In an age when the average Indian looks in vain to find the splendour of his spiritual heritage of the past the moment a Vivekanada was given a glimpse of it by Rama- krishna, or a Paul Brunton by the Sage of Arunachala, is one of great hope and assurance. Today when we cannot see either of them in our midst, the tiny village of Jilellamudi (seven miles from the Taluq headquarters of Bapatla in the Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh) is gradually emerging into prominence as one of the foremost centres of spiritual wisdom. People from far and near throng to this village to enjoy the presence of Holy Mother Anasuyadevi.
Populary believed to be the incarnation of Goddess Rajarajeswari, Matru sri pre- sents a unique manifestation of divinity. For, in her, one does not find a saint or a tapaswini who ascended to the heights of spiritual glory by arduous practice of reli gion or by renunciation; she was born in all her perfection, and retained it well into her simple life of a housewife.
Born in the year 1923, she lost her mother early. She grew up to be a quiet and mysteriously retiring girl who was never childish in her ways not even in eating! What little she spoke was cryptic and profound and the cammo nest of words that rolled off her tongue touched the very heart of the wisdom of all the great religions of the world. Her grandfather and her grandmother were the only ones who recognised in her the perfect embodiment of Goddess BalaTripurasundari in her childhood. But for a long time she contrived to keep herself anonymous till after her marriage she came to settle in the village of Jillellamudi as the simple wife of a simpler husband Sri. B. Nageswara Rao. There it was that she first permitted a few of the common folk to have glimpses of the boundless ocean of divinity in her. It was from the late fifties that people steadily flocked to her in ever increasing numbers. Men from all castes, and creeds, of all classes and walks of life… believers and scoffers flock to her even today. It did not take a long time before the unlettered and untutored village housewife could astonish the most learned of scholars, scientists and lawyers, even Yogis and the Sadhus as well as the laymen with the absolute perfection of her oneness with the Universal Spirit and over whelm them in the surging tides of unparalleled love.
What is most striking to the new visitor to Jillellamudi is her boundless Motherly love which includes not only human beings but all creatures. In her company cats and dogs shed their born animosity and live as the members of one Univerasal family with the human beings in the truest sense of the phrase. She is a mother equally to the virtuous and to the wicked; for God “maketh his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on on the just the unjust” (“Sermon on the Mount”). She says that a true mother never distinguishes between her childern when she showers her love and affection on them. When good and evil themselves are not the criterion in being loved and protected by the Mother, where is the place for distinctions of caste, creed or sex? Her usual greeting of her children is to quench their hunger, in the true mother’s fashion. The extra ordinary keenness with which she remembers her children over long intervals of time the between the visits is the clearest proof of the genuineness of her claims as the Mother of all. For she asked “When the shepherd remembers all his sheep in dividually’ should it be sur prising that the mother should remember every one of her children?”
Another most endearing aspect of the stay at the Ashram is that there is no pontifical gulf between the devotee and the mother. Everyone has access to her as intimately and freely as one has with one’s own mother. She sits among hor childern, chats with them freely on anything that they might ask her. In her company one forgets one’s own mother an experience the truth of the dictum that one should look upon one’s mother as being one with God. The logical continuity of her talk, the razor-edge of her sharp reasoning, the mingling of the homeliest of verbal ex- pressions with the profoundest sense, the total absence of anything that is dogmatic or smacking of traditional reli- gious jargon, the freedom with which she receives questions and arguments from her children, the deftness and openness with which she dynamites all superstitions, above all the continuous under- current of incomparable love and afection that lie beneath her words and gestures make the visit to Jillellamudi an experience that none would willingly exchange for any thing he had experienced hitherto; in most cases marked an important turning point in one’s life and outlook. The rationalists find in her a supreme rationalist while the humanists find in her the very perfection of humanism. For, did she not say that perfect humanity is divinity? The spiritual aspirants find in her spiritual splendour an answer to all the difficulties that they had encountered in the course of their practices. In fact not a few have experienced in her glorious presence the very culmination of their spiritual pilgrimage. The sight of one shedding tears of uncontro Ilable joy is common. Those who lived in her presence for long say that she always in an uninterrupted state of Sahaja Samadhi; i.e even while she talks and moves among her children, her universality remains unbroken.
Both by precept and by example, the Mother of Jillellamudi has a message that is most urgently needed to the world of today. It is the message of Universal love, and fidelity in all personal relationships and responsi bilities. In fact what she seems to convey seems the very antithesis of the escape from the world that is often it advocated. “We can live in Samasara” she said, but samasara should not be allowed to dwell in us”
As one observes her more and more closely, one realises how spontaneously she answers the myriad unspoken thoughts that pass our minds. How? She said that one whose will became identical with the individual wills of all would know other’s thoughts and feelings. Evidences of her omnipresence flash across one’s mind, however much she may try to conceal them; for quite of a ten description of what a particular child of Mother is doing at a distant place slips verbally from her tongue! She does not eat; yet the moment an offering is made by anyone of her chil- dren anywhere, to her, she acknowledges it aubidly enough On the few occasions on which she accepted food ample proof is there of mysterious supply of food to a distant devotee in dis- tress. It is a matter of daily and even hourly experience to the inmates of the Ashram that even after extreme toil in the service of visiting pilgrims, they were relieved of all their exhaustion and bodily pain the moment they think of her or touch her feet; and pat comes the news that Mother is exhausted and that her body is aching; they bow in silent prayers with tears overflowing. It is the taste of inexpressible sweet ness of the love of a super human heart that tied them down inextricably to that place; and men who were very rich and highly placed in life are content to draw the water and plough the fields just for the mere bliss of living in her divine presence. Year after year, the number of visitors goes on increasing. Hundreds of childless mothers were blessed with children; the ailing with health; the vexed with solace. There is hardly anyone that had felt his visit to Jillellamudi nothing more than a common experience.