AMMA termed Annapurnalayam as her Heart and wished that the Bell that rings to invite devotees for taking the meals never stops. And when it is HER wish, how can that stop. The bell is ringing twice a day and every day from 15 th August 1958 when AMMA inaugurated the Kitchen in Jillellamudi.
The devotees who visited Jillellamudi to take a Darshan of AMMA was increasing by the day and it required a full-fledged kitchen to ensure all of them had quality food and on time regularly. That is when AMMA decided to institutionalise it. And ANNAPURNALAYAM is born.
AMMA was walking on a street in Bapatla one evening when the Bell rang in a temple. AMMA then thought that a temple should be built in a village where there is no temple and there should be a common Dining Hall where entry is free to anybody without any discretion. That is when the foundation for ANNAPURNALAYAM was actually laid by her.
In 1940 AMMA pronounced that each devotee should keep a handful of rice separately in a bag daily when they take rice to cook for their family. The rice so collected may be brought to Jillellamudi and used for feeding the poor and needy through ANNAPURNALAYAM.
ON 9 th Aug 1958, AMMA decided to start ANNAPURNALAYAM, the kitchen. Chirala brothers gave Rs 108 each and that was the first donation to ANNAPURNALAYAM. From then on the food was being prepared through ANNAPURNALAYAM for serving to the visiting devotees and other members of the family.
The foundation stone was laid on 15 th August 1958 and the pucca building for The foundation stone was laid on 15 th August 1958 was built. The building was completed and the ANNAPURNALAYAM was inaugurated in the new and pucca building on 13 th January 1963.
From then on, every day and twice a day, the bell rings to invite the devotees and inmates of ANDARILLU to have lunch or dinner. In addition, the Prasadam is distributed to the devotees 24 hours of the day and 365 days.
The food distributed through ANNAPURNALAYAM is taken by the devotees and inmates as HER Prasadam. There are umpteen number of experiences by the devotees where in the chronic illness had disappeared after taking the Prasadam in ANNAPURNALAYAM.
AMMA’s 50 th Birthday was celebrated as SWARNOTHSAVALU on 12 th April 1973. While planning for her 50th Birthday celebrations, AMMA expressed her wish to see One Lakh devotees taking food at a time. And as SHE decided, it happened seamlessly with ease.
More than one lakh devotees who thronged Jillellamudi for her 50 th birthday had lunch. Temporary pandals were erected across the fields surrounding Jillellamudi. All the required infrastructure for cooking were mobilised from the surrounding cities/towns and the cooks have come in hundreds to make preparations. Milk came in tankers and water was stored at multiple locations in tanks for distribution. Government departments came forward to provide Security, Health checks and buses for the devotees to come in.
When finally the first bell rang to commence the serving of food, AMMA wanted to be there and see the happiness and satisfaction of the devotees taking food in such large numbers and at a time. This was never replicated so far anywhere across the Globe. The magnitude and expenditure will be so much that it would not be possible to any human to wish and execute such a mammoth plan.
It happened only because it was the wish of the MOTHER and since she is the ANNAPURNA Avataram. The Government and the World watched in shock and pleasantness when such a large gathering of people were taking food so seamlessly and with such a discipline.
At a point of time, the Cooks and the key officials rushed to AMMA saying that the quantity available may not be sufficient to serve. AMMA closed her eyes for a moment and advised them to serve the food. They all were in utter shock when the contents were enough and more to serve the thousands of people who are coming in and eating and there were none left to eat by evening. They all came back to AMMA and touched her feet and said Mother ANNAPURNA, it is because of you that the contents became AKSHAYAM and continued to come from the vessels as they took out. AMMA smiled and said nothing.
Vajrothsavalu, the 60 th birthday of AMMA was celebrated on 12 th April 1983 and again about 60000 people took food in the pandals erected in about 20 acres of fields spread around Jillellamudi. AMMA was happy to see so many people having food on the occasion of her birthday.
