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Magazine : Mother of All
Language : English
Volume Number : 11
Month : January
Issue Number : 1
Year : 2012

Mother’s life is a lesson in practical wisdom. As Amma used to often say her’s are not empty words for her mouth is not made of mere skin. Every word of Amma is a mantra, a mahamantra the great wisdom teaching.

The pious Rangammagaru who gave birth to Amma and handed her over to us passed away even before Amma was three years old. Amma was just a tiny tot who could barely speak. But at that tender age when everyone was crying, she questioned grandfather Chidambara Rao “if the person sent by God goes back to God why should we cry grandfather”?. This is a significant message which Amma gave us in a question format.

When Amma was five years old, in her conversation with Mastan, a policeman asked “what do you think a word means? That which has no substitute That is the mantra. “That sentence which Amma spoke to him has become a Mantra for him conferring on him innumerable experiences. Further, she gave the assurance long ago of “Salvation or liberation for all”. This assurance has brought about many changes in his life.

Amma’s message is always in the form of a dialogue. Once brother Ramakrishna asked Amma “With faith in you we have come to you. Please tell us about an easy way to spiritual sadhana. You have not given us any initiation. We are not practicing anything and time is flying. What shall we do Amma?” Amma smiled sweetly and said “fine – whatever I give you to eat, eat it, and be happy. Whatever I give you, you share it with all those who come here, with a feeling of grace and reverence. That is your sadhana”. How to cultivate this practice – Amma taught me through an incident.

One afternoon at about 3 O’clock I told Amma that a brother has come to have her darshan. “Did you find out whether he had food?” asked Amma. “No Amma. As it is past three I thought he might have had his lunch”. Though I said this to Amma, to be on the safe side, I went to him and asked him about his lunch. He said he did not have his lunch. I took him to Annapurnalayam and got him lunch. The brother was deeply touched by the enquiry of Amma regarding his food and with ecstasy fell at Amma’s feet. From that day onwards I implemented the message given to me indirectly and asked people about their food, whatever be the time of their arrival at Jillellamudi.

It is not just that one should feel happy and content in Amma’s Physical presence. It is Amma’s longing that the moment one sets foot in “home of all”, one should feel that one is with Amma, in her presence, that ‘the home of all’ should be filled with love and affection and whenever one comes, one should be given food in Annapurna Bayam with great affection and tenderness. So once Amma categorically stated that the greatest treasure in the world is deep fondness and love, and that treasure is Amma and that is herself.

On one occasion Sri Haridas who looked after the institution earlier, came to Amma and said “Amma! There is no rice for tomorrow. To send the grain to the mill – there is none available. To get it done at home in the grindstone – there is none to operate it. I just don’t know what to do.” Amma said she would try her hand at the grindstone. She ground some grain and wined and cleared it. Attending all tasks, Amma told sister Gajendramma “I am not good at all tasks. I have to learn all of them. “Gajendramma promptly said “Amma! Is there any task that you do not know?”, Amma said “we are like the rice within the grain. We have to get rid of the faults within. Just as rice is hidden inside the corner, the flaws in us. Even if we cannot remove our faults now, at least for the present separate rice from the grain” Though Amma made this statement in a lighter vein the truth behind it is the message that we have to remove the dross within us.

Once a brother said to Amma “you are the Mother responsible for all our actions both good and evil. When men perform wicked deeds, why don’t you change their minds and put them in the right path?” To this Amma replied “I don’t find any deed as wicked”. Brother said “we see the difference and we pay heavily for it. If you turn our minds and make us perform only good deeds there will be no strife in the world”. “When I feel it necessary I shall do so” said Amma casually and yet her voice was firm. She elaborated on the concepts of good and bad. “How does one decide which is the right path and which is the wrong one? Consider that God is getting everything done. Both pleasure and pain are His grace. To get specific things done at specific times of need is His grace. We can be at peace if we can think that everything is His grace. Actually we are not the doers; there is some force that guides us. The impulse (to do something) is God. God means – the whole creation is the form of God – any creation is God. Whatever service, to whomsoever it is done – is all worship of God. Whomever you help, instead of thinking that I am the doer. Consider it as opportunity given by God.”

