THREE brothers, A E, C, of Machilipatnam contemplated on the idea of a regular weekly prayer- congregation of all the brothers and sisters in the town who visit Jillellamudi to have the holy darshan of the Divine Mother. They mooted the proposal with the others D. E, F, and they reddily agreed. The idea was that every Friday, they should all meet to worship Mother. But as they (A. B. C.) would be away from Machilipatnam on official tours, the rest agreed to have the hanguration of the congregation on the following Sunday.
All have assembled in F’s house at the appointed hour. Three photos of Mother were placed on a square table touching the wall at the back. Photos were decorated with flower garlands. and roses were placed on the top of each photo. Two oil-lamps were placed at the two ends of the table in front of the Deity. The worship started in the traditional style, and after certain preliminary services the Lalitha Sahasra Namams were read one by one, and flowers were placed at the holy feet of the Universal Mother.
F’s wife and two of the brothers assembled wished that the rose at the top of the Deity should trickle down as a mark of blessing on her children. But one among them, Sri O. V. G. Subrahmanyam prayed to the Deity, that though he wished the rose to drop down, he was content again not to pray for it, because he thought that the rose on the head of the Deity was beautiful and wished it to be there only.
Worship was continuing and when the holy name ‘Siddha Matre Namaha’ was uttered, the rose on the head of the Deity graciously trickled down and was noticed by F,F’s wife and many of those assem bled, but was not noticed by Sri O. V. G. Subrahmanyam. I wanted to refer to the commentaries for greater elucidation of the meaning of the word Siddha Mutha’ afterwards. The worship continued.. All have stood with flowers in their hands and recited Mantra Pushpam. At the end of the recital, one by one they started pla cing the flowers in their hands at the holy feet of the Deity. Sri O. V. G. Subrahmanyam was content to be at a distance and did not wish to rush through the group in front of him. So, he reve rently hurled the flowers on the feet of the Deity. To his utter displeasure, one or two flowers fell on the oil lamp at the extreme right end of the table and the light was extinguished.
Traditionally a sentiment grew up in the minds of many that lights kindled at the beginning of the Puja should be protected till the end and the going out of lights in the mid lle will be treated as a bad omen. As such, one in the assemblage. Sri Murthy cast an angry look at Sri O. V. G. for having thrown the flowers care lessly. Sri O. V. G. went out hurt and returned only after he regained composure. The puja was over and Prasadam’ was distri. buted to all. The commentaries readily available were referred to. and all were happy to know that it signified that Mother is ever ready to protect all Her children. The gathering dispersed. F, while removing the waste around the table, found a slip of paper in which kumkum was brought by Sri Murthy. F did not know why, but was prompted by the Divine providence to preserve the paper was a Tamil manuscript though he could not read it. Which
The expression Siddha Matha may convey meanings. The following two are the probable ones. Different
- Lalitha or Sridevi is the Mother of the Siddhas, or She is Mother Siddha. This Universal Mother is present everywhere and for all, at all times, readily protecting Her children the very moment they contemplate on her.
- The name of the Deity supposed to be present in the ‘Agna Chakra’ in between the eye-brows.
As the congregation was started on Sunday, it was agreed to continue the worship everyday till Friday, and thereafter every Friday at an appointe place. On Wednesday, while bringing fruits and flowers, F felt depressed over his pitiable state of mind and cast away the dormant desire in him for an exhilarating experience thinking that he is not worthy of being bestowed such an experience. At the end of the puja that day, Sri O. V. G said that he had addressed a letter to Mother in Tamil on Sunday about the extinction of light. Taken aback, F asked whether O. V. G. knows Tamil; he said Yes’. Then F remembered the Tamil manuscript he has preserved and rushed to the can phor-box where it was securely kept, brought it and a-ked O. V. G. tread. O. V. G. was pleasantly surprised to find certain references to him and to his queries and asked F to permit him to take the ship with him to read more carefully what it contained. All were astonished to know that a reply was ready for the query raised by him on that day.
The brothers an und him requested him f narrate the pur port of his Tamil letter to Mother. He wrote, ‘Extinction of light is associated with the sentiment that something untoward will happen at the place, and extinction of light is associated with life leaving the body I would not have minded much if the same happened in my house and if anything is to befall the family of F. let it fall on me. I also wanted the flower wich was placed at the top to trickle down as a token of your beings, but hastened to mend myself not to pray so; for it was beautifias it was. But all, including F. have seen the flower tri kling down. F has even noted the sacred name which was recited at that time. I am not blessed to see that scene. Further, when I hurled the flowers at your feet with full reverence, the flower went and made the light extinct. You could grant instantaneously what other brothers desired, but bestowed on me this unfortunate act and caused displeasure to many that were present and exposed me to the anger of some (like Murthy).”
