Bhajan Gayatri, Mysore: ‘Father, mother, siblings, friend, companion and Guru, this is what my Sadgurudeva is to me.’

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.



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    • Hanuman Hoffman on August 11, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    Beautiful and inspiring, Gayatri. Jaya Guru Datta

    • Radha from on August 11, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    JAYA GURU DATTA! Dearest Gayatri, my sincere thanks for Your inspiring words! I`m happy to see Your Foto and to read Your wonderful story! S.G.D.! OM NAMO HANUMATE NAMAHA!

    • lakshmi ramgopal on August 11, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    jgd gayathri ur faith is incomparible to anybody. my regards to u .way back in70s we wer all together it was a wonderful.time.during SAPTHA RISHI RAMAYANA u wer the sri swamijis part .it was most memorable event. thanks i ll always remember u . jhd

    • Girija DeQuattro on August 11, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta.. thank you for sharing your wonderful story!

  1. JGD…Nice to see u on fb after along long time….really nice to read ur experience with Lord……He is the doer we are the instruments then why not to surrender onto his lotus feets… sure he will take care….SGD


    • mala on August 11, 2012 at 5:33 pm

    JGD, happy to read your experience, though i know first hand this is only skimming the surface of it, since it is too deep and long to write. Remembering fondly days in the Press with you. Can’t thank you enough for the bhajan lessons, Gayatrika!

    • Mukund Mohan on August 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Jai Guru Datta !! Very inspiring and lot to learn from your experiences !! Sri Guru Datta !!

    • Dhenuka on August 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta! Gayatri, it is because of your dedication and discipline that my husband and I were able to learn all the ashrama prayers during our stay in Mysore. You also patiently helped us grow in singing His hymns during the evening bhajan session. His music is the tie that binds us. I feel so blessed to know you. Sri Guru Datta

    • Prasad Madala on August 11, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta,
    What a inspiring experience Gayatri Ma. Yes, we are all HIS instruments. Ultimately HE is the one WHO decides what is right for us. We simply follow.
    Om Sri Sadgurubhyo Namaha!

    • Thanaletchumy Kanagaraj on August 11, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    JGD,happy to see you on fb.Thank you for sharing your experiences with Sri Swamiji and Dattapeetham.It’s trully a great blessing to have been able to grow along with dattapettam for the past forty years.With Swamiji’s guidience you will never go wrong.Wishing you many many more happy, healthy years to come so you’ll be able to continue your sevah unhindered.Please continue to write,and share with us more about your experiences.Om Namo Hanumathe Namaha!…..

    • Tara Siew on August 11, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta,
    Very Inspiring and Beautiful, thank you for sharing Aunty Gayatri.
    Sri Guru Datta

    • KUMAR.GANAPATHIRAMAN on August 12, 2012 at 2:31 am

    Jaya Guru Datta

    • Venkat on August 12, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Jai guru datta,

    Great to hear that you have been associated with ashrama for such a long time. I would like to know more about appaji and ashram at the time. Looking forward to hear more of such experiences.

    • Chaitanya on August 12, 2012 at 9:40 am

    Jaya Guru Datta!!!How true it is that we are just medium…..Thank you for sharing your experience…

    • sharma bhimavaram on August 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

    we know that you are a silent follower of sri swamiji and great devotee.But hearing experiences of devotees like you will inspire us to do more activities in future. very good satsangam.thank you.

    • usha on August 12, 2012 at 10:21 am

    jaya guru datta.nice to read your vast experiences in the ashrama.very commendable service in nurturing the ashram magazine -bhaktimala.

    • prabhavathi on August 12, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta Akka…

    Thank u So much for sharing this wonderful experience…. and your are so lucky because u r following Appaji from Ashrama starting days….

    Sri guru datta

  3. Jai Guru Datta Akka,

    Akka through my childhood I’m watching U do yoeman service to our beloved Sadguru but never dared to ask you your experience, now I came to know how U started serving and doing it with all your heart and Soul. I really Don’t know that U Served Appaji by being instrumental in Bhakti Mala’s Publication at the beginning. Its Nice to hear U Akka. May Appaji bless U with eternal bliss (and all of Datta family as well)

    Sri Guru Datta.

    • pushpa on August 12, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    Jai Guru datta Gayatri, i am very happy to read your experience, which i liked very much, as i know you for such a long time and sometimes i feel that you are my akka.

    • on August 12, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta!
    Dear Bhajan Gayatri, thank you so much for all the wonderful Bhakti Malas. The Bhakti Malas are simply wonderful. i can learn so much! And i like them very much. Thanks Thanks Thanks!
    Sri Guru Datta
    Om Namo Hanumate Namah

    • Mallidatta on August 12, 2012 at 3:30 pm

    Jayagurudatta!!Akka .

