It was 1985, the Month of April. Myself and brother (Late) Valluri Panduranga Rao were sitting with AMMA. Brother Panduranga Rao had a notebook in his hands. He wrote down some names. He was explaining to Amma, that he would like to approach 100 persons with a request to contribute Rs.5000/- per person. His idea was to do some- thing for the developmental needs of Annapurnalayam.
Mother suddenly said: “I am going to leave this body” Brother Panduranga Rao became sorrowful. Mother said, almost rather toughly, “There is no point in crying. Whatever has to happen will happen” Sri Panduranga Rao said “Amma, at least give us the strength of mind to bear this.” Mother nodded Her assent. Throughout the conversation, I remained a spectator. I always felt, in those days, Mother’s advent into this earth, or Her leaving the Body will be epochal events which do not depend on the wishes of very ordinary mortals like me.
Mother continued, “Approach 200 people not 100. Collect Rs.5000/- per head. Remove this shed and lay a concrete roof.” Pointing to the staircase which was running from in front of the House of All, towards 1st floor, She said, “people will come up and do Dhyana ” That was the origin for naming the southern side structure behind Vatsalya layam as Dhyana mandiram.
Mother’s words are the Divine Direction to the Parishat as to how the Annapurnalayam hall is to be constructed. To Translate these directions of Amma into action, the present construction of Annapurna layam Hall is taken up.
After careful examination of the matter, our beloved Parishat decided that the total outlay needed for completing the magnificent structure for Annapurnalayam, with structural ameliorations that will be in consonance with that most important shrine called Annapurnalayam will be around Rs.1.3 crores. Parishat succeeded in receiving donations of around Rs.40 lakhs. Another 90 lacs needs to be mobilized.
In one of the executive Committee meetings of our Parishat, it was decided to request 300 families of Amma to donate Rs.36,500/- each, so that the needed funds for completion of this most beloved structure will come through. The inspiration behind this move was Amma’s direction to approach a larger number of people instead of 100, meet 200.” At Rs.100/- per day, one can save Rs.36,500/- in one year. Those who cannot afford to send the amount in one lump sum can send it in convenient installments.
When this was discussed in the Executive Committee meeting, I promised myself aloud that I would like to give 4 units (of Rs.36,500/- each, we are 4 members, myself, wife and 2 kids). I have so far succeeded in donating two units. Remaining 2 units hopefully, I should be able to complete, as and when Amma is pleased to accept my donation. I hope and pray that Amma does it soon enough. After all, the construction is likely to start by Jan. 2011.
Late Kesava Sharma and Brother Sri Vajjha Prasad Annayya also promised to donate as many units as there are members in their family. There are others, like family members of Late Valluri Jagannadha Rao Garu, who decided to donate one unit from each family
We read in a magazine quite a few times that there are around 300 to 400 families which visit Jillellamudi very regularly. There are of course millions of devotees who come regularly. We know only a few of them.
Many devotee brethren felt that donating one unit of Rs.36,500/- per family is not a burden. Around 20 years back, there used to be one family member to earn. One member to earn, many mouths to feed. Now prosperity levels are different. There are many earning members in each family. If pensioners, those surviving on rents etc., feel the unit is costly they can rope in their brothers and sisters.
Recently, Sri Krishnanjaneya garu visited Jillellamudi. He is a 70 year old man, who used to visit JM occasionally along with me and Sri Mohana Krishna. He was a retired Dy. Divisional Manager of Syndicate Bank. We both worked in the same office. Seeing the announcement in Vishwa Janani, he came and asked me “I want to donate one unit. In whose name shall I write the cheque?” I promptly took him to Sri Nadendia Lakshmana Rao Garu, another retired banker staying at Jillellamudi. Sri Krishnanjaneya gave a Cheque for Rs.36,500/- and said, “It is so pleasant here. After 2-3 years, may be myself and my wife would like to come and settle down here”
Ravannayya, Amma’s second son made a serious effort in mobilizing resources for this Grand Gala programme. Let us all join this programme, let us pray Amma, “Give us the good mind and the resources needed for participating in this”
Want to donate more? No restrictions, donate what you want. Can’t donate Rs.36,500/- even in installments? No problem, donate what you can. After all, whatever we can contribute is as per Amma’s sanctioned permission only. I will site just one example, before concluding this:
Myself and James were called to Amma’s presence in 1983 and asked to go to Palakollu Gopi. All people were moving out for a donation drive for Amma’s Shasthipoorthi celebrations. Just before leaving, Mother said “Go and talk to him. He will come in at the last minute with Rs.10,000/-” Palakollu Gopi made substantial collections during Amma’s 50th birthday celebrations, people were expecting a lot from him. Rs.10,000/- is a very small collection for him.
I was curious to see what would happen. By the
When we reached Palakollu, myself and James, Dinakar also came from JM, appreciating the suggestion that someone as important as Palakollu Gopi should be approached by a person of authority in SVJP. We talked to Sri Gopi and returned.
On Shashthipoorti day, I was sitting near the Pandals meant for receiving the guests. At about 10.30 Am., Sri Gopi got down from an Ambassador car. I went and met him. Seeing me, he immediately said “This time, I could not do much. I brought around Rs. 10,000/- with me.” I recalled what Amma said before we left for Palakollu. What we can do, how much we are permitted to do, is destined, is within the confines of Amma’s Divine Sanction. We can do neither more, nor less.
When myself and Mohanakrishna started out with collections for Shashthipoorti, Mother said, “Go get around Rs.20,000/-. It should be sufficient for buying curry leaves We could mobilize around that much money.
I always felt and always feel, if Mother gave any Project for which we can contribute, it is Her infinite Grace that She is allowing us to participate. After all, didn’t Westerlund send substantial donations without seeing Amma? A divine Mother who could inspire a devotee thousands of miles away to send dollars to Jillellamudi, can She not inspire one Multi Millionaire from America, just a single solitary rich person, to donate a Crore of rupees and complete this Project? She can, but fortunately for us, She does not want things that way. She is Kindness Personified, Compassion Personified – Maternal Love Personified, Grace personified, She wants to give a chance to one and all — you and me to participate in this.
If you want to know more details about this project talk to SVJP, talk to Ravannayya, talk to the Organizers. Just as I told you something which happened in Her Divine presence, you want to tell all of us something in return, Brother, tell me through Viswa Janani. I am all ears.
The Annapurna layam Construction work is likely to commence soon, may be first Quarter of 2011. Let us all come together and do our little bit, as and do our little early as we can.