Gita propagation is his mission
B. Madhu GopalB.MADHU GOPAL
His avowed objective is to spread the message of the Bhagavad Gita for the benefit of posterity. During the last two decades, he has trained over one lakh persons in chanting the Gita. At 72, he goes to different areas in the city and conducts `satsangs' (training classes) for small groups of interested people. The Sri Gita Prachara Samithi, started in Old Town in 1973, was functioning in a rented accommodation for nearly three decades. He joined as its joint secretary in 1990 and soon began making efforts for acquiring a site and was instrumental in the construction of a building to further the activities of the samithi.
The efforts finally bore fruit and a 360 square yard site with a dilapidated building on it was acquired in January 1999. Once the site was acquired donations started pouring in from various sections for construction of the building. "Even a mason who had to be paid Rs.10,000 had asked us to defer his payment and asked us not to stop the work, realising that we ran out of funds. Later, he donated that amount to the Gita Prachara Samithi," he recalls. The old structure was demolished and a three-storeyed building, to house the Gita Bhavan, was constructed in a record time of 96 days. He believes it is all due to the grace of the Lord.
A marble idol of Sri Mahavishnu in his `Viswaroopam' along with the marble idols of Lord Krishna and Arjuna were installed on the top floor (prayer hall) in May 2001.
All the 701 slokas engraved on marble plates were plastered to the walls of the prayer hall.
Meet, Yenduri Krishna Murthi, who has seen a resurgence of spiritualism during the last one decade. "In 1982, when I used to distribute booklets on the Gita, many people never read it and politely returned the books after some days. When children were seen with these booklets in their hands, some of the youth used to ridicule them, `Are you so old to turn to them?' However, that is a thing of the past. Now people of all age groups are learning and reciting the Gita. A revival of spiritualism is taking place with more and more people trying to grasp the essence of our sacred books," he says.
Born in Kummamuru village near Vuyyuru in Krishna district on Krishnashtami day in 1931, Krishna Murthi had his education at the Hindu High School and the Hindu College, Machilipatnam. He joined the State service and later switched over to the Central Food Department in 1954. When he was serving the Food Corporation of India in Madras in the mid-1960s, he heard a lot about the lectures of Swami Chinmayananda on the Gita. He was puzzled by the overwhelming response to the lectures from all sections of people, including from the judiciary and the bureaucracy. The lectures did not attract him initially as he did not understand their essence. One day he purchased a book `Purushottama Prapti' for Rs.2 and read it. Later, when he attended the discourses of Swami Chinmayananda, he was very much impressed.
But before long, he was transferred to Delhi and he could not put the knowledge gained into action. He subsequently served at Bombay, Kakinada, Visakhapatnam and Bangalore and finally retired and settled in the City of Destiny in March 1989.
One day in his dream, he saw a figure, waving its hand and writing the word `Om'. He believed it was Lord Krishna and decided to serve the needy through a spiritual organisation. He underwent training for the perfect chanting of the Gita and Vishnu Sahasranamam. After rigorous practice for several months, he won the appreciation of noted scholars like Sribashyam Appalacharyulu.
He started `Bala Vikas' (Gita recitation) at his residence. Initially, children below 10 years used to attend but in course of time adults also joined. "I used to purchase chocolates and distribute to the children after the satsang every day to sustain their interest," Krishna Murthi recalls.
The satsangs were later conducted at nine other areas, including Maharanipeta, Allipuram, Daspalla Hills and Prema Samajam. He conducts the satsangs for an hour at each of these places every week in addition to the classes conducted at his residence every day.
His busy life even after retirement helps him in maintaining good health. Propagation of the Gita is his only mission now. He has published a booklet, `Gitavinodini', containing 527 questions and answers on the Gita for the benefit of students.
The 701 slokas of the Gita rendered by him were recorded in four cassettes. Those who wished to learn proper chanting of the Gita took some of the copies to the U.S. and Australia. Krishna Murthi was awarded the titles "Gita Vibhushan" by Sri Gita Prachara Samithi and `Seva Ratna' by Sri Vasavi Vignan Mandali for the honorary services rendered by him.
"The message of the Gita will hold good forever. The growing interest in learning and reciting the Gita and other holy books augurs well for society," he avers.
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