RADHA

 

Redhas form is remarkable. He is dark, hefty and ominous. He looms large in any gathering merely by virtue of his physical features.

 

Radha is a musician of outstanding caliber. His faith in AMMA is indomitable. The belief that divinity has personified is so intense that he wished that his body should be consumed in flames lit by the fire of Nama at Amma's feet. Nama is ever on his lips. His every limb and every atom pulsate to the tune of Nama. Incessantly, he keeps dancing and chanting the Lords name without any other worldly distraction.

 

Radha is born blind. Lived for some time along with the parents ln Turagayapalem, the native place. Learned music from Sri Dokka Sri Ramamurty along with his brother Venketeswara Reddy. While learning music he used to render the musical pieces, instantly after hearing from his teacher. Even otherwise, any difficult subject, he grasps after hearing only once. Music took to him ever since his birth. Although did not resort to much of practice, he can move the listeners by his melodious and intense singing much better than the savants of music. While singing he lilts with the music and makes us do so too.

 

For some time, he stayed in Puteparti where he was asked to teach music. His brother Venkateswarareddy acceded, but Radha did not. Radha by nature is highly independent. Neither heeds nor regards any one. Simply thinks, he does not have the need for making obeisance to others.

 

While studying in Vijayanagaram music college, it is said that he rendered "Rama Nannu Brovara" (Rama please grace me) a lyric of Tyagaraja, pouring out all his heart. No- thing happened. God did not make his presence before him. Radha simply thought- -"probably God did not exist. If he does, he should have been swayed by my singing and come down to the earth"thinking thus, Radha started in quest of God.

 

While he was staying in Putaparthi, Sri Vedantam Lakshmipathi told him "God has assumed the form of an ordinary housewife in Jillellamudi and is resolved to redeem us". He left saying thus. Although Radha heard of Amma before, he simply thought why should i go to see an ordinary woman. Nevertheless, after listening to Laxmipathi, both the brethren started telling themselves. "Any way, let us go and see AMMA".

 

The brothers Radha and Venkateswara Reddy are hefty in physique and voracious in eating habits. Doubting the situation at Jillellamudi, they engaged a Rikshaw for the return journey too. Arrived here on the 13th June, 1963. They wore pyjamas and looked like wrestlers. Amma was staying then in the hutment of the present Alankara Hyma. The brethren started singing "O Mother, We have no succour. but for you", Amma gave coffee and put it near their mouths Radha was too moved. Tears walled up from deep within him, Normally he does not cry in any difficulty.

 

He was thinking- "should a person of my stature cry?" Amma simply consoled him, wiped his tears, but Radhas crying grew more intense.

 

Radha says of this state "Amma has a natural divinity.My life has received the vision and touch of Paramatma after such a long wait, which has been otherwise dark till now." This made me lament.

 

They asked Amma for beedies. Amma called for the same. They used to do a lot of mischief. Amma patiently bore that. Radha used to bid the timing for his music in Amma's lap. If some one asks about that now, he will say that "He_wanted to test and probe into the divinity. He came to Amma only for this test and he continues to test.

 

Amma is making him go round only to bestow upon him a total experience because mere words will not do. In terms of deeds a man should reach God and merge into him'.

 

Amma says "Radha may blame me or beat me. Yet his intensity of devotion is far too great. It will not waver either in pleasure or pain". On the Toli Ekadasi day Amma got prepared a basket of Garelu (Cakes made of black gem), and a huge cauldron of sweet rice. Both of them finished these items with utmost relish. Mother also saw to it that the Rikshaw puller is fed and paid six rupees. They thought of leaving in the night The rikshaw left by then. Hence, they postponedtheir journey to the next morning. Amma's attention held them fast. They thought when God is loving us so much and caring for us why should we move from here. Both of them stayed on for 40 days. Others who could not bear their mischief, submitted to Amma to send them off. Some of them even said that the brothers are disturbing the peaceful airline the demons Sundopasundulu of yore. For all these remarks, Amma thought they were behaving thus, because of their sorrow for being blind". Amma's love is such that nothing appears as a faunt. On the day of leaving, Radha told his brother "Even if we leave now, we will come back here only. My mind is firmly set, as God is here If Amma is not God,SHE cannot suffer our mischief". Saying thus, Radha stayed on for a long spell.

 

Second time when Radha came, he performed sapta Saptahas (49days) of Nama. Amma's namam is very well formed in every respect and richly ornate ala Radha. It is amenable to melodious singing of the chorus and stanzas are to perfect timing, felt Radha. During these Saptahas Radha did not take even water for twenty seven days, nor answered the calls of nature. Yet his physique is not reduced. In the end, when Amma entreated him, he partook some umma made of maize flour.

