The loving embrace of a ‘mother’ cradled our tiny form, a mere bundle of bones and flesh, as we stepped into this world. The nurturing instinct of a mother is a deep inherent quality, for she bonds with her child selflessly, in an act of pure love! The outpourings from a mother’s heart are endlessly radiating blessings for her children, and this irrefutable truth is universal. As offspring, it is our cardinal responsibility to give back, in appropriate measure, our love and care to our parents and elders in general and mothers in particular. But is this act of mutual reciprocity of expressing love limited to our biological relations? Seemingly yes, but in reality it is the ‘omnipresent’ love of the Divine Mother, active in the whole of creation, that binds us all just as the thread of a necklace brings all beads together. This is based on the teachings of the great spiritual Master, Paramhansa Yogananda who said, “In the temple of my earthly mother’s love I will worship the incarnated love of the Divine Mother.” No doubt then, the ability to love is a natural, ‘divine’ quality of the heart that each one of us is endowed with. We all know that if distance separates us, a sheer phone call with a kind intention to convey our heart’s love to someone can, almost always, do wonders! This is exactly what 53 loving hearts attempt doing in a selfless service, every week, towards bringing a smile on the face of 37 widow mothers living in the precincts of Paramhansa Yogananda Public Charitable Trust in Vrindavan. It is not just a customary phone call but a special communication channel for conveying to the mother that, “You are my own Maa, and I care for you.” Sure, the once destitute mothers, have suffered long the label of being a ‘widow’ not just by the harsh societal dogma but by the ruthless stand of their own families to alienate them. Thankfully, they are now fully supported by the Trust in terms of their food, clothing, daily necessary supplies and medical assistance. But that is not enough. In an outstanding initiative, called the ‘Circle of Love’, volunteers of this phone-calling seva from Ananda Sangha play a phenomenal role in strengthening the psychological and emotional support to the widow mothers. This individual hand-holding with loving care is what the widow mothers cherish most as their past, we know, has been replete with mental sufferance. My experience of interacting with Yashoda Maa has been very exciting. Come Wednesday and my heart knows it is the day Maa will be waiting for my call. It is fun to talk about food, clothes, weather, family matters and even chant and meditate together. The smile on her face tells how jubilant her heart feels in those few minutes on phone. What joy it is to share our Guru’s love with Maa and receive, in abundance, the Guru’s blessings! As many hands make a miracle, here is what many callers of the ‘Circle of Love’ say whose combined effort has made this initiative truly worthwhile and miraculous! Ritu Surana says, “Arti Maa sang a Bengali bhajan. I did not get the meaning but understood that love is a universal language, which each one of us can speak and understand.” Dithi said about her joyous chat with Jharna Maa: “What a beautiful feeling and blessing to connect with the mother devotee soul of Vridavan.” Arundhati had this to say: “It was wonderful speaking with Maa. I introduced her to my family. She has adopted us all and promised to pray for us. I told her about my parents passing away and how much I needed her.” Neena feels blessed for the wonderful experience she has of the weekly calling seva. Dhritiman expressed that talking with Shri Devi Maa was always filled with fun, laughter, music and love. Moumita said, “I spoke to Chintamani Maa. So warm and chatty she was! A devout Krishna devotee, she told me a story of Lord Jagannath, while I sang Master’s Hey Hari Sundara.” Pradnya was candid saying, “Spoke to Mamta Maa today. She is a loving angel. We both sang a bhajan. Felt deeply loved as Maa gave me kisses.” Rakhi Datta excitedly shared, “Maa spoke at length about the benefits of yoga. She herself taught history and geography to children privately and blessed me when she heard I have been teaching for the past 22 years. She was in splits speaking about the monkeys on the terrace, running away with the clothes on the washing line.” Shampa was touched as her sweet Jaba Maa, sang, one day, a Krishna bhajan. Ritu Dhama felt delighted to see Savitri Maa’s face shining with the love of Radha Rani. Sejal says in a blissful conversation with Parvati Maa: “She sang a Shiv Bhajan for me in Hindi. I shared a story from Bhagvatam which she listened intently. I was shown the ashram and introduced to several mothers.” Divya says excitedly, “Had the most beautiful experience with Sumitra Maa. It was just love overflowing both ways. I promised her that I would come to Vrindavan soon. It was the most loving, amazing experience! Rekha Shastry elaborates, “I had a call with Kavita Maa. She reads Bangla books everyday for about 4-5 hours, and borrows books from all her friends. She told me not to become a slave of mobile. Maa discussed about her daily schedule. Though confined to bed, she is not at all bitter about life.” Rima Yadav sweetly said, “Today my Shobha Maa was all dressed for the call with beautiful bindi on her forehead. She was feeling so shy when I complimented her. She gave me flying kisses and there was lot of joy in her persona and voice.” Mostly two persons call a mother every week, making sure that every mother receives at least one call as she eagerly awaits these calls. Seva pilgrimages are also a means by which people from Ananda visit the mothers and serve them in multifarious ways. The circle of love is, thus, all about sharing love with the mothers, channeling Divine love from one heart to another. Needless to say, love is the universal force that binds us all, creating a sense of ‘oneness’ from which stems the unparalleled bliss of our unified hearts.
Chanelling Love Over the Phone August 19, 2023