Introducing Anasuya Devi





As most advanced students of Advaita Vedanta know, virtually any ideology propounded is, by definition, invariably limited to the Vyavaharika or Relative domain, and thus cannot hope to describe or represent the Paramarthika or Absolute domain [of unalloyed Being]. Although there is an intimate relationship between the two planes, in order to arrive at any practical representation, the Vyavaharika plane must factor into its weltanschauung (world or life view) Its entire potentiality of all conceivable thoughts, ideas, and systems of philosophy reaching into all conceivable weltanschauungs simultaneously(!) PLUS the polarity of Its opposite in the Unknowable. In other words, It must include everything known and unknown in/of Its Relative plane plus Its [mysteriously causal] essence in the unknowable Absolute plane. Now, since the mind is not equiped to embrace [that totality] in practical awareness, viz. through the manasic or empirical knowledge faculty, the Vyavaharika must inevitably remain limited in its capacity. Therefore, whatever specifically develops in terms of a conceptual interpretation [of Reality] isn't false, per se, but represents merely a fraction of the truth of What Is.

Having noted that...
The theories concerning and striving toward a definitive world conception or existential paradigm are almost countless. Yet what many fail to recognize within the rubric of Advaita Vedanta (which is in my view the quintessential emmisary of the so-called Perennial Philosophy or Ageless Wisdom Teachings), is that these are NOT dependent on the presence of Self-realization! In other words, two different individuals can be Self-realized, yet each may hold to a different theory of existence. (An excellent example is Ramana Maharshi and Seshadri Swami; two widely recognized jnanis with completely different ideologies regarding the nature of existence. Other examples are, obviously, the different views held by Adi Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhava. And there are almost countless others.)

The way I see it, can be illustrated thus: imagine an infinite sphere containing infinite facets on its surface. These facets collectively represent unlimited relative realms of paradigms (i.e. conditions of Being, each manifest in unique ways)...where each facet is the product of as much Maya as any other facet (Maya having both a real and unreal counterpart). However, the total picture of Reality is the agglomeration of all these facets, simultaneously! Now, the multifarious, multidimensional surface of this Sphere is the Relativity of Saguna Brahman; while its core essence/source is the unknowable, inscrutable Mystery of Nirguna Brahman. This latter [primal essence] is the existential generation of SATCHIDANANDA, while Its former is the OM MANI PADME HUM radiation [expressing the latter]; both of which abide naturally in the Heart of every living entity.

Conclusions that may be extracted from this are:
First and foremost, judgments regarding the ideologies held, as well as behaviors demonstrated amongst sentient beings, are not only in of themselves irrelevant, but far more significantly, a waste of precious time! Each individual is exactly on-course re their particular modus operandi...tailored, that is, to their particular agenda for karmic lessons required in their particular incarnation. (This doesn't imply that one should refrain from expressing their view(s) if when asked, or if when situations call for even aggressive attempts at corrections, according to one's developed understanding and insight. However, the critical thing is withholding judgments! And not only withholding judgments of others but, FAR more importantly, withholding judgments of oneself!! For, this is the ultimate non-doing that will deliver one's contracted ego-Mind from the exclusive Relative to the inclusive, holistic [Absolute-Relative] Brahman. The Relative being real as a facet of the Whole, but false as a thing unto itself! OM HUM SVAHA!)

Now, one of the popularly held beliefs, not only unique to the Sanatana Dharma but to most of the world religions is that, upon final Liberation, the individual will nevermore 'come back' into Relative Manifestation. I would like to expose this as merely a partial verity. It's not the entire truth. The fact is that 'the entire truth' concerning a given matter--any matter or subject--cannot be known! Why? Firstly, as alluded to above, speculating and hence theorizing on this or any level must inevitably be tempered by the parameters of Relativity, which is incapable of even approaching the holistic domain of Reality. And secondly, not only the jiva, but Brahman Itself must ever remain a mystery to Itself! This sustains the wonder and beauty of Life (Brahman's Leela). How else can it be? (Obviously there is much involved in being capable of arriving at such conclusion--which to begin with is yet a relative observation and thus, as pointed out above, must remain only a fragment of the truth. Secondly, it involves coming to terms with the idea that Brahman is all subject (which is itself a logically impossible statement to make since to propound the idea of 'subject' automatically requires the existence of 'object.' So, we can see how we get into trouble attempting to pin down any definitive ideology.)

