Mrs. S. R. Meenakshi Iyer

Mrs. S. R. Meenakshi Iyer

My First Glimpse of Mataji

I recall my first meeting with Mataji to be in mid-may 1972. I remember those days quite vividly for I was pining to have Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s Darshan (Sanctifying Glimpse) then. But due to many household duties I was unable to proceed to Puttaparthi. One night Baba came in my dream and said, “You want to see me but are unable to come. Even if you come many inconveniences will rid your trip. I keep coming (in astral form) to a place in Thane, not far from where you live. You can visit me there.” He also described the place to me. He said, “The place will not be opulent but will have people performing their duties assiduously and selflessly.” The dream lingered in mind for some time.

A few days later my brother’s son was to be invested with the sacred thread. It was at this ceremony that I met Smt. Shardambal (Sri Ma’s mother). She told me that Sri Ma has an Ashram (Spiritual Haven) in Thane and invited me to come and have Her Darshan (Sanctifying Glimpse). So, I visited Prem Ashram on a Thursday. I found that the Ashram was set in the same ambiance as Baba had foretold in my dream. I entered the shrine room. In the sanctorum were a Shiva-lingam, Baba’s Padukas and life-size portraits of Sri Shirdi Sai Baba and Sri Sathya Sai Baba. The resplendent Divine Mother, nonchalant and ever-established in Her splendourous glory, lived in a corner of the shrine room covered only by a curtain. It was time for Aarti (Waving of Sacred Flame in front of God) and Mataji came to the shrine. The Tikka (vermilion) was adorning Her forehead. This, with Her pure white Saree and Blissful countenance, made up for a spectacle beyond description and imagination. Her Darshan was like beholding the Abode of Love and Peace. Since then I have been visiting Prem Ashram regularly experiencing the same pure love each time.

During Bhajans (Collective Singing of Devotional Songs) I saw that devotees offered Prasad (Sanctified Offering) prepared by them to God. These were later on distributed to all. One day I too decided to prepare Prasad and take it to the Ashram. Offering it with love to God I went about attending the Bhajan. After the Bhajan, Mataji, apparently in a chiding manner, asked me as to who will distribute the Prasad if one and all brought it. To this I merely answered that if it were not in Her wish that I should prepare and bring Prasad I will take the same back home immediately. Mataji smiled at once and had the Prasad distributed. As I mused over the incident, I felt that Mataji was testing my intentions behind making the Prasad, whether I was trying to show off or whether I prepared the Prasad in a spirit of devotion.

Mataji’s ways are inscrutable. She alone knows how to redirect the astray toward illumination. She is perfectly aware of our innermost thoughts and knows exactly when and where to push our mind so that we may experience higher truths and progress toward our goal. One day after the Bhajan She asked me whether I read books. When I answered positively She drew out the book titled ‘An Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Sri Paramahamsa Yogananda and gave it to me to read. Now after many years of having read that book I have realised that Mataji gave me that book in order to enlighten me with the truth underlying all creation.

Mataji is Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient. The devotees actually need not even relate their tale to Her, for She knows everybody’s world in and out. One day I purchased a Saree and took it as an offering to Mataji. On reaching Prem Ashram I found that Mataji was not in Her sanctum. So I placed the Saree under Her cot and went to attend the Bhajan. Sri Ma customarily came out during Darshan time. To my pleasant surprise Mataji was wearing the same Saree that I had brought for Her. After everyone had offered Pranam (Prostrating Oneself) to Her, She called me and gave me the Saree worn by Her before the Bhajan, which I took reverently. It is a point to ponder as to how Mataji came to know that I had brought a Saree for Her and how She accepted the offering tacitly, by wearing it for the Aarti.

Mataji knows our minds. It was the day of Savitri Nombu or the sacred day commemorative of the Goddess Savitri. Since the auspicious moment was around 1:00 p.m., I decided not to miss the Bhajan that morning. Taking along with me the Prasad that I had prepared for the ceremony I went to the Ashram. On that day, however I was assailed by an uncanny inhibition, as to whether Mataji will accept the Prasad or not. So, all through the Bhajan I kept the vessel with me and did not place it in front of God. After the Aarti, even as I was about to leave, Mataji called me and asked for the Prasad. She said that Ajji (Sri Ma’s mother) was out of station and that no one else had prepared Prasad. Mataji said that She was actually waiting for me to bring the offering.

In November 1973, Mataji told me to pound groundnut flour for the sweetmeat to be served as Prasad during Baba’s birthday celebrations. Later on She told me to get involved with the entire Prasad preparation for the function. Since then, now for about 32 years, I have been involved in the preparation of Prasad on all Thursdays and in all functions.

Once, Sri Ma told me that She would visit my house and also have Her afternoon meals there. The day was fixed and I set about making preparations for the same. The whole house was readied and the menu was decided. I paid special attention to the drawing of Rangoli (Colourful designs on the floor), especially, the one in the Shrine room – A Sri Chakram (One of the circular designs symbolising the Goddess Shakti). Mataji graced our house on the decided day to the delight of my whole family. Having seen the Sri Chakram She told me to draw similar Rangoli in the Prem Ashram courtyard. Since then I have been drawing Rangoli in the Prem Ashram courtyard, especially during Sri Ma’s birthday celebrations. The designs that I drew were spiritual depictions set in a 6.5 foot diameter circle, oil paint being the material used. This was an arduous task, for this entailed twenty days of eight to ten hours of drawing daily. That I did not feel even an iota of tiredness was because Sri Ma was granting me immense energy and enthusiasm within. Mataji indeed is a storehouse of Divine Energy, which She extends to all Her children. If one receives even a little of this energy then he/she can accomplish any task, however onerous it might seem. Fatigue never shows on the face of those blessed with this Divine Energy. I had a first hand experience of this grace in drawing Rangoli. I also started drawing Rangoli in front of the main shrine daily. This used to take about an hour’s
time. Over the years I was able to keep up this routine, though I was growing old, only because of Mataji’s Divine Energy. A more recent incident in which Mataji’s infinite energy became evident to me was when She took me to the inauguration of the SRI MAMISSION-NEW DELHI CENTRE on 25th April 2006. When at first She told me to come along with Her, I interposed that my octogenarian frame might make it difficult for me to do so. To this She said in reply that if life were to forsake my body then it shall do so on Her lap. This reinforced my faith and I attended the function.

Mataji is the embodiment of fullness. She is Sat-Chit-Ananda (Absolute Truth, Consciousness and Bliss). She is an ocean of love, compassion and peace. She is abundant light and has come only to give that light to all Her children. Indeed Magnificent Spiritual Luminaries like Divine Mother Sri Ma come again and again to earth only to evoke Supreme Love and Devotion in us.

DOB: 31st May 1925

Mrs. S. R. Meenakshi Iyer