Matrusri Anasuya Devi (Jillellamudi Amma) has chosen Sri Brahmandam Nageswara Rao garu (affectionately addressed by all as Nannagaru), her paternal aunt’s son, as her husband. Having been born in 1913, Nannagaru was older than Amma by 10 years, not considered a big difference in age during those days. Amma regarded her husband as her Lord (Eswara) and consecrated his mortal remains in 1981 in the Temple christened ever after as ‘Anasuya Swaralayam’.
Sri Viswajanani Parishat (SVJP) thought it fit to observe 2012-2013 as the centenary year culminating in the Birth Centenary Celebrations in October (the month of his birth), 2013. To mark the centenary year, it was decided to organize programmes of food distribution in 100 different centers at various places in the state throughout the year.
Accordingly, food distribution was taken up by the SVJP in some of the surrounding villages, while Matrusri Adhyayana Parishat, Guntur had carried out this sacred work in several places in the town. The Jillellamudi Amma Seva Samiti (JASS)’ of Hyderabad played a major role in this programme carrying out this job in old-age homes, orphanages, homes for the destitutes, schools for the blind, homes for the street children etc., distributed all over the twin cities of Hyderabad & Secunderabad, thus carrying out the job at about 30 centers in all during the year with enthusiastic participation of the members of JASS as well as sponsors of this programme at each of these centers.
The Centenary celebrations planned to be held in Jillellamudi for 5 days during October 22-26, 2013 commenced on a colorful note with all religious fervor and grandeur. The dates were decided keeping in view Nannagaru’s birth as per English calendar (22nd October) and the Telugu almanac (Ashwayuja Bahula Saptami, which this year happened to be on 26th October). Apart from special pujas and Abhishekam performed to Amma & Nannagaru in Anasuya Swaralayam the 5-day long celebrations comprised of book-release functions, literary programmes and cultural programmes in the TTD (Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam)
Kalyana Mandapam. Sports competitions among students were held earlier as part of these celebrations as sports and dramas were favorite pastimes of Nannagaru during his adulthood and subsequent years. Nannagaru was both a good sportsman and a stage actor playing in mythological dramas.
The first day’s programme consisted of continuous chanting of Nannagaru’s naamam (composed recently) – “Anasuya Swara Namo Namo; Sree Nageswara Namo Namo” for seven days (Saptaham) was commenced in the morning of 22nd, apart from the ongoing Sapta Saptaham (Seven Seven days) of Amma naamam.
The main function of the celebrations on the first day (22nd October, 2013) was the release of a book in the morning session. While Mr. M. Dinikar, President of the SVJP presided over the function, Brother Ravindra Rao (Ravi annaiah for all of us and patron of the SVJP) commenced the function lighting the lamp (‘Jyothi Prajwalana’). In his Presidential address Mr. Dinikar mentioned that Amma, Nannagaru and Hyma are three divine powers who descended with three divine plans of their own. Dr. Potturi Venkateswara Rao (hereafter referred to as Dr. Potturi), veteran journalist and former Chairman, AP Press Academy released the book in Telugu titled “Dhanya Jeevulu” and written by Mr. P.S.R. Anjaneya Prasad. Dr. Potturi said that Amma established a sort of family system in Jillellamudi where the devotee children drawn from different sections lived like members of a family unmindful of the individual temperaments etc. Reviewing the book which is a collection of series of articles published in the journal ‘Mother of All’ over the past decade or so Dr. B.L.Suguna, the present Principal of the Matrusri Oriental College (MOC), Jillellamudi described the book as ‘Bhagavatam’ where it picturizes the history of the devotees (Bhagavatula) who dedicated themselves in the divine precincts of Amma. Responding to the compliments paid by various speakers, Mr. P.S.R said all those who figured in his book are all very great persons (‘Mahanubhavulu’) and thanked all those who helped in publishing this book.
Sri Satyananda Saraswati Swami of Bhuvaneswari Peetham, Gannavaram near Vijayawada was the Chief guest on this occasion. In his compassionate address he said that though Amma and Nannagaru are displaying different forms, they constitute a single source or nature (Tattvam). While veteran compere Sri Mallapragada Srimannarayana Murty, former lecturer of the MOC ably conducted the proceedings, Sri Chakka Srimannarayana proposed the vote of thanks.
