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

(As narrated by Smt Janaki to Sri S. Mohana Krishna. Smt Janaki is an unassuming and orthodox house-wife who underwent many a turmoil in life and is able to surmount the difficulties with the loving grace of Amma)

I was married at a young age and ours was a very compatible marriage. When I lost my husband suddenly, I became numb with grief. Along with my husband I seemed to have lost all my mental faculties and I felt as if I fell into a bottomless void. Before that, I used to recite Bhagavad Gita and other Stotras. I learnt by heart, Bhakti Yogam and Purushottama Prapti Yoga and Mahatmyam in Bhagavad Gita and recited them daily apart from reciting Mahalakshmi Stotram. I was fond of playing host to visitors and always liked to feed guests. Goddess Annapurna is my Ishta Daivam.

When I became totally disoriented I could not even properly take care of my only son who was 12 yrs old. Our family is very orthodox. With the apprehension that austerities are not to be performed after the demise of the spouse and with a depressed mental condition, I stopped doing them. I confined myself to a room for several years and rarely stepped out of the room.

Daga (1. Ramakrishna) is my sister’s son and is very much attached to me. He saw Amma at Hyderabad while working in Usha Company. He and my sister at Tirupati talked about the divine nature of Amma and how compassionate she is. I remember that they described Amma’s lotus feet vividly saying that they are very tender like an infant’s feet.

Another big calamity befell our family. We were five sisters and one brother. Our brother who was a Doctor suddenly died young, leaving behind his 24 year old wife and three children. Our mother was crestfallen. That was about five years after my husband’s death. Seeing her grief, I came out of the room in which I confined myself and promised that henceforth, I will take care of the family. The family’s landed property came under land ceiling and the Government wanted to take possession of the excess land as per the laws prevailing then saying that all the children and mother of the deceased are entitled to only one unit. I had to take matters into my hands, defending the property and attending to the legal process and my personal grief receded to the background.

Having heard about Amma, I wanted to have her darshan and as if in response to my wish, my Tirupati sister encouraged me to visit Jillellamudi and arranged for my travel. Thus in 1979, I went to Jillellamudi along with a couple of our relatives. The first time I stepped into the presence of Amma, I found her shining brilliantly radiating effulgent white light. It is to be experienced and I am unable to explain the effect of that first darshan in words. I was so engrossed with the magnificent presence of Amma, I did not see her lotus feet. Amma left the darshan hall and sent us for tiffin and coffee. I was cursing myself for having missed the chance of seeing Amma’s feet.

After a while Amma entered the room once again. She motioned me to come near and sit at her feet. While talking in a very soft voice, she adjusted the ends of her sari to reveal her tender feet, as if in response to my inner prayers. I could not follow what she was saying, overwhelmed as I was with the presence of Amma and her instant answer to my prayer. Our relatives wanted to return immediately after the darshan. I had no choice but I could not tear myself away from Amma. Amma glancing tenderly at me spoke softly that I may come to her when – ever I wished taking this as Amma’s assurance, with a rare joy filling the heart, I took leave of Amma.

I saw Amma for the second time in altogether different conditions. Amma was ailing and was at Hyderabad. I was wondering whether I could see Amma. Fortunately, I was permitted into her presence. My heart sank on seeing Amma. Is it the same resplendent Amma I saw a year ago? With the physical eyes I could see Amma in pain. Amma looked at me intently for a while.

Ramakrishna’s marriage was performed by Amma at Jillellamudi during 1981. When I went to attend the marriage, I offered a sari to Amma. Amma wore the sari. But her subtle comment was.. “It is alright to give the sari. But you could have fed some people instead with that money…”. I did not tell Mom about my penchant to feed people. I felt happy and blessed.

During one of the Devi Navratri festivals, I was in Jillellamudi for all nine days. Amma asked me to perform abhishekam and puja in Hymalayam. Having lost touch with ritualistic worship after the death of my husband, I hesitated. Amma said that anyway Ramakrishna is doing these austerities and I can follow suit and instructed Ramakrishna to assist me. I performed the abhishekams and puja in Hymalayam on all the days.

Amma drew me like a magnet and gave me many opportunities to stay for weeks together in Jillellamudi.

I was at Jillellamudi for a number of days during 1984 when Gayatri Yagam was performed. Ramakrishna and others were in diksha and doing the pujas. I was not following any particular austerity but basking in Amma’s presence. As usual, Amma instructed that all the visitors be given breakfast. I had my breakfast not knowing that Amma would be personally giving diksha for performing Gayathri japa/yoga. Sayamma garu came to me twice and asked why I also should not receive the diksha. I was undecided. When she came for the third time by which most of the people have taken diksha from Amma’s hands (as a token of diksha, Amma gave garland of tulsi beads for men and tied kankanam for women), she said that I could do as much japa as possible and whispered that Amma wanted me to take the diksha. I could not resist any further and went and had the fortune of receiving diksha from Amma’s hands.

On another occasion, I was sitting in the darshan hall on the third floor of House of All engrossed in reading the book ‘Matru Darshan’. I did not notice others leaving the hall. After a while, I looked around and found myself alone. When I wanted to open the door to go down, it did not open as someone had bolted the same from outside. In a little while Amma came into the darshan hall from the adjoining room and I was stunned with the unexpected ‘Matru Darshan’. I could not bring myself to prostrate before her. I was feeling guilty that I troubled Amma by making her open the door. While I was staring at her in stunned disbelief, Amma radiated a compassionate glance and asked me to come near and offer obeisance!

I believe that the travails and tribulations in my life brought me to this God who guides the innocent and unintelligent, coaxes the uninitiated to do the austerities, and gives a gentle push to the aspirants in the Godward- path cleansing their impurities. Now at 75 years of age, leading a serene life with my son, daughter-in law and their children, I thank the difficulties in my life as they brought me to the lotus feet of Amma.

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