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Nataraja Guru (Malayalam:നടരാജ ഗുരു)(Dr. P Natarajan) was a direct disciple of Narayana Guru, a sage and social reformer of India. Nataraja Guru founded Narayana Gurukulam, a worldwide contemplative community based on the teachings of Narayana Guru. He translated into English and wrote commentaries on all the major works of Narayana Guru. He has also written on a wide variety of subjects, employing throughout a protolinguistic or structural approach.
 Early days
Nataraja Guru was born in 1895 in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. His father, Dr. Palpu, was a contemporary and follower of Narayana Guru. After completing his initial schooling in Trivandrum and Bangalore, he went to Kandi, Sri Lanka for matriculation. He completed his Masters degrees in Geology and Zoology at Presidency College, Madras and bachelor's degree in Education at University of Madras.
 Meeting Narayana Guru
He first met Narayana Guru at his home in Bangalore. After completion of his studies Nataraja Guru met Narayana Guru again in Kerala and expressed his wish to be admitted in the latter's Ashram. Narayana Guru explained to him the difficulties associated with the path of a renunciate (Sanyasin) but later admitted him in the Ashram convinced of his earnestness. Initially Nataraja Guru stayed in Advaita Ashram, Alwaye and later at Sivagiri, Varkala.
While at Sivagiri, Narayana Guru appointed Nataraja Guru as the Principal of Sree Narayana English School in Varkala. Nataraja Guru's complete dedication and revolutionary ideas to transform the school (with support from Narayana Guru himself) irked some of the power hungry disciples of Narayana Guru. This was a hindrance to the proper implementation of those ideas.
 Establishing Narayana Gurukulam
Then he left for Ootacamund, a hill town in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu popularly known as Ooty, where Swami Bodhananda, one of Narayana Guru's foremost disciples, had an Ashram. In 1923 Nataraja Guru founded Narayana Gurukulam at Fernhill, near Ooty, the land for which was a gift from one of Nataraja Guru's friends. Narayana Gurukulam is an institution devoted to the contemplative study and propagation of Narayana Guru's teachings. Nataraja Guru stayed there for four years teaching a few children, mostly orphans. Narayana Guru visited Fernhill once and gave valuable advice to Nataraja Guru. Due to financial crisis and misbehaviour of many inmates the Gurukulam was closed down in 1927.
 Meeting Narayana Guru again
Nataraja Guru went back to Varkala and stayed with Narayana Guru for a few months. Narayana Guru's health was deteriorating and he was taken to different places for treatment. Nataraja Guru accompanied him in many of those trips, during which both exchanged many ideas and Nataraja Guru's many doubts were cleared by Narayana Guru. Narayana Guru was helpless at that time to accommodate Nataraja Guru amongst his disciples. So he gave him 1500 Indian Rupees and asked him to go to Europe for higher studies.
 Life in Europe
With London in mind, Nataraja Guru boarded his ship from Colombo. However, he changed his plan while aboard and landed in Geneva. After some initial struggles he got a job in Fellowship school in Gland, near Geneva. While teaching Physics there, he mastered French and started his preparation for his doctoral thesis in Educational Psychology. He registered at the renowned Sorbonne University in Paris. One of his mentors was the famous French Philosopher Henri Bergson. Natraja Guru was also influenced by the teachings of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. He travelled between Geneva and Paris quite often and submitted his thesis after 5 years titled "Le Facteur Personnel dans le Processus Educatif (Personal factor in Education)". It was based on the concept Guru-Shishya system of teaching. The thesis committee approved his research and awarded him D.Litt with triple honors. While in Geneva, Nataraja Guru wrote a series of articles titled The Way of the Guru in the The Sufi Quarterly, which depicted the life and teachings of Narayana Guru. This attracted the intelligentsia of Europe including Romain Rolland. These articles later became part of his work The Word of the Guru. During Nataraja Guru's European stay he had met Gandhi and Tagore.
 In Ooty again
Nataraja Guru returned to India in 1933 and tried to find a teaching job, in search of which he travelled throughout India for two years. Failing to find a proper teaching job, he returned to Ooty and re-established the Narayana Gurukulam. He stayed in a tin-shed for 15 years and spent that time to study the Upanishads, Bhagavad Gita and works of Narayana Guru. During that time, a Scottish man named John Spiers became Nataraja Guru's first disciple.
