Talks with Pedda Reddy garu, the caretaker of
Planetarium and Sai Geeta
One of our
brothers had the chance to speak to Pedda Reddy Garu, the caretaker of
Planetarium and Sai Geeta. We all should learn from this and incorporate
in our lives
During our seva, we had an opportunity to clear some land within the
institute compound, next to the new bldg, so that they can till that land
for Sai Geeta's fodder. Poor thing has lost its previous land now right?
So, we worked there all day. We also had to cut harvest for her. I felt
like a farmer.
We enjoyed it. In the evening, we sat with Pedda Reddy garu, the caretaker
of Planetarium and Sai Geeta. He told us some really startling things.
We asked him:
Q: Uncle, tell us how u first came to Swami.
A: I did my M.Tech in Physics(!!!) and came to Parthi for the first time.
I saw Swami and was instantly convinced that He is God. I do not know why.
After that, I came to Parthi and started staying here. My parents passed
away when I was studying and my siblings were taking care of me. In 1965,
I was called for an interview by Swami. He told me in my first interview
that I would never get married and that I would stay here for the rest of
Q: What happened then? Did you come here immediately?
A: Yes, I stayed here. I thought that even if I get a watchman's job here,
it is worth it when I am doing it for the Lord. Swami gave me a job as a
Q: How did you happen to become the caretaker of Sai Geeta then?
A: Swami told me to teach. As I was staying here, he said that since you
stay close to where Sai Geeta is, do take care of her also. That is how I
came to look after Sai Geeta. After sometime, the planetarium came up and
Swami told me to take care of it. He told me to leave the teaching and
take care of planetarium, Sai Geeta and the canteen. He gave me a room in
East Prashanti. Sri Kutumb Rao was in charge of the Ashram those days.
Swami told him to give me a room.
Q: Tell us about Sai Geeta's early days.
A: Sai Geeta was very close to Swami those days. Everyday her duty would
be to wait outside the Mandir in the morning and she would be ready with a
garland. As soon as Swami would come out of the interview room, she would
garland Him. Swami too was extremely affectionate towards her and
would keep feeding her with delicious fruits etc.
In fact, Swami would hold her trunk in His armpit and take her to the
interview room. One day, she did not fit and that was the last time she
Swami would grant her interview for more than an hour each day. I wonder
what He would speak to her.
Q: Uncle, did you never feel that you are so qualified and Swami has given
you such a menial job?
A: No. I was ready to be a watchman, remember? So, this is better than
that. Moreover, how does it matter what job you do. I just decided to stay
here. My needs are minimal. My monthly expense is only Rs. 45 (!!!)
That too is only for my soap, brush and paste. Once in a while, when Swami
gives clothes, I get them stitched. That's all. Swami has given me free
food in the canteen. So, I don't need to spend more.
Q: Uncle, have you never eaten outside the canteen?
A: No. In the last 30 years, I have never eaten anywhere else. I don't go
anywhere even when Swami is not here. I have not moved out of Parthi for
the last 26 years.(!!!) What need can I have? Every need is taken care of
by Swami. I am blessed with good health. I am 67 years old now. I have
never had any health problem so far.
Q: Uncle, its quite incredible. You have not moved out of Parthi!! Didn't
you ever go to Brindavan either?
A: No. I don't even know how it looks.
Q: Did you never feel neglected? Did you never feel that Swami is not
giving you importance?
A: No. The only important person here is Swami. All others are only in the
delusion that they are 'important'. You must first understand this.
You will feel neglected only if you have an expectation. If there is no
expectation, there is no disappointment.
Q: When was the last time Swami called you for an interview?
A: Swami has called me only 4 times. The last time He called me for an
interview was in 1990(!!!).
Q: Did Swami never speak to you after that??
A: Yes, He does speak whenever I bring Sai Geeta to Mandir. I don't even
come for Darshan on other days. He enquires about her health. Sometimes,
if He comes to Sai Geeta's compound, He speaks. During His 75th birthday
celebrations, all the Ashram authorities were felicitated. My name was not
in the list. He included my name and blessed me with clothes and money.
Q: Uncle, are you paid for this job?
A: No. What made you think so?
Q: How do you manage then?
A: I told you, I don't have to spend for food. Apart from that, Swami
gives stitching charges with clothes once a year. That suffices. (!!!!!)
Q: What about haircut?
A: I cut my own hair. (!!!!!)
Q: Uncle, this is true ceiling on desires.
A: It is not so difficult. I am not giving up anything actually. I never
had anything to give up. I still eat everyday. I still bathe everyday.
What else could I possibly need? But there is one thing I would like to
tell you. You should not spend unnecessarily. Spend where it is required
but not unnecessarily.
Q: Uncle, don't you ever feel that there are people who do not practice
even half of what you do and are very close to Swami physically whereas
you are so far away doing something which is not in sync with educational
A: I do not even know who are close physically to Swami. That keeps
changing. This does not change. Why to compare? With whom to compare? I
have never even expected to be spoken to by Swami. So, why should I think
of all that. I should do my work and offer it to Swami. Let Him do what He
Q: Uncle, were there any situations where you got into trouble with Ashram
A: Ha-ha. Why do you ask? Anyway, there was a time when they wanted to
dismantle the Planetarium. The then AIP, I think his name was
Satyanarayana- came to me and took my signature saying that it was Swami's
command. Later, Swami called me and asked me about it. After I told him
what happened, He said, "Promise me that you will never put a signature on
anything again". I did that and came away. I dont know what happened after
Q: You are really great uncle. You have taught us so many valuable lessons
of life today.
A: No no. Its very easy to be like this. You boys are the true heroes. You
have your offices, studies etc. Still, your love for Swami makes you come
and work for Him. This is what Swami wants.