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Philosophy of Sree Narayana Guru

It is not a matter of great wonder that Sree Narayana Guru became one of the greatest proponents and re-evaluators of Advaita Vedanta, the principle of non-duality put forward by Adi Shankara, for both hail from the same pristine land of Kerala. Only a span of a thousand years separates both. 

Sree Narayana Guru further extended this non dualistic principle into practical modes of self-realisation through spiritual education, compassion, and peaceful coexistence of humanity. He was also an egalitarian who advocated social equality and universal brotherhood. The Guru worked hard as a social educationist and condemned discrimination in the name of caste, creed and religion. Education was one of his primary concerns by which, he believed, that one could uplift his/her quality of life.

His philosophies are best reflected in his poetic ventures that mingles aesthetically the principles of ethics, logics and metaphysics. His famous words one caste, one religion and one god for man worked as a fresh waft in the socio-cultural realm of the then Kerala.

In his renowned work Atmopadesa Satakam, which consists of one hundred verses of self-instruction, the Guru proposes his philosophy of egalitarianism. Written in Malayalam around 1897 this fertile poetic expression undoubtedly emanates from a spirit that has attained an experienced state of primordial knowledge and quintessence of the Universe. It reflects the Guru’s ability to view the human race, from a dignified and elevated perspective, in unqualified equality and without any racial, religious, caste or any other discrimination. The Guru’s philosophy emphasised the consistency between true existence of the “common reality” on Earth and one Divine behind the creation and sustenance of the Universe, dismissing any concepts of illusory worlds.

At the time of its conception, Narayana Guru’s philosophy was in many respects ahead of its time and focused on a futuristic world order that could be shaped from his philosophical connotations that are underlain with transcendental aesthetics and logic embodied in knowledge and pure reason. Most of the serious scholars of Sree Narayana Guru’s philosophy have been from generations beyond his lifetime; and this list keeps growing.


Works of Sree Narayana Guru  Next