Friday 15 April 2016

Leaders of Renaissance in Kerala - Sree Narayana Guru (1856-1928) (Chapter-1)

Leaders of Renaissance in Kerala - Sree Narayana Guru (1856-1928) (Chapter-1)
1. Sree Narayana Guru is regarded as the father of the renaissance of Kerala.

2. He belonged to Ezhava community and it was an era in which Ezhavas were facing much social injustices in the caste-ridden Kerala society.

3. Sree Narayana Guru is regared as the greatest Keralite of 20th century.

4. He was the first Keralite to be appeared on an Indian stamp and also the first Keralite to be inscribed on a coin of RBI.

5. He is only Keralite whose birth day and death anniversary are declared holiday by the Government of Kerala.

6. He was the only person who was exempted from court appearances in civil cases by Government of Travancore.

7. He was born  at Chempazhanthi in Thiruvananthapuram district on 20th August 1856 (Chathayam of Chingam month) .

8. His father was Madan Asan, a farmer and mother was Kutty Amma.

9. His house name was ‘Vayalvaram Veedu’. The boy was named Narayanan and was dotingly called Nanu.

10. Nanu joined a nearby school for formal education. He was also tuitioned by his father and uncle in Tamil , Sankrit , and other traditional subjects.

11. He had his higher studies at Varanapally by Kummampalli Raman pillai  Asan.

12. He showed strong affinity for poetics and reasoning, composing hymns and singing them in praise of God.

13. His mother passed away when he was 15. Nanu spent the most part of his early youth assisting his father in tutoring, and his uncle in the practice of Ayurveda, while devoting the rest of his time for devotional practices at the temples nearby.

14. After his studies  he also began teaching in a near-by school. His knowledge earned him the respect of many and he came to be known as “Nanu Asan”.

15. His friendship with Chattambi Swamikal started in 1884. Thycaud Ayyaswami, who was the Guru of Chan  initiated Yoga to Nanu.

16. Later he went to Maruthwamala in search of ultimate truth and spent 8 years of solitary life. Here, Narayana guru is believed to have attained a state of Enlightenment.

17. In 1888, he installed an idol of Shiva at Aruvippuram on the banks of Neyyar river.

18. As only Brahmins had ever installed an idol, that event was dubbed as  ‘Aruvippuram revolution’. When Brahmins challenged his right to consecrate, he replied in his famous quote “I installed my siva; not a Brahmin siva”.

19. At Aruvippuram these words were inscribed on a plaque “Without differences of caste,Nor enmities of creed, Here it is, the model of an abode,where all live like brothers at heart”.

20. In 1891 Kumaranasan (then Kumaru)  met Guru.

21. Sree Narayana Guru was appointed as the first president of SNDP Yogam founded in 1903 with the initiative of Dr.Palpu.

22. A new phase began in the Guru’s life in 1904. He decided to give up his wandering life and settle down at Sivagiri, about 32 kms north of Thiruvananthapuram. The name ‘Sivagiri’ was given by Guru.

23. In 1905 he organised the first agricultural and industrial exhibition in India, at Kollam

24. He established many temples at different parts of the Kerala.  After travelling many places in South India and establishing temples, he did the prathishta of the goddess Sree Sarada at Sivagiri on April 1912.

25. In 1914 he established Adwaithasramam at Aluva (Ernakulam district).

26. In 1916 he met Ramana Maharshi at Thiruvannamala, Tamil nadu.

27. Guru made his first visit to Sri Lanka in 1918. It is the only foreign country visited by him.

28. Rabindranath Tagore visited Sree Narayana Guru  at Sivagiri in 1922.

29. Tagore  recorded after his visit to Sivagiri, ‘I have been touring different parts of the world. During these travels, I have had the good fortune to come into contact with several saints and maharshis. But I have frankly to admit that I have never come across one who is spiritually greater than Swami Sree Narayana Guru of Kerala — nay, a person who is on par with him in spiritual attainments. I am sure I shall never forget that radiant face, illumined by the selfeffulgent light of divine glory and those yogic eyes fixing their gaze on a remote point on a far-away horizon.’

30. Guru provided leadership to the ‘Sarva Matha Sammelanam’ held at Aluva in 1924.
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