Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Santhigiri’s message is beyond caste and religious confines: A. K. Antony

Photo Copyright: Resmi Jaimon (This picture was shot on September 11, 2010; a day before Parnasala Samarpanam)
 The Lotus-shaped Parnasala at Santhigiri Ashram made of pure white marble was opened to the public for worship on September 12th morning as the ‘Santhigiri Parampara’ (movement) celebrated the 84th birthday of its founder Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru with Defence Minister, Mr. A. K. Antony, lauding the life vision of Guru as beyond the narrow confines of caste and religion.

Inaugurating the ‘Navajpoojitham’ (Birthday) function at the Ashram auditorium, Mr. Antony said the life vision of Guru, being spread through Santhigiri Ashram, was one of universal peace. Guru stood for the goodness of all religions and ideologies and respected them.

While all religions talk of loving one another, in practice people are clashing with each other in the name of caste and creed. This is the tendency found in all religious groups in Kerala and elsewhere. Kerala, which was an example of religious tolerance, is now witnessing the growth of communal conflicts and animosities. This will hamper the growth and development of the people.  To contain religious intolerance and violence it is essential for all groups in society to work together, he added.

Lauding the charitable activities of Santhigiri Ashram, Mr. Antony recalled his long association with the Guru and the Ashram. “Guru treated everyone alike without any discrimination. The Guru’s love and compassion towards all is a gift to humanity. What started from a humble hut is now spreading to the various parts of the world,” he said.

Kerala Agriculture Minister, Mr. Mullakara Ratnakaran said in the Keynote Address that it was Santhigiri Ashram’s endeavour to lift society from the depths of disquiet to the mountain heights of peace. The main reason for the erosion of values in modern life was the people’s inability to combine spiritualism with materialism. The family is the foundation for good human values. India’s traditional culture epitomised the inculcation of a good value system through cultured families.  It is only through spirituality that it is possible to bring peace of mind, he added.

Union Minister of State for Agriculture, Mr. K. V. Thomas, presided over the function. Former Union Minister, Mr. O. Rajagopal, MLAs, Mr. M. A. Wahid and M. Radhakrishnan, Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary, Mrs. Chandana Khan, IAS, Mangalapuram Gram Panchayat President, Mr. Gopinathan Nair and Vamanapuram Block Panchayat member, Mr. Soman, also addressed the gathering. Santhigiri General Secretary, Swami Chaithanya Jnana Thapaswi, gave the Welcome Address while Santhigiri Ashram Advisory Board member, Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan, gave the Vote of Thanks.

Earlier, in an atmosphere steeped with intense devotion, the Spiritual Head of Santhigiri Ashram, Her Holiness Sishyapoojitha Amritha Jnana Thapaswini, consecrated the Gold Image of Guru installed in the Parnasala and conducted the first prayer rites in the magnificent Lotus structure .
Members of the Sanyasi Sangh at Parnasala
As the beautiful monument was opened to the public for worship irrespective of any discrimination, more than 10,000 people from several countries and spanning several castes, communities and religions participated in the special prayers, which began at 0500 hrs. Representatives of nearly 200 religious and spiritual organisations, who had participated in a two-day National Spiritual Congress at the Ashram, also did ‘Guru Darshanam’ at the Parnasala and took the Sishyapoojitha’s blessings.

After the flag hoisting, the members of the ‘Sanyasi Sangh’ at the Ashram offered floral tributes at the Guru’s feet in the Parnasala. Even as the devotees prayed with zeal on ground, there was an aerial floral tribute with an aircraft showering petals on the Parnasala and the Ashram complex in several sorties.

Addressing the large gathering, the Sishyapoojitha said that this was the first time in spiritual history that a ‘Sishya Parampara’ had undertaken a task of this nature for its Guru. In an address lasting almost half-an-hour, she recalled the Guru’s life of sacrifice. The completion of the Lotus-shaped Parnasala was the fruition of a ‘darshan’ (internal vision) that she had years ago. The Sishyapoojitha also honoured the technical and other people involved in the construction of the Parnasala, which is a unique technical marvel, comprising 21 full bloomed petals supported on 21 pillars.    

Members of the Sanyasi Sangh at Parnasala
After the noon prayers, the large gathering of devotees got an opportunity to prayerfully offer flowers at the Parnasala.        
President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil at Parnasala, Santhigiri Asrham on August 13, 2010
The Parnasala was formally dedicated to humanity by the President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, on August 13, 2010.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent coverage and very informative article. Your photograph of the temple is very beautiful Resmi. Professional and edifying.