 Philosophical contributions
Nataraja Guru believed that science had unwittingly followed Marxism into a materialist desert and that stung by the horrors of the Inquisition, western science had turned its back on metaphysics for hundreds of years. According to him, ideas, memories, emotion and time, among other major categories, are metaphysical entities that have transcended every effort a being reduced to material existence. Matter itself is seen to be brimming with energy as soon as you look beneath the surface.
A counterbalancing backlash has occurred recently in which religious and other metaphysical ideas, no matter how divorced form reality, are being embraced as a welcome escape from uncompromising materialism. For a sensible philosophy free of prejudice, which can open the road to further process in human thought, a balance must be struck between physics and metaphysics. Each must support and verify the other.
Returning to the United States in 1950 to finish his biography, "Word of the Guru" based on Narayana Guru's life and philosophy, he met World Citizen Garry Davis aboard the S.S. America who was returning from Europe after founding the World Citizenship Movement. The two formed a lifelong association with Davis traveling to India in 1956 at Nataraja's invitation with the first World Passport following Davis' declaration of World Government, September 4, 1953. The result of that collaboration was Nataraja's "Memorandum on World Government" considering world citizenship and government from a wisdom perspective and association with the new government as its "World Education Coordinator". (See www.worldservice.org/documents). The Memorandum introduced for the first time, the mention of "geo-dialectics" as "the application of pure dialectics which reveals dualities to human events."
Followers of Nataraja Guru assert that the latter had established a basis for such an advance, presenting an overarching scheme to integrate all aspects of reality under one roof. Any meaningful philosophy, according to Nataraja Guru, must have some version of an absolute idea or value implicit in it. After presenting his own absolute system Nataraja Guru investigated several prominent strains of philosophy, including the rationalist and the materialist, to identify the absolute element hidden within each of them. Totalitarianism and absolutism are shown to be totally antithetical, the former being highly exclusionary while the latter embraces every possibility1.
 An Integrated Science of the Absolute
An Integrated Science of the Absolute is a two volume book of Nataraja Guru written after 50 years of study of Science and philosophies of East and West. In that Nataraja Guru had formulated a unitive science, wherein all disciplines of human questing could find a common ground. He called it as the Integrated Science of the Absolute (Brahmavidya), where modern science and ancient spiritual wisdom could meet and merge like two opposite poles of a magnet. It has, at its base, Darsana Mala, a book of hundred Sanskrit verses composed by Narayana Guru. Written under the influence of Upanisadic thought, Darsana Mala is believed to be the very “epitome of all visions of truth”. Nataraja Guru believed that his mentor’s “Visions of the Absolute” are fully validated by modern science. He believed that Brahma-vidya is not just an eclectic synthesis of varied scientific disciplines into a systematic whole but a Master Science that embraces every branch of science, every human interest.
- 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
 Nataraja Guru Quotations
- Label it the square root of minus one, draw a circle around it and cancel it out.
- Shiva is a vertical parameter.
- Yoga is attained through a process of osmosis.
- God is what is right when you are wrong.
- There are big OMs and little OMs.
- Follow anything wholeheartedly, and you will get the truth.
- Fill your mind completely with overwhelming Absolute Beauty and you are a mystic.
- Why is the Absolute kind? Because otherwise it would be of no value.
- Schematize and you get the Absolute.
- Structuralism is the highest function of the human mind.
- My task in life is structuralism.
- Anything that attains to the zero point conquers the world.
- Maya is the principle of error generically conceived.
- The gap between ends and means is Maya.
- Knowledge is a film (membrane), a form which we impose in order to determine objects in this world.
- Who is this teaching meant for? It is intended for seekers of wisdom.
- The Truth shall set you free.
- There is a paradox at the core of the Absolute.
- If you try to resolve the paradox, if you try and pin it down, you get a chair or a table; it does not dance.
- We are dealing with a dynamism, not a static object.
- The one who knows the Absolute becomes the Absolute.
- Our methodology is structuralism.
- Every action is a mistake. Make interesting mistakes and make them quickly!
- But there is a secret that none of them know: knowledge releases from all sin.
- Bergson's statement that the universe is a machine for the making of gods is just the converse of the usual proposition and is just as valid for Vedanta.
- To a Vidyarthi (wisdom-seeker) everything is denied except the seeking of wisdom.
- If you are crossing a forest and come to a crossroads, keep on going straight or you will go in circles.
