“Whenever my father came to Jillellamudi, Mother would always inquire about Chalam and Souris. She used to ask about their well-being. No one except my father knew who Mother was inquiring about. Mother had a special fondness for both of them”, said Charan.
As I listened, I thoughtfully looked at him.
“The way realized souls look at a person or gauge him is entirely different from how the society does. The things that are considered unimportant by the world at large, are regarded as the real things by them, and what the world considers to be of utmost importance, is mere sawdust in their perspective. I’ve said this many times before, haven’t I?”
Charan nodded his head in agreement.
I said, “Have you looked at Chalam’s eyes? If one has the ability to perceive, you can gauge his level of spirituality by looking at his eyes.”
Charan and Madan were silently looking at me.
I asked, “Tell me one thing. What is more appropriate - ‘Chalam’ or ‘Achalam’?”
“Isn’t Achalam correct?” he replied.
“Yes, but the word ‘Chalam’ is also not incorrect. Chalam stands for the world in motion. Achalam points to the motionless state of the Supreme Brahman. Chalam means the Shakti with three gunas. Achalam means the tranquil Siva, who is beyond the three gunas. How can one exist without the other? The two states are mutually inseparable.
He spent his whole life in agitation. He endured great turmoil all through his life failing to quiet his wavering mind and overcome his desires and lust. He was thoroughly disgusted with this rotten world. His entire life was consumed by a constant struggle with his mind and the world around him. Only in the next life, he will free from this restlessness and taste tranquility. A very good foundation was laid in this life, that will lead to fruition in his next life. Mala Pichamma also had said the same to him. Chalam is a very noble person. He is much more elevated than most people we see today.” I explained.
Charan and Madan were listening quietly.
“Did you know that Chalam also wrote dialogues for movies?” I said.
Charan asked, “Which movie?”
I continued, “He was the one who wrote the story and dialogues for the movie “Malapilla” released in 1938. His ideas on social reform were clearly evident in that movie. For this movie, Gudipati Venkata Chalam B.A L.T was given the screen credits for story and dialogues. His dialogues were so brief and full of emotion that the movie industry could not digest the sweetness of his style. He did not like the ugly politics and conspiracies within the movie industry. Unwilling to give up his individuality and write in their style, he fought with tenacity to write in his own way. He never gave importance to money all his life but attached great importance to love, purity, emotion and freedom. Not merely in words, but he also practiced these principles in his life. He never followed them out of compulsion or in an affected manner, it rather came to him naturally. How can someone like him accept this rotten movie industry? Which is why he could not fit in.
We can see Chalam’s style in every dialogue throughout that movie. Let me tell you about a scene from that movie.
Govindarajula Subbarao is seated on a couch. Venkata Subbayya, who is sitting beside him, gives a lecture about who the real untouchables are, while praising Nagaraju’s good act of taking Malapilla to Kolkata. After listening to everything, Govindarajula Subbarao holding Venkata Subbayya’s chin replies with a brief, “You and your thoughts!!” This is the response coming from a character after another character has spoken for an hour!
Listen to another dialogue. In that movie, the hero is a Brahmin and the heroine, an outcast. Love blossoms between them. In a scene, the girl regrets doubting her lover’s intentions and causing him pain. Chalam beautifully conveys this great emotion in just two phrases. The girl (actress Kanchanamala) expresses her grief sadly to her sister, “He sure is a nice guy! Oh dear! How bad have I hurt him!”
This is Chalam’s style. Without progressive thinking filled with emotion, one cannot understand him. All conversations in that movie are thought provoking. No matter how many births the current generation takes, they won’t be able to write such simple, brief and yet thought provoking dialogues.”
Charan remained silent for some time and then spoke, “In 1979, Chalam’s passing away was announced on the radio. My father had just then arrived and Mother asked him, referring to Chalam, ‘It seems he is gone’. Although she knew what was happening afar, she still used to ask us as if she did not know.”
As this was usual of Her, I did not say anything.
Charan got up saying, “Let’s go and have some food. Please come sister. All of us got up and washed our hands and proceeded towards the dining hall.
While walking down the steps, Madan’s wife expressed a doubt.
She said, “Brother, I heard that Bhardwaja master stayed here for many years. Hadn’t he?”
I confirmed that it was true.
She then said that she reads his books.
I said that’s good.
She expressed her doubt saying that, “Having stayed with Mother for so many years, why did he travel around the country, going after other saints and gurus? And here you are, saying that there is no one greater than Mother and that there is no need to go in search of other gurus once you have seen Mother. I am not able to understand this.”
I knew that she was a devotee of Saibaba. Madan had come here with us before. But this was her first visit.
I understood her situation.
I stopped to answer her and so did everyone walking with me. There was a pomegranate tree near us. It had beautiful red flowers.
Pointing to a flower, I said, “Take a good look at this flower and its color. Even a well experienced artist cannot bring forth such mixing of colors. Look how beautiful the red flower is in the dark green background of the leaves. Such miracles are seen everywhere in nature. Unable to see these wonders, we hanker after fake miracles. This was the case with Bhardwaja too.
Not everyone can understand the grandeur of natural state. In order to understand that, we should also be in the utmost natural state, free of impurities and guileless just like a two year old child. Only then you can at least superficially understand the greatness of people like the Mother. As long as you keep searching for artificial things, you will not be able to understand their true nature. You might live with them and stick with them for years. But, there will still be a great chasm between them and you and you cannot cross it. The reason behind this is that your vision is not upon what is in front of you, but elsewhere.
After being near Mother, the abode of love and happiness, Bhardwaja used to talk about - Anandamayi Ma, Chirala Avadhuta, Chivatam Amma and searched for several other avadhutas in various places. What can we do? The saying, ‘Distant mountains appear smooth’, did not come without a reason.
He wanted miracles such as producing ashes from thin air. Whereas Mother used to say, pointing to the sunrise, “My child, where can you find a better miracle than the creation around you? See, how amazing it is!” Though this is true, one should have a mature vision to experience and enjoy it. Then you will see miracles in everything in the creation. Without such vision, it is like having the child in your arms and searching for it everywhere. When you are in that state, materializing things from thin air, and spitting out stones from mouth will appear like miracles. This is what happened to him.
For instance, look at the case of Lord Dattatreya. He is a very natural and simple saint. The innate state beyond the three gunas is Datta tattva. But, his devotees of today want artificial miracles. Show me at least one devotee of him who does not want such cheap miracles. How can we discourage someone who is looking for unnatural things from doing so and guide him towards something that is natural?
This is what we are capable of. We very well know the art of pulling down the highest and extraordinary men into our own quagmire. These are inevitable, as long as we have a desire in our mind to become a Guru and congregate people around us. That is the matter” - I explained.
Looking at her, I could tell that she did not like what I said. Many people’s situation is like hers. They cannot easily accept the truth that breaks their beliefs. It is not possible to experience truth without having the love for truth that can put aside one’s ego.
When a person becomes important to us, truth leaves us. God leaves us, when our ego becomes important to us.
As we were talking, we reached the dining hall. By then, a batch of people were already having lunch. So, we waited for a little while and sat in the next batch.
They served dal, tamarind chutney and brinjal curry - all three of which are my favorite dishes. Thinking of Mother all the while, we ate our lunch and returned to our rooms.
To be continued..
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Ganesh A, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on October 18, 2014. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.