Prof. V. Rangarajan
[Talk given in the Divine Life Society, Reservoir Hills, Durban, South Africa, on December 8, 1985]Sarvamangala mangalye shive sarvaarthsaadhike Saranye tryambake gauri naarayani namostutte!
Paramapoojaneeya Sri Gurudev, Poojay Swami Sahajananadaji Mharaj, mothers and brothers,
While coming here for today’s statsang, I was with a blank mind. I had no idea of what I should speak today. But, after coming here, Swamiji has given me a topic—a topic on which I have nothing to speak—and that is “the Mother of Kanyakumari – Mayee”. The Vedas declare about the Ultimate Reality, “Yato Vaacho nirvatnante, apraapya manasaa sa”—wherfrom the words return, unable to be reached by the mind. That is Mother. You cannot comprehend her by your mind and describe her by your words. She is beyond thought and word. How can I speak about the Mother? She is something to be experienced; not to be spoken of. If you want to know her, you have to come and sit at her feet, because till this day no one has written biography of the Mother. Many have attempted and failed. None could do it. She is mysterious phenomenon. Before I tell you something about the Mother, I feel, I must tell you something about Motherhood itself.
Mother is all
Our Rishis teach us the Practical Vedanta. We find in the Taittiriya Upanishad the Guru giving a convocation address to the Shishya who is going out of the Gurukula, telling him:Maatru devo bhava, Ptru devo bhava, Achray devo bhava!-
-Let your mother be god, father be god and preceptor be god, he gives the first place to mother. Why? Without Her nothing can move in the universe. There is an interesting story in the Kenopanishad, one of the ten important Upanishads.
Once there was a bitted battle between the Devas and the Asuras. The Asuras got defeated and the Devas in a conference were reveling over their victory. Each one of them was boasting that it was because of his might that the Asuras were defeated. Agni said, “It was I who burnt everything into ashes.” Varuna, the sea-god, said “No, no, it was I who flooded every place and destroyed them.” Vayu, the wind-god claimed that it was he who blew off everything. Thus they were fighting amongst themselves to determine who was the hero of the battle. Then, all of a sudden, the Supreme Spirit appeared in the form of a flash of light on the horizon. The Devas were baffled, not knowing what it was. Devendra called Agni and asked him to go and find out what it was. Agni approached the Spirit and asked, “who are you? You seem to be mysterious!” The Spirit asked in turn, “Who are you?” Agni replied ” I am Lord Agni, the Omniscient! I can reduce everything in the universe to a handful of ashes!” The Spirit put a dry blade of grass in front of him and asked him to burn it. Agni got irritated at this small job. But, he soon found, with all his might he could not burn it. He returned defeated. Indra then sent Vayu. He was also asked “Who are you?” He boasted, “I am Lord Vayu, I can blow off everything!” The Spirit asked him to move the blade of grass. He too found that his might could not move even a blade of grass and returned defeated. Now Indra himself approached the Spirit with humility and then the Spirit vanished and there appeared before him in all resplendence, Uma Haimavati, the Divine Mother without whom nothing could move in the universe. She revealed herself as the Supreme Shakti from whom all the gods and goddesses derived their power.
Even Shiva without Sahkti is Shava. It is a fact that the entire universe is the play of the Mother. The great patriot-poet of Tamilnadu, Mahakavi C. Subramania Bharati has written very inspiring patriotic songs as well s devotional songs in Tamil. Very few know that he was also a very forceful writer in English language. He wielded a very powerful pen and if you read his English writings, you will be surprised to see that his writings are as forceful as that of Mahayogi Sri Aurobindo. Sri Aurobindo was brought up in England, in sophisticated western surroundings, but Bharati was an ordinary man who lived a simple life and had not much of university education. Yet his style and force in English was similar to that of Sri Aurobindo. His English writings have come out in the form of a book, “The Agni and Other Poems and Translations & Essays and other Prose Fragments”. In one of his essays, “Matri-Puja”, he writes about the worship of Divine Mother. He says, “God the Father is ideal. God the Mother is the actual. That I am one with Pure Being is a spiritual realization. That I am one with the manifested world is an actual, everyday experience. Indeed, ultimately, the ideal is the same as the actual; but we, children of earth, find in the motherhood of God, a dearer relation, a sweeter rapport. Nor need we erect shrines standing before us; ever-shining, ever-beautiful. She stands revealed as Nature.” In order to realize him, we have only to worship Her.
