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Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 2
Month : April
Issue Number : 2
Year : 2003

There are several paths in Sadhana. Some people are drawn to meditation, some have the disposition to perform ‘yajnas’, some derive joy and become ecstatic in ‘sankirtana’ (singing divine songs) and some feel divine bliss in performing ‘puja’ and ‘vrathas’. All these paths are conceived to suit different temperaments.

Performing Anasuyavratham on the occasion of a housewarming ceremony, marriage or on the occasion of celebration of any important event is common among the families of the devotee children of Amma. The Vratham includes reciting of the thousand names of goddess Lalitha, recital of five chapters from the life of Amma apart from the recital of Ambika (Amma) ashtotharam and Lalitha ashtothram .The Vratham takes about two and half hours. Different varieties of sweets/ eatables are offered to Amma at the end of each chapter. It is the experience of several devotee children that the Vratham bestows prosperity and well being to those who perform and to those who participate and take the prasadam.

Regarding performance of Vratham, (or for that matter any austerity) Amma told on several occasions that more than the ritual, the ‘bhava’ (state of mind) is important. While Amma was in teens, she explained to her friends that certain norms or conditions that are stipulated for Vrathas are aimed to achieve one pointedness of the mind and to see divinity in common-place things. By way of clarification she adds that we don’t revere the turmeric powder in the tin, while the same powder applied to a wall and named as a deity will invoke devotion. On another occasion, she declared that performing Vrathas austerely would help advancement in the spiritual path too.

I would like to narrate a couple of events in relation to ‘Anasuya Vrathams’ in our family. During the late eighties, my wife Rukmini suggested that we perform the ‘Anasuyavrathams’ on every Ekadasi (whenever convenient) continuously forty times. I readily agreed and we started to perform the Vrathams.

During this period, our son Ravi Shankar who was employed on a modest salary with a tough work schedule was on the lookout for better openings. He was about 26 years old by then and had to secure a good job and settle in life. We were praying to Amma to guide his destiny.

The performance of the Vratham forty times took about two years. On completion forty times, we thought of performing the 41st Vratham in the presence of Amma in Anasuya Swaralayam at Jillellamudi.

There was information from our son Ravi Shankar that he applied for a better position in another company and that he is likely to be called for a final interview. The phone call we later received before leaving for Jillellamudi for performing the 41 Vratham really surprised us since our son was to attend the interview on the same Ekadasi day scheduled for the Vratham at Jillellamudi. As we were performing the Vratham our son was attending the interview at Mumbai and landed the job. Was it a mere coincidence?

Another such “coincidence” (if you choose to call it so) is worth mentioning. Myself and my wife visited the US in the year 2000 at the behest of our son- in- law Mahesh Kumar and daughter Ushasri then staying in the US. It was an opportunity for us to spread the message of Amma among the Indian families staying in and around San Jose in California and in assisting Racharla Rahi, who is also in US (New) Jersey) in creating a web site on Amma.

We landed in San Francisco around 8 pm. Apart from my son in- law and daughter, our family friend Vedantam who was in Daly City. near San Francisco also came to the Airport to receive us. After the initial exchange of pleasantries he produced a plastic carry bag and gave it to us. He appeared a little impatient while narrating the story behind the bag. He was to come directly to the airport from his work. but received a call from Sri Ganti Venkatrao who was staying with his daughter Varalakshmi (Taluku) in Mill Valley some distance away from San Francisco asking him to go over to their house that evening. Since Vedantam was to come to receive us at the airport traveling through the busy evening traffic, he politely declined. However Sri Venkatrao was insistent and wanted him to come to their house without fail more particularly on knowing that we were reaching US that day and stating that they were performing Anasuya Vratham that evening. He also assured Vedantam that he could take prasadam even if he cannot remain till the completion of the vratham.

Incidentally Vedantam, having visited Jillellamudi and knowing our attachment to Amma, reluctantly agreed and drove to Mill valley and then to the airport taking the prasadam. It is very happy and strange. coincidence that we were to have our first morsel of rice (pulihora) in the form of prasadam in America halfway around the globe. Is it not Amma’s immense grace that we received the prasadam of Anasuya Vratham on landing there?

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