Mama’s primary education started in Mumbai, since Mama’s lokik father resided there. Mama had studied in English medium. She also knew Gujarati and could read and write Gurumukhi. Mama did not learn how to read or write Sindhi or Hindi languages. Her father’s untimely death brought her along with her family to Sindh, Hyderabad. Those days, it was uncommon for Sindhi girls to be fashionable and she was a rare example of a modern girl in Sindh. She was excellent in singing; she had a sweet voice like professional singers. As proficient as she was in singing, so too was she in dancing and clever at her studies and all other extra-curricular activities.
OUR FIRST MEETING
The first time I saw Mama was at a school function (programme). Mama had danced to “Twinkle twinkle little star…” Mama was awarded so many prizes for the dance that I was left wonder-struck. Mama was 16-years old at the time. I too attended the English-Medium Model School to complete my Metric (Class 10), and became Mama’s class-mate. We sat at the same bench but were not close friends since she was modern and I, simple. But since we were class-mates, we were friendly and loving to each other. At the time, I did not know about her lokik back-ground.
STRONG MEMORY POWER
In a little while, we had our Deepawali holidays. As I was free, I once visited Baba’s satsang. These satsangs had been carrying for about one-and-a-half to two months. Mama visited the satsang as well and when we met I told her, “This is a very good spiritual gathering. You should come everyday, I too will come.” Mama then attended the satsang daily. Mama had always been very intelligent and far-sighted. Mama’s memory power was so strong that she only had to listen to something once for it to get imprinted on her intellect. She could listen to one of Baba’s points and then talk about it for the next 10 days, unveiling more and more secrets. She could take up one point and talk on it for an hour; this revealed the clarity and depth of her understanding. Never once in her life did she say that she had forgotten something or say, “Yes, perhaps you had told me…” or “Oh yes! Now I remember what you had told me…” Mateshwari Jagadamba was the master of an unfathomable memory.
FULL OF MOTHERLY LOVE AND YET DETACHED
Mama showered so much love on everyone that the love would fill them through and through. Although Mama interacted with me as friends in the yagya, our relationship mirrored that of a mother and daughter. She took me along wherever she went.
Mama had limitless power of determination. No one could influence or make her waver once she had taken a determined thought. Having strong faith in whatever directions Baba gave, she inspired us to carry it through. As was her determination, so was her admirable faith in the intellect. Mama’s activities clearly proved that she was a natural Radhe, Mother of the Yagya. Every step emphasized the fact that she was the same Mama, the same Radhe, and the same Lakshmi.
Mama was very fearless. Mama was a lioness, the practical embodiment of power, and equally detached and unaffected. She was not body-conscious but her intoxication of self-respect was far more than of any other individual. She had complete faith in herself, Baba, and His task. Baba had only to mention that something needed to be done, and Mama would be on the job immediately. Baba existed in her thoughts and breath. She also had abundant love for everyone, which made my heart call out, “Mama, you are the idol of love and treasure-store of humility.” She was the image of motherly love, yet beyond attachment.
SHE DISCIPLINED & TAUGHT US WITH RESPECT
Whether it was Pandavas (brothers) or Shaktis (sisters), Mama would listen to matters of everyone’s heart, give advice, and point out mistakes too. Even when complaints came to Mama, she would merge it within and pacify both parties.
We learned something special whenever we met Mama. We always left her room with an inspiration or new teaching, having forgotten whatever we had come to say in the first place. Mama was the idol of contentment herself and remained extremely happy with whatever and however little she received.
VAK-KALA DEVI VAAGEESHWARI (Goddess of Eloquence)
Mama’s oratory skills were powerful and logical. No one could win a debate with Mama. Mama’s answers were like Arjuna’s arrows – they would hit the mark. In one incident, the District Commissioner of Karachi, Brother Jagatsher (who lived opposite our bungalow) asked Mama a couple of impertinent questions. Mama’s answers made him fall at her feet!
