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Dr Sripada Gopalakrishna Murthy
Magazine : Matrusri English
Language : English
Volume Number : 2
Month : November
Issue Number : 8
Year : 1967

I think of going to Mother again, each time I leave Jillella mudi. I had the same type of feeling whenever I left Tirupathi in the past. The Jillellan udi Mother is very affectionate and ende aring, each time I visit her.. Fler motherly enquiries about her visitors’ meals have not yet become routine to my ears. Each time I hear her asking them ‘Have you had your food?, I become aware of her sensitiveness to their hunger.

I enjoy the sight of her impersonal face and her detached looks. They never greeted me with a ‘when did you come?’; not even when I went over to her after a prolonged interval. If she had shown even a fraction of the interest I had in going to Jillella mudi, I would have told myself, There is no need of going to see her again; she is as good as my sister or mother.’

I like the sight of her mechanical service of theertham and prasadam to her devotees. She is not interested in who comes to take it; she serves all accurately and adequately. Children, labourers ladies and gents get the same indifferent service. I am not vexed with seeing her give theertham and prasadam to her devotees, as they approach her one after another.

I like the consistency of her attitudes and replies. It is reported that as a girl of five or six years of age, she went to the shrine of Rajeswaridevi in the Bhavanarayana temple at Bapatla. As the priest was otherwise engaged, she put the flowers she had brought on the ground in the shukanasi part of the temple, where she was standing. The priest immediately shouted, why do you put the flowers intended for the Deity on the floor?’ She replied, They come from the tree that grows on the ground. What is wrong in putting them on the floor? One would eye her with suspicion as to the sincerity of her conviction that above or below, it doesn’t make any difference. A few days ago, when a very old widow came to see her, she stretched her hands inviting the old lady to sit on her cot, beside her. That lady had come in a worshipful attitude; she would not sit beside Mother. She sat on the ground, by the side of the cot. Mother asked her with a smear of her caressing hand, ‘do sit here’. The old lady said I shall sit down, not over the cot’. Mother assured her ‘the cot is also down on the floor! and pulled her up to her side. She does not discriminate between a seat on the ground and one on her cot. The cot is also down on the floor.

I read in the diaries kept by one of her girls that she said one day, These ladies are not offering worship to me, are they? They are worshipping their Istha daivam, Rajarajeswari. Parvati or some one else’. One would wish to witness this attitude of accommodat ing for the worship of the devotees in a more trying situation. When her mother-in-law died, she went over to the cremation ground along with other relatives. Sri P. R. Sarma came to see her there, handed over flowers and fruits to her, and bowed down. She didn’t jerk back. Similar sights were scen. when her father died and his obsequies were going on! If she had the slightest feeling that worship was being offered to her, she would have said Wait my son, you could do this in the village.’

One of her sayings is ‘Events do not happen as we desire and we can’t escape what is our’s.’ It is easy to tell others but to apply the same generalisation to oneself, it requires genuineness of opinion. When a lady was weeping for having removed her sitting stool behind Mother and thus causing her fall when next she sat inadver tently, Mother said, ‘Blows which we have to receive, hit us anyway. Why blame yourself for this?’ Precept and example are identical in her!

She defined goodness as ‘Seeing goodness in others’. I men tioned one day to her that iconoclasts slide lower than idolators when they consider that the use of a stone from one of their holy places is enough to give their place of worship here, the name of that sacred place. We don’t bring a linga from Vaaranasi to name it Visweswara I said. She quipped immediately, “They look upon even a stone from the holy place as holy. Their place is higher than ours’. Yes indeed! One has to mark the feeling of persons, but not interpret their doing in his own way. She looks at others’ goodness; she is extremely good. Those who see worship-worthiness all over are worship-worthy she said. When someone asked her ‘who is your idol for worship?’ she replied, you are all my worship idols’. She sees worship-worthiness all over; she is worship-worthy. Wanting to have us in her pooja (Sayings in Telugu, 503) and feeling that we are all herself is her prayer (502). She looks at the divine in all of us (499); so she is divine. When Sri Venkatachary said to her ‘you are verily the Rajarajeswari’, she quipped I am not any thing which you are not’. She sees the same thing in her as well as outside, always (982); there is no loss or gain in this bargain (537). She feels that all This, you, me, etc, are herself (491), and she says, “That mentality which feels I am all’ is God”. She is one with God; she doesn’t feel she is different from all This. Complete consistency is fuller than human; it is divine.

She says ‘Mother is limitless, obstacle-less, prop for all the Universe’. I have been trying to know why the visitors call her ‘great’; I am adding facts after facts which show her greatness. I haven’t reached a limit. Her geatness is limitless. Boy, girl, widow or house-wife, labourer or Principal, she is accessible to all. Leaves and flowers, Kunkum and saffron, puffed rice and coconut halves, water as well as hot milk, leaves or thorny prickly pear, anything can be used to worship her. She is obstacleless. She feels she is identical with the aadhara.

This is a wonder, this lady of Jillellamudi with a spot of kum. kum between her eye-brows, with multiple bangles of gold round her wrists, with the gold-bordered silks she wears. she looks to be the fulfilment of an ordinary house-wife. Har gold foot-orana ments, her impersonal face and the big size of her tilaka suggest that she is much more than a human house-wife. Smiling and joking, she looks a happy lady, while she is with her sons and dau ghters. Sitting like a figure for hours together to accommodate for the devotees worshipping her (or their favourite deity), she puzzles us by her objectivity. Sipping hot Coffee twice a day, she appears to show her habit, but never eating a substantial meal. she puzzles us as to how she gets the energy for moving like wind, when an occasion demands. One saying of her’s, I could not follow: “That which is for spiritual matters is for worldly ones as well”. Her carriage in the world might be illustrating this. I have still to understand her, this Mother at Jillellamudi. That is why I go to her.

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