Narayana Guru



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Fast Facts
Narayana_Guru.jpg
Other Names and Nicknames: 
Gurudevan, Nanu Guru, Nanu Asan, Sree Narayana Guru, Sree Nārāyana Guru Swami
Function: 
Jnani
Traditions: 
Advaita Vedanta
Main Countries of Activity: 
India
Date of Birth: 
1855
Place of Birth: 
India
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 
No
Date Left His/Her Body: 
1928
Descendant Gurus: 
Other Related Gurus: 
Nataraja Guru, Nitya Chaitanya Yati

Biography

Nārāyana Guru was a saint, sage and social reformer of India. He was born into an Ezhava family, in an era when people from backward communities like the Ezhavas faced much social injustices in the caste-ridden Kerala society. Gurudevan, as he was fondly known to his followers, revolted against casteism and worked on propagating new values of freedom in spirituality and of social equality, thereby transforming the Kerala society; as such he is adored as a prophet.

Nārāyana Guru is revered for his Vedic knowledge, poetic proficiency, openness to the views of others, non-violent philosophy and his unrelenting resolve to set aright social wrongs. Nārāyana Guru was instrumental in setting the spiritual foundations for social reform in today's Kerala and was one of the most successful social reformers who tackled caste in India. He demonstrated a path to social emancipation without invoking the dualism of the oppressed and the oppressor.

Guru stressed the need for the spiritual and social upliftment of the downtrodden by their own efforts through the establishment of temples and educational institutions. In the process he brushed aside the Hindu religious conventions based upon Chaturvarna. His transformation of the social face of Kerala relied on emphasizing, yet re-evaluating, the Advaita philosophy of Adi Sankaracharya.

Teachings

One in kind, one in faith, One in God is man Of one same womb, one there is at all.

Ask not, Say not Think not caste.

Acts that one performs for one's own sake should also aim for the good Of other men.

Love of others is my happiness, love that is mine is happiness for others. And so, truly, deeds that benefit a man must be a cause for other's happiness too.

Grace, Love, Mercy - all the three stand for one same reality.

He who loves is who really lives.

Whatever may be the difference in men's creed, dress, language and so on, because they all belong to the same kind of creation, there is no harm at all in their dining together or having marital relation with one another.

Liquor is poison - make it not, sell it not, dDrink it not.

Devoid of dividing walls Of caste or race rr hatred of rival faith - We all live here In Brotherhood.

Locations

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