It was getting dark and the five year old girl Anasuyadevi was walking in the street. She was looking far into the sky, lost in thought. Even as an innocent girl it seemed, she had seen the vicissitudes of life. She was like an old lady dignified in appearance, absorbed in the world of thought. She went and tried to sit under the banyan tree near the Union Office.
“What’s your name, girl?” a policeman asked her, accompanying her from a distance. She was silent. and he called her ten times in that manner.. She pretended as though she had not heard. He got impatient and angry:
“Hey, girl” he shouted at her,
She looked at him. Her face was calm and composed. Her divine looks could not move his hardened heart.
“What’s your name?” he shouted.
“You called me by a name and that’s my name’ she replied in a careless manner,
“Be careful. Do you seek a jail?” he said.
“Do you want to say ‘jai’ to me?
No – not so soon.” She quipped on the Telugu word “Jailu”
The policeman had neither the necessary refinement nor pationes to understand those words. He dragged her by her hand and pulled away the necklace from her. But it did not come away. He looked around out of fear and began to sweat out of excitement
*Your hand will be pained. I shall give you the necklace. But will you answer my question?” she said,
“Yes, if you promise to give me your necklace.”
She put the necklace in his palm and asked him “what, in truth, is your profession, my child?”
“Yes. We have to find out the crimes, trace the culprits and put them in jail.”
“What do you mean by a crime?” she said.
“Stealing. beating, killing and many other things which you can’t understand.”
“What have you done now? Is this not stealing? Who will catch hold of you? Are you exempted from punishment by the Government.? She mildly admonished him. From that soft voice there came out a harsh word.. With his trembling hands he looked at her and in her tender face he found the light of the rising sun. He was greatly startled at it and after a few moments the light faded. He saw her face. With tremulous hands he kept the necklace back on her neck. He took her to his home soon after. His name was Masthan and that evening, he invited a few other plicemen to his house. He began to narrate his experiences to them in Urdu.. While doing so, he wrongly narrated Devi’s words at one place. Then she stopped him and said, “Is this what I said? you speak falsehood? Say exactly all that had happened. Why do
They were all greatly startled at it and felt that she had some great power. One of them said, you tell us what happened at that time please?” Devi narrated all that conversation.
On the next morning at ten o’ Clock Chidambara Rao called her. “Anasuya! don’t you come for lunch?’
“I am n’t hungry. (She punned on the Telugu word Akali, which means ‘hunger.”) The word was split by her as “A+Kali” which means “the Kaliyuga”. In a poetic way she told him that she was not hungry in this Kaliyuga, Chidambara Rao went back, thinking high of her shrewdness. Then a beggar came there asking for food. They tried to send him away, saying that it was a Brahmin’s house and it was not possible to give him anything as they were taking food.
Then Anasuyadevi went there and asked them to give food for herself. But they knew well that it was meant for the beggar waiting outside. They said that it was usual with her daily to collet food and feed the dogs, pigs and cows. Having waited for about an hour and having failed to take any food for the beggar, she went outside. But the old beggar man was not there. She went round in search of him. In the meanwhile, the beggar could not get anything at any house. Then she found him near the bunk and gave him some gold ornaments that were on her body.
“Borrow money pledging these ornaments” she advised Him.
After some hesitation he took the ornaments. “Shall I go home now!” she said.
Then she advised him not to waste money. He was urged to buy the basic necessaries of life. But the beggar was unscrupulous to to say that the amount was not much. But She was still kind to him.
“Is there anybody at home to look after you”? enquired. She
“No. Under the influence of philosophy, I left my wife and children and sought a guru,”
“You can tell me all about it tomorrow. Any way be careful about money. You are an old man. Be careful in the nights.
The snakes and scorpions will be moving about,” Devi cautioned him.
After staying in the house for a short time, Anasuya Devi started out to meet the two policemen. They were already waiting for her at the huge bunyan tree. They were overwhelmed with joy when they saw her. During her conversation, She told them that the sense of duty and integrity itself is god. After some time the policemen went home highly elated.
On the same day while helping her grandfather at his work, it 10 P.M. Anasuya Devi was stung by a scorpion. She could find the scorpion where as he saw it among the leaves.
