Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti in Kerala in 2023

Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti in Kerala in 2023
Sree Narayan Guru on 1967 Indian stamp. Image via India Post, Government of India
  How long until Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti?
There are no upcoming dates for this event
  Dates of Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti in Kerala
2023 Thu, Aug 31Regional Holiday
2022 Sat, Sep 10Regional Holiday
2021 Mon, Aug 23Regional Holiday
2020 Wed, Sep 2Regional Holiday
2018 Mon, Aug 27Regional Holiday

A state holiday in Kerala to mark the birthday of a notable Keralite social reformer who was born on this day in 1855.

When is Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti?

Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti is a regional public holiday in Kerala, India observed on August 28th each year.

The state holiday marks the birthday of a notable Keralite social reformer who was born on this day in 1855.

History of Sree Narayana Guru Jayanti

Kerala has an important and commendable tradition of honouring social reformers with public holidays. Narayana Guru is especially important as he is the only Keralite who has a holiday for both his birthday and death anniversary.

Narayana Guru was born on August 28th 1855 into a lower caste family. He grew up to lead a reform movement, against the injustice in the caste-ridden societal structure in Kerala to promote social equality. One of his famous sayings in Malayalam was ‘One caste, one religion, one god for all.’

He was introduced to meditation and yoga by Ayyavu Swamikal and became a hermit for eight years in order to practice his meditation and yoga.

Narayana Guru consecrated the first temple of Lord Shiva in 1888 where an idol was ordinated by a non-Brahmin in Aruvippuram village of Kerala. His step sparked off the anti-caste revolution against the upper-caste Brahmin communities.

In 1903, he established the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam (SNDP) as the founder and president. The organisation continues to mark its strong presence to this day. In total, he set up more than 40 temples across the state as an act of protest to permit lower caste people to enter temples.

In 1904 he opened a school for children from the lower strata of the society and provided free education to them irrespective of their caste.

Narayana Guru died on September 20th 1928, at the age of 73.

The state is dotted with shrines to Narayana Guru on this day. People celebrate this day by decorating the shrines, as well as roads with flowers and dried coconut leaves. Harmonious processions and community feasts are carried out in remembrance of the great guru.

The common prayers are also organised and attended by people irrespective of caste or creed to remind people of Narayana Guru’s teachings and philosophy.

"The legacy of Narayan Guru is a society elevated, in accord, the lower classes educated and full of dignity and a feeling of self-worth."
Elst, Koenraad (2002)

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