Worship of the Divine Mother
What is worship? The essential requisite of worship is ‘bhakti’ or devotion. What is devotion? Narada In his Bhakti Sootra defines ‘bhakti’ as Parama prema swaroopa—the form of most intense love. To whom we can show the most intense love? Everyone knows that he or she can pour out the most intense love to the mother who gave birth to him of her. Every child knows whom it loves most. The very name of mother invokes the intense feeling of love and affection in our hearts. Hence, the form of intense devotion can manifest only when we conceive the Supreme Being as the Divine Mother. Since time immemorial, In the Hindu pantheon, the female counterparts of the Gods have been worshipped more intensely than the Gods. Shakti is dearer and nearer to us than Shiva, the Eternal Dissolver. We can approach Mahavishnu, the God of Substance, easily through Mahalakshmi, through Lakshmipooja, for obtaining wealth and hppiness. Brahma, the Eternal Creator, cannot be directly approached. We have to go through Mahasaraswati and we get all wisdom. Mother is always dearer to us than Father. The great advaita acharya, Adi Shankara, says: Kuputro jayeta kwachidapi kumaataa na bhavati—A bad son may sometimes be born, but a bad mother never. Even if we are cruel and wicked to our mother, she can never be cruel to us.
There is an interesting story about this. There was a son who was ignorant, unintelligent and stupid and who used to frequent the house of a woman of bad character. In order to please her, he took everything from his house and gave to her. His own mother was very poor, suffering and sick, but he never took care of her. But the wicked prostitute thought that as long as the mother was alive, she could not possess him fully and therefore she decided to get rid of the old woman. She played a trick. She told the young man, “Look here, I an sick. The physician says that I could get cured only if I cook and eat your mother’s heart. Please go and get it.” The young man was worried. He thought, “How can I go and ask my mother to give her heart?” He came home and his mother found him very depressed. She asked him, “My son, you seem to be worried. What is the reason?” The son then revealed her what the lady told him. The mother at once replied, “Oh, that is all you want! For your happiness I am prepared to give up my heart.” She cut her body to enable her son to take her heart. When the young man took her heart and was proceeding to the house of the prostitute, he stumbled on a stone and fell on the ground. The heart, which he was holding in his hand, talked to him: “Oh! My son, did you get injured?”
That is mother’s heart. That is why even the great Brahmajnani, Sri Shankaracharya, who said Brahma satya, jagat mithya—the Brahman alone is real and the world is illusory Maayaamayam—pored out his devotion to the Ultimate Reality in the form of the Divine Mother Kamakshi, He also sang the Kanakadhaaraa Stotram, Meenakshi Pancharatnam and other hymns in the praise of the mother in the forms of Mookambika and Sharada. He fell prostate at the feet of the Mother in all Her temples, because even a man o the highest realization could seek his identity with the Ultimate only through the Mother.
Mother worship is not confined to Hindu religion only. Even in Christianity we find the concept of Virgin Mary. Virgin Mary is not different from Kanyakumari. ‘Kanya’ in Sanskrit means ‘virign’ and ‘Mary’ is nothing but the variation of ‘Maari’ the name of the Divine Mother in Tamil. Parashakti or the Divine Mother is adored as Maari Amman. Amman means mother. The concept of Virginity of the Mother has its origin in the story of Mother Parvati standing on one foot as Kanya Kumari at Kanyakumari, the southern tip of Bharatavasha, doing Tapas to get the hand of Shiva, who is on the top of the northern most mountain, Himalayas. The renowned western writer, E.A. Payne, has written a book on Shakti Cult, titled “The Shatas”, and in it he clearly points out the origin of the concept of Virigin Mary in the Shakti Cult of India. Centuries back, this Shakti Cult had spread outside India to ancient Babylonia, Greece, Crete, Egypt and other parts of the world. The Babylonian word Ummu of Umma, the Acadian Ummi and the Dravidan Amma for the mother are only different variations of Uma, the Mother of us all. A Creatn deity depicted on a signet-ring, as flanked by two lions and standing in the top of a hill, the Greek Mother-goddess guarded by lions and the Mother Goddess of Asia Minor who had beasts kneeling at Her feet are all different representations of the Mother. In the coins of King Huvishka also we find the Mother Goddess depicted with a Greek legend, Ommmo, which is rightly rendered as Uma. We all know that lion is the vehicle of Mother Parvati. So the supreme ideal of worship of the Mother has travelled all over the world and has captured the hearts of people of all civilsiations.
