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Sri Narayana Guru Teachings

Sri Narayana Guru (1854 – 1928) was a saint and social reformer and he changed the fabric of Kerala society. Here are some his teachings from Atmopadesa Satakam.

Wise men know that there is only Knowledge, so they remain one with it and do not struggle. For them the truth to be known is here and now. Those who do not know their secret think of it as an unknown entity to be sought and discovered. Under that illusion they struggle and agonize themselves. Only a few see the secret of the wise.

Nobody remains established forever in a state of sameness. The process of becoming is going on; and all are subjected to this beginningless sport of the Divine. When all this is known in its entirety, one becomes happy beyond measure.

There is neither any death nor birth nor any manifested form of life. There are neither men nor gods nor anything of that sort there are only names and forms. Their substance is only that of a mirage in a desert and that is, for sure, no substance at all.

In the Earth, there are innumerable particles and in each particle there is a world of the same earth principle. Just as the body is conceptually envisioned by consciousness, consciousness is articulated by the body. When carefully considered these are not two.

Sri Narayana Guru
(Source: Atmopadesa Satakam)

Important Teachings Of Sri Narayana Guru

One Caste, One Religion, One God for Humanity: Sri Narayana Guru advocated for the unity of humanity, transcending barriers of caste, religion, and creed. He preached that all individuals are equal and should be treated with dignity and respect regardless of their social or religious background.

Education and Empowerment: Guru emphasized the importance of education for social and individual upliftment. He believed that education was essential for liberating individuals from ignorance and superstition, and for fostering social progress.

Work and Worship: Sri Narayana Guru promoted the idea of "Work is Worship" (ശ്രമം പൂജ്യം - Sramam Poojyam). He believed that all honest labor, regardless of its nature, should be considered sacred. This teaching underscores the value of diligence, integrity, and dedication in one's work.

Self-Realization: Guru stressed the significance of self-realization or understanding one's true nature. He encouraged individuals to look inward, cultivate self-awareness, and strive for spiritual growth. According to him, true fulfillment comes from realizing the divinity within oneself.

Social Equality and Justice: Sri Narayana Guru was a staunch advocate for social equality and justice. He worked tirelessly to eradicate social evils such as caste discrimination, untouchability, and gender inequality. His teachings inspired movements for social reform and empowerment in Kerala and beyond.

Simplicity and Humility: Guru lived a life of simplicity and humility, setting an example for his followers. He emphasized the importance of humility as a virtue and encouraged people to lead a modest and principled life.

Universal Love and Compassion: Central to Guru's teachings was the principle of universal love and compassion. He urged people to cultivate empathy and kindness towards all beings, regardless of differences. This teaching reflects his belief in the inherent interconnectedness of all life.

These teachings of Sri Narayana Guru continue to resonate with people seeking spiritual guidance, social justice, and personal growth. They serve as a timeless reminder of the values of equality, education, and compassion.