V. Dharma Suri
Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 12
Month : October
Issue Number : 4
Year : 2013

My first visit to Jillellamudi was in 1979, on 19th July, to be more precise. My initial delayed visit was more than compensated by the subsequent frequency with which I visited Amma’s holy abode or to be more accurate, the number of visits she permitted me since then. Every Saturday, every Sunday, every Holiday, was a pleasant trip to Amma’s abode, and for two years, She kept me in the House of All. Visits to Amma, recitation of Lalita Sahasram existence snowballed into one uninterrupted bliss all the way.

Whenever I went to Vatsalyalayam, if Nannagaru (Amma’s husband reverently addressed so) was there, Mother used to gesture to me, “pay obeisance to Nannagaru”. I used to touch his feet and offer my humble namaskarams. But as we come down from the II Floor and sit in the Office room in the I floor of House of All, (the office was in the first floor at that time, in only two rooms) Nannagaru turned out to be a very dear friend, age difference vanished into thin air, the aura of Divinity did not distance us. Nannagaru used to talk very freely, very enthusiastically and always about the political scenario in the country. As I narrated the political stories appearing in various newspapers, including the tabloids like The Blitz, he used to listen avidly. Conversation flowed freely, he was very friendly, kind and was mixing with people of all ages. We never felt we were talking to a senior belonging to the previous generation, much less to a person who was worshiped by the Divine Mother Herself!

In January, 1981, a month before he left the Body, myself and my friends were traveling in an Ambassador car which halted outside Bapatla press. Nannagaru was in another car, a little ahead of us. As soon as he saw me in the car, he came out and

shifted himself into our vehicle. How nice and how unforgettable is his kindness! 

On 14th February, 1981, myself and my friend I. Ramakrishna Rao reached Jillellamudi, on one of our unending, frequent, and ostensibly purposeless visits. Little did we realize that something momentous was in the offing. We wanted to return on the 15th, the very next day. At that time an old Nissan van was carrying pilgrims from and to Bapatla. In those days a special trip, where none else would be allowed except the hirer, was charged at Rs.60/-. We asked for a special van trip. After the van arrived, we promptly told the driver that we were not leaving, paid off his charges and went to Amma. Mother smiled and said “who knows why you called the special trip, why you asked him to go away……”.

On 15th February Nannagaru was not well. In those days, rural telephones were working on and off, occasionally and only sometimes. They illustrate R.K. Laxman’s joke “who said the telephones are not working? My telephone worked on the 12th of last month and 16th of the previous month”. The telephone exchanges were also manual. Our Office people were trying to contact some Doctors, but the lines could not be connected. Nannagaru was staying in the same portion in which Brahmandam Seshakkayya (his daughter-in-law) is residing at present.

Myself and my friend landed in James’ room, where our SVJP Office is now located. As I went up to Vatsalyalayam (Amma’s abode), Mother was sitting in all Her resplendent glory, none inside Her room, except me. The campus, as far as I could see, was quiet, no unusual activity, in fact, quieter than usual. But Amma said, “there is a lot of commotion all round” Did the Pramatha Ganas come down to take Nannagaru with them, with all Divine Honors?

Around noon, myself and my friend I. Ramakrishna once again went to Vatsalyalayam. Mother removed all Her bangles, looked almost pensively at them, and gave them away to some lady sitting there. Again, we were confused. Hindu ladies, except widows, don’t remove all their bangles and stay without them.

Next day, 16th of February, 1981, was a fateful day or perhaps a very momentous day. We were sleeping in the front room where James used to live. (Now that portion is being used for our Parishat’s Office.) At probably around 2 am., I was asleep, someone came running inside and woke us up to say that Nannagaru was not well and the same message was rushed to Amma.

While my friend Ramakrishna rushed out immediately, I tried to go back to sleep and was also trying to recite Lalitha Sahasram simultaneously, to pray for Nannagaru’s health. After a few minutes, the Sahasranama stotram was getting broken up and strange, unpredictable thoughts filled my mind and I was half asleep.

Nannagaru was at that time in the ground floor and had a heart attack, I was to learn later. Dr. Inaja Kumari, Dr. Janaki and a few others were present. The Doctors started the treatment immediately and there was a necessity of Oxygen supply to Nannagru. Raghu, a very devoted student, tall, sturdy and black in complexion, had rushed to Matrusri Medical center which was at a good distance and brought the oxygen cylinder, virtually carrying it on his shoulders. As Nannagaru was sinking, the doctors as a last resort gave cardiac massage including heavy blows on his chest with the hope of restoring the heart beats. In spite of their best efforts, Nannagaru could not be saved and he breathed his last. Immediately the sad news was conveyed to AMMA. On Her instructions, Nannagaru was carried upstairs. A little later, I was told, Nannagaru left the body.