Telephone first arrived in Jillellamudi during the year 1970 and the first phone installed in the Vatsalyalam. AMMA was asked to speak to the Telephone officer in the first call and AMMA answered the phone and asked the officer – Nanna annam thinnava meaning, dear son, have you taken food? That was MOTHER in all her affection and she never allowed any one to leave Jillellamudi without taking food. The first question that she would pose to any visitor would be – Have you taken food? The students and inmates serve the food to the devotees coming to Jillellamudi daily.
A new dining hall was built in the year 2015 and permanent steel chairs were put in for a comfortable sitting and taking food happily. Mother wanted her children to take food first and sumptuously. SVJP focusses on the same and ensures HER wish is fulfilled daily at Jillellamudi.
Amma was very compassionate towards the ailing and the infirm. She served personally several bed-ridden patients and old persons with extreme care and unbounded love right from her childhood. With Amma’s loving ministrations, many destitute and forlorn persons neglected and outcast by the society have received new lease of life.
Amma laid the foundation stone at Jillellamudi ashram complex a “House for the Aged” christening it is “Adaranalayam” (temple of compassion) with an aim to provide loving care to the elderly and the infirm in the evening of their lives.
The main objective of MMC is to cater to the medical needs of sisters and brothers in and around Jillellamudi. Whenever a Mother talks with her child who is away from her – the first thing she enquires is whether he/she had her food. Next, invariably she enquires about his/her health and well being. This is the normal experience of every one.
The Divine Mother at Jillellamudi also attaches equal importance to the above aspects. When one comes to HER presence, SHE insisted on feeding them first. The person’s welfare and well being in respect of the whole being is always HER ceaseless concern. As part of an integrated approach, AMMA thought of providing free medical care to the children.
To address this objective, AMMA expressed desire to create a medical Centre at Jillellamudi to serve the residents and sick persons in the surrounding villages. The Matrusri Medical Center thus came into existence in the year 1978.
The main objective of MMC is to cater to the medical needs of sisters and brothers in and around Jillellamudi. Initially a committee consisting of the doctor devotees among AMMA’S children, and a few others interested in offering medical aid, was formed. The initial members being, Dr. S. V. Subba Rao, Dr. A. Inaja Kumari (AMMA’S personal physician), Dr. A. Kesava Rao, Dr. M. Jaswant Kumar, Mr. Richard Schiffman, Mr. Harry Kaminsky, Mr. James Campion and a few others. James, a devoted child of AMMA, from United Kingdom settled at Jillellamudi made pioneering efforts in establishing Matrusri Medical Centre initially with a few beds. This formed the base hospital at Jillellamudi and served the needs of the residents of the ‘House of All’, students, faculty of the Matrusri Oriental College, villagers of Jillellamudi, and also the neighboring villages on a modest scale.
Dr. A. Inaja Kumari, who is dedicated, devoted and committed to AMMA, functioned as the resident doctor, with the
other devotee doctors visiting and offering their services. Mr. Richard Schiffman provided the funding support to meet the recurring expenses for several years, and Mr. Harry Kaminsky, popularly known as Bheem, at Jillellamudi gave the administrative support, himself being a qualified management professional. Mr. Terry is another Briton who used to serve the Medical Center dispensing the medicines. Later on, a small clinical laboratory for conducting diagnostic tests was started. As time advanced, with these small facilities, several medical camps are being conducted at Jillellamudi and in the surrounding villages for diagnosis and treatment of various chronic diseases. Cancer detection was also taken up in these camps to offer preventive care to such patients. Highly qualified specialist doctors from reputed Institutions are rendering voluntary service in these camps.
Organizing these camps and the running of the Medical Center are supported by generous donations from willing members among the public, as also the devotee children of AMMA.
