Easwaramma - The Chosen Mother
"I resolved on my birth. I decided who should be my mother." Thus
answered Swami to a question from the editor of the "Nav Kaal" (New Age)
on the last day of December 1970 in Bombay, India. Baba went on to say
that Rama and Krishna also chose their mothers.
Easwaramma a poor, middle-aged tender-hearted, pious illiterate rural
housewife had mothered seven children before the Lord was born to her.
Easwaramma was quite conversant with Telugu ballads, legends, folk songs
and tales, on Rama and Krishna. Yet, it took years of intimate
observation and hundreds of inexplicable incidents to convince her that
this child who was born in answer to her prayers to Lord Sathyanarayana,
who she had fondled and doted on, was the Cosmic Consciousness.
Baba has said that there are four types of children born in this
world. The law of Karma operates on the birth of three of these four
types. The fourth and foremost is one who is an Avatar. Here the Cosmic
Consciousness decides on a human role and chooses the time and place of
birth and the persons who are to be the parents.
In the Treta Yuga (age) Vishnu having elected to be born as Rama,
chose King Dasaratha and Queen Kowshalya as his parents. The Avatar
bestows glory on those chosen as parents. Sri Krishna, the first of the
Poorna Avatars (Total Advents) is the clearest example of the immaculate
conception of a Divine child. The incarnation of Buddha too was
marvelous. The night He determined to enter the world, Queen Maya, the
consort of King Suddhodana, dreamt that a splendid star from the Heavens
having shot through outer space entered her womb from the right.
Mary the mother of Jesus was similarly blessed. The angel Gabriel
was sent by God to the Virgin espoused to Joseph of the House of David.
And the angel said to her "Fear not Mary. Thou hast found favour with
God. And behold thou shalt conceive in the womb and bring forth a son and
shall call him Jesus."
The chosen mother is the first recipient of the Avatar's Grace. The
father who protects and nourishes her is rewarded with the fame bestowed
on his name. When Swami's father Pedda Venkappa Raju died in 1963 Baba
said "on the day he was known as the 'Father' he was blessed and his life
rendered holy and sanctified. This good fortune can be won by only one
individual in a Yuga (age)."
More than hundred miles from Puttaparthi is the village of Kolimikuntla.
In this village lived Subba Raju an ardent devotee of Easwara. Subba Raju
built a temple for Easwara. in that village. Easwaramma was the name
given to his daughter born in the farm house soon after. the temple was
built. Kondama Raju -(Bhagavan's paternal grandfather) decided to go on a
pilgrimage and at the same time visit his distant relative Subba Raju. He
took his elder son Pedda Venkappa Raju along with him.
On arriving at Subba Ragu's place Kondama Raju found that place
arid, unsuitable for cultivation and surrounded by dacoits. He persuaded
Subba Raju to sell his lands in Kolimikuntla and move to Karnatanagapalli
opposite to Puttaparthi, on the other bank of Chitravathi. To sweeten the
pot, Kondama Raju offered to welcome Easwaramma as the spouse of his son
Pedda Venkappa Raju. Easwaramma was barely fourteen when she wedded Pedda
Venkappa Raju. Seshama Raju, Swami's elder brother, was born to
Easwaramma within three years of her marriage. A few years later Venkamma
a daughter arrived. Another daughter Parvatamma followed. The Rajus were
happy and their home was filled with the youngster's babble and
laughter and song and prayer. But, sorrow was not far off. Easwaramma had
four abortive pregnancies in a series. Some attributed this calamity to
black magic. Propitiatory pujas (worships) were arranged in the local
temples and distant holy places like Kadri. And when Easwaramma entered
her eighth pregnancy her mother-in-law Lakshmamma offered a series of
pujas to Lord
Sathyanarayana and prayed to be blessed with a grand-son.
Bhagavan was once asked by a pundit "Swami, was your incarnation a
Pravesa (entrance) or Prasava (enceince)." Turning to Easwaramma
Bhagavan said "Tell Rama Sarma what happened that day near the well."
