Narayana Guru’s vision of human fraternity
Anyone who has gone through the stanzas of the ancient Saivaite scripture, the Thirumandiram, would be familiar with the profound saying of its author. Thirumoolar, that there is only one race and only one God. This statement came thousands of years ago but in recent times, a scholar and a Godly soul, who distilling the various the various old writings, spelt out an equally stirring message – “One God, one religion and one caste” – for the humanity.
\This universal concept of life to realise the supreme nature of the A Absolute (God) was prescribed by Sri Narayana Guru who disapproved the distinctions between man and man based on caste, creed or race. He lived from 1855 AD to 1928 AD.
Sri Narayana Guru, a visionary and a social reformer, who worked for the promotion of the welfare of the downtrodden, was also well versed in the various branches of the Sanskrit and Tamil scriptural literature. He thus stood as a symbol of harmony, synthesis and “one world”. Each person may belong to a particular religion but, he said, Truth, brotherhood, love and kindliness are inherent in every religion. The goal before everyone is also common, viz., Advaita, Lord Krishna’s acting as charioteer of His disciple Arjuna is a remarkable example of His compassion. In one of his works, he laid great emphasis on this factor of kindness and mercy as the guiding stars of life. The Guru understood the social and spiritual necessities of the common people and man and spreading the message that all religious led people to the same end.
In a lecture, Pandit V. Natesan said, this illustrious leader who initiated a non-violent social transfromation is remembered because he made the world different from what it was when he was growing. His mission was to dismantle the walls of distinction and build a word based on unity. “Be good, let anything be your religion”, he declared, with one foot in the sands of the philosophic speculation and the other poised on the promontory of the vision of human fraternity. Sri Narayana Guru could be aptly called the prophet of a religion that goes beyond all warring faiths. Religion should be an integral part of man’s growth and man should be identified as part and parcel of the vast human family.
Sri Narayana Guru, who hailed from Kerala, consecrated several temples and opened many schools and established the Sivagiri Math at Varkala in 1904. One landmark in his life was the formation of the S.N.D.P. Yogam. He faced opposition from same quarters in propagating his mission, but he held no grudge against them.