Nataraja Guru (born P. Natarajan, 18 February 1895 - 19 March 1973) was a disciple of Narayana Guru and himself an Indian social reformer.
P. Natarajan was born in Bangalore in British India on 18 February 1895. His mother was Bhagavathi and his father Palpu, was a doctor who founded the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (Society for the Propagation of the Religion of Sree Narayana, or SNDP) in 1903, of which Narayana Guru was the first president. Natarajan was the middle of five children, having both an older and younger brother and an older and younger sister. He received a high-class education in Bangalore, Trivandrum and Kandy before being awarded a Master's degree by Madras Presidency College.
Natarajan had come into contact with Narayana Guru and experienced the gurukul way of life in Alwaye and Ooty before becoming headmaster at Varkala High School, which had been founded by Naryana. It was after a "conference of all religions" at Alwaye that Natarajan founded his Narayana Gurukulam Movement (NGM) and University for the Science of the Absolute in 1924. K. K. N. Kurup, a historian of Kerala, describes the NGM as "an international order of brotherhood".
In the year that Naryana died, 1928, Natarajan received his blessing to study abroad. These studies lasted five years, during which he obtained a doctorate of letters from the Sorbonne in Paris while also teaching at the Quaker International School in Geneva.
On returning to India, Natarajan spent two years seeking work in various parts of the country because the followers of Narayana were not welcoming to him after the guru's death. In 1935, he returned to the gurukul at Fernhill in Ooty. He spent some time as an Advisor for the princely state of Cochin and established an educational institute in Mysore State before leaving India for Europe once again in 1949. Upon his return in 1951, having also visited America, he was recognised as a guru.
World Government: Nataraja Guru visited United States in 1948 to attend the “Parliament of the World Religions” and established the first Sri Narayana Gurukulam in Schooleys Mountain in New Jersey. Nataraja Guru may be among the first few Keralite’s to reach the US in the early 50’s. He was the guest of his disciples Mr. Hari Jacobson and Mrs. Adris Jacobson family who lived in Rock Road, Long Valley, where a new building was constructed by them to start the first Gurukulam in the United States. Hari and Adris were the first disciples of Nataraja Guru in the US. While staying in the new Gurukulam in Schooley’s Mountain, Nataraja Guru wrote 2 books, “The Memorandum on World Government” and “The Word of the Guru”. These books in English (1949-1951) brought the teachings, philosophy and vision of Narayana Guru to the Western world and it influenced the purpose and guidelines of forming a World Government in the 1950’s. The Memorandum on World Government is about the relevance of a World Government for all irrespective of any nation and continents. Along with Mr. Gary Davis, a disciple of Narayana Guru and proponent of World Government, they established “World Government of World Citizens” in 1953, and it is now head quartered in New Hampshire.
Thereafter, Nataraja travelled widely around the world and,m in 1963, established the Brahmavidya Mandiram at Sivagiri in Varkala. He translated into English and wrote commentaries on all the major works of Narayana Guru. He also wrote on a wide variety of subjects, employing throughout a protolinguistic or structural approach.
Nataraja Guru died on 19 March 1973 at the NGM headquarters in Varkala.
- The Word of the Guru: Life and Teachings of Narayana Guru
- Vedanta Revalued and Restated
- Autobiography of an Absolutist
- The Bhagavad Gita, Translation and Commentary
- An Integrated Science of the Absolute (Volumes I, II)
- Wisdom: The Absolute is Adorable
- Saundarya Lahari of Sankara
- The Search for a Norm in Western Thought
- The Philosophy of a Guru
- Memorandum on World Government
- World Education Manifesto
- Experiencing One World
- Dialectical Methodology
- Anthology of the Poems of Narayana Guru
- Kurup, K. K. N. (1988), Modern Kerala: Studies in Social and Agrarian Relations, Mittal Publications, ISBN 9788170990949
- Lukose, Ritty A. (2010), "Recasting the Secular: Religion and Education in Kerala, India", in Mines, Diane P.; Lamb, Sarah, Everyday Life in South Asia (2nd ed.), Indiana University Press, ISBN 9780253354730
- Osella, Filippo; Osella, Caroline, eds. (2000), Social Mobility In Kerala: Modernity and Identity in Conflict, Pluto Press, ISBN 9780745316932
- Thadathil, George (2002), "The Making of a Tradition: The Vision of Nataraja Guru", Divyadaan 13 (2): 159–190
- Smith, Bardwell L., ed. (1976). Religion and Social Conflict in South Asia. BRILL. ISBN 9789004045101.