Celebrating Sri Jaya Lakshmi Mata—Sri Raja Rajeshwari Incarnate!
Updated: May 15
This year we celebrate Amma's birth on Sun.16th May. If one day you visit her in Jayalakshmipuram ,the knowledgeable ones will advise you to sleep next to her shrine on the ground. Its because she appears to those bhaktas during the night. I noticed too that she personally takes care of all her visitors. Editor's Note.
Who is Jaya Lakshmi Mata and why should we worship her? This is a question usually asked by new devotees. This article only touches on a few aspects of her life, showing her greatness as Universal Mother, and the sacred relationship with our Sadguru as both Mother and Guru at the same time. Many secrets about her are revealed in our Sadguru’s Autobiography, ‘Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda’ compiled by Sri Kuppa Venkata Krishnamurthy, as well as in Sri Appaji’s discourses over the years. In this excerpt from Sri Appaji’s discourse (Bhakti Mala, Feb. 2000), also, He discloses:
Importance of Mother
“Vaishakha Suddha Panchami, (fifth day of the first fortnight of the second month of the Indian lunar calendar), is Jayalakshmi Mata’s birthday. She was born in the year 1924. One of the specialities of Amma’s (Mother’s life) is that she left her mortal coil on the same Vaishakha Suddha Panchami -(this is also celebrated by Hindus as the birthday of Adi Shankaracharya)---on the 18-4-1953. It is extremely rare to have the same birth and death day. Puranas describe that this possible only because of the ‘Ichha Marana Shakti’, that is, the ability to choose the time of death. In Mahabharata, Bheeshma was known to possess this Shakti, revealing the level of his power of penance….
“Adi Shankara was none other than an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Even then, he showed utmost respect and love for his mother who gave him birth. Once, when she could not walk to the river bank for her bath, Shankara, using his yoga Shakti, (power of penance) made the river change its course and flow at his door step…. As a Sannyasi from an early age, he left home, after promising his mother that he would be by her side at the time of her death when she thinks of him….He reached her instantly when she did think of him, through the akasha marga, gave her peace at the time of death, and more importantly, gave her moksha….he called the local priests to conduct her last rites, but due to their ignorance and ego they refused to co-operate. Shankara using his yogic powers, created a fire, conducting the last rites and cremation in the backyard of the house….his love for his mother was pure and unfailing….
After the victory over Ravana… Rama together with the entire vanara/monkey army boarded the pushpak Vimana/aeroplane returning to Ayodhya. Hanuman sat silently in a corner, in a contemplative mood….When asked by Rama, he told Rama, “Prabhu, I am thinking of my mother. My heart is yearning for her….Rama permitted him to leave, and in an instant, he reached her, had her Darshan and returned to Rama. Even under extreme harsh and difficult conditions no one has a right to forget their mother or father, nor to stop serving them….Even Rama extracted a promise from Bharata thus:
“Under no circumstances, neither through your actions, speech nor mind can you hurt Kaikeyi Mata( Bharata’s mother responsible for sending Rama to exile in the forest). Do not insult her….Bharata lived up to his promise....A mother is a daya murti(embodiment of compassion….)
Jayalakshmi Mata was an incarnation of Raja Rajeshwari, a maha yogini (Mother Goddess). This is the eternal truth….if one takes up activities like medical camps or annadana(giving food as charity) regularly, Amma will fulfil your desires. She will bless you with wealth, health, wisdom and prosperity…. “Sat Karyeshu Sarvada” means “in all good activities may we be victorious.” This should be your prayer. Swamiji prays to Jayalakshmi Mata to bless you all with success in your sat karmas/good deeds, with knowledge and understanding of Dharma.”
Blessings for mankind (Excerpt adapted from ‘Sri Krishna Jaya--Sri Jayalakshmi Mata’ –‘An Introduction’)
Our Sadguru’s Mother, ‘…Yogavidya Guru and to us our great teacher,Parama Guru,was born into a poor family, …but she lived throughout her life, almost incognito, a yogic life.’
“When she was about 15 years old, her parents, Sri Linganna and Savitramma, chose to live in Mekedatu at the confluence of three rivers. In this forest village, her life was given to meditation….
During those days, on the banks at the confluence of Kaveri, Arkavati and Guptagamini, there
used to be a saint moving about in the form of an effulgent light. The villagers were somewhat scared of this, but for the young Jayalakshmi, this was an excitingly divine experience….this was somehow connected to two yogis who were moving in their individually different ways –Karapatra Yati and Fakir Baba! The locals knew that many holy men used to come here for the Darshan of the self-effulgent Being. They also realised that the young Jayalakshmi used to talk with these yogis without any fear. After the arrival of these two yogis, however, not only was she meeting them almost daily, but she began to perform miraculous acts. One of these teachers was an old muslim and the other a Yati who held the sacred danda/staff in his hand—an amazing combination! Savitramma came to know that the two were initiating her daughter into Shaktipata Deeksha, and guiding her on how she was to live in the future. The main benefit of her perfection in Sri Vidya Rajayoga by the time she was eighteen, was, (just as Jayalakshmi had dreamt would happen) that she became the mother of the Avatar of Dattatreya in the form of Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji….!”
