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V. Dharma Suri
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 11
Month : October
Issue Number : 4
Year : 2012

August 15th is a very auspicious day for the children of Amma, it is Annapurna Bayam Varshikotsav (Anniversary). Many an anniversary I spent in Jillellamudi, the ceremonial flag hoisting at college and House of All, the special, sumptuous feast, nice fraternizing with children of Amma, some temple activity, happy come back. 2012, August 15th however, was a different anniversary function. I want to share my joy with all of you.

About 2 months back, myself and my wife Bhagavati went to brother Prem Gopal’s house, if I remember correctly we were on the way back from Jillellamudi. Bhagavati and Mrs. Premgopal – Smt. Sudha Rani, were having a long, earnest, animated conversation. We learnt later on that it was about Hymavati Vratam. (We perform Hymavathivratam in our house, once every month.) Premgopal shared his conviction with me on several occasions he does Hyma Namam regularly “Perform puja to Sri 1 Hyma, break a coconut, it is fine. But after that, go and give even a slice of bread to the really poor and deserving, Hyma will be most satisfied.” Prem Gopal is an ardent devotee of Hyma, he prints 1000 calendars every year and releases on Sri Hyma’s Birthday function at Jillellamudi.

Soon after this get together, Smt. Sudha Rani also performed Hymavathi Vratam and thereafter, cooked 5 kgs., of food personally and took it to Niloufer Hospital, and with the assistance of her driver, distributed the food to at least 50 persons who came to attend on the patients. “They really needed the food, some of them carried food in the tiffin boxes and said they would consume in the night.” I heard later on.

I liked this programme and contacted office bearers of our Amma Seva Samithi at Hyderabad, Sri Vajjha Prasad, Sri B.G.K. Sastry and Sri Venkatarama Sastry garu. We proposed that we go to Niloufer Hospital and distribute around 400 ‘pulihora’ packets. When Amma was in Hyderabad, during the 80s, wherever she went, sufficient quantities of Pulihora were distributed. Our Samithi office bearers readily agreed, and we fixed 15th August, 11.00 AM as the time for distribution. Hospital authorities advised us “please give food at 4.00 pmDuring the afternoons, ISKCON is serving around 700 meals. If you postpone your programme to the afternoon it helps.” Accordingly, we fixed 3.30 pm., for food distribution.

Various activists of Amma Samithi came for the programme, most of them with their family members. 425 packets of Pulihora were brought. It rained for around 15 minutes, just before the programme started. It looked as though hardly 100 people were present. By the time we started distribution, it was 4.00 pm., As we started distribution and word spread that food arrived, people came from all round, from the open grounds, street opposite, from all corners. We saw people who were really in hunger, in need of food and transcending boundaries of gender and religion. Muslim women clad in Burqas, with small children in their hands, came up before Amma’s Photo, and almost snatched food packets from our hands. Small children, apparently on their own, maybe street children, came in queues, apprehensive that somebody might scold them. Old people were there, waiting anxiously. 425 packets were distributed in 15 minutes.

While almost the entire financial outlay for the project, around Rs.8000/- was met by Sri R. Satyanarayana through his personal contribution and collections, most of the organizers Sri B.G.K. Sastry, Sri Vajjha Prasad, Sri Valluri Rama Murthy garu, Sri R. Satyanarayana, Sri Venkatarama Sastry garu, every one of them is 70 years young. Hats off to their enthusiasm.

I was thrilled to watch so many hungry stomachs being fed with a small financial outlay. I shared my joy with Ravi Annayya, Y.V. Sree Rama Murthy garu, Sri Chakravarthy of Vizag, Kasturi from S. Kota and Sri Chakka Srimannarayana at Jillellamudi. Why not Organize similar functions everywhere? The government gives food to the inpatients in the Hospital, the attendants are really suffering for want of food and shelter. Those who are admitted into government hospitals are really poor people. Attendants are equally poor, who can go begging. Why not reach out to them, collectively on festive days which we celebrate, Sri Hyma’s Birthday, as per English calendar (18th November) Amma’s birthday on 28th March, August 15th, Nannagaru’s birthday. And slowly but steadily why can’t each birthday celebration at our house, each marriage celebration, why can’t we put a namaskaram to Amma from the depth of our hearts and reach out to the poor and the needy with a handful of excellent rice, which can fill their belly for that day? SVJP can take up such an activity at Bapatla, Chirala Bayer’s Hospital, which Amma visited, Hospitals at Vizag, S. Kota and elsewhere, I suggested. I was happy all of them agreed to commence feeding at least from 18th November, Sri Hyma’s birthday as per English calendar.

As a sequel, Amma Seva Samithi will organize 2 feedings during September, at least one in October. Let us hope gradually, step by step, any celebration in our homes becomes a celebration for the needy – something for them also from out of the Opulence Amma granted us.


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