With Humble Pranams at the Lotus Feet of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
I would like to share a few experiences that lead me to Swami’s fold.
I worked for FCI (Food Corporation of India) from 1979 to 2004 .
How I came into Swami’s fold……1984
Prior to 1984 ,I didn’t know anything about Baba.In 1984 my mother ,Rukmini Tanikella went to Puttaparthi along with my brother ,to live there the rest of her life .
(alone by herself and lead a detatched life )
She wasn’t even aware of Swami at that time.But during journey to Parthi she started to get some divine visions,dreams and started to hear some words from within .Later on ,we could understand that it it is the ‘inner voice’ she is listening to.Swami gave beautiful ,spiritual meaning for every dream,vision she had ,in Hrudaya Bhasha(Language of Heart).With divine inspiration from within ,she started recording all her experiences on a daily basis.She used to share them with me from time to time.
I was wondering whether this type of divine experience,Self Realization
is even possible in this Kaliyuga?”
I started following her very closely .She could get connected with Swami through inner voice !These experiences she had, created a curiosity in me….
First Experience …..1985
In the year 1985 ,one day after work hours , I was kind of frustrated,restless and in that mood ,I boarded a bus to get back home from work place ,not knowing that it passes via “Shivam” (Abode of Swami in Hyderabad) .I had never been there and wasn’t even aware that it had anything to do ith Baba.
When I heard an announcement in the bus saying “Sivam stop has come! Does anyone need to get down here” .I am not still not sure,why ,but I got down the bus and entered Sivam .For the first time I entered the Mandir and in the altar there “I had darshan of a very big picture of Swami” ,I sat there for few minutes closing my eyes .
I experienced some kind of inner peace and all my fatigue ,restlessness disappeared .I was in a state of bliss for some time….I returned home with that feeling of peace….It felt so good ….
How did he bless me with the First Translation opportunity …..1988
In the year 1988 ,I happened to read “Loving God “ written by late Sri N. Kasturi Garu .I didn’t purchase it myself so as to read , it just came to me through some one else. I started reading it,I was so much thrilled to read about the marriage of his daughter Smt Padma Garu.The way ,Swami came into Kasturi Garu’s life and performed his daughter’s marriage inspired me so much that instantly I felt like sharing it with my mother.As she didn’t know English,I started translating the pages pertaining to this incident into Telugu and since she was in a different place ,I mailed this to her.
After that,while reading the remaining chapters ,I felt like translating each incident into Telugu, so as to share them with my mother.I called her and told her the same ,she was so happy and with her blessings I started translating, starting from the incident that lead Kasturi Garu into Swami’s fold .While doing translation I got immersed in it and felt as if I became Kasturi Garu myself and started to enjoy each and every experience he was blessed with.
When I was writing this in Telugu ,my colleagues and whoever saw me doing this ,started asking questions like “What are you doing? What would you do with this after finishing the translation “ etc etc…My answer to all those questions was only one…”I don’t know as I have never did anything like this before!” .
Actually I didn’t translate the first few pages as I mentioned before ,I started with Padma Garu’s marriage.Even in the parts I translated I skipped the poems /verses which Kasturi Garu wrote.After completing the translation excluding the above things I was not satisfied completely ,I wanted to complete translating the remaining parts too.By that time,I could catch up with the fluency of Kasturi Garu ,so with Swami’s inspiration I started translating the first few pages too. But I couldn’t dare to touch the poems though .
First Visit to Parthi -1988
For the first time,I went Puttaparthi along with my mother and three children on 13th August 1988. I took the manuscripts along with me.When I showed them to one of our relatives there ,he felt so thrilled and told me,”What a wonderful timing of Swami !“ You are with the translating manuscripts here today which happens to be the first Death Anniversary of Sri Kasturi Garu ( Aug 14th ,1988).
I got goose bumps all over my body hearing that and felt truly blessed .
He told me that this script will be blessed by Swami but not sure when and how?I sat in darshan line but Swami didn’t come to me to bless it or anything like that happened .
After coming back from Parthi ,I showed this script to late Sri GV Subrahmanyam Garu .He also encouraged me saying that translation was nice and advised me to pray for Swami’s blessings .Then I started to translate the songs ,poems which I didn’t touch upon in my first attempt.
Second visit to Prashanthi Nilayam-Supreme Abode of Peace :1990
I thought to myself “ May be Swami didn’t bless it ,the first time because I went with incomplete work. Then in 1990 ,I went to Parthi again with complete manuscript .During this visit also Swami didn’t come to me to in the darshan line .After darshan I went to book stall to check out if any new books were published .There I found Sathyam Sivam Sundaram Part 4 English version written by Sri Karturi Garu . Having read first 3 volumes of the same book in Telugu , I was curious to know if the telugu version of part 4 was available in the stall.I asked someone there in stall if the telugu version of part 4 was available ,and they informed me that the Telugu translation of part 4 was not done yet. Having no option I bought the English version.
