Anandamath (Dawn over India)/Part 1/Chapter 4

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Kalyani could not find her way in the darkness. The trees, the creepers and the thorns were so thick that she could make little headway. Yet she must escape. Through the crowds of the trees and thorny bushes she waded to get further and further away from the hungry mob. Now and then the child's body, in spite of all the mother's care, was lacerated by thorns. The child cried. The cry attracted the pursuers and they cried aloud for vengeance. Bleeding and exhausted Kalyani staggered on into the jungle. After a while the moon rose dispelling the darkness. Kalyani was hopeful that the robbers would not find her in the dark; that they would search for a while and then stop. But with the rising of the moon even that ray of hope vanished. With all its glory the moonlight flooded the forest. The darkness in the heart of the jungle lost some of its intensity, and now and then rays of light began to peep through the openings between the leaves. The higher the moon rose in the sky, the more light penetrated the jungle; and the darkness retreated further and further into the depth of the forest. In her constant effort to hide herself and her child, Kalyani moved always towards the shades of darkness.

Disappointed, the pursuers became furious with anger. They shouted louder and louder, and enclosed on Kalyani from all sides. The frightened child cried loudly. Kalyani, feeling herself trapped, ceased her efforts to escape. She sat down on a thornless plot of green, velvety ground under a huge tree. With the child on her lap she prayed: 'My God, O my God, I worship Thee everyday. I bow to Thee everyday. It was my faith in Thee that enabled me to enter this jungle with my child. Where, where art Thou now?'

Her resignation crushed the feeling of hunger, thirst and fear in her. She was as if in a trance. She awakened from it into a realm of luminous inner consciousness, and in that state she heard a singer chant divinely:

'God is great, God is great;
Take refuge in God; in God alone.'

This heavenly music seemed coming slowly nearer and nearer. At last it paused when it reached right over her head. Kalyani opened her eyes to see a Mahatma with long white hair and beard, dressed in pure white. She was moved by the sanctity and serenity of this holy man. In her effort to bow at his feet, she fainted and fell to the ground.