INNER VISION I: Amma manifested herself on this earth in 1923. Right from her childhood she had given unique experiences and proof about her divinity to innumerable number of people.
She supported and helped many unasked and served many of those who suffered. She imparted spiritual knowledge to all the seekers. Lord Krishna in the Gita declared that both his birth as well as his deeds are divine. Janmakarmacha me divyam Similarly divine mother is an embodiment of love and her every movement is a message. Her every word is a Vedic dictum. What she speaks is the Veda and what she performs is the Dharma. Amma had no formal education and she had not done any Sadhana. She, from her very birth is the embodiment of the Advaitic philosophy. She came to be known only after 1953. But after 1956 she became well and widely known. Those days Jillellamudi was only a small hamlet. There was no regular path leading to the hamlet. People had to walk on the mounds of earth that divided the fields as boundaries. During the rainy season one had to walk through the slush or through little ponds of water. Amma stayed in a small thatched hut. The present day facilities did not exist then and very few people used to come to Jillellamudi. One among those fortunate people who had the frequent darshan of Amma in those early days (1954) is Mannava Buchhiraju Sarma. He is popularly known as Rajubavai Amma used to call him affectionately Raja. To serve mother since then is his good fortune, the result of accrued meritorious deeds done in the past.
While cooking food and attending to the domestic chores Amma would narrate her experiences without any hesitation, without differentiating between the mundane and the spiritual matters. She shared the universal truths that history has not witnessed with those who came as if she were breast - feeding a child, that is, she initiated the babies as well as infants into these truths. The most surprising and special thing about it is Grateful thanks to Dr. Shanta S. Rao who helped us in rendering the original Telugu version into English at my request - T.S.Sastry
when Amma narrated her experience for the first time the listener Rajubava was a participant too in the events and he was an eye witness who felt that Ammas experience is his own experience.
Rajubava gurus collection of poems published under the title Essence of Experience (Anubhava Saaram) is a literary garland of flowers exuding divine fragrance. lt is not the product of the exuberance of the poet, but the essence of Amma’s experience. From the literary point of view Amma is the first poet (Adi Kavi) and the composer Rajubava. The first wedding ceremony that was performed by the divine hands of Mother was Rajubavas. This is reminiscent of the wedding of Annamacharya performed by Lord Venkateshwara himself. Besides he is the first and the last one to have presented his melodious music before Amma.
(The essence of Ammas experiences is Vedic truth. Rajubava felt it to be his bounden duty to share these experiences with his contemporaries and preserve them for the posterity. Brother Ravuri Prasad recorded them on CDs and brother A.V.R. Subramanyam transcribed them. Thus, it is a great pleasure to serialize these personal experiences, veritable spiritual treasure trove and publish them in this journal - Editor).
To see things as they are is the inner vision said Amma. That is Upanayanam (The thread ceremony) the opening of the third eye - the divine vision. So please lend your ears.
1. The First Darshan of Amma.For the first time I met Amma in 1954.
I was twenty four years old i.e., I was younger to Amma by seven years. I used to work in Kommuru of Guntur Dist., in Indian Leaf Tobacco Development Company (ILTD) on a temporary basis, and stayed with my father-in-law Ganagaraju Lokanadham guru. I set out on my way to Jillellamudi to get Vermillion powder packets (kukum) for my father-in-law. It was slightly drizzling. I got off the bus at the seventh mile between Bapatla and Pedanandipadu. There was no proper road to Jillellamudi. I walked on the earth banks between the fields. Amma resided in a small hut.
Amma was sitting beside a huge wooden chest (Bhoshaanam) and was cutting the snake-gourd (Pottlaki) I saidI have come from Kommuru and the nephew of Lokanadham. He sent me to get Vermillion powder packets from you. If you give them I shall Leave. Amma did not speak a word.
