Sree Narayana Guru : The Sage of Sivagiri
|Publisher:||THG Publishing P. Ltd., Chennai|
|Pages:||96 (Throughout B/W and Color Illustrations)|
|Other Details||11.50 X 8.50 inch|
A few months before his Chicago address shook the world. Swami Vivekananda had the shock of his life when he visited the region that later became known as Kerala. He was shocked by the divisions in society, the suffocating grip of caste, and the status of women.
Today, Kerala presents a very different picture, boasting of human development indices that are higher than most parts of the country. The credit for this transformation must go in some measure to a reform movement that swept through the region in the 19th and the early 20th centuries. One of the most prominent faces that brought about the change was Sree Narayana Guru, a monk, an exponent of Advaita, who channelled his spiritualism into social action.
The Hindu pays tribute to the enduring legacy of this great man in this special volume that is released to coincide with this year's Sivagiri pilgrimage.
The Guru had illustrious contemporaries such as Ayyankali, Chattambi Swami, V. T. Bhattathiripad, Vakkom Abdul Khader Moulavi and Poykayil Yohannan. Their work resulted in a social synergy that altered the face of Kerala. A single act by the Guru struck at the roots of caste discrimination: he took a dip in the Neyyar, picked up two random stones, made an 'idol' of Lord Siva out of them and called it 'my own Siva', the deity of the downtrodden. Countless voices then rose from across the region, demanding similar acts of consecration. He did this, installing traditional deities, and later, symbolically, lamps and mirrors.
He urged the underprivileged to get educated, take up agriculture and start industries. His closest disciple, a poet, started a tile factory. Many of his disciples became leaders of the freedom movement. Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore called on him. Some scholars believe the Sree Narayana movement even prepared the ground for the evolution and growth of the Communist Party in Kerala, the first political party to be elected to power in 1957 after the formation of the composite State the previous year.
Shortly after the Guru's attainment of samadhi, French writer-humanist Romain Rolland wrote, "His] beneficial spiritual activity has been exercising its influence during the past 40 years in the State of Travancore on nearly two million of his followers." The Sree Narayana movement, represented by innumerable organisations including the Sree Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust of the Sivagiri Mutt, continues to exercise its influence over mil lions of people.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
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