A View of Santhigiri Ashram

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

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Blessed Mantra of Peace

Gurucharanam Saranam

The Blessed Mantra of Peace
Dr. George Onakkur

In my reminiscence that had the luck of meeting Guru – Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru in person fills the fragrance of peace. That happened as fate would have. Like my honored friend Sri O.V. Vijayan (now late), I too was guided to the presence of Guru by our dear sister Usha. One day, O.V. Usha came to see me at my home. Rather than on her life of a poet, she talked more on her spiritual odyssey. That gave me a rare solemn feeling. To my question when I would be occasioned to the abode of Guru, her answer was, ‘always’. By her clarification further, I felt that Guru was expecting me extempore. If that was so, I should not delay it further, an inner voice persuaded me. Thus I was visited by the chance to travel the paths of prayer to Santhigiri.

My mind was almost full of uncertainty when I reached at the Ashram gate by noon. Wouldn’t be the Guru resting at this uncertain hour? Will my presence create disquiet in the tranquility? Doubts galore! But the moment I entered the Ashram lawns, the news that Guru was waiting for me came along, like a tender breeze. I walked up courageously to the proximity of that Foot.

Even today, I mentally prostrate before that gracefulness of the Rishi, who, clad in pure white, stretched both hands and held me aside, with serene smile. All uncertainties fled me and the ocean of my heart became tranquil, all the waves having subsided.

Not a word came out of me. I was standing bowing before that figure of tranquility.

‘Please sit down….’ Guru instructed and I obeyed.

‘Have you had your food?’ His words were caring.

‘I already had’.

‘That will not do. You may take something from here’. He instructed compassionately.

‘Surely then’, I responded.

Guru himself served me snacks and sweets. I felt no thirst or hunger. I experienced in the honeyed words, the grace of Guru what I had sought. There is no ideological exhortation, no spiritual advices. The bosom-touch of creation like that of a child lying in the lap of its mother! It was always like that. In all the days that I came to see Sri Karunakara Guru, I blissfully bathed in the milky ocean of love, earned the happiness of spiritual elation. This kind of bliss was rare in my too ordinary life. Everlasting, solemn encounters that lift one to vitality from the low planes of worldliness!

I continue the practice of visiting the Ashram searching for the precious moments of peace which the grace of Guru bestows. In Santhigiri, Guru is still present. That spiritual luminescence glows eternally blessing the devotees. I have had plenty of opportunities to be witness to that lively Presence during the meetings in the Ashram. What I experienced on those occasions is the elating blessings of Guru overflowing me. I have the convincing experience that Santhigiri is the central place of spirituality.

What attracts me most in the Ashram is the real peace that is gained by the disturbed minds. That happens in many ways. God should manifest as food before the hungry stomachs. For the sick, he should be a doctor. He should be the ambrosial words of wisdom for those who seek spiritual truth. In the initial period of my visit to the Ashram, I had understood that more than 500 people partook in the Annadanam (offering of free food) being conducted. I remember that that benediction was extremely filling me with pride. However, today it is solace to thousands, daily. The growth of Santhigiri in the field of Ayurveda treatment is amazing. A situation wherein worries of the mind and afflictions of the body get dissolved! For the soul and body to become equally healthy, the contribution of Santhigiri is matchless. Equally glorious is the studies and exhortations of Guru full of Guru’s ambrosial grace.

The great luminance of a new philosophy suitable for human uplift and cultural renaissance is brightening up this hillock with full of light. The message of Santhigiri is the basis for the development of human civilization untouched by the thoughts of caste and religious differences and the quietude produced by it. The contribution of Santhigiri is the Himalayan-like spiritual elevation wherein takes place the confluence of three such great streams – triveni sangam. That is the blessed mantra of enduring peace for the present times distressed by the disquiet and inglorious maladies of its own.

(The author is a well known Malayalam literature)
Courtesy: Janmadina Poojita Samarpanam Souvenir 2005, Santhigiri Publications
Translated by Mukundan P.R. from the original Malayalam
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