An illustration may help to show how contradictions inevitably arise from attempts at propounding definitive philosophical ideas:

Regarding the idea of the Jivatman's permanent release from Samsara: Do we postulate a 'Jnanaloka,' where all jnanis go upon Self-realization?
Is this the implication behind the popular idea of what the jnani is (i.e. creating a condition therefore apart from Brahman(!)? ...Since the idea is that the jnani [as a Jivatman] never incarnates again, whereas Brahman will still continue to project Its Leela...and thus so eternally!).

We know that, however, Brahman is all there one without a second. Therefore we cannot make the incontrovertible statement that the jnani (viz. the so-called liberated soul or Jivatman), will never return to the relative world. And neither can we state that he forever will! Thus the truth of the matter is ultimately an unsolvable mystery.

The jnani is Brahman. (Incidentally, as we also well know: he always was and always will be.) Therefore the jnani-Brahman (a.k.a. the Brahmajnani), or the jnani, Brahman--as Rig Veda tells us, will forever generate Its Leela. Thus, for the jnani, the [technically, all along nonexistent!] delusion of avidya comes to an end; but his very own Leela, as a permanent constituent of [himSELF as] Brahman, cyclically dies and is reborn eternally. This, again, is what Rig Veda tells us. However, I would say that the real truth of the matter is unknowable!


            "Grappling with Relativity's cyclical hurricane
             is what everyone eventually comes to want to transcend, 
             and desperately!"
                            - excerpt from DHARMIC JOURNEY 
                                    by fmaiello, circa 1974

And they come to concluding and
wanting to snuff out its cause in Desire ..
not knowing that Desire Itself is an eternal 
archetypal seed in the mayashakthi of Brahman! 
Desire is not the enemy.  
Exclusive/desperate attachment to It in any form, is.

(Is not mumuksha equally a product of Desire?!)


Although the attributeless Ineffable is its foundation,
the totality of Reality is teeming with Life!

Brahman has, permanently integral to it, the attributeless mayashakthi in seed form, which thus cyclically manifests in the form of Its Play (i.e. Its Leela). As such, it goes from absolute rest in Mahapralaya to absolute motion in Mahamanvantara. And yet the eternal backdrop, or substratum core of the essential Being in/of Brahman is Its state of rest (pralaya [akin to] Nirguna)...which condition is permanent. Its state of motion is simply the superimposition (the Saguna Play or Sport) on that pure, attributeless state of Nirguna. What should be never lost sight of is this substratum state of thus drop the otherwise ancient-developed habit-pull into any exclusive perception urgently spun from the Maya.

The Change Itself (as Leela), in all facets thereof, are not different from Brahman.
Indeed Brahman is all there is, manifest and unmanifest.
And this is the essence of Advaita Vedanta.


Mother Anasuya Devi

I would now like to introduce to the reader, someone who from my perspective is an extremely important teacher--in fact, a Jagatguru or World Teacher.

I was recently made aware of her via an email sent to me by Sri Richard Schiffman, who recently published a book about her life and teachings. It was well received in India, yet it's having some difficulty in the West. (Further details regarding the book itself are found below.)

Mother Anasuya Devi (1923-1985) of Jillellamudi (in southern India) was revered by millions for her homespun wisdom, motherly love, and extraordinary spiritual powers. Her profound yet enigmatic teachings powerfully challenged traditional patriarchal views and rejected the common Hindu belief that the world is an illusion. She was a living witness to her own core teachings that the earth is sacred and spirituality comes from embracing life in full.

When I came upon Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi's teachings in 1992 (despite that I had been using his Self-enquiry method since 1968), they resonated with 90% of what I had come to realize through my own experience. (The other 10% represented--for lack of clearer explanation--organizational matters I was previously lacking in my overall view.)

