My faith is unshaken and my love is unsurpassed. I know that He will always be with me.
Is it my right as a Hindu girl who was born in the 1950s in Karnataka, to have an avid education, to be what society demands, to have a Guru? What is this right?
My story begins in Mysore. My name is Gayatri…. ashramamites call me Bhajan Gayatri. I started working in the government service in the early 1970s. My sister and I loved singing bhajans, and so became devotees of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
In the early 1970s, my mother’s friend would visit a young Swamiji in an ashrama on Ooty Road. She kept insisting to my mother that she would like to take the girls with her to the programs. Not searching for a Guru, we adamantly hesitated. Finally we broke, when we found out that this Guru sings bhajans everyday; especially bhajans like Manasa Bhajore Guru Charanam, Premamudita Manasa Kalo and others, as these were bhajans that were sung by Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
Our first entry, for the 1972 Navaratri, was with trepidation. This was a forested property with snakes and other wild animals. There was a small cottage and an open shed. When the program got underway and the bhajans got started, After that initiation, I became a frequent visitor to the ashrama. I was eighteen years old and saw a new world, a new universe, a new life. I was so enchanted that I wanted to a part of this miracle. I began attending the programs more often, and started participating in Guru Seva.
In 1976, my sister and I wanted to join into the Hatha yoga classes that were part of the ashrama activities. At that time the participants were only boys. How were we to get entry? Anyway, through His grace we were allowed to join in. The continuous flow of nectar was being provided.
Later that year a printing press was acquired by the Ashrama. As my mother tongue is Kannada and I was able to converse and write some English, I became the writer, editor, printer, publisher, and distributor of a new ashrama magazine; Bhakti Mala. The Bhakti Mala would be published later in English and Kannada.
In 1978, Sri Swamiji started insisting that Telugu publications should also be produced. I did not know Telugu, how was I to perform this task? I placed my fears and doubt at His Holy Feet. Standing at the case in the press, Sri Appaji looked at me and said “don’t worry, you can do it”. That was my incentive. With His grace, I started to learn Telugu with rapid progress. So the Telugu publication was also started.
For fourteen years I did the Ashrama publication of Bhakti Mala as part of my Guru Seva and I would not trade any part of this experience for any worldly or material thing. Father, mother, siblings, friend, companion and Guru, this is what my Sadgurudeva is to me. I thought that with His grace, I could be anything that I wanted to be. Now I know that His is the only meaning, and His sankalpa, whatever it is will surely happen.
This body given to this soul is identified as Gayatri. The body moves and is called Gayatri. But, who am I? My Swamiji has allowed this body to exist in His creation. Is it not that this body should performs the acts that helps the creation? Isn’t it that He is the commander and we are the medium? If that is correct, then why do we suffocate in worldly attritions?
My story is small, but my life is big. I have seen this ashrama grow without refrain. I am continuing to perform my seva unhindered. My faith is unshaken and my love is unsurpassed. I know that He will always be with me.
Jaya Guru Datta Swamiji.