DIARY LEAVES OF A DEVOTEE
followed by a short introduction to the author – P.C. Mehta..
This is a narrative of incidents that happened to me from 23rd Nov. 1954 and onwards. I had made notes in short on 2nd Dec. 1954 and now I am putting them in writing in sufficient detail.
23rd Nov. 1954, TUESDAY
At about 7 P.M. I saw Mataji Anandamayi at Juhu. That was the first time I had her Darshan. I bowed to her as I bow to any saint, that is with a prayer to God for this light. I had not heard of Mataji before and I did not know her life history or how far She was advanced on the spiritual path. I had therefore no preconceived notions about Her. I do not remember how I was impressed on that first occasion when I saw Her. I attended Hari Baba’s Kirtan – as Mataji always attended Hari Baba’s Kirtan. I returned home at about 9:30 P.M. but this visit I was accompanied by Vinaben and Kamalini [ author’s wife]
24th Nov. 1954, WEDNESDAY
I went again in the evening after 5 P.M. for Mataji’s Darshan and was very happy to be there. In the evening, Mataji was standing in the lawn trying to make her way to go out to the Juhu beach for a walk. She had a radiant smile on her face. She was fully surrounded by many people who were bowing low. I did not enter the crowd but stood under a tree nearby and mentally bowed to her. In a flash She looked straight at me with eyes full of mercy and I folded my hands in a gesture of pranam. She then smiled, returned my gesture by folding her hands. I then accompanied her for a walk with other people who also followed her. I was thinking of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and was happy at the thought that I had an opportunity of meeting and taking a walk with such a great saint. I observed her as closely as I could and the more I thought of her, the happier I felt. After the walk, I purchased a book “Mataji as revealed to me” by Bhaiji as I desired to know the life story of Mataji. I attended Hari Baba’s Kirtan and wondered if Chaitanya Mahaprabhu did not do his Kirtan in a similar manner. I was also reminded of Ramakrishna Paramahamsa. (later on I heard from Hari Baba that the Kirtan he was doing was an imitation of the Kirtan performed by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.)
25th Nov. 1954 Thursday
I could not go to Juhu to see Mataji but most of the time I was thinking of Her.
26th Nov. 1954 Friday
I went after 5 P.M. to see Mataji. I was accompanied by Sumatiben and Narendrabhai.
Before Mataji went out for a walk, I bowed to her and gave her a small garland of flowers. She asked me how I was feeling and smiled. I replied saying I was feeling quite well and bowed. I then went out on Juhu beach for a walk with Her. I attended Hari Baba’s Kirtan and at 9 P.M. and onwards asked a number of questions to Mataji on the ultimate nature of Reality and mysticism and received illuminating replies.
27th Nov. 1954 Saturday
I went after 5 P.M. to Juhu for Mataji’s Darshan. I was accompanied by Sumatiben and Narendrabhai. I attended Hari Baba’s Kirtan and asked a number of questions to Matai during question hour and received illuminating replies. From the manner in which Mataji replied it was obvious that She was always trying in all sincerity to view the question from the point of view of the consciousness of the querist and to reply so as to enable the querist to understand the meaning.
28th Nov. 1954: Sunday
I began to feel strange in the pit of the stomach and felt as if some force was pushing upwards from within the pit of the stomach and trying to break the obstacles which came in the way of its liberation. The conflict resulted in a continual feeling similar to what one feels when suddenly going down a lift. That feeling gradually spread to the heart. To get relief I began at intervals to breath deeply and make the movement as if I was trying to swallow something. I complained to Kamalini that I was feeling upset in the stomach and the heart, though there was nothing wrong physically. I could not think of any reason for such a strange feeling and could not understand its meaning. By Sunday evening I could not go to for Mataji’s Darshan, as I was invited to a dinner by Mr. Khakhar. I felt like canceling the dinner and instead going to Juhu. Ultimately however I went to dinner but my mind was with Mataji and I was unhappy at the prospect of having to eat non-vegetarian dinner that evening. I partook of the non-vegetarian food but didn’t enjoy the dinner. I returned home and told Kamalini that I felt I should stop eating non-vegetarian food.