Translation of Sathyam Sivam Sundaram –Part4 :1990
After coming back to the accomodation where we were staying I read 3,4 pages of the book and instantly I narrated the first few pages to my mother in Telugu. After coming back to Hyderabad,the very same day ,while travelling to my work place by bus I was reading Sathyam Sivam Sundaram Part4. Some irresistable inspiration from within myself prompted me to translate that book in Telugu .I prayed Swami this way ,“Swami ,you have not blessed “Loving God translation so far” ,also I am not sure if any one else has already translated these books into Telugu .Now you are prompting me to translate Part4 of this book too! Will people not laugh at me,if I do this ?
Thinking this way ,I was just walking to my work place and one of my friends who stayed , nearby our office called me and enquired about visit to Parthi , all of a sudden .They were planning to visit Parthi for the first time ,that too they were going to start the same evening.I gave them the information as requried.
Then after reaching office , I called my mother and informed her about my experience in the bus regarding translating Sathyam Sivam Sundaram part4 into Telugu . She asked me to go ahead if the inner prompt to translate was so irresistable .This time I felt like seeking Swami’s permission before starting the translation. Immediately I started to write a letter to Swami regarding this .I thought if I sent this letter by Registered post addressing to Swami ,I might receive Swami’s signature as an acknowledgement but then I had a doubt if I might receive the acknowledgement directly from Swami or not?
Then suddenly it flashed in my mind that I could send the letter through our friends who were leaving for Parthi the very same day.So,that very moment,I rushed to their house and gave this letter asking them to offer it Swami on my behalf.
Swami’s blessings to start translation
After returning from Parthi ,my friends informed me that they were not only blessed with first row in darshan but also Baba blessed them with Padanamaskar .And before even they could give the letter Swami himself took it from them. Taking this as a blessing from Bhagwan I started translating Part 4 of Sathyam Shivam Sundaram also.
Shiridi to Puttaparthi…..
While doing this translation I met Late Dr R.T Kakade Garu who wrote the well known book Shiridi to Puttaparthi .Actually ,someone gave this book to my mother and I happened to read it too luckily.We all were so inspired by the experiences narrated in the book that we wanted to personally meet the author of the book .As per the address mentioned in the book,Kakade garu happened to reside nearby to our place.We went to meet him at his residence and he narrated some of his recent experiences to us which were not in the latest edition of the book . A thought just flashed into my mind ,I felt “it would have been so great if I could make a note of the wonderful experiences he shared with us atleast on a piece of paper .
Fortunately, Kakade Garu himself called me later and asked me if I could write his new experiences in Telugu .With Swami’s grace I was lucky enough to be able to write those experiences in Telugu which were included in the next edition of the book “Shiridi to Puttaparthi”(Telugu Edition).
Third visit to Parthi-1993
After completing the translation of the book Sathyam Shivam Sndaram too into Telugu(Part4) , I went to Puttaparthi in 1993 along with my mother and children. Just before this trip we performed the sacred thread ceremony of our son who was 7 year old at that time ,so we wanted to take him for Baba’s blessings .
I went this time with the manuscripts of both ‘Loving God’ and ‘Sathyam shivam Sundaram’ in Telugu.This time too Swami didn’t come closer to me in darshan line . But this time following the prompts from within I met the,then Convenor of Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publication Trust “Sri Pramod Kumar Suri Garu”.
I told him how I happened to translate “Loving God” and Sathyam Shivam Sundaram ,following the inner voice from within.I explained him I was not aware of the protocols or formalities regarding translations if any at that time. But since the rights of the book were reserved by the trust ,I said I wanted to hand over these Telugu manuscripts to him for further necessary action.Thankfully,Suri Garu accepted these manuscripts and sent them for review .He even took my signatures on the copy right papers .
After handing over the scripts of both the books to the convenor,I felt much relieved and happy , immediately I went back to my room and took my mothers blessings .We came back to Hyderabad with excitement but still I was wondering in my mind,how and where would these books be published and who would do the proof reading ,how would all this be accomplished….my human mind had all these questions.
Publication of the first two books-1995
Few months went by and I had no communication from the trust.Suddenly out of blue in 1995 ,after almost 2 years of my visit to Parthi I received a call from Vipla Computers,Hyderabad. They informed me that they received these 2 books for printing and asked me to do
the ‘Proof Reading’. My joy new no bounds! Swami ,out of his immense grace answered all my questions this way. They told me ,they received these books from Parthi and were directed to send the same to me for Proofreading. I was sent the scripts for proof reading ,which I did as and when I received .
This way ,finally after 8 years (1988-1995)the books were published .
They were blessed and released by Swami on Ugadi Day (Telugu New Year’s Day)
I felt so blessed! Though I didn’t know any formalities ,rules and regulations regarding translations ,though my medium of education was in Telugu upto my Bachelors degree,Swami out of his immense grace ,he used me like a pen in his hand and he himself wrote these ,if not, this wouldn’t have been posible.
