Mahaperiyava’s Boundless Compassion: Mother’s Love
An elderly woman named Gunasheela (all names changed to protect their privacy) was a staunch devotee of Mahaperiyava. At a young age she had lost her husband and at the time, her son Velraj had been just eight years old. Enduring several hardships, she had brought him up with loving care, educated him, and finally had also managed to get him married. Velraj was attached to his mother while also respecting her sacrifice for him. As time went by, Vel and his wife, Akhila had three children and Gunasheela continued her life with them.
Small tiffs between Gunasheela and Akhila were magnified out of proportion by the daughter-in-law. Akhila secretly resented her mother-in-law’s presence in her home. So, taking advantage of the petty disagreements between them, she started complaining to Vel about his mother’s attitude towards her. She often criticized her mother-in-law when talking to her parents, telling them exaggerated tales of ill treatment by Gunasheela. Slowly Velraj fell into her trap and started believing that his mother was indeed making Akhila’s life miserable. His behavior changed drastically which was evident in his tone and actions towards his mother.
Though Gunasheela noticed the change in her son’s attitude, she wisely chose to ignore it. She would appeal to Ayya in private and continue on in the company of her grandchildren. She raised them as disciplined children and told them moral stories. One day, after a particularly heated argument with her mother-in-law (all started and stoked by Akhila), she told her husband quite categorically, “Look here, either your mother stays here or I. The decision is yours. There is no possibility after the way she has behaved today, that I can continue living under the same roof as she.”
Teary-eyed, Gunasheela heard Akhila’s raised voice and Vel’s quiet acceptance of it. As days went by, she noticed that even her grandchildren seemed somewhat distanced from her while Vel’s attitude was intolerable. All she could do was pray to Mahaperiyava with a heavy heart. That night for the first time she had a dream where she heard Ayya’s compassionate voice, “My dear child, peace of mind is very important for you. Let your son live with his family peacefully. You bear my peace in your heart and I will show you the way.” Though not fully understanding the meaning of His words but trusting them completely, she waited for Ayya’s instructions further.
Three days later, on a bright clear morning, as Gunasheela walked out of her yard, her eyes fell on a distinguished-looking person walking that way. Something about him attracted her attention to him. She suddenly felt a flash of light on him and remembering His Holiness’s words, called out to him, “Ayya, ayya! Please stop!” The wise member of the Divine Mercy Prayer Group turned a smiling face towards her asking calmly, “Mother, are you Gunasheela? I have been looking for you!”
Doesn’t the representative of our all-knowing Ayya, Mahaperiyava understand who she is or what her needs are? This was just a way to test her receptivity to Ayya’s radiation and if she was able to recognize the “help” that Ayya sent her way. He advised her not to worry and told her that when her son along with his family leaves on vacation for three days, she should leave the house and register herself in an old age home (the name of the home has been withheld to protect her privacy).
A couple of days later when Vel left with the children and Akhila, Gunasheela left home quietly and went to the old age home accompanied by the divine member of the team. He told the administrative staff that he is her guardian and that his team would be responsible for her. A week later, at the insistence of Gunasheela, when the home called Vel to let him know that his mother was there, seeing an unknown number, he ignored the call. Vel and his family did not even look for Gunasheela when they didn’t find her at home upon their return. In fact, nearly a week later, they were quite relieved that she had not returned home after so many days of her disappearance. The DMPG took full responsibility for her and completed all formalities on Velraj’s behalf.
Following several attempts by the DMPG and the home to contact Vel and Akhila to notify them of their mother, (who had been repeatedly ignoring their calls), the home was finally able to talk to Vel nearly five months later. When he heard of her admission to their facility, he rudely said that the family was at peace in the absence of his mother. They didn’t want her back and not to bother him again about her at all.
Though it was very hard for Gunasheela to hear her son’s harsh words of rejection, she bore it with the strength Ayya bestowed upon her. What cruel irony of fate is this that a poor widowed mother who raised him with her sweat, blood, and tears is now forced to bear his hatred and rejection at her old age!
Months rolled by and one day Velraj and his family were traveling when their vehicle was hit by a heavy truck loaded with bricks. Miraculously the children escaped unhurt and Vel had superficial injuries. But unfortunately, Akhila was admitted to the ICU at Sukam Hospital for treatment. When Vel anxiously asked the doctor about Akhila’s condition, the doctor assured him that there was no danger to her life but……
“She has lost her vision. Her eyes are damaged beyond repair due to the pieces of glass that tore deep through her eye balls.”
Alarmed by the doctor’s revelation, Vel begged him to find if her vision could be restored somehow, anyhow. “If we find a donor, there is a possibility. We have informed the eye bank. Meanwhile, please make an effort to find a donor.”
Just then, Velraj’s phone rang. When he saw that the call was from the “home”, he switched off the phone in disgust. “I’m going through such a trying time; this old woman wouldn’t leave me in peace even now!” thought he.
About a few hours later, the doctor summoned Velraj to tell him that his wife was one lucky woman because they were able to find a donor in such a short time and that if he can complete all formalities with the hospital, the surgery could be performed right away. Thanking his lucky stars, Vel waited impatiently for the surgery to to be completed and Akhila to regain consciousness before rushing in to meet her. Holding her hands, he lovingly told her, “I’m so happy that we got a donor. The doctor assures you will regain complete vision soon.”
Instead of displaying happiness or even relief, Akhila in a strangely reflective mood declared dramatically, “Perhaps I’m paying for my sins. I’m going through this because of my treatment of your mother. Why don’t we bring her back from the home? I want her to be the first person I see when I open my eyes.” Velraj agreed readily so as not to disturb her delicate condition. He told her that he had received a call from the home that morning, but he had switched off the phone because he was in no state to talk to his mother then. On Akhila’s insistence he promised her that he would call the home right away to deliver the good news to Gunasheela.
When he called the home, he heard news that shook him to the core, “Sir, we have been trying to contact you since this morning. Your mother passed away at 10:45 AM due to a sudden heart attack. While struggling to breathe, she begged to see her son and his family once. We desperately tried your number, but you declined the call. We tried your wife’s number as well but hers was switched off too.” Before hanging up, the lady at the other end added, “Mr. Velraj, we usually donate the eyes of those who pass away in the home. Since we couldn’t get your permission over the phone, we contacted those who signed as her responsible party and your mother’s eyes were donated to a patient at Sukham Hospital.”
As if hit by a sledgehammer, Vel felt crushed by an unbearable weight. He ran to check with the hospital staff hoping to get the name of the donor for his wife. The lady at the front desk understanding his desperation, pointed to the screen. In the donor column under patient Akhila, he found the name “Gunasheela” along with the name and address of the home!
Though Velraj couldn’t fulfill his mother’s last wish, Ayya fulfilled it by letting the same eyes that nurtured and loved Vel in childhood and adulthood, to gaze at him lovingly in his old age too!