Mother arranged a cot by Her side, Nannagaru’s body was placed on the cot, he was covered from top to bottom with a white blanket and no part of his body was visible to the outsiders. Mother drew Her cot very close to Nannagaru and with Her fingers, from top to toe, she was putting various marks on Nanagaru’s body, some squares, some triangles, some circles, as if she was writing some intricate Yantras on Nannagaru’s human body. The movements of Her fingers and the figures she was drawing were visible from outside. What Yantras did She inscribe on that Divine Body, no one will ever know.

Though scores of people visited Jillellamudi and urged Amma to revive Nannagaru back to life, since the devotees have seen instances wherein Amma brought back the dead to life, she remained passive and ostensibly unresponsive. When the wailing of some was louder than the rest of them, Mother said slowly, “Let me do my duty”

On 17th February, at around 12 noon, I sat outside Vatsalyam and started reciting Lalitha Sahasram, in a very loud voice. Amma told Her attendants, “make arrangements for bath”. After Her Bath, Nannagaru’s physical remains were brought outside Hymalayam and the body was placed in a chair. Naturally, the body could be made to “sit” in the chair, in a totally reclining position, as it was brought after nearly 33 hours after the life force “left” the body. Nannagaru was given a ceremonial bath. Two Doctors were standing nearby and Mother asked them, “If I tilt the head, blood will not ooze, will it?” The Doctors replied confidently, “Mother, rigor mortis has set in, and it is now more than 30 hours. No blood can come out”. Mother bent the head slightly and from both the nostrils, red blood oozed out! Nannagaru was carried into the Anasuyeswarlayam, to be installed inside the sanctum sanctorum (on the right side, as we face Anasuya Swaralayam).

Late Kondamudi Ramakrishna Annayya was present throughout the ceremony. Lot of Vibhooti (sacred white powder) was lowered into the pit in which Nannagaru is to be placed. Huge crowds gathered there. As we watched that function Amma’s namam “Sarva Tantresi” repeatedly came into my mind. The function looked to me like a great Tantrik Prakriya. After watching for some time, the two of us, Ramakrishna, and myself went to the canteen being run by the Munsiff. (In those days, there was a small canteen on the right side of the pathway leading to temples.) We were wondering whether Mother would keep the Kumkum on her forehead and how she would come out.

After around 30 to 45 minutes, may be by 3.30 pmMother came out of the temple and was gesturing to all the people around to take food. The bright Kumkum was glowing brilliantly on Her forehead. Thus declaring a permanent obituary to the age old custom of ladies being forced to wipe off their Kumkum, after the physical departure of the husband.!

Ramakrishna Annayya was almost excited. As we went near him, he exclaimed “People talk about miracles. What more miracles are needed than this? As we lowered Nannagaru’s body into the pit, Mother said, “He should be placed in Padmasana (with both legs crossed) and the feet bent as if they are made up of rubber.” Ramakrishna Annayya was with Amma almost 24 hours a day, he has seen hundreds of miracles. Yet while watching the miracle with Nannagaru’s body, he could barely conceal his astonishment.

What is rigor mortis? What is the human body? What is death? Can a body be bent 34 hours after death, with bare hands of an ordinary human being like Ramakrsihna Annayya or others?

Whatever Amma did to the Body, after Nannagaru left it, is within the domain of Her knowledge alone. We can make conjectures and guess work. But one thing is very clear, whether She bestowed Divinity to that Body or not, She immortalized him by giving him a permanent place beside Herself in the sanctum sanctorum. She removed all attributes of a human body and placed it inside. What Yantras she inscribed on His body, what Tantra She did while consecrating that Body there, none of us will ever know. But we know, Nannagaru, through his benign presence is feeding the entire Parishat. After all, Dhanyabhishekam on 17th of February every year, is giving a major part of the financial success needed by SVJP.

We are fortunate, we saw Nannagaru and Amma in their physical forms. We are fortunate we touched the Hawai slippers Amma was wearing and placed the slippers at Her feet, for Her to wear. We were fortunate, we held Her hand and walked on the terrace outside Vatsalyam. What can we do in return, except bow our heads in reverence and appeal to Her “Mother, won’t you give us a small, very small opportunity to serve you?”


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