29th Nov. 1954: Monday
I ate much less at lunch time and decided to change the diet to milk and bananas for a few days and did so from Monday evening onwards. The strange feeling of a conflict continued in the stomach and the heart. However I began to feel light in the body and cheerful in spirit. I then started praying as that seemed to give me a soothing feeling. I then decided to take an opening dose and did so in the early morning of Tuesday.
30th Nov. 1954: Tuesday
I was conscious of a powerful Divine force. It poured like a waterfall from above the head, as if from between a great hollow, almost a chasm of nothingness between the brain and the scalp and permeated every particle of my body. It surged inside the body and saturated every particle throughout. It purified the mind, heart and the whole physical body. Every particle of the body vibrated in its presence and at its touch. I felt divinely pure, and conscious of the fact that I would purify anything that I touched. This force circled round the brain (inside the head) and thereby purified the mind as if in these strokes. It met with three obstacles, the obstacles of ignorance in the mind. These obstacles dropped off at its touch and the circle was completed. The mind was completely separated, as if hanging away from the Self. It was charged with the divine force and was like a dynamo from which a ceaseless current of the divine was flowing in all directions. It was quite obviously an instrument in the hands of the divine. I was conscious of the fact that its so called independence was illusory and its existence was only due to the presence of the Divine whose instrument it was. All this I clearly experienced. As soon as the force entered the heart, the obstacles dropped off. I was conscious of the fact that at its touch, desires, passions and undivine feelings fled. I knew that these were merely superimposed and were no part of my own self. The process was similar to what it would be like if a great big mountain breaks up on all sides due to the impact of an explosion within. The heart was light and completely purified and in an instant I began to pray and leap violently in Joy.
“Guru to wahi sarahiye jo sikligar hoye
Janam janam ka morcha chhan mein daeey dhoye”
Prayers rose out of the heart by themselves, without any effort on my part. I knew that the very nature of the heart or Psyche was to pray to the Divine. Prayers long forgotten rose from the heart by themselves. I was playing no part in all this, merely observing. Soon every particle of the body began to pray to the Divine. The hair on the body stood erect, the mind drawn in, separated, charged with the Divine, concentrated between the eyebrows: the heart singing and leaping in Joy; mind, heart, body, everything purified, light, and I was fully conscious of a Divine presence. It was a different kind of existence and yet I knew that it was the normal existence and that life so far was wasted.
I was conscious of a great unbounded energy within. I was conscious of the essential existence, existence in its purity and nakedness bereft of impositions, formless; and of Joy, supreme rapture like that of an ocean. The Joy was continuous and the very nature of existence, inseparable and like that of rhythmic and divine waves upon waves in an ocean. Ananda was a witness. I was conscious of some divine force which was pulling my mind and other faculties inwards and keeping them steadily pulled and indrawn. I was conscious of vast divine waves of existence. Joy everywhere, all around and in everything, including myself and in that state and sense extending myself everywhere. That existence Joy was the essence and substratum of all in everything. If I concentrated on a stone with the slightest possible will, a part of myself was extended in that inner substance of existence Joy which was in the stone and which in another sense was not different from my own inner experience. The moment I withdrew concentration from the stone, the extended portion returned within. I was conscious of getting the inner view of things by merely directing my gaze and will. A new consciousness had opened within and Ananda and Bhakti flowed freely from the heart.
I looked all around and found that the substance of existence delight of which I was aware was the substratum of everything. The different things looked different only due to illusory forms loosely attached to the substance within. The eyes with which I saw all this were located within the brain. The physical eyes had sunk within. The skin on the forehead was drawn inwards and seemed as if cracked. The consciousness seemed to be concentrated between the two eyebrows where I was aware of a dark flame and of particles surging up and down in a clockwise direction in the flame. This was a steady flame. It extended from between the eyebrows to over the middle of the forehead and whenever I closed my eyes, the concentration remained steadily forced on it. Whenever I exercised the slightest will, a force from the middle of the forehead and through this flame, shot out and grasped the thing or the object on which I happened to direct my attention or will. (Ajna chakra) I was conscious of a strange and mild glow all over the body though I could not see it with the physical eyes. I felt that in this state if I did not pray, the heart would burst into pieces. I went on praying and experienced a soothing feeling of great bliss and Joy [Ananda] . While taking bath under a shower, I felt that the impact of both hot and cold water brought about the same fundamental reaction of an increased rapture. Though the distinction between hot and cold remained, the sensation had undergone a kind of transformation.
