The old man looked at the girl Anasuya Devi and was Struck with wonder at her unusual beauty. Her eyes, with their Compelling radiance, attracted everybody that had the good fortune Of looking and tenderness. The precious jewels on her body were shining All the more by her divine radiance. The old man could not Perceive the source of his bliss. Suddenly he saw in her, young Krishna with a peacock feathers on his head, tilakam on his forehead and a lustrous gem hanging on his chest. The tiny thinking bells on his feet and the melody of the flute drove the old man into raptures. He was trilled with joy and his heart was filled with unknown bliss. With folded hands he called out , “Krishna… … Krishna,” and he shed tears of joy. Devi went near him and said with all innocence: “Tell me how do you find me?” There was no reply. She asked him again, with eye-lids closed and with quivering lips, he said: “Your form! A feast to the eyes! I wailed earlier, Knowing not the purpose of my prolonged life. Now I have understood it . I have seen the Lord dear to my heart. It has fulfilled my long cherished desire… O, Lord Krishna, I don’t need anything more. He drew her into his arms and drenched her head with his tears. “It is me, old man ,-- look this way—“ The old man opened his eyes and his vision vanished. “Is it you! Is there nobody else? Is all this only an illusion? Life itself is a dream and there is another dream within that dream!” "If life is a reality, can dream also be reality?" Devi asked. “What is it that we have been talking about? In the meanwhile, how is it that my mind and body have become like this?”
“I don’t know all that. I was telling you that the sating “dhana mulam idam jagat”(money-centered is this world) has no authority of the srutis. It can be ‘thana mulam idam jagat’ (‘self centered is this world’).
“As I look at you, I recollect the words of my guru who frequently used the word ‘sruti’, He also used the expression rajju sarpa bharati? Do you understand what we men by it” Devi dropped the veil of ignorance over him! ”No please I cant follow” “That means , to mistake a rope for a snake” explained the old man.
“It is not possible to mistake a snake for a rope” Illusion can be of either way.” Devi twisted the age old saying , thereby confusing the old man. “My gure told me like this . This world ,that means this Universe is only temporary .” It’s Unreal We mistake it to be Real something like a dream.”
“I am not able to follow. Will you please explain it better?” said Devi.
“You are a small girl” you can’t follow all this.
He forgot the rare experience he had a while ago , as the curtain of ignorance is dropped over him. He began to explain it. It was something like bringing a candle to show the path to the Sun!
“Suppose there is a rope in darkness It is likely to be mistaken for a snake Darkness is like illusion. If you bring light the darkness vanishes. The light is something like Knowledge.”
The old man began to listen to her attention. Devi continued:
“In fact one who knows both the rope and the snake feels the illusion .If he knows only the rope , there is no illusion. If he knows only the snake, there can’t be any illusion. Suppose a snake comes before a boy. He plays with it . The same boy also plays with the rope. Should we say he doesn’t know anything. He know hoe to catch hold of a thing that is before him. He knows to crawl along with it as it moves. But he dose not know that it bites and hence it is dangerous. Then, has he got intelligence or not? Even among elders, there are some who don’t know the usefulness, or nature of certain animals. They don’t have this fear or illusion”. Illusion means attachment ,Illusion means thinking, It is like this : You mistake a rope for a snake it is illusion. Does illusion mean thinking or maya? As you see a snake in a piece of rope , you say, that brahman alone is real and the world is unreal. When they are related to each other, we call them inter related. It is my feeling (Bhava or modification of the mind) that has seen a snake in a rope. It is my feeling this world is made up of Bhava and Adva. It is not devoid of anything. It includes everything. Everything is seen as one looks at it.”
The old man enjoyed the sweet melody of her words even thought he could not make a little out of them. Once again he began to say more about his guru and his interpretations of “great words“. When Devi began to argue with him , He could not that forwant of clear understanding. Finally he invited to her guru, assuring her of a better explanation for her doubts. Thus slowly he steeped down from the sublime heights which he had reached some time ago.
In the meanwhile , the boy got up and cried that he would go to his mother.
“You don’t have your mother; she passed away, ”the old man began to comfort the boy”.
“I want the mother that gave me a ring.”
“That girl is just here, my boy”
The boy sprang up, and embracing Devi heartily, shouted mother! And then passed away suddenly.
The old \man had another shock.
What injustice ,mother! Even in the compartment ,right from the moment you into it, there were many calamities Why should he come back to life again , having lost it once? Have brought you along with me thinking that you are a pious girl In truth, who are you? “I am his mother.”
This also meant that she is the mother for every one.With the wailing of the old man, Khasim got up. As he lighted a match stick , he found the corpse of a boy on Devi’s stretched legs. He tried to lift the body , but found it very heavy. He was greatly surprised. The Old man slowly narrated all that had happened to Khasim. Then he wanted to know whether they had , even earlier any intimacy. He doubted whether she gave him some jewels even earlier
He said to Devi: “It is almost morning, What shall we do? Why do you distribute it (money) like this ?”
“That is my way”
“What shall we do about this boy? Corpses can’t be kept inside the temple and the Archakas(priests) wont keep quit if they come now.”
In fact , corpse should be kept here. How fortunate he is! He lost his life in the temple. Otherwise he won’t die in the temple” Devi replied.
“Dose losing life merging with the infinite?” you may as well say he has merged in you , because he lost life in your lap!
“Who says he did not”
“If so , have you taken away his life ”the old man said to her. “Why not? The one who has given it will destroy it” “But you have not given his life” he argued. “And so I have not taken it away!” “You have taken it away!”
“Then I also gave him(Life).”
After a while devi added again:
“We are not responsible for both”. You have learnt so many great saying and acquired Knowledge. But with all that , you fell I am a girl; for him(boy) I am the mother .What is responsible for making you feel like this? The same power is responsible foe wonding the boy in the compartment, then for protection him and later for taking the life after giving the realization that I am Mother.’’
This was all too high for the old man. Then show us the way mother. What can I do? I am only a girl. Ask khasim about it. The khasim came in and said : “Let us go Devi.” Let us first send them and then go,” suggested Devi. “Why do you bother about them? ” what have you got to do with them? “I have the same relationship with them , as I have with you.” It is true! Whereas our relationship are limited only to the known. Her affection embraces all.
Later Devi took the corpse of the boy on her shoulders and began to walk fast. Khasim and the old man meekly followed her. The old man wondered whether she was the same girl who save his brother-in-law at one time in Bapatla.
Devi stopped after some time and put down the corpse. That was the vary place where she got down along with her mother , while coming from tenali. She found a spade there, as she thought of it. Then she buried the corpse there, where there is now the image of the goddess in sahasralingalayam. She did it all alone, asking them to be away. As she came back the old man said to her
“Did you take away the ring from the boy’s finger?” “I would do it .If you want anything else, I shall give you” “Why should a precious ring be wasted and buried?”
“We had to bury the body which was brought up with great care and affection” what does it matter if we have to bury the ring also? We may get similar ring made , but can’t get back the boy. No, Perhaps, we can’t get a similar ring also.”
Then they all started. But shortly afterward, the old man had a motion and vomiting and became unconscious. khasim thought it was cholera, which had snatched away the boy also.
Devi shouted : ”grandpapa _______ Grandpapa!” he slowly open his eyes and said:
“I thought you were the one who save people from danger, but you are a fearful destroyer too, which I didn’t realize.” “Is it so” Devi smiled .
Nobody knew what he saw and felt in that smile. He said again with folding hands “I have mistaken, mother” pardon me you are not only destroyer—You create, sustain and destroy everything. ”With that rare realization, he breathed his last in his divine presence.