Disciples of Guru

Atmananda Swami

His name was Rama Panicker before he became the disciple of Sree Narayana Guru. Born in a Kanisa community on July27, 1870, in Villyapally village in Bhadagara Taluk. Astrology was his family's traditional job. Rama Panicker was a scholar in many subjects like Sanskrit, astrology, philosophy, ayurveda etc. He worked as a Sanskrit teacher in 'Vidhyarthi Chinthamani' Sanskrit school in Tellicherry. He met Sree Narayana Guru when Guru was visiting Tellicherry. Guru was very much impressed in Rama Panicker's knowledge in Sanskrit. Guru invited him to be a teacher at Adwaitha Ashram Sanskrit school. Later he joined as the Head Master of Adwaitha Ashram Sanskrit School. His staying at the Ashram gave him to know more about the Guru. Later he was initiated as a Snyasin by Guru and gave him a new name - ‘Atmananda' and stayed at Sivagiri. Govitananda Swami invited him to Kancheepuram Ashram. He visited the Ashram many times and helped Govindananda to improve the Sree Narayana Seva Ashram. His hard work brought lots of financial assets to the Ashram. Later he stayed there permanently. He was famous in that area as an Ayurvedic medical practitioner and people called him ‘Valiya Gurukkal' or ‘Great Teacher'. He wrote many poems about Guru. One of his published work ‘Sree Narayana Dharma', is one of the best books to understand Guru's thoughts. On November 12, 1969 Atmananda Swami attained Samadhi at the age of 100.

Sankarananda Swami

he fourth and the last head of Sivagiri Mutt. His name was Sankaran. He was born into a financially well to do family in Puthullad, Trichur district. . He did not show much interest in formal education. From his early life he showed interest in Spirituality. Due to the pressure from his family members he started a family life, but that did not last long. He left the house and traveled to different holy places in South India . After staying at Ramana Maharshi's Thiruvanna malai for a brief period he came to Palghat and stayed at Brahmananda Shiva Yogi's ashram. After some time he went back to his native place and started to live there. He was heard about Guru and his social activities. When Guru was staying at Peringottukara ashram, he went to see Guru and told him about his mental dilemma. Guru told Sankaran that, “if his path is right he will reach his aim”. He went back home and told his relatives about his wish to join Guru as a Sanyasin. Next day, accompanied by his uncle, he went to Adwaitha ashram and met Guru. With Guru's blessings he became an inmate at the ashram. Later Guru gave him a new name, ‘Sankarananda', and accepted him as Guru's sanysin disciple. . He served as the administrator of the Await Ashram for a long time. After Achuthananda Swami's samadhi, Sankarananda became the head of Sivagiri Mutt. Guru's hundredth birth anniversary was celebrated while he was the head of the Mutt. He was not an orator or writer, but he showed much interest in collecting and publishing Guru's works. Two periodicals, ‘Navajeevan' and ‘Sivagiri' were published during his time. The commencement of Sivagiri pilgrimage, the celebration of Guru's hundredth birth anniversary and the construction of Maha Samadhi Mandir were occurred while he was the head of the Mutt.

Mambalam Vidyananda Swami

his Sanyasin disciple of Sree Narayana Guru was born into a joint family in Kavalam, Kuttanadu. Many of his family members were Ayurvedic medical practitioners. His name was Ramankutty. He studied at Sanadhana Dharma High School , Alleppey and he passed High School with high marks. He could not continue his education because of the sudden death of his three uncles. These tragedies exhausted him mentally; he left his home and visited many religious places. He came to the Adwaita Ashram while Guru was staying there. After hearing Ramankutty's story Guru asked him to stay there. He arranged Ramankutty a job at the Sanskrit School . His staying at the Ashram helped him to improve his skills in the Sanskrit language. He also spoke English, Tamil, Kannada and Telugu. Later he was initiated as a monk by Guru and received the name, ‘Vidyananda'. After Guru's Samadhi Vidyananda Swami moved to Kancheepuram Sree Narayana Seva Ashram, later to Mambalam. A rich person donated some land near Mambalam and the Swami founded Sree Narayana Mission there. Later he started an infirmary adjunct to the Mission . This free sanatorium was a big help for the poor people in that area. Vidyananda Swami wrote an interpretation for Sree Narayana Guru's ‘Darsanamala'. Guru titled this book as ‘Dheedhidi', which means ray.This book became an important means of reference to many scholars. He wrote many articles, mostly related to Guru's philosophy, and published in periodicals. In 1959 Swami became ill and partially paralyzed. He spent the end of his life in Changanacherry and attained Samadhi in 1964. Sadly his body was buried in a public cemetery. The Sree Narayana Mission was not affiliated to Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham, so the Sangham showed no interest in preparing a ‘Samadhi Peedham' (proper way of burying a Sanyasin's body) for him at Sivagiri.

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