Nitya Chaitanya Yati
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Nitya succeeded Nataraja as head of the "Narayana Gurukulam", a worldwide contemplative community, after a long apprenticeship.
Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati 1923 - 1999
Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati
Nitya was born November 2, 1923, as the first son of Pandalam Raghava Panicker, a poet and professional teacher in Kerala. His original name was Jayachandran Panicker After his matriculation, he left home as a wandering mendicant to familiarize himself with the land and people of his country of birth. In those days, India was undivided. His wanderings took him to every nook and cranny of the subcontinent, both cities and villages, of almost all parts of what is now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. He met all the great people of the subcontinent including great leaders like Mohandas Gandhi and poets of high repute. He sat at the feet of several spiritual masters, including Sufi fakirs, Jain munis and Buddhist monks, and Hindu teachers such as Ramana Maharshi and Nityananda.
In 1947 he joined the University College, Alwaye, to continue his academic studies. After specializing in Philosophy and Psychology he taught these subjects in two Indian Universities. He again sat at the feet of highly reputed sannyasis to learn Vedanta, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimamsa, Indian poetics and literature.
In 1951, he accepted Nataraja Guru as his spiritual preceptor and after Nataraja Guru left his body, Guru Nitya functioned as the continuator of Narayana Guru and Nataraja Guru as Guru and Head of Narayana Gurukula. As Narayana Gurukula is a world community, the Guru has to act as a liaison between all members of the Gurukula at an interpersonal level in the teacher-taught context and as the enunciator of programs from time to time to spur the Gurukula community to work in unison, to help everyone to understand his or her integral value vision (svadharma). After Nataraja Guru died, Yati became the Head of Narayana Gurukula. As Narayana Gurukula is a world community, Yati had to liaison between all members of the Gurukula at an interpersonal level in the teacher-student context and to make the Gurukula work in unison. He was the founder-chairperson of the East-West University of Brahmavidya. He also worked as the Commissioner for World Education and as a sponsor of the World Government of World Citizens. World citizenship is a unique concept that Yati tried to give life to, in his own words: "The term 'world citizen' can be better understood with a negative definition than with a positive one. If a citizen of a state with political frontiers is expected to pay allegiance to the government of the state to which he or she belongs and is expected to take arms against aliens who might invade the territory of the state, a world citizen recognizes the entire world as one's state and in principle does not recognize any member of one's own species as an alien to the world community to which oneself belongs. Such a person recognizes the earth as one's sustaining mother, the innate inviolable laws of nature as one's protecting father, all sentient beings as one's homes. The world citizen's allegiance is to the foundation of truth, the universality of knowledge and the fundamental ground of all values." In later days, he spent his time in Fernhill 'Ashram' (hermitage) in Ooty, in Tamil Nadu, India.
Guru Nitya published over 120 books in Malayalam and 80 books in English, as well as countless articles on philosophy, psychology, social ethics and aesthetics. He also functioned as the chairperson of the East-West University, as the Commissioner for World Education and as a committed sponsor of the World Government of World Citizens. He attained his mahasamadhi on May 14, 1999 and his legacy of love and wisdom continues in his writing and in his disciples.
Works in English
- That Alone, the Core of Wisdom, DK Print World (2013) ISBN 81-246-0240-9
- Love and Blessings (Autobiography), Narayana Gurukala (2000) ISBN 0-9706549-0-1
- Meditations on the Self, Narayana Gurukala (1974)
- Psychology of Darsana Mala, DK Print World (2004) ISBN 81-246-0254-9
- In the Stream of Consciousness, East-West University (1976)
- Bhagavad Gita, South Asia Books (1993) ISBN 81-246-0010-4
- Living the Science of Harmonious Union (Patanjali’s Yoga Shastra), DK Print World (2009) ISBN 81-246-0494-0
- Scott Teitsworth, "Introduction to the American Edition" in "Love and Blessings: The Autobiography of Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati". (Varkala, Kerala, Bainbridge Island, Washington, Portland, Oregon: Narayana Gurukula, 2003), XXVI.