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About Us
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India-Gods's Abode

Some Reminiscences

Here are a few anecdotes collected from the reminiscences of those who had the privilege of being close to the Mother and seeing her with children.

The anecdotes reveal not only the Mother’s deep love for them but also her unique way of looking at a situation so that nothing remains trivial and all is suffused with a deeper significance.

The True Value of a Person

I was helping to look after one of the first boardings which was started by the Mother. One day, during dinner, one of the boys proclaimed very proudly that his father always travelled in style, only ‘first class.’ I told the Mother about this the following day. The Mother asked me what had been my response.I replied that I had simply ignored it. But she said that I ought not to have done that and added that, when the opportunity arose, I should call the children together and explain to them that worldly wealth is of no importance; only the wealth that has been offered to the Divine has a value. You do not become big by living in big houses, travelling by first class and spending money lavishly. You increase irt stature only by being truthful, sincere, obedient, grateful and by serving the Divine.

The Importance of Work

Once some coconuts were being distributed in the Ashram. The mother of a young girl had not come. But when the girl was asked to carry it, she refused saying that she felt shy to carry a coconut on the road. When I informed the Mother of this incident she said that all children should be encouraged to take up some work as part of their education so that they could overcome such reactions and realise the true value of work. I was asked to organise immediately this activity. It evoked an enthusiastic response from the children, specially when they realised how happy the Mother was to see them work.

Education cannot be sold

Once the Ashram was in a tight financial situation. Some disciples pointed out that we were giving free education to so many children and spending large sums of money on them. Many of the children were from well-to-do families and no one would mind if we fixed a nominal fee for the education provided. On the other hand, it would help the Ashram considerably. The Mother replied in a serious tone that in India education had never been sold and she would not do it. The question was never raised again.

Some Hints for the Parents

I was looking after some children in a boarding and the Mother always took interest in all the aspects of the children’s lives. On different occasions she told us the following:

a) To wake a sleeping child, one should not call him loudly by his name or touch his body. Instead, one should gently and softly call him.

b) It is very important to teach the children to sleep and eat at a fixed time. While eating, the children should be encouraged to feel what are the needs of the body rather than to be led by taste. If some children like to over-eat they need not be refused but they should be given a smaller helping from the beginning.

c) Nothing should be imposed on the children. They may be made to do what one will by explaining to them in the proper way, but never by compulsion.

The Newspaper and the Sweets

During the early days of my association with the Mother, I once took to Her a big basket of sweets from Delhi for my children.

The Mother opened the basket and saw that the sweets were wrapped in newspaper. She, immediately called someone standing close to Her, handed over the basket and asked him to throw it away. She said. “You see, the sweets packed in newspapers cannot be given to children for eating. The inks with which the newspapers are printed are poisonous. And newspapers are always dirty. “ I realised how particular the Mother was with things concerning the children. I also felt that when my children were bathed in the Mother’s love and sweetness where was the need of sweets from Delhi.

The Mother- Human and Divine

My child P. had been admitted to the children’s boarding in the Ashram. One morning I was going home from the Ashram and P. was following me on the road. I heard a loud scream. I turned and saw that he had fallen and hurt himself. There was a deep cut on his forehead. His clothes, were bloodstained. I ran to lift him up and take him home but before I could do that he had got up crying and instead of coming towards me started running in the opposite direction. I was surprised. I ran after him, I called him several times, but he would not hear and went back into the Ashram. I kept calling him but he would not hear and ran even faster. I had also to run after him. He went straight up the staircase and reached the Mother. I was astonished that instead of coming to me he ran back that distance to reach the Mother. The Mother held him and asked, “Mon Petit, what happened?” He was hardly three and so he could not converse with the Mother either in English or in French. He just fell down again on the floor before the Mother, gesturing that this is what had happened. Although he was still bleeding he had stopped crying now because he wanted to explain to the Mother exactly what had happened. Mother went in and brought Her First Aid box, washed his forehead with spirit, bandaged it nicely and showered him with love. She also gave him some ‘Sweets’ and sent him home with me. I was amazed to see the beauty of Divine Love becoming human.

Games of Skill

The Mother was very fond of games of skill. She once told me that we should introduce games where fine skill was required. To show us the importance of developing this skill she asked each of us in turn to lift the cover of a crystal i bowl and replace it without making the slightest sound. We all tried, but it was Mother who replaced it without the least sound. I told Mother that we had already introduced some games of skill for children, at the Library of Physical Education. She seemed pleased to hear it. Whenever people brought Her games of skill. She would give them to us. We soon had a little corner all to ourselves where we kept all these games. We played “fiddlestix”, “flying hats”, etc. but most of all we played “Jonches”, a Japanese game which was Mother’s favourite. Jonches was played with fine match-like sticks. These were either collected together in the hand, and released all together, or to make the game more difficult, they were arranged one on top of the other. Each player in turn had to pick up as many sticks as he could without moving any other stick. If any stick, other than the one being lifted moved, the player lost his turn. The one with the maximum number of sticks was the winner. Mother was so fond of this game, that She would come and join us whenever She could spare a little time. She would sit down on the carpet and play with us. Later, a little table was provided for us and when Mother came to play, there was a small stool for Her to sit on.

Helping the Mother in Yoga

In the fifties the Mother took French classes for the children. During one of these Friday evening classes in the Playground one of the children asked the Mother: “What can we do to help you. Mother, in the Yoga?” There was general laughter. But Mother was quite serious, and after some time She said very simply:

“Be happy.”

Again there was laughter and the child said: “But Mother we are always happy.” The Mother continued, “Yes, that is good because when you are happy here it means you are on the right path - but immediately you feel uneasy or not so happy, it means there is something wrong which you have to attend to - something wrong with you which you have to correct.”