This was the unsigned letter from O. V. G. to Mother, posted without any from address’, and demanding an immediate reply. The letter was posted on Wednesday and the reply was kept ready on the previous Sunday without any from address’ here too! F asked O. V. G. to take the paper to his house and get an exact translation of the same in Telugu, He said he could not do well in Telugu and it would be better if it is in English. Fagreed to the same.
He brought the translation the other day, and the most wonderful part of it was that it appeared to be a message for our inauguration of the assembly, and at the same time, a reply to his letter. More surprising was that on the first half of the page. Tamil verses were written with their translation just opposite to them That slip contained one complete instance in the life of a Boudah Phikshu with the Goddess named Manimekhala and none other. The translation of the Tanul verse into English reads thus:
‘Oh, the Greedy Lady of the nature of a lovely tendril of a Flower, listen to what I say. The vessel known as Amutha Suval, adorning Subhadra’s hand is supreme and acquired world wide fame’.
‘That day was Visaakha. So, this day is also Visaakha. As you possess all Supreme virtues, the vessel, when it rises from the Sarovaram (tank), I believe, will be your possession i.e., you will own it.”
‘The nectar that comes out of the vessel, when it is distributed, shall multiply in the hands of those who are fortunate to receive it. Its character is indestructible and undiminishing’.
‘Oh, soft flower-like Lady. how else it shall be, when it has come to your hands?’
So said Aravan Adigal, the Bouddha Bhikshu and he requested her to ask for it.
No sooner has he said like that, she willed for it. The Bouddha Bhikshu, after prostrating and going round the Gomukhi Thalaakam (cow-faced tank) with great reverence, the wonderful divine vessel beautified the delightful rosy red palm of the lady who is soft and young like the tendril of a flower salk. When all were in prayer mood, it reached the decorated bangled hands of Manimekhala. Amruta Surabhi’, the vessel of nector adorned the beautiful hands of Subhadra on the day Visaakha’ (the makhatra on the day. being Visakha). Aravan Adigal has requested. the Goddess to will for it, and the Amruta Surabi (vessel of Nectar) reached Her hands on the day Visaakha. F. in his curiosity, referred to the Astro-calender and found the happy coinci dence of Sunday i.c., the day the prayer congre gation was inaugurated being Visaakha! All the brothers felt it as a message for the inauguration from the Mother they worshipped.
Mother symbolically indicated. while the puja was continuing, that She is Siddha Matha present at all times for the sake of all, readily protecting them the moment they contemplate on Her. In the message it is found that the Goddess willed for it and had the vessel of nectar ready to distribute it, the nectar signifying That which is beyond birth and death, the ultimate state of Brahma. nanda”. Here, at Jilleliamudi too, Mother is declaring ‘liberation for all’.
I did not see a house wife being worshipped as the Universa Mother anywhere except at Jillellamudi where it is an everyday sight. The phrases in the verse after prostating, going round the Gomukhi Tatakam, with great reverence’. When all were in prayer mood’ suggest a devoted assembly before the Goddess Manimekhala, resembling our prayer congregation and the nume rous prayer congregations at Jillellamudi. Significantly, the distribution of nectar had its resemblance here to Mother’s procla mation of liberation for all and also to the incessant feeding that is going on in Annapurna Mandir’ of Her children who come and stay there. It is well known how Mother persuades Her children, to have food at ‘Annapurna’ immediately on their arrival.
Another significant aspect of the message is that the Amruta Surabhi (Vessel of Nectar) has come out of the GOMUKHI TATAKAM (A lake by name Gomukhi) when she willed for it. Here the manifestation of the ultimate from within oneself by Her own grace is suggested. The mind of every aspirant is generally compared to the lake (Mannsa Sarovaram) and churning of the same at Iler will will project forth undecaying nectar of the nature of ultimate bliss to the devotee. Gomukhi Tatakam symbolises the Flood of Light’ (Go-means rays; Tatham means lake) the Absolute Consciousness of the everpresent reality, and when it manifests in one, he has Lut to distribute Divine Nectar emanating from within.
When Mother is signifying Her readiness to distribute that which is indestructible and undiminishing, the Diving Nectar, the demand of O. V. G is answered that the Truth es beyond life and death and he need not worry about any bad omen, that the divine. nectar, when distributed, goes on multiplying in the hands of those who are fortunate to receive it. Sh as one is prepared to distri bute it irrespective of deser vedness, as Her Grace is ever present.
F too, who was depressed on that day, is blessed with this exhilarating experience.