    • Hema on August 12, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    Truly a beautiful account from someone we should all try to imitate. Thank you auntie Gaytri for sharing this story, you have inspired us.

  4. Jai Guru Datta

    • S Kandarpa on August 12, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta
    Very inspiring. I am lucky to learn about Sri Sadguru’s devotees.
    Sri Guru Datta

    • srinivas mullapudi on August 12, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Very touching story Gayathri garu. Namaste. Jaya Guru Datta

    • Sita on August 13, 2012 at 12:13 am

    JGD, Very nice to read your inspiring account of ashram life and your description of how our faith in Sri Swamiji can move mountains! Awesome! SGD.

    • kalyani on August 13, 2012 at 2:07 am

    Jaya Guru Datta ,Thank you verymuch for sharing your divine experiences SGD !!

    • Padma on August 13, 2012 at 7:23 am

    Very happy to know about your beautiful experience dear Akka!

    • Aparajitha on August 13, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Beautiful narration. Thanks for sharing. Jaya Guru Datta

  5. JGD.An inspiring episode from an ambitious and executive devotee surrenderd herself to the feet of APPAJI’S Seva.Long live sister long live and be hopeful to people like us..

    • Adrian Antrum /Gopala on August 13, 2012 at 10:46 am

    It is very easy to close ones eyes and slip back home to the memory of the acoustics of the Universal Prayer Hall prior to it’s redevelopment with it’s polished concrete floor, neon lights, cream painted walls and tatty red curtains partitioning the Homa Kunda.
    We would see you early in the morning on your own before morning prayers singing ‘Siveti souriti’ It was because of listing to you in those early days this prayer is so significant for us with your unmistakable vocal internations; which to this day evokes strong memories of our first visit to the Ashrama in 1991. It was like being in Eden, everything was so rustic, earthy and simple.
    On our last visit in 2007 your concern of our daughter ‘Malika’ in her Gap year with her intention to travel alone in North India, you skilfully persuaded her to overcome her stubbornness whilst doing a yoga class with you to announce to Swamiji her plan before leaving the Ashrama and for his blessing. From then on we knew whatever adversities she might encounter would be lessoned by Swamiji’s protection. Gayatri you are surely are a medium of Sri Swamiji’s nuturing omnipresence. Kamadhenu & Gopala, Jaya Guru Datta.

    • Vanaja on August 13, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta, Gayatri – thank you for sharing your experience. May we all continue to have Satsanga in the Ashrama and elsewhere.

    • Kalyani Nimmagadda on August 13, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    JGD Gayatri Akka,

    Good to hear your story

    • on August 14, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I know gayatri from1982onwards and she is very humble and a silent devotee of Appaji and doing her service in the Ashrama according to her capacity. During those days I remember she used to sing in the morning the usual Ashrama prayers and in the evening Bhajans wether any body is there or not with out any hesitation. That is Gayatri. JGD

    • kumar ksn on August 14, 2012 at 10:23 am

    JGD! Akka your life’s purpose is fulfilled by the grace of Sadguru. U r Bhakti mala/bhajan akka.

    • Parimala on August 14, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Jaya Guru Datta akka. Very nice.

    • Madhu Talwar on August 14, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    jgd akka you are really practicing hatha yoga in every sphere of your life, your confidence will work as a powerful torch in many lives onhn sgd

    • SARLA PANDITA on August 15, 2012 at 2:23 am

    JAYA GURU DATTA GAYATRI..AKKA, You are really blessed.

  6. Dear Gayatri, i am so happy to read from You here, and remember You so good when i learned my first Bhajans with the accordeon with You, so great time! I send You my best regards, JGD

    • on August 20, 2012 at 11:52 am

    I have heard a lot about you from my mom and aunts. I know that you are a good soul. Thanks for sharing your experience, aunty. JGD!

    • indira kondaveeti on August 29, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    Jaya Guru Datta.Thank you akka for your wonderful experience with Sri Swamiji and ashrama.Sri Guru Datta.

    • on September 17, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Jai Guru Datta Akka, my mother is very very happy to see you and your article. !! Sri Guru Datta !!

    • P B Ramesha kanakapura on December 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

    jayagurudatta i called to akka (sister) i saw at sgs first time looking for early momrring listen to sweet vioce shiveti gowreti gajannaheti but personal not meet isaw the somany times your life is wonderfull .APPAGI full grace for u .she really luckyperson.jayagurudatta

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