The Sacred Abode of Kanya Kumari
Bharatavarsha is the embodiment of Parashakti. I have already explained to you how our ancestors worshipped our Motherland as the manifestation of Mahashakti. As I have told you, from Kanyakumari to the Himalayas, we have fifty-two Shaktipeethas. In our holy land, great sages and seers have incarnated in all ages. Gurudev Shivananda has written volumes on the sages and saints of India—from Vyasa and Yagnavalkya to Eknath, Tukaram, Ramdas, Ramakrishan and Ramana Maharshi—who have all appeared in different periods from the Vedic times to the modern age. All these sages have considered this form of Mother-worship as very dear to them. Kanyakumari is the spot where Mother Parashakti herself stands and does Her tapascharya. On the Viviekananda Rock in the southern tip of our land, surrounded by the three seas, you will find a footstep still preserved in a glass case. It is just opposite to the Vivekananda mantapam constructed on the rock and is known as Shripad Mantapam. The rock itself was known as Shripadashila before Swami Vivekananda sat there and meditated for three days and therefore it came to be called Viviekananda Rock. Shripadam means the foot of the Divine Mi\other. Mother Parvati still does Her tapas there. When Swami Vivekananda came to Kanyakumari, he had no money with him. Therefore he could not pay to boatmen to take him across the sea to the rock. But he was so much fascinated by the idea of worshipping the Mother on the rock that he decided to reach there. He did not care for anything and he was determined that even at the risk of his life, he must swim to the rock. He plunged into the sea, rode on the turbulent waves and reached the rock. He sat there for three days, meditating on the Mother in the form of Motherland and got the Grace of the Mother. So Kanyakumai is a very sacred spot. There is another place called Sucheendram, very near Kanyakumari. There is a story behind its getting the name. You might have heard about the great saint, Atri and his wife, Anasuya. When they were living there a significant thing occurred. Devendra, the Chief of Devas, had incurred the wrath of a Rishi and was cursed. He was, however, told that the Trinity – Brahma , Vishnu and Shiva – would take an incarnation in a combined form in that sacred spot near Kanyakumari and by worshipping them in that form, he can get rid of his curse. Therefore he was waiting for such an opportunity. In the three universes, if anything goes wrong, it is Narada who manipulates things to bring about an avatara of the Lord. Narada will play some tricks and though it may create some confusion for the time being, everything will end up in good. Narada came to the ashrama of Atri when he was away. Anasuya received him with honours. He asked her to di a wonderful job for him. He told her, ” I have got some iron pellets. Kindly cook them for me.” To Anasuya, who was an embodiment of chastity, it was no big problem. She had done the padapooja of her husband and had kept the water with her. She sprinkled the water on the pellets and using the power of her chastity, cooked them and gave them to him. Narada took them straight to the heaven and presenting them before Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati, he told them; ” Look here, sometimes back I asked you to cook these iron pelletes for me and you said, it is not possible to do that. But in the world there is great woman who is an embodiment of chastity and more powerful than you three. She has done it.” Naturally women become jealous when somebody else is praised as more powerful than them. Narada told them: “you put any test, and she will succeed.” They therefore decided to test the power of chastity of Anasuya. They summoned their husbands – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva respectively – and asked them to go to Anasuya and test her power. What should they do? “You must go and ask for alms,” they said. The Trinity replied, “It is not difficult thing.” Then the Divine Mother’s told them: “It is not so easy. You must ask her to come stark naked and offer you alms”. When the wives command, husbands are helpless. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva had no other go. They reached the place where Anasuya was residing. She was immensely please to receive the three together. Then the Trinity explained to her the purpose of their visit and also the condition put by their consorts. Anasuya simply smiled and said, “Oh! That is very simple”. She went inside, brought the picture containing the sacred water with which she had washed the feet of her husband and sprinkled the water in the Trinity. All the three became small babies. She then took them inside and fed them in the manner they wanted. The news reached the heaven and Sarswati, Lakshmi and Parvati were shocked. They rushed to the ashrama and fell prostrate at the feet of Anasuya. Anasuya placed the three babes in front of them and asked them to take back their respective husbands. But the three babies looked so alike that they could not identify them.