MOTHER DURGA – THE AUTHORITY & EMBODIMENT OF FEARLESSNESS
A warrant once came against Mama. Warrants in Dadi Manohar’s name and that of other Dadis’ were also been issued as they were minors, who were below 16 years of age and had left their homes to join the yagya. Mama was 18 years old at the time. Daily, we would receive warrants in one of the sister’s names and discuss it every morning. One day, Baba was in a light mood and said, “Om Radhe, today a warrant will come in your name and you’ll have to return home.” Mama replied, “Baba, there is no one who would send me a warrant. I only have a mother who knows that I am 18 years old. It is not possible for a warrant to come in my name.” Baba agreed with her and the matter ended there. At exactly 10 o’ clock, we received a warrant in Radhe Pokardas’s name. The warrant bore her lokik mother’s signature. When Mama saw the warrant, she said, “This is a false signature. I can guarantee that my mother could not have signed this. Prove to me that my own mother signed it. Apart from this, I have completed 18 years of age according to my date of birth, so this warrant is invalid. How can you say I am underage? Summon my mother – let her tell me that she has indeed signed this warrant.” But we had to accept the warrant. Later on, Mama went to court and told the judge, “My date of birth is this date, month, and year. This warrant does not hold my mother’s signature. You may question her yourself. If my mother says that she indeed issued this warrant in my name, then I will return home willingly.” This caused much commotion in the court. Her mother was then questioned and she replied, “I don’t know anything about this. No one asked me about it – I didn’t sign it.” Hearing this, the judge’s face went pale. The case ended there and Mama was driven back respectfully from the court. Mama had asked the judge, “Is this the way you summon women to the court?” Mama’s powerful and fearless speech silenced the judge absolutely! Mama never got scared; she was firm and had faith in the intellect, which allowed her to give precise answers. Mama thus personified Mother Durga.
SHE COMPLETELY FOLLOWED THE CODES OF CONDUCT & ETIQUETTE
Mama held deep respect for Baba and could never listen to someone else speak of Baba ordinarily. One time, I came to Mama after playing a game with Baba. I happily told Mama, “I won over Baba today.” Mama immediately said, “Keep quiet. Is this the way you should speak, that you have won over Baba?” But I insisted, “It’s true, Mama. I did win.” Mama then clarified, “Even if you did win, you won the game and not Baba. Therefore, you should say, I won the game.” Mama gave us the accurate meaning of every word and asked us to use it rightly. She constantly followed the codes of conduct and etiquette.
SHE ACCEPTED THE AIM, MADE EFFORTS & REACHED THE GOAL
I learned good manners by living with Mama. Om Radhe was a loving, sweet mother and friend to me. However much we praise sweet Mama, it always seems inadequate. She was as knowledgeable and a yogi soul, as she was Shiv-Shakti Mother. Baba would say, “A soul with faith in the intellect is always victorious”; I saw the complete practical proof of this in Mama. No matter whether it was Baba who saw Mama first or vice-versa, Baba said instantly, “O Radhe, you are Anuradhe (the one to become Shri Lakshmi), you are Jagadamba”. The moment Mama came in front of Baba, he said, “O Radhe, you are Om Radhe. O Om Radhe, you are Jagadamba (World Mother), you are mother to all.” It was astonishing to see how Baba related Mama’s biography automatically as soon as she came before him. I noticed that Mama too accepted this with faith, made efforts and lived up to it.
The one to play the veena (Indian lute), Mother Saraswati, played the veena of knowledge so sweetly that it pleased the minds of all listeners. Mama was the fearless Mother Durga and Mother Shakti. Baba’s reference to the dual bead (meru dãnã) of the rosary of victory became a reality when Mama came to the yagya.
THE ONE ADORNED WITH GARLANDS OF VIRTUES
Whether it was in Om Mandli, or Om Niwas or Kunj Bhawan, I have always lived with Mama. Whoever came in front of her — with whatever motive — her drishti would make them fall at her feet in reverence. We stayed with Mama during all 14 years of tapasya. It was her daily routine to wake up at 2 a.m. and then sit on a chair in her room to meditate. She would sit with us and teach us every type of physical service; whether it was cleaning the grains, or cutting vegetables, she would be the first to come for service and instruct us as well.
On invitation, Mama first left the yagya on service to Kanpur (Uttar Pradesh). I was in Delhi then and Baba sent me a telegram saying I should accompany Mama to Kanpur. And so, not only once, but Baba sent me on tour with Mama many times. Devotees say there is a rosary of 36 virtues and Mama was number one in all 36 of them.
There were sisters older than Mama in the yagya, but she behaved both as a friend and mother with them.
MOTHER REMINDS US OF MADHUBAN GRAPES
You have most likely seen the grape vine in Baba’s garden at Madhuban; it first bore fruit on 23rd June 1965. Baba asked Mama to feed grapes to us children and so, Mama gave two grapes each to all the souls present in Madhuban on 24th June after Murli class. These grapes remind us of Mama.
The one question in everyone’s heart is, where is Mama now? Where has Baba hidden her? But only Baba knows the answer to this question. Baba, You alone know Your ways and means. Baba has still kept this a secret. But Mama must surely be somewhere…
*by Dadi Prakashmaniji