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Varkala

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Nataraja Guru

Nataraja Guru, a prominent social reformer and the founder of Narayana Gurukulam was one of the direct disciples of Sree Narayana Guru. His father Dr. Palpu (Padmanabhan) a renowned medical practitioner was educated in England. Nataraja Guru was born in 1895 as his second son. Right from his childhood Natarajan decided to dedicate his life to serve the cause of the deprived millions who were socially, culturally and economically struggling.

It was Narayana Guru who ushered Natarajan to the spiritual path of pilgrimage and prompted him to be an educator and social reformer. Nataraja Guru was academically trained in Geology, Zoology and Educational Psychology. He received his DLitt from the Sorbonne in Paris and began his career in 1930 as a physics teacher for five years at the International Fellowship School in Geneva, Switzerland. Later he established Narayana Gurukula, contemplative educational centers in India, the first of which was in Fernhill, Nilgiris. He also has an ashram in Varkala.

His philosophy integrates ancient wisdom with the modern scientific exactitude which became his mission of life. His renowned works published in a Sufi Quarterly, while he was in Geneva caught the attention of some of the western thinkers and philosophers of that time like Romain Rolland, Sir Francis younghusband and Somerset Maugham.

Of all the works written by Nataraja Guru An Integrated Science of the Absolute is deemed as the most important. It is a two volume book of Nataraja Guru written after 50 years of study of Science and philosophies of East and West. In that Nataraja Guru had formulated a unitive science, wherein all disciplines of human questing could find a common ground. In his own words the book is an Integrated Science of the Absolute (Brahmavidya), where modern science and ancient spiritual wisdom could meet and merge like two opposite poles of a magnet. Darsana Mala, a book of hundred Sanskrit verses composed by Sree Narayana Guru, can be rightly called as the base of this book. Nataraja Guru has drawn and developed most of his ideas from this Darsana Mala. 

Some of his renowned works include The Word of the Guru: Life and Teachings of Narayana Guru; Vedanta Revalued and Restated; Autobiography of an Absolutist; The Bhagavad Gita, Translation and Commentary; Anthology of the Poems of Narayana Guru and World Education Manifesto

Nataraja Guru’s intellect was not restrained by the shackles of language and he published books not only in English but also in Malayalam and French that offer a grave insight into some of the fundamentals of life. These works helped people to liberate their mind from the entanglements of domestic life.  They are guides to gaining methodological efficiency in discovering the higher truth that can bring excellence in life. Nataraja Guru passed away in 1973.


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