SATHYABAI AND GURU DHARMA PRACHARANA SABHA
SMT. SATHYABAI SIVADAS - PROMULGATING SREE NARAYANA GURU'S WISDOM
While all these were going on, there was a letter from Sivagiri (2010) to start a unit of Guru Dharma Pracharana Sabha (GDPS) at Hyderabad. Sathyabai Teacher felt that it was an opportunity to get more Telugu people involved, if there is a separate unit for them. She discussed the matter with Sivagiri, and got the Andhra unit registered, with local people as members and office bearers. They felt proud and elevated to be a part of a global organization like GDPS.
All these years the common people there had felt that Sree Narayana Guru was a Malayali and hence organizations in his name were meant only for Malayalees. The inauguration of GDPS in 2011, by Sri Bandaru Dattatreya, Union Minister, dispelled that idea. Telugu speaking people expressed a keen desire to know more about the Guru, and how he had transformed the people of Kerala.
Before the formation of GDPS, they had already made three land marks in Telugu about the Guru. The first was her book 'The Social Philosopher of Kerala'. A Telugu translation was published by Hyderabad Book Trust, before the English Version came out. Nearly 2000 copies are already sold out. The next one was 'Sree Narayana Darsanam' a ballet in Telugu of one hour duration, based on the compositions of the Guru. This was performed in Hyderabad and also at the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations of 'All Religions Meet' at Aluva - Adwaithashram. The third is a telefilm on the Guru in Telugu, Mananavatha vadi Sree Narayana Guru, produced by Hyderabad Doordarshan. This is being telecast on occasions, connected with the Guru.
With the formation of GDPS for Andhra, local scholars and activists came forward, to generate awareness about the Guru, and spread his philosophy. As part of the attempt to bring Sree Narayana Guru in the mainstream of people's leaders in India, in collaboration with Telugu University, a function was arranged on 'Charioteers of People's Awakening' on 12th May 2012. All those leaders who had inspired the people with their ideologies and led them to intellectual progress and material prosperity were discussed. Mahatma Hule, Sree Narayana Guru, Ayyankali, Periyar Ramaswamy, Berza Munda (Jharkhand), B. R. Ambedkar etc. were discussed. The main achievement of this Seminar was that the admirers and followers of the other socio-cultural leaders also came to know about Sree Narayana Guru. Following the Guru's advice for religious amity, in 2011 & 2012, 'All Religion Meets' were arranged involving spiritual leaders of all major religions. The GDPS works in collaboration with other socio-cultural organizations which support the Guru's ideology. They tried to install an idol of the Guru at Chhatrinake Malayala Swami Ashram, but somehow it did not work.
A major work taken up by GDPS, is the translation of Guru's compositions. They started with Daivadasakam, Gadya Prarthana and Narayana Smriti (Sree Narayana Dharmam). The first two are being freely distributed to the people. Narayana Smrithi, was released in a national Seminar on the Guru at Padmavati Mahila University of Tirupati, in the presence of Tanmaya Swami from Gurukulam and Paripurnananda Swami of Vyasashram. In this context they are proud to say that they have completed and released the Telugu translation of Narayana Smrithi earlier than the Central Government's decision to translate the Guru's compositions.
The impact of this book-release to the general public was encouraging. Political and Dalit leaders came forward with a request to start a Sree Narayana Vijnana Kendram in that area. The people of two villages, Manasamudram and Mandikrishnapuram have offered land free of cost. The District Collector also has approved. In the meanwhile the division of the State into Andhra & Telangana has put a brake to the land issue. The new Government of Andhra has to be approached. It will take some time. They have to start a separate Unit for Telangana.
In the last National Seminar arranged by GDPS (August 31st, 2014), all those Telugu people who have contributed to spread the messages of the Guru in AP were felicitated. Rhithambharananda Swamy came and wrapped the shawls with the designs of Sivagiri on them and all of them were given mementos engraved with their names and the service they have rendered. It is an occasion for them to cherish: the representative of the great Guru has come to honour them, if they could not go to Sivagiri. It is giving them great emotional fillip, which will make them better messengers.
Meanwhile, articles about the Guru by non-Malayalis are regularly coming in local newspapers. People like former VC of Telugu university Prof. N. Gopi & Former Deputy CM Dr. Raja Narasimham, Senior Journalist Malleppaly Lakshmaiah etc. wrote in popular newspapers like Andhra Jyothi & Sakshi. Makara deepam, a Telugu magazine publishes Narayana Smriti in serial form. Poets are coming forward to write folk songs about the Guru. Nearly twenty five songs are ready. GDPS is waiting for finances to make CDs and release these songs. Attempts are going on to request the Government of Telangana to celebrate Sree Narayana Jayanti as a State festival.