A View of Santhigiri Ashram

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

Saturday, August 21, 2010

An outstanding spiritual gift of India

Gurucharanam Saranam

Parnasala - An outstanding spiritual gift of India
Mukundan P.R.

The beautiful Parnasala of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru is an outstanding spiritual gift of India to mankind. The holy Parnasala of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru has a spiritual historicity – a historicity which is characteristically secular and evolutionary in the growth of human society. The humanity stands at the threshold of turbulent times and great civilizational perplexities. This stage of human predicament is probably the consequence of a past which overlooked the indestructibility of spiritual values and the truth of its evolutionary character.
The universe exists on the wheels of evolution. Disregarding this truth brings stagnation to human civilization. The human civilization has evolved from a primitive state to the present level of development through various stages of evolution, both in spiritual and physical terms. This magnificent Parnasala is the symbol of this human evolution at this age of ours.

The Parnasala represents the sacrifice and teachings of the sages, Rishis and prophets down the ages who aspired to unite mankind in the Oneness of God. Their aspirations for humanity stand actualized in this beautiful lotus shaped Parnasala of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru, emitting the tenderness of love, spiritual joy and fullness, beyond all boundaries of man-made discrimination.

Lotus is India’s national flower, which is not just a coincidence of choice. Lotus is connected to the acme of spiritual experience and joy, of purity and truth. Lotus conveys a message to us; rooted to the mother earth it exhorts us to transform ourselves into sublime beings of purity and truth, established in the love of God. Parnasala at Santhigiri conveys us this meaning.

The Lotus symbol of Parnasala is not born out of human intelligence or from the imagination of a worldly architect. Much before the blossoming of the Parnasala in the present lotus shape, after the spiritual fulfillment of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru In 1973, a Lotus with 2444 petals was shown in a spiritual vision. It was revealed further that the Lotus was symbolic of 2444 great souls who had taken birth for the spiritual evolution of mankind since the dawn of this new age – Kaliyuga, which commenced about 5200 years back, as per the ancient Indian time reckoning.

Since then, the Lotus carries a sacred significance for Santhigiri Ashram and occupies a place in its sanctum sanctorum. When the Guru left His physical body in the year 1999, again an oracle was received through Her Holiness Sishyapoojita Amrita Jnana Tapaswini that the small structure – the Parnasala of Guru, where His sacred body is interned should be rebuilt in the shape of a Lotus.

Her Holiness, Sishyapoojitha after she put the foundation stone for the Parnasala in the year 2001, directed the devotees in its construction day and night, as per the divine intimations. It was revealed to Her Holiness that the Parnasala should be built with a height of 91 feet with 21 petals and 21 supporting pillars. The 11 steps inside the sanctum signify Guru’s spiritual status of a supreme order. A lamp lit by the Guru many years ago, when He built the Ashram here, still burns inside. The flame will be kept burning forever. The memorabilia of Guru – the sacred articles used by the Guru shall be kept in the 12 chambers built above.

Thus the Parnasala of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru is the fulfillment of a divine Will in Nature for universal peace and opening of a new spiritual order. Both the western and eastern masters have predicted about the dawn of a new age of human development, peace and prosperity. The Supra-mental human evolution about which the great sage Sri Aurobindo Ghosh taught to his disciples refers to such an age of spiritual development, for which the world eagerly awaits.

In the present age of troubled peace and value distortions, of mindless violence and environmental threats, the teachings of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru give us a new insight and awareness into the human predicament. Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru has shown in an empirical way the possibility of a spiritual reconciliation and reorganization of religions into a single stream of spiritual awareness, which goes beyond religious rhetoric. There has always been a cherished desire in the heart of humanity, to have a unified approach to truth in regard to the Divine. It is this desire of the Universal Mind which finds its expression in the Secular Spiritual concept of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru.

Secular Spirituality of the great Guru has no religious, caste, creed, color or gender differences. Its premises are based on basic human concerns in its universality – concerns as much this worldly, connected to one’s health, family, society and environment as in the otherworldly, whatever meaning it holds for man. Guru focused on the subtle connection of health- both mental and physical to the soundness of the spiritual in man – a soundness based on human virtues in relation to his past, present and future encompassing even that of his forefathers who lived on this earth, who bequeathed the tradition and experience of long ages. The success and progress of humanity is based on this perspective of the past and its evolution in the onward march of time, and on an evaluation of what is wrong and right, and what is appropriate and essential to the age in which we live.

If this Creation has manifested from a Single Source, it is bound to have also its universality – a oneness which cannot be repudiated. The Secular Spirituality of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru realized this universality or singleness of man’s spiritual quest, which is all the more essential today to forge peace and unity among different peoples of the world.

India had a long tradition of secular thought as exemplified in the well known concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbhakam’ – the whole world is one family. The vision of the ancient sages went beyond all human discriminations and touched upon the universal truth through internal spiritual visions of the Divine and of the worldly phenomena. The abstraction of the Rishis works in the same way as science, but only the methods differ. By the method of internal abstraction, as against the extraneous abstraction of scientific method, the Rishis of India had found the answers to the fundamental questions of existence, which physical science is slowly approaching to in concurrence.

Therefore, human civilization cannot forge ahead ignoring the embodiment of such spiritual abstraction in our midst. Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru is such an embodiment of universal vision and human compassion, who worked in His whole life for the peace of all people, especially the downtrodden, through life saving principles and activities for the development of society and life-situation, disregarding all man-made barriers. Guru taught them a method to live without the divisions and bitterness arising out of caste, religious, class and gender differences, as a commune of people working together for peace, family welfare and spiritual enlightenment, which is a unique model of development in the present age of rift and disquiet.

Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru affirmed that changes in thinking and in society cannot be superimposed; it should be brought about from the basic unit of any society, i.e., the individual and the family, in which women always have an important role. Therefore, Guru gave all prominence to women for their spiritual emancipation, an area, which is still conservative and unapproachable to women. The spiritual leadership of Her Holiness Sishyapoojita Amrita Jnana Tapaswini is a standing ovation of the success of women par excellent in the spiritual tradition of the whole humanity.

A new human generation will emerge in the world through the emancipating spiritual teachings of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru to affirm peace, spiritual excellence and overall development. Santhigiri will be the source for such a model of life and development on which the future can depend to address the universal concerns of degradation in different aspects of life that are troubling the conscience of humanity today.

The Parnasala of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru is the symbol of that hope of humanity. Parnasala indeed is the pristine spiritual gift of India to the rest of the world for spiritual sustenance and guidance. Parnasala, the hut where the great Guru began the Ashram and enlightened humanity on divine truths, is now the great spiritual banyan tree, permeating peace and spiritual joy to all, who come under its shade.

The Parnasala, which was dedicated to humanity by Her Excellency, the President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devi Singh Patil, will be opened for worship on 12th September, 2010 on the occasion of the birthday of Navajyoti Sree Karunakara Guru.
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