Item Code: IHF046
by Bithika MukerjiPaperback
Shree Shree Anandamaye Sangha
Size: 8.5”X 5.5”
Weight of the Book: 505 gms
Price: $27.50 Shipping Free
The first English biography of Sri Ma Anandamayi entitled From The Life of Sri Ma Anandamayi was published in 1964. it was written by Bithika Mukerji at the request of Atmanandaji (Miss blanca Schlamm), the first editor of the quarterly magazine Ananda Varta, begun in 1952
Atmanandaji was very concerned about devotes who did not speak Bengali. She herself acquired Hindi and Bengali very quickly and undertook the task of rendering Sri Ma’s words into English. She always worded in close collaboration with Bithika Mukerji because it was her considered opinion the Bithikaji had a feel and flair for the nuances of meanings of Sri Ma’s words.
Due to unavoidable circumstances Bithikaji could not continue with the biography. The two early volumes have been but of print for many years. Now the author has undertaken to complete her earlier work. The original two volumes are combined, revised as well as enlarged to form the first volume of a set of three. The second volume completes the biography and includes some incident depicting the ever abiding presence of Sri Ma.
Many books are now available about Sri Ma Anandamayi written in English as well as regional languages such as Bengali. Gujarati and Hindi. Some literature is also available in French, German and Spanish. Even so a complete biography by the pen of an author who is acknowledged to be a competent raconteur of the enigmatic way of Sri Ma is very welcome. The author personally knew many of the earliest devotees. She came to know Sri Ma while Bholanathji and Bhaiji were both alive.
With the passage of time questions of authenticity arise. The absence of eye-witnesses create lacunae which can only be filled by words which keep memory alive and faith anchored. We hope this biography will forge another link in the chain of an ongoing will forge another link in the chain of an ongoing of matri-satsang.
I was started on my career of writing about Sri Ma Anandamayi by Atmanandaji. She was a good friend and we had many occasions of together in some of the earlier ashrams. She was totally dedicated and focussed on her mission of making Sri Ma’s words available to all who wished to come close to her.
Another person who inspired me was Prof. B. Sanjiva Rao. He was one of my father’s friends. I came in contact with him when I was a collage student. He used to talk with me about Sri Ma and urged me to write a book about her. I asked him if he would write the foreword in case I ever managed to do so. He most graciously agreed.
Many years passed. I was in regular correspondence with him while I worked on my book. He was truly a person of exquisite understanding. When I was ready with my books, he had retired to Madras and was not in good health. Samantji of Rajghat School very kindly took the manuscripts to Madras and read out the book to Professor Rao. Samantji brought back the Foreword and a message from the scholar. He had said, “ I am very happy to have important to me because very sadly he passed away soon after he had written the foreword for me.
Prof. B. Sanjiva Rao had found some faults with my book, mainly that I had recounted incident without interpreting them. In this edition of the book I have included my understanding of many incident as a mark of respect to his memory.
After the first publication of the book in 1964 I because involved in writing about Sri Ma in different ways. I was required to write for magazines, brochures, commemorative volumes, seminars and one Encylopaedia. I had always intended to finish this book. Now in my old age I have the freedom and leisure to complete the book started more than half a century ago.
I write just because I like to write about Sri Ma. I do not think that I know more about her than others or that I make clear what is essentially unfathomable. In this context I always remember Bhaiji’s words, “In my enthusiasm to explain about Ma I place her on a high pedestal, but no matter how high I think her to be, I am soon brought to realize that she is ever beyond my highest conceptions.”
I don not think that I can succeed Bhaiji failed but to talk about Sri Ma Anandamayi is to live in the memory of her joyous and most gracious presence amongst us. May her kheyala be with us forever.
My first contact with Anandamayi Ma was more than a quarter of century ago when she paid a visit to the School at Rajghat, Varanasi. There was a large crowd of devotees that had gathered in the large hall of the Children’s School. When she was leaving I asked her if she had any message for us. The answer was characteristically swift and spontaneous: “Pitaji, you have chosen a very fine place for your work. Many saints have lived here in the past. But you know how Mother Earth produces sweet fruits as well as poisonous ones. You must be like that, Pitaji.”