Anasuya told them that this was all a Divine Play for some specific purpose and they must wait till it is over. Then she made the three babies into one by the power of her chastity and thus came the avatara of Dattatreya. The story of Dattatreya is yet another long one. But the point I want to stress is that the Trinity here came to be known as “Sthanumaalayan”—Sthanu is Shiva, Maal is Vishnu and Ayan is Brahma. The presiding deity of the Shucheendram temple is even today worshipped as Sthanumaalayan. Devendra came there to get rid of his curse and the place therefore came to be known as ‘Shucheendram’ meaning the place where Indra was purified. So these two places, Kanyakumari where Mother does her Tapas and Shucheendram where Anasuya established the strength of chastity, are very sacred.
Mother Mayamma of Kanyakumari
Why I said all these is that these two sacred spots are closely connected to our Holy Mother Mayamma of Kanyakumari. People do not know wherefrom she came. No biographer has discovered her place of origin. No one knows what is her age. I have gone to Kanyakumari and met people who are in their seventies and eightiees and they have told me that they have been seeing her on the sea-shore right from their younger days. Some others have seen her in Shucheendram because she has been living in that area too. She has been living in Kanyakumari for a long time. Nobody knows wherefrom she came there. But sometimes, some revelations do occur. I do not know whether in this scientific age you will be inclined to believe such revelations. But it did occur to me. Once she revealed to her source of origin. She is from Kamakhya, the great temple of the Mother in Assam. There the presiding diety is Kamakhyadevi and Mother is the avatar of Kamakhyadevi. How she reached Kanyakumari and how many years back? No one can answer. It is revealed that more than three hundred years back she manifested in Kamakhya templeand then she reached Kanyakumari. In Kanyakumari, she was living among the fishermen folk. For all practical purposes she appeared to be mad, old, beggar woman. No one ever knew her power. The fishermenfolk even gave her all sorts of work like breaking the firewood, pounding the rice and drying the fish. All this work she used to do with smiling face and they would give her some rice and fish which she used to take sitting at the sea-shore. She used to sleep at the mantapa of the temple or on a roadside platform or infront of a hotel or restaurant. She was living like that. None knew her greatness. About two decades back, one day, a van with some tourist cam to Kanyakumari. It so happened that it ran over a stray dog. The dog’s intestines came out and it died on the spot. When people were watching that ghastly sight, this mad beggar woman with her bundle of rags appeared on the scene from somewhere. When people were wondering as to what this woman was going to do, she pushed the intestines into the stomach of the dog, bandaged it with some straw and patted on its back. To the utter surprise of everyone, the dog got up and started running. That day the people realized who she was. Since then, people in Knayakumari adore her as the Divine Mother. Many people got their own share of wonderful experiences with her, but so far, very few have recorded them. A few years back, I started a humble attempt to collect information about the experiences of many devotees of the Mother. But because there is no authoritative biography of the Mother, I have to speak mostly on the basis of my own experiences, I am sorry, I have to make a reference to myself here. I apologies to you. I came into close contact with the Mother about five years back. Since then I have been collecting materials about her by preparing a questionnaire and sending it to her devotees all over the country seeking information about their experiences. Some important people have narrated to me personally their own experiences. I will tell about a few of them before I narrate my own personal experiences.
Experiences of Devotees
Swami Golokananda is the President of Ramakrishna Mission Ashram in Trivandrum. (Now he is in Tiruvalla.) he had come to Kanyakumari to have darshan of the Bhagavati in the temple. He was sitting in a restaurant neat the temple and taking food. All of a sudden he thought about Mother Mayamma of Kanyakumari. He had an intense yearning to see her. He thought, if she appeared before him right then, he could give her some edibles as Prasad. As soon as this thought arose in his mind, to his utter surprise, he found Mother Mayee walking in and standing by his side with her bundle in her hand. He gave her some food. She laughed hilariously and he also burst into laughter. The swamiji himself narrated this incident to me.
