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Tales from Jillellamudi for children – 17

Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 6
Month : April
Issue Number : 2
Year : 2007


Dear Sweet Children, 

In the previous episode I told you how Amma returned to Bapatla from Tenali with her father after spending a few days with her mother’s parents Venkata Subbaiah and Janakamma. Here in Bapatla, their family priest was LAKSHMANA CHARYULU. He was a learned man, fully conversant with sasthras and intricacies concerning rituals. He was the friend, philosopher and guide of Chidambara Rao. He was himself an ardent worshiper of Lord Narasimha. He was now exceedingly elated to see Amma back in Bapatla from Tenali to Chidambara Rao’s home. Lakshmanacharyulu (60), had immense respect and admiration for Amma aged only 6. In an earlier episode, you were told how NALLI in Bapatla had inspiring visions of Lord Christ in Amma on several occasions. And again there was Khadarvalli, an illiterate cart driver in Tenali, who also discerned something compellingly divine in Amma, which he could not resist. He was unable to tear himself away from Amma’s company to such an extent that he even opted to leave Tenali for good and follow Amma to Bapatla. Several such incidents of divine magnetism have been narrated in the previous episodes to add to your treasure of knowledge. More will follow which you may await.

Here now in Bapatla, Lakshmanacharyulu is the latest character cast in a similar mold. He used to wear ochre robes like a sanyasi, but that made no difference for him in his reverence for Amma. He himself used to offer pranams to Amma and ask the other members of the family of Chidambararao to do likewise. He used to reverently carry Amma on his shoulders. In fact on a particular Ekadasi day he carried Amma to his house and seated her right by the side of the altar of his chosen deity Lord Narasimha. He then closed his eyes and meditated for three hours at a stretch. Then with glowing reverence he opened his eyes and pleaded with Amma to reveal herself to him. “Who are you? This question had been tormenting me for a good length of time. Please reveal yourself to me. I have been closely watching you from the time your mother died. You have all along been an enigma to me. I could not on my own appraise your real stature. you have yourself to help me out in understanding you. This problem has been tantalizing me for quite some time and you are the right person to grant me relief.” And so on, and so forth, he pleaded.

Amma as usual silently observed his mood and mind and left him there to brood over. Dear children! You may recall how Chidambararao too found himself in a similar predicament and implored Amma to reveal herself to him on a former occasion. He too received no helpful response from Amma save silent looks and evasive replies.

After this incident however Amma moved closer to Lakshamanacharyulu. She herself used to visit his house more frequently. He also used to visit Amma to enjoy her rewarding company and illuminating talks.

Lakshmanacharyulu advised Seethapathi to perform the Upanayanam of his son Raghavarao to make him eligible to perform the ensuing ceremonies for his mother. He also reminded him that they might soon visit Tiruvallur in Tamilnadu to redeem an old vow.


There is another very interesting incident, which I wish to narrate to you. This happened on a ‘Nagula Chavithi’ day. This day people generally visit ‘Pamula Puttalu’ (snake pits) and offer 1orship to snakes with milk, fruits, etc. Not that snakes actually come out of the pits to receive worship. But it is believed that snakes do live inside the pits. It is an occasion to worship snakes too as part of our Hindu custom. Your parents will elaborate for you how this custom has been in vogue from time immemorial. A day is particularly set apart in the year for this purpose, and that is ‘Nagula Chavithi’ fourth day following Deepavali. Generally, well-dressed womenfolk in large numbers visit these places carrying flowers and similar puja material though occasionally a few men to go with them. But children do accompany their mothers and burst Deepavali crackers etc., to enliven the occasion. Amma visited one such spot on a ‘Nagula Chavithi’ day in Bapatla. She persuaded Chidambararao also to accompany her, which he grudgingly did. On Amma’s arrival a snake actually peeped out of the pit and curiously observed the gullible intruders. It was indeed an exciting, uncommon, rarest of the rare event. Other visitors to the spot took fright and ran away. A Poojari who was engaged to conduct worship also took to his heels. But undeterred Amma went close to the snake and placed her hand on its hood. She pulled the quivering hand of Chidambararao also and made him place it over hers on the hood.

The snake then surprisingly leapt over to the shoulder of Amma as a child would do with its mother and merrily landed itself there. That was the limit for Chidambararao’s patience. He was shell-shocked and literally petrified. Amma discreetly saved the situation, asking the snake to go back into the pit, which the reptile meekly obliged.

A painting Chidambararao in a devastating mood. wonder, yelled out: “What is all this lethal fun about? You cannot deny that snakes are our sworn enemies. Your strange affinity. with them is something which I scarcely comprehend. Please confide in me the truth behind this event and your quaint behavior”. But, as usual Amma was evasive. “It is already getting late in the day. Aunty with a big feast will be waiting for us at home. I shall tell you all the details later. For the present let us hurry home”. She ended the matter there leaving Chidambararao to do the guessing.

Hope, dear children, you have enjoyed the utterly strange. incident. Remember, Amma was then only Six. I confess I shiver while doing the narration. What about you?

– (to be continued..).

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