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Tales from Jillellamudi for Children – 24 (WITH THE FAMOUS POET SAINT VASUDASA SWAMI )

Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 8
Month : January
Issue Number : 1
Year : 2009


Dear Sweet Children,

In the preceding episode you were told how Amma (9) met in Chirala an aged saint called MOUNA SWAMI who observed MOUNA.

In this episode we will see how Amma (10) met the famous poet-saint VASUDASA SWAMI. He was widely popular as ANDHRA VALMIKI for the reason that he rendered Telugu. the entire VALMIKI RAMAYANA. He was a literary genius who authored several books to revitalize society and awaken men, women and children. He was therefore rightly honored as KAVI SARVABHOUMA, meaning an EMPEROR among Poets. He was born on January 23, 1863. It was in 1933 that the historic encounter with Amma took place. Amma was then ten years old and he was seventy.

Unexpected Visit to VASUDASA SWAMI: On a certain occasion in 1933, Amma and Maridamma Tatamma happened to travel through PONNUR. It was then learnt that the Saint camped in a nearby village called BRAHMANA KODURU. Many people were on their way to the village for the Saint’s darshan. They were quite familiar with Maridamma also. They implored the venerable old lady to give them her august company. But Tatamma excused herself saying she had already left her native village Mannava quite a long time back, and hence unable to shoulder further strain. As a happy alternative, Maridamma suggested that they might take Amma aged ten with them. Maridamma expected AMMA to enjoy the Saint’s company.

Ramabrahmam, Amma’s Uncle : Mannava Ramabrahmam was a close cousin of Mannava Seethapathi, Amma’s father. He and his wife, PULLAMMA with their little kid UPENDRA were also in the group proceeding to visit the Swamiji. The couple felt that Amma would be eminently serviceable to look after their child while they busied themselves with the saint. They readily grabbed the opportunity. Amma could understand that they proposed to take her with them, not for her sake, but to engage their little fellow and spare them avoidable distraction. There were other womenfolk too with similar brigade of small children in need of similar service. They also entrusted them one by one to carry them here and there with a chocolate or two to keep their mouths pleased. Amma obliged them all without losing her cool or expressing even a mild protest.

After three days staying in Brahmana Koduru, the TAMASHA wore off. The visitors left the place one after another having had enough of it.


Mannava Ramabrahmam, Amma’s uncle, found space to introduce Amma to the Swamiji. He asked her to go near and offer prostrations, which Amma did. The Swamiji affectionately touched Amma’s head and enquired who she was.

Ramabrahmam replied that she was his cousin’s daughter and added, evidently hoping to invoke the saint’s blessings, that she unfortunately lost her mother when she was a mere four year old.

The Saint’s first reaction: The Swamiji was deeply moved. Drawing her head close to his chest, he exclaimed: “O! Is that so? I am sorry you have no mother to give you her love. Shall I bless that everyone will have love for you?”

That was the saint’s first reaction.

Amma offered a cool reply, “Please bless that I have love for everybody.”

Swamiji was surprised. “How is it? It is indeed strange that you do not need anybody’s love while you want to love everybody instead!”

Amma then elaborated her view in clearer terms. “I should first love others to know what LOVE is. If others love me, how am I to understand what LOVE is?

The Swami aged seventy at the peak of his renown and erudition was stunned at Amma’s penetrating and unusual interpretation of LOVE.

The Saint’s Second Reaction: The Saint now chose to switch over from LOVE. He asked: “Well! What else do you want?” He left the choice to Amma.

He changed over to the highly sensitive subject of DESIRE.

But Amma promptly replied. “Please bless that I have no desire at all for anything! “She wanted desire to be erased totally!

The Saint was once again stunned. It was a reply too mature and lofty from a mere child of ten.

The subject of DESIRELESSNESS had ever been unique, diagnosed over the ages as an unfailing panacea for all brands of human misery. Prophets in every era like the immortal Lord BUDDHA firmly stressed on the need to wear the armor of DESIRELESSNESS to live in peace and banish grief.

Did the Swami mistakenly feel that Amma might ask for a pair of trinkets or a couple of glittering gowns, suited to her age?

But she carried him to heights loftier than he best anticipated.

This was a most unexpected reply though certainly not meant to be a retort. The conversation reasonably came to an abrupt end.

Dear Children!

What happened next will be appearing in Part-II. Please wait for the same.

(…to be continued)

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