The Power of a Photograph/The Power of Darshan

In the last couple of years
I’ve read whatever books I could get my hands on
Whose subject is Sri Anandamayi Ma

(Her parents gave her the name
Nirmala Sundari
Which means “One of Taintless Beauty”)

Some say this Bengali woman
Was a saint
Others assert a guru

Still others disagree
She was undoubtedly an avatar
No, no, she was the Divine Mother herself

But this stood out to me from one of those books
A European happened to come across
A photo of her

And was so taken by it
So awakened by it
So lured by it

That in no time
She dropped everything
And left behind her middle-class life

And found herself on a plane to India
For if a mere photo had that kind of power
What would it be like to see Mā face to face?

Many devotees knew
One Siddharth Sharma attested to the experience:
“Her gaze was amazing

If you looked at her it was as though
You were looking at something divine
All the thoughts inside you when your eyes met ceased

You were one-pointed in gazing at her
In her presence all anger and lust would subside
And you would be in a state of divine happiness”

Ma 2003

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