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Amma Tattva chintana MahaSadassu A Note

Pothuri Venkateswara Rao
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 11
Month : January
Issue Number : 1
Year : 2012

Oftentimes, during the last half a century or more of my association with Jillellamudi, I asked myself the question whether AMMA’s sayings fit into any of the world’s philosophies known to me. Some of them do but many do not. Therefore I had no conclusive answer. About four decades ago, I heard eminent intellectuals like Dr. Sripada Gopalakrishna Murty, Sri Veeramachaneni Prasada Rao talking to AMMA. I also had the opportunity to read authentic versions of AMMA’s conversations, when she was not even ten years, with her elderly relative Sri Chidambara Rao taata (meaning grandfather) garu and Sri Kalyanananda Bharati Swami of Sri Sringeri Virupaksha Peetham, Guntur. Astounding were the questions she, as a child, posed to these great men of erudition and other elders. The legendary mystic Mouna Swamy of Courtallam broke his silence and spoke to Her, in a coincidental meeting when he visited Chirala in Guntur district, perhaps because he perceived divine qualities in AMMA. In the 60s and 70s of the 20th century there used to be interactions between AMMA and Her elderly audience. The audience considered themselves as devotees and disciples but AMMA always treated them as children. I used to wonder at the way AMMA, who never had any formal education, was fielding the questions from intellectual giants. AMMA did not grow into maturity with age but was born with a mature mind in a natural physical body. This view about her extraordinary mind was corroborated by Sri Mannava Sitapati taatagaru, Her father and by Her mother-in-law, Kanakammagaru (ammagaru) though not directly but by narrating incidents, which testify that AMMA’s thinking was the same from childhood days to Her grown up age

Those who had the occasions to converse with AMMA and to observe numerous instances of Her miraculous occurrences which defy logic, narrated several anecdotes about them. Also, there are authenticated conversations various persons had with AMMA, almost from Her childhood. These anecdotes as well as the authenticated conversations indicate certain qualities which normal persons do not possess. Some of them are:

  1. AMMA possessed extraordinary memory almost from her time of birth. She remembered the names of all she had met or who met her and the conversations that had taken place between them during the meetings.
  2. There is consistency in what She has been saying from Her childhood days. There was no occasion when She changed Her ideas or views.
  3. She believed and repeatedly declared that all living beings are Her offspring but given to their respective mothers. Nobody questioned Her faculty of intuitive understanding or tried to know from where the belief originated. She had never accepted any traditional belief without questioning. She discarded any number of traditional practices when She considered them irrational.
  4. She always respected others’ faiths and never discriminated on grounds of caste and religion. When this writer, in his first visit to AMMA told Her that he did not believe in the existence of God and his views on the subject were atheistic Her response was that there was nothing wrong in having such views. (There was a total transformation in me after a number of meetings and discussions with Her.)
  5. Her philosophical observations in Telugu were aphoristic and proved that Telugu is as suitable as Sanskrit or Latin in formulating aphorisms. The beauty of the Telugu language in Her aphorisms is unparalleled and to the best of my knowledge no other philosopher or saint or poet tried this genre (in Telugu) as successfully as AMMA did.

There are several books available on what AMMA pronounced and practiced. But what, in essence, is Her philosophy?

I can only quote one of Her aphorisms to present what I believe is the essence of Her philosophy. That is “Everything is That” or “All one” (antha ade in Telugu). The phrase in English language means “being one or identical, though having different names, aspects etc.” All animate and inanimate objects in the world are but manifestations of God. The God about whom different religions and faiths talk about is one and the same. There cannot be different Gods for different religions. The people who come to Jillellamudi have different faiths but most of them see their Gods in AMMA .There is one classic example of a brother who realized this truth. The brother, in 1960, went on a pilgrimage after informing AMMA. It was his good fortune that he could see AMMA in every idol in the temples he visited. In Madurai he saw AMMA when he visited Meenakshi temple/ and when he went to Kamakshi temple in Kanchi there also he saw AMMA in the idol there. This had happened wherever he went. He reported this to AMMA after his return from the tour. He concluded after his return, “faith itself is God”. AMMA reportedly approved his conclusion. He had written a poem the first line of which is “Viswasam Bhagavanthudu”. It means “Faith itself is God”.

I therefore propose that we discuss whether the aphorism – “Everything is That” or “All one” could be considered as the essence of AMMA’s philosophy.

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