Fourteen months after Mother’s passing, I learned that she had left me a momentous message. Ananta was present at her deathbed and had recorded her words. Although she had asked that the disclosure be made to me in one year, my brother delayed. He was soon to leave Bareilly for Calcutta, to marry the girl Mother had chosen for him. One evening he summoned me to his side.
“Mukunda, I have been reluctant to give you strange tidings.” Ananta’s tone held a note of resignation. “My fear was to inflame your desire to leave home. But in any case you are bristling with divine ardor. When I captured you recently on your way to the Himalayas, I came to a definite resolve. I must not further postpone the fulfillment of my solemn promise.” My brother handed me a small box, and delivered Mother’s message.
“Let these words be my final blessing, my beloved son Mukunda!” Mother had said. “The hour is here when I must relate a number of phenomenal events following your birth. I first knew your destined path when you were but a babe in my arms. I carried you then to the home of my guru in Benares. Almost hidden behind a throng of disciples, I could barely see Lahiri Mahasaya as he sat in deep meditation.
“While I patted you, I was praying that the great guru take notice and bestow a blessing. As my silent devotional demand grew in intensity, he opened his eyes and beckoned me to approach. The others made a way for me; I bowed at the sacred feet. My master seated you on his lap, placing his hand on your forehead by way of spiritually baptizing you.
“‘Little mother, thy son will be a yogi. As a spiritual engine, he will carry many souls to God’s kingdom.’
“My heart leaped with joy to find my secret prayer granted by the omniscient guru. Shortly before your birth, he had told me you would follow his path.
“Later, my son, your vision of the Great Light was known to me and your sister Roma, as from the next room we observed you motionless on the bed. Your little face was illuminated; your voice rang with iron resolve as you spoke of going to the Himalayas in quest of the Divine.
“In these ways, dear son, I came to know that your road lies far from worldly ambitions. The most singular event in my life brought further confirmation — an event which now impels my deathbed message.
“It was an interview with a sage in the Punjab. While our family was living in Lahore, one morning the servant came precipitantly into my room.
“‘Mistress, a strange sadhu is here. He insists that he “see the mother of Mukunda.”‘
“These simple words struck a profound chord within me; I went at once to greet the visitor. Bowing at his feet, I sensed that before me was a true man of God.
“‘Mother,’ he said, ‘the great masters wish you to know that your stay on earth will not be long. Your next illness shall prove to be your last.’ There was a silence, during which I felt no alarm but only a vibration of great peace. Finally he addressed me again:
“‘You are to be the custodian of a certain silver amulet. I will not give it to you today; to demonstrate the truth in my words, the talisman shall materialize in your hands tomorrow as you meditate. On your deathbed, you must instruct your eldest son Ananta to keep the amulet for one year and then to hand it over to your second son. Mukunda will understand the meaning of the talisman from the great ones. He should receive it about the time he is ready to renounce all worldly hopes and start his vital search for God. When he has retained the amulet for some years, and when it has served its purpose, it shall vanish. Even if kept in the most secret spot, it shall return whence it came.’
“I proffered alms to the saint, and bowed before him in great reverence. Not taking the offering, he departed with a blessing. The next evening, as I sat with folded hands in meditation, a silver amulet materialized between my palms, even as the sadhu had promised. It made itself known by a cold, smooth touch. I have jealously guarded it for more than two years, and now leave it in Ananta’s keeping. Do not grieve for me, as I shall have been ushered by my great guru into the arms of the Infinite. Farewell, my child; the Cosmic Mother will protect you.”
A blaze of illumination came over me with possession of the amulet; many dormant memories awakened. The talisman, round and anciently quaint, was covered with Sanskrit characters. I understood that it came from teachers of past lives, who were invisibly guiding my steps. A further significance there was, indeed; but one does not reveal fully the heart of an amulet.
Years passed before any reconciliation entered my heart. Storming the very gates of heaven, my cries at last summoned the Divine Mother. Her words brought final healing to my suppurating wounds:
“It is I who have watched over thee, life after life, in the tenderness of many mothers! See in My gaze the two black eyes, the lost beautiful eyes, thou seekest!”