After a span of a millennium since the time of Adi Shankara, Sree Narayana Guru was the next greatest proponent and re-evaluator of Advaita Vedanta and hailing from the same geographic region, i.e., present-day Kerala. Narayana Guru’s philosophy, which is fundamentally of Advaitic and non-dual wisdom in principles, further extended Advaita concepts into practical modes of self-realisation through spiritual education, compassion and vision for peaceful co-existence of the human race, whilst promoting social equality and universal brotherhood. His philosophy of non-violence and ahimsa strongly denounced discrimination in the name of caste or religion, and emphasised focusing on education and private enterprise for the ongoing uplift of the quality of life. The Guru’s philosophy emphasised the consistency between true existence of the “common reality” on Earth and one Divine behind the creation and sustenance of the Universe, dismissing any concepts of illusory worlds or any mid-way “city on high”.
The Guru’s philosophy is exemplified in his mystical writings that are truly interchanging warps and wefts of ethics, logic, aesthetics and metaphysics woven into masterpieces of silken rich poetry. The Guru’s literary works are in Malayalam, Sanskrit and Tamil languages, and these works are of a conceptual and aesthetic quality at par with the Upanishads.
At the time of its conception, Narayana Guru’s philosophy was in many respects ahead of its time and focused on a futuristic world order that could be shaped from his philosophical connotations that are underlain with transcendental aesthetics and logic embodied in knowledge and pure reason. Most of the serious scholars of Narayana Guru’s philosophy have been from generations beyond his lifetime; and this list keeps growing.