by Irena Joannides
Wonder and mystery linger within me of the encounter with Mother Meera. I knew little about her and, when the opportunity to see her arose, I refrained from doing research; I wanted to remain as free of expectations as possible. What occurred, I could never have expected…
Darshan, where I was headed on that sunny April day, is a Sanskrit term that means “auspicious sight,” in the sense of simultaneously seeing and being seen. Seeing Mother Meera and being seen by Mother Meera promised such an exchange with an Avatar of Shakti, an embodiment of the Divine Feminine, since that is what her devotees believe her to be. Born in India in 1960, Kamala Reddy had her first samadhi, a state of complete spiritual absorption, at the age of six. At 14 she was taken to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where she began to give darshan. In 1982 she moved to Germany, continuing her service both in the small town where she lives and all over the world.
“Darshan is the bestowal of Love, Light and Grace that Mother performs in silence and free of charge. It is her gift to humanity,” I read in the literature when I arrived at the Toronto event, which drew a diverse crowd including young children. Once seated in the hall where silence was observed, I attempted to attune to its resonance. To my surprise, for I had not sensed a strong energy field upon entering, I was enveloped immediately. I wondered whether the energy was generated by Mother’s proximity, or by those awaiting her arrival, or mainly by me, or a combination of the above. I indulged my analytical mind with such thoughts for a moment then trashed them: Who cares? Just soak it in!
Curiously, instead of soaking in the energy, I felt compelled to relay it. The instant I applied intent to the task, my heart chakra began pulsating as though it were emitting waves. Although the sensation itself was nothing new, the speed certainly was; it normally takes some time in meditation before I reach that state. Meanwhile, an odd thought recurred: Holding space for the resonance, holding space for the resonance… To my understanding, I was drawing in energy and directing it outward, anywhere it was needed – a glance around the room revealed that some had come for healing.
I don’t know what compelled me to work with the energy that way at that moment, but I’ve learned not to question such impulses. Trusting what arises accelerates spiritual growth – it’s like agreeing to unwrap a gift that will keep on giving. One thing was certain: Energy work in Mother Meera’s space could be accomplished at the speed of thought. Instant, effortless manifestation!
Swathed in a silk sari, Mother Meera entered and took her seat on a low platform. She is small, delicate, unassuming; she exudes grace and inner stillness. Not one word was spoken. Using gestures and smiles, event volunteers guided people through the protocol, which would bring everyone before her one by one: You kneel at her feet and she touches your head. When she removes her hands, you look into her eyes. When she withdraws her gaze, that’s your cue to leave. The entire process takes around 40 seconds, yet purportedly Mother Meera remembers both the countenance and the soul of every person she has blessed – a number undoubtedly in the hundreds of thousands.
“On the back of the body two white lines start at the toes, rise up the legs, join at the spine, and reach the top of the head. This line has some knots and, when I hold your head, I am untying those knots and removing obstacles to your sadhana, your spiritual practice. When I touch your head, the Light moves upwards in the white line and, like a meter, indicates the development of your sadhana. When it goes above the head, there is a constant relation with Paramatman, the Supreme Soul. In the front of the body two red lines start from the toes, grow upwards on the legs, tending to meet at the base of the spine. If they reach the white line, you achieve absolute detachment. This rarely happens and only to those who have the Divine Shakti,” Mother Meera describes the work that she performs with what appeared, to me at least, as automated detachment.
This was my first encounter with the detachment so coveted in Eastern traditions – something that was probably at odds with my subconscious expectation of, or yearning for, a Divine Feminine that exudes sweetness and warmth. After all, that’s how I had always imagined Mother Mary. How comfortable am I with the notion of detachment? Does if feel the same as indifference to me? Does it trigger feelings of abandonment by a God unconcerned with human suffering? While mining vestiges of the separation paradigm within myself, I recalled how detached I had felt while working with the energy earlier on; I was neither driven by strong desire nor intensely focused on the task, which had been put on automatic by a compassionate intent to serve as best I could. Nor was I attached to the outcome in any way; I had simply let go and let God… Aha! A realization… Along with the reminder that preconceptions mislead, I was given a personal experience of compassionate detachment and a consummate example of that state in a self-realized being, Mother Meera. On the path to self-realization detachment is probably the last step before complete acceptance, which is the prerequisite for unconditional love, which eliminates suffering by eliminating all expectations, fears and desires.
