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"Holy Mother" painted by Swami Tadatmananda
Used courtesy of the Vedanta Society of Southern California
Paritosh and Vriju may offer more insight, as jayanti is a "Western Mind' too. But let me offer a little reflection.
Mother had , according to custom, gone on pilgrimage to the confluence where the sacred rivers meet. This is considered to be one of the most sacred of places in India. It is also custom that one makes (or begins) a pilgrimage on an auspicious day, a day or period in the year honoring an aspect of the Divine.
I'm not recalling the incident you quote, but if the commentator (or Mother) spoke of the "right place" and "right time", this is most likely what is meant.
Offering Thakur's hair here seems natural to me, though quite extraordinary! One would not usually offer a human "body part", but rather a flower, or incense.... Yet this is also a confluence of divinty, Mother's divinity, Ramakrishna's divinity, and the divinity of the sacred waters, which took Thakur's hair into itself. By so doing, it carried Thakur's divinity, given by Mother, to the entire world. All was sacred.
Does she say that she held divinity in the palm of her hand in this incident? You didn't include it. I believe it comes from another context. And that it was not meant literally. To "hold in the palm of the hand" means that we have mastery or control over something. As I recall, Mother used this with regard to her own divine nature. Ramakrishna was always going into divine states and losing ordinary consciousness. Mother, in contrast, kept her divine states more hidden, but always they were there, within her reach and control.
Location: San Diego, California, USA
I do not have any text to refer to and will try to answer the question from memory or as best as I have understood it.
I think the incident about the Mother and the Master’s hair occurred after the Master has attained mahasamadhi. In certain cases, when a person leaves the mortal coil the ashes are then immersed into a river or stream etc. I do not know if this incident occurred in Gaya or Allahabad. Gaya as a city is particularly associated with obsequies and Mother was on that journey after the Master left his body. Wherever she was Gaya or Allahabad, when Mother went with the hair, she was thinking about the Master and offering it there but before she could actually offer it, a wave from the Ganga almost sprung forth and “took away” the hair. The hair of the Master would further sanctify the Ganga is what Mother is referring to in this incident.
The second incident about “God was in the palm of her hand” is another one as Jayanti points out about the Mother’s divine nature which was always hidden. The Mother was talking about devotion “bhakti” and there she told the devotee God can give “mukti” realization easily but hesitates to give bhakti. The author then comments that the manner in which Mother spoke about this was as if She had the ability to give mukti and it lied in the palm of Mother’s hand.
Jayanti and Paritosh have provided very good explanations. Rosemary, would it be possible for you to give reference to your quotes so I can read them in their context and see what I make of it.
Location: Wilmslow, U.K.