Presently, a doctor visits the hospital about 2 hours a day Monday to Saturday. An experienced lady doctor also visits the hospitals a couple of hours on every Sunday. After a few years, MMC again restarted conducting Medical Camps in the neighboring and remote villages where there are no medical facilities. It also offers limited financial assistance in deserving cases for medical expenses. MMC offers free ambulance services to the patients in and around Jillellamudi.
Our future plans include increasing the frequency and intensity of the medical camps, so as to reach the needy in more locations. Also, developing a multi specialty hospital at Bapatla is another need. With the grace of AMMA, we are confident that this will materialize in near future. Quite a few of AMMA’S devotee children are also keenly interested in this project.
Amma, to ensure that the interested and under privileged children of the Society learn and subsequently propagate the Sanskrit language, which in itself is the mother of all languages, had decided to start Matrusri Oriental College under the aegis of Matrusri Vidya Parishat.
And, on 6th August 1971, she inaugurated the first class of the college with just 3 lecturers and 25 children. With her blessings and continued guidance, today, the Parishat runs a School under the name of Matrusri Sanskrit Patasala and a College in the name of Matrusri Oriental College. It has 12 lecturers, 7 non teaching staff and around 200 students.
The Campus is located in a healthy and pleasant environment amidst lush green paddy fields and overlooking the Omkara river flowing abetting the landscape of Jillellamudi. The serene atmosphere and sheer magic of Nature at its best enables the students to learn the Languages and Sciences by being close to the nature. The School and College follow the Co-education model.
The school – Matrusri Sanskrit Patasala – is from 8th Class to 10th Class and imparts education in the Oriental languages alongwith the latest Science subjects to make the student fit to face the competition in the outside world while learning the oriental languages. The students are equipped with the Sciences along with the roots of the languages to better appreciate the linkage between the old school of thought and the scientific relationship with the thoughts. And, under Matrusri Oriental College, education is imparted from Pre Degree Course(PDC) in Sansrit, Telugu and English to Degree in Telugu and/or Sanskrit. The students, on their completion of graduation in Telugu or Sansrit proceed to do B.Ed., or Post Graduation to make a career as a Teacher/Lecturer in any of the colleges or schools.
The students come from various walks of life and from far off places. The Parishat takes care of them by providing hostel facilities and ensures their comfortable and safe stay under the supervision of the Wardens kept separately for the Girls and Boys. The Parishat also has a library with a vast collection of books on Literature with special attention to the oriental language works like అమరకోశం(Amarakosam), ధ్వణ్యాలోకం(Dhwanyalokam) రస గంగాధరం(Rasa Gangadharam) and The Ramayana and Epic Mahabharatha to name a few. The University Grants Commission(UGC) supplies books regularly to the college to enhance the wealth of information available to the students.
And, to ensure that the students in oriental languages are not out of time, the Parishat also runs a full fledged Computer Lab which equips the students with the basics of the Computer to make them a Complete Skilled Man ready to use the faculties learnt in the college in the tech savy world outside the campus.
The SVJP in continuation of its objective of preserving the culture of Indian Society and traditions had established Veda Pathasala in the year 2013. The VEDAS written by Saints of ancient days have been flowing like an under current in the hindu society of India since then. The importance and relevance of Vedas is much more in these modern days where Culture, Values and ethics are at its low ebb. The Vedas are to be learnt, remembered and recited more and preached to a wider section of the society to keep the great Indian Society culture, values and Bonding strengthened and reinforced in the new generation children.
Devotees of AMMA have expressed their desire to donate sacred cow to AMMA. SVJP examined the request and decided that it would augur well to establish GOSALA. The foundation laying ceremony was done on 09th March 2015 at the identified place. A thatched shelter was constructed and the Gosala with 6 cows was inaugurated on 04th April 2015. Since then the Gosala had been swelling with new additions and now has 18 cows. The milk from the cows is used for Abhishekams in Temples and for preparing Nivedana (Food) for the temple deities. The cow dung and other material is used as organic manure for the vegetable and flower gardens in the temple complex.