Time is fleeting. It is almost twenty five years and we are on the eve of the silver jubilee of ANASUYA ESWARALAYAM. That is to be more specific in terms of the chronology, from the 12th June 1985 when the consecration of the temple reached its culmination after AMMA attained eternity and entered the sanctum sanctorum. The momentous day is deeply and vividly etched in the memory.
Unable to bear the intensity of the moment, though I accompanied AMMA into the sanctum, I chose to remain outside the garbha gudi, the inner sanctum of the temple. Consecration was completed in all gravity and solemnity among several grieving devotees, the children of AMMA.
While I was waiting outside the inner sanctum, I was given a white paper specifying the dimensions of the inner sanctum where the measurements of the area of consecration were noted. This was done with a view to facilitate subsequent works in the temple, like idol installation. I had to take the sheet and preserve it in the records. Momentarily this filled me with a great sense of void that the countless children of AMMA who could have a glimpse of the physical AMMA and be caressed and comforted, may not find the same any longer.
Now the taunting question is that all that remains of AMMA, the physical dimension. Does AMMA have an entry and exit on the endless flow of time? Is SHE subject to the mortal laws of the ordinary being and life? The well contained answer could be a simple yes, with a much more emphatic and resounding ‘NO’.
Yes, because any divine manifestation when it assumes a physical form, makes the self seemingly subject to the rules of mortal life and very truly appears so. But inherently the converse is true as is evident from the experience that such manifestations defy, quite often transcend mortal laws at will for common good or for others welfare, while appearing to be confined within such bodily bounds.
For instance, Lord Rama when he decided upon abandoning Devi Sita, a few erudite, wise and the learned said to have tried to prevail upon him to dissuade against giving up his consort Sita. Their vociferous plea was that Lord Rama is not human even in the least, hence need not unduly subject himself to the ordinary laws of the land or the world.
To this Rama worthily retorted that he is not inclined to believe so. He responded saying “Athmanam Manusham, Dasaratha Athmajam”. To put this in English – “I feel like a mortal within; as a mortal and the son of King Dasaratha” thereby implying that he is truly subject to the moral laws of the land and cannot draw an exception. Much more, he is obliged to set the right, ideal example to his subjects in the kingdom.
Again some of the scholars of the ancient lore, looking at the same more incisively, interpret that Lord Rama is fully aware or conscious of his divine being. Apparently he took such a stance to fit into the requirement of slaying the demon king Ravana, who did not seek a protective exemption from ‘Nara and Vanara’ that being humans and monkeys among those who could inflict his death.
Setting aside these interpretations, it is abundantly proved in Lord Rama’s gesture of anointing Vibheeshana as the king of Lanka even before the invincible Ravana is won over or slain. This confirms beyond doubt his powers of predetermination or preordainment.
Even, if we rule out either, his prescience, the knowledge of the future, as disclosed in quite a few instances of the epic Ramayana, which are but divine traits. Even his acclaimed sense of ‘dharma’ righteousness, sense of virtue and keeping his word or commitment are far above the human standards. Well this all could be summed by saying Rama acted as the paragon of virtue in all respects, setting the ideal worthy of emulation for all humans or for all beings for all times to come.
In the context of AMMA, to say that SHE is the embodied, manifest motherhood, will be citing the obvious. Motherhood and motherly love that was generously and spontaneously showered on all is only one apparent, widely seen and felt aspect by all those around.
In AMMA, the provider, protector, the preceptor and the supremely divine persona are pronounced, largely depicted essential features at a little closer range. These multiple aspects alternated as per the time, need and the situation.
As the provider ever, SHE always fed the children in a never ending manner. As the very mother, SHE cared more for their feeding in the sense; food preceded even HER darshan quite often as is well known.
To the troubled and deprived, SHE offered care and comfort like any caring mother, but a step above that is such care and love are well directed towards the recipients who keenly felt the same, irrespective of one’s background. HER devotees regarded the children by AMMA flocked to HER in ever growing numbers for this very same love of the mother.
For those in severe predicaments or in mortal danger, SHE ever protected them, of which there are instances galore which are widely known and recorded. AMMA decreed – “MOTHERHOOD IS BUT PROTECTION”.
For those in quest, the seekers of truth AMMA’S profound but pithy aphorisms conveyed the timeless truths in unmistakable terms. More importantly such precepts are conveyed in very simple, easily understandable terms, which verily hide unfathomed profundity in content and essence.
AMMA’S ministry is always couched in ordinary, simple terms laced in the mother’s love abundantly. Thereby they acted like comforting soothsayers for the troubled mankind. Equally they offered immense solace to the uneasy mind in quest.
Despite all this, AMMA displayed unmistakable divinity ever since HER advent. Even the midwife who delivered AMMA onto this earth was conferred mystic visions that a divine, supernatural entity is making the entry into the mortal world. Such visions were equally had by AMMA’S parents and others close by. Though such visions were dismissed by them casually or took the same in their stride, not taking heed of AMMA’S divinity.
Right from the beginning AMMA caused emancipation to quite a few. It is recorded that around eleven deaths occurred about that time, nearly synchronizing with AMMA’S birth. The knowledgeable concluded the child has come to redeem their dynasty which occasioned so many mortal deaths, as their souls were redeemed and emancipated. In Telugu it is said – “Nee Bidda Vamsa Pavani, Leka Pothe Inni Chavulu Ravu”.