Easwaramma replied "my mother-in-law had cautioned me that I should not be
frightened if something happened through the will of God. The morning
when I was at the well drawing water a big ball of blue light came rolling
towards me and I fainted and fell. I felt the light glide into me." Swami
turned to Rama Sarma with a smile and said "there you have the answer. It
was Pravesa and not
It took Easwaramma a long time to reconcile herself to her son's
Avataric traits. Whenever she was around, she personally supervised the
preparation of his food. She believed that Swami would eat a few more
morsels if the cuisine was Andhra and that too genuine Rayalaseema, the
region to which Puttaparthi belonged. She would witness Swami's miracles
in the company of others; but her response was anxiety rather than awe.
She feared that the miracles would drain her son's spiritual powers.
Easwaramma saw doctors and lawyers, monks and merchants, Rajas and Princes
come to Puttaparthi,
sit around Swami and plead for answers and solutions to their doubts and
questions. She herself understood only conversational Telugu. She gasped
when Swami gave them His assurance and said "Don't worry. I am with
you." Easwaramma thought He was promising too much to too many. Arnold
Schulman the author of the book 'Baba' visited Puttaparthi in 1970. He
found Easwaramma complaining to no one in particular. She was saying "why
don't they leave Him alone? He does not sleep, He does not eat enough.
All they care is about themselves."
On another occasion Easwaramma referring to Baba's Announcement in
October 1940 at Uravakonda, said "when I stood before him face to
face He said, "Maya! You are not bound to me nor I to you and He left
home to be with those to whom he felt bound." 'Now many days I lived
through without eating or sleeping crying to the Gods to restore my son to
me. You call him Beauty, Tenderness and Joy and talk of me as the
'Mother' but, do I ever get the chance to feed him with food cooked by my
own hands, give him a bath or tend to him in any way that is a mother's
privilege?" The oncoming of this
overwhelming despair and even jealousy was however often followed by
a surge of self-criticism and matured philosophical resignation.
Easwaramma appreciated the earnestness and enthusiasm of young
children acquiring education. She prevailed on Swami to send money for
tuition fees, cost of books and boarding to many youngsters. When she
found that some youngster dropped out of school, she pressed Prof. Kasturi
to correspond with the parents and persuade them to get the youngster back
in school. And the sick? Easwaramma was perhaps the person most pleased
when Bhagavan announced that a twelve bed hospital would be built on the
hill south of Prasanthi Nilayam. However she queried the wisdom of the
choice of the
site. "How could the ill pull themselves up to that height?" she
asked. And when women were admitted as inpatients she climbed the hill to
the hospital several times to be with them.
She was humble by nature. Humility was no pose for her. Hers was not the
humility that paraded itself, to draw the attention of others. Many are
proud that they are not proud. But, Easwaramma was allergic to
limelight. Once, while Swami stayed at the residence of Dr. B.
Ramakrishna Rao, the Governor of Kerala, she refused a special invitation
to stay at the Governor's residence
with a chosen few. She wiggled out of the attention given to her as the
Avatar's mother and stayed at the humble residence of a school
At the time Easwaramma laid down her mortal coils there were more than a
thousand college students assembled at Brindavan for a summer course. A
lecture was on and 800 youngsters were listening eagerly. Three cars
purred by the side entrance to Brindavan. In one of them lay the body of
the holy 'Mother', serene and self-satisfied. Daughters and grand
children sat close and around as they had done for years. In the other
two cars were persons selected by Swami to break the news at Puttaparthi
and keep the villagers to pay their last respects. Later the body was
reverentially laid down in a grave beside that of the 'Father' Pedda
Venkappa Raju. The date was May 6,1972.
Easwaramma Day is celebrated on the May 6th as the culmination of a week-
long festival of children all over the world. The Easwaramma High School
at Puttaparthi stands as a monument for the Mother's abiding affection
towards children and her desire to help them unfold their talents, skills
From The Book "Easwaramma, The Chosen Mother" by Prof. N. Kasturi.
Posted by rdthuillier on 06-05-2004