 

As already said, Radha is remarkable not merely in physique but in his other aspects too. Ever since his entry into Jillellamudi, his dwelling is the Sanctum Sanctorum of the present Anasuyeswaraalayam. Whether he shouted, jumped, performed Nama or smoked beedies all his activities were confined in that Sanctum. Recently, Amma told him to vacate that temple. Radha reported "l do not vacate it. It is not possible for you to make me vacate". A few days after this verbal exchange, Nanna guru is consecrated and Anasuyeswaralayam is created which made Radha move to another spot.

 

Then Radha realised. "There is nothing in our hands. It is all Gods will. For the past 42 years I have never hidden my clothes. Nor, craved to fill my belly. I do not accept even if some one is ready to give me crores. My body should be reduced to ash by Amma's namam. I do not aspire for any thing else in the world. Spontaneity (Sahajatvam) and goodness in Amma made me regard Amma as paramatma. I do not accede to any thing. Amma's conquest, is a conquest of patience. It is long standing and eternal. Miracles do not do the same. The one who retains and the one who disposes is only Amma. SHE alone should preserve every atom in my body. I suffered a displacement on the 16th February, 1981. It only entrenched my belief that Amma is Paramatma. Experience should be given gradually. The mind should ripen". Thus muses Radha.

 

Amma says "Radha eats anything offered to him as God's Prasadam. Be it either rice with chilly powder, curry leaf powder or even tamarind pickle. He never for a moment regards, with slight while eating the food given to him, whether it be simple or rich. Such is his equanimity and devotion. Every thing he receives as God given with perfect poise. The first time when they came here, "l told Radha to preserve the bags carefully". Radha replied "We are blind even in the mother's womb. How can we take care of the bags? (us). It is only YOU who should take care of us'. Although he said it with anger at that time, his intensity of faith and surrender are extraordinary. His words may seem arrogant and offensive, but his heart is very tender."

The feeling that he has surrendered himself to Amma and that he is at Her disposal gradually gained strength, ever since the moment he entrusted the care of his bags to Amma, with a similar inclination.

 

"I will move from place to place, and country to country living by performing Anasuya Vratam (Mother's pooja), otherwise. mylife may be terminated any moment", says Radha. Further "Jillellamudi is my village. I was only given in adoption to Turagayapalem. my birth place". Radha says stout heartedly. "ln beholding Amma, not merely I am blind but several others are so. God's motivation in every matter is very strong. Very few can perceive it. Those days, even when I was travelling in the bus, people used to ask me are you proceeding to Jillellamudi? Do you hail from Jillellamudi? So saying, the conductors and pilgrims helped me. Whereever i was,i used to smell various perfumes. And I always experienced Amma's presence and comfort. Amma leads me. That is why I have no fear. Whereever I am, in whatever state l am,Amma is visible to me, in various forms bath the divine and the lowly."

 

"My unique fortune is that, while Hymn, who is presently being worshiped as Godess, is pouring water, I have washed Amma's holy feet. The moment I arrived, I had a feeling that Amma is Paramatma. And soon after arriving, without staying in the huts and rooms, being blessed with a dwelling in the sanctum sanctorum is another fortune. Further, l could make two thousand muslims chant Amma's namam. These facts atrest to Her total grace on me. My heart has become tender only after touching Amma's feet. Earlier, it was all coarseness. Living without the need for begging lesser mortals for any thing and every thing, is a boon conferred on me by Amma. Yet "l am not content with this experience, l should merge in Parmatma". When sturdy and hefty Radha speaks thus, he is awe inspiring. His mellowed and unmixed devotion entices every one.

 

Amma's worship by blind devotees commenced in the year 1963 on the Toli Ekadasi day. Wherever Radha goes, he performs Anasuya Vratam and endeavours at conveying Amma's divinity to one and all, keeps chanting nama in rapture. Wherever he is, he performs morning and evening prayers to the accompaniment of Nama.

 

Endears himself to every one in the house with little distinction of age and status and becomes one among them. He belongs and identifies, himself with that household making the inmates happy and merry.

 

Another unique distinction of Radha is that he steered and spearheaded the Jagadeeswari Vratam which was continuousiy performed for a period of one year till the told ekadasi day in July, 81. He observed this vratam with great devotion and severe austerity.

 

Without the slightest trace of want and leading his life fearlessly, Radha could say that "l have no desire in this world except chanting Amma's name". Such is the unparalleled and singular devotion of Radhakrishna Reddy- There is no better state that could be aspired for by any one on this earth. Radha's good legacy can never be imagined, in confining his life to Amma's path alone. Amma too delights in Radha's melodies. No wonder, because each of the melodies is soaked and steeped in undiluted and unmixed, fearless and unflinching Bhakti. These traits are inimitable endowments and accompaniments to his musical melodies which sway God and nature alike. His heart is a veritable abode for Amma who pulsates and transmits HER nama from within.

 

This is how, Radha, the fearless devotee continues to tread on this earth, singing the Lord's glory for times to come, with the benign grace of AMMA.

 

Author: 
Prem Charan
Source: 
Matrusri Monthly Journal (English) | Vol.16 | October-1981, | No.5