Dr. Lakshmikumari is the President of Vivekananda Kendra, a nation-wide organization with its headquarters at Kanyakumari. She has dedicated her life for the Kendra. There are many other workers in the Kendra. But very few of them have come closer to Mayee. Dr. Lakshmikumari had an interesting experience. One day she went to the Bhagavati temple in Kanyakumari and was standing in front of the deity, silently offering prayers. The whole place was lonely. All of a sudden she heard a voice telling her, ” Why are you standing here when I am waiting for you outside?” She at once finished her prayers and rushed out of the temple. She was astonished to see the Divine Mother Mayee standing outside the temple laughing at her.
There is another swamiji, Arumugam, in a village near Kanyakumari. He wanted to set u a small shrine for Lord Ganesha. He was in the look out of an idol for the shrine. He came to Kanyakumari, went to the temple and after offering prayers, went to see Mother Mayee who was sitting in the sea-shore surrounded by her dogs. Some forty or fifty dogs are always around her as her faithful guards. It is said in the early days, some robbers tried to deprive her of her simple possessions. What possession she must have had? Only a few rags of clothes and a few vessels. But they tried to steal even that. All of a sudden a group of hounds sprung on the thieves ad chased them. Since then these dogs are always with her. There are big ones and small puppies too, the family ever growing. It is a wonderful sight to see the Mother caressing the puppies and taking care of the dogs. While feeding them, she makes no distinction between the dogs and her devotees. She will feed them and with the same hand distribute prasad to the devotees. The dogs remain always calm and cool, sharing the prasad that she gives with devotees coming there. When Sir Arumugaswami came there she was with her dogs. As soon as she saw him, she smiled and asked to wait. Then she removed all her clothes, walked to the sea and plunged into it. Mother has no body consciousness at all and she goes stark naked to the sea for her bath. From the sea she returned with a beautiful idol of Lord Ganehsa. How did she materialize it? It is a mystery. The idol is still preserved by the swami.
At the Holy feet of the Mother
I have been going to Kanyakumari for the last fifteen or sixteen years. Right from the inception of the Vivekananda Kendra by the dedicated founder of Vivekananda Rock Memorial, Sri Eknath Ranade, I have bee very close to the Kendra. I was in charge of editing their publications and I had the opportunity to visit Kanyakumari very often. One of my colleagues, Brother Gopalakrishnan, who was earlier in the Chinmaya Mission and then in the Kendra, had left everything and settled down at the feet of the Divine Mother Mayee, devoting his whole life to Sadhana. He used to tell me about the greatness of the Mother sitting in the sea-shore. But I never got interested in coming closer to her. I thought, “Let her sit there. Why should I go and disturb her.” In one of my visits, when I called on him, he said, I would see the Mother before I return. It was a forenoon and actually I was to leave Kanyakumari in a few hours. I did not believe that I would see her before I leave. I told him, I would see her in my next visit. But when I came to the Kendra office to collect my ticket. I was told, there was no train service that afternoon and I had to cancel the journey. I went to my room and tried to relax for sometime. I was on my cot, with my eyes closed and about to fall asleep. All of a sudden I heard a call, ” Come, come out”. I got startled, got up from the bed and even without closing my room, started walking towards the sea-shore, impelled by some mysterious force. I found the Mother waiting there for me. She was as usual surrounded by her dogs. It was afternoon. The blazing sun was up above and no one else, except Sri Rajendran, Mayee’s devoted and faithful attendant, there on the sea-shore. Sri Rajendran was a mason. He came to Kanyakumari about twelve years back and he met the Mother. Right at the moment he saw her, he was attracted by her divinity, he gave up his job and since then he is very loyally and devotedly serving the Mother as her foremost disciple. Now he, his wife and children live with the Mother and he has only one work from morning till late In the night—attending to the needs of the Mother, cooking food for her, washing her clothes and dishes and helping her to answer the calls of nature. Round the clock he is by her side, attending her with utmost piety and devotion. So he was there with the Mother. Most involuntarily I fell prostrate at her feet. Something pulled me nearer to her. She touched my head and at once I plunged into trance. When I opened my eyes, it was about 7.30 in the night. Instead of the hot sun, a chill wind was blowing. The entire area was dark. The Mother was there still in front of me. It was a very thrilling experience. And I stayed there with her for three days.
