A View of Santhigiri Ashram

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

Monday, August 16, 2010


Gurucharanam Saranam


(This letter sent in two parts by Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru to the then Prime Minister, Smt. Indira Gandhi, on September 11, 1984 marks the beginning of an effort to evolve a model for living: taking into account the continuity of the present, past and future; taking into account the need not only of the Indians but also of others in the world. In other words, it is an attempt to take a primal step from where life could start afresh...)

My Dear Mother,

To deserve to be addressed thus, anyone’s action has to attain a state of purity. This is addressed to you in the desire of evolving a new model for living for India and for the world; may it be an inexhaustible treasure for the country; may it be a source of fulfilment to us and to you who is with us, and to the world in general.
In the Hindu tradition, the genesis of Man is said to be through a series of ‘Manus’. Later incorporated into the Hindu worship has been the Trinity – the Trimurthi of Brahma, Vishnu and Maheswara. The world at the moment appears to be on an eager course to reach something. This searching is evident if one were to observe keenly the entire animal world. The intent is linked with a movement towards the better. The totality of this intent has been brought to light by Manu and his Parampara - in the Indian context – through the dynamic of total renunciation sanyasa.

This is obvious without anyone having to tell us about it. It is evident in the fact that India had universities (Nalanda, Takshashila) that excelled any other in the world. It is evidenced in our professed pride till today in our ancient traditions. How much of it is related now to our direct experience? And how much of it is romanticised by our imagination? This is to prepare for a collective inquiry into this important question. Behind these humble words is the urge to inspire the younger generation in love and respect to take the initiative for further action by giving them a perspective on the present situation on the basis of an evaluation of our successes and failures.

For the forming of this necessary perspective for future generations, what is necessary is that we take a course of action which is in keeping with the times. This awareness is contained within us and is a message meant for the faithful the world over. ‘In keeping with the times’ is to be elaborated upon.

There is a general belief that this is the Kali Yuga. There is also a belief prevalent among people that in Kali the world’s dissolution will take place, a view which has the concurrence of other scriptural traditions as well. Our scriptures reckon that this is the seventh manvantara after the genesis of the world and there are seven manvantaras more to pass.

The present manvantara is ‘Vaivasvata’ Manvantara; its 28th Chaturyuga (Quartet of Ages), of which the fourth quarter, the Kali Yuga, is running. In this Kali Yuga all varnas – Sudra, Kshatriya, Vaisya and the Brahmin - should work together towards unity in terms of faith, of love and of creed. Our living has now to be modelled in terms of the coming Satya Yuga on the awareness that our actions have already been touched by the future prophets; the perfect sanyasis, in whom will be combined the wisdom of the sages (rishis) and the excellence of action characteristic of the celestial beings (devas). Living seeds are to be established, oriented towards the coming Satya Yuga, involving them in such action as would inspire such orientation even in others. The governance also should aim to towards such orientation. We may also function with the conviction that the power of the state, to a certain extent, can contribute towards an evolved pattern of living.

How does the state perceive what it should do in accordance with the times? This has to be an inference from the successes and failures of the bygone yugadharmas. If action is not based on such awareness, there is a saying of the wise men of old: ‘If it comes along well and good; if not one loses just a string.’ It is a success if one could pull a huge boulder with a string. If it does not move, what one loses is merely the lasso and a little time. If the action is in harmony with time no pulling needs to be done. A mere touch and it will move in the steam. The string that is karma (action) would guide the movement of the boulder.

Yes, the stream is in full flow: all that is left for us to do is to swim across with our sights set on the goal. We are indeed lucky that this grace is now upon us, that we have an opportunity to be totally successful in this swimming across i.e. in our karma, our action.

It is the Mother’s good fortune, or ours, that you are the mainstay of the State that is meant for action, mindful of the Supreme Truth – God, Brahman or Parabrahman: which is symbolised by various names in various religions.

In silent salutations to the Grace that is upon us which enables us to celebrate it in work.

In salutations to you, Mother, who could initiate that first step towards attaining the courage for higher and foresightful action.

Karunakara Guru


My Dear Mother,

It is hoped that the intent and the aim are both clear from the foregoing. The aim, as also the action and redress as would widen the aim, have been obscured by flaws and weaknesses that occurred. Countless proofs are available and not a single one has so far been fundamentally examined and redress sought. Suggestions towards the medium for this action have been indicated by several great men. Some have even initiated such action; among them those alone have succeeded who acted in accordance with their times. Of these the foremost are Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, and their followers

Krishna clarified our path here, much before these great men. Krishna’s life is a proof of the fact that he had to incarnate himself to rectify some flaws that occurred in the great men before him. These flaws have been responsible for some of the crises not only in India but the world over. There is no room for doubt that Lord Krishna elucidated this with foresight for us all. The Will of the Brahman, the Cosmic Will, is expressed thus through many. In this process some have wasted their karma when they faltered in the impulses that guide us towards that Will: by karma hereis meant the energy that is invested in the human body at birth – the vehicle of action. That the Brahmic decree was clear beforehand is evident in the royal status the Yadavas had attained.

