21 Facts About Narayana Guru


Sree Narayana Guru was a philosopher, spiritual leader and social reformer in India.


Narayana Guru led a reform movement against the injustice in the caste-ridden society of Kerala in order to promote spiritual enlightenment and social equality.


Narayana Guru returned to his village in 1881, when his father was seriously ill, and started a village school where he taught local children which earned him the name Nanu Asan.


Narayana Guru shifted his base to Sivagiri, near Varkala in 1904 where he opened a school for children from the lower strata of the society and provided free education to them without considering their caste.


Narayana Guru built temples in other places such as Thrissur, Kannur, Anchuthengu, Thalassery, Kozhikode, and Mangalore and it took him to many places including Sri Lanka where he made his final visit in 1926.


Narayana Guru returned to Sarada Mutt and died on 20 September 1928, at the age of 72.


Casteism was practised in Kerala during the 19th and early 20th centuries and the lower caste people such as Ezhavas and the untouchable castes like Paraiyars, tribals and Pulayars had to suffer discrimination from the upper caste community It was against this discrimination that Narayana Guru performed his first major public act, the consecration of Siva idol at Aruvippuram in 1888.

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Adi Shankara

Narayana Guru's consecrations were not necessarily conventional deities; a slab inscribed with the words, Truth, Ethics, Compassion, Love, a vegetarian Shiva, a mirror and a sculpture by an Italian sculptor were among the various consecrations made by him.


Narayana Guru propagated the ideals of compassion and religious tolerance and one of his noted works, Anukampadasakam, extols various religious figures such as Krishna, The Buddha, Adi Shankara, Jesus Christ.


Padmanabha Panicker, both disciples of Narayana Guru, to compose poems in protest of the incident.


Vallabhasseri Govindan Vaidyar, T K Kittan Writer and Muloor S Padmanabha Panicker which Guru approved in 1928, with his own recommendations.


Narayana Guru suggested that the goals of the pilgrimage should be the promotion of education, cleanliness, devotion to God, organization, agriculture, trade, handicrafts, and technical training and advised Vaidyar and Writer to organise a series of lectures on these themes to stress the need for the practice of these ideals, stating this to be the core purpose of Sivagiri pilgrimage.


Narayana Guru published 45 works in Malayalam, Sanskrit and Tamil languages which include Atmopadesa Satakam, a hundred-verse spiritual poem and Daiva Dasakam, a universal prayer in ten verses.


Narayana Guru translated three major texts, Thirukural of Valluvar, Ishavasya Upanishad and Ozhivil Odukkam of Kannudaiya Vallalaar.


Narayana Guru furthered the non-dualistic philosophy of Adi Sankara by bringing it into practice by adding the concepts of social equality and universal brotherhood.


Narayana Guru organized an All Religion Conference in 1923 at Alwaye Advaita Ashram, which was reported to be first such event in India.


On 21 August 1967, Narayana Guru was commemorated on an Indian postage stamp of denomination 15 nP.


The first of the several statues of Narayana Guru was erected at Jagannath Temple, Thalassery in 1927 while he was still alive.


Narayana Guru's statues are seen in many places in Kerala which include a 24 feet statue at Kaithamukku in Thiruvananthapuram.


The life of Narayana Guru has been portrayed in a number of movies starting with the 1986 film Sree Narayana Guru, made by award-winning director P A Backer.


Brahmashri Narayana Guru Swamy is a Tulu film made in 2014 by Rajashekar Kotian on Guru's life and the film was the 50th film made in the language.