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Who was Sree Narayana Guru and What Were His Contributions to the Society?

SREE NARAYANA GURU JAYANTHI 2022: In the state of Kerala, Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti is a significant public holiday that will be observed on September 10 this year. This date varies from year to year. On this day, all businesses, including banks, are closed. It commemorates the birth of Narayana Guru, a social reformer and saint.

In addition to working for the empowerment of people in Kerala who were oppressed due to caste prejudices, he immersed himself in meditation practices for spiritual upliftment. The day marks Sree Guru Narayan’s birth anniversary, according to the malayalam calendar., on this day, decorate the shrines and roads with flowers and dried coconut leaves. In remembrance of the great guru, peaceful processions and communal feasts are held.

Who is Sree Narayana Guru?

Shree Narayana Guru was born on August 22, 1856, in Chempazhanthy (1032 Chingam in the Malayalam calendar), a village near Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, to Madan Asan and his wife Kuttiyamma. According to the social norms of the time, his family belonged to the Ezhava caste and was therefore regarded as “avarna” (individuals who weren’t given a place in the caste system and were known as outcasts and Dalits).

He had a strong dislike for caste systems and untouchability since he was a young child and was always vocal in his opposition to injustice. He lived by the maxim “Ask not, say not, and think not caste.”

The dedication of a temple to Lord Shiva in Aruvippuram in 1888 marked the beginning of his revolutionary process. He asserted that everyone has the right to realise God, regardless of caste or religion. In the years that followed, he dedicated numerous temples to revolutionary changes in various regions of Kerala.

Guru moved to Sivagiri, near Varkala, in 1904, and established a school for students from lower social strata, providing them with free education irrespective of their caste.

Contribution of Sree Narayana Guru to stop discrimination based on caste.

  1. In order to tackle caste injustice, he coined the phrase “One Caste, One Religion, One God for All” (Oru Jathi, Oru Matham, Oru Daivam, Manushyanu).
  2. In one of the temples he built in Kalavancode, Sree Narayana Guru used mirrors instead of idols. This served as a metaphor for his teaching that each of us possesses a part of the divine.
  3. He advocated equality but believed that differences shouldn’t be used to influence people’s behaviour or spark social unrest.

Later, in 1903, he established a philanthropic society as the founder and president of the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP). The organisation still has a significant presence today.

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