A View of Santhigiri Ashram

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

Thursday, July 24, 2014

A New Spiritual Movement to Save India

The sage tradition representing Sri Krishna, Sri Buddha and Mahavir endeavored to uplift the masses from the quagmire of tradition that continues to confine them within prehistoric cults, moral values and objects of worship belonging to former ages retarding and deforming them spiritually. Educating and civilizing such ‘savage’ and heathen races and converting them to their ‘superior’ monotheistic religion and culture formed ‘the white man’s burden’ and the excuse for colonialism in the past. However, the truth is far from that. The so called western culture has been hegemonic and exploitive of the poor nations and peoples and has produced a corrupt and hollow human civilization bringing degradation in all walks of life including culture and morality. It has never been able to resuscitate the human race spiritually in its true sense. The mere evangelic preaching of the self-sacrifice and love of a compassionate God or forcing one’s religion on others would not help humanity’s transition to a new age of spiritual transformation.

The Guru-Word seeks to liberate individuals from the spiritual morass of ages that continues to pollute life and vitiate the social fabric. Beliefs and practices when outlive their tenure and age-specific dynamism stifle human aspirations and arrest spiritual growth unless renewed and reinterpreted from time to time by the wisdom tradition represented by great sages and avatars. The significance of the Guru Vani, the spoken Word of Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru is immense in this age of socio-cultural turmoil. There is nothing beyond the Guru-Word for deliverance which has flowed down from Brahman, the Supreme Light. The Guru-Word sanctifies the pollution in our life and helps us to understand ourselves, our tradition and belief systems in a new age-specific perspective that is so liberating. For the same reason, the Guru said that His path is the Vimochana Matam, i.e. the Liberating Dharma.

The Guru-Word dusts away the dirt and pollution accumulated over the ages on the surface of tradition and beliefs of the forefathers and discovers for them the true basis of their ancient-most faith and culture, to which all forms of Gnostic and monotheistic beliefs in the world owe a debt. However, it might be a paradox to say so because of the long history of distortion and deviation the Indian spirituality is subjected to by its own votaries. The idea of a Single God and the Guru, the God in human form (as the medium between man and God) is central to Indian spirituality like any other monotheistic religions. The Guru Word re-affirms more emphatically what Sri Krishna said some five thousand years ago: 

Give me your whole heart,     
Love and adore me,   
Worship me always,
Bow to me only,
And you shall find me;
This is my promise,
Who love you dearly; 
Lay down all duties in me, your refuge,
Fear no longer, for I will save you
From sin and from bondage.                          

This is the assurance of the Guru to His followers. The very theme that underlines the corpus of Guru-Word is unmistakably the same. Follow the Guru-Word and the Guru Dharma that has been gifted to us as the invaluable gift of God for this age. Guru did not like to utter or act like a prophet who declares his prophet-hood himself, in keeping with the self-denial and self-effacing character of the age-old rishi tradition. However, the Almighty gave Guru’s disciples the divine eyes as it were to see for themselves the sameness of God in Guru through revelations and visions by which they realized beyond the clouds of doubt that in Guru was both the Will of God and the Word of God. 

Once an Islamic scholar from Delhi posed a question to the Guru; ‘Are you a Prophet? ‘I did not say so’, said the Guru to him. This scholar went away with the mistaken notion that Guru was like any other crowd-pulling god-men of India. Guru was not a messenger of God like Prophet Mohammad, he argued. It is true that Guru is not a prophet because with Prophet Mohammad, the prophetical tradition had come to an end, which Islam also asserts. In this age, the humanity needs to be guided by a Far-sighted Seer. Guru often talked about His role as a Far-Sighted Seer or Deergha Darshi, an Authority of Age, who is able to envision the genesis of the world and its sustenance through the course of long cosmic ages, its twists and turns and the rights and wrongs occurred in the spiritual and historical march of humanity. The final sublimation or liberation of human soul culminates in the truth of Guru. At the end of the tunnel of spiritual experience or spiritual realization is the Guru.

