Sunday, May 31, 2009

58.Swami AananthaTheerthar

Swami AananthaTheerthar was the last disciple of Sree Narayana Guru. He was a fabulous personality in the fight against social injustices in Kerala. Anantha Shenoy was born in a rich Gowdasaraswath Brahmin family of Thalassery. He took Bsc (Hon) degree in Physics from Madras University . At that time it was very easy for him to get a high paying job anywhere in India , but he was interested in public service.

Anantha Shenoy heard about Sree Narayana Guru. When he was studying at Tellicherry Brannen College Guru visited Jagannatha Temple there, but Anantha Shenoy did not show any interest in meeting the Guru. He thought Guru was just a religious leader of Ezhavas. But he started to admire Sree Narayana Guru when he read Guru's conversation with Mahatma Gandhi and learning more about his work against social injustices. He got attracted to National movement and wanted to live at Mahatma's Sabarmathi Ashram. He sought Rajaji's help for this, but Rajaji advised him to go and stay at Sabari Ashram in Palghat. Sabari Ashram was started for the upliftment of the downtrodden. In 1926 Anantha Shenoy became a member of that Ashram.

He met Guru for the first time at a house in Coimbatore ; Guru talked to him in great interest when he heard Shenoy was working for Sabari Ashram. In August 1928 he accepted the ascetic way of life and became the disciple of Sree Narayana Guru. Guru gave him the name Anantha Theerthar. He spent all his life for the uplift the life of Harijans. He faced a lot of opposition from the upper caste people and sometimes even suffered physical harassment. He selected Payannur as his work area and started Sree Narayana School and hostel there for Harijan children. This institution is widely known as Ashram. He changed the venue of this school three times due to the strong hostility of the people there.

He was one of the few disciples who continued Guru's deed of the fight against social evils.


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