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Anjaam Madhavan Namboodiri – Life History

Anjaam Madhavan Namboodiri (19191 – 88), also known as Anjam Thirumeni, is a well known devotee of Bhagavan Sri Krishna of the Guruvayoor temple and an exponent of Bhagavatam. He preached expression of devotion to God by chanting his name.

Anjam was born near Pattambi on August 4, 1919, under Anizham asterism, as the first son of Madhusoodanan Somayajippad and Nannema Antharjanam. In this twenties he was greatly influenced by the reform movements in the Namboodiri community,  initiated by leaders like E M S Namboodiripad and V T Bhattathiripad. He was then a rationalist. Later, when he suffered from a chronic stomach ache, his father advised him to go to Guruvayur and pray to Bhagavan Sri Krishna. At Guruvayur, he worshiped at the temple and sustained himself on the free food given at the temple. Miraculously, after a few weeks, he was completely cured. This marked a turning-point in his life. He felt the divine presence, decided to lead a spiritual life, and became an ardent devotee of Bhagavan Sri Krishna.

His spiritual guru was Nilakantha Satguru, the great scholar and devotee of Guruvayoor. It was he who started the tradition of namasankeerthanam (chanting Sri Krishna’s name from morning to evening). In December 1942, Anjam began a form of worship which transformed the chanting of Bhagavan Sri Krishna’s name into namajapa yajnam (a kind of sacrifice) in the temple, and later, sapthaha yajnam (the continuous reading of Bhagavatam for seven days). Thousands of devotees who thronged Guruvayur used to attend his scholarly and pious exposition of Bhagavata Purana.

He believed that only those who had sincere faith in God could utter his name aloud, continuously. For the propagation of devotion to Sri Krishna he started a magazine, Guruvayoorappan, and a trust called the Sankirtana trust. He traveled extensively through the major cities and holy places of India and conducted Bhagavatam discourses.

His residence, Narayanalayam, is situated north of the temple at Guruvayur. He passed away on March 19, 1988. His brother Krishnan Namboothiri continues the tradition.