Gopalakrishna Pandravada, Vijayawada
Sri Swamiji was very happy on the presentation and we requested that it should be distributed to several people. That was the first kriya yoga printed version.
I am a second generation devotee of His Holiness Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji. My parents came to Him during His inaugural trip to Vijayawada in 1969. Although I was not an atheist, I also, was not a seeker of spirituality. However, at that time, He did post an indelible portrait in my mind and slowly a seed of spirituality was planted.
I was the manager of a newspaper/publication in Vijayawada and I would work fourteen hours a day. The results of my hard work enabled my family an upper middle class standard of living. I will make time to have His darsan when He came to Vijayawada, and on certain occasion, visit the Mysore ashrama for festivals. Unknowingly the seed of spirituality was growing stealthily.
In 1981, His Holiness invited a group of people to attend a Kriya Yoga program. Without realizing to what it may lead to I became a part of that group. For ten days we were taught personally by Sri Swamiji, and we were made to write all the information that was given. After the program, under the guidance of a senior scholar, Shad Darshanam Somasundara Sarma, we compiled the information in book form and presented it to His Holiness sacred feet as Guru Samarparana. Sri Swamiji was very happy on the presentation and we requested that it should be distributed to several people. That was the first kriya yoga printed version.
I became an ardent participant in the practice of kriya yoga but had no idea to move further. However when His Holiness sees me He will always hint that I should get more interested and involved in kriya yoga. On Januaray 1st,2000, after doing Pada Namaskaram, Sri Swamiji called me and directed me that I must write a book on kriya yoga in Telugu. Although Telugu is my native tongue, I am more proficient in the English language; I would even write letters to my wife in English only. So His order to me was very confusing and astonishing. Never I wrote any prose or poetry, not even stories.
The ways of Sadguru is with a purpose foreseen by Him only, but we must follow His dictates; so says our scriptures. In my confusion, during one of Sri Swamiji’s telecast, I was taken aback when I heard Sri Swamiji saying “that to undertake any task, you must seek knowledge and help from other sources, one must not think that the other person is not his guru, or the other path is not his path”. Immediately I realize that I must equip my potential, overcome my difficulties and plunge forward. To follow the Master’s directive I must seek the necessary knowledge and help needed.
While browsing through several spiritual magazines, I came across an article in the Rama Krishna Prabha periodical where it states that ‘serious seekers must come and seek the practice of the YOGA’. It stated that the practice was rigorous and disciplined and therefore only those who could manage should apply. Unhindered I applied and was accepted almost immediately. To my surprise I understood that my Guru’s mission must be carried out and every action is His action.
I travelled to Sivananda Ashrama in Hyderabad, where the program was to be conducted for ten days. The program started with forty persons and completed with fifteen graduates. In the beginning, the rigors and diet of the program were very difficult. One has to do sadhana for fourteen hours daily and to sit firmly for three hours at a time. There is no cooked food, no breakfast etc. Only rice flakes and milk/buttermilk and two fruits per day and most people quit within the first five days. However, with the grace of His Holiness and my will to get His work done the remainder of the course went without failure. On completion, the Guru of the program advised tht we should continue to practice the procedures as taught. Explicitly as told I practiced. Due to that I realized the energy in pranayama & concentration.
On Sri Swamiji’s next visit to Vijayawada, He commanded me to come to Mysore, stay for some time and commence the writing of the book. When I was having doubts and confusion in my mind, He directed that I should seek the assistance of Kuppa Venkata Krishna Murthy, a scholar on the Mysore campus, and then come to Him. Sri K.V. Krishnamurthy was my guide and inspiration throughout the writing on the book. In His wisdom, His Holiness used my mind and body to complete the works that He has ascribed to me. He had made one step and He completed the other nine steps.
Kriya yoga is a simple, yet comprehensive book. Sri Swamiji’s willed that the book be printed and offered to Him on His 60th birthday celebration in 2002. His Holiness said “you have done sadhana, it is an accomplishment”. He also blessed me that I will be teaching Kriya yoga to hundreds of people in the future, sometimes in His presence. That fortunate grace was showered on me and now in His service, I perform Guru’s ‘seva’ by teaching the art and aspect of Kriya yoga.
Before I left for Kriya yoga camps in Europe with His Holiness he has told “try to convey to the participants with new methods” and it resulted into “Flash presentation” method. His Holiness one day told “translate the Telugu Kriya yoga into English” and the English book was produced. Similarly he told “plan for younger generation to learn yoga” and it has resulted into “Kumara Kriya yoga”. I am an instrument of my Master.
His Holiness communication with me be sometimes, by one word or one sentence. But whatsoever it is, it creates a burst of energy in my psyche and brings in several thoughts of activities. And although my life now does not reflect my past, I am at peace and I wouldn’t trade it for any other thing. The Guru has given to me; patience, tolerance, satisfaction, peace of mind, and most of all; acceptance of all beings. All my wants, in this existence is to be ‘at the Feet of my Sadguru, Sri Sri Ganapati Sachchidananda Swamiji.
The messege of this episode of mine is to make it clear that Sadguru can make an ordinary man do extraordinary things. All that happened to me is his wish to reform me firstly and make me useful to others. The result of the service above is – myself and my wife are placed in the abode of His Holiness feet at Mysore Ashrama. Jaya Guru Datta.
Sri Swamiji Says:
Do not develop ego knowledge. Develop devotional knowledge. The fire of true knowledge reduces to ashes the sins and previous deeds and Karmas.