In the evening the function commenced at 5 O’clock. The book of poems in Telugu titled ‘Kaitala Kona’ penned by Late Sri. Kona Venkata Subba Rao was released by Dr. Potturi. Sri Kona Subba Rao was a close friend of Nannagaru in his younger days and even staged some dramas along with Nannagaru. Smt. Brahmandam Vasundhara, Dr. Kona Satyanarayana Murthy (a Retd. Homeo Physician) and Mr. Kona Venkateswara Rao are his children. Dr. Potturi is the maternal uncle of the above three. Sri Ramadugu Venkateswara Sarma, a literary scholar and a poet from Guntur reviewed the book praising the style and acumen of the writer in rendering Ramayana in verse in simple Telugu.
On 23.10.2013 the book in Telugu titled Jillellamudi Amma Tho Naa Anubhavalu’ (My experiences with Jillellamudi Amma) written by Sri Bellamkonda Dinakar was released by Sri Mannava Dattatreya Sarma of Jillellamudi. The book is a narrative of several of the experiences of the author with Amma and due to the divine grace of Amma. Dr. T.S.Sastry, Associate Editor of Mother of All presided over the function. He praised the author for his initiative to share his experiences with all the devotee children of Amma, similar to a couple of more devotees earlier. He described how his attempts in the past to enthuse several of the older devotees into sharing the treasure of their experiences with the brothers world over through Mother of All have been unsuccessful and urged all of them to share their experiences at least now.
In the evening, Smt. Brahmandam Vasundhara released a reprint of the book of poems in Telugu “Pooja Pushpalu ” (Flowers of Worship) penned by Late Sri Brindavanam Rangacharyulu of Paruchuri in Guntur District. He was an ardent devotee of Amma and a Telugu scholar. Sri K.V.S. Acharya gave a brief review of this book. This session was presided over by Sri N. Lakshmana Rao of Jillellamudi while Dr. B.L. Suguna, Principal of MOC, compared the proceedings.
The function in the morning session of 24th October was marked by the release of two books of immense significance. The first one in Telugu titled “Ammatvam” (can be translated as Ammaness), a compilation of a series of about 30 articles by Sri V SR Murthy designated by Bhagawan Sri Satyasai Baba as ‘Spiritual Scientist’. These articles were published for 30 weeks in the Telugu vernacular daily ‘Andhra Jyothi’ every Monday.
The second one is also in Telugu and titled “Matrusri Tattva Saurabham” by Dr. B L Suguna. This book is a part of Dr. Suguna’s Doctoral Thesis on Amma and Her Life. This book assumes utmost significance, firstly for being the first thesis of this kind in this part of the world on a woman saint or Divine personality as commended by Prof. M. Sivaramkrishna an erudite scholar in the study of spiritual personalities and secondly for the content of the book.
While the book by Sri V SR Murthy was released by Sri L.V.Subramanyam, IAS and Principal Secretary to the Govt. of Andhra Pradesh in the Dept. of Medical & Health Services, the book by Dr. Suguna was released by Mr. B. Ravindra Rao, the Patron of SVJP.
Sri L.V. Subramanyam said that on receiving the invitation for this programme he came here deeming the invitation as a command from Amma. Mr. Ravindra Rao said that Suguna is true to her name and that if we consider Amma as a Sculptor, then Suguna is a beautifully sculpted form of art. Reviewing the book Dr. U. Varalakshmi former Reader in MOC said that the thesis of Dr. Suguna holds the mirror for her uncommon scholastic ability and the essence of Amma’s glorious philosophy. Sri M. Srimannarayana Murty praised the book as a literary dedication.
Responding to the compliments, Dr. Suguna traced the reasons for her carrying out this work to the directive of Amma saying “Carry out research”, a few days before She shed Her mortal coil. Mr. S. Mohana Krishna presided over this session.
The evening session consisted of a literary programme and the staging of a mythological play ‘Srikrishna Rayabaram’ by a theater group from Guntur. The SVJP honored all the artistes who took part in the play.
