While on the way to office, I ran into my friend Ramana, who works in the accounts department. We have known each other for 25 years, yet I did not know complete details about his family.
I told him that I had met his aunt on my recent visit to Jillellamudi and that when she inquired about him, I had also mentioned that we worked in the same building and that we saw each other sometimes.
Ramana began to talk, “Aunt SL was my mother’s sister. She never married and had settled in Jillellamudi. Our family had a strong bond with Mother. About 25 years ago, when my aunt visited Jillellamudi with other family members, Mother pointed to her and asked her to come closer. She walked up to Mother wondering why she had called her.
Mother placed her hand on her shoulder and said to her lovingly - “Why don’t you come and settle down here”. At that time, my aunt could not understand what Mother had meant, but eventually, Mother’s words came true and she now lives there.
RK was a lawyer in Guntur. Some fifty years ago, he had tried to test Mother’s divinity by deliberately holding onto a live electric wire. While this incident took place in Guntur and nothing had happened to him, Mother, who was in Jillellamudi had experienced a big jolt from the shock. And when he checked if there was electricity in his room, all the lights and fans had still been running.
Mother felt the electric shock but she simply said “Ask him to let go of the wires”, but people around her could not understand what she was saying and whom she was referring to. Sometime later, when RK went to Jillellamudi, Mother asked him, “Why do you test me like that?” Mother’s words were like this, very brief. Only a few people could connect the dots and understand what her words really meant.
There used to be a person in Guntur who slayed chicken and offered them as oblations to a fierce goddess, as a part of his Tantric ritual. He once came to Jillellamudi and sat in the crowd. Mother looked at him and said - ‘Why do you kill those poor creatures?’ No one else except him and Mother knew what they were talking about. Perhaps, he too did not understand right away. And people around could by no means understand Mother’s words, since she never elaborated on it. Such were her talks.
By merely looking at us, Mother could clearly see our entire future. So she spoke to us with our future on her mind. And here we were, unable to make sense of what she was saying. But when Mother’s words came true some 25-30 years later, we then understood what she meant.
Mother visited our house, while we were in both Pattabhipuram as well as Arundelpet of Guntur. Since my mother also hailed from Mannava, the same village that Mother came from, our family moved very closely with Mother and would sit very near to her. Mother would also talk to my mother very freely.
I once accompanied my family to Jillellamudi, when I was doing my undergraduate degree in Guntur. My family was seated very close to Mother and were talking to her. And I sat in a corner observing Mother and thinking to myself - “Everyone says you are the great Mother. How could it be, since you too are human like us? How can you be the Mother?” Mother, who had been talking to my family at that time, at once looked at me and told them “See, he is examining me. He has too many doubts.” And then looking at me she said “You come here”.
When I went to her, she said smilingly, “You are from Chandravamsha (Moon dynasty), which is why you are examining me”. And then, using her finger, she adjusted the tilak on my forehead to resemble a crescent moon. To this day, I do not understand why she said or did that.
RK had so much faith in Mother that he quit his Law practice back in those days and moved to Jillellamudi, built a house and lived there with his family. For his children’s education, he later moved his family back to Guntur, while he still continued to live in Jillellamudi, traveling between Guntur and Jillellamudi to support them. He eventually died in Jillellamudi.”
Ramana: “You can find Mother’s statue on the first floor in their house in Brodipet”.
“Yes, I saw a huge photo of Mother occupying the room but did not see the statue. My son Madhav learned to play the flute there, so I noticed Mother’s picture in their house when I accompanied him”, I said trying to recall.
Ramana: “During those days, if the canal adjacent to Jillellamudi overflowed, people could not travel between Jillellamudi and Bapatla until it subsided, be it 10 or 15 days. The village was so remote that people who went to Jillellamudi to see Mother could not return from there until the flood had subsided.”
For a moment I thought “How fortunate were the people who lived in such a serene environment in Mother’s presence?”.
“Mother used to bathe with 50-60, sometimes more than 100 buckets of water. When Mother visited our place in Guntur, we fetched several buckets of water from the well and kept pouring on her head. I too fetched water for her shower. Regardless of how much water we poured on her, she sat still with her eyes closed. It felt like we were doing abhishekam to Lord Shiva”, said Ramana.
I remarked that I had seen a huge cauldron in Mother’s bathroom in Jillellamudi.
Ramana continued, “Yes, same was the case in Jillellamudi too. Only a few near ones stayed with her during shower. And as they continued to pour water on her head, she sat motionless, with her eyes closed, as if in meditation. Moreover, not many people dared to pour water, fearing which deity Mother might manifest at that time.
Mother had appeared as Lord Shiva to sister Vasundhara and a few others, so they asked Mother herself to marry them, to which Mother agreed and tied the knot. Thereafter, they remained celibates for the rest of their lives, without marrying anyone else.”
Immediately upon hearing this, there flashed in my mind, the divine images of Parvati, Radha, Akka Mahadevi, Meerabai, Aandal, Lalla Devi and others, who could not accept ordinary mortals as their husbands and instead chose the Supreme Lord himself to be their consort.
Such a beautiful ideal !
Aren’t they the real people who dedicated their entire lives for such a great ideal, and their births, truly meaningful? In comparison to their extraordinary lives, I felt ashamed of the rotten lives we are living, filled with lies and ruse, constantly hankering after money and pleasures.
Ramana also said, “Out of the many people who visited her, Mother drew some of them closer and affectionately stroked them on their backs. This implied that they were going to face challenges in future. One look at us and she could clearly see our future. When she saw that a person was going to face a lot of suffering, she would affectionately draw them closer and feed them.
“It's okay my child, everything will be alright.” Mother would say, as though she were trying to console them. However, they were puzzled as to why she had said so, when everything seemed to be going well. And when they faced difficulties later in their life, they could then relate to Mother’s words. Hardships did arise, but due to her grace, they quickly passed away like clouds.
Mother knew that Sister Hyma would depart early. She pointed to a place and said “We should build a temple for Hyma here and I will be next to it”. And that’s exactly the same spot where Sister Hyma and Mother’s temples stand today.”
I asked “When Sister Hyma passed away, didn’t many people leave Mother saying ‘If she cannot save her own daughter, then how will she save us?’”
Ramana replied “Yes. While Mother is looking at our future and constantly with us and protecting us, here we are, always trying to test her divinity. Human nature is such. Some people in fact asked her right after Hyma’s premature death, “If you are divine, then why would Sister Hyma pass away?” But Mother remained silent. We do not know if she said anything about this to her close devotees.”
This is how ordinary people try to fulfil their desires. Using our nonsensical logic we think that, “How is it that you passed away at 60 when you should have lived for 200 years? Therefore, you are not divine. When you could not save your own daughter, what can you give us?”
Such is the state of the devotees, who are under the shallow impression that Mother should always continue to give us and that we are here to receive boons from her. This is pure ignorance ! We should never bargain with God. We must have complete surrender, then all our concerns and doubts will disappear. How can we measure the divine play with our limited intellect?
“Mother had once said, ‘In the future, Jillellamudi will become a religious place like Tirupati’. We are just starting to see signs of it. We don’t know when that will happen, as Mother could foresee hundreds of years into the future. We can never estimate that timeframe”, said Ramana.
“I am very happy for your family who has such a strong bond with Mother, as well as yourself, for having the fortune of seeing Mother and being touched by her and getting tilak from her”, I said to Ramana.
Since it was during office hours, Ramana took leave and left towards his wing and I started walking to my room.
All rights reserved. This article has been translated by Annapoorna B, which was originally posted in teluguyogi.net on June 15, 2015. The content or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express permission of the publisher.