Book Review by Mrs. M. Rajya Sri

Lalleswari Vaakkulu by V.V.Bhaskara Rama Rao

A man once told Socrates, ‘Sir I am getting married, but I am worried about it.’ Socrates consoled him, ‘Don’t worry, if she is good, you will be the happiest man. If she isn’t you will be the greatest philosopher’.

It was true in the case of Lalladevi. Lalladevi, originally named Padmavathi, was born into a Kashmiri Brahmin family and was married at the age of 12. She was not highly educated. She was not a Sanskrit Pandit. She had no desire for name and fame, but the suffering she faced in the hands of her mother-in-law, wrought out a poet in her. They turned out to be gems of philosophy on the law of life and won her the name of Siva Yogini Lalla Devi, in the 14th century.

The mother-in-law kept a big stone in her plate and covered it with a few grains of rice to give the impression she served her a heap of rice. That gave rise to the lines.

‘Undane undikada Lallaku gundrayi’.

This means they may have a sumptuous meal but I have only the stone. The father-in-law came to know of her fate through those lines.

She was in quest of knowledge. She went in search of Lord Siva, streaking. One day, she saw Shahamadas. She felt her search had come to an end.

Naa Atma Neekosam
Neekosam na dukham

The Buddhist philosophy was imbibed in it. A Buddhist monk demonstrated that we were bound by chains to the material world. In her days Buddhism was prevalent in Kashmir.

Aatmalonuuna doshalanni
Bhasmipatalam chesanu
Gundenunna Avesaalanu durimanu
Kongu parachukuni akkade
Mokarilli saranaagathi vedukontuu-
Lallaga naaperu suduram vyaptamaindi.

She rose to the level of advising her Guru Srikanta by her incessant prayer to God and by her self-realization.
Lalladevi was no ordinary woman and V.V.Bhaskara Rama Rao who portrayed her in his book ‘Lalleswari Vakkulu’ is no ordinary writer. He is a famous writer in Telugu and English and he translates one into another.
This book Lalleswari Vakkulu is a Telugu rendering of English translation of Lalladevi’s Kashmiri sayings. What makes Lalladevi special? Her legend goes that she informed her guru Srikant that she would be born to a horse and after that to a dog and so. The guru checked every birth thus, till her sixth birth as Lalledevi. She proved that anybody can attain knowledge of the self through Vairagya and Viveka.

What makes this book special? The author has made a perfect blend of Lalladevi’s life and her sayings. He had intertwined some anecdotes, legends and historical events with her sayings.

Name of the book - Lalleswari Vakkulu
Writer - V.V.Bhaskara Rama Rao
Language - Telugu
Price - Rs.40/-
For copies - Smt. Vadapalli Ramani
C-7, New Township
B.T.P.S. Badarpur
New Delhi - 110044.
Navodaya Book House
Opp. Aryasamaj Mandir
Kachiguda, Hyderabad - 500 027
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