A View of Santhigiri Ashram

A View of Santhigiri Ashram
Lotus Parnasala and Sahakarana Mandiram , Santhigiri Ashram, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Guru of O.V. Vijayan, famous Novelist

Gurucharanam Saranam
The Guru of O.V. Vijayan
G.P. Krishna Kumar, Santhigiri

Late Sri O.V. Vijayan’s association with Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru is well known.  The famous writer once said about the Guru:  ‘GURU is an experience beyond translation….’ A few remarks made by O.V. Vijayan on his relationship with Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru are quoted below:

Guru – an Experience beyond translation

‘the ever stable Guru is a great motion. This is my experience. I happened to meet Guru more or less in a barren situation. I had no knowledge or prejudice about Gurumargam. I do not intend to evaluate that meeting in a logical perspective. But I do not require the help of any theology to distinguish the organic evolutions that took place within my inner alertness. Like a piece of emotion surpassing time, a fear of existence or a self ecstasy, something stirred inside me. Try not to define. Only one! Only this! The dizziness from this contact changed it to a movement. I dissolved myself in the great current of Guru. If this is attempted to concise in words, perhaps problems arise. There is no translation for experience’.

Guru – a Great Movement

‘after a long silence, although the circumstances were unfavourable, I started writing. The inspiration for that humble creation was the compassion I could experience myself. I was brave enough to make my literature the medium of that compassion only because of my becoming a part of the great movement of Guru. This gift is not mine. It is of Guru. I know about that only as a small dot of the total knowledge. I have no authority to handle the figures of virtues characterized by me. But I consider that Guru has made me an instrument. The concept of God is beyond the reach of us who are immersed in the futilities of modern life. But Guru becomes the exchange of this experience. Without the help of any theology! ’

Prostrations to Guru

‘I do not ordinarily pray. If at all I pray in some extraordinary circumstances that would be for selfish motives only. My past is full of mistakes. The memory of those mistakes leads me to inertia. But Guru says these are all human. In one word “No-problem”. This one word of pardoning was terrible than any other verdict of punishment. The energy out of that rejuvenates me. Prostrations to Guru’!

Guru was catalytic to my literary works

For Vijayan, Guru was an experience. Vijayan used to come to Santhigiri to experience the infinities of soul and its everlasting beauty. His contact with the Guru, for more than a quarter century, was not accidental. It was the culmination of his prolonged enquiries. His life’s desire was to dissolve in that ocean of love and he achieved it. Without the help of any theology Vijayan recognized Karunakara Guru.  ‘What is the factor that Karunakara Guru attracted you’? Vijayan did not have to think a second time to answer the question. ‘The relation of love, the eternal love no one else can give. That noble love touched my soul and my literature…’

Perhaps we were not able to comprehend the turning point of Vijayan to spirituality as we wanted him to be in a particular plane of intellectuality as he always was… He suffered much for his visions. The words of V.K.Madhavankutty are proof for this. “I could not understand what Guru has said or what Vijayan had comprehended. But Vijayan was firm in it. Vijayan had to sustain the blame of advocating Hindutva. I can tell that he was not so. Vijayan did not complain to anybody.”

Vijayan has written about his experiences in a small book in Malayalam ‘The turtle fish misled to the sea” published by D.C.Books.  Answering the question why Vijayan comes to Santhigiri, the great Novelist said, “I come to Santhigiri to untie and keep down the bundle of my ego, of my intellect and art and to bathe in humility.” 

 O.V.Vijayan in the Preface to ‘Dharmapuranam’

‘Some problems arose between the years of serializing it and publishing it as a book. Most important of them was the character formation of “Sidharthan”. At that time, I happened to be in contact with the great Acharya Karunakara Guru of Santhigiri Ashram, situated near a small village called Pothencode. From the Gurusankalpam as the result of this contact, I could change “Sidharthan” as Guru and the revolutionary touch of Sidharthan as Guru’s gift. This change was reflected throughout the story and made several concepts remain vague in the series more distinct in the book. As there were tamasik and murderous portions in it, I asked whether I can drag the name of a Guru in its presentation. But Guru answered in the affirmative. This reply made me grateful and self confident. I firmly believe that the technicality of ‘Dharmapuranam’ will guide the good minds ……..above all it’s the obscenity’. 

‘The erotic bio-insurgences and the gentle death are the two ends. It is the interval between the two that we, who have born as humans, have to handle it carefully. We are all counting the waves in the shore of the sea called ectoplasm. Here where is room for any dualism. Light and darkness identifying their half portion… impotency again conjoins. Births and deaths unite. The Guru at the same time remains in the dissolution point of the handful of water and the sky rocking ocean enquires our welfare. That is the severe and personal of the extreme dissolution. ‘Gurusagaram’ was the witnessing of thousand fold Guruthva. Oh! My Atoms which immerses in the great bliss being self reformed particles always guiding to the multiple formations of creation, I prostrate you. Lift down our dirty baggage in this journey. Why? Reject them by opening our inner faculties, our positions, honors, education, physical fairness all and all.

Sacrifice is a great experience. Gathering them from the original textures we have made it fossils, by discarding values, externalized, made prose and verses and fractionalized the creativity as the satirical imitations. When we unload from our shoulders, make a sigh of relief, when the pure knowledge of the universe only remains, the co-traveling child laughs. Only with the knowledge and karma we can know as to how far we can laugh like that. But we can say one thing. Just outside the window panes of the aircraft Guru shall remain always as the co-traveler of this traveler’.

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