Ma and What Is

Part 5

Her Most Striking Attribute

We could go on listing powers attributed to Ma, but by now you should get the idea, so we'll move onto something that seemed to affect the greatest number of people.

Ma could have an electrifying, even transforming, affect on an audience. This was even more profound when she gazed at a particular person. Many people said that when she chose to do this, something permanently changed within them.

This happened to some people who met her while "just passing through." Several then canceled their life plans and stayed with her for weeks, months, and even years. Many of these people were not easily influenced. In one case it was a journalist and in another a medical doctor.

People said they sometimes saw a light emanating from Ma, especially when she emerged from what we'll call meditation, or mentally returning from "some place else."

She said she was guided by something within -- something that sometimes caused her to do unexpected, even seemingly irrational, things.

For example, she might suddenly jump up and dash outside, get on a train, and head somewhere with a few worried followers scampering to keep up with her.

Generally, those followers would discover that someone in dire need silently called out to her. After her husband died, she seemed to always be on the go.*

In once case she called the equivalent of a taxi and when the driver asked where she wanted to go, she said, "To your house."

When they got there, it was discovered that his mother was near death -- at least before Ma intervened.

Who or What Was Ma?

We've got to stop at this point to try to figure out who or what this woman was.

As we've noted, some observers say that she had to largely reside in another dimension because she definitely "wasn't from around here."

If she had developed her abilities over time by studying with sageswe might begin to understand this woman. But, as we've noted, she was totally "aware" from the moment of her birth.

Although Ma could transcend physical restraints, she chose in most ways to be bound by them -- just as we all are. Would she really have been an example of how to live our lives if she didn't have to contend with the same physical restraints we do?

Her body got physically tired, especially in her later years, and she also got momentarily sick when she healed certain people by (it is said) taking on the karma associated with their sickness.

Even so, she made exhausting mountainous trips in severe weather when she was in her 80s.

When she didn't use her voice or her hands for long periods of time, which was often the case when she went into trances lasting days, weeks, or even longer, she had problems getting her body coordinated again.

Those who attended her often had to feed her by hand or she wouldn't eat at all. The question was, "Did she need to?"

She freely admitted that she did some things because people expected them of "a normal human being."

Although this sounds strange, there are reports throughout history of highly advanced spiritual people who didn't need to eat anything -- apparently getting their sustenance from the air, sun, and possibly the prana that pervades the universe.

For example, Yoganonda in Autobiography of a Yogi talks about meeting Giri Bala, "the saint that lives on nothing but air." More recently there was reportedly a woman living in Europe who also falls into this category. (What is it with women and diets?)

Some say that Ma had developed her high spiritual state in previous lives. Ma, however, seemed to disavow this, suggesting that throughout time she had always been the same.

Of course this only deepens the mystery surrounding this women and even opens the issue of the nature of time -- a human construct that Ma seemed to be able to transcend.

But that still doesn't answer the question of who Ma was or where she came from.

You may recall that Jesus said there were many mansions in his house. Maybe, like Ma, he was referring to dimensions other than earth. Many scientists now subscribe to the concept of a multidimensional universe in which a multitude of overlapping realities coexist.

Although Ma hinted at these other realities or dimensions, we have to wonder what would have been the reaction if Ma had started talking about beings in unseen dimensions?

Not only were the people not ready to hear that (and it would have provided further evidence that she was crazy) but it would have undermined her central message, which we'll get to in the next chapter.

Throughout her middle to later years, hundreds if not thousands of people flocked around Ma. At least 14,000 people were at her funeral. Some put the estimate at twice that. Those who paid their respects included heads of state from around the world.

To an outside observer Ma could occasionally come across as somewhat irresponsible, if not unfeeling.

Although she never treated anyone badly -- and, remember, the world is full of religious critics -- she sometimes didn't grant people an audience or fix their problems when she thought it would be in their best interests to take responsibility themselves.

With this we've only scratched the surface on the unusual and vexing woman. At this point we'll refrain from saying anything more about what she did and move onto the crux of her story.

* After going to a region of the country that Ma warned him about, her husbandcontracted and subsequently died of smallpox. He seemed to be a bit headstrong, possibly secretly resenting a popular wife that had a way of getting him to do what she wanted. She stayed by his side through his sickness But by then he was quite old and apparently had accomplished what he needed to in life.

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