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B V Vasudevacharya
Magazine : Matrusri English
Language : English
Volume Number : 2
Month : January
Issue Number : 10
Year : 1968

ANASUYA Devi sat with her father Sri Sitapati for dinner. While taking a dish, he said, “What do you like?”

“Do you mean what I like among these dishes, or what I like in general?”

Sri Chidambara Rao smiled at it and asked him what his answer was. Sitapathi kept quiet.

Devi said to CiidambaraRao: Thinking that it is you, please answer that question. The other day, you asked me to answer my own question presuming that it was put by you”.

At every step, it is becoming difficult to get on with this Anasuya Devi,” smiled Rao. “Yes-This Anasuya Devi herself is responsible” said Venkata

Subbaiah, thinking of something in his own mind. “… Responsible for all things?” said Devi with all dignity.

“Yes……you are responsible for the tragic episode that is over now”, said Venkata Subbaiah emphatically.”

“Don’t say like that…… we got shanti done according to Shastras. Why should it happen like that?”

“Are they born like this because their fate is like that? or does it happen like that because these are born like this? or do people think like that when these two are not responsible?” Devi stunned them with that question. She continued to say “What do you say?”

“You tell (cheppu) us,” entered Rao quipping on the Telugu word cheppu which also means ‘shoe’ in Telugu. Devi said. “Then, who will wear it?”


Admiring her use of pun in a sublime context, Rao entreated her with all humility to explain the point.

“If I have the state to explain it, I wont make them say I am responsible. First-what is the meaning of ’cause’? If one knows the meaning of ’cause’, does one become all effects? Tell me grandfather……tell me quickly.” Chidambara Rao was stunned and was almost paralysed. All of them looked at him and became speechless.

Devi got up and cleaned her hand. She went and lay on a cot outside. Nobody noticed her going away from that place. They became conscious after half an hour. They felt they woke up from sleep, that they came down from a different world. They started eating again. After a few moments. Rao recollected the conversation with Devi. But she was not to be seen there. He got up without finishing his dinner and went out. He thought he saw an elderly lady on the the cot. He went nearer and found Ranga mma! In great surprise he opened his eyes wide Devi smiled softly.

“How much was 1 illusioned?” said Rao and began to stroke her, even without washing his hand. “Well, why did you appear to me like that?”

“I appear as you see me!” said Devi.

“Why did you go out while eating? Did you remember the girl?” asked Venkata Subbaiah.

“What is there to recollect? It is always there. But to-day, it seems to have been shrouded in Maya.”

“Why, not only you….. But also every body is shrouded by her.”

“What have you decided about the journey?” said Devi and left the place.

“Brother, all of you can come in a bullock cart. I shall come by walk with the girl on my shoulders.”

Then he wiped his face, forgetting that it was not washed. He felt irritation all over his face. Then he remembered that his hand was not washed after dinner. He said: “I never had this state; I never had any fogetfulness”.

Then he wished to know more about the experiences and the sate of Sri Gangaraju Punnaiah. Then he went and found out the details of their journey at dawn from Sri Punnaiah. As he came back, he saw Devi sitting quiet before the house. He called her but she did not reply. Then he said: “Our mother (Devi) looks like Dhruva

He stood there for about fifteen minutes and thought she moved,

“What are you doing, Devi? All are sleeping. Please come in and sleep”

“I shall come. Please go and sleep.”

“It is difficult to understand you. I don’t know how the future will be……”

He sat by her and drew her into his lap.

“Tell me about yourself Devi… I wish to hear”.

“Why do you want to hear while, you are seeing…?”

With tears of joy, he again entreated her to say what she was.

“I am like any other person! Why do you cry like that?”

“No doubt you are like all others. But even in childhood you speak in such a sublime way!”

“I shall ask about Punnaiah. Will you please tell me the truth?”

“His state was something like your state now. Now you know your state. Same was the case with him. There is nothing to say.

” Rao realised that Devi did not like that topic. “Well, will you come to Bapatla?”

“I want to come to all places,” replied Devi.

“Do you mean, you want to be at all places?”

 Rao continued to entreat her to say about herself. “It can’t be understood even if it is said” was the reply.

“Yes, I entreat you to make it understandable.”

“Grandfather, it is not understood when it is said. You did not have this anxiety yesterday. You didn’t think of him when you saw l’unmaiah. When you have your own experience, you want to know the expericnce of Punnajah.”

“Yes, that is true…… I ask you like this because I feel happy as you speak like this,” “Yes, it is true. Not that you don’t understand……” Devi began to eat some earth, taking it from the wall. “What is it? Don’t eat it. You will develop tumours in

the stomach.”

The Earth is like my mother’s grand-father……”

He could not understand her and so he said:

Your mother is Rangamma. How can this (Earth) be your mother?”

“While passing away, that mother showed me this mother. This mother does not pass away like that mother. Nothing happens to Her even if so many cars and carts run over her or even if all rubbish is heaped on Her. It is this mother that gives food to all people. She supports all things at all times. Hence I consider this earth as the real God and Mother.”‘

Tell me more Devi……”

“Shall I tell you now itself?”

“No. We shall have it on the way while going on the cart.”

“What is time now, grand-father?”

