Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti
Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti is the biggest Educational and Charitable Organisation in the name of Sree Narayana Guru outside Kerala State. It is engaged in the propogation of Sree Narayana Philosophy by rendering charitable services to the public in the field of education, culture, health etc. the Samiti has 26 units and 16 Guru Centers in Mumbai City, Suburbs and Thane district including Navi Mumbai. Membership to the Samiti is open to all irrespective of caste, creed, sex, religion or language.
Samiti has 12000 life members and 680 patrons so far. In Samiti’s Chembur Complex there are various Institutions functioning under the Management of the Samiti such as Sree Narayana Guru College of Commerce(Junior College and Degree College), Sree Narayana Guru Institute of Information technology, Sree Narayana Guru High School(English Medium), Sree Narayana Guru School(Marathi Medium), Kumaran Asan Pre-Primary School, Multi purpose community Hall and Sree Narayana Guru Mandiram. Samiti has set up an international centre for Sree Narayana Guru Studies in a four storeyed building constructed at Gurudevagiri, with a Guru Mandiram and a Siva Mandiramin front of the Building.Samiti has a world class library in the third floor of the building with the facilities for doing research in the field of Sree Narayana Guru Philosophy.
The inaguration of the International Centre for Sree Narayana Guru Studies was performed by Shri. K.R.Narayanan, former President of India on 12th February 2005. Samiti received the Holly teeth , the only mortal remains, of Sree Narayana Guru (one wisdom tooth and four artificial teeth used by the Guru) on 11th January 2004. The Holly teeth are kept in a specially constructed temple at Gurudevagiri complex. The Holly teeth of the Guru are kept for darshan of the devotees on Gurudevagiri Teerthadanan day held on 11th February of every year. Samiti is engaged in various charitable services for the needy and the poor through its establishments mentioned above. Samiti is sustaining on the voluntary donations received from its members and the general public.
Aims and Objectives of the Samiti are:-
- To establish, conduct and maintain educational institutions, such as Schools, Colleges etc:-
- To start libraries and reading rooms.
- To establish students’ homes and public halls.
- To aid, establish and provide charitable dispensaries, health centers etc.
- To promote social and cultural activities by providing cultural centers and athletic facilities.
- To promote any other activity for the benefit of the general public in furtherance of the above mentioned objects of the Samiti.
The Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti is running various institutions like schools, colleges, temples, research institutions and libraries. In this section we are providing information about the following:
Here is the list of 26 Units of Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti:
- Ambernath/ Badlapur
- Vile Parle(E)/Sakinaka/Andheri(E)/Santacruz
- Ghatkopar/Garodia Nagar/Chheda Nagar
- Chembur-1(Tilak Nagar,Shell Colony,Kurla, Sindhi Colony, Vasi Naka,Mahul)
- Chembur-II