After coming back to my home at Madras, for the nest ten or fifteen days I could not think of anything other than the Mother. My mind was wholly absorbed in her. I talked to people about Mother and Mother alone. I could not attend to my duties and give lectures in the college. Even my people at home thought that there was something wrong with me. I was in such a mood. On the fifteenth day, I was impelled by some force to leave again for Kanyakumari which is about 700 Kms away from Madras. At once, I caught a bus and the next morning I reached there. I spent sometimes with the Mother. It was at that time she revealed many things about her. That day when I was sitting infront of her, a wonderful incident took place. A lady had come to her falling prostrate at her feet, was weeping and wailing. She was telling something to the Mother. I and my friend, Gopal, were there sitting at a little distance, watching the woman and the Mother. All of a sudden I noticed Mother pointing her finger to me and directing the lady to me. The lady walked towards me and I was wondering why Mother was sending her to me. She came near me and with tears rolling down her eyes told me. ” Swami, I want your help.” I gently asked her, ” Who are you, mother, and what can I do for you?” She then replied, ” I am from Trivandrum. I live in Jagati. My husband Krishna Pillai, is a grocer. My third son, who is about 20 years old, left the house some two years back. We do not know his where-abouts and we are searching for him. I have been coming to the Mother for the last few years. She is my last resort when I am in distress. She has today pointed out that you can help us.”
I was in fix. How can I help her. The boy is missing from Trivandrum, a far away place from Madras where I live. Who knows where he has gone—to Madras or to any other place in the country. Even if he had come to Madras, which is a big city like Durban, it is difficult to find him. However, I had to console her. I told her, ” Look here, I have got ample faith in the Divine Power of the Mother. Because she has directed you to me, she herself will show you a way out. Please give me your address. By the grace of the Mother, some day I will find out your son and contact you. Believe in her.” She gives me her address and that day itself I returned to Madras. It was all the play of Mother.
On one Friday morning, I had finished my poojas and was taking classes for the students of our Sister Nivedita Academy. When the classes were about to be over, a young man walked into my room. In my house, I have only a small room full of books and all people coming there are for attending lectures or for any other purpose usually sit on the floor, for we have not enough chairs and furniture. The boy walked in and sat silently. As soon as I saw his face, I remembered the mother whom I had seen at Kanyakumari—that lady from Trivandrum. I immediately sent away the students and asked the boy alone to sit down. Without talking to him, I asked my wife to bring food for both of us. The boy was surprised. He said, “Swami, you didn’t even ask me who I am!” I replied, ” I need not ask you. I know who you are. First let is have our lunch and the we will talk.” The boy could not believe this. He said “Swami, you have mistaken me for someone else. I do not know you at all.” I then asked him, ” Are you not the son of Radha Amma of Jagati?” The boy got a shock. “Yes! How do you know that, swamiji?”‘ he asked. I pointed out the portrait of Mother Mayee by my side and asked him whether he knew her. He looked at the portrait and said, “Yes, my mother is her devotee and she goes to her often.” I then told him that it was the Divine Mother who brought him there to my presence. He was in Madras, searching for some job. He somehow got my visiting card and finding the name of Sister Nivedita Academy in it, thought of seeking job in the institute and came there. The boy spent a few days with me. He was suffering from jaundice. I sent a message to his house. His brother came and took him back to his home. What a great miracle it was!
Mother – The Divine Healer
About four years back, I had a lung infection. I used to cough heavily in the early mornings and late in the night hours and I was writhing in pain and agony. I thought it was my parabda karma. One of my devotees took me to a physician, Dr. Jyoti. He examined me for two or three days, but did not reveal to me what exactly was my ailment. Some tests were also conducted. Everyday I was taken to him and he started giving me a course of injections. I heard him whispering something to my devotee and about my ailment. I straightaway asked him whether it was a cancerous infection. I told him, “Doctor, I know that there is no curse for the dreaded disease, Cancer. Tell me how long I will live so that I can at least finish my work in this world before I depart”. But he replied, “No, no, you will be all right. You just undergo the treatment”. I was not satisfied; I straightaway went to Mother Mayee at Kanyakumari.
