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Prologue and Blessings
A Letter of Blessings
Blessings
Swami Sivananda
Swami Chidananda
Swami Nirmal Chetan
Ma Indira Devi
Ram Kinkar
Sri Morari Bapu
Conclusion
Epilogue
On Anxiety and Fear
On Criticism
On Marriage
Acknowledgements
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Ma Indira Devi

A mystic reaches the truth through spiritual insight. To use mind and intellect to understand such personalities is difficult but to love them is easy.

I do not claim to belong to the inner circle of Ma Indira Devi, but I do love her and I am certain that she loves me too.

I was acquainted to Ma Indira Devi through her book Pilgrims of the Stars. Since then there was a tremendous urge within me to meet her in person.

I did, during the month of June. 1984. I had gone to Pune to attend a wedding. When I arrived at the Hare Krishna Mandir, I was told that Ma was resting, hence to return in the evening.

I reached Ma's place at 6.40 p.m. The aarti was over, so I was told by a disciple that I could go upstairs where Ma was.

As I progressed towards her in a queue, she held out her hands towards me, like one would to a long-lost loved one and apologised for turning me away in the afternoon as in her own words she said, "I need to rest as I am old and sick."

I looked at her and said that she looked neither.

She smiled at me.

I was drawn by an irresistible urge to touch her feet. Something that I generally cannot do easily. I held on to her feet and said: "I believe that there comes a time in every aspirant's life when he has to make a choice, but I love my home and I love God."

She smiled at me and said, 'Good, what is there to choose? One leaves home and makes an ashram, leaves one's children and makes disciples. God is everywhere and In everyone. You will find him in your home. There is no need to separate."

She continued, 'You Just feel love and be sincere and that will be your path."

I said, 'My Ishta is Lord Krishna." She said, "He is the highest, only He is a difficult God to please.

I agreed and said: "Look at the way he stands so crooked!"

She smiled and said, People think he is made of stone. To me everyone is made of stone, only He is real!"

When I asked Ma Indira Devi if I could quote from her book Pilgrims of the Stars, she looked at me, lovingly smiled and said "Take the whole book, take me also."

I have tried to do that. I hope you, my readers, can feel her personality through the words you are about to read.

Spiritual life and experience is not an academic question with Ma Indira Devi. To her it is the most precious. intimate, sacred and real part of her life.

Her search for Him is as essential to her as the air she breathes.

Ma Indira Devi's parents lived in Fort Sandeman As a child, on an impulse she picked up the fallen stick of a fakir (a Muslim saint), and handed it back to him. The saint thanked her for helping him and promised to be there when she needed him most.

Some time later little Indira lay dying after an illness everyone had given up hope of her survival. The Fakir then appeared and brought her back from the throes of death.

That was not the only time that little Indira was saved by a bigger than human hand.

She was spending her summer days in Quetta where, at about 3 a.m.. she saw in a dream that she was making a house of cards. There was then, a deep rumble and the play house of cards toppled down. but strangely enough what fell down was not cards, but brick and mortar

She heard a distinct feminine voice call: 'Get up and go out at once!".

No sooner had she stepped into the lawn than there was a terrible rumble and in less than a minute the whole house came hurtling down before her terrified eyes.

It was her friend Ladli who brought to her notice that she was probably endowed with special powers.

She met her guru, Sri Dilip Kumar Roy In October, 1946. She was drawn to him by his innate power of truth and sincerity.

As she first laid eyes on him, an electric current shot up from the base of her spine to her neck. She at once knew that he was her Guide and Master, with the same conviction that she knew that God was.

It was in Pondicherry where she met Sri Aurobindo (Sri Dilip Kumar Roy's Guru) for the first time that she realised that meditation came natural to her. She just sat still and closed her eyes and peace came down on her head like a block of ice.

Sometimes an electric current would shoot up from down the base of her spine in a zig-zag movement. There would be no thought, no prayer, no vivid ecstasy - only a still peace.

She followed no given recipe, no set method, no orthodox asana (sitting pose) for meditation. She just gave herself to God and that was that.