- Cosmology and psychology must coincide.
- The vertical axis is happiness, the horizontal axis is suffering.
- Marbles in reaction to one another are horizontal,
- a lake inside a lake, a cup inside a cup are vertical.
- Yoga is a streak of lightning inside you.
- Yoga is psychological, cosmological and theological.
- When a beautiful fat housecat rolls in the sunlight, that is yoga.
- Take the Bible and see if the Good Samaritan kissed his wife.
- Put the beauty of your girlfriend together with the sunset and you get god.
- There is nothing closer to the Absolute than the conscience of a 16 year-old girl.
- There is no such thing as a sad Absolute.
- Meditation consists of bringing all values inside yourself.
- When you pour oil from one vessel into another, and the flow continues, that is meditation.
- If you want to catch a train, look it up in the timetable or ask the stationmaster. It is the same with philosophy.
- Experience the truth as a gooseberry in your fist.
- Clear thinking tends to result in correct action.
- There is no difference between wisdom and common sense, common sense is just sense that is common to everyone, everywhere.
- Belly to belly lasts ten minutes, back to back lasts a thousand years.
- When a woman looks into a mirror, she sees God.
- All of life is a love affair.
- Someone quoted a poem of Tagore about how he could never be a Sannyasin (renouncer or monk) because he loved too much the sound of women's bangles jangling as they fetched water in the evening. The Guru said: “It is because I love the sound of women's bangles that I am a Sannyasin.”
- There are two levels to a woman, inner and outer: rejection outside, enjoyment inside. This is the paradox in religion also.
- The contribution of Indian Civilization to spirituality is Erotic Mysticism - it was not repressed by patriarchal and prophetic religions that frowned on sensuality.
- On varieties of enlightenment: “There are many kinds of Yogis, but there are some few, the most fortunate ones, who can see the Absolute in a woman’s body.”
- If you want to produce a spark, you keep the positive and negative electric poles slightly apart, you don’t press them together. Indian tradition says that to get the maximum erotic spark between a man and a woman you should keep the length of a woman’s hair apart. (about 30 centimeters)
- Love is a vague word used by unscientific people about a feeling they don't understand.
- Beautiful means normal.
- Reach out to the beauty that is within you.
- Beauty could be described as two things saying the same thing from different angles.
- Beauty consists of analogies between the beauty felt inside you and the beauty felt outside.
- Art is the cancellation of the self and the non-self.
- All appreciation of beauty and all mysticism is erotic.
- Beauty emerges when two sides meet and cancel.
- Beauty consists of analogies.
- The feeling of beauty, to be absolute, must contain an “Oh!” or an “Ah!”
- Education is learning to link name and form.
- If you cannot explain your philosophy to a grandmother in Ettikulam (a nearby village), go back home and think again.
- Siddhis (psychic powers) are psychophysical dynamisms. They are like plastic spoons, etc. soap-powder packets: free gifts of very little value.
- Aruna (magenta color of dawn) and Karuna (compassion). Between them are all the message of the Saundarya Lahari.
- When the Guru was teaching a lesson on the Saundarya Lahari he noticed a student at the back of the room who was moved to tears. The Guru said: “At least someone has understood.”
- The color solid exists inside you.
- Understanding releases from all Karma.
- Where Karma ends, the Tao shines.
- All religions put some concept on a pedestal, but Vedanta alone cancels everything out.
- We are going to change the world for a thousand years.
- Ontology is better than teleology.
- If your religion makes you a better person, then it is a good religion for you. (paraphrase of Narayana Guru)
- God, according to the Guru can be in three places: in your heart, in your mother's feet, or in heaven, between the eyebrows.
- Why should I feel bad about dying when every day all over India there are young girls crying at the bus stop because they are being sent away to marry some old man they have never met?
- Birth is sleeping and forgetting.
- Reincarnation is like a caterpillar crawling from one blade of grass to another. At one time its front is on one, while the back legs are still on another, then after a time it is on the new blade of grass.
- Chakras give you something on which to fix your attention, when trying to think of the Absolute.
- The revolution is that we burst through all the chakras, instead of treating them as stages.
- When you say something about God, you are also saying it about yourself.
- Only understand!
 References and sources
- Works of Natataraja Guru
- Autobiography of an Absolutist by Nataraja Guru - Gurukula Publishing House - 1989