Sri Narayana Guru And The Dalits : A Brief
Sri Narayana Guru was a great social reformer. He fought against caste and untouchability. He resented all meaningless customs and practices which stood very much in the way of economic and moral progress of the Ilavas of south India.
He uncompromising stood against casteism, and the bold messages he gave to his followers, resulted in a social transformation of long-standing effect, particularly in the state of Kerala.
Sri Narayana Guru used his Vedanda to demolish the foundation of Varnashrama system. His activities were a war cry against all kinds of slavery and it was against a stagnant society. It produced material effects than spiritual consequences.
The important massages of Narayana Guru are monotheism and equality of all men and his establishment of Vedic schools for all castes, particularly the most despised Ilavas. He was the founder of the Ilava movement and the Sri Narayan Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP Yogam).
Unity and mankind, oneness of god and equality and justice were his prime teachings. Within a period of less than 50 years, Narayana Guru metamorphosed the Ilava community from dust into men who could stand on their own legs as self-respecting human beings.
Sri Narayan Dharma Paripalana Yogam, which is not only for the reform but also for the structural change in the caste system, modernization, rejection of the traditional occupation, accessibility to the education, employment, industry, commerce and spiritual life and alternative religion.
The Yogam took place against the Hindu upper caste system and for the protection of the denied human rights. Basically the Yogam is initiated for the upliftment of the untouchable community i.e, the Ilava, who had been practicing the socially degrading traditional occupation of toddy tapping.
Since the traditional occupation is linked with caste, he appealed the Ilavas to give up toddy tapping. He also discouraged the drinking and production of toddy and encouraged to enter into trade and commerce and industry.
He preached the ideology for the social reform in Hindu religion to liberate the common man and for social change. He advocated that faith in one god. There is one religion and one caste. He directly attached the base of Brahmanical domination, i.e. caste system.
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