“It may be 2 O’Clock.”

“Wake them up and please get the cart ready. We can reach Ponnur by daybreak.”

All of them started in a bullock cart at 3-30 A. M. and Rao could not get an opportunity to continue the discussion as expected. Devi sat in the front and said:

“Grandfather, shall I sit at the front?”

“No… I didn’t sit, gran father! I got in by that way. Do I appear to have sat Lere?”

You are short. You are just a measure above the earth!””

“Yes. I stay a measure above the earth,” smiled Devi. (Do you stay) inside or outside the earth?”, said Rao humo. Rously.

She twisted the words and spoke so that they formed two Urdu words. He wondered how and where she heard those words. “Tell me whether it is a measure inside or outside the earth,” continued Devi.

“How can you stay inside? It is above…”

Devi repeated what he said earlier and explained that it meant that the earth was above her.

“You seize meaning from each letter, Devi!”

“They are not futile meanings?”

“Your word is never futile. All…”

To whom is it fruitful? For those who practise (them)? But I don’t believe in any that practise.”

Then the cart was ready to move.

“Grandfather, shall I drive the cart?”

“Not only the cart…… you will drive us all on!” “Does everything move owing to the One that moves it?”

Devi asked him to sit nearer so that they might discuss something.

***Should not the driver sit there, Devi?”

“He too has got a seat.”

But Khasim who was to drive the cart said that he would walk before the cart.

“Grandfather, did you hear what he said?”

“He cannot walk all along, Devi.”

“How is it that the One who drives cannot walk?”

Devi brought out a sublime truth in a simple way. 

He wanted to sit nearer to her after crossing Doppalapudi; but the cart toppled over after crossing that village. But nobody was hurt in that and they started again afterwards. “Grandfather, we wanted to discuss many things in the cart,” reminded Devi.

“Ponnur is still far away. Let us have it. There should be some lucky person here among us, because nobody is hurt even when the cart is toppled.”

“Who are the lucky ones here for its toppling?.. The sams is responsible for both. The cause is the same both for its toppling and for its not toppling, for getting hurt and for its not getting hurt.” Devi brought out another truth in that manner. After some time, as the bullocks did not pull together, the cart was about to fall. Devi jumped out of the cart and appe ared to have fallen. In the meanwhile the cart fell backward and they slipped backwards Devi went back to to them smiling. –

“I fell at the front and you fell at the back. First I fell and then you fell behind me I am a small girl and I fell before; all the elderly persons followed me” said Devi humorously.

“How did you speak with so many meanings?” Chidambara Rao exclaimed.

All of them got up and they were all slightly hurt except Devi and Rao.

“I did’t say for the sake of (those) meanings. I said what was happening.”

“It is all right, you didn’t say for the sake of (those) mean ings. Is it not good to say straightaway, whatever is happening? Chidambaram, what in fact, is she saying?” enquired Venkata Subbaiah. “There is so much meaning. It does not seem to come out fully now. We must ask her in leisure after going home.”

The cart started again.

“Grandfather, what did you say with him now?” said Devi.

“Have you caught my throat?” “I didn’t; you said that I shouldn’t open my lips till we reached home.”

“Do you adopt these tactics so as to avoid saying anything?”

“That’s why two bullocks have adopted this. Still, what Her one thinks of will not happen; whatever one has (in store) will be inevitable. Chidambara Rao was startled to hear the eternal truth that has come so spontaneously from the lips of a girl. It is the essence of all experiences and religions.

With great joy, he shouted, “Brother! Have you heard it?” “What? It couldn’t be heard, child.”

Rao thought it was the voice of Maridamma. “Aunt, is my brother sleeping?”

So he said,

“I said it myself” was the reply from Venkata Subbaiah.

As the brothers discussed it, Maridamma said that she did. not say anything. Hence it was not her voice.

“You have been discussing it so far. But tell me with what have you got this experience?” Devi said to Rao.

“With the tone…”

“The tone can’t be seen by your eye!”

“Because of the voice.”

“Not even voice. Tell me the truth.”

“As you are not satisfied with my answers. please explain it.’

“It is not that you can’t explain it so as to satisfy me…you think you need not say the truth to a small girl.”

“If so, why don’t you give out the truth?”

Devi told him how he was addressed differently by Mari damma and his brother Venkata Subbaiah. As his brother addressed him (Rao) in the way that was usually adopted by Maridamma, Rao got the impression that his aunt Maridamma addressed him. Hence, Devi said that he took the thought of the word, but not the sound of the word. Then she declared emphtically that thought is the basis for sound also.

“What is the proclamation of this great queen?”

Having been impressed by the majesty of her tone, Venkata Subbaiah said:

“I am not the great queen, grandfather; I am the creator.’

 They heard it with great wonder and joy. Rao asked Khasim to stop the cart and said:

“Repeat it, Devi.”

“Where is the need for it?’

“A little while ago you said that Earth is the mother. You said She (the Earth) is the basis for all. Now you say ‘I’ is the basis…..”

“All is the basis of all.”

Chidambara Rao was overwhelmed with joy as he heard the great truths from her. one after another. The art was reaching Ponnur, but he never remembered to raise the topic which he wanted to discuss with her.

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