Remembering Maa – A Tribute

Ma has gone Home. Yet the void that she has left in our hearts, is filled by the love that she has bestowed upon us . Her children!

I draw my strength from the promise that she gave to a visitor to Hare Krishna Mandir on 26 March 1996. She said “…I will always be here, you will feel my presence. I promise you that.” 
Ma was a mystic. One has to go beyond mind and body to understand such personalities. But to love them is easy.

I loved her and I am certain that she loved 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. When I arrived at the HareKrishna Mandir, I was told that Ma was resting, hence to return in the evening.

I reached Ma’s place at 6:40 pm. 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 ones children and make 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”.

Spiritual life and experience was not an academic question with Ma . To her, it was the most precious, intimate, sacred and real part of her life. Her search for Him was as essential to her as the air she breathed.

Ma Indira Devi’s parents lived in Fort Sandeman. As a child, on an impulse she picked up the fallen stick of a fakeer (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 fakeer then appeared and brought her back from the throes of death. 

This 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 rumbling 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!

She met her guru, Sri Dilip Kumar Roy (Disciple of Sri Aurobindo) 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.

Meditating came naturally to Ma. She just sat still and closed her eyes and peace came down on her head like a block of ice.  One day as she sat to meditate, an electric current shot up from the base of her spine. This time it 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.

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. Ma would often find herself repeating lines from songs she had never heard before. She had visions of a beautiful lady dressed in a Rajasthani dress. She would be singing totally oblivious to the world.  Her voice was lovely and astonishingly the song would end with the name ‘Meera’ in the last line.  Later the vision of the beautiful lady introduced herself to Ma as Meera, the Rajasthani princess saint herself.   The whole thing was so amazing that most people found it difficult to believe. Ma Indira did not blame them as she herself found it equally inexplicable.  Yet it was true; and with time it became the greatest truth of her life.

Ma believed that pain was necessary for growth. Every disillusionment brought home the futility of attachments. She believed that Grace could not always be pleasant because her business was 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 was not the form she took, but the ultimate purpose or outcome that was important.

Ma was often asked the best way to do meditation.  She said, ” 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.

Despite the many physical ailments that Ma suffered from, she used to feel that life was beautiful.  Once in June 1995, she said: “I have had so many experiences through no merit of my own, I have had so many painless days! !!God knows better than us what we want. He knows us best and cares for us. Sometimes He does not give us what we want, because He has a clearer picture”.

On the 24th of April 1997, Ma said to me: “May you fulfill life’s destiny ordained to you. The Lord resides in you. Pray that I remember Him at the last moment. I should be ready when He comes for me. I should say Jai Guru and go with Him”.

Ma used to sing: “Door kaheen door tu le jaa khivaiya
Ganga ke kinaare lagaadey meree naiyaa

Which means: Row me to a faraway shore, O Boatrider!
And anchor my vessel on the banks of the River Ganga 

Ma has reached her shore. I am certain that she is in good company. With Meera and her Beloved Krishna.

Such people’s “going Home” is not mourned. Their life is celebrated.