Some magnetic force was keeping the mind drawn within. I had not to make any effort whatsoever. I was merely a witness watching. It was impossible for any thought or emotion of a lower order to enter the mind or heart. I attended office and was fully conscious of the fact that I was merely an instrument in the hands of the Divine. I was a machine with the Divine acting within me and doing everything. My heart and mind were concentrated on the Divine and whatever I had to do came to me in flashes rather than by the activities of the thinking mind. An example is under: a note written by Kamalini to Mrs.Rehuberg that was to be delivered to Mr. Rehuberg. In the morning I had left it in one of the pockets of my jacket. I had forgotten all about it. I happened to see Mr. Rehuberg just prior to lunch hour. Immediately a clear flash passed through my mind – though the mind was concentrated on the Divine – “deliver the note” and in a moment I handed it over. Even in the act of delivering the note. I really took no part.
Mr. Katrak brought to me an important letter and sought my view on it. The moment I concentrated my attention on it, with a view to read it, I was conscious of a force projecting from the flame between the middle of the forehead and literally grasping the paper and the words. The words looked as if separated from the paper and independent of it. I was moving about drunk with the Divine and from the level of my higher consciousness. I was experiencing the fact that the material world had less reality. My eyes were drawn in as was the skin on my face and some people in the office, on looking at me, inquired if something was the matter with me. I only smiled and said I was well. The rapture I was experiencing was unbounded, vast, expansive. On one occasion I had to retire to the cloak room to overcome the laughter which came upon me by way of an outlet for the limitless ecstasy within. When I laughed heartily, I experienced certain knots in the heart. The laughter was deep and coming from every particle of the body. The impact of the laughter was such that it was trying to break the knots of the heart. [“Granthi” in Sanskrit]. Not knowing what it would lead to if the knots were broken, I tried hard and ultimately succeeded in controlling the Joy and laughter. I wonder if what I did was right. I probably should not have interfered with the process of breaking the knots. The world looked like various illusory forms loosely grafted on the inner Substance, the Satchidananda which had an independent and free activity of its own. Independent and free from this sense, that is, the inner substance supported the form but was not in any way bound or limited by the form. Constant waves were rising in this substance making one continuously conscious of existing Joy. This substance supported the forms but was in a moving condition even within the forms – moving because of the constant waves in the substance, these waves were a normal condition of this substance. Though this substance supported the form, it went beyond it and could extend itself anywhere, i.e. the conscious part of it could take within itself any desired part. While writing this account, I am conscious of the inadequacy of language to describe the experience. This is due to the fact that an experience at a higher consciousness can hardly be described in language used for experiences at a lower consciousness. Lower consciousness cannot grasp the matter intellectually. The forms seemed to have only an illusory existence – nothing real about it.
In the afternoon while I was returning home for lunch, a beggar in the street spoke the God’s name Hey Bhagwan – and hearing it, the heart gave a powerful leap, like a flash, the forced surged into my body and the hair on the body stood erect. I was bathed in a Sea of Joy. I was trembling and rushed to my car to relax. The Joy was continuous and indescribable. The beauty of the formless presence was intoxicating. I was also continuously conscious of a perfume like that of burning incense. [Dhoop ]
On one occasion I tried to think of a worldly problem. I was conscious of the fact that I should not do so and leave the mind alone, in drawn and in contemplation of the Divine. I also knew then all that I had to do would be done by flashes. However I told the Presence “I wish to experiment only and not to return to worldly thoughts.” I then tried to reject the thought of the Divine and endeavoured to think of a trivial worldly problem. I forget now what it was. There was a great resistance, a tremendous pull upwards and my obstinacy resulted only in a severe and immediate headache. Even then I did not succeed in my attempt. I left the attempt and prayed saying I was merely experimenting. In a flash, before the prayer was over, the force circled round the brain and the headache disappeared, the mind relaxed and there was purity and the joy.
