We went to Jillellamudi, the day before the book Tara Stotram was released. Though we had planned to start in the morning, we could not leave until 3 p.m. Attributing it to the Divine Will, we remained calm.
We set out from Guntur to Pedanandipadu and stopped at Nagulapadu for a short while to visit Lord Subramanya Swamy temple. We then continued our journey and reached Jillellamudi by 5 p.m. in the evening.
My daughter liked the village of Nagulapadu very much, especially the pond with lily flowers, located in the center of the village. She suggested that we build a house in such a village and live peacefully.
I told her with a smile “Ultimately that is what is likely to happen. Speculation on the new capital city near Guntur (after bifurcation of the state of Andhra Pradesh), has caused the land prices to skyrocket, hence we cannot afford to buy a house in this town anymore. So after I retire, we might indeed live in a small hut, in a remote village.”
My son was silently listening to our conversation.
By the time we arrived at Jillellamudi, Mother’s temple was closed and we were told that it would be opened only at 6 p.m. The temple being open or closed was immaterial to us, so we prayed to Mother from behind the closed doors, spoke to the office staff for a little while and then went upstairs to Mother's room. We sat there quietly for some time and returned.
There have been many changes since we last visited this place, six months ago. The work that was under construction back then is almost complete now. The hall being built on top of the dining hall was mostly finished. The board on the Ashram’s main entrance that read as Andarillu (House of All), had now been moved to the dining hall and Sri Viswajanani Parishat plaque was kept in its place. However, the house on the second floor where Mother lived, was left intact.
I handed a copy of the book Sri Vidya Rahasyam in the office. I offered to give more copies to their library, if needed. They requested us to stay back for dinner, just as Mother always did. No matter who came to see her, she did not like if anyone left without having food. So taking their word to be Mother’s command, I agreed to have dinner and then leave, even if it meant staying late.
While browsing through the pages of Sri Vidya Rahasyam, a brother at the office asked, “You are from Guntur, aren’t you? Do you know Kurtalam Swamiji? He too writes poetry.”
I remained silent for a few minutes contemplating on how to reply to him. I then finally told him that I knew Kurtalam Swamiji, but since I did not like their path, I never interacted with them”.
He inquired “So, is your path completely about the Self?”
I did not answer. But instead told him, “Please read the book, you will understand my ideology”.
Hoping to spend some time with Sister Vasundhara, we headed towards her house. She was seated outside her house and upon seeing us, she warmly welcomed us in. A doctor and a nurse were examining her. On inquiry, she told us that a few hours ago, she had tripped at the entrance of her house, but instead of falling on floor, took a few more steps and held onto a tree. She was about 70 years old and had diabetes, so any injuries or sprains would not heal quickly.
“Why don’t you suggest some Homoeopathic medicine to her?” I asked my daughter who was with us. She always carries an emergency medicine kit with her, wherever she goes. I thought she could perhaps give something from her kit.
Sister smiled at my daughter and said, “I have the medicines, my brother KSN Murthy is also a Homoeopathic doctor. Have you heard his name?”
My daughter shook her head indicating no.
I said with a smile, “Children these days do not know the names of the earlier generations. Even the students of Homoeopathy do not know the names of the pioneers in that field.”
Sister nodded in agreement and continued “Mother was the one, who advised my brother to study Homoeopathy. Subsequently, he worked here in the Government Homoeo Dispensary. He was once transferred to Nellore, when Mother was still alive, then a little while later, she got him transferred back. After she passed away, he worked in Gudivada College and Hyderabad and then retired.
While he was here, everyone in the village was doing well. He cured all kinds of illnesses with Homoeo medicines. He even went to people’s houses to treat them, so they felt assured that they were in safe hands. He did not accept money from anyone, so people started gifting him clothes. After a couple of people gave him clothes, he got a feeling that Mother might send him out of Jillellamudi, as she is making people give him clothes. And it so happened that he got transferred in a few months and the position has been vacant ever since.”
“Why is the position vacant?” my daughter asked.
I added “Which doctor would come forward to work in a village? People like us would be overjoyed by this opportunity. But how many doctors of the current generation are spiritually inclined? You are well aware of the deteriorating condition of the medical profession. Come evening and everyone wants to drink and party. They want to make big money with no effort on their part. Within a short time, they want to buy the entire town. Do you think such people would be willing to come here and do selfless service? This place will seem like hell to them. Even if someone were posted here, they would either use political influence to avoid coming here or stay in Bapatla and visit this place once or twice a week. Only those who have true spiritual thinking can live here and do sincere medical service. Current generation lacks spiritual outlook, hence no one comes here.”
Sister also glanced at us in agreement.
Brother Mallu lived in the last house on the same street as sister Vasundhara. Looking at the house I asked, “Brother Mallu’s house is locked? Are they out of town?”
Sister answered with a blank look, “Mallu passed away on May 5th, it’s almost a month now.”
We were shocked to hear the news.
She continued, “He did not have to go through much pain. One or two weeks before he passed away, he suffered from jaundice. It seemed as though he had recovered. But one day he was slightly unwell and he died that same night. Few days prior to that, he even carried Mother’s palanquin during the procession ceremony. He had a peaceful death.”
As I remembered Mother’s words ‘Everyone will eventually meet with a good ending’, tears filled my eyes and I fell silent for sometime.
She added, “He had a very big family and the 10th day of his passing away was celebrated in a grand manner with all his relatives”.
After some silence, Sister continued again “Mother’s puja is performed on a regular basis in Guntur. But not many people attend. It’d be nice if you can go”.
After some hesitation I finally told her that I did not like congregational worship.
She said “It is not group worship. Currently, it is being done in a house and only a handful of people participate. Hence I ask, if you could join.”
Not wanting to hurt her feelings, I told her that I’d try.
“Let me get you something to drink. Do you like tea or coffee?” asked Sister.
I told her not to make anything for us, since we already had tea in the office and that we simply wanted to spend some time with her. I remembered how she had made us tea with the milk saved for Mother’s naivedyam on our last visit.
I doubted if she read any books. So I could not dare to give her ‘Sri Vidya Rahasyam’ and ask her to read it. My conscience did not allow me to ask a person like her to read my books, who lived peacefully without any regrets and desires, accepting whatever life presented her with. She was always so immersed in Mother’s thoughts that I didn’t think there was a need for her to read books anymore, as she had long outgrown that stage.
After talking to her for a brief while that late evening, we asked her to take rest and took leave of her, telling her that we were going to meet with brother Apparao for some time before having dinner and then head home.
“Alright. Please come back once you have dinner. I normally don’t sleep that early,” said she.
We then went and sat on the mounds of gravel and sand laid out for construction, in front of the dining hall. I prefer to sit outside under the trees and on the ground, than on the chairs in air conditioned rooms.
With no proper electricity yet and lamps lit here and there, the village of Jillellamudi looked so beautiful in the night. Sitting under the dark sky, filled with stars and gazing into it, made me feel like a little baby, sleeping carefree in mother’s lap, without any worldly consciousness, totally free of troubles, relations and jealousy.
Childhood memories of the villages I had lived in, roaming around in those villages at night and reading under the lantern light, all of them came back to me at once.
Just then the dining hall bell rang indicating that dinner was ready. We went calmly and had Mother’s prasad and by the time we were done it was 9 p.m.
We started towards Apparao’s house to visit him and give him a copy of ‘Sri Vidya Rahasyam’ and then leave for Guntur.
To be continued…
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Annapoorna B, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on June 8, 2015. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.