“Balcony Darshan” – Krishna Prasad

An essay by Shree Krishna Prasad, originally published in Mother India, Aug 1956, pp. 29-30.

 

Often you have asked me to write to you about the most striking things of the Ashram here and so long I have somehow dodged the issue. You see, it isn’t at all an easy job to pick and choose the striking things of the place. I am still, like a novice, seeing things more than understanding their deeper import. However, just to satisfy your curiosity, I am giving below some idea of what’s known as the Balcony Darshan here. In my view it is the most marvellous part of the daily routine followed here and I have attended it almost every day of my stay here. Yet who can conspire with words to arrest and confine the peculiar thrill of the union of the human soul with the Divine? It is no ordinary darshan we see before us. There is no proclamation, no ceremony, no obsequious bowing or supercilious admittance. Here is no hurry, no bustle, no pushing nor jostling. Here there is no newspaper trumpeting of numbers, nor pompous festoonings and loud greetings.

Here is the quiet rhythmic beauty of a simple gathering of human souls below and the smiling peace and power of the graciously humanised Divinity.

Just mark, what a fine pattern of meeting quietly unfolds itself!

The drowsy mists of the night are fled and Dawn is slowly breaking, developing into day. The birds are astir with the eager songs for the coming glory. Our human hearts are aflutter with the desire to see the Mother. It is time for her to appear at the balcony – should I add, the infallible balcony of our sincere aspiration? From the east, from the west, from north and south, aspirants of all ages and climes, workers, scholars, poets and sportsmen are moving to the one gravitational point of the balcony of grace. They are like muted waves driven to the shore by a simple, sweeping breath of some invisible power. Nothing, it seems, can resist this centripetal movement. Whether one comes alone or in twos and threes, the driving force is one undivided Presence. Within a few minutes, the whole scene of multitudinous gathering gets set before us. Small children have selected a little spot of their own. Free and frolicking as they are, they must have their little chat and fun even here and at this hour. The Mother keeps them in her breast forever and need they suspend their little talk and play for the sake of what we call conscious aspiration? And yet here even these child-souls never for a moment forget the purpose for which they have come, the glimpse of the loving mother they will have. But some of the grown-ups among them are already quietly standing or sitting apart, trying to awaken the proper spirit of welcome in their bosom and thought. Some of the adults quietly talk shop for a while; they almost automatically adjust themselves to the divine hour. But most are wholly engaged in silently sending prayers from the places they have chosen themselves. Each has his or her own favourite spot and as soon as they are on it, their inner being, it seems, gets in touch with the Divine Mother as though some unerring Finger has tuned them at once to a spell-binding mood of celestial waiting.

Except for the little children’s audible prattling, the whole assembly is now gathered to such a silent upsurge of meditative quietness, there is now created such a superhuman atmosphere of calm expectation that the scene appears to be ideally set for the purifying advent of the golden Dawn.

While this silent drama of human aspiration is being staged below, O with what an incredible quietness but no less unhurrying quickness the gracious body of the supreme Mother now appears like some fairy queen at the balcony above! Not only all eyes but all hearts and souls are instantaneously turned towards the heavenly face with bated breath. What a perfect puissant peace now growingly spreads over the purified place! As though some magic Will said “Let there be peace” and so there was the clear birth of peace all round. Even the children are hushed into silence.

While all eyes and thoughts are centred on the unfolding glory above, the divine eyes quietly survey the upturned being below. What inimitable phases of the beauteous smile, what outflowings, emanations of the superhuman compassion, what a personal touch of security and succour to each! There is an expansion of the soul-movements opened from below, there is a swift spontaneous widening of the human consciousness all round. Even the children are affected. All corporeal movements are suspended. All have ceased to live in their body. There is a strange silent transformation indeed! If one has the inward sight to see, one knows that bodies of inert clay have momentarily turned into undying flames of conscious beings. Time itself seems to stand still. Eternity has been squeezed into a few minutes. The human soul is face to face with the Divine Reality. The very atmosphere takes on the radiance of the divine beauty. The breeze plays a celestial music. The soul blossoms with a rapturous fragrance. Wearing a smiling gravity all through, the multiform, multi-dimensional aspects and powers of truth converge upon a single leaning, down-looking expression of the Mother. The earth is gathered up into the heavenly vision. Truth alone rules and triumphs….

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