Sree Narayana Guru Saint and Social Reformer - Dr. K.K. Damodaran
Sree Narayana Guru was a great saint and social reformer who stood for " One Caste, One Religion and One God for Man " which embodies the universal brotherhood of man. The guru taught us " whatever may be the religion of a man, it is enough if he becomes virtuous ", "Ask not, Say not, think not caste", " Act that one performs for one's sake should also benefit other " , "Gain freedom through Education and gain strength through Organisation ", Liquor is poison, make it not, sell it not, drink it not".
The message and teaching of Sree Narayana Guru are more relevant today than at any other time. Rabindranath Tagore, Mahatma Gandhi, Acharya Vinoba Bhave and other great personalities visited Sree Narayana Guru at his Ashram at Sivagiri Mutt, Varkala, Kerala. They all paid glowing tributes to the Guru. Rabindranath Tagore paid the following tribute to Sree Narayana Guru : "I have been touring in 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 seen 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 am sure, I shall never forget that radiant face illumined by the self effulgent light of divine glory and those mystic eyes fixing their gaze on a far remote point in the distant horizon".
The state of kerala once called by Swamy Vivekananda as a " Lunatic Asylum " due to horrible caste distinction is now being called as " The God's Own Country ". This transformation, within a short span of time, has taken place with divine force at the hands of Sree Narayana Guru. Guru was a rare saint who used his spiritual attainment of the creation of a new man and a new social order. Thesophycal Society of India described the Guru as Patanjali in Yoga, Sankara in wisdom, Manu in art of governance , Buddha in renunciation, muhammen in strength of spirit and Christ in love and humanity and among the Buddhas, the Christs and Muhammads. To think Gurudev merely as a reformer, as the religious leader of a community, as a great scholar and genius or the founder of numerous institution would be founder of numerous institution would be narrowing our own outlook and blurring our vision of the great truth. Guru was an extra - Ordinary ascetic vision visionary and karmayogi who moved from place to place and by his mellow presence transformed kerela and presented to the world a unitive mission transcendental at pragmatic course of action through saying and doings worthy of a Jesus, Gandhi or a Maharshi. Sree Narayana Guru was an embodiment of all virtues, values and rare qualities seldom found in human race. He was a mystic, a philosopher, a visionary, a social reformer and a poet blended into one. Sree Narayana observed intense meditation and thapas in a cave in maruthvamala for a period of 6 years in the presence of wild animals and snakes and got enlightenment just like Sri Buddha and became Sree Narayana Guru. He came out of the forest and made an Ashram at Aruvippuram where thousands of people came to pay their respect to the Guru. To his followers he is God incarnation. Kerala in the days of Sree Narayana Guru was a hotbed of casteism and untouchability unparalled in other parts of India. The upper casts in Hindu society interpreted the Advaita philosophy and varnasharma to suit their selfish motives and converted Hindus into a caste ridden society. They divided man against man and degraded the vast section of society into untouchables.