The Universal Guru- by Guru Nitya Chaithanya Yati
The Story of Narayana Guru is the story of the awakening and resurrection of the masses of India. Using the gentle power of persuasion, he influenced the proud Brahmins and the haughty rulers to accept the neglected masses of India as their fellow humans. By rousing the dormant dignity of self-respect in his fellow untouchables, he instilled dynamics in their quest for freedom. Through the acquisition of the required skills and education, they were further inspired by the Guru to aspire for their own equal share of all opportunities within the mainstream of socioeconomic and politicocultural advancements. With the aid of his own brilliant disciples, he revitalized his contemporary literature and revolutionized the value vision of his time. For those who were denied places for public worship he installed temples of harmony and purity. To those for whom education was denied he gave schools and exhorted them to free their spirits with the power of knowledge. For millions, social injustice perpetuated by tradition had remained an insurmountable barrier over centuries.
Narayana Guru provided them the motivation to stir and collectively wield power to legislate new laws that could successfully correct the diehard customs of the past. It was not by resorting to violence or pressure tactics that the Guru revolutionized the people but by offering his dignified example for them to see and follow. He was a sage on par with Buddha, Lao Tsu and Socrates. He was a persuasive teacher like Jesus and an upholder of social justice like Prophet Mohammed. As a philosopher his penetrating thought surpasses the climaxes of Descartes and Spinoza and amends the conclusions of Kent, Hegal and Marx. His integral vision excels Bergson’s study of the philosophical reductions of Edmund Husserl and Karl Jaspers. His mystical exaltations are similar to those of Blake and Rumi.
Narayana Guru’s Epistemology
In this epistemology, Narayana Guru is neither an idealist nor a materialist. His philosophy is unitive and holistic. Matter and spirit are relevant idea when one has to deal with the empirical world of things (perpetual) and the cognitive world of ideas (conceptual). There is no need to place one above the other. This world is not a random coalescence of chaotically flying molecules, nor is it the phantom imagination of a mischievous spirit. A person placed in this enormous setting can choose to play one’s history evolving or reading game of socio-political significance. He or she can vertically ascend from one’s individuated consciousness of ‘I’ to a transcendental reality of being one with all.
Narayana Guru’s theory of knowledge is wide and panoramic and he is no purist who will shout at any philosopher “no space-no space”. In Narayana Guru’s philosophical ‘commons’ there is a welcome and appropriate room for every philosopher, whether it is an extreme idealist like Emmanuel Kant or an extreme materialist like Karl Marx. Truth is many faceted, and it is not philosophical to patent any one vision.
To those who fanatically hold on to views such as ‘this alone’ or ‘that alone,’ Narayana Guru has a gentle admonition. He realized them that neither this nor that, nor the particular meaning speculated could be the ultimate way. It is more sensible to give up all problems of personal preferences whether positive or negative and allow the varieties of empirical transaction to parade as ever, the variants of the subjective to float along.
Jesus said, ‘The Sabbath is for man and not man for the Sabbath.’ He cannot say exactly the same about logic, because logic does not alter its norms to suit our whims. Karl Marx put a good rejoinder; “The truth that is useless to man is no truth at all.” Narayana Guru thinks similarly about logic.
Logic is and should be the correct means to assemble facts and seek solutions. Missing links of information are likely to play tricks when coupled with conditioned likes and dislikes, our paranoia or our prejudiced anticipation’s of rewards. The Guru was not enamored with all the signs and squiggles of formal and symbolic logic.
To him perception carries the stamp of verity for transactional purposes, and perception is a psychologically generated phenomenon that is an amalgam of the essence of the things presented and the individuated consciousness to which the world is given. After perception the next reliable means to attain to truth is inference. The ground of truth in inference refers directly to the vertical essence of things. Yet specific horizontal aspect of anything can be unique or variant and for that reason detrimental to the precise assertion of truth. Narayana Guru assigns a high value to the testimony of comparison, as it implies the certitude of experimental proof and the fairly valid assessment made by knowledgeable persons.
Guru’s Ethical Teachings
The dynamic core of ethics is ‘sharing happiness with the other.’ What is unethical is obstructing dual sharing and even worse I inflicting conditions that are negatively oriented. Narayana Guru taught we should first be selfish in the big way of identifying with the true happiness one’s self. We do not deny to anyone any good value that we cherish. We do this by remaining mindful of the dialectical situation in which we are placed and being true to our counterpart. Making ourselves solely responsible, as we would do to our own self.
It was Jesus who said, ‘those who are not with me are against me, and those who are not against me are with me.’ In active or passive ways, people segregate even to the extent of apartheid camps of exclusive groups. Color, religions, language, nationality and food habits are all elements that separate person from person. The Guru did not see any rationale in curtailing the bounds of love. He wanted socializing to be put on the ground of common biologic fact rather than on whimsical prejudices. “Man is one kind, one religion and of one God”, he declared.
Narayana Guru’s Theory of Beauty
Beauty is the vision of the self-mirrored in the non-self. The closer the image is to the truthfulness of the self greater is the impact of beauty. The self is characteristically the existent, the subsistent and the ground of all values. In the scale of existence the eternal is polarized with the transient. As each suggests other, beauty is perceived as a dialectical interaction of opposites that cancel each other out. The pole star is beautiful and even so is the violet that blooms for a day. The beauty of subsistence makes the daily bread, the feeding mother, the bread winning father, the farm of abundance, the rain cloud and the guardians of the abundance. Beauty is affective; this gives the individuated self its dynamic link with the existential actuality of the given world. Obtaining the steady state of being established in the eternal equipoise is the state samatva or yoga. In pure art there is constant weaning of the senses from the agitating influx of the incoming stimuli and the directing of the spontaneous flow of invoked energy to a cosmic significance or to an intense humanization of inspirational aesthetic implosion. Narayana Guru describes this as the all-consuming flame of knowledge filling the conscientious self from the alpha to omega, which can be likened to the rising ten thousand orbs in the sky of consciousness. Such was a wonder Narayana Guru who lived in the worlds of human interest. It is only appropriate to think of him as universal Person.