Premananda's mother

December 12, 1975

As the mother of Premananda (or Chick, as he will always be in my heart), I would like to express some of my impressions of the Guru's luncheon on December 7th for the mothers of his male disciples.

First of all, I would like to thank Guru for remembering us as these young men's mothers in his invitation and for his remarks to us. I was impressed by his sincerity and his desire to include us in his spiritual community.

Frankly, I have had my doubts over the last seven years because Chick was seemingly taking on a new family. Somehow I felt I had failed in some way as a parent. Then I began to examine the good effects of Chick's relationship with the Guru… his acquiring a much needed self-discipline, his willingness to work hard for something he believed in, and — most important, I believe — his personal attainment of an inner serenity and strength.

Some things still trouble me. At the luncheon one mother questioned the times disciples spent meditating or attending Yoga centre functions on holidays or family days rather than spending some of that time with their physical families. This preoccupation with the Guru's activities is somewhat contradictory to the Guru's assurance that his disciples should stay in physical contact with their families.

The Guru says that our minds are troubled by this lack of closeness but that our hearts are glad because we want our sons to be happy. True… to a point. Christmas particularly is a family time. Should these sons (or daughters) travel to Puerto Rico, away from their families, at Christmas time to participate in the same activities they do in their daily lives all the rest of the year? Does this mean their spiritual family is more important to them than their physical one? If this is the case, I feel the Guru — if he is as sincere as I have come to believe he is — should underline to these young people the importance of their relationship with their physical family while they are on this Earth. Their souls will follow Guru to his "true home" and their belief will influence the future of the young people of this country.

If your children are geographically removed from you, you plan on visits to compensate for this; they come or you go to them to be together as a family. But, once again, isn't there a time and a place for the physical as well as spiritual family?

While I am on this Earth, I would like to see as much of my children as possible, as my children, not the Guru's even though I know we are all God's children and will one day be with Him.

Mary E. Brown