The Mother


The Matha, the Mother, was a very special woman for both Prema and Kumar. She, the Matha or Mother, was a devotee of Sri Ram. She had turned to the mystic ways of an ascetic early in her life. As she would say, I do not know any other life. I can understand your problems, my children, but I stand by the side. Observing, as an emissary of our Lord Ram. I am the incarnation of Matha Sabari, sishya of Guru Rishi Matanga. Faith is such that she could survive all by herself on the mountains of the Ghats, on nothing but some fruits till she could see Ram with her own eyes. Nobody could judge her age. Nobody could judge my age either. I am forever. I exist, as did Matha Sabari, who fed Sri Ram.
Such was the saffron-clad, ash-covered lady who came to their house two days later. She did not look the least bit like the lady in Ramayana, but then this was what Sabari Ma looked like when she was young.
“I heard you, child,” said the Ma, holding Prema in an embrace. “I heard the voice of your distress even before Kumar called. So something already prepared me for the journey to meet with you two.”
She sat on the chair Kumar offered. She had a perpetual smile on her face. A smile that was consoling and endearing.
The couple knelt and then lay flat on their belly at her feet and worshiped as they usually did at her ashram, near the hills. A mysterious calm descended on Prema. She was the more ardent devotee. Not that Kumar was far behind.
Mother listened to their troubles and fears. The eyes of Prema filled with tears despite her smile on being near the Mother. The three of them sat in their chairs in silence. The Mother had closed her eyes, and she prayed to judge by her lips. After praying, she opened her knapsack and gave some ashes to the couple. She applied the ash on Prema’s forehead.
“The gods are listening, my children. They permeate everything, you, me, the stars, the dark matter, everything. To you. Your fears and anxieties. Go without fear. This is just a test for you. You will succeed, I am sure. You will be safe in his arms, as the glorious army was. As even Ravana was. Trust in me. Because through me your trust goes to all mighty Vishnu himself. He loves his children. Remember the anecdote about the squirrel. It was true. Even the tiniest bit of creation emanates from him and eventually merges in him. He is the creator and the sustainer and the motive force of the final dissolution. We only imagine, in our ignorance, that he is just a single entity. He is everywhere and knows everything. All that is known are known to Him, and all that happens, happens because of Him. Do you think He is now aware of your fear, your apprehension? He is inside, in all your cells and currents that flow in your body even now, listening to your soul. What He decides will be. Prema. I can hear what he has chosen for you. He has chosen success. And sadness. You will get through this ordeal, as you think it will be. But my child, I must tell you that I see great sorrow ahead of you. Great sorrow for both of you. I see a void. An unbridgeable void. But do not let that trouble you now. What must, will happen, dear children. Do you doubt that!”
“There is a lesson in the tale of Damayanthi and Nala. Indeed there is a message in the life of the Lord and Devi Sita. Take heart in those stories, I have told you so many times. For they are not stories. They are lessons. The ancient sages hid the meaning of the scriptural stories behind layers of obfuscation. But I know the deeper messages, as do a few enlightened folks. We transmit those divine messages to you. You already know the power the Lord has over your daily life and your immortal soul. You have led a good life, and, well, think of your life as a ledger. Keep your ledger is clean.”

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