It was the fateful day of'15th of February, 1981 one day prior to Nannagaru (Amma's husband) leaving the physical body to merge in the Divine. Myself and my very dear friend I. Riamakrishna of Bangalore called for a special trip of the van. After the van arrived, we felt very reluctant to go and cancelled the journey, never understanding why we asked for the special trip and why we decided not to travel. "Who knows for what purpose you called the van and why you are not going" said `Amma. Of course, She knew what was in store.
The early morning of 16th February, Nannagaru left the human body and merged in Amma. My friend Ramakrishna got up early in the morning, was actively running up and down. I was lying down in the front room of the two room portion James was occupying in those days. l heard IRR telling me that Nannagarus condition was critical. Half awake and half asleep. I tried to recite Lalitha Sahasra Namam for Nannagaru's well being. After a few Slokas, mind was slipping into some thoughts and was not able to continue the recitation. After sometime, Ramakrishna came and told me Nannagaru was no more.
I used to spend lot of time in Amma's presence those days. However, next few days after Nannagaru left the body, I could hardly spend much time with Amma. There were so many devotee children, continuously pouring in and interacting with Amma.
Though I was visiting Jillellamudi from 1979, there was no occasion when I recited Her Namam, "Jaya Ho Matha Sri Anasuya, Raja Rajeswari, Sri Paratpari" either at the site where Akhanda Namam takes place in Jillellamudi, or in my own Puja. I was more addicted to Durga Saptasati and Lalitha Sahasram. Those were my two constant companions. However, between 17th February and perhaps 25th or 26th, the mind was totally absorbed in the Namam of Amma. Whatever the physical activity, mind was chanting Jayaho Matha namam. The incessant, unremitting, and continuous chanting of the Namam, was intense but totally effortless. I never had any desire that I should chant Her Namam, nor did I try to put my mind into it. I was watching, as the namam was going on and on in my mind for days. But during those few days, I was richly rewarded with another unasked - for boon. whenever I closed my eyes, I saw a blue, effulgent light and the form of Amma's Head, Her red kumkum mark and Bulaki (the nose stud) in tact, of the size of a rupee coin. It was not an imagination of amma's form, nor a feeling of seeing - close the eyes, even for a split second and there She was in full, radiant glow.
One may think it is Himalayan foolishness and too much, even by my standards, but the fact is, even while enjoying that incessant, happy Darshan, I had the gnawing doubt "What is the benefit of this, the Arishadvargas don't go away with the Darshan". From much earlier period, I constantly felt Darshan of the Divine is not sufficient to overcome the Arishadvargas of lust, greed, anger, what not. After all did the Rakshasas of mythological fame not do fierce Tapas, see their chosen Gods and Goddesses, obtain boons and thereafter fall into bad ways? Darshan alone is not enough, something else is needed.
On the last day, I went to Amma. She was there on the Southern Balcony, walking along with my hand in Hers. "Mother, this time I could not be with you". I mentioned relating in my mind to the constant visitors who were thronging Jillellamudi after 16th February. I was accustomed to spend lot of time with Her, but no chance in this visit. She replied at once, "This time, more than ever, you were completely with me. You were chanting the Namam, non stop weren't you?"
The fact that She acknowledged having received the intense recitation is beside the point. The most important statement, which I consider a tremendous blessing is the implication of what She was pleased to state "Proximity to me is not sitting close to my cot. You can be anywhere in the world, you can be doing any work, if you are doing my Namam, you, are with me. You are more with me when you do the Namam, than when you come and sit near my cot" I thought, this was the implication of what Amma said.
The Divine Assurance was a source of tremendous consolation to me in those dark and lonely days of my life after 1985. The assurance of Amma was simply this, "If you are doing my Namam, you are with me" Or, more beautifully, "If you are doing the namam, I am with you" And if She is with us, how can we suffer from want? The .true Sannidhanam of the Divine Mother is not being close to Her physical form. Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, if mind can be chanting Her namam, we enjoy proximity to our dear Mother.
Like everyone else, I miss Her. Beyond all words and expressions. How wonderful it was, holding Her hand and walking on the balcony, putting the Hawai slippers at Her lotus feet, hear to Her slow conversations, look at Her Radiant, Beautiful form, receiving Kumkum mark from Her fingers, that indescribable serenity and a peace which you can almost touch! That heavenly happiness is beyond experience now. Nothing in the world equals it, leave alone excel it. But there is the consolation, if you want to enjoy Her Proximity once again there is this clue She herself kindly provided "If you are reciting the namam - I am with you"
Mother, Bless us all that we can think of that great Institution Called Akhanda Namam which you were kind enough to create in Jillellamudi. How fortunate are those brothers and sisters, who sit in the Akhanda Namam, even for a short while.
Jayaho Matha Sree Anasuya Raja Rajeswari Sri Paratpari