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Karunakara Guru, (September 1, 1927 – May 6, 1999) also known as Navajyothi Sree Karunakara Guru, is the Founder Guru of Santhigiri Ashram situated in Pothencode, Kerala, India, and the fundamental force behind the re-emergence of Sanathana Dharma or Eternal religion. Believers of Navajyothi Sree Karunakara Guru understand him as the Kaalanthara Guru or Messenger of God and Prophet of the time, and affirm their faith in the philosophy of 'Word is truth, truth is Guru, Guru is God', which is roughly translated from the fact that Sree Karunakara Guru works from what is revealed by the supreme light and provides appropriate spiritual guidance to anyone and everyone who seeks it, for the correction and the proper evolution of the current human condition as per God’s will.
|Born||1 September 1927
Chandiroor, Alapuzha, Kerala, India
|Died||6 May 1999
[pothencode] (May 6th 1999 [Trivandrum, Kerala], India)
|Other names||Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru, Nava Jyoti Sri Karunakara Guru|
Birth and Childhood
Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru was born in a modest family in the picturesque Chandiroor village in Alappuzha district of Kerala on September 1, 1927, Thursday. Guru’s birth was preceded by several notable events, including a plethora of visionary experiences received by His mother wherein she ‘saw’ celestial beings and people professing different faiths bowing before her during her pregnancy.
Named ‘Karunakaran’ by the family elders, Guru was only nine months old when His father Sri. Govindan died. Guru spent the early years at His mother Smt. Karthyayani’s house. Of a quiet, calm and contemplative disposition, Guru began receiving spiritual experiences in childhood. The most significant of these was the presence of a figure in an aura of bright light that Guru perceived within Himself at all times. Guru mumbled a few words only when prompted by this figure and was mistaken to be mute. Due to this, He was not sent to school. The bright light started fading and disappeared completely by the time Guru reached nine years. He started speaking normally after this and received some informal instruction. He later realized the inner figure in the celestial light to be Sri Krishna.
Even as a child Guru maintained utmost cleanliness, austerity and a regular prayer routine. When Guru was around 10 years, elders in the family got His mother remarried. Guru moved to the stepfather’s house in a neighbouring village but was not at peace there. Around the age of 14, Guru left home to lead a monastic life and became an inmate of Advaita Ashram at Alwaye (near Kochi), a branch of Sivagiri Mutt, founded by social reformer and great spiritual personality Sree Narayana Guru (1855 - 1928).
In Search of Truth
Guru spent the next 17 years at the various branches of Sivagiri, performing a wide variety of tasks. The industrious, young ascetic, radiating an aura of joy, humility and compassion, attracted the attention of the visitors to Sivagiri. Guru’s soulful rendering of prayers vibrated deep within them and even dignitaries began to wait for Him to conduct prayers for them. While Guru received enormous love and respect from the common people, He also faced hostility and harassment from certain quarters. Guru later realised that these tribulations were due to the influence of malefic forces present in the subtle spheres which try to block the spiritual ascension of an aspirant.
Ultimately, Guru left Sivagiri and moved to a hut on a nearby hill in 1957. This spot came to be called ‘Santhigiri’ (the ‘giri’ - hill - where the ‘santhi’ – priest - resided), by the local people, who flocked to Guru in increasing numbers after finding even chronic ailments being cured by receiving holy ash (vibhuthi) and holy water (theertham) from His benign hands. During this period, Guru also accompanied His mentor Khureshia Fakir, a Sufi saint, on spiritual wanderings (avadhoota), in the course of which He received several visionary experiences. In 1968, following a visionary directive, Guru moved to Pothencode, near Thiruvananthapuram, where He had put up a thatched hut in 1964 on a small piece of land donated by a well wisher. This spartan hut became the foundation of the present-day Santhigiri Ashram.
Guru spent several years in intense meditation and prayers, undergoing severe physical hardships and the ebb and flow of visionary experiences. All along, Guru continued to be a source of solace and help to the people who thronged His new abode also. On September 20, 1973, at the end of a tumultuous period of spiritual turmoil and trials, during which the Divine Vigil of Sri Krishna provided a protective shield in the subtle atmosphere of the Ashram, the truth behind the Guru’s birth and mission as well as His Supreme spiritual status were shown to the disciples. On that day, it was revealed from the Supreme Light of the Almighty -- “What I had been waiting for, through the Yugas (eons), is realized”.
Path to One Universal God through a Guru-Sishya Order
Following an instruction from the Transcendental Radiance which appeared in the Ashram during the realization of the Guru’s Supreme spiritual status, His followers adopted a worship system based on faith in One Universal God – the Brahman. They accepted the Path of Guru – Guru Margam – reposing complete faith in Guru as the medium to the Transcendent Supreme Plane. The doors of Santhigiri Ashram were open to all. Ignoring His personal comforts, Guru would spend hours meeting the people who came with all kinds of personal and family problems to find a release in this cleansing ocean of compassion and succour. For the seekers of higher truths, Guru was undoubtedly the way to the ultimate spiritual experience and evolution.
Merger in ‘Adisankalpam’; Eternal Presence as ‘Nava Oli’
Guru left His physical form and merged in ‘Adisankalpam’ (the Plane of Primordial Consciousness) on May 6, 1999, Thursday. As per directions from the Supreme, the Guru’s body was placed in the one-room ‘Parnasala’ (hermitage) which had been His living quarters. This building has now been raised as a grand monument in the shape of a full bloomed lotus in pure white marble, in keeping with its significance as the resting place of the Supreme Guru. It has been revealed that Guru continues to be present as ‘Nava Oli’ (New Light and Sound), protecting and nurturing all. Guru’s guidance continues to flow to the world through His principal disciple, Her Holiness Sishyapoojitha Amritha Jnana Thapaswini, who is now the ‘Gurusthaneeya’ (Guru Apparent) of the Santhigiri Order.
Santhigiri Ashram Situated amidst green hills and valleys near the southern most sea cost of Kerala, India, about two hours journey from Kanyakumari, the confluence of three oceans, well known for the Lotus Parnasala, the resting place of Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru.
Details: About 21 KMS from Thiruvananthapuram, the capital city of Kerala,
Address: Santhigiri Ashram Santhigiri P.O., Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala 695589, India Phone: +91 471 2419313/6060026/2419056/6611111 Location Website: http://www.santhigiriashram.org Contact Persons: Organizing Secretary, General Secretary, Director
Directions: Bus or cab available from Thiruvananthapuram rail-station/airport to Santhigiri Ashram
Special Events: August-September - Guru Jayanti(birthday of Guru), Nava Oli Jyotirdinam on May 6th (the day of merger of Guru in the eternal consciousness)
Daily Schedule & Opening Hours: Prayer every three hours, day and night (6AM,9AM,12Noon,3PM,6PM,9PM,12Midnight,3AM)
When to Go: Throughout the year.
Attractions, activities, and more to see: The resting place of Guru in the form of a gigantic Lotus Parnasala built in marble (91 feet tall), Traditional Ayurveda and Siddha treatments and therapies, very near to tourist places such as Varkala, Kovalam, Kanyakumari and Kerala backwaters
Etiquette: Admission : for all people, male and female, no caste or religious restrictions. Dress code: Dhoti for men and Sari for women for prayers and other spiritual functions. Note: Seven days entry restriction for women during their menstrual cycles.
Registration: No Prior registration
Services in Location: Rooms (on rent), provides free vegetarian food to the visitors, services of ayurveda and siddha hospitals and panchakarma centers run by the ashram for rejuvenation treatment
Accommodation: AC and Non AC Rooms ranging from Rs.500/- to 2000/-