Satyavrida Swami

Satyavrida Swami, known as Ayappan Pillai in his early life, came from a middle class Nair family near Changanacherry. He was a teacher. Ayappan Pillai did not have much respect for Sree Narayana Guru before he met the Guru. He only knew about Guru through the exaggerated stories by Ezhavas in his neighborhood. When he went to participate in the Sivarathri festival at Alwaye Guru was staying at Adwaita Ashram. His curiosity made him to go to the Ashram and see the ‘Ezhava Guru'. He could see Guru only from a distance because of the huge crowd. “I saw compassion, love and confidence on his face”, later Satyavrida Swami said. The next day he went to Guru and discussed many matters with him. After coming back home he became restless and he wanted to go and stay with Guru. His income was a great help to his family, so he was faced with a dilemma. But with his mother's blessings he left his house in 1916 and joined as an inmate at the Adwaita Ashram. Sree Narayana Guru appointed him as the Malayalam teacher at the Sanskrit school there and made arrangements for him to learn Sanskrit. Guru accepted Ayappan Pillai as his Sanyasin disciple. Because of his straight forwardness and honesty, Guru named him ‘Satyavridan'. He was a scholar and a forceful orator. He had the talent of speaking to the common people in simple language. He became a regular speaker at many public meetings and his speeches attracted more people to the meetings. He accompanied Guru to Ceylon 1918. Guru asked Satyavrida Swami to stay in Ceylon for a while; he spent three years there. Guru wanted him to start evening schools there. Within those 3 years he started 30 evening schools and many Sree Narayana organizations there. When he came back he started to work as the editor of ‘Navajeevan' magazine. In 1921 he went back to Ceylon for 3 months. He became the Secretary of Adwaita Ashram in 1922 and Guru asked him to mange all the properties belonged to the Ashram. He was one of the few true proponents of Guru's principles. Not many people in Kerala worked like Satyavrida Swami against the caste system. Guru once said, “Satyavridan has no caste feelings at all; even I have such feelings sometimes. He even excels Buddha in forgetting caste”. He was one of the three people Guru appointed to coordinate the ‘All Religious Conference at Alwaye'. The others were Sahodharan Ayappan and C.V. Kunhuraman. His hard work was one of the reasons for the huge success of the conference. Satyavrida Swami was one of the few disciples who lived a life of Guru's ideology. Unfortunately his life was cut short in 1926 at the age of 32. Upon hearing of his death the Guru was overwhelmed with sorrow.