‘Sree Narayana Guru’

  • Category
    History & Culture
  • Published
    7th Sep, 2020

Context

164th birth anniversary of of the father of Kerala’s renaissance Sree Narayana Guru observed on 2nd September.

About

Who was Sree Narayana Guru?

  • Sree Narayana Guru was born in 1864 in Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Sree Narayana Guru was a social reformer from Kerala who led a reform movement against casteism and promoted new values of spiritual freedom and social equality.
  • He led a reform movement against the injustice in the caste-ridden society of Kerala in order to promote spiritual enlightenment and social equality.
  • He laid great emphasis on the idea of ‘one caste, one religion and one god.’

Key-contributions

  • Sree Narayana Guru learned Sanskrit and poetry, drama & literary criticism, and logical rhetoric. The knowledge gained earned him the respect of many and he was then known as “Nanu Asan”.
  • In 1904 the Guru gave up his life of a wanderer and decided to settle down in a place to continue his spiritual practices. He chose Sivagiri at Varkala, twenty miles north of Thiruvananthapuram.
  • He started a Sanskrit school in Varkala and poor boys and orphans were given free education regardless of their caste  Temples were built at different places – Thrissur, Kannur, Anchuthengu, Tellicherry, Calicut, and Mangalore.
  • It was in the year 1912 he built the Sharada Devi Temple at
  • In 1913, he founded the Advaita Ashram at Aluva. This was an important event in his spiritual quest.
    • This Ashram was dedicated to a great principle –  Om Sahodaryam Sarvatra (all men are equal in the eyes of God).
    • This became the motto of the new Ashram.
  • Between 1918 and 1923 he visited Sri Lanka many times.
  • In 1921, a Conference of Universal Brotherhood was held at Aluva.
  • Again in 1924, a conference of all religions was held there. The Guru stressed the need for a Brahma Vidyalaya for a comparative study of different religious faiths.
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