I sat in front of the Mother, in her small hut on the sea- shore, in a very disturbed mind. Mother knew what was wrong with me. She then took me to the sea-shore and pointed out a big rubbish heap. I came to know from her devotee, Gopi, that it was the place where Mother was performing her daily homa. A yajna performed with rubbish heap on the sea-shore! I was little bit amazed. But then I went to the sea and took bath. It was an amavasya day and I performed tarpana. Then I came to the place of Yajna and did agni avahana by lighting fire to the heap. By then Mother Mayee had finished her bath and she came with a handful of seaweeds, shells, etc., which she offered as ‘Havis’ or sacred oblation to the fire, She indicated to me that I must perform the yajna everyday.
After returning home, I performed the homa continuously for 108 days. The ‘Samit’ or the stick I offered to fire is known as Gudicchi in Sanskrit and Seenthalkodi in Tamil (Menuispermum cordifolium, a variety of medicinal creepers) and the mantra chanted was the Tryambaka Mantra – Om Tryambakam yajaamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam, urvaarukamiva bandhanaan mrityor muksheeya maamritaat. Chanting the mantra, I used to put 108 pieces of the creeper with ghee and fruits as ‘Havis’. After 108 days, I found that there was a tremendous improvement in my health. But yet there was a little problem and my friends and devotees were exerting pressure that I should undergo medical check up. They informed Swami Golokananda of Ramakrishna Mission, Trivandrum, who has been my well-wisher. He invited me to Trivandrum and I reached there with my wife and children. Once I was in his presence, he told me, “You are under arrest. You must stay here, undergo medical check up and then only I will allow you to go”. I was a little disturbed by this loving command. He arranged the taking X-ray and other tests in the Ramakrishna Mission Hospital. But before the results could come I told the Swamiji, “Swamiji, I have brought my wife and children here to take them to Mother Mayee of Kanyakumari. I will visit Kanyakumari and after seeing Mayee, I will send back my wife and children to Madras and then I will return here for my stay and treatment.” He gave me permission and I went to Kanyakumari. But in Kanyakumari, things took a different turn. When I sought Mother’s permission to return to Trivandrum, she refused. I was asked to go back to Madras. Therefore I returned to Madras and I wrote a nice letter to the Swamiji explaining to him my predicament. But in Madras, my devotees and friends did not leave me. One of my friends, Dr. Arunagirinathan, arranged for my medical check up and treatment. He was so kind and good that he himself purchased the medicines for me. Because of his loving compulsion I agreed. But once when he was about to give me an injection, the needle broke. I understood the indication and decided to stop taking any medical treatment. Gradually, my entire ill- health vanished.
Devotees from South Africa
Another significant event occurred and that concerns two devotees from South Africa. It was all the Grace of the Divine Mother than Poojya Swami Sahajanandaji sent Sri & Smt. T. M. Moodley to Madras to meet me. On the day of their arrival, I had just finished the pooja of the Mother and was sitting on the floor with a small mat spread in front of me. The devout couple walked in. I could not entertain them properly. They sat on the mat, cross-legged, and spoke about the purpose of their visit. They also spoke about their intention to visit Rishikesh and I gave them some directions. They went to Rishikesh and by the time they returned to Madras, in one of my meditations the Mother revealed to me who they were. I do not want to explain all those things, for they were very mysterious. She also wanted me to bring them to her. But I did not tell them anything when they returned. When they were about to go to Kanyakumari, they came and told me, “We will be very happy if you also can accompany us”. I knew that it was Mother’s will. I had the blessed opportunity to accompany them to Rameswaram where we performed tarpana on the sea-shore for their departed son, Yugendra. That evening, when I was sitting in my room reading some book, Sir & Smt. Moodley entered the room with a plate on which there were some betel leaves, fruits and a hundred rupee note. They offered it to me as dakshina and prostrated to me. I was simply baffled. What is this that Mayee is making them do! In all my life, I have never been a priest to anybody. But then I closed my eyes and accepted the dakshina. The next morning I reached Kanyakumari. I took the couple to Mother Mayee, She already knew who they were and hence I simply introduced them telling, “Yugendra’s parents”. She nodded her head and showed her hands and then revealed a message to Smt. Moodley. She is here, she knows what message she got. She got a very touching message to console her. Mother blessed these couple. Before returning, I handed over to the Mother, the dakshina of hundred rupees given by them to me. After visiting some other pilgrim centers, we returned to Madras.