The question of sin and unworthiness never troubled her - The Lord's and the Guru's Grace steadily grew into a reality and all else became trivial to her.

There was only one reason why she talked about her experience to comply with her Guru's wish He believed that even though the majority of people would not understand or believe, there would always be a few seekers who would profit by the experiences of a fellow seeker, It is for those that she would write and speak,

Young Indira felt that there was a difference between most people around her and herself.

The Lord was more or less a theory to them: to her, He was an Intimate reality.

She did not have to practice meditation: It was difficult for her not to meditate.

One day as she sat to meditate, the electric current that shot up from the base of her spine did not stop as it usually did when it reached her head. Instead as it touched her head, the latter opened or so it seemed to her and she found herself outside her body floating on velvety waves of bliss.

This state of world-oblivious ecstasy entailed no end of uncomfortable situations. People around her naturally did not understand and thought that she was pretending.

Someone, once doubting the authenticity of her meditation, burnt her finger. The hand did shake, but the meditation was not broken.

Much has been written about spirit worlds seen by mediums. It was not only these that Ma Indira saw but also many other worlds where Truth or Harmony or Beauty presided.

She finds It difficult to talk of these intimate and personal experiences and yet, she would like to shout from the housetops that He is a living reality and not a myth that she knows if we love Him, we can feel His love.

There was a time when Ma Indira was standing near her window watching a man plough his field opposite the ashram. Suddenly he took a thick stick and hit the bullock hard. Ma Indira screamed out in pain as though someone had struck her. When she picked up her saree she had a round black bruise. This experience, Sri Aurobindo calls Supernormal experience. In his chapter entitled "Cosmic Consciousness".

Ma Indira would often find herself repeating lines from songs she had never heard before.

She had visions of a beautiful lady dressed In Rajasthani dress. She would be singing totally oblivious to the world.

Her voice was lovely and astonishingly the song would end with the name Mira" in the last line.

Later the vision of the beautiful lady introduced herself to Ma as Mira, the Rajasthani princess saint, herself.

The whole thing was - so amazing that most people find it difficult to believe. Ma Indira does not blame them as she herself finds it equally inexplicable.

Yet It was true: and with time It became the greatest truth of her life,

Ma believes that pain Is necessary for growth. Every disillusionment brings home the futility of attachments.

She believes that Grace cannot always be pleasant because her business Is not to please us or make us happy, but to help us fulfill ourselves.

Grace may come in the form of an opportunity, an admonition, a warning or even a blow. It is not the form she takes, but the ultimate purpose or outcome that is important.

Ma Is often asked the best way to do meditation.

She says: "Start with a clean slate, forget the mind and forget all recipes. Just pray - Lord I have come tired and weary from my self-created worries. I have come to you for rest. I will not leave you. Let me rest In you, for this half hour, so that I may walk beside you, work for you and live for you.

Ma believes that there comes a time In every aspirant's life when the choice has to be made. It does not necessarily mean changing the outer environment, but it does mean taking a definite stand and aligning oneself with the Divine Forces.

I love Ma she often hugs me close to her heart and says that I come from her 'Maike". When I ask her to elaborate, she does not.

She once promised to come In my dream. She kept her promise and brought Dada Dilip Kumar Roy with her. The strange thing about the dream was that I knew all along that It was a dream and kept thanking her for keeping her promise I woke during the dream, wished to return to it while awake, and did.

I once told Ma that I do not feel that I have the right to lecture to people and write books when I still have so many shortcomings.

She gently told me, "You do not lecture, you share what you know and feel."

I told her, 'Sometimes I feel embarrassed.

She said, "People do not feel any embarrassment doing evil. Why do you feel It, while doing good?"

God-Realisation to Ma is to care for all To feel the pain of everyone and to see herself and God in everyone.

I myself have experienced Ma's tremendous compassion. At the time when my child was ill, she responded to all my needs. When the child recuperated she claimed It was God's Grace and my prayers combined with hers.

I believe that she Is close to God, and that to a very great extent. He listens to most she prays for.

(To read my journals of my conversations with Ma, Remembering Maa, click here.)

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