HIS LIFE AND TEACHINGS
THE HOLY MOTHER'S VISIT
Under Swamiji's fostering care, the Bangalore Ashrama had strength and beauty, dignity and usefulness added to it. But he wanted something more enduring, vivifying and holy. Early in the year 19ll, the Holy Mother with a few women devotees of Sri Gurumaharaj started on a Pilgrimage to Rameswaram. Swami Atmanandaji, who was in charge of the Bangalore Ashrama during its construction and who had left it abruptly, accompanied her. He did not like to go to Bangalore again. It had therefore been agreed that the Holy Mother and party would not go there. The party reached Madras. Devotees from Bangalore – Messrs. Narayana Iyengar, Rajagopala Naidu and several others – went over to Madras with Swami Vishuddhananda, had darshan of the Moiher and returned to Bangalore. They confirmed the news that the Mother would not visit Bangalore. Swamiji thought of the hundreds of devotees, men and women in Bangalore, who yearned for Mother's darshan but who could not afford to visit her in Madras or elsewhere. He was moved and said 'we must get the Holy Mother to bless Bangalore.' He left for Madras, stayed there for a couple of days and, in his own words "prayed to Her to bless Bangalore with the dust of Her Holy feet. She was gracious enough" to grant the prayer. Accordingly the Holy Mother with her party except Atmananda arrived at Bangalore on the morning of Friday the 24th of March 1911. The decorated route from the Railway Station to the Ashrama was literally packed with thousands upon thousands of people eager to have her darshan. The Swami escorted them to the Ashrama, on his head he carried the Holy Mother's box containing her Puja materials. The party stayed in the Ashrama for 4 days, unforgettable days of spiritual joy and fervor. There used to be a steady flow of devotees to and from the Ashrama. Those who had visited Madras and returned – Mr. and Mrs. Narayana Iyengar and their children Mr. Rajagopal Naidu and several others – were, at the Swami's instance, graciously blessed by the Mother with initiation at Bangalore. On the day of the Mother's return, all the devotees naturally felt intense sorrow. But none felt it more than Her own child, the Swami, who actually wept and wept for hours together in the presence of thousands. That lion among men was a veritable child before his Divine Mother. After the Mother left Bangalore, the Swami went up to Madras on the 1st of April to accompany her up to Calcutta.