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Idol in Shivpuri
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Sonai 1899-1924 The life and mission of Paramsadguru's mother Sonamata is extraordinary. Gifted with an equanimous attitude towards one and all, she was an altruist right from her childhood days. She had magnanimous mind which knew no discrimination.
Sonamata was born on 4th June 1899 at 3.20 in the virtuous family of Shingwekars of Raipur. Her father Vinayakrao alias Bhausaheb Shingwekar was a very pious man who had performed rigorous chanting of Gayatri mantra as a blessing of which Sonamata was born.
Sonamata (Sonai), when she was just 9 or 10 years old, developed interest in meditation and spirituality. She used to go to a teacher who gave lessons in Yoga and meditation. At that tender age itself she was making great progress in meditation and had started getting divine visions.
At the age of 11 she was married to Swami Shivanand (Laxmanrao Rajimwale) who too was from Raipur. Later Sonamata's father Shri Bhausaheb Shingwekar was transferred to Kharagpur in West Bengal. It was here that she met her Sadguru Shri Upasani Baba of Sakori (A small town near Shirdi in Maharashtra). A siddha-yogi, Shri Upasani Baba was a disciple of the great saint Shri Sai Baba of Shirdi.
In the scavenger's locality of Kharagapur, she was immersed fearlessly in the service of downtrodden in the company of Sadguru Shri Upasani Baba. Here it is worth recalling the fact that she was the daughter-in-law of royal family . During those days it was difficult for an aristocratic women to move so freely in the society.
Sonamata, was a dear student of her Christian teacher in an American Mission school and she used to get absorbed while singing the songs of Lord Jesus.
Sonamata had abounding love for those who were downtrodden and in pain. Once during the Diwali festival she welcomed a poor beggar walking on the road to her house and treated him like a brother. She applied oil to his body and bathed him with warm water. She cleaned his wounds and offered him sweets.
At the time of Shree's birth Sonamata was in Kharagpur. After 1921 she came to reside at Sakori to serve her Sadguru, Shri Upasani Baba, and work for the upliftment of poor.
During those days the construction work of Sakori ashram was in progress and Sonamata along with other disciples was engaged in service.
One day her infant daughter 'Kamala' was kept in the shadow of a tree, suddenly Shri Upasani Baba picked the girl and literally hurled her in the air. The girl landed with a thud on a small heap of lime filth. Sonamata was watching all this happen. Her reaction was neither that of panic nor sorrow, she remained calm and became meditative. She had complete faith in her Sadguru and was sure no harm would come to the child.
Contemplating on the reason behind this incident she concluded that her Sadguru was suggesting her to sever this last string of attachment. She complied forthwith. Shree and Kamala, her children were eventually sent to Akkalkot to stay with their grandparents.
On another occasion she had gone on a pilgrimage to Kashi. (A famous holy city on the banks of river Ganges) with Upasani Baba and a group of disciples. During a visit to Kashi, it is customary in the Hindu tradition to stop consuming a favorite fruit or vegetable or some such thing as a sign of Tapa (spiritual discipline). This sacrifice is solemnized by offering the thing 'given up' in the waters of the river Ganges.
Sonamata was standing in the holy water of the river Ganges looking in to the vast expanse, when someone mentioned about this custom to her. She thoughtfully yet calmly picked up her little son Gajanan and offered the child in to the deep waters of the holy river thinking that this was the only attachment she had to the worldly life.
No harm of course came to child Gajanan, while someone from the entourage retrieved Him from the water.
These two incidents depict the height of non-attachment and faith in guru that she had nurtured at that young age.
She imparted and promoted the Mantra - 'Hare Ram' for the ultimate welfare of all. At the time of her samadhi she asked her only son Gajanan to 'stay away from her for four days. She manifested both qualities in her character - extreme love and total non-attachment. Paramsadguru too inherited these qualities.
Sonamata attained 'Samadhi' in 1924, Her life-span was hardly 24 years. Even 24 hours after her passing away, all the limbs and joints of her body remained normal and loose; while the temperature remained normal. This had baffled the doctors.
Sonamata never had any yearning for the personal life. She was never a woman of the world who enjoyed acquiring household articles.
She toiled and sweated for people, renouncing her own affluence and left her mortal coils during the prime of her youth. She had no other goal in life but the welfare of humanity.
Her body was a Karya-Shareer (body assumed for the specified mission). Well being of humanity was that mission. After fulfilling the mission by giving birth to Divine incarnation, she left the body.
While Paramsadguru's father Shivananda Swami was incarnation of SHIVA, Sonamata was SHIVA-SHAKTI (power of SHIVA).
The seeds of Paramsadguru's mission - to establish and promote SATYA-DHARMA, cutting through the barriers of narrow compartments of the society can be seen embedded in the life and work of Sonamata.
She observed austerities in Sakori and finally parted from the world imparting the message of 'Hare Ram' to all mankind. 'Rama' is said to be AGNIBIJ - the mantra symbol of AGNI (fire).