ANNEX - III

KUMARAN ASAAN – A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
The celebrated poet, Kumaran Asaan, was born on 12th April 1873  at Kayikkara  sea-shore village, some 25 miles north of Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. His father was ‘Narayanan’ and mother, ‘Kaliyamma’. After preliminary education as per tradition, he learnt rudiments of Sanskrit. Worked as a teacher and later as a clerk.   Under he tutelage  of Manampur Govindan Asaan, learnt higher Sanskrit texts. Began devotional versification from very early. 

His meeting with Sree Narayan Guru in 1891 marked the turning point in his life.  On the advice of the Guru, turned to spirituality after accepting his discipleship. Learnt Sanskrit, Vedaanta and Yoga Vidya.  At the instance of the Guru, proceeded to Bangalore in 18895 for higher studies, under Dr. Palpu’s care.  Studied in Madras ( Chennai) and Calcutta (Kolkatta) focusing on Sanskrit and the Indian heritage. There, he acquainted himself with the renaissance Bengali literature and the works of the celebrated poet Rabindranath Tagore. Acquired proficiency in English during this period and in-depth knowledge of that literature.  Retuned to Guru’s presence in 1900.

Became the secretary of the famous ‘Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam –SNDP’ at its inception in 1903 and remained in that post for almost the next 16 years.  Held Editorship of the journal ‘Vivekodayam’.  Wrote numerous articles to spread the message of the Guru.  The publication of his superb poem ‘Veena Poovu,’, - ‘The Fallen Flower’-  in 1907 brought great critical acclaim and he became a noted poet thereafter.  A number of great poetical works like ‘Nalini’, ‘Leela’,  ‘ Chinthavishtayaya Seetha’, ‘Duravastha’, ‘Karuna’, ‘Chandaala Bhikshuki’ etc. which followed, not only settled his claim and fame as a versatile poet but also became trend setters in the Malayalam literature. In fact, the three versatile poets of Kerala, Vallathol Narayana Menon and Ulloor Parameswara Iyer along with Kumaran Aasaan formed the famed poetic trinity  (Kavithrayam) in the Malayalam literary horizon.

He was also nominated as a people’s representative by the King of Travancore in 1913.

Married ‘Bhanumati Amma’ in August 1918 and had two sons – Prabhakaran and Sudhakaran.

In 1922, the Prince of Wales honoured him as the poet laureate of Malayalam Language.

On 16th January 1924,  he died when the boat ironically named ‘Redeemer’,  capsized in the Panmana river, some fifteen miles south of Alleppey.  A memorial by name ‘Kumarakodi’ rose in that place. He was just 51, when he departed for his heavenly abode