This apart, in the course of AMMA’S ramblings during childhood in and around Mannava, the village of HER birth, several divine, mystic experiences were bestowed on those around to their utter dismay and disbelief. More importantly, many a devotee who interfaced with AMMA perceived or could witness his own choice deity in the child AMMA.
Thus AMMA never confined HERSELF to a mere mortal brief or simple physical being. That is so right from day one of HER advent into this world. Divine play confirmed HER divine descent into this world. In this perspective, SHE can be termed “Leela Manusha Vesha” which implies that the external physical being is a mere façade for conducting the divine play. The so – called body is a mere sheath.
Despite all this divine glory and display, AMMA cared for us lesser mortals in a very worldly way. Yet in our interface and interactions with AMMA, we could not but feel the divine touch and its aura or even HER supreme power many a time.
Granting all this proximity and closeness to us the ordinary beings, SHE evenly dwelt on the pinnacles of attachment and also detachment. Intense attachment in caring for our food, worldly needs, woes and all. Verily detachment in the sense SHE with all such temporal activity and being amidst many loving subjects lived within unaffected by all these bonds.
SHE maintained a deep, intense, distant, unruffled calm which could be gleaned in some close moments. To present one simple fact in this regard SHE was ever concerned about the quality of the food, taste and so on in ANNAPOORNA LAYAM, without ever eating a bit or morsel of it, except for knowing the taste or judging the quality of the food.
The devotees too are far too intensely attached to AMMA having savored HER genuine motherly love. It is very heartwarming to quote AMMA here – “Idi Kanna Kadupu Kani Thinna Kadupu Kadu” It is difficult to transport the essence of this statement into English, as it is couched in a typical local telugu vernacular idiom for which exact equivalents are not obtained.
Yet to attempt it in some possible way – “I have only conceived the children, never consumed the worldly morsels of food”. To elaborate the mother’s womb, synonymous with belly here, has brought forth the children but unusually never has the slightest morsel of food, which SHE generously and abundantly fed all others at all times.
Very touching and moving us deeply when this soothsayer of AMMA is heard for anyone and everyone at any point of time. Food apart, this is equally and evenly true of AMMA’S disposition towards all other material needs.
Such natural, causeless, unremitting motherly love bound all the children to AMMA almost inextricably. From our side the attachment was so deep and intense that the subject ‘THE LIFE AFTER AMMA’ had become an anathema.
This conditioned me to such an extent that many times, I parried this subject in my interfaces with AMMA, which to recall now first figured in the immediate aftermath of “Amma’s Swarn Utsavam” that is AMMA’S GOLDEN JUBILEE in the first quarter of the year 1973, in a small very close group. This subject was brushed aside by me and was deferred. Even later I have skipped this subject always.
But the inevitable happened. To prepare every one for this final moment, AMMA used to assure that SHE will be much more helpful, and equally close, if not closer even after attaining eternity. To most and many, AMMA assured of HER access for all times to come. This is so, simply because, SHE is freed from the confines of the mortal frame.
This apart, AMMA had close sessions with some few and gave HER counsel for the future. AMMA made all such preliminaries to make most of HER children comfortable and adjust to HER physical absence. Gradually withdrawing HERSELF from the world on the pretext of ailments and associated chronic, physical suffering.
This is the apparent worldly reality that we witnessed and have become part of more or less. To look deeply within AMMA openly declared – “MY life is unbound, yet MY story is contained in the annals of history”; to present this effectively in HER own words – “Naa Jeevitham Abadham, Kani Charithra Bddham”.
This unqualified declaration conveys that AMMA is not bound by any physical laws, the five elements, or the worldly norms. SHE is at once free, boundless, limitless, timeless and unending. SHE is the ONE who can flout all known laws or norms of the universe, verily at the same time define, set or condition all that exists. This is aptly conveyed in the Lalitha Nama – “Sarvanullanghya Sasana”. The ONE who defies all bounds, bonds and all that exists, at the same time can condition or dictate the whole universe and existence in its entirety.
For such a ONE, HER life is eternal, and timeless, the so called time frame is only notional reckoning of the lesser mortals.
To look at in another dimension, even HER story can never be circumscribed to the leaves of history as in the case of others. Reason being HER sway is beyond our domains and knowledge. The experiences SHE causes and caused to the countless in the universe and the incessant prompting of all activity in the universe can never be documented in the real sense for the human perception is far too limited to capture such a mega, limitless process wholly and in all its totality.
Suffice to say that the saga of AMMA is embedded in the hearts of HER countless loving children from where it echoes in the endless corridors of time. What the world begets or witnesses or records is only part of the divine drama in one’s own limited comprehension.
Yet all this convinces all that AMMA is a complete divine manifestation; to present this in terms of our sanatana dharma, AMMA is “Poorna Avathara” as is disclosed in all the experiences bestowed on others and also keenly felt by those in close association with AMMA.
Such complete divine manifestation is nothing but embodied pointed cosmic energy that once in a while assumes a human form for reasons known or unknown by us. The body’s physical form is merely for cognition and a vent or point for its divine display, say expression, but for which it is part and parcel of the infinite cosmic continuum.
If so, personified cosmic energy has neither birth nor death in their true sense. It leaves its blazing trail on the sands of time. Such energy continues in its effulgent glory and dazzling radiance soaking the universe with little respite. The fortunate and the ordained few come in proximity and are subject to the divine grace of AMMA.
This makes us believe – ‘the life after’ is verily the same as the life before, prior to 12th June 1985, or even ever after for us the much loved, endearing children of AMMA. To speak the least, life is as blissful as ever