Ms. Sarojini Pattnaik from Puri, India

Imagine being semi-lettered, almost unlettered.

In deep poverty.

Imagine the Universe throwing boulders of trouble at you; on and on.

Yet, your life reflects a deep faith and conduct borne out of a profound knowing of Divinity, of the Holy Spirit itself.

Yet you are, as the Omniscience is. Pure love and empathy.

Every droplet of the sea, each ray of the Sun is him,

The only existence

As he is, so am I. Blissful

Sarojini Pattnaik

At a young age a brilliant army officer married her. Only to abandon her, three children later. Leaving her penniless and without a job. Moved by the devotion and love of the young bride, her Mother in law told her

You are like my daughter now. If you want to marry someone else, please do so and I will happily arrange for it. You are young. Please do not waste your life.”

The young Sarojini replied, “Would a daughter leave an old Mother alone to face the waves of old age?”

With undying dedication, she loved her mother in law and the latter in turn told her son

“I choose righteousness.”

When the Son asked her, “Mother choose between me and the daughter in law.”

The Son, blinded by the youth of another girl, abandoned his old Mother, his wife Sarojini and three little children.

A measly pension of rupees 200 per month($2.5) from the old Mother in law could not bear the load of even the basic meals for the five of them. Yet when Sarojini Devi found a forsaken and disabled little boy with a poor relative, she quickly adopted him as her fourth.

He looked like sunshine,” she said as she lifted him and brought him home.

She surely possessed

A mind which believed, “I have.”

A mind where every space was occupied by faith and empathy.

A mind in eternal gratitude.

She could not even provide footwear for her children, leave alone education or three meals a day. Yet, she would find joy in sorrow and abundance in misery. She would often say

How lucky are we to be on the sands of such pure beaches. The air, the ocean are clean and loving here. People spend millions to come here, yet here we are reveling in nature’s glory at all times.”

Her life was a saga of misery, survival and unhappiness as seen by the outside world.

Yet, when her son Sudarshan became famous and rich, the world media in an interview asked her

So how did you manage in such lack and poverty?”

She replied, “I was always well provided for by the Divine, the Lord Jagannath.”

Sarojini Devi as people called her, lived and breathed gratitude.

It said that the

Sins of the parents visit their children.

Yet equally profound is the fact that their goodness also visits the progeny.”

The result of her dedication?

Her lifetime of faith and thankfulness visited her children.

One of her sons’ Sudarshan Patnaik was a natural sand artist. He would make exquisite art in the sands of Puri beaches. One day, he got noticed and never looked back. Winning medals in almost every competition in the world and being honoured with the Padma Shree (similar to a knighthood) by the government. He became rich and famous and so did the entire household.

Just like the clear ocean, her life reflected every aspect of the Universe.

When asked by some friends to say unkind words about her husband, she declined.

He fell out of love with me, I didn’t”.

When her children grew up and were angry with the Father, she advised them

When you cut your nose, the blood falls into your own mouth.”

Never an unkind word about the one who gave her misery. Never a whimper of protest.

Only love and greatfulness.

No wonder, even before she died, people started to revere her as a deity born in flesh.

For such was her life, lived in gratitude.

The great sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik with his Mother Sarojini Pattnaik.


    • How amazing it is. Unfortunately I never knew her. But her son, the artist is a good friend. I learnt all about her during my visit to Puri last week.
      I felt that this was a huge lesson in gratitude.
      Thank you so much for writing. Your words will warm many hearts.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Out of suffering have emerged the strongest soul; the most massive characters are seared with scars — Khalil Gibran
    Pure gold undergoes the acid test. So also the pure character. Sarojini Devi’s tall character, strong faith on Lord Jagannath forced the divine nature to bestow her son Sudarshan Pattnaik with divine blessings to create golden arts from the golden sands. She is alive through the beautiful arts produced by his son and she will be alive for ever through it!

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  2. Soul stirring tribute and the narration made me to reproduce Rudyard Kipling quote on mother’s: “God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers. ”

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  3. I have been sampling many spiritual based blogs, and yours is my favorite. There is some kind of practicality in your spiritual shares that I really like. I am still evolving such that I sometimes still get in a dark mood and cannot absorb something like this, however, I also know that when I do come back around, your words will be there and I can always connect back to them. I say this because it isn’t true of some of the other spiritual blogs I see, some of which are too “woo woo” for me during even the best of times. You have this anchor of practicality that I find hard to describe, other than to call it just that – an anchor in the sea and the spiritual boat is therefore stable instead of floating off in non-relevant directions. Enjoyed this one, thank you for posting.

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    • Thank you so much for really kind words. As I learnt (I’m still more Atheist than most- I don’t believe that the traditional judgmental punisher God exists) spiritual secrets from great people, I found that if it can’t help me in my daily life, then for me it doesn’t have much use.
      Hence I try to make it practical. My bestseller book
      Prisons the six secrets of life
      Even provides how to do exercises😊
      That apart, I totally appreciate the way you also write about ‘how to do’ stuff in your blog. Videos on instant anxiety removal and real life stuff.
      The appreciation is totally mutual😊

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