This has now happened with Smt Anasuya Devi. Her insight and, perhaps more importantly, her ability to effectively communicate widely the true implications of the Advaita Marga, is what makes her such an important teacher...indeed, in my opinion, elevated to the stature of a Jagatguru (like Buddha, Jesus, Ramakrishna and Ramana). Despite what many believe in the Vedanta community, [as alluded to above] a given jnani does not necessarily automatically possess a holistic understanding of the nature of the relative Leela. Even though the Leela is intrinsically as ineffable as Its 'source' in Nirguna Brahman, certain concepts are vital and pivotal to the actualization of one's awareness abiding in moksha--our natural, everpresent state--despite the continued presence of an apparently deflective ego-Mind.

Here are some quotations of Mother Anasuya Devi, taken from Sri Richard's book and reproduced here with his permission:

    "Mother means the One without a beginning and without an end, the one who is the Beginning and the end-- That which has become everything and which cannot be comprehended-- the limitless, resistless basis of all."

    "I am the 'I' that has become all 'I's."

    "Nothing makes me either happy or sad. 'I' does not signify Anasuya; it is the 'I' appearing as all."

    "Not teaching anything is my teaching. Whatever one might say to me, I neither affirm it or deny it. I only do what is necessary."

    "You can never stray from my lap."

    "I am never alone; all are in me. I am continually aware of all... of more than one... persons, events, multiplicity itself. I am turning the whole world over in my mind. I am experiencing that my One Mind has become the many. That is why I say, 'I am all.' I am never alone; my share is with all."

    "I have no disciples. Who would be my disciple when I am all that is?"

    "I am not anything that you are not. It does not appear to me that I am greater than you."

    "It is solely to say "yes" to all that is said and all that is done by one and all that this form has come into the world."

    "Even without a body, my work continues."

    "It isn't through your efforts that you see me. You see me when I reveal myself to you."

    "That which cannot be found even by searching is God."

    "The goal is unapproachable. It can only be known by spontaneous experience."

    "Through the contemplation of my words courage and steadfastness will arise."

    "The mind which is free from all weighing and judging is itself God."

    "It is not necessary to give up this worldly life to gain the Kingdom of God. This world is itself the Kingdom of God."

    "The phenomenal world is not an illusion to the one who has experienced Brahman (the Supreme.)"

    "Why is God incomprehensible? Because He is all, because the whole of creation is God. Why is God comprehensible? Because there is nothing but God to comprehend."

    "When your legs walk, you believe that you are walking. You never think about the force that allows them to move in the first place. because you feel that your hands are your own, you think that the acts performed by those hands are "your" acts. But, in truth, both the hands and the actions of those hands are His alone."

    "There is no such thing as death, only transformation. death is transformation, not annihilation."

    "Salvation is for all, for the saint as well as the sinner. One person will attain it sooner, the other later-- that is the only difference. Though people's fates differ, ultimately all will merge in the One Destiny. At death the limited mind dissolves in the unlimited mind. Death in fact is blissful, a floating free."

    "The enlightened one never asks, "What is my present state, and what will be my state after death?" That question never arises. Where is death for him? Only if he thinks there was a birth (of a separate ego) will he think there is going to be a death. The enlightened one is independent of everything, blissfully free. He is like a fetus protected within the Mother's womb."


A Revelation of the Motherhood of God 
in the Life and Teachings of the Jillellamudi Mother 
By: Richard Schiffman
ISBN: 1-884997-28-7 o Item #: BD18 o $19.95 

"Mother Anasuya Devi (1923-1985) of Jillellamudi was a beloved spiritual leader in southern India. Here, NPR commentator Schiffman takes us to the village of the Mother (as she is affectionately known by her devotees) and acquaints us with her life and teachings...." - —Publishers Weekly

Author Bio: Richard Schiffman is nationally known as an on-air journalist whose features regularly appear on the National Public Radio shows: Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Living on Earth. He is the author of Sri Ramakrishna: A Profit for the New Age. 400 pgs

Available at:
Blue Dove Press or


Anasuya Devi's Home Page


Back to:


Contact: fmaiello

Hosting by WebRing.