Reading books is my hobby. Whenever I go to other cities or when I go shopping in Hyderabad, if I see a book stall, I go round the shelves and buy the books I like. Once I got a desire to learn about the lives of Prof. Kodi Ramamurthy and Sri Gama. I made enquiries in Hyderabad, Secunderabad and other district head quarter towns about these persons. I could not secure the bookson them anywhere. I was surprised at this situation.
Sri Ramamurthy was awarded the title “ Kaliyuga Bhima”. It was Sri Ramamurthy, a unique personality, who gave exhibitions of his physical prowess in world forums and kept aloft the honour and glory of our country and Andhra Pradesh as an Andhra.
Sri Gama had won fame as the “ Lion of Punjab”. He had truly the strength of a lion. Even in his seventieth year he challenged champion wrestlers of the world to come and defeat him. He had fought in 5000 kusti competitions and did not know defeat. Gama is the other famous person who brought credit to his country.
I could not lay my hands on a book, either in Telugu or English on such great men as the above two. I took membership in the State Library and the British Library and there too I could not find any work on them. In the State Library, in a small book, there was material running into only two pages on Sri Ramamurthy.
In this Kaliyuga , among the millions and millions of population in the world there has been no rival to these great men. When an attempt is made to write their life histories, their ideals and aims the exercises they practiced and performed, the contests in which they participated and other such relevant details it will give the readers the needed inspiration. Particularly, the youth need this support.
The society will be healthy and energetic when the youth get the required spirit. So I felt that if would be good and useful if I wrote a book on the unique individuals, their talent they exhibited in thefields of specialization, its history, the specialization, its history, the specialties of the art and other details. Before I go ahead about my idea and the attempts I made, I should inform you of my eligibility for doing so.
I had great interest in games and sports from my boyhood. During the fifties I usd to take part in High School games. In those days boys used to go to the play grounds of schools or colleges. In those days no one freely practiced any game or sport on roads, parks or did walking or urning in open places running as is being done now. I used to travel fifteen Kilometres by train in the night, sleep in the Chandragiri railway station, go to the school grounds and do my practice. As I had no favourable conditions to help me, reaching the district level in games was a great achievement for me.
This experience was my foundation for my sports activities. My interest for sports did not decline even after I left the high school. I got an opportunity to do exercises, Kusti practice and stick games. On 15th August in 1960, I won the second place in Kusti at the district level in Chittoor. My life was a continuous struggle, yet, , whenever there was a chance to learn about my favourite items, I utilized them to the fullest. In this manner my desire was to achieve success in some sports items. Apart from this, the three books I published in the year 2008, “ Desa Videshee Yatralu”, Bharateeya Yoga Sammelanam”,. And “ Satsanga Sankalanam” won appreciation from many quarters. This success also gave me courage to write about some fields connected with sports.
I felt sure that if I write about select martial arts, their history and skills, along with details about the heroes who have mastered them, it would be inspiring to the youth.
Though Kusti, boxing, body- building, weight -lifting , stick exercises, sword play, archery, swimming, karate are connected with physical exercises I wanted to acquire the details of the life styles of the champions, their habits and traditions, equipment and their skills in Kusti, boxing, body-building, weight lifting, stick exercises, karate and archery. It was not an easy task for me to write about the martial arts I chose to write The little information available will not suffice to give an idea about them. Kusti, stick exercises and archery are ancient arts. In olden days kings and emperors encouraged them. Now the arts are fading into background. The experts in these arts have to be searched and details acquired from them. In order to obtain full details, the person who collects the information should have knowledge about them.
Sri Kodi Ramamurthy lived in Vizianagaram. So I decided to collect material from Vizianagaram. I went there and met many persons. Fortunately for me, the disciples of Sri Nagamalla Pydiraju who was the last disciple of Kodi Ramamurthy were living there. Because of them my work moved smoothly. Gama also lived in Vizianagaram for some time during his tour of the country.
A very important and a piece of special information became available to me there. Sri Kodi Ramamurthy and his disciples were able to carry the weight of elephants and road- rollers on their chests. They were able to stop two moving cars at the same time and were snaping iron chains etc. I learnt that the normal exercises will not give a person so much strength andthat only yoga and yogic exercises give the necessary strength to do so. Sri Paidi Lakshminarayana Murthy is performing the feats even to day.
I met Sri Murthy to find out the secret, practice it and enjoy the experience. He very readily and happily agreed and came from Vizianagaram to Hyderabad, stayed here for ten days and made me practice the yogic exercises. Now I am seventy years old. As I had been doing exercises for a very long time, I could to some of the difficult exercises and the yogic practices he taught me. The important among them is Suryanamaskars. They are practiced in different forms. I was surprised at the changes seen in my body. My body became very hard and strong. I have incorporated in this book the method of performing them and my personal experiences. This is an art which has to be learnt from a guru and then only performed. They should not be done by looking up into a book and performed.
In the same manner the other martial arts, their history, details about the methods, teaching methods, equipment needs and the great experts who mastered the arts, the mode of their training, the food habits and other relevant details have been included with photographs. There is a lot of difference between the ancient methods of exercises, their talents and abilities, and the modern methods. Yet there is an opportunity to learn the old system and improve the abilities by the modern youth. Sri Kodi Ramamurthy and Sir Gama proved that the Indian system of exercises is superior to the western system. Dr. Achanta Lakshmipathi proved that the Indian system of exercises is greater than the European system in the presence of Sri. Buck, the American, who established the first physical education institute in India. The champions of our Indian system visited foreign countries, won victories there and returned to India triumphantly.
Oursystem of exercises is a scientific art and education is hope that the youth of the present day would imbibe the finer skills which have been incorporated in this book and improve themselves physically and mentally.
In this book on world famous strongmen, might some errors might have crept in because of my laziness. If the readers pardon them and point them out to me with good grace. I assure them that the errors will be rectified in the coming edition. I pray to God that everyone should enjoy good health, long life, peace and happiness.
“ Sarvejanaah Sukhinobhavanth
Lokala Samasthah Sukhinobhavanth