Difference between revisions of "Terrace darshan"

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Latest revision as of 08:57, 10 September 2019

(Loretta:) “In 1962, Mother retired to her room on the second floor. That room was built especially for her. It was a small suite of rooms: it had two rooms, a bathroom, a small place for cooking. Mother was 84 years old when she retired. After that, everybody thought that there would be no darshan ‒ and so they built a terrace out at the eastern side (the side where the ocean is). And it was a bit of a sneaky move! Because the terrace was finished, everything was done, and word was very quietly passed around that everyone should go and stand on the street, three floors below ‒ just underneath this new terrace. And they invited Mother out to see her terrace. And so there she was, and there everybody was (!), down on the street.
         And afterwards she said something like, “These rascals very sneakily made this place for giving darshan!” But after that, she gave four public darshans every year. She went on the terrace, and hundreds of people stood in the street below. And as the years went on, it was hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of people. They stood on the street; they stood on the rooftops of the houses opposite; they stood in the windows...”[1]

(Peter A.:) “In the Ashram guesthouse I heard news about the ‘birthday darshan of the Mother’ whose portraits were seen everywhere. At first I did not pay much attention to frequent invitations to come to her darshan. This ‘Mother’ was barely in my mind and even less on my agenda. Obviously didn't she leave the same impression in that famous book? Moreover I wasn't too much interested to see a ‘guru’ or a ‘grande dame’ at her balcony. Yet, as destiny willed I was gently encouraged by one of those early pioneers from Auroville to go anyway so as to look for myself what's on with ‘the pope on the balcony’. Well, it turned out to be the most memorable event of my life.
         It was February 21st under a warm Indian afternoon sun when we arrived in that small street adjacent to the main ashram building where already thousands of devotees had gathered. It seemed they had come from all over India, most of them in their traditional white clothing, a few westerners among them. There was a lot of chatting and excitement mixed with an atmosphere of intense expectation for that special moment to come. I landed just in the middle of the packed crowd getting fully the feel of it all. By and then one or the other was looking intensely up to the roof terrace where the Mother was to appear at any moment.
         Suddenly a great silence descended on all and everybody, the air felt still and compact, when a small hand was seen groping along the railing up there. Then a little face was emerging slowly from behind radiating the presence of a great power.
         I was stunned: as if looking into the face of a baby ape I was looking into the face of evolution itself. When hearing two westerners next to me talking to each other like: oh; she is old and fragile, I was wondering in utter disbelief — look, can't you see, cant you see the eternal himself?! During those minutes of eternity and feeling the massive experience in my body I followed Her when she was slowly moving down the railing from one end to the other. At one moment she suddenly was like throwing herself over the railing with such a concentrated power so to reach out to everybody, no one to be left out, to perceive all, to be seen by everyone who had gathered there from one end of the street to the other — and everybody was looking up to her.
         I was caught by her overwhelming glance, a stream of compact energy from eye to eye, soul to soul, in utter abandon and trust...
         Long after the Mother had retreated to her room and the crowd had dissolved I was still standing there all alone in the deserted street, I had not moved an inch as if glued to that sacred power point where that Presence was still there all powerful, that feeling of total bond without fear... and no time, no time.
         It sounded as if from far away when my companion, trying to get me back to time-bound reality, appealed to me: Peter, she is gone since long, let's go! — yes, yes, I made an attempt to gather myself and to get going, but only to sit down a few steps further at the edge of the street ... remaining there for a very long time...”[2]

(R. Meenakshi:) “Somewhere in 1969, we, a bunch of college students, boys and girls with an American scholar, came to Pondicherry. You know the psychology of young people in a new place on the loose wanting to tease everybody around and giggle all the time.
         As we came from the beach side we saw many people standing in a corner of a street in perfect silence looking at a particular point. I came to know much later that they were drawn to have the ‘Balcony Darshan’. At that time I didn't know what it was and why those people were standing there quietly. I was totally and thoroughly ignorant. Actually we wanted to disturb the people. “Why these people are standing so silent?” was the mental state at that moment for our group. And one could even listen to the rustle of the dresses and the breathing of the people. But slowly we also started feeling the silence. So I could silence myself along with those devotees. Slowly I became a part of one soul, one body along with the big gathering there and I was also looking up. I found a small sparrow-like being (Sparrow is called chittukuruvi in Tamil.) moving on a balcony. And then it looked like an old person was coming, waving. Then the boom came. Two blue eyes became blue and white waves, big waves that took me, churned me and threw me completely upside down. It is very difficult to share my experience; the colour of it, the depth of it, the image, the dimension — very difficult. I try to capture in a language close to me but I am really short of words because the experience was so rich and strong. I try my best to share but still I can't.
         I don't know what happened later — through my friends I came to know that I was taken to the Ashram hospital. There was an old doctor — later I came to know, Dr. Nripendra — who said, “I know what the problem with this girl is; put her in the Ashram hospital.” So I was taken into the Ashram hospital for three days and on the fourth day when I opened my eyes, my hair was done differently with double plaits and I was wearing a pyjama and shirt. I didn't know how, but all got transformed — my dress, my style, everything...”[3]

  1. Loretta read's Mother's Questions and Answers: 15 August 1956, part 1
  2. Darshan, p.209, “Memorable moments with the Mother” by Peter A.
  3. Darshan, p.104, “Two eyes became blue and white waves” by R. Meenakshi

See also