In Tamil land, there lived a woman saint named Mother Avvai,filled, like Mirabai, with intense love of God. All day long she sat in the temple of Vishnu. Sometimes her back was turned towards the image, at other times she sat facing it, her legs stretched out. Once a pious but youthful worshipper happened to go there, for darshan.He did not know of Mother Avvai’s closeness to God and, with blood-shot eyes, he rebuked her in words none too polite. Mother Avvai laughed out loud, filling the temple with her ringing laughter. Ignoring his rudeness, she spoke to him and said: “Come, my son, sit here. Where do you come from, my dear boy? You spoke harshly to me. But tell me one thing. In all my long life, I have not found a single spot whence God is absent. Wherever I stretch out my legs,there is He in front of me. If, now, you show me a place where He is not, I shall stretch out my legs in that direction.” The young worshipper was modest. It was because of his ignorance that he had not recognized Mother Avvai. He was scared and his eyes brimmed with tears as large as pearls and they fell on Mother Avvai’s toes. She tried to draw back her feet, but he held them in his hands and said: “Mother, I have done you wrong; forgive me, save me!” Avvai freed her legs and clasped him in her arms. She kissed him, laughed aloud, and said: “Tuttut, what is there to forgive? You are a son to me, and do you know, I have many more sons like you. You are a good son, for you spoke out your doubt as soon as you felt it.
LACK OR EXCESS OF LOVE ? Navajivan, 5-6-1924