Disciples of Guru

Swami AananthaTheerthar

Swami AananthaTheerthar was the last disciple of Sree Narayana Guru. He was a fabulous personality in the fight against social injustices in Kerala. Anantha Shenoy was born in a rich Gowdasaraswath Brahmin family of Thalassery. He took Bsc (Hon) degree in Physics from Madras University . At that time it was very easy for him to get a high paying job anywhere in India , but he was interested in public service. Anantha Shenoy heard about Sree Narayana Guru. When he was studying at Tellicherry Brannen College Guru visited Jagannatha Temple there, but Anantha Shenoy did not show any interest in meeting the Guru. He thought Guru was just a religious leader of Ezhavas. But he started to admire Sree Narayana Guru when he read Guru's conversation with Mahatma Gandhi and learning more about his work against social injustices. He got attracted to National movement and wanted to live at Mahatma's Sabarmathi Ashram. He sought Rajaji's help for this, but Rajaji advised him to go and stay at Sabari Ashram in Palghat. Sabari Ashram was started for the upliftment of the downtrodden. In 1926 Anantha Shenoy became a member of that Ashram. He met Guru for the first time at a house in Coimbatore ; Guru talked to him in great interest when he heard Shenoy was working for Sabari Ashram. In August 1928 he accepted the ascetic way of life and became the disciple of Sree Narayana Guru. Guru gave him the name Anantha Theerthar. He spent all his life for the uplift the life of Harijans. He faced a lot of opposition from the upper caste people and sometimes even suffered physical harassment. He selected Payannur as his work area and started Sree Narayana School and hostel there for Harijan children. This institution is widely known as Ashram. He changed the venue of this school three times due to the strong hostility of the people there. He was one of the few disciples who continued Guru's deed of the fight against social evils.

Swami Earnest Clark

Earnest Clark was the only foreigner who was a direct Sanyasin disciple of the Guru. He admired many spiritual leaders in India . He came to India and joined Annie Basant's Theosophical Society. While working there he traveled to many sacred places in India and happened to visit Sivagiri. Earnest Clark met Guru there and told Guru about his intention to stay there and Guru arranged the facilities for him. Swami Dharma Theerthar and Shri. K.M. John were Guru's interpreters. Shri. K.M. john, who was a teacher by profession, was staying at Sivagiri and teaching Bible. At that time Guru was thinking about how to use the assets of Sivagiri for the benefit of the people in a useful way. He consulted many people about it and appointed a committee to prepare a project. Earnest Clark was the convener of that committee and he played a major role in preparing and presenting the, ‘Sivagiri Free Industrial and Agricultural Gurukulam', project to Guru. It was a project to connect Agriculture and Industry to Education. Even Mahatama Gandhi never thought about vocational education at that period. Shri. P. Natarajan (later become Nataraja Guru) was responsible for the educational matters. Later Earnest Clark became a Sanyasin, but Guru never asked him to change his name. In 1927 the ‘Sivagiri Free Industrial and Agricultural Gurukulam' project started to function, but Guru's Samadhi affected it and the project was abandoned. After Guru's Samadhi Swami Earnest Clark left Sivagiri due to the court case and politics. He moved to Coimbatore and founded Sree Narayana Ashram there. From there he started a publication, ‘Life', which gave importance to Guru's philosophy. Swami Dharma Theerthar wrote the ‘Prophet of Peace' owing to Swami Earnest Clark's request. In 1942 he was removed from the Dharma Sangham by the authorities of the Sree Narayana Dharma Sangham. It did not stop Swami Earnest Clark propagating Guru's words.

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