In the morning I went to Juhu for Mataji’s Darshan. I had no questions to ask. But on a previous occasion I had asked Mataji if the higher mind [Buddhi], was capable of grasping the nature of Reality. She had replied in the negative saying that the Truth could be comprehended by Truth only. No faculty was capable of grasping or understanding it. Today I knew that.
During Sri Hari Baba’s Kirtan, as soon as Hari Baba struck the gong at the commencement of the Kirtan, a rush of force [Bhakti Ras ] descended from above the head on to the brain, face, and throat. When it entered the sinuses, it was warm and when it entered the eyes it was cool. In the throat it felt different and seemed to have a texture of its own. But my heart was leaping, too much leaping in abandoned joy when hearing the Kirtan, at its new found liberation. I pressed hard against the heart in an effort to hold it. After some time, I could not bear the strain of the leaping heart and I prayed to give me peace in the heart. In an instant like waterfall the force descended in the heart and held it tight. There was peace in the heart. This was a different kind of peace. The heart was leaping in Joy but this force was keeping it held and therefore the strain involved was gone
At night, sleeping was not the usual kind of sleeping. It was a conscious sleep. The body relaxed but I remained conscious and conscious of the Presence and a continuous prayer went out from me throughout the night. Prayer and unbounded delight were the only reality. I was in great bliss. I woke up early the next morning and continued praying or repeating the name of God and singing silently and joyfully.
1st Dec. 1954: Wednesday
The Presence and the consciousness of the Presence continued. I knew that the energy or force increased with prayers and I also realized that knowledge and Bhakti were inseparable and united. That one leads inevitably to the other. That prayer or ‘Bhakti’ was by itself a great force, and that during Kirtan, Bhakti Ras poured into one lifting him from ignorance to knowledge. (‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.’) That this force was a Conscious one, gentle, helpful, and beautiful, in short indescribable. That means [one’s] nature would be totally transformed if the Presence continued within him. When I chanted the name of Hari, every particle of the body responded. Hari Hari or Hari Bol. Hari Bol came out from every particle of the body. God’s name brought about a great ecstasy and a divine drunkenness. [Sentence in Sadhukkadi –the language of the Bhakti era poet-saints [ 15th -16th century] –
Rom rom sur uthat hai, bajat nam tihar---- the moment I mentally play Thy name, every pore of my body resonates with the Sur—the divine sound]
In the evening I went to Juhu to meet Mataji. When I arrived at Juhu, I found that Mataji had gone out. I therefore went alone for a walk on the Juhu beach and went far out. While returning, I heard some beautiful music like that of an organ in a church. I looked around and found that there was only one cottage at some considerable distance and that the music was not coming from it. I therefore stood still and listened attentively. I then continued walking. After a while the music suddenly stopped and the sound OM came in a continuous strain. This sound stopped when I climbed the first step to the compound of the place where Mataji was putting up.
During Hari Baba’s Kirtan I experienced the flow of the force from above the head. It had the same intensity as yesterday, but today I was expecting it. It descended from above the head and poured straight down to the heart.
At night a strange incident took place. Some part of the mind prayed and asked for His grace. (Kripa kar Prabhu) At once three heads appeared as if behind a desk. [The original handwritten diary has a hand-drawn picture] The one on the left held me firmly in his gaze only for a second; and from his red eyes shot a force like fire on to the brain and in a moment burst up a part of the brain. The mind or rather the brain received a shock but was firmly held by the force within and in an instant the mind as if went into a sea of nothingness. I had not lost my self-possession during all this process. I was merely watching and fully conscious though the body was resting. Immediately thereafter I woke up but it was hardly my waking up as I was conscious throughout. I should say I woke up in the body and experienced no transition from a sleeping state to the wakeful one nor did I feel that all this was a dream. On the contrary, I felt that all this really happened and I was still undergoing the after effects of such an experience. The after effect was really a great wave of peace and calm in which the whole world was engulfed including myself. I began to pray.
