Sree Narayana Guru Memorial Day in Kerala Date in the current year: September 20, 2024

Sree Narayana Guru Memorial Day in Kerala Sree Narayana Guru Memorial Day (Sree Narayana Guru Samadhi) is an annual remembrance day observed in the Indian state of Kerala on September 20. It honors a famous Indian social reformer and spiritual leader who fought against the caste system.

Narayana Guru was born Nanu Asan on August 28, 1855 in the village of Chempazhanthy near Thiruvananthapuram. His parents were members of the Ezhava community and therefore were considered outcasts within Hindu society (many Ezhavas had converted to Buddhism, which wasn’t approved by Brahmins – Hindu priests). Because of this, Guru learned what discrimination was like at an early age.

At age 21, Narayana Guru went to Travancore, where he studied Vedas, Upanishadas and Sanskrit under a well-known scholar. In 1881, he returned to his village and started a school for local children. However, in a couple of years later he left home again to travel through Kerala and Tamil Nadu. It was during this journey that he was introduced to social reformers and decided to become one himself.

Narayana Guru dedicated his life to fighting against the caste system and spreading the ideas of social and spiritual equality. He built and consecrated temples where people could pray regardless of their caste or religion. This caused quite a commotion because before that only Brahmins (people belonging to the upper caste of priests) could consecrate temples.

In addition to building temples throughout the country, Guru and his followers opened schools where children from the lower castes could get free education in order to improve the social and financial status of their families. Guru also published over 40 philosophical and religious works in Malayalam, Tamil and Sanskrit.

In his home state of Kerala, there are two official holidays dedicated to Narayana Guru, his birthday (Sree Narayana Jayanthi) and his death anniversary (Sree Narayana Guru Samadhi). As public holidays, they are non-working days for all schools, government institutions and banks. They are marked with tributes, processions and community prayers.

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