In the holy shore of Kanyakumari, where the three oceans meet, there once lived a great soul. Some called her Amma, others called her Devi, sages called her Mother of the World. That was Devi Mayamma of Kanyakumari, one of the greatest Avadhootas of recent times.
No one knows when Mayamma first appeared on the sea shore. She walked on the hot sand, unaware of the heat or hunger. She was often seen swimming in the ocean or sitting on slippery rocks among the waves. Devotees who flocked to see her would wait for hours till she returned laughing from the sea. On land she was always surrounded by a pack of adoring dogs. She fed them whatever scraps of food she found, and with the same joyful look in her eyes, fed people too. Amma would collect cigarette butts, wet sea-weed and soaking plantain stems that littered the beach and miraculously set them ablaze into a crackling fire at night.
Amma never claimed to be anything special. But everyone who came to her was enveloped by the mysterious waves of kindness and compassion which flowed from her gaze.
Many claim to have been freed from incurable diseases by Amma’s grace. Many others claim to have been blessed with prosperity and happiness by her boons. Amma had her curious ways too. She would step into any one of the seaside teashops, grab the idlys in the trays and hurl them out on the street for her dogs to eat. Shopkeepers would wait at dawn with baited breath hoping that Divine Mother would step into their shop first. It would be roaring business that day, they claim.
Sri Satya Sai Baba, Mata Amritanandamayi, Sankaracharya, Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswathi, Mouna Guru of Northern India, Jaggi Vasudev and other well known holy persons have sought Devi Mayamma’s blessings and urged their devotees to visit her.
Renowned Avadhoots like Sri Koti Swamigal and Sri Poondi Mahan have praised her as the Mother of the Universe. She was also visited by President Zail Singh and other dignitaries. And then one day in 1986, Devi Mayamma disappeared from Kanyakumari! Where did she go? Where is she now?
Devi Mayamma left Kanyakumari along with her faithful attendant and disciple Rajendran. Sri Rajendran used to look after her like a loving son. She moved to Salem (5/184, Mayamma Kovil, Santhi Nagar, Chinnakollapatti, Salem-636008.) and settled into a little house with Sri Rajendran, his wife and three children. She lived in that beautiful place on the outskirts of the pleasant hill station of Yercaud for six long years. Rare and fortunate devotees sought her blessings there till she finally gave up her earthly form in Maha Jeeva Samadhi.
Devi Mayamma passed into Maha Jeeva Samadhi on the day of Sashthi on the 9th of February, 1992.