Legend has pictured Kamsa as a tyrant. May be he wasn’t one really. The incidents of Krishna’s infancy brought out the entire gamut of Kamsa’s violent traits. Krishna with his Karma destroyed these traits, and in their place suggested what excellence in action should be, ennobled by reason and by means of action. He explained it in the 18 cantos of action and war in the Bhagavad Gita. It is also marvellously suggested that we follow Krishna by the annihilation of the 18 akshouhini army which included all the elders and acharyas like Bhishma and Shalya who so far had been beacons of light to all.

The path Krishna showed could not be attained by us. We have, besides, sullied and destroyed that example. That the Kohinoor, which belonged to the royalty here is now on the British crown symbolically indicated that we did not or could not follow Krishna or that path was not made clear to us. Much before this other invaders took away a precious Sivalinga, one of the foremost objects of our veneration, which is now used as a stepping stone to their place of worship.

If we are believers, on the one hand somewhere something went wrong with our ancestors; our tradition of worship was upset. On the other hand the processes of the State were warped.

And those who were brought up in the cold clime became ready for any battle for survival, and with their industry became capable of effecting fundamental changes in the world. AS a result of this development, we have become brown sahibs mimicking them. However, we could learn some aspects of contemporary knowledge only through their language. This we should not forget.

It is amply clear that whatever traditions had prevailed earlier no longer find a reflection is areas of religion, governance or societal norms. There has been no progress. There is no doubt that this country will move towards a grave danger if we fail to change or initiate a change in the current degeneration the world is facing.
Like Krishna and Mohammed there have been the twelve legendary sons of the low caste woman – their works proclaiming that the deva’s attainments are child’s play. This by no means suggests that there is no deva, devi or other deities in the tradition of the Trimurti worship.

The prescription for the Kali Yuga i that the deva should incarnate himself as a human being and do works that would benefit the states of the deva (the deity), rishi (sage) and sanyasin (renunciate). Values emerging out of these works are to be handed down to common men through preceptors (gurparampara) or prophets pravachakaparampara). For this purpose the State and the believers in the Vedic system – the Vaidiks, the Pandits and the action-oriented – should come together to seek the direction that is in keeping with the present day. Guidance should be sought from a jnani (seer) on whatever issues necessary.

We are in possession of a medium today of knowing past, future and present in the actual experience of life by revelation. A path in keeping with this gift will enable us to achieve enlightenment: this knowledge is akin to how Krishna revealed himself to Arjuna or like the path Mohammed has mentioned (“I received through Word, Light and Form,” is the statement). What he said then, on the basis of this kind of knowledge, has come true now: “The deserts will become cities; endless treasures can be dug out of this sandy earth.” It is high time for us to realise that it is only through such knowledge and through men of such knowledge, that the country or State can flourish.

Towards this end an opportunity needs to be created for the devout and the renunciate to work together. An attempt to unify the followers of different religions should be made. For this approach those who know the past, present and future, and can evolve a path in keeping with the sequence of time and events should be listened to. In this context the only word that can be relied upon is the jnani’s.
There is no room for doubt that a corrective for the world can be effected through the help of such jnanis if the State and the learned willingly believe in the word of such a jnani and act from that belief. There has been an Annunciation that this can be achieved through us, as a parampara. We are glad to tell you what has been thus told to us.

The Annunciation received in 1973 according to the asariri (the Word from Light):

“What I have been desirous of through ages has now been realised.”

From that point onwards till now we have received revelations. All such revelations have proved to us that the destiny of the world can be known by us. We would like to be the subject of experiment and observation whereby you could investigate and find the truth of our claim.

This is written with the prayer that your resources, ours and the knowledge of scholars may come together to evolve a model that would be beneficial to the world at large. We are communicating these words to you in the hope that you, mother, and other heads of state, philanthropists and scientists may come together to ward off the crisis that the world is facing.

Today the world is divided into two categories: those who believe and those who do not. Be that as it may, we all know that human life is the same beneath the differences in the externals. No difference seems to be discernible except that each country conducts its life according to its geographical, environmental and intellectual conditions. In this context India has been enjoying an image of a peace symbol. This image is the result of the skill in action that our ancestors had been able to achieve. This ability has been perfected through a parampara of preceptors and intellectuals. This tradition has evolved certain excellent ideas and tenets; but all that could be concluded is that an error that happened somewhere along the line has soured this tradition, rendering it unfunctional and alienating it from society.

If you seek, there is an answer; we are in possession of the knowledge. The State could involve itself completely in communicating this knowledge into the lives of young boys and girls. It could make parents aware of the need to evolve a life-value based on a blending of education and culture. For this it could entrust some capable public servants with a plan which will reach out to families individually, irrespective of caste or creed.

The children who grow up in this new tradition will revere their parents. They will not break and destroy universities. They will not find it in them to quarrel among themselves over religion, caste or ethnic differences.

The true path towards this change would be to follow the advice of jnanis and work out a plan which will reconcile the values of religion and the goals of politics. Merely quoting puranas and epics will not help. A jnani who knows the present and future alone can handle the situation effectively. The State should, to start with, have faith in people and be able to create such faith in them.
We have received the Grace for taking a step like this: the time is ripe for the Sate to bring activists together.

In the desire of persuading your attention and the attention of other activists in this matter,
Karunakara Guru

(Courtesy: Santhigiri Monthly, Santhigiri Publications)
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