MISSION TO SPREAD THE WISDOM OF GURU
SMT. SATHYABAI SIVADAS - PROMULGATING SREE NARAYANA GURU'S WISDOM
Sathyabai Teacher started to write and speak about the Guru in connection with Ambedkar Centenary Celebrations. She was asked by UGC to present a paper on 'Uplift of the Downtrodden' in a National Seminar. She suggested to the Convener that she would write about Sree Narayana Guru of Kerala. He had a puzzled look on his face and shot a question in Hindi, 'Woh Koun Hey?' which means 'Who is he?' She was shocked and disappointed, but the question opened her eyes to the reality of the situation: 'People outside Kerala know practically nothing about the Guru'.
Moreover, she became aware of the false values and misplaced ideals of the younger generation through her interaction with the college students. The parents were no better. Sathyabai Teacher's mission in life became clear to her. She must work to spread the teachings and messages of the Guru among the people of Andhra, which has become her home. That is the only way to pay off her indebtedness to the Guru. She always remembers that she has reached this stage in life because the doors of the school were opened to her grandmother due to the great Guru.
Sathyabai Teacher took up the work seriously after she retired from service. She joined Sree Narayana Educational and Cultural Society (SNECS) of Hyderabad which was already working towards spreading the messages of Sree Narayana Guru. SNECS was running an English Medium school in a backward area, with the objective of catering standard education to the socially and educationally backward children. She worked as Educational Secretary of the Society for six years, and then after a gap of a few years, was elected to the position of President of SNECS. Nearly for 8 years, she used to reach the school on all Saturdays to participate in the morning Assembly and tell the children about the Guru and his teachings through small stories and anecdotes. The children used to wait eagerly for her stories. She had to withdraw from active work due to reasons of health. During all these years, Sathyabai Teacher is glad to say that the office bearers and other member of the Society were always supporting her and had been extending full-co-operation to all projects presented by her. In fact, she thanks the Society for helping her to grow and she has tried earnestly to make the Society grow in stature.
Their strategy was to get the intellectuals interested in the Guru at first. Then the messages will percolate to the common man through them. There were a few like Prof. F. D. Vakil, Prof. G Sathyanarayana, Padmasri Kolakaluri Enoch, Justice B.S. A.Swamy etc. who already knew about the Guru, but they had to be activated. So they invited the intellectuals, one by one as Guests of Honour in Gurudeva Jayanthi Celebrations held by Sree Narayana Educational & Cultural Society of Hyderabad, and then sent them as Guests of Honour on Sivagiri pilgrimage. This strategy worked. The intellectuals were inspired. They were much impressed by the tremendous people's response to Sree Narayana Guru. They decided that Sree Narayana Guru need not be confined to Malayalees alone. He is a universal Guru. His teachings must cross the barriers of language and reach all over the world. They decided to take the teachings and methods of action to the people of Andhra Pradesh. So, they started to act. National Seminars on the Guru in three Universities were organized; Osmania University of Hyderabad, Kakatiya University of Warrangal and Drawida University of Kuppam. In all these Seminars, most of the speakers were non-Malayalees. Potti Sreeramulu Telugu University of Hyderabad came forward to celebrate Sree Narayana Jayanthi & other functions.
Meanwhile, 'Sree Narayana Guru, his Philosophy and Social movement' were introduced in the P G. Syllabi of sociology, philosophy and political Science in Osmania and Kaktiya Universities through the initiative taken by Prof. F. D. Vakil, a Parsee. Drawida University has a separate section for the study of Sree Narayana Guru. Scholars came up to do research on the Guru for Ph. D. & M. Phil Degrees. Then they felt the great disadvantage: the dearth of books on the Guru. Though there are more than 3000 books on the Guru in Malayalam, in English there are only a few, and practically nothing in other languages. So, Sathyabai Teacher started to concentrate on translations. Started with translations from Malayalam to English, but she realized that this would help only the educated elite. For the common man, it has to be in their own language. So, they felt the need for immediate Telugu translations.