Sri Narayan Guru: Reformer Saint of Kerala

Sri Narayan Guru: Reformer Saint of Kerala

Sri Narayan Guru was a great socio – religious reformer, saint, seer, poet and philosopher of Kerala. He was born in 1856 to Madan Asan and his wife Kuttiyamma in Chempazhanthy, a village near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.

Belonging to a lower Ezhava caste, Narayan Guru’s fight against the against the caste system was relentlessly. His contribution to the spread of education in Kerala was immense. He stressed the need of education and for freedom. According to him, the essence of all religions is one and same, and exhorted the people to study all religions.

Aravipuram Movement
In 1888 an important event took place in the life of Narayan Guru when he installed a Shiva idol at Aravipuram (consecration) located in the district of Thiruvananthapuram.  

This event known as the Aravipuram pratistha is celebrated on Shivaratri Day every year. The consecration of Shiva by Narayan Guru assumes historical significance in Hinduism because it was done by a person who himself was forbidden from entering the shrine due to his being a lower caste.

Revered by millions of people, Sri Narayan Guru instructed to inscribe the following words on the wall of the temple:“Devoid of dividing walls of caste, of race, or hatred of rival faiths, we all live here in brotherhood”.  

Key Takeaways

  • TK Madhavan, the spearhead of Vaikom Satyagraha during 1924–25, was a follower of Sri Narayana Guru.
  • Narayana Guru was a saint, social reformer, philosopher, and educationist. 
  • He belonged to the Ezhava caste and also was deemed ‘avarna’. according to the social mores of the time.
  • He gave the famous slogan “One Caste, One Religion, One God for All” (Oru Jathi, Oru Matham, Oru Daivam, Manushyanu).
  • In 1903, Narayana Guru established the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP), a  a philanthropic society  as the founder and president.