There was an armchair and Amma signed to me to sit on the chair. There were three or four bags of grain and a book was placed on them. While cutting the snake - gourd Amma was putting four pieces into the vessel and popping two into her mouth. After completing the cutting she looked at me and said, My son! I shall cook food. In the meantime read this book". The book was about nature cure by Sri Chintalapati Sitaramanjaneya Varaprasada Murthy of Bhimavaram. To kill time I went through the whole book. Amma came back within half an hour, My son! go wash your feet and come. You can have your food said Amma. I wondered how she managed to cook food so fast! Actually I feel very embarrassed to eat anywhere other than my own home. She took out clarified butter (Ghee) from the wooden box. She placed a leaf plate (Vistari) before a wooden plank (Peeta) and served rice. Snake-gourd vegetable, spicy powder made of black gram (kamma Sunni), chutney made of red gram (Kandipachadl) and soup (Chaaru), pancakes made of black gram (Glare / Vada) - these are the items. I saidAmma! I dont eat snake-gourd. Amma: Why dear? Why dont you eat? Dont you relish it? What’s the reason?
Myself: Not because I dont relish it. I used to eat it before. But in the recent past I have learnt a Mantra, a chant to work as an antidote to the snake bite. People said I should not eat snake-gourd. They said it is forbidden.
Amma: Theres no connection between these two. Snakegourd will increase the blood count, it is tasty, good for health. So eat dear.
Myself:It is forbidden Amma.
Amma: Have you been chanting the Mantra? Did you use it to help anyone?
Myself: No, I did not use it. Amma: Do you know whether you have achieved perfection in chanting and it Will work?
Myself : I dont know Amma. I never used it for anyone, but I have been chanting it. I am doing the Japa of the Manfra.Thats all.
Amma : What will happen if you eat snake-gourd?
Myself : If I eat it the Mantra will not work.
Amma : What is the connection between these two?
Myself : I dont know, may be because it is long like a snake and it has lines. Beyond that I dont know anything.
Amma :Look dear, you have been chanting this Mantra incessantly and you are doing it in a disciplined way. This snake-gourd we have cut and cooked and you feel by eating the vegetable the efficacy of the Mantra will be lost. Isn’t that your feeling? ln that case if the snake-gourd has so much power, the gourd is more powerful than the Mantra. Therefore do the chanting of the snake-gourd instead, this is more powerful than the Mantra.
I was shocked and stood transfixed.
Amma : Dear child even if the Mantra does not work it matters little. We dont want a spell or a Mantra that can be annulled by a mere snake-gourd or a tamarind. This snake gourd is better than the Mantra. At least it is useful for the body. It purifies the blood. This is better than what has no utility, so eat this.
After I ate the course with rice and vegetable she served me spicy powder made of black gram (Minapasunnl).
Myself : I dont eat this also Amma.
Amma : Why? Whats wrong with this?
Myself :Theres nothing wrong with this, in fact I like this very much. But once when I ate it at my friends place I vomited. And every time I ate it I threw up. Therefore Im afraid I might throw up if I eat this now.
Amma: Nothing will happen. It might have happened in the past. I shall serve clarified butter (Ghee). It will be tasty. Eat even if you bring it out it does not matter. Each time you throw up you eat again. I shall clean up the place. Dont worry, eat. I ate and nothing happened. She served me vadas, chutney made of red gram, soup and butter milk. What a taste!! Made by Amma isnt it? She herself cooked and served me, that is my greatest good fortune. Then she gave me vermillion powder packets, a dozen vadas all packed - that is Prasadam for my father-in-law.
2. To Empower Women With Spiritual Knowledge!!!
Once Amma came to Kommuru, to my father-in-laws house. Some educated men had a discussion with Her then. Women have neither a right to study the Veda or to discuss spiritual matters. Then how can Mantra initiation be done by them? Amma said Actually power / energy is considered as feminine gender. We worship goddess Laxmi for prosperity, goddess Saraswathi for knowledge, goddess Parvathi for power and skill. They are all women and we worship them. If they do not possess any power why do you worship them? Why should they be worshipped if they dont possess power and skill? Alright. We worship them because they are the presiding deities. Maitreyi, Gargi...all of these are women. And this argument/discussion is an age - old one. What is knowledge? It is to know. And there is no difference between men and women. What is the gender of intelligence? If you feel that women are not authorizes or empowered to initiate, don’t take the initiation from them. But, if you want to get initiated, do if you like and don’t if you don’t like. Why should there be a big discussion about it? The energy/ power is there. It is there or it is not there, if it is there get initiated if not leave it.
