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B V Vasudevacharya
Magazine : Matrusri English
Language : English
Volume Number : 2
Month : February
Issue Number : 11
Year : 1968

DEVI said suddenly, “I feel like going to Mannava again, grand father!”

We will go to Tenali. You proceed to Bapatla. We will take this girl (with us) if she comes”, aid Venkata Subbarao.

Have you forgotten what you planned at Mannava? Didn’t you think of going together to Bapatla ?” asked Devi.

“We didn’t forget. Only circumstances are such”.

“Let all of us go to Bapatla. After three or four days I’ll to Tenali” said Devi

Then let us procted “said Venkata Subbarao.

“But what about the circumstances? Devi asked him smiling.

“What does it matter to you? If you promise to come (with us to Tenali), I’ll certainly go with you (now)” he said.

Who knows what my circumstances will be by that time?” asked Devi, looking intently at him.

What circumstances are there for you?” He said in surprise. “Circumstances are the same for all.”

“Why all this? If you promise to come, we will follow

“If you come (now), 111 follow (later) if possible”.

“Your father asked me to take you (with us) even by compulsion”, he said vexed.

“Am I to take you (with me) even by compulsion? and why?” – Devi confused him, taking advantage of the chance afforded by the words for such an interpretation. He tried to explain but repeated the same words, and she repeated her own interpretation. Chidambara Rao burst out laughing at his plight and helped him by telling her what he meant.

“I see”, Devi feigned innocence, “where is the need of telling me then? it depends on your ability. We can do what we can.”

“Will you come with us, if we take you?”

If you take me your way, I’ll come back in my own way”, replied Devi. playing on the word ‘come in his statement.

“No use! Why take her if she is not willing? There are so many grandsons and grand-daughters; what does it matter if she does not come ?” Janakamma said, vexed.

“That’s why I do not wish to come,” said Devi.


“There are so many, and what if I alone do not come?” said Devi.

The vexation of Janakamma and the words of Mother pained Chidambara Rao. So he said to Devi, as though considering her to be older than Janakamma

“She (Janakamma) does not know how to speak.”

“If it is all owing to innocence, there is no complaint,” said Devi

“You are never troubled, my dear!”

“I wish your words will be a blessing to me. I should never be in the state of not being able to bear anything at any time After all, what can’t be endured is suffering.”

“Where is the need for my blessing to one who has indescribable power?” said Chidambara Rao who knew Devi so well,

“-Because I have come (now) with attributes.”

However, by the time they reached the railway station, all of them decided to go to Bapatla. As soon as the train arrived, Devi and Chidambara Rao sat in the carriage while the others got into another. As soon as the train started, unwilling to let a moment pass in vain, Chidambara Rao asked her:

“Child, tell me briefly about what had happened to Punnaiah.”

“Why are you so curious about it, grand-father!”

He was silent for a moment. As he raised his head, tears stood in his eyes. He spoke with an effort

“I have one opinion about you which always makes me bliss ful and which defies expression. Sometimes you seem to me as an old one. At others, you seem very young and tender. Some times you behave as one who is All-knowing: next moment you speak like an innocent girl. Whatever be the greatness in you, it is strange that I, an old man, should have such diverse observa tions to make on you, a mere child! Usually every individual forms one opinion about another, whether it is right or wrong. Moreover, generally, I do not form high opinion of others, nor does it change. when once it is formed. Then, is it not strange that I have such diverse impressions about you, and such a high regard as this? That is what is unique about you, in my view. I will not divulge your words to anyone. I’ll just trust them, and thereby I’ll rectify my wavering mind.”

“Form itself has come to be through Modification.

Chidambara Rao hugged her to his heart. He said in a choked voice

“How aptly you have put it! This wealth of wisdom (ie. Devi) must be the reward of lives of meritorious action. Which Rishi, which Jnani, can express it so lucidly and effortlessly! It’s unusual that you should elucidate such sublime truths, even though you do not have any education or sadhana. You are the Primordial Force, the Universal Mother-“. His words sank into silence as he attained a higher awareness. Recovering after a few minutes, he added: “In the womb of my dear Rangamma this abode of diamond has materialised!” Again he lost his norm 1 consciousness, Though he awoke a little later, his eyes were still dreamy and he eagerly asked everyone there.

“Where’s my abode of diamonds”?”

Devi held his hand and asked, Does abode of diamonds’ mean ocean or Earth?”


The train arrived at Bapatla . Devi and Rao walked before the others. As they approached the Ticket-Collector, Rao gave away the tickets to the collector saying, “Mother, here are our tickets!”

The Ticket-Collector was surprised and asked him, “Why man, are you crazy?”

“Haven’t you lost your wits ?” Devi asked the T. C.

Whom are you addressing?” he demanded.

The one who is crazy! Is it wrong to address one as Mother?”

“Then did you refer to me?” he asked.

The passengers crowded round them. Most of them were known to Chidambara Rao. Among them one Sriramulu asked Rao, Who is this little girl Sir ?

“She is my grand-daughter. “

The crowd wanted to know what the matter was. Devi told them, addressing Sriramulu in particular

“My grandfather said, ‘Mother, here are the tickets’. I thought he was giving me the tickets. But he was giving the tickets to the ticket collector. The ticket collector called him ‘Crazy’ for addres sing him as Mother’. I did not know whether my grandfather was addressing me or the collector. Now whom did the ticket collector call ‘crazy’-me or grandfather

Sriramulu burst into laughter, took her on his shoulders and walked out of the station, leaving the ticket collector dumbfounded. Later, getting down from his shoulders, Devi said, “Now that you have come in time, all went well; other-wise……

“Would you have to carry him on your shoulders ?” he laughed.

“Why so? After all, he too is my child……

“Oh, are you such a great mother ?”

“However small a mother I migh be, I could spark a quarrel between such stout grand sires! After all, the cause of it all is the word ‘Mother’ he had used. Mother (herself) is the cause of all!”* “How sweet are your words! It is a pleasure even to pick up a quarrel with you!”

“One can’t deliberately pick up a quarrel. Anyway, talking is itself quarreling.”

“Go on talking like this, child! I wish to hear your voice.”

Meanwhile all of them came home. Chidambara Rao retired to his bed room. Devi went and sat in a corner room upstairs. The cook gave them water to wash their feet and rushed upstairs to see Devi. As soon as she saw Devi, she hugged her saying. Mother, have you come?” The touch of the child gave her a thrill and for moments she stood motionless. As soon as she regained her composure, she brought Devi downstairs. After meal, Devi approached Maridamma who was making leaf plates and asked her,

“Why hasn’t my brother (Raghavarao) turned up? Mother will be worried even if one of her children did not take his food.”

“How’s that!” Maridamma cried in surprise, “why do you refer to your brother as your child? Anyway, the mother who will be worried if he doesn’t eat is no more!”‘

“The mother who will be worried if he doesn’t eat is no more. But the Mother who will be worried even if anyone did not take his food is there.”

“Who is she?” Maridamma asked eagerly.

The lady who asks (me now) has the attachment of having brought (me) up. The Mother who speaks these words is here as the Mother, without being understood!”

“The love of having brought you up is in me. Then, are you the Mother who is here unrecognised?”

There is as much (of meaning) in it as one can take.”

Maridamma looked at Devi in surprise.

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