One brother who was meditating on a particular form (of a deity) got disturbed by other forms. He could not concentrate. As he was disturbed, he appealed to Amma. “Don’t worry my child! The (god) form that you are meditating upon wants to convey the message that all forms are His and the form that you are meditating upon is not different from the other forms. So when you are worshiping one form the others are not actually coming in the way. They are all different forms of one deity. To recognize this aspect and to realize it is true concentration. Concentration does not mean sitting before a picture. To see every form in that picture is concentration”. This is the path of sadhana that Amma initiated him into.

On another occasion Amma said “Mantra is letters arranged in a particular order, to frame it into a sentence which expresses an idea. When it is whispered into the ear it becomes a mantra and gets sanctity. Gayatri – Brahmopadesham should be done in such a way that others cannot hear it. What is the reason? When they say others should not listen to it – it means without any diversion of the mind, without listening to any other sound, only the mantra should be listened to. This clarification of Amma gave much satisfaction, peace and happiness. “Anything is a message, a mantra; reflection is a mantra.”

When someone wanted to stay in Jillellamudi permanently and sought her permission, Amma said “don’t think that all is well here in my presence. If you want the rose you have to accept its thorns. There are scorpions, centipedes, big black scorpions, snakes etc here. You have to mix with all of them and live. If you can adjust with them you can adjust anywhere in the world. Is this an answer or a message!! “Staying here is worship. This place is like Kasi or Rameswaram ”. This will be the invisible center for everything Mother added.


“Idol worship is for self-control. Amma expanded this concept further. “Suppose we have an idol of Rama, if we keep it along with other dolls it is also treated as a doll. But if we place it along with the other idols in the place of worship we look upon it as God. We name it according to the place in which it is kept. When one worships to fulfill one’s religious vows, in each vow divinity is attributed to a particular object and the worship is done. The rest of the time the same object will be treated like any other object casually. But during the ritualistic process we see divinity in it Therefore all these special worships are for recognizing divinity in every object. Though the canal is full of water we need a landing place so that we can collect water and quench our thirst. Temples are like landing places.” She said, She established Hymalayan and Anasuyeswaralayam and to shower her grace on us entered Anasuya Swaralayam as a deity to be worshiped.

Someone asked her “Amma! why don’t you accept miracles when you yourself perform miracles?” “The faith in the one who performs miracles will be shaken when there are no more miracles. Therefore the ultimate aim of our prayer should be that whatever happens, we should have unshaken faith in God – under all circumstances. To be moved by the suffering of the unfortunate who face difficulties is the divine quality in man.” Amma illustrated this point through innumerable incidents so that her children can acquire that divine quality.

Once there was a terrible fire accident in Bapatla. When Amma heard about the accident she was deeply moved. She ordered Viswajanani Parishat to provide the victims with food. She personally supervised the preparation of rice packets etc. At that time a brother came for Amma’s darshan and requested her for a message. Amma looked at him silently. He pleaded with her once again. Amma asked him to participate in the activity (of making rice packets etc). The gentleman did not understand. So, he remained staring at Amma and at her feet. She said “they will be hungry and waiting (for us). If more people work together we can send the packets soon. In these words of Amma he could feel Amma’s love and sympathy for the victims. “If many hands are put together the work gets done faster and supplies can reach them sooner” added Amma. Until then he could not comprehend the thought behind the action. Then he was immensely happy that he too could participate in the act of service and through this he also got his message; he was extremely satisfied.

In this manner according to the need of the hour through her words, her deeds, through certain incidents, Amma clearly gave her message. “Circumstances are the guru” said Amma

Whatever Amma spoke, it all came from the crucible of her experience. She practiced what she pronounced. To attain the state of Brahman is to be able to see in all what you see in your own child. True advaita is when you can treat the daughter-in-law and the daughter alike”.

Amma explained the word Upadesha as “taking one into the presence of God” and to reach that presence Amma has shown us different ways through different teachings.

[This is a translation of a paper in Telugu titled “Mahopadesam” presented by Smt. Brahmandam Vasundhara at the “Amma Tattva Chintana Sadassu” a devotees’ conclave held in Jillellamudi during 18-20 Nov, 2011]v

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