“Grand-father, how is it I could’nt see the scorpion,” she said.
“How could you see that among so many leaves? Moveover
there is darkness under a lamp,” he replied.
“What do you mean by darkness under a lamp?”
“You find darkness around the lamp,” he repeated. “Darkness around the light that dispels darkness!
The source of light is darkness! Devi smiled. As she lay on the cot, she found the noon waxing and waning day by day. She asked her grand-father why it was happening so.
“New moon day is approaching,” was the only answer that Chidambara Rao could give.
Is there waning even for the moon that fills the world with soothing light? Is it not possible for any body to achieve continu ous progress? Are the vicisstudes of life inevitable”! Devi continued to pester him with such questions. In that context he also said:
“God gives people according to their Karma.”
“Where from do they get their Karma?” She said.
“From what they did,” he replied.
“From whose doing (does it come) “was her immediate question.
“We get from what we did,’ he replied,
‘If we can do it. then who else is god?
‘He is one who is not effected by anything.”
‘What is the proof to say that he is not effected by any thing. In fact, how does he look like? She asked him. ‘He looks like you. Please sleep,’ said Chidambara Rao smilingly.
But little did he realise that he spoke the truth. Does it mean that He is short and small wearing a frock?” She smiled.
He asked her to sleep and promised her to tell more about it the next day.
On the next day as usual, Devi met the two policeman in the Garden. They gave her a packet of sweets and began to pray with eyes closed in their own religious way. Ankadasu found an old lady eating it while he was praying. As they opened their eyes they found the packet empty. Ankadasu asked her why she appeared to him as an old lady. Their faith in her divinity got intensified with each experience. After some time they started back to take the girl to her home. On the way an old man approached her and fell prostrate on her feet. As he did not get up for a long time Mastan moved him to side. Mastan then thought that the old man was dead. He thought that the old man was the fortunate person as he died at her feet. He was ready to do the obsequies if the permis sion was accroded to him. Devi asked them to keep every thing ready for him and she would come back after a while.
‘He has attained Moksha as he died on your feet. The extra ordinary episodes that were not seen in puranas must be seen in your life, mother. Of course, they are already seen. It is an avatar without punishing the wicked. Protection for all (is assured by you), he said,
“Even punishment is protection, child.’ revealed Devi
Anasuyadevi came back to find the dead body of that old She began to stroke the dead body. Mastan and Ankadasu came there bringing fire-wood. After a while it seemed that the dead body moved a little.
“Mother, it appears that the old man is moving,’ Said Mastan.
The one that can move naturally moves so, child,’ she said.
It may not be a death. It may be A trance.’ Ankadasu began to guess.
‘It means that one becomes unconscious and looses himself in god.’
‘That means Mother called him into herself and sent him out again.’
‘Whatever we say, Mother does not speak.’
That is her way. When we said he was dead, she said the When we were ready, to do the obsequies, she asked us to same. get firewood.”
What is the meaning of this rare experience, mother. Have you brought him back to life due to your love for that old man? Or even though there is no change in him, you created an illusion in u and made us realise that we knew nothing. Or by bringing him. back to life, are you intensifying our faith in you. Mother, is there any other motive which is beyond our comprehension? Mastan entertained many such thoughts then.
“This old man knew nothing. He did not practise anything. He begged for alms and not for Moksha. A man who strove for food got the highest blessing. How lucky he is! Ankadasu was deaf to these words of Mastan. He was in a blissful world. While looking at the face of Devi he saw the entire creation-mountains, Valleys, oceans, rivers, men and animals and many more. was greatly amazed at it and as the scene disappeared he remembered the divine vision granted to Yasoda by young Krishna. He
Is that Krishna now in the form of this Mother?’ was latest in the mind of Ankadasu.
Is it true mother, is it true?’ he shouted.
As usual Devi did not say anything.
‘Yes, I know. The Lord Krishna of that age is our mother o today. Avatars may be different; but the spirit or Power is the same. The characteristics are the same. The circum stances and contexts may be different. but the benefits are the same.
