Editorial Note

Dr Tangirala Simhadri Sastry
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 8
Month : January
Issue Number : 1
Year : 2009

Look at the amazing ways of Amma in initiating measures to establish a welfare Society, much before any Government thought of, catering to the basic human needs like Food, Education and Health and above all, a classless society, which some of the political parties have been clamoring about.

Even as a child of 6 or 7 years, seeing a group of beggars gather at one place and eating together, the alms they collected, she visualized bringing into existence, a House of all, where people of all denominations irrespective of their caste creed, class and religion could gather under one roof and partake together, the food prepared and served there, each of them choosing to do the work that suits their capacity and aptitude.

Thus started the ‘Annapoornaalayam’ established on 15th August, 1958 to cater to all those children visiting that place to have darshan of Amma. Food is kept ready at all the times of the day and was being served, while people, forgetting their denominations etc., ate together as children of the Mother of All. Of course, this has grown, as years went by and visitors increased, into one of colossal dimensions. In this context, it is worthwhile recalling Amma’s assertion during a conversation with one of the old and ardent devotees, quipping “Is there any better Communist than me?”. And true to Her assertion, it is interesting to note that one of the staunch Communists in Anantapur Dist., deeply impressed, after an accidental (?) visit to Jillellamudi, by the practical demonstration of the tenets of Communism, placed in admiration, a Picture of Amma, with those of Carl Marx and Lenin on either side.

The next most important thing that she undertook during the late 40’s and early 50’s was, a mission nobody would have conceived of till then, a mission of immense potential and significance to all of us a Grain Bank’.

Gathering all the womenfolk in that hamlet, mainly farm labor, she explained and convinced them of collecting a ‘fistful’ of rice everyday they cooked their food and deposit and store the rice thus collected over a period of time at a common place This was intended to serve the dual purpose: firstly, of meeting the food requirements of the community during times of floods, this hamlet is frequently visited by floods being nearer the sea coast and lying in a trough-like expanse, and secondly, to raise seed-money for the temple, she envisioned as a child, namely, to see a temple built in a village, where there was none till then (the old Hindu tradition/injunction has it that no Swamiji or Sanyasin should visit a village or town where there is no temple). But Amma’s intention to build a temple in that hamlet may not have anything to do with that.

The villagers realized the potential of such a proposal and set out to do as per Amma’s suggestion and actually reaped the benefits of the ‘grain bank’, experiencing themselves, the conditions they were subjected to in the wake of the floods during the following years. Of course, the construction of the temple was started with the seed money and slowly and steadily was taking shape in stages, since then, Amma performed some function relating to the temple on 5th May, her wedding day, every year.

An Oriental College came up, which started as a small Sanskrit school to cater to the educational needs of the children. Similarly, a free Medical Center was added subsequently, to take care of the health needs of the inmates as well as the villagers.

But the essential point of profound significance to all of us to emulate is the ‘Grain Bank’ for which Amma showed the way. We should look at the immense significance of the Grain Bank, both from mundane and profane points of view. By collecting a fistful’ of rice at the time of cooking everyday, with a thought on Amma, in each household by all those connected with Jillellamudi and finally depositing at one place, the rice thus collected, we can build up the grain bank, to be able to serve the needy during times of natural calamities like floods, extensive fires etc. The modalities of collecting all the rice/ paddy accrued in different centers can be looked into, once we start doing what Amma exhorted all of us to do, through her message, conveyed not orally but through demonstration.

This, in fact, is a scheme worth following even by others not necessarily connected with Jillellamudi, keeping in view the benefits that are going to accrue to the society as a whole and thus help discharging our social responsibility..

So, it is appealing to one and all to strive towards building up a grain bank, and start in earnest, with full faith in Amma and Amma’s message. May Amma bless us all with the will and initiative to embark on this noble and sacred mission!

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