Sree Narayana Guru was a saint, poet, philosopher and mystic who lived in Kerala from 1855 to 1928. He is undoubtedly the greatest social reformer who unshackled Kerala society from decadent social customs and practices and paved the way for a modern progressive, tolerant society known as god’s own country. The cast system prevailing in Kerala in late 19th century prompted Swami Vivakananda to call Kerala a lunatic asylum. There was un-touchability, un-approchability and even un-seeability where large sections of population lived in utter deprivation. Lower sections of society mostly followed primitive methods of worship and customs like child marriage etc. were widely prevalent.
Guru preaches and practiced universal brotherhood, exhorted the masses to improve their condition by self effort, through education, through organization and through industry. Guru’s act of consecrating Sivalinga at Aruvipuram 1888 when priesthood was the exclusive right of bramins was revolutionary.
Subsequent consecration of 44 temples and his writings, mostly in Malayalam took religion to the common people. Guru’s message of “one cast, one religion, one God for man” was generally accepted by all both the upper casts and the lower casts alike.
Sree Narayana Educational and Cultural Society was started in Hyderabad by a small group of philanthropic devotees of Gurudavan in the year 1985 in a modest way with the aim of spreading the teachings and ideology of Sree Narayana Guru. The inherent strength and acceptability of Guru’s teachings of universal brotherhood, love, self-reliance and industry brought together more and more people into the organization. Within a short time a Gurumandiram and a school could be established and various activities centered on guru’s teachings are being carried out.
Silver Jubilee Celebrations of SNECS
Visudhananda swamikal at Gurumandiram
Gurumandiram was consecrated in 1997 and stands as the guiding light for guru’s devotees. Apart from regular poojas monthly Chataya poojas are conducted on the day of Guru’s birth star- Satabisa when large number of devotees gather. Spiritual discourses and lectures of topics of relevance are also conducted frequently for benefit of members. Every year Gurudeva Jayanthi is celebrated with the participation of VIPs, special invitees and all members with their families where awards to great achievers in relevant fields are given out. Onasadya and cultural programs will also be arranged on the occasion.
Guru accorded top priority to education of the masses. “Freedom through Education” was one of his powerful messages. The economic plight of the masses could be improved only through education along with cultural upliftment.
In 1990 Sree Narayana Vidhya Bhavan was started in Kanajiguda an area with concentration of socially and economically backward families who could not afford expensive education. Due to the untiring efforts of school management, academic staff and well wishers the school provides excellent education to 700 students up to class 10, with 100% pass rate for several years maintaining a reasonable fee structure and also supporting some of the financially needy students.
Kerala Flood Relief 2018
Apart from the above SNECS is the forum for social interaction and support to each other in hours of need. The society provides a platform for its members to pursue Guru’s teachings to enrich family and social life, to associate themselves with spiritual leaders and to give back to society by engaging in philanthropic activities.