Editorial Note

Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 5
Month : January
Issue Number : 1
Year : 2006

Husband, to a woman in the Hindu concept and tradition occupies a high pedestal in leading a married life. Amma attaches highest significance to the role of husband who could help in the spiritual emancipation of the spouse when he is viewed as the Lord. She avers at the same time that while the husband is God to the wife, the wife in turn is Goddess to the husband.

On some occasions and different instances she explains the significance of the word husband and the sacred thread (‘Mangala Suthram’) in the life of a housewife. For example, a few months before her marriage she explains to Shyamala, the meaning and significance of Mangala Suthram wherein the two circular coins in gold represent the two feet of the husband (the Lord). She further stated that the Mangala Suthra symbolizes the concept of ‘Ardhanareeswara’ and the feet of the husband ‘Eswara’ as represented by the two coins called ‘botlu’ should be the object of worship for the housewife.

When Shyamala asked “what is the fate of widows like us?” she replied: “even if the husband has left (the physical body), you should not leave his form in your mind”. To the question as to what one should do when she does not know him from the beginning (as in the case of child marriages that were in vogue in those days), she said though she may not know the physical form there is the thought about the husband. So, one can constantly contemplate on this thought to be able to attain the goal.

Pativrata Dharma as enjoined in the ancient Hindu texts and as adopted in their lives by the women of Puranic times is considered the highest ideal for a Hindu housewife. It is ordained as per this dharma that the bride should regard her husband as an actual living embodiment of the Lord of the Universe. For a housewife who aspires to attain salvation, married life could serve as a vehicle of sadhana, contrary to being a hindrance.

Amma in Her own case followed this path scrupulously throughout her married life to set an example for others. Though it was her design that she was to be married to her paternal aunt’s son Nageswara Rao garu, she contemplated on his form right from the time her father decided upon her wedding with him. She even talks on the concept of husband with Nageswara Rao garu, while in Tenali before their marriage as he discusses with her on the proposed marriage to elicit her views. She explains to him the concept of husband (Bhartha in Telugu). She tells him that her marriage was over the day her father decided the husband-to-be; that Bhartha means the subject (kartha), the object and the action (Kriya) being dependent on the Kartha. In her daily life she demonstrated the Pativrata Dharma through her actions – serving, obeying, and revering her husband.

In this modern world where the very institution of marriage is under threat, she teaches the hidden inner meaning of marriage the high purpose of marriage. Marriage was not merely the physical coming-together of bodies but nothing less than merging of the individual with the Absolute. When one fully understands the deeper meaning of marriage, the Pativrata Dharma, as demonstrated by Amma, both in precept and practice, should serve as a beacon light for an aspiring housewife.

Amma declared that being addressed as ‘amma!’ by one’s husband is the pinnacle of ‘Pativratya’ – it is believed that Nanna garu (Nageswara Rao garu), in fact, addressed Amma as ‘amma!’ towards the end of his sojourn on this earth!!

Jayaho! Matha!

(Sri Anasuyeswara Aradhana the annual event of worship of Nanna garu falls on February, 17)

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