Kali the Mother (Nivedita)/An Intercession
"These are the days that must happen to you:
You shall not heap up what is called riches.
You shall scatter with lavish hand all that you earn or achieve.
You but arrive at the city to which you are destined,
You hardly settle yourself to satisfaction, before you are called, by an irresistible call, to depart.
You shall be treated to the ironical smiles and mockings of those who remain behind you.
What beckonings of love you receive you shall answer with passionate kisses of parting.
You shall not allow the hold of those who spread their reached hands towards you."
MOTHER! Far away, one whom I love is very sad to-day. His heart calls to mine for help, but though I tell him how I love him, I leave him still uncheered. How is it? I know he thinks towards me, I know I talk with him. Yet I long to see him, and hear him, and comfort him face to face!
My child, if this were not so, the sense-life would not be yours, or would not hold you. When you have reached that place where the communion of souls is enough, you will find that it is more than the knowledge of the senses, faith will already be swallowed up in sight.
But, oh Mother, what can I now do to ease this craving pain? I prayed for the vision of Râghunath and did not know that it meant torture multiplied a thousand fold. When one is in trouble oneself, one's own little world lies in gloom; outside, the busy feet pass up and down beneath the windows, the birds build nests, and the children play in the sunshine, as before: but the universe becomes all black when the beloved suffers.
Cease, My child, from inordinate affection. Give Me your heart, and let Me govern it alone. Be the witness of earth's joys and sorrows, sharing them not. Thus only can you keep yourself from entanglement, and attain to peace.
But peace for myself, dear Mother, why should I seek? How can I turn a deaf ear to his voice that calls me, adding another pang to the heartache of a life, and go away myself, and be at peace? Give him that inner peace! Let me win it for him, if Thou wilt he kind! But I cannot will to fail him in his need and loneliness, even to gain Thy blessing! ••••••Ah foolish one! Every thought of love that you send out to answer his, becomes a fetter of iron to hold him in life's anguish. Hide you yourself in My heart, My child, and he, too, will come home to Me. For your love's sake, let your voice cease to be one with the voices of the world. Let it come to him only in Mine, when that is borne on the south wind at the time of sunset, calling him gently to worship at My feet. Let it be one with transcendent love, with infinite freedom. Only thus can you satisfy him. Only by withdrawing yourself can you bring him peace. ••••••Mother! I yield. Take me, I pray Thee, into Thine own heart. Let me not look back. If Thou wilt call me I shall find my way there, surely, though my eyes now are blind with tears.
And for those I love, shall I trust Thy mercy less than I trust mine own?
Yet if at the last they seem to stumble, if the foot slip, or Thy voice fail them by the way, promise, dear Mother, once more to wake me from the dream of bliss. Cast me out from Thy heart, I beg of Thee, and let those who so need Thee, go in before to peace!
Silly, silly child! Like a helpless bird you beat your wings of littleness against My grace! Look up and laugh! For already the cloud that seemed so black is passing. Already the clasp of hands about the heart is loosened. Two souls draw the long breath of strength and relief. The feet of two who come to Me are shod with gladness. The hearts of two beat high, for the conquest born of renunciation.
- The vision of Râghunath is one of the eight perfections. It consists in feeling the sufferings of others as if they were our own. Many stories of the saints, especially those of the stigmata, give us special cases of it. It is told of a Hindu devotee, that when a bullock was smitten cruelly in his presence he screamed and fell down fainting; and when the passers-by ran to his assistance, he was found to bear the marks of the lashes on his own back.
The allusion here is perhaps to one of the earlier steps in the acquirement of this perfection, when we have a deepened appreciation of the pain of those we love.