Sunday, May 31, 2009

63.Sree Narayana gurudevan - A sage with a difference

In history we come across a number of cases where seers, saints and great men tried to improve the conditions of mankind. They were either poisoned, crucified or killed. Socrates was poisoned to death. Joan of arc was set on fire. Jesus Christ was crucified. Muhmmed Nabi had to flee from Mmecca to Medeena. Alexander the Great who wanted to conquer the world through wars died on his way. Through his wars thousands died. Nepoleon who wanted to unite Europe once said: If I cannot unite Europe, there in future will only be a league of nations.” He was defeated in Waterloo and deported to St.Helena island where he was slowly poisoned to death. His dreams remained unfulfilled. Through the wars he waged, millions died. The Russian revolution and the Chinese revolution had to pay heavy casualties in terms of human lives.

Bloody revolutions immediately catch our attention. But remember that: “Peace has her victories no less renowned than war.” Here there is a Guru who during his sojourn on earth never uttered a single word against anybody and never created any enemy. He moved among the masses listening to their problems and giving them simple solutions. He stayed with them, dined with them and instilled in them with hope and courage. He advocated the downtrodden to stand on their feet. His words were commands and people simply obeyed. Such was the great faith the people were having in him. He never opposed anything but opposed silently and peacefully everything that stood in the way of progress. When lower castes were denied entry in temples he built temples for them. When education was denied to the Avarnas he built schools for them. He asked the rich to serve the poor. He never called for any slogan shouting, dharna, hartal and road blocking, but asked his people to work hard for progress. The result is the modern Kerala. He was a Jnana Guru in action. His actions were for the emancipation of human life-the soul, mind and body.

And thus he was a sage with a difference.

He was a sage on par with Buddha, Lao-Tzu and Socrates. He was a persuasive teacher like Jesus Christ and an upholder of social justice like the Prophet Mohammed. As a philosopher his deep wisdom surpasses the climaxes of Descartes and Spinoza and amends the conclusions of Kant, Hegel and Karl Marx.

About him Rabindranath Tagore has thus said:

“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 Narayana Guru of Malayalam-nay, a person who is on a par with him in spiritual attainment. I shall never forget that radiant face illumined by the self effulgent light of divine glory and those mystic eyes fixing there gaze on a far remote point in the distant horizon. ”

Romain Rolland, in ‘Prophets of New India’, has thus said:

“His doctrine was impregnated with the monist metaphysics of Sankara, but tended to PRACTICAL ACTION, showing very marked differences from Bengal mysticism, of which effusions of love (Bhakti) inspire in him a certain mistrust. He was, if one may say so, a Jnanin of Action, a grand religious intellectual who had a keen living sense of the people and their social needs. He has contributed greatly to the elevation of the oppressed classes in South India, and his work has been associated at certain times with that of Gandhiji.”

Mahatma Ganghiji has thus said:

“I deem it a great privilege in my life to have visited this beautiful Travancore State and met His Holiness Sree Narayana Guru Swamy. Her Highness the Maharani also spoke to me about the greatness of Guru Swamy.”

Dr.Sir C.P.Ramaswamy Iyer , the then Diwan of Kerala has thus said:

“Long before Mahatmaji’s Harijan uplift started, it was the great Sree Narayana Guru who instilled the Slogan of Universal Brotherhood into the hearts of the masses. Sree Narayana, was indeed a Daiva Doot who fought against untouchability, disability and castesism. Sree Narayana Guru was not only a leader of Ezhava community but a great soul who actually give leadership to the whole of India.”

Sanatana Dharma’, the official journal of the Theosophical Society, thus wrote about him soon after his mahasamadhi in 1928:

“During recent centuries, no one in India has enjoyed so much reverence as Sree Narayana Guru commanded-a reverence so glorious, so enduring, so comprehensive, so universal and so pure. His life has exemplified the great truth that, some times courageous souls who has attained liberation do take birth among peoples who are oppressed by custom to show them the path of emancipation, and in doing so, take upon themselves, suffering and Rishi Narayana, who was to awakened Malabar Patanjali in yoga, Sankara in wisdom, Manu in the art of Government, Budha in renunciation, Mohamed in Strength of spirit, and Christ in humility, after 72 years spent in the drama of human life has gone back to whence he came.”


His manifesto thus says: “All people alike desire for happiness. All spiritual and material institutions work with this aim. But human soul long for an everlasting happiness in place of short-lived material happiness. Towards this goal human soul is making its pilgrimage.

To get physical, mental and spiritual happiness for a community, its members’ adherence to cleanliness, religious customs and morality help to a great extent. Worshipping centers and temples contribute to a long extent to extent these to all people. But to have all these, members of the community require financial progress also. For this we have to improve and reform agriculture, trade and technical training etc.

Materialism and spiritualism are not two entities. These are both sides of a coin or the both wings of the same bird. These two actually work for the same purpose. When all organs in a body work together, the body experiences happiness. Similarly to achieve mankind’s ultimate aim of happiness material as well as spiritual institutions are to work together.


Be enlightened with education.

Be strengthened with organization.

Make progress through industry.

Don’t speak caste, ask caste and think caste.

One caste, one religion and one God for mankind.

Whatever be the religion, it is sufficient if it is good for mankind.

Whatever be the difference in faith, dress or language, as all humanity belongs to one caste, there is no harm in inter- marriage and inter-dining.

Do not make liquor, don’t drink it and don’t sell it.

Spend judiciously.

Man who knows dharma should work hard for the progress and well being of his neighbour.


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