On 25th morning Mr. Ravindra Rao released the book “Lo-choopu” (Inner Vision) by brother Mannava Buchiraju Sarma (affectionately addressed by all as Rajubava), one of the earliest to visit Jillellamudi and the first of a few to experience and enjoy the hospitality, love and affection of Amma. He was also the first to have had his wedding performed directly by the divine hands of Amma. The book is a collection of the experiences of Rajubava that formed the background of the songs (Anubhava Saram)
composed by him as impelled by Amma. Dr. Potturi nostalgically describes how Hyma used to sing Raju bava’s songs melodiously. Brother Ravi said Rajubava was a man who moved very closely with Amma and this was the first literary work on Amma. In his review of the book Mr. AVR Subramanyam said that among the 72 songs penned by Raju bava some are easily understandable and some can be understood if the author explains them and yet some reveal some spiritual insights which are not understood even if the author explains. Mr. PSR Anjaneya Prasad complimented Rajubava praising him as the one who is fortunate to have experienced Amma’s experiences as his own and that Amma felicitated Raju bava by describing the songs written by him as ‘Raja Patalu’ (Kingly songs). Mr. Ravuri Prasad very deftly conducted the proceedings inviting the praise and appreciation of one and all.
On 25th evening Mr. P S R Anjaneya Prasad released a reprint of the book ‘Matru Darshanam’ by Late Sri Kondamudi Ramakrishna. Mr. D. Bhaskara Sarma, an old student of MOC and presently working in Guntur took the initiative to get this book printed with the encouragement of Matrusri Vidya Parishat, the SVJP and Kondamudi Ramakrishna Foundation. Dr. U. Varalakshmi reviewed the book in her own typical style showering encomiums on the author.
A literary programme ‘Anasuya Sahiti Samrajyam’ was held at 6.00pm, in which some of our brothers assumed the roles of the poets and writers among the older devotees who are no longer amidst us and recited some of their literary works.
26th October which happened to be the actual birthday of Nannagaru as per the Lunar Calendar formed the main function. The function was presided over by Dr. Potturi and commenced with the lighting of lamp by Smt. Brahmandam Hyma, grand daughter of Nannagaru (daughter of his eldest son Brahmandam Subba Rao).
Mr. M. Dinakar, the president of SVJP said “Amma bestowed divinity to her husband and daughter. Though the Divine nature of Nannagaru has not been experienced by us earlier, this has started coming to the fore after his consecration as evidenced by my own experience”. Mr. Ravindra Rao released the special Souvenir brought out for this occasion. Making a brief review of the Souvenir, Sri M Srimannarayana Murty said that Amma is an entwined form of Shiva-Shakti. Amma and Nannagaru are forms of ‘Ardha Nareeswara’. Nannagaru represents ‘Triveni Sangamam’ of the three qualities: Simplicity, Purity and Steadfast Bhakti. The Souvenir comprising several articles in Telugu and English, Poems, Verses and Slokas is a colorful reflection of the admiration and intimate association with Nannagaru of several of Amma’s devotee children.
As a fitting culmination of this function Sri VSR Murty, Spiritual Scientist was felicitated and honored with new clothes, a Shawl, garlands, a citation and a Memento. Responding to the honor showered on him, Sri VSR Murty said that he vowed in 2011 that he would strive till his last breath to give his best in all the activities in the service of Amma. He said he has to take several births to repay his debt to Amma and that we should all join in unveiling the Mahakshetra of Jillellamudi on the world map.
Sree Viswajanani Parishat honored all the participants in the function with shawls and mementos as ‘divine blessing of Amma & Nannagaru” SVJP also honored all the students of the College, staff and others who rendered service untiringly all these five days with shawls and mementos. All those who participated in all the functions during these five days felt immensely happy that they had something to rejoice, something to reminisce over the celebrations.
The most notable feature of the celebrations was the way all the programmes of the function – the Saptahams, the Special Pujas in Temples and the book release functions in the Kalyana Mandapam went on unhampered in spite of the floods in the village and the campus as a result of a cyclonic storm which ravaged the surrounding villages inundating several huts in Jillellamudi. On the contrary, a festive atmosphere prevailed in the adjacent Apartment where all of us staying in the ground-floor portions of the main building and other residential areas on the campus were accommodated during the rest of the three days. In fact, on 24th afternoon, when flood waters started entering the village from the MOC side, the flood water was treated as a pious Lady who visited her mother and was offered a new saree, turmeric and vermillion (kumkum) breaking a coconut, following the traditional way as Amma did on several of such occasions in the past.
Thus the Centenary Celebrations offered a grand experience to all those who were fortunate to attend the occasion and left memories to be cherished for a long time!