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   It was the birthday of the Holy Mother in the month of Pous (December-January). The Mother was sitting on a cot in her room at Jayrambati, keeping Radhu's child in her lap. Everybody was worshipping the Mother by offering flowers and sandal paste at her feet. I put a string of large marigold flowers round her neck and offered flowers at her feet. Then I said, "Mother, today is your birthday. Many devotees wish to see you and worship you, but they are not able to come to such an inaccessible place. On this auspicious day, I pray for your blessings on behalf of everybody. Kindly give your blessings, Mother, for the good of all." The Mother graciously said, "Yes, my son, I pray to the Master, for the welfare of all. May he bring good to all!"
   As desired by the Mother, I was at this time staying with her. I was kept very busy with many duties like performing the worship of the Master. One day I heard that a few monks of the Belur Math were going out for practising austerities, and so I said to the Mother, "Perhaps it is not good for me to remain confined to all these duties. I want to go and practise austerities. Please give me your permission." The Mother said, "Why so, my child? You are doing my work. You are doing the Master's work. Are these in any way less worthy than austerities? It will be futile for you now to go out. When you feel a really strong urge to practise austerities, well, go for a month or two."
   Jayrambati was infested with malaria. Intermittent fever had made the Mother's health very bad. So at the bidding of the revered Sarat Maharaj, no interview with the Mother was permitted for some time. During this period a certain devotee from Barisal came and expressed his great eagerness to see the Mother, but I refused to allow him. And so a heated argument ensued. The noise gradually reached the Mother's ears. She came to the door greatly excited and said, "Why do you prevent him from seeing me?" I said, "Sarat Maharaj has imposed this restriction. If you give initiation when you are ill, your health will deteriorate further." The Mother replied, "Who is Sarat to say that? I am born for this purpose. I shall initiate him." Then the Mother said to the

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