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Jayrambati Series -15

 Initiation

One evening, Annapurna’s mother, a senior devotee, entered Holy Mother Sri Sarada Devi’s room and said. “Mother, I saw you in a dream asking me to receive your prasada [food sanctified by Mother], which would cure me of my disease. But Sri Ramakrishna had forbidden me to eat the prasada of anybody. Still I shall be glad if you will kindly give me a little of your prasada.”

Mother refused to do so, but the woman began to insist upon it.

Mother said: ‘Do you want to disobey Sri Ramakrishna?’

The lady: ‘Sri Ramakrishna’s words were applicable so long as I made a distinction between him and you. But I now realize both of you to be identical. So please give me your prasada.’

The Mother had to yield.

Another day, when I went to see Mother, she inquired about my husband. I said that he was not in good health. She asked me to write a letter for her. She dictated it. After having written the letter, I took leave of her in the evening.

I went to see the Holy Mother again after many days. She had gone back to her village home on 26th February 1913 and had returned to Calcutta in September 1913, a few days before the Durga Puja. That afternoon I found a woman kneeling near her feet and begging with tears for initiation. The Mother was seated on her bedstead. She refused to comply with her prayer and said, “I have already told you that I would not be able to initiate you now. I am not well.” The woman was insistent. The Mother felt annoyed and said, “You think only of yourselves. You are perfectly satisfied if you get the Mantra. But you never think of the consequence.” However, the woman was inexorable. All of us felt disgusted. The Holy Mother at last asked her to come another day. Then the woman requested her to ask one of the monks to give her initiation. Mother: ‘Suppose they refuse?’

Woman: ‘What do you mean, Mother? They must obey you.’

Mother: ‘In this matter they may refuse to comply with my request.’ Finding the woman unrelenting, Mother said, “Well, I shall ask Khoka (Swami Subodananda). He will initiate you.” But the woman started insisting again and said, “I shall be happy to be initiated by you. You can certainly fulfil my desire if you like.” Not just that. The woman brought out ten rupees [which was some amount in those days] and said, “Here is some money. You may purchase the necessary articles for initiation.” We all felt mortified at her impudence.

At last Mother was angry and said severely, “What? Do you mean to tempt me with money? You cannot coax me with these coins. Take them back.” The Holy Mother immediately left the room.

The problem did not end there. Being hard pressed by the woman, the Holy Mother at last agreed to initiate her on the sacred Mahashtami day. The woman eventually took leave of us. The Mother now found some leisure to talk to me.

I came to see Holy Mother after two months and a half. She said, “Oh! It is almost an age since I have seen you!” In the course of the talk I asked her about the woman whom she had consented to initiate.

Mother: ‘She could not come here on the appointed day. I had said to her, “I am now ill. Let me be well and then I shall initiate you.” My words came to be true. She could not come on the Mahashtami day as she herself fell ill. She came here many days later and was initiated.’

Devotee: That is right. The words that are once uttered by you cannot but be fulfilled. We suffer as we go counter to your wishes. Many a time, you condescend to initiate people even while you are ill, and thus suffer all the more by transferring their sufferings to yourself.

Mother: Yes, my dear child. Sri Ramakrishna also used to say, “Otherwise why should this body have suffered at all?”


 

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