She is designing a scene of profound revelatory power. She continues pressing the gram and says:


How come the water is yellowish now? The chaff is coming out as soon as the gram is pressed. And the natural color of the chaff has percolated to the gram. Is this what is called the strength of company (companionship)? It is water only, which separated the grain and its chaff. But, though able to separate, it couldn’t help losing its natural color. Though one thing has the ability or the power to change the nature of another, this one power or ability has got to blend or mix with the other".


Who would have guessed that the process of pressing black gram would be the context made to yield extremely subtle lessons in nature and nurture. The natural color of the gram pervades the water and changes its color. Can't we think of the corresponding insight as concerned with basic gunas and their impact on things or people close by? Perhaps, if the idea is extended one gets the context of satsang - the company of fellow seekers - and its impact. Like the gram changing the natural color of water, a satsangi can change the natural quality or disposition of others. But this possible, only when - like the water which allowed its color to change - the other is open and receptive! At that level only the commingling of both are possible and the change brought about. Above all, the chaff has come off! That is the most important thing. And we can think of it as our persistent ego perishing wholly. The water is Mothers grace: it changes the color of our being, only when the ego evaporates. (But this is also her designs) But Mother doesn't lose color, like the water becoming yellowish in the present context.


The simple reason is: Mother is changeless and seems to change others whereas, in fact, her grace only unfolds what is unfolded, imbedded. Continuing further, the significance of shakti, Mother says:


"Shakti is in various forms. Finally, all is Shakti. Perhaps, what we call God is this power only. To this only they have given various names. And even the name has shakti, isn’t it? There is form for an idea. And for that form there is a name. And that form has Shakti. There is nothing that is inferior in all these.


An idea has form and for that form we give a name. And, contrary to what we think, the name, too, is not just a verbal sign but a vibrant presence. The interchangeability of Name and Form is the bedrock of all our responses to spiritual matters". And what is the name of that form which we call JilleIIamudi Amma? Mother of All! So, neither the physical form nor the name can claim superiority over the other.


Indeed, for Mother the very notions of privilege, or priorities do not exist. And, this extends even to physical objects. Mother designs this revelation in a remarkable way. When Sitapati guru asks Mother, How come Mother, you are going on telling as though somebody asked you?", Mothers answer extends the idea of Shakti to literally everything:


When I told you, you didn't give an answer. Therefore, I am talking to the gram, to the chaff, to the water, to the vessel. They all have consciousness, awareness. If consciousness is absent one cannot change the other..


What a strange phenomenon: talking to the blackgram, to water, indeed to the vessel! What, one wonders, is the language in this context? Words, certainly not. For, later Mother says,If we want to talk, it need not necessarily be with humans alone. We can talk with them (those things) also". Mother now enters the field of nature:


“ln the case of human beings also, are all their ideas the same? Just as there are variations in humans, so there are in padarthas, things, like that. We may not understand their language. When you go near a tree, she greets you saying ‘Oh! You have come! But, alas! We do not recognize (the greeting).


The word padartha, could also be interpreted as artha, the meaning, of a pada, a word. But it could also mean, as it generally does to us, a physical entity, a thing. And when we go near a tree, it greets you, delighted that you came to see her!


We talk glibly about environmental awareness. But only when we know and experience the fact that since everything in nature is Mothers Chaitanya Shakti, even the so-called inanimate is alive! And a radiant extension of this is the scene where Mother is with birds. Cuckoos, crows and other birds nestle in her lap: often they look at Mother, and equally often they look at and talk among themselves and nod their heads"! Indeed, a crow which hurt her leg dives for Mothers lap and settles there. And She says strangely: ”to feed you, I don’t have anything except myself with me. So eat me! A sleeping cuckoo is awakened by Mothers touch. She looks at Mother and bending her head does namaskar.


What a scene of cosmic unity of nature, of unitive consciousness that pervades everything - everything literally.. we find enacted! From the gram, through pots and vessels and then trees to birds! Indeed, one can arrive at a startling conclusion: there are ears and ears, eyes and eyes, words and words! As a devotee who saw Paramahamsa Ramakrishna exclaimed:Have you seen his eyes, his lips? He doesn’t hear by his ears alone, he also hears through the eyes"2. These are, in short, love eyes and love ears. And they encompass the entire cosmos with that love. For, such beings, it is not so much communication as communion or rather common union of spirit.


Prof. M. Sivaramkrishna
Mother of all (English) |January-March 2005