It is a holistic, at once compelling account of a saint-reformer of modern Kerala: Sree Narayana Guru (1856-1928). Veritably a versatile genius: a sage, philosopher, poet and social revolutionary, all rolled into one, Gurudeva was a perfect, though largely inscrutable, human being who, like Svami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, created new tracts of his own in the realms of Indian philosophy. And invested temporal life, in any form, with an air of spirituality about him -- as is reflected, for instance, in his crusades against caste discriminations in Kerala or in his larger concerns with peace, universal brother-hood and co-existence.
Dr. Jayakumar's profile of this great guru focusses on his life, historical background, socio-cultural milieu, spirituality, philosophy, poetic genius, social reforms, humour, legacy and all else that one would possibly want to know about Sree Narayana Guru. Markedly different from the sofar-published studies on him, this book becomes the first ever to incorporate the English versions of Narayana Guru's verses: in both Malayalam and Sanskrit, together with their streamlined annota-tions and lucidly-written, insightful discussions. Which, in turn, also bring out Jayakumar's remarkable critical acumen in highlighting the essential meaning, philosophical import and spiritual intensity of Gurudeva's poetry.
A work of epical grandeur, developed from years of the author's serious, persevered research, the book reconstructs not just the life-story of a legendary saint, but also the entire scenario of his activity covering over a century of Kerala's social, spiritual and literary history.