SEVEN long years rolled on when I was not aware of Mother at Jillellamudi. I heard about Her from a close friend of mine who used to visit Her frequently. He advised me to see Her once. But I did not take his words seriously. I wanted him to tell what was great about Her. He could not give a specific reply but wanted me to experience it myself. Two months passed like that. One night, at about 2 O’Clock, an unknown feminine hand struck my back. I suddenly jumped up from my cot with a thrill passing through my veins. I saw all the doors bolted and my friend was snoring on the other cot inspite of my futile attempts to wake him up. On the very next day I travelled to see Mother and when I reached the place, I saw Her playing with children under the roof of a hut. On my arrival She fed me with grapes and plantains and as I was mentally blind, I could neither make head nor tail of Her actions, and Her words sounded to me queer: like Greek and Latin. I had no previous experience with such great souls. At about 2 O’ Clock in the afternoon, Mother gave us lunch prepared by Herself. In those days, before the commencement of lunch, Mother put a “Kumkum” mark on the forehead of everbody. When She touched my forehead, I felt a reeling sensation with some jerks running through my blood. After a while, I found my body trembl ing and tears rolled from my eyes. As we finished our lunch, we were advised to have some rest. At four in the evening, we were again served with coffee the type of which we never sipped. It was a tonic to the soul. Again some grapes were given to me to eat while Mr. Butchiraju Sarma was beside me, singing his immortal and enchanted lyrics on Mother which lifted me to the unknown heights with Divine ecstay, I was completely lost from this world, rife with hatred and jealousy. I did not know how long I hovered in that blissful land and all the while my eyes were streaming with unending flow of tears. A particular song was again sung by him at the bidding of Mother which immersed me in the vast sea of Motherly affection.
From that day onwards, I made countless trips to Jillellamudi. The number of experiences and Her perennial grace showerd on me cannot be narrated in detail for want of space in this article. Recapitulating those days of our early visits to Mother, I cannot describe how we were used to be fondled by Her with all Her affection. Her primary thought was to mould the souls to the real path of life. Everytime I was overwhelmed by Her treatment and Her soft words fell on my agitated mind like a shower in mid-summer. I am very much indebted to Her that even some births to come are insufficient to repay a little of the debt of gratitude to Her. Such was the treatment received from Her. Only because She is divine Mother, we are blessed to get such treatment. No human mother can cajole so vast a number of erring hearts. However tough the problem may be and whatever may be the nature of a request, Mother hesitates little to attend to it. People are coming and go ng and the human mind is prone to sink into oblivion, forgetting the treatment bestowed by Mother but Mother is always alive to Her duty to Her children. But the human mind is becoming a snare for the man in spiritual advancement. The benevolent Mother is there always to redeem the soul from the snares of the world.
One of the historic events I witnessed was Mother’s first trip to Mannava, Her native place. Sri Bhattiprolu Chalapathi Rao invited Mother for Dasara, to grace the occasion of ‘Moola Nakshatra’. Inspite of rain, the old gentleman took great trohlre to cater to the needs of the guests from various parts. Mannava, which neglected Mother in Her childhood, now greeted Her with great venera tion. The gates were open even to the untouchables to have Darsan, Prasadam, and Teertham from Mother’s hands. The scene that indelibly imprinted itself on my mind was Mother’s worship of ‘Raja Rajeswari’ in the temple at night. A large gathering thronged to enjoy the scene and Mother, in Her resplendent glory, entered the temple to perform Pooja to Goddess Raja Rajeswari. What a strange coincidence! Raja Rajeswari in human form offering Pooja to Raja Rajeswari in stone from! All through the Pooja, Mother chanted the sacred syllables at the top of Her voice which was clearly heard even by farmers working in the fields. The archaka was dumb-foundel when Mother jokingly remarked that he used to lock the doors of the temple not noticing Her while She was lying behind the altar of the deity in her week-long Divine repose in Her early years. Many significant spots in that village relat ing to the various stages of Mother in Her childhood were shown to us by Herself who graphically reco unted Her childhood days at Mannava. After the fun ction, a batch of seven people (of whom I