I have no words to express my joy and gratitude towards Baba.
“It is purely your grace Baba !”
Other Translation opportunities:
During my next visit to Parthi, convenor Sri Suri Garu gave me the printed books .(Both Loving God and Sathyam Shivam Sundaram Part4 in Telugu ) .Along with these 2 books he gave me 4 other books
1. Sri Sathya Sai ,Avathar of Love
2. Vision of Sai –Part2 (By Rita Bruce)
3. Spirituality and Health by Dr. Smt Charanjeeth Ghooi
4. Finding God by Charles Penn
He asked me to translate these English books into Telugu one by one slowly.With Swami’s grace I could complete translating the first three books “Sri Sathya Sai Avathar of Love , Vision of Sai –Part2 and Spirituality and Health .
I took these translated scripts to the trust for publishing.I was informed the Trust would not be able to take up the publication of these books due to lack of funds which were diverted to the ‘Water Projects’ taken up by Swami at that time. They suggested if possible ,I can get the books printed on my own and donate few copies of the same to trust to be placed in the book stall.
As I couldn’t dare to take up this task myself ,I felt sad and prayed Swami to bring these books to light for the sake of many Telugu devotees who couldn’t enjoy reading the English .
Soon after that ,one of our relatives Sri MS Prakasha Rao Garu advised me to give these books to Sri Prashanti Publications Trust in Hyderabad. Following his advise ,I met Late Sri RV Subba Rao , Sri KK Gupta and Sri Vijay Babu who are incharge of Sri Prashanti Publications Trust . I handed over the scripts of above mentioned three books and requested if it was feasible for them to publish them.They were kind enough to go through the scripts and published two of them which are Sri Sathya Avatar of Love (as Sri Sathya -Sai Prema Pradayini in Telugu) and Vision of Sai –Part2 (Dharma Sansthapanardhaya in Telugu).
Later ,with the approval of Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publication Trust, these books were placed in book stalls in Parthi.
With Swami’s grace the following books in english were also given to me through Sri Prashanti Publications Trust , for translation into Telugu which I could complete.
1.Sathya Sai, The Almighty God (collection of experiences of some devotees)
[Sakshath Parabhrahma Sri Sathya Sai in Telugu ]
2.Sathya Sakha by Abdul Razak Kurbu
3.The Divine doctor by Dr .Santamma [Divya Vaidhyudu in Telugu ]
4. Yuga Avatari Sri Sathya Sai by Sri Dr K Hanumantappa
[Sri Sathya Sai Baba Yuga Avataramu ]
5. Geeta for Young Adults by Prof G Venkatraman[Sri Krishna Arjuna Sambhashana]
Not only this ,I was also blessed with an opportunity to translate articles for ‘Sai Seva Jhari ‘ a monthly journal being published in Shivam ,Hyderabad .
Recently I was fortunate enough to work on translation of Inspired Medicine Complied by Judy Warner which is yet to be published.
I am sincerely praying Swami that the Telugu Translations -Inspired Medicine and Spirituality and Health also be published so that the Telugu Readers can also enjoy these valuable books.
This is how I have come to Swami’s fold following foot steps of my beloved mother,my ‘spiritual guru’ (Smt Rukmini).
How blessed I feel:
I thoroughly enjoyed translating each of the books.I consider ‘Translation work as means of Meditation for me in my Spiritual Sadhana.’.Not only that they taught me number of lessons which helped me to face the day to day life situations .
I still can’t believe that Beloved Baba has blessed me to translate Loving God and Sathyam Sivam Sundaram which I truly feel, added more meaning and purpose to my life.I will always cherish these most precious memories throughout my life.
I consider all these translations are blessings showered by Baba on me.
Also I am grateful to Bhagawan Baba to give me an opportunity to compile my mother’s experiences that depict her ‘Adwaitha Sadhana’, into a serial order .
This book titled as ‘Adwaitha Amrutha Varshini’ was published in 2010 .
Bhagawan graciously blessed and released it on 8th November,2010 during the auspicious occasion of his 85th Birthday celebrations.
I am extremely happy ,for Swami has also blessed my elder daughter Prashanti Kondury to transcribe beautiful experiences of some Sai Devotees recorded by Ted Henry .
It is nothing but Swami’s Leela which made it possible for me to work on these books uninterrutedly despite of getting operated twice on my right hand due to CTS (Carpus Tunnel Syndrome) and Tennis Elbow problems . He never materialised anything directly or gave any Padanamaskar ,but I always felt his grace .I went through few more surgeries due to some health issues but each time he gave me strength to recover soon.
“Sairam and Thank you Swami “
Last but not least I am very very thankful to Souljourns for giving this wonderful opportunity to share my experiences with Sai Family. I appreciate and thank Ted and Jody for coming with such wonderful idea of collecting experiences of millions of Sai devotees across the world .This helps us to stay connected and work together to spread the message of love of our beloved Baba .
Loving Sai Pranams