Biography of Anandamayi Ma – Part 4

From 1927 onwards Anandamayi Ma, along with a few close devotees, traveled through out the length and breadth of India. Once Mahatma Ghandi asked her why she wandered around so much? She replied, “But Pitaji, I am really at the same place. There is just one garden, and I move around within its premises.”

In the mean time devotees had built a small ashram for her in Dhaka. But in 1932 accompanied by Bholanath and Bhaiji, Ma left Dhaka. Once when she was at Kamakshya, Assam, Ma had the feeling of being in the company of the well known Gods and Goddesses as well as saints and hermits. On another occasion while standing on the hillock she found the whole atmosphere charged with a divine mood. Groups of Gods and Goddesses like Rama and Krishna were frolicking around, in their childhood forms. Even Saints and hermits, although having long hair and beards, looked to be in their child-hood. There were so many of them that the hillock was not visible. During one of her visits to Varanasi many learned men, scholars, and men of position came to see her. In the evening she would be seated in a large open place so that visitors could see and talk to her. Later at night she moved to the terrace of the house where people would be allowed to talk to her in private. She would be there until three in the morning. At four devotees would start pouring in. This was the first time that Ma was blessing such large gatherings. Making herself available to the wider world marked a new phase in Ma’s mission.

In May 1938 Bholanath passed away. During his last illness Ma was constantly by his bedside. He died with her hand on his head. Most of the devotees were amazed to see that there was no sign of grief in Ma. At this Ma said, “Do you start to wail and cry if a person goes to another room in the house? This death is inevitably connected with this life. In the sphere of Immortality, where is the question of death and loss? Nobody is lost to me.”

 In 1940 Ma came in close touch with Sri Prabhu Dattaji Maharaj of Jhunsi. He invited her to join in their council of sadhus at Jhunsi in 1944. Here other Mahatmas came to know her, notably Sri Haribabaji Maharaj, Sri Chakrapaniji and Sri Sharananandaji. The Sadhu Samaj (council of sadhus) had avoided her because she happened to be a woman. Sri Prabhu Dattaji broke down this artificial barrier. Thereafter Haribabaji Maharaj gave her the highest honour possible. The heads of other Monastic Orders recognized in her the quintessence of the Upanishadic tradition and accepted her word as Shastra itself.

In her personal life Anandamayi Ma lived the life of an ascetic. She was a small eater. Often for months she did not eat anything. For many years she used to eat on alternate days. When people complained that she was not eating enough, Ma said, “It is not necessary to eat at all to preserve the body. I eat only because a semblance of normal behavior must be kept up so that you should not feel uncomfortable with me.”

 From the late seventies on Ma became less and less available to her devotees as she was not well. Towards the end, she had stopped taking food for months. The attending girls would give her a few drops of water only at odd moments. The last words Ma uttered were ‘Sivaya Namah’. Ma passed away on August 27th at 8.00 P.M.

<< Part 3: Her fame spreads         Back to Anandamayi Ma Index >>