When Amma narrated/described certain incidents, I used to experience them. For example, suppose Amma is going somewhere and on the way a thorn got into her foot. Amma would make a sound Abba!, bend and pull out the thorn. I used to feel as if the whole thing i.e. the thorn in the Mothers foot, her foot bleeding, Amma bending down, pulling the thorn and groaning is happening in my presence and that I am part of the whole event. Therefore I used to feel Amma’s experiences as mine.
Amma was five years old and nobody ever bothered to know whether she had her food or not. In Mannava village there were two temples, one of goddess Rajyalakshmi and the other of Chennakesava Swami. There was a narrow lane of two feet between these two temples. One night Amma slept in that lane. Suddenly there was a stormy wind. Amma gradually saw all beings, trees, rivers, mountains, and all the planets-the whole creation including herself, as if there is no difference between her and the creation-swirling round in the wind. When Amma described the scene I felt as if I was beside Her witnessing the whole scene and every movement. I had that experience only at that time while Amma is ever aware of it.
On another occasion she said, lt is very difficult to understand sleep. If you can know about sleep you would know about everything. At that point of time thoughts such as’ what is sleep like?, How does one find out about it?, did not occur to me. When I was working in Kommuru one afternoon, around 1O clock, I slept after lunch. I felt as if a tawny colorer smoke enveloped me. My whole body from top to toe, even the inner organs in the body - bones, blood vessels were covered with the smoke, spreading upto my eyes That’s it, and then I fell asleep. I woke up after a while. There was no effort on my part. During the course of her conversations later, Amma said That itself is sleep. This experience never got repeated till now.
4. Wonder of Wonders
On the eastern side of Mannava and outside the village, there is a small lake by name Veeraswamy Kodu, on the left side of the road. On the bank of the lake a tamarind tree and a neem tree stood like the boundary. There was also a snake-pit twenty feet high and six feet in radius.
Amma was twelve years old. She attained puberty. It was the tenth day after her first periods. It was twelve in the afternoon. Normally in the villages nobody stirs out in the afternoons. Nobody was around. Amma went out and sat under the tamarind tree in a cross-legged (Sukhaasan). With closed eyes she sat for fifteen minutes. I do not know whether it is meditation (Dhyana) or penance (Tapas) or Samadhi. Suddenly she levitated into the air in the same-cross, legged position, twenty feet above the ground, moved over crossing the tamarind tree and the neem tree and stopped one foot above the snake- pit. No one knew what she did there. She remained there for ten minutes. Then she came back to her original place and went home after ten minutes. Amma never explained why she did it. I only listened to what she Said. Thats all. But whichever event Amma described to me I was an eyewitness to it.
5. Everything is Nagendra
There is a Shiva temple to the North of the village Mannava. Approximately three days after the incident described above, Amma visited the Shiva temple at about ten in the morning. She went inside the temple and after some time came out on to the road. What she did inside the temple was not known. She turned towards North. She found a serpent all around. There was a serpent winding itself around Amma. Amma was inside the Serpent. At the same time the serpent was visible separately. A seven hooded serpent stood erect in front of Amma as if holding an umbrella over her head. Normally, we see portraits of gods with many hooded serpents standing behind the deities as if holding an umbrella. Here it is contrary to the traditional image. Amma could not even move her foot. The whole village, nay, the whole earth and the sky was enveloped by the serpent. As far as Amma could view only the presence of the serpent could be felt i.e. not only the head but the hoods and the whole body. Amma was also present in the serpent. Amma moved a little forward. On the right side of the road is the house of Turumella Venkatappiah. After crossing this house, Amma turned left and went into the tamarind grove. She narrated the scene only till here. Then I picked up courage and asked her Amma! Where was I then? Amma said,Dear! You were just beside me. Amma’s words are indeed true. According to me - every being that takes birth finds a place in her lap and every being that is dead resides in her belly. Amma transcends space and time. I wonder whether Amma is under the spell of the serpent (Nagendra) or vice versa. That is, is Amma a part of the universal form of the serpent (Nagendra) or vice versa. Hiding all my perplexity I said to Amma l’m afraid of snakes now and always. But dont you feel anything. All said and done it is a serpent". Amma replied saying What can he do to me? My song I now understand that Amma has the power even to command Nagendra.