SANTHIGIRI ASHRAM: The divine spiritual-center of peace and equality
It is said that the Ashram is helping underprivileged people though several health schemes like Karunyam National Health Care programme and Accidental Relief Operations, and is still consciously following traditional medical techniques, medicines and procedures. Kindly say few words about the Santhigiri medical institutions, medical-schemes and their contributions?
We cannot perfectly follow the traditional medical techniques, medicines and procedures. In this modern era, we may be compelled to dilute traditional system due to several factors including unavailability of the raw materials like medicinal plants. No one can completely assure you that their organisation is strictly following traditional medical system. Anyway, we, as a policy, try to provide traditional medical procedures, techniques and medicines.
Santhigiri Ashram is actively participating in the socio-cultural activities of our society. Kindly say few words about this?
Traditionally, the society has pasted certain limitations over the socio-cultural activities of an ashram. Normally, preponderance of our society is observing the activities of ashrams through a prejudiced mind. So, they possess negative pictures on their mind. Through our dedicated participation, we have managed to create acceptance in the society. The spiritual-leaders and religious scholars are one of the inevitable elements of the society. These people must work among the lower section of the society, instead of living in elite houses and palaces. It is the high time to teach secular ideologies and their relevance. Our biggest achievement is that we got an opportunity to work among the poor people of the society while propagating the message of humanism.
The ashrams usually possess common working pattern. It never averts from the stereotypical path. Interestingly, Santhigiri Ashram breaks away from the usual path, and expand its activities in several untraditional sectors, like agriculture and small industries. How is Santhigiri Ashram contributing to the agricultural sector?
We have made only limited achievements in the agricultural sector. Though we have taken certain steps to strengthen the organic and bio-farming sector, Kerala is still depending on neighboring states to meet its daily needs. However, we are slowly embracing this kind of activities.
It is learned that Guru’s ideologies is gaining greater acceptance in Gulf countries and European countries. Kindly say few words about the global-expansion activities of Santhigiri Ashram?
We have not acquired that much acceptance in Gulf countries. Meanwhile, we have managed to acquire positive response from Gulf Malayalies. Similarly, in the European countries, we are slowly expanding. Only adherent fundamentalist can blindly oppose Guru’s ideologies, which advocate universal-brotherhood and peace. We cannot judge the pace of the ideology’s growth. We are not following a usual pattern so it is hard to propagate Guru’s ideologies. However, it is presently in a growing state.
This year, the ashram is celebrating ‘Navathi’ of Navajoyothisree Karunakara Guru. It is said that it is a one-year-long celebration, and several cultural and social welfare programs are conducted across the country as a part of the celebration. What are the special programs conducted in connection with the ‘Navathi’ celebrations?
We are planning to conduct several social, welfare, and cultural programs in connection with ‘Navathi’ festival. We will articulate certain programs to strengthen the society. Our prime focus is to unite society through love and peace.