was one) was chosen by Mother to accompany Her to Jillellamudi. But, it was a stupendous task for us. Mother and Chy. Sow. Hymavathi, Mother’s daughter, were both seated in a palanquin and we had to march along with the palanquin. The return journey from Mannava commenced in the evening hours and on our way everywhere the palan quin was surrounded and was stopped by villagers who begged Mother to spend some time with them. At every village, the same process went on until we reached one spot where we had to cross over a bridge with a narrow plank on it. Here suspense was created by Mother and we discussed with Her that in that dark night it would be better if the empty palanquin might be carried down the bridge to the opposite bank as a safety measure which Mother denied. After applying Kumum mark to bearers, she distributed sugar candy as Prasadam to the palanquin -bearers whereupon, miraculously, the bearers brought the palanquin with Mother and Hyma, to the other bank of the canal. That scene still stands vividly before the mental eye. How brave are Mother’s deeds when occasion demands! On that occasion, Mother chided men because they used to call and write in books that woman is a weakling, as ‘Abala’. Humorously She demanded us to answer who was Abala’ and who was ‘Sabala’. All the male way-farers hung their heads in shame on hearing those mystic words. During the early hours of the next day, we reached Jillellamudi and to our utter dismay most of the people fell ill with their legs swollen due to the strain in the long journey but the seven pilgrims chosen by Mother to follow Her, were the least to suffer.
Another important event which is worth men tioning is Mother’s two months’ stay at Chirala. On Her arrival at Chirala, She hurried to the neglected parts of the town where poor people resided. She step ped into every hut and enquired the welfare of the people down-trodden by the so called civilised society. Her mute actions depict her radical views on life. Uninvited, She rushed to the hospitals to console the sick in bed. Her every action reveals how deep Her sympathy goes towards the poor, sick and suffering. While in Vadrevu, She used to have a dip in the sea with the children and Her child like innocence was manifest while playing with them in the sea. The ebb and tide of the sea is nothing for her as She is far above all the worldly waves. She evinced keen interest in the College Museum where She amused Herself as Creator looking at Her creation and laughing with the toys She made. In the science laboratory She spent some time as if to express Her idea that the human mind is travelling towards nescience instead of science in the real sense. She inspected the room where rifles were stored, for N.C.C. Training in the College and reflect ed for a while to impart us a lesson that hatred and suspicion lead to violence and war in the world. A striking feature during Mother’s visit to Chirala which I noticed was, that in the Open Air Theatre, a large assembly of people of both sexes eagerly waited to have a Darsan of Mother. Never before had I seen such an orderly and well-disciplined religious gathering under the roof of Open Air Theatre without pandemoneum and bustle. Although a good number of women gathered there to see Mother, there was pindrop silence and everything went on well.
One of the pompous functions I could see of Mother, was at Ponnur. Our elder brother Sri Adharapurapu Seshagiri Rao arranged it at his residence. By the time I reached there, a vast number of people jammed at the enterance gate. Outside, the sun was ablaze and inside under the palmyrah leaf-pendal a vast sea of human heads squatted in a cool atmosphere feasting their eyes with the Darsan of Holy Mother on the dias. I was struck with consternation how one single man was able to make such elaborate arrangements for the function. I thought that a tremendous organising talent must be latent in that man. I entered the Mess Pendal where I saw countless people coming and going after having delicious meal. After a while, the procession started. It was really an imposing sight to see Mother seated on a Processional Car drawn by 108 bulls. The well-decorated car slowly wended its way through the streets of Ponnur. Imperial Maheswari sitting on the chariot jubilantly drove through the blessed thorough-fares of Ponnur. As the day was hot, I was taking a cool drink in a soda shop when Mother caught sight of me from that high throne and waved Her hand to me to follow the procession. Wherever we are and whatever we are doing, we are always in Her sight, I concluded.
“I do not dissuade people from running. I run with them and when they stop exhausted, I take them to me.”
“You have left your Beloved and are thinking of others; and this is why all your work is in vain.”