‘Sree Narayana Guru’
History & Culture
7th Sep, 2020
164th birth anniversary of of the father of Kerala’s renaissance Sree Narayana Guru observed on 2nd September.
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.’
- 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.