Jayalakshmi harmonised family tradition and lifestyle in the world
“…She lived with her husband, the former Narasimha Sastry, now Sri Naraharateertha Swamiji, who was older than her, as his second wife in the small village of Bommeparti, now Jayalakshmipuram. She took motherly care of her step-son, and was admired by his family also. Jayalakshmi Mata became a trusted advisor to her husband who was not worldly-wise. In addition, while teaching her son, the young Satya, as Sri Appaji was called then, she told him that the grinding stone at home became a Shivalinga to her, the broomstick the fan with which she fanned the Earth goddess, and the mopping rag a sacred item of daily worship also. …She never discriminated between sons and daughters and taught them as a guru and mother with love and wisdom. Sri Appaji’s Suprabhata on Jayalakshmi shows her ability to harmonise everything....”
“In the forest she had protected the fields of the tribals from wild animals, but after she became the Lakshmi of her husband’s home, without any show, she illuminated the lives of rural women with the many suggestions and boons she showered on them.”
Bhajan composer and singer
The following is adapted from Preface of ‘Sri Krishna Jaya’, a garland of devotional songs, rich in influence of great composers like Sri Tyagaraja and others, composed by Sri Jayalakshmi! These are now immortalised by our Sadguru Himself, in ‘Sri Krishna Jaya’!
During His boyhood days, Jayalakshmi lovingly brought up her divine child and fed him on the tasty diet of Shruti, Smruti and Puranas, and introduced him to Sri Vidya and Raja Yoga. Daily in the home was recited Srimad Bhagavata. She would sing these apparently simple bhajans to Satya while fondly playing with him. Obviously she saw Sri Krishna in her own son, singing about the Lord’s playful pranks!
Why does our Sadguru worship her daily in the form of Sri Rajarajeshwari Devi situated in the Srichakra Shikhara? (The following is reprinted from THDM2004, by Nandalal Balroop--Source: ‘Life History of Sri Ganapathy Sachchidanda Swamiji’)
On Sivaratri in 1953 the boy Satyam had Darshan of the Mother in the small Anjaneya Temple of Bommeparti. At midnight “unexpectedly the mother proceeded towards the Anjaneya Temple. He stood on one side and prostrated to the deity and this salutation unwittingly reached his mother too. While getting up, ‘he felt the pressing touch of her palm exactly on top of his head. His mother made him chant certain mantras and told, "I have transmitted to you the Essence of Sri Vidya." He placed his head at her feet and prayed. “ Mother, please bless me in full.”
Setting his eyes on the Mother, he saw her Cosmic form. “ She had four hands, two of them held upwards and two down. The two raised hands had a goad and a noose respectively while the lower left and right hands contained a fresh sugarcane with its rustling leaves and tenderly held lotus. At the same time, there was also a gesture of assurance of protection.” This cosmic form showed that the Mother’s Feet were glittering like a pair of golden lotuses that lure all the three worlds. Around those lotus-like Feet were clustered multitude of swans that took refuge at her Feet and he lost himself.” At the end he too became one among the multitude of swans that took refuge at Her Feet, and he lost himself.” By the time he came to himself the form of the Mother Supreme was there but very much reduced in size.”
In a state of joy, He exclaimed, “Oh Mother! Your finest form on the one hand and on the other your Cosmic Form are seen. To those who adore you endlessly, in both these forms righteously, you drive away their fears and bestow boons upon them.”
In our Sadguru’s Life History we also learn from the encounter with the Brahmin who came to assist with the cremation of Jayalakshmi. He enquired, “ Is it this boy’s mother who died?”
“Not only mine but Mother of the fourteen worlds!” This was heard from Satyanarayana’s mouth. The Brahmin’s face was widened ‘unto the span of a dustpan’ and he said, “It is the birthday of Shankaracharya. She expired in the early hours before dawn. Then there is no doubt of it. Surely she is so.” This confirms that Satya’s mother who gave up her body on the same day she was born, was no ordinary mortal.
On the preceding night, the Mother placed the baby (named as Kodanda Rama, who also expired soon after her passing,) on the lap of Satyam and said, "Kala is born to me, dear son." and she lay on the cot. Satyam could not look into the eyes of the child. The weight of the child in his lap was now too heavy to bear, and in his confusion he looked at his mother on the cot. Instead, there was a throne bedecked with innumerable gems. On it was seated Sri Rajarajeswari with gesture imparting spiritual wisdom, "Chinmudra." She was The Goddess!"
...After this vision, she led him to the Anjaneya temple. Here she placed her hands on his head and imparted various Siddhis and gifted him the 'Chintamani Ganapati Stone' which vanished from his hand as if by magic and was later found on the doorsteps of Srikantaya's house when he went there to start the mission as instructed by his Mother. Soon after her instructions to him , she exclaimed, "Ah! My dear boy! Shankara Jayanti. Time is off for me." Both of them returned to the house where the Mother gave up her body before dawn on Shankara Jayanti itself!
To our Parama Guru Sri Mata Jayalakshmi we bow again and again! Happy Jayalakshmi Mata Jayanti to all!
This is the Bhajan Jayalakshmi Talli, which tells about the essence of Jayalakshmi Mata.