Aruvippuram as it literally means is on the bank of a river called Neyyar which meanders through this Arcadian spot as its lifeline. This small river is having its humble origin somewhere on the mount Agastyakootam. The Aruvippuram is a South Kerala Village which still remains practically unaffected by the maladies of thoughtless urbanization. And adding to the serene beauty of this village is the renowned and vitally important Aruvippuram Siva Kshetram. The course of the history as well as the quality of the civilization itself was altered and raised to a new vigor and wavelength by the installation of Siva, the Cosmic Deity of Auspiciousness. Compared to the plight of the common folk elsewhere in India the masses in this tiny state of Kerala henceforth achieved an unparalleled social upliftment.
The one who triggered and accomplished such a massive revolution of depth and far-reaching result so silently and unpretentiously is none other than the great sage Sree Narayana Gurudevan. All impartial and well-informed Keralites know, revere and even worship him as the greatest son of the land. For example, Malayala Manorama (probably the most popular) Malayalam Daily News Paper, selected Sree Gurudevan as the Malayali of the Century during 1999. He was the very embodiment of all the different facets of man’s metaphysical heritage. An enlightened soul he was whose plain physical existence manifested compassion, devotion, selfless service, yogic perfection and miraculous powers along with his literary achievements and uncompromising spirit of renunciation. This modern Buddha by his exemplary life showed us all what it exactly meant by the term human perfection.
This great master, who inspired, uplifted and dignified the humanity as a whole chose Aruvippuram as a significant milestone of his social life. However, it is interesting to note that another beautiful village named Chempazhanthi in the very same district of Thiruvananthapuram happened to be his birth place. Sanathana Dharma – the eternal and universal principles that lead and sustain human life in its onward march – though discovered by the Sages of this Bharathavarsha was at its worst period of decline during this time due to various reasons.
The other great religions who are only a few hundred years old and are reflecting more or less the essential points of this eternal religion to some or other extent had unfortunately taken an inimical stand to this ‘mother of all religions’.
Moreover the human society as a whole had never been evolved to live or appreciate these sublime ideals as they were actually envisaged by the Sages of yore. Ordinary people always tried in vain to pull down the lofty truths to their crude and carnal levels of power, pleasure and plurality. As a consequence the man has never progressed far ahead of his animal propensities. Fighting sects, cunning religions, blind fanaticism, bloodshed, brutal massacres and the like were to be our lot inspite of all our superficial inventions and informations. Priestcraft was as rampant in Kerala as it was all over the world. Nay, the self-styled upper class exceeded all the rest in the world in extorting all the benefits of education, property, political power, religious rights and everything else from the common people. The vast majority of women also were deprived of a decent existence. The conservative Hindus still consider (privately of course) all women & all sudras ‘papayonis’ – sinners by birth with no chance of redemption. The long-term consequence was that the land of Sages lost all its grandeur and was reduced to a land of savages full of meaningless prattles & degenerative practices. A land steeped in the nadir of ignorance, abysmal spiritual chaos. To be sure, it was high time for the Divinity to incarnate on this Earth in various aspects and capacities to uplift the human race to its pristine purity and golden glory. And among those spiritual luminaries that appeared on the firmament of human history, the foremost leader destined to bring about a revival in the southern tip of the modern India is none other than that child of Chempazhanthi.
He was born there on 28th of the August 1855, the corresponding Malayalam month being Chingam, and the birth star is Chatayam. His parents are Sreemathi Kutti Amma and Sreeman Madan Asan. They named their cute kid as Narayanan, and he was usually called Nanu for short. As a rule every child cries in the wake of its birth. But tradition handled down to us has it that this wonderful child did not make any attempt to cry. May be, he was predestined to alleviate the sufferings of the immediate world around him and to pave the way in that direction for the larger humanity. As a boy he was introduced to formal education by Chempazhanthi Mootha Pillai. By the time he was hardly fifteen, the intelligent Nanu had acquired all that his father and uncle (Krishnan Vaidyar) could teach him. Then he proceeded to the distant Kayamkulam pursuing higher studies. There he lived at Varanappalli Tharavadu and continued his learning under Kummampalli Raman Pillai Asan. (The term Asan refers usually to a traditional teacher of Kerala in those times.) Certain persons who achieved fame and recognition in later life were to be his schoolmates in that old-fashioned village school. Naturally the calm, God–loving and discerning Nanu was liked by the people there.
Virtually completing his education there he returned to his home village and started a tiny school for the children in the locality. And so the Nanu came to be known as Nanu Asan. He was also familiarly known to the people as Nanu Bhakta because of his uncompromising temple visits and spiritual pursuits. In order to intensify his search for the realization of the Truth, he at this stage gave up his hearth and home and reached Marutvamala of Kanyakumari. There on the top of that mountain is a cave facing the sea. This particular place was chosen by him as the main area of his long-term austerities. We may rightly assume the yogic practices he learned at the feet of Thaikkadu Ayyavu, the great Yogi were of immense help to him during this period.
Upon attaining the perfection or ‘God-realization’ in common parlance, there remains nothing more to be gained or done. The individual consciousness or the ego-centric existence stands transcended once for all, and there flows unhindered the causeless compassion for the mortal multitude. At any rate the welfare of the world was foremost in the heart of this liberated soul. Leaving that place of hallowed memories, he reached Aruvippuram guided by the urges of a divine mission. There was a cavern by the bank of the Neyyar, and another at the Kodithookkimala atop. He chose them to be the places for his natural tapasya and deep rest. Thus by his own life he inspired the best among the seekers after the Truth to leave the shallow world of senses lest they will fritter away their valuable energies and to get firsthand that profound insight of one’s inherent and imperishable Self.
Aruvippuram Temple and Madom
Aruvippuram, Aruvippuram P.O.
Phone : 0471 2275545
Mob : 09400475545