Question: Bara Maa, we heard that Shree Maa never cried much as a baby. How did you manage to take care of Her? You were so young then – did you have other people to help you? How was Shree Maa as a little infant?
Bara Maa: I did everything from time to time according to a schedule. I knew when to rub her with oil, when to give her bath, when to feed her, when to change her. It was easy to do it all by myself because she was so silent.
Question: Can you tell us the story of Shree Maa’s birth and tell us about your Gurudev? What advice did He give you? What sadhana did you do?
Bara Maa: My Gurudeva’s name was Bhuvananda Saraswati. My husband and I were walking up towards the Kamakhya Temple. He called to us to come into his ashram. I was pregnant at the time. He said that our child would be very special and would be a spiritual light in this world. My husband asked him how he knew. He replied, “Look at the light that is coming from your wife. This indicates the birth of a great spiritual being.”
He initiated me in the mantra Drim. It is the bija mantra for Patience. He also taught me the hamsah mantra. I used to sit on a little bench in the kitchen and make japa. Sometimes I would rise up off the bench, and find myself lying on the floor unconscious. I used to picture the energy flowing from the muladhara to the sahasrhara, and concentrate on my third eye. The energy became so intense that my third eye began to bulge. People would ask me what was wrong because I had a little ball bulging from my third eye.
Question: How was Shree Maa different from your other children?
Bara Maa: When I was pregnant with her I radiated light. It was not so with the other children. They were more normal. They cried and were very active. Shree Maa sat in any place I put her. Everyone would be attracted to Shree Maa. No matter where I took her, people would come around to see her.
Question: What foods did Shree Maa like?
Bara Maa: Shree Maa grew up eating dahl, rice and vegetables.
Question: What were Her favorite activities?
Bara Maa: She loved to do puja. It was her favorite game. That is about all she would do, either preparing or performing some kind of worship.
Question: We have heard a little about Didima (Grandmother) from Shree Maa. Can you tell us more about her? What kind of a mother was she to you?
Bara Maa: Didi Maa was a very strong lady. She had a strict discipline. She kept accounts to the penny, made sure the children studied, made sure the kitchen was always clean and the house was always organized.
Question: Can you tell us more about your family – your brothers and your home in Digboi. We want to know more about the place where Shree Maa spent Her childhood.
Bara Maa: The house had 8 rooms and two kitchens. One was for vegetarian food and the other for non-vegetarian. I would help cook in both kitchens.
Question: Maa told us that you always took Her to visit sadhus and saints. Can you tell us more about who these sadhus were?
Bara Maa: Narayan Swami often came to visit us. And we often went to see Trailinga Sadhu. He was from South India and he worshipped the 18 armed Durga.
Question: Where were they – how did you take Maa there?
Bara Maa: Trailinga Sadhu lived close enough to walk to his ashram. I would take Shree Maa with me even at night we went to see him after all my house work was complete. One night he said it is getting late. You should not be walking home alone with your young daughter. You better leave now. I went outside with Shree Maa and started to walk home, and I noticed that he had sent two guardians to accompany us to make sure we did not have any problems. When we got home I saw the guardians vanish. We were always protected.
My brothers always got mad at me. They would say, “Why are you taking the little one to visit sadhus? She will become afflicted.” Later they blamed me because she did not want to study. They said, “You see, this is the result of your visiting sadhus all those years and now she isn’t paying attention to her studies!”
Question: Bara Maa, we heard you were a very gifted singer. Can you tell us how you learnt music?
Bara Maa: I learned music only from hearing. I had no formal training. I never had a teacher. But I was a good singer, and Shree Maa was even better. She would sing along with me, and that was the only training she ever had. One time our family had a victrola record player, and we had some of the big records playing Rabindra Sangeet. She used to listen to those records a lot, and she would sing along with them.
Question: Can you tell us about how you taught Shree Maa music? We heard a little about Maa winning music contests – can you share more about it with us?
Bara Maa: In this way she entered the competition and won.
Question: Bara Maa, was Shree Maa always in meditation and doing puja even as a little child? Did She ever play with other children of Her age? Did you see Her playing?
Bara Maa: She was always playing puja. She had her family, cousins and friends: Paltu, Taku, Seema, Kali, Khukhu. They all joined in puja. I never saw them playing other kids games.
Question: Bara Maa, we are so grateful to you for coming to America and sharing your love and wisdom. Do you have any advice for us, on how to make our life pure and come close to God?
Bara Maa: Everyone of us has our own karma. But even still we must want to meditate and make japa of the divine names. Saying the names alone is not enough. We also want to live a spiritual life. Fill your lives with joy and love, and divinity will always surround you.