LIFE is so full of events undreamt of that we can never dream of our dreams coming true. And when they do, we feel it to be extraordinary and uncanny.
The common man cannot dream of coming face to face with a living manifestation of God. Even if one does so in one’s dream he realises (later) that to be a turning point in his life.
Mr. R. Lakshminarayana (referred to as L. throughout this account), an employee in the Patel Volkart Company is one such among the devotees of Mother. Though willing to accept that some sort of an Intelligence lies behind the order in Creation, he was averse to the worship of Sadhus, Sanyasis, Mahatmas and the like. For, even if one such existed, L. felt that more harm is done to the society by the existence of innumerable counterfeits. Offering a burning incense stick to the Lord of Dawn was all that he did, most instinctively. Strangely enough he once dreamt that he was taken to a temple by his aunt and that, when he prostrated at the feet of the Goddess, though only to satisfy his aunt, fears rose in his eyes. The toes of the idol’s feet stirred a little when the tears fell over them. Surprised, he looked up at the face of the Goddess. He found a living form there. She patted him gently, saying “You need not shed tears. I am always there for you”.
The dream surprised Mr. L. a little and lingered in his mind prominently for sometime. Unable to connect it with any thing else in his life. L. forgot all about the dream. Only, when he recollected it, the image was vivid, even after a long time. The dream did not at all signify any change in his being. He did not even seek to make it a reality.
Years rolled by. L, got married and set up his family at Guntur. One day, his aunt Lalithamba visited him on her second trip to Jillellamudi and insisted on his accompanying her. L. was just prepared to permit his wife to accompany his aunt. So Lalithamba and Mrs. L. visited Jillellamudi. Mrs. L. was so impressed with her visit that she soon goaded her husband to go there. One day when she was feeling sad owing to the break in personal relationship with his boss, her words found him more amenable to her persuasion. So they visited Mother sometime in February, 1960. It was a Sunday. A small group of visitors from Chirala were taking leave of Mother. L. found that his mental agony vanished beneath the overwhelming peace of Mother’s proximity. Althrough his stay of two days at Jillellamudi, his mind was centred on Mother. Afterwards L. was irresistably drawn to Mother every week or fortnight. That it was not purely subjective feeling was clear to L. from the fact that his highly unbelieving grand-mother was soon lost in the surge of deep faith on her very first visit to Mother.
During one Sravanamasa (August) Mr. L., accompanied by his wife, visited Mother. He wanted to perform puja to Her (!!). In the course of an absorbing discussion with her children, Mother invited L. to sit nearer to Her cot. But L. said that he was afraid to do so. “Why should you fear Mother?” said Mother, and placing one of her feet in his lap, she placed the other near his heart. Henceforth L. never experienced that sense of fear again in the presence of Mother.
On another occasion, he was persuaded by his friend Sri Kumaraswamy to go to Jillellamudi very suddenly. On their arrival there, Mother fed them personally and asked them to accompany Her to the nearby canal with the rest of Her children. By that time L. di not take his daily bath. So when a Sadhu who brought with hi leaves of the Tulasi plant wanted L. to do the puja as he read out the Names of the Goddess, L. at first hesitated but later realized that Mother was teaching him that it is inward purity that is more important in the case of devotion to God. It was 8 P. M. by the time they returned from the canal. L. wanted to leave for Guntur. Everyone discouraged him saying that it was too late even to catch the last bus at the seventh mile… Then Mother gave him a bunch of grapes saying that by the time he finishes eating them, he would get a conveyance. So, on reaching the main road, he ate the rest of the grapes very quickly. hoping thereby to get the conveyance earlier. While he was anxious to see how Her words are going to prove infallible, a lorry came that way and he was given a lift!
Mrs. L. visited Jillellamudi during the early months of her pregnancy and stayed there for several days. Mr. L. could not visit her for quite some days. One evening Mother asked her whether she longed to see her husband, and she blushed. Then Mother sent word to L. through Mr. Kumaraswamy who was leav ing for Guntur that night. But he forgot to convey the message. On Friday Mr. L. was tossing sleepless in his bed thinking about Mother. He suddenly heard a voice say “Child, come to Jillella mudi on Sunday next!”. But he did not find anyone there. Sunday happened to be Christmas day. So he stayed back to greet his boss, a Christian, that midnight and started for Jillellamudi by bicycle from Guntur. On the way he slipped, but leaving his damaged cycle at Pedanandipadu, reached Jillellamudi at C-30 A. M. on foot.
Mother never allowed Mrs L. to get up from bed early in the morning: but on that morning She woke her up and asked her to get ready to receive her husband. Mrs. L. took it to be a mere joke. But L. arrived at 6-30, too early to have come by bus!
On one of his later visits. L. was held up at Jillellamudi for for 4 or 5 days, by force of events. During this period, he happened to read Mother’s conversations with Smt. Rajamma and Kalya nanda Bharati. This marked a major step in the intensification of his awareness of Mother’s divinity.
Once Mother asked him to be present for three days during the ensuing Samkianti. But when the time came for him to visit Jillellamudi in accordance with Mother’s words, a notice was issu d by his office that no one should leave the station without prior permission. It looked as though it was intended for L, who was known to be visiting Jillellamudi almost every weekend. L. did not want to seek the permission of his boss. “If Mother really wants me to go there, the boss should himself send for me and permit me to go’, he said to himself. or else I shall stay here only, closing myself up in my house without taking any food for three days.” Before the office was closed for the day, the boss himself sent for him and told him that he can leave the station if he so wished!
On one of his visits Mother playfully referred to L. as ‘the man of Guntakal’. L. felt very sad and he was just on the verge of shedding tears because if he is transferred to such a distant place, he won’t be able to visit her so often. He even thought, looking at a dog that passed before him, that the dog is more fortunate than him. Mother noticed his intense feelings and asked him to sit near her. He rested his head on her lap and wept silently. Tears flowed profusely from his eyes and fell on the toes of her feet. The toes stirred a little. He raised his eyes to look at Mother’s face. She smiled most benignly and patting him affectionately, assured him “you need not shed tears; I am always there o look after you. These words struck him in the recesses of his heart. It was a dream that has been realised! and no doubt that it was realized for him by Her! The dream that he had years earlier, even before he heard of Mother, has now come to pass! “I cannot be seen. You see me when I appear to you” the truth of this saying of Mother is most aptly illustrated to Mr. L. He was convinced that years before he had even heard of Her, She made her grace felt by him. Even faith and devotion are what are bestowed by Grace and not what are cultivated” said Mother. This experience of L. clearly brings out the truth of Her statement. L. was surprised that the assuring words he heard the goddess say in his dream years earlier were lite rally same as what he heard from Mother’s lips. The latter were only a confirmation of the former, neither of which he could ever dream of before! But it remained to be seen by him whether She looked after his well being in day-to-day life; whether She was really at his back every moment of his life.
– (to be continued)
I cannot be known; ye know me only
when I make myself known to you.
I am not anything now which I was
not earlier. If there is a difference
it is only in your understanding of me.
Motherhood does not mean mere
womanhood. Mother is the infinite,
the Eternal Basis of all existences;
it is that which is ALL and cannot be understood.