This cryptic remark left a deep and unforgettable impression on my mind. In any organization work, is it possible not to judge, not to evaluate? Right appraisal of performance is essential for efficiency. But it has to be completely free praise or blame of the individual. To Judge is to condemn those whom we Judge.
Is it possible to transcend good and evil? What is the state of mind that makes it possible to rise above this duality? The apparently common saying, “There is nothing good or evil but thinking makes it so”, has far deeper implications than we realize. The function of the mind is to evaluate, to judge what is beneficial and what is destructive to the individual or to the group. It is an indispensable factor in the evolutionary process; there is, however, a stage reached by a few rare individuals where action is no longer dictated by thought or individual feeling. Ma calls this “Kheyal”. When the individual self or ego is silent, then the Universal acts. The state of mind that is completely silent is the state of Love. It is in this condition that Ma continually and effortlessly lives.
Light is invisible, but makes all things visible. Its function is to reveal the structure and beauty of things. We do not know what Light is; we can know its existence by its effects. Likewise love his invisible. It can be known only by what it reveals to us the beauty hidden in the heart of man.
People are amazed and ask, “How is it possible for ma to love and understand thousands of her devotes?” The truth is simple. Normally we do not see each other as we really are; the barrier of the separate self obscures our vision, and we create a world of our own darkened by the shadow that the self casts upon every thought and feeling. Ma lives in a world where there is no darkness at all. One has only to stand in the radiance of her Love to realize that through it is a mystery that baffles the mind of man, it is an intense reality. To be within her presence is to know that one is understood and forgiven. Love is everlasting forgiveness.
This seems to me to be the secret of her marvellous, but often unintelligible, endeavours to repond to the needs of her numerous devotes. She undertakes apparently purposeless journeys, but when closely examined they are an answer to the call of some devote who her presence. She lives only for the world; she has few needs of her own, if that state of mind she becomes the pure channel for the descent of grace. The process may be conscious or unconscious.
The study of such a life is fascinating of absorbing interest not onlhy to the devotee, but to the student of the psychology of spiritual genius. Mystics have often the products of apparently unfavourable environments. What is the nature of the soil, the climate that produces goodness and love and the subtle wisdom that sweetly ordereth all things? Formal eduction the development of the conceptual mind does not seem to be a necessary factor in the efflorescence of spiritual genius. There is an intelligence that has no relation to the logical intellectual mind, but which is able too pierce through error and falsehood, directly perceive truth.
To relate any individual to our personal well-being is false love. Such personal love is the basis of all social and family traditions. True love comes into being the moment we become aware of the falseness in our “loving”
The perception of Truth is not a function of the conceptual mind. Error creeps in when we view a fact or an event from a personal point of view. Party loyalty is the normal discipline of political life. But the moment we subordinate the welfare of the larger group to party interests, it introduces conflict and error in our life. Every happening or event has a place in the scheme of things. We can perceive its significance when we do not relate ot to our personal benefit. The moment we are aware of this falseness in our thinking there is the perception.
Dr. Bithika Mukerji’s book is a record of Sri Anandamayi Ma’s early life which was spent mostly in Bengal. The narrative of events is largely derived from the diaries of her devotees. They are authentic descriptions of happenings. The interpretation of their significance demands extraordinary spiritual and psychological equipment such experiences.
|1||Early Years in Village Retreats||1-22|
|2||The young House Keeper||23-44|
|3||The Lila of Sadhana||45-68|
|4||The Ma of Shahbagh||69-96|
|5||The Atmosphere of the Miraculous||97-114|
|6||Beginning of the Ceaseless Wanderings||115-137|
|7||The Widening Circle||138-160|
|8||The Kheyala to Leave Dhaka and its Aftermath (1928-1932)||161-187|
|9||From Bangla Desh to the Foot Hills of the Himalayas||188-207|
|10||In Ananda Chowk -Dehradun||208-239|
|11||The Temple of Kali at Uttarkashi||240-257|
|12||Ma Anandamayi at Simple Kalibari||258-287|
|13||The Pilgrimage to Mount Kailash||288-325|
|14||Bhaiji’s Last Days||326-347|
|15||The changing order||348-372|
|16||The ongoing Journey||3739-403|
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