Editorial Note

Dr Tangirala Simhadri Sastry
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 8
Month : April
Issue Number : 2
Year : 2009

A question often asked about the place Jillellamudi by those who have not had the opportunity to visit it yet is “Is it an ‘Ashram’?” It is generally remarked by the first-time visitors who include this place in their itinerary of visits to Pilgrimage centers, that they visited the Ashram at Jillellamudi.

In most of the Ashrams there is a structured routine and strict regimentation which is also incumbent on the visitors to follow strictly. The basic difference that separates Jillellamudi from other Ashrams is that the Divine Mother at Jillellamudi is the “Mother of All”, and Amma preferred to call this place as “House of All”.

Let us look at what Amma told one of the visitors in the early sixties, who raised a question expressing his desire to stay on in the premises and, perhaps, with the intention of idling away his time here.

“Though whatever gives shelter (Ashrayam) is an Ashram, this is not an Ashram; this is home, a home in which people of diverse mentalities and tendencies stay together. It is not an easy task to adjust with all, and perceive the goodness in all instead of defects. This is the House of All: Here there is work for everyone according to his ability. No one sits idle. There is no objection to your staying here. You are not at all a burden to me. The moment I feel your stay a burden to me, this premise ceases to exist.”

Describing the scenario in late sixties in Jillellamudi after experiencing it himself during his stay there, Sri Ekkirala Bharadwaja* says:

“This House of All is not a chance establishment but was premeditated by Mother is evident from the resolution that she had arrived at as a girl to establish a free lodging and boarding house, besides a Sanskrit school and a temple.”

“What one finds to be most conspicuous besides Mother herself at Jillellamudi is the House of All. It does not in the slightest degree resemble a choultry or a Restaurant. It is a universal family in which the visitor will not be treated as a stranger, but as a member of the brotherhood. From the elderly inmates to the tiniest tot, everyone is addressed as a brother or sister by everyone else.”

“The residents of the House of All are drawn from various walks of life and various classes of society……. There are nearly a hundred resident members in the House of All. All of them attend to some work or the other and never sit idle.”

So, it being a House of All, there is no specific regimen imposed either on the residents or the visitors. But they have freedom to pursue the activity they choose to take up conforming to the environment obtaining in the institution. Some of them voluntarily participate in the daily activities undertaken there.

With the developments that have taken place particularly during the past two decades, like establishing an Oriental College and installation of Amma’s idol in the Anasuyeswaralyam after she shed her mortal frame and also the addition of modern amenities like providing filtered drinking water to the residents and visitors, an improved kitchen of the Annapurnaalayam etc., there is a change in the profile of the House of All, requiring a management pattern to oversee and organize the daily activities The increase in the number of residents and a near-constant number of students on the rolls of the College who are provided free accommodation and boarding as also a growing number of visitors during recent times, there is an increased responsibility on the part of the management and consequent financial commitments, in order to honor and implement with dedication, the basic tenets of ‘House of All, as emerged from the observations of Amma..’

Thus there is a great responsibility on everyone who considers this institution dear to his/her heart and those who consider themselves devotee children of Amma in contributing to protect and help in maintaining this glorious institution called ‘House of All’. We pray Amma to bestow on all of us the will and mental attitude required to discharge their duty towards this sacred institution to be worthy children of this Universal family.

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