As I surveyed the nexus of resistances and realizations that had surfaced for me simply by sitting in that room, my row of seats was beckoned to go genuflect before her. Okay, I admit that crawling felt quite peculiar, but I accepted it as part of the experience, perhaps as a prompt to sidestep the ego or to evoke the inner child.
She placed her hands on my head for a few seconds that felt very long indeed. A temporal distortion… Her touch moved me into a state achieved in deep meditation or altered states of consciousness. Then I felt a shift in my energy field. Of course I would love to know what she saw, what she did, but she offers no explanations. All I could do was embrace the mystery.
When my gaze locked into her jewel-like, amber eyes – still and expansive, penetrating and enfolding, humble and humbling – I recognized something intimately familiar, something that seemed to also recognize me! I beheld it and it beheld me. I did not know what it was, but I knew that there has never been and will never be a time when I do not know it. Dare I say the origin of Self or a glimpse of Home? Then a thought thundered through me, making me shudder: Is this the gaze of Mother Mary? Within my cultural framework it would have to be Mary not Shakti, although both are facets of the same magnificent jewel. Labels are simply labels.
Mother Meera withdrew her gaze and I returned to my seat slightly lightheaded, energetically expanded, and somewhat mystified. This time I could do nothing but soak in the resonance.
When everyone had received darshan, Mother Meera closed her eyes in meditation. This was the first time that I had had an unobstructed view of her. Assuming that she was sending energy to us, I attempted to “see” it. I softened my gaze to the point of blurriness and, wow… white light with fluctuating blue hues, much like Kirlian photography! Astounded that I could actually see this, I watched as her face and body dithered and darkened, while light spiked and pulsed around a startlingly familiar silhouette. And I shuddered again… Her sari and hairline were now uncannily evocative of the robe and head covering of Mother Mary, as depicted in Byzantine iconography! Of course we see what resonates within us until we move past the need for labels, but was that also an answer to my question? Had I seen the gaze of Mary?
Meera-Mary melded in my sight. Or should I say vision? Although the similarity of the names is lost on no one, I point out that the name Meera can be interpreted as “light; saintly woman.” Etymology for the Aramaic Mariam, as in the mother of Jesus, traces the root to the Egyptian mry “beloved” or mr “love” or the derived ancient name Meritamen or Meri-Amun, “beloved of the Amun-Ra,” the Sun-God, in other words the Light that is Prime Consciousness.
“For this I came – to open your hearts to the Light,” she says. Indeed! The Light of The Mother, who is nameless and timeless and endless, had reflected back to me – the beholder looking into the mirror that is Mother Meera – what my soul sought at that moment. It seems to have fulfilled a longing I did not know I had, healed perceptions I did not know needed healing, answered unspoken questions, dispelled unexpressed doubts. How little we know ourselves!
I so wanted to keep looking at her emanation, so I could keep looking into the mirror of my own consciousness, but Mother Meera quickly finished her meditation and departed without a word. The fleetingness only added to the mystery and wonder, which are beyond words. Hence the silence… “My teaching is to give only the essence, the Divine, that which is necessary,” she explains. “I give exactly what is needed by each person. God is silent. Everything comes out of silence. In silence more work can be done.”
Holding space for the resonance… Holding space for the resonance… I now realize that my recurring thought served not only as a clarification that Mother Meera’s body is a physical space (anchor and portal) in the material realm that holds (contains and emits) the essence of the Divine, but also as a model to emulate. “God is always working through you,” she says. “The important thing is to become conscious and to cooperate.”
Perhaps I had cooperated enough to hold the resonance and behold her light, to glimpse her mission. Perhaps I was shown her mission because this is a time of responsibility, transformation and self-realization – a time for humanity to rise up from the feet of Masters, gurus and Avatars, stand shoulder to shoulder with them, and help them hold the Light for the benefit of all. The Great Mother is beckoning her human children to act upon the knowing that we are created in Her image and likeness. All Mother Meeras are but guides and mirrors on our way Home to our Divine Nature. God is indeed within.
Published in Paradigm Shift Magazine, Issue 72 (UK), June 2015.