After some days, I once again went to Kanyakumari, this time with the project to start Tattva Darsana. I was accompanied by my friend, Sri Subramaniam, and his family. We visited Madurai Meenakshi temple where I sat on meditation for some time. While coming out of the temple, I told him that I got a revelation that we were going to meet somebody in Kanyakumari who will be of great help of our project. My friend asked me who that man was. I replied, “I don’t know. Only after reaching there we will know. But Mother has revealed that we will get his help.” Reaching Kanyakumari, we stayed in the Vivekanandapuram for three days. We went to the Mother and were with her all the time. We totally forgot about the revelation at Madurai. On the third day, when we were about to leave, I sought the permission of the Mother to leave Kanyakumari. But she refused. I told my friend that unless Mother permits, I could not leave the place and I asked him to go ahead with his tour programme. But he was not willing to leave me alone there and go ahead. He decided to wait till Mother gave me also permission to leave. The next morning when we went to her again to seek her permission, we found a tall and hefty gentleman, dark in complexion, sitting by the side of the Mother. To our utter surprise he hold us that he was waiting for me the last fifteen days. We decided to go to Kanyakumari only a week back, but how was he waiting for my arrival for more that two weeks? It was all the play of the Mother. I came to know that he was Sri Rajamanikkam, Managing Director of a big firm, Agsar Chemicals, in Tuticorin, and President of Mayamma Samaj. He is a dedicated philanthropist and an ardent devotee of the Mother. He offered his help and you can find the advertisement of his concern on the last cover page of the issues of Tattva Darsana. How Mother came into his mind and why she asked him to help us, I do not know. He said, it was her work and the journal is also dedicated to her.
We took leave of the Mother and returned to Madras. Soon I received a call from the Mother again. Mother never keeps any money with her. But this time when I went to her, she made Sri Rajendran hand over to me a hundred rupee note. I immediately remembered the dakshina that I offered to her when I went with Sri & Smt. Moodley. Even today I am preserving that hundred rupee note as a very precious possession in my shrine. Because of her grace, I have not so far found any difficulty in making both ends meet. Whatever work I undertake, the problems that arise are easily solved.
Now I come to the last incident. After Smt. & Sri Moodley returned to South Africa, one day I received a letter from Sri Moodley informing me that I would be receiving an invitation from Poojya Swami Sahajanandaji Mharaj to visit South Africa. It was a surprise to me. I never expected such an opportunity. I was also confused, because the Government of India normally do not allow Indian citizens to visit South Africa due to Apartheid. I was wondering how I could visit South Africa. Throughout the night I was thinking about that. In the early morning there appears Mother Mayee at Madras. The Mother who normally never leaves Kanyakumari was in Madras! I was thrilled. I presented Sri Moodley’s letter before her. She took it in her hand and turned it his way and that way. She has not learnt the three R’s, but she knows everything. Looking at the letter, she told me in Tamil—”Poyittu vaa””—Go and come. To my further astonishment, I received a letter from Poojya Swamiji also when she was there. When I placed it before her, she was very happy and full of smiles. I then asked the Mother, “Mother, will you come with me?” “Yes”, she replied. No wonder, there was little difficulty for me in getting endorsement on my passport to visit South Africa. I know, even renowned religious leaders and artistes from India find it difficult to get an endorsement on their passports to visit South Africa. This evening I addressed the inaugural meeting of Vishwa Hindu Parishad of South Africa. They have decided to request the Government of India to permit religious leaders from India to visit South Africa, so that the Hindus in this country do not find themselves alienated from their brethren in the land of their origin. So it was all miraculous that I got this opportunity to visit South Africa. This is nothing but her work.
It will take hours and days together to sing the glory of the Divine Mother. It is impossible to express in words the greatness of the Divine Mother. It is my humble prayer to everyone of you that if ever you get an opportunity to visit the holy land of Bharatavarsha, come and have the darshana of the Divine Mother sitting on the southern tip of the land. Yesterday, we were holding a satsang in the Tongaat beach. I told our brethren, ” My Mother is there, just on the other side of this ocean. We are on this side of the Indian Ocean. Call her, she will hear and come. Please make yourself available to her to receive her grace.”
I am very thankful to Swamiji and to you all for giving me this opportunity to speak on the Mother. I never intended to speak, but it was Her Will that I should speak. Vande Mataram!
(Extract from DIVINE MOTHER MAYEE OF KANYAKUMARI by Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan)