Editorial Note

Dr Tangirala Simhadri Sastry
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 6
Month : July
Issue Number : 3
Year : 2007

Annapurne Sadapurne

Shankara Prana Vallabhe

 Gnaanavairaagya Siddhyardham

Bhiksham Dehi Cha Parvati

Annapurnaalayam, meaning the abode of Annapurna (the bestower of food) is the core of the institution at Jillellamudi, where Amma, the Mother of all beings made her fundamental theme of providing food to all her children. It was the experience of every visitor there when Amma was in Her physical form, used to insist that he/she has food first irrespective of their time of arrival there. Most often it happened that the visitor(s) to whom she addressed this would not have taken food before reaching there. Many of the devotees are aware that the food they eat there as ‘Prasadam’ is not just to fill their stomach and to satiate their hunger, but that it caters to their spiritual wellbeing as well, albeit indirectly or imperceptibly.

Annapurnaalayam, the Kitchen-dining Hall complex is one vital wing of the ‘House of All’, also the abode of Amma. Amma in her childhood, visualized a common shelter where all her children could gather at one place, live like members of one family, eating at one place making each one’s contribution to their capacity as one would do in a joint family. So, the ‘House of All’ at Jillellamudi, unlike the Ashrams elsewhere, is literally a house for all, with freedom as one would have in their own house, with no rigid rules of an ashram. But this freedom is also accompanied by responsibilities as well, both for the upkeep of the house as well as its maintenance. Most often this freedom is mistaken to be a license for indiscipline. But old-time visitors recall the way Amma used to chide some of the delinquents among the inmates who tread this mistaken path. They also remember the way Amma remarked when she found, as she was walking along in the premises, the mats lying scattered on the floor, with none caring to collect and stack them at one place as one normally is expected to do in his/her own house. Visitors in those days (and some even today) used to spread these mats on the floor to sleep during nights and some of them even slept on the bare floor, in spite of the lurking risk from reptiles like scorpions, snakes etc. The mats were those donated (in hundreds) by some of the devotees for the benefit of the visiting brothers and sisters.

Regarding making this place a permanent place to settle, it is worth taking note of Amma’s answer to the question raised by one of the visitors in late 70’s. This visitor wanted to make this place a shelter for his idling away under the false notion that he could get away with his unbridled laziness and idleness. When he asked Mother if he could stay here to spend the rest of his life, She replied that this place provides opportunity to work to each one’s capacity and pointed to him that this place is a replica of the outside world with persons having a wide spectrum of temperaments. Thus suggesting that one who wishes to stay here to lead a purposeful life should also learn to adjust with the variety of temperaments of people here, if one sincerely wants to pursue the spiritual path.

Thus the ‘House of All’ is a house that not only throws challenges but also provides opportunities – challenges to be able to cope with and adjust in a family consisting of members with wide variety of temperaments and opportunity to work towards spiritual progress and also to contribute to making the house a soul-fulfilling place to live in.

We pray to Amma to bless all those who have joined hands to develop this glorious institution, with amiable temperament, mental tenacity, fortitude and spiritual enlightenment.

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