GURU AND SNDP Yogam

Before the starting of Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, a noble, great power had been working towards the spiritual and social awakening of the community. It was none other than the great Sree Narayana Guru. By installing a rock from the Neyyar River as Shivalinga at Aruvippuram in February 1888 (on the Shivaratri day of Kumbha month of Malayalam year 1063), he started a silent revolution in the history of Kerala. It caused a social revolution, which uprooted the old social system of Kerala.

Gradually, Aruvippuram became a pilgrim center. On Vavu (Full moon) day, people began to come there to worship. The disciples of the Guru, included the famous poet Kumaran Asan, decided to give food to the pilgrims that led to the creation of ' Vavoottu Yogam' (serving food to the people who come as pilgrims). In 1889, the Vavoottu Yogam had been expanded. Thus an organization, 'Aruvippuram Kshetra Yogam' (Aruvippuram Temple Congregation) had formed.

On Malayalam Era 1078 Dhanu 23, (1903), a special meeting of Aruvippuram Kshetra Yogam was conducted. They decided to change that into a big organization for the progress of Ezhavas both in religious and material ways. Thus, on 1078 Edavam 2, (1903, May 15), with Narayana Guru as its President, ' Aruvippuram Kshetra Yogam' has been registered as 'Aruvippuram Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam' according to the Indian Companies Act, No.6, 1882. Sree Narayana Guru was the permanent chairman of Yogam. N. Kumaranasan was elected as the General Secretary. He held this post till 1919, July 20, except in 1904.

There are different opinions exits about the role of the Guru in the establishment of S.N.D.P Yogam. On verifying the original records of registering the SNDP Yogam with the Government as a limited company, the following facts can be derived. The Government file (No 8338) regarding the registration has two parts. Part I contain the bye -laws and proceedings with sixteen clauses. None of the clauses speaks of any caste. The sixteenth clause clearly states of the 'casteless' nature of the organization. Eleven people signed the bye-law and the first signatory witness to the document was the resident of the Siva Temple , P. Narayana Pillai. Narayana Pillai was the one of the most trusted disciple Sree Narayana Guru. He installed the first idol of the Guru at Thellicherry together with Moorkoth Kumaran.

Part II of the file (No 8338) gives a different picture. It is an application to the Diwan of Travancore to register the SNDP Yogam as a limited company. The applicants are P.Parameswaran (the brother of Dr.P.Palpu) and Marthandan Krishnan. Here the caste provision of the organization is clearly stated: “promoting and encouraging religious and secular education and industrious habits among the Ezhava community". The license of the Yogam was issued to the applicants P. Parameswaran and M. Krishnan.

The Guru wanted the Yogam to function as the vanguard of his 'Liberation Movement'. But the leadership of the Yogam could not rise up to the expectation of the Guru. It could function only in a caste organization. Hence, in 1916, the Guru sent his resignation letter to Dr. P. Palpu. The Guru attributed 'caste pride' to the leaders of the Yogam and declared that he belonged to no caste non-religious.