The Guru-Word reveals the cosmology of Manu and Manvantara, in which is found the original framework or the teleological foundation of monotheism. The far-reaching significance of the cosmology of Manu has never been comprehended by both monotheists and polytheists alike. God in the form of the Primordial Preceptor or Archetypal Guru - that is the raison d’ĂȘtre behind the concept of Manu. A solar system and human life originate from the sankalpam or creational intent of Manu in association with the Saptarshis, the guardians of the solar system. It is for this reason the cosmic ages are calculated in terms of Manu Ages or Manvantara cycles after Manu’s name. Reflecting the truth of Manu and the Guru-origin of the universe, the flow of wisdom or the system of spiritual guidance has been ordained through the medium of Preceptors who appear at specific ages as the spiritual authorities.

At the turn of every spiritual renewal, the appearance of a Guru is imminent. Everything has its ordained time and space and has to give place to the continuing stream of spiritual renewal. This is the basic foundation of Sanatana Dharma or the Eternal Dharma, which is behind the resilience and tolerant nature of Indian spirituality. The spiritual incumbency of the sages and prophets is not static in the course of long cosmic ages. In other words, there is no scope for a final prophet or an exclusive religion for salvation in the scheme of spiritual evolution. However, there is an exclusive spiritual path that links man to God. That is the path of a realized Guru who can sensitize us experientially about the eternal truth of God through direct experiences and spiritual visions nourished by a way of life based on universal love and compassion. India has been the land of this experiential spirituality from ancient times.

Although the original history of Manu has been lost to human race long ago, the mention of Manu is found in the scriptures in a passing way. A parallel is also seen in the Adam concept of Semitic religions, which must have found its way to Christianity originally from India. Here the Manu or the Adam is portrayed as the earliest human ancestor or preceptor in earthly terms. However, the reality of Manu is not so as explained earlier. God, the Formless One (Nirguna Brahman) projects the human universe through the medium of Manu, the Adi Guru who is said to be seated in a thousand-petalled Lotus presiding over the spiritual evolution of humanity. This idea of the Guru-origin of the world is found in the more ancient Saiva tradition (refer Maha Nirvana Tantra for example) as well as in the Rig Veda, which mentions that in the beginning there was only the Purusha or Hiranya Garbha, from whom originated  everything.  The Purusha, Hiranya Garbha and Isa in the Vedic and Puranic texts refer to Manu, the First Archetypal Guru.

However, over the long ages, this cosmology was distorted and presented through the sectarian lenses of spiritual cults like Saivism, Vaishnavism and Sakteyism and it developed into the system of soliciting help from the gods through priest-craft and yogic cults. The powerful league of priests replaced the position of sages from the center stage and instituted the worship of idols in temples. The priests became the spiritual mentors in the society claiming exclusive authority over spiritual functions and divine knowledge. It diluted the role of sages in the wisdom tradition or jnana path as ordained by Manu. The less fortunate in the society were left to live in gross ignorance and servitude in a high and low notion of caste hierarchy instituted by the priests. This has been the cause of the spiritual downfall and social disintegration of India.

A big array of inimical forces consisting of evangelists, jihadists, Maoists, Leftists and other victims of race politics are engaged in a pernicious war with India. Yes, they want to break India and its religion, which they perceive as a hegemonic social order of Brahmins and worship of mythical gods instead of the only God. What could not happen even during the Islamic and British rule is happening now. The Hindu civilization is crumbling. Unable to find an egalitarian and philanthropic spiritual leadership, vast sections of vulnerable Hindu population are falling in the trap of evangelists and leftist ideologies that would turn the nation into a dirty pig yard. India cannot forsake its wisdom tradition of the rishis and sages, which is in fact the backbone of all wisdom traditions in the world. A world without the saving wisdom of the sages is unimaginable. The mission of Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru is to restore this lost wisdom tradition to its original status. It is a new spiritual initiative by the Almighty to save India.

Only a realized Guru can guide a soul to liberation or mukti. The Liberating Dharma of Guru provides another God given opportunity for India to reclaim its Guru status and the long lost egalitarian guru-disciple wisdom or jnana path under a Deergha Darshi Guru and His Parampara. The Guru-Parampara founded by Navajyotisri Karunakara Guru transcends all differentiations of race, religion, caste, class and creed and proclaims the Oneness of God. Through this new initiative of God, the human race can evolve into an age of goodness and perfection, as envisioned and dreamt by several mahatmas and sages down the ages. 

Mukundan P.R.

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