Ankadasu was lost in thought and after hearing a sigh said again:
‘Kind Mother, why do you shower so much grace on this mean person. Nor even I am wicked and I thought of Him. never worshipped god. I know nothing of devotion. Then why do you shower Your grace ceaselessly? What is this wonderful and divine presence! Ah, do you mean that one can attain moksha even without devotion? Do you mean that there is no discrimination between the worthy and the unworthy? Do the morally depraved and the most wicked become purified by your tender touch? What is it, Mother? Why don’t you speak!”
Mastan listened to the words of Ankadasu. But at the same time he felt that his own spark of life was going out of him and merging with that of Mother.
After a few minutes, the old man got up from the tiny feet of Anasuya Devi.
‘Grand-papa, with what Sanjeevi did you come back to life-‘
‘Mother Herself is Sanjeevi-Life giving Sanjeevi,’ said Mastan. Stroking the back of the old man, Devi said:
Would you like to take water?
I don’t want anything else. This experience is enough. I don’t want the money you gave me. Some amount is spent, that too for an unworthy thing. The old man replied. ‘Have you done! anything wrong? She asked him. ‘Don’t you know that mother You gave me money only for that. I drank and bought meat for my food. But as I don’t know how to cook it, I threw it away,’ he wailed. You could have brought it to me for cooking. But even raw meat can be eaten. Why did you throw it away. Moreover I would have eaten it, had you given me.’ At the same time the old man found a piece of meat in Devi said. hands of Anasuya Devi. He was greatly surprised at it. Then Ankadasu asked him to narrate his experiences. The old man said:
As I was coming in dark, I was bitten by a Cobra. When I wanted to go to Station, I heard a strange voice indicating where Mother was. Then I started to this place. But as it would be dangerous to see light, I was striving to walk in darkness. But it is a miracle, I was able to see my path even in this darkness. Then I came straight to her and you know what happened later on. But when did this episode begin?”
I saw Mother yesterday. She was kind to me but I was wicked. I did certain evil things. More over Mother cautioned me then itself that I might be bitten by a snake. I didn’t believe it. Last night I dreamt that I was dead and was brought back to life by Her. Even then I could n’t understand her. But Mother was still gracious to this ignorant man. Now I learn that bestowing love and showering grace are natural to Mother and they don’t depend on our worthiness’.
Mastan was greatly moved by it and recollected his own evil deeds. He said: ‘I was not a great devotee, but she was still kind to me. It means that Mother is not concerned with our good or evil deeds. More over when She is the Prime Cause and the unseen power behind all our actions, what sinful things can we do how can there be any sin left when once we see Mother? Can there be darkness after sunrise?” While they praised Devi’s unbounded love for all mankind in this manner, the old man shouted:
What’s the matter,” Said Devi. “Snake! Snake! it’s encircling you. It may bite you! “He shouted alarmingly. The old man first saw a snake encircling her. Then he saw he transforming herself into a snake withnot changing her face. Then his fear slowly disappeared and devotion intensified.
Mother, you are indeed the God,” said the old man “Even though we can’t understand her divinity completely, I believe, the posterity will be able to preceive it fully. It is my desire that every one in the world should perceive her divinity and attain Moksha,’ said Mastan. Her grace is the only cause either for recognising her or attaining moksha. Moreover, you see, Mother reveals Herself in slow degrees,’ said Ankadasu.
The old man began to think why Anasuya Devi appeared to him as a Snake. For all his questions Devi gave seemingly simple answers. Whether he understood them or not the old man nodded his head happily. He also said: Mother, grant me your presence always in the form of a snake. I may not be able to recognize you in any other form, even if you reveal yourself to me.’
By then it was dawn and Devi got up to go home. She told them that She would go to Mannava. But she assured them that wherever she was, they would have their Mother with them.
The form is limited, but the power is limitless,’ said mastan,
What is my fate, Mother? asked the old man.
It is the same as theirs. All are blessed,’ assured Anasuya Devi.
She went home in one direction and asked them to go in another direction.
What? Could it be an embodiment of the goddess?
Was again their typical doubt, even after blissfully spending their time in her presence.