Happy Mothers’ Day! Enjoy this excerpt from Chants of a Lifetime, where Krishna Das talks about his mother’s experience in India, and meeting Maharaj-ji.
“Maharaj-ji was very loving to my mother, I’d asked her to bring him the best sweater she could find, and she brought a beautiful maroon turtleneck from the U.S. He made such a big deal about it. He’d tease the Indian devotees, saying, ‘You people don’t care anything about me. You come here for your own purposes. Look at this woman. She came from so far away and carried this sweater for me.” He wore it for a long time. He gave her the name Yasoda, who was Krishna’s foster mother. He also gave her flowers to take to Jesus’ tomb in Jerusalem, which she planned to visit on her way back to America.
There’s a picture of her taken on the lake in Nainital, where we stayed. She’s sitting in a boat and looks so beautiful in that moment, so at peace… a completely different person than she was at home.
Before she left India, I took my mother to the plains to see the Taj Mahal and do some touring. As we left Kainchi to go on our trip, we walked out of the temple and crossed the bridge over the river. We were about to get into the car and drive away when Mom looked back into the temple where Maharaj-ji was sitting. All of a sudden, she burst out crying like a baby. Up to the day she died she had no idea what happened in that moment. She had much suffering in her life, but whenever anyone asked her about her visit to India, a strange look would come over her face and she’d tell her story like child, full of wonder. But then when it was over, she’d go back to her usual self.
The entire three weeks she was in India, I led her around, fed her, and took care of her. Before I finally put her back on the plane to the West, Maharaj-ji told me, “When you take her to Delhi, do puja to her – worship her as the Divine Mother, as the Goddess. You have to bow down to her in the airport.”