by Sarayubala Devi: ONE Friday morning Sriman K-came to our home at Pataldanga in Calcutta and said: “We shall go to Baghbazar tomorrow afternoon to pay our respects to the Holy Mother. Please be ready at that time.” Well, after all, I shall now have the good fortune to prostrate myself at the feet of the Holy Mother! Such was my exuberance of joy that I could hardly sleep during the night. I had been living in Calcutta for the last fourteen or fifteen years. And after such a length of time the Mother was gracious enough to afford me this opportunity to pay my respects to her.

Next day in the afternoon we hired a carriage, fetched Sumati from the Brahmo Girls School, and set out to the Holy Mother’s house at Baghbazar. I can hardly describe the eagerness and fervour which I felt at the time of this pilgrimage. I reached her house at Baghbazar and found her standing at the door of the shrine room. She was standing with one foot at the door-sill and the other on the door-mat. There was no veil on her head. Her left arm was raised high and placed on the door, while the right one was hanging by the side. The upper part of her body was bare. She had been looking wistfully as if expecting somebody. As soon as I prostrated myself at her feet, she asked Sumati about me. Sumati introduced me as her elder sister. She had been visiting the Holy Mother for some time past. Then the Mother looked at me and said, “Look here, my child, how much I am troubled by these people here! My sister-in-law and her daughter, Radhu, are all down with fever. I do not know who will look after them and nurse them. Will you wait for a minute? Let me wash my cloth and come back.” We waited and she returned after a few minutes. Then she offered us two handfuls of some sweets and asked me to share those with my sister. Sumati had to go back to her school. Therefore we could not stay for a longer time. We saluted her and took leave of her. The Mother said, “Come again.” This inter-view of five minutes could not satiate the inordinate hankering of my soul. I returned home all the more thirsty.

12th February, 1911

When I went to the Udbodhan Office on this day, I found that the Holy Mother had gone to the house of Balaram Bose. I had not to wait long before she returned. As soon as I saluted her she asked me with a smile “Who has accompanied you to-day?” “One of my nephews,” I replied.

Mother: How are you today.,? How is your sister? You did not come for a long time. I was anxious about you and thought you might not be doing well.

I was surprised because I had met her once only and that just for five minutes. But she had not forgotten us. My eyes were filled with tears of joy.

The Mother said with great tenderness, “You have come here, and I was feeling restive at the house of Balaram.”

I was completely taken aback. My sister Sumati had sent two woollen caps through me for ‘Khude’, the baby nephew of the Holy Mother. I handed them over to her. She expressed much joy at these trifles. She sat on the bed and said, “Sit by me here.” I sat by her side. The Mother said with great tenderness, “It seems, my child, as if I have met you many a time before, as if we know each other for a long time.” “I do not know,” said I, “I was here one day only for five minutes.”

The Mother laughed and began to speak highly of the devotion and sincerity of mine and my sister’s. But I do not know how far I. deserve those compliments. Gradually many women devotees assembled. All of them looked wistfully and with great love at the smiling and compassionate face of the Mother. I had never seen such a sight before. My mind was feasting upon the spiritual joy, when someone reminded me that the carriage was ready for my return. The Mother at once left her seat and offered me some Prasada. She held these before me and said, “Eat these!” I felt shy of eating in the presence of others without sharing. The Mother said, “Why do you hesitate? Take these sweets.” I accepted the offerings in my hand. I bowed down before her and took my leave. She said “Come again. Can you go down the steps alone, or shall I go with you ‘?” She came with me as far as the staircase. I said, ” I can go alone. You need not take trouble.” The Mother said in parting, “Come another day in the morning.” I returned with a sense of fulfilment and thought, “What a wonderful love !”