2nd Dec. 1954: Thursday
The Presence continued but with less intensity. Attended Hari Baba’s Kirtan and experienced the down-rush of force. At night sleep was not a conscious one. I woke up in the morning with God’s name on my lips.
3rd Dec. 1954: Friday
The Presence continued. I was conscious of the force which increased in intensity on repeating God’s name. I went in the evening for Mataji’s Darshan. As She was away, I went out again for a walk and heard the same music, i.e. the sound OM at the same place.
Mataji was to leave Bombay the next day. I therefore decided to ask Mataji as to what this force was which purified me and which surged within me during Kirtan and whether the Presence could continue or would disappear. At question time I emboldened myself and asked the questions. The place was crowded and so I was not feeling at ease asking such a personal question. I had however made my way as near to Mataji as possible. She said –
“It is your own Self. Do not think that I have done something. It is God only who does everything. I am merely an instrument in His hands. In the beginning such things happen. If you now touch anything, you will purify it by your touch. You should understand that now the doors are open for you.[Samajh lo key aap ke liye darwaza khul gaya –consider that the door has opened for you. But remember never to ask for anything worldly when the Presence is with you.” I asked as to why I experienced such a tremendous impact of force when I heard Hari Baba’s Kirtan. Mataji said: “That is why it is said that people should do Satsang (i.e. meet holy men, be in the company of holy men). I then inquired if this Presence would disappear. Mataji said, “Where will it disappear? It is your own Self – where can it go?”
Thereafter some one from the crowd asked questions as to what Guru Shakti was and how it was being bestowed. Mataji said that initiation could be given in various ways like, 1. by direct Diksha; 2. by a glance; 3. by touch; 4. in a dream. She also said that once a person was lucky, to get Guru Shakti he had no reason to fear. It was magnetic and applied firmly and that it would not leave the person till the person was liberated. That it was sure to lead a person to the Divine. Even if the person forgot all about it, it was bound to lift him from ignorance and take him to light and knowledge. That, now or tomorrow, its effect was certain.
That evening I remained in Mataji’s Presence till 11 P.M. Lovely devotional songs were sung till then. This was the last evening of Her present visit to Bombay. I requested her to autograph one of her photographs for me and She graciously and smilingly placed a mark about the head with my fountain pen. With heavy heart I returned home.
Mataji left Bombay on the 4th Dec. Saturday 1954. I could not go to the station for a send off as Pradyu had booked a telephone call at that time from London.
[ the above words are written in Devnagari script]
Mr. Pundarik C. Mehta was born in Nadiad [between Ahmadabad and Vadodara , in Gujarat] on 13 July 1920. After schooling, went to London at age 18. Did law from the Inner temple to become a barrister. Evinced deep interest in philosophy from very early age --16/17. While in London became member of Theosophical Society. One day Mr. C. Jinarajadasa , who later became President , took him to his house , to his private altar and invoked the higher spirits. As Mehta bowed down, Mr. J. audibly asked them to bless "this young boy" . Mr M. was around 20 then. He later attributed his meeting Ma to the blessings of these higher spirits. He had many such experiences before and after meeting Ma. After returning to India , joined Caltech. Later moved to Hindustan Lever in very senior position. His personal collection of books had 7000 titles After retirement from Hindustan Lever, became a visiting professor of philosophy at the Hindu University of America at Orlando ,Florida. Would spend around 6 months there each year. In 1998 contracted Myelodysplastic syndrome requiring weekly blood transfusions. US visits stopped. Would hold satsang [ philosophical discussions ] at his residence in Mumbai 3-4 times a week based on his book "Fundamentals of Indian Philosophy" which is still in manuscript form. Died at age 80 of leukemia. After retirement , Mr. Mehta spent three consecutive years in Her close company during which he would ask Her a lot of questions and She would graciously respond at length. Was keenly interested in J. Krishnamurthy and heard his lectures for 25 consecutive years.
NOTE: This material was received in the form a Xeroxed copy of Mr. Mehta’s handwritten diary leaves kind courtesy of Mr. Mehta’s daughter Ms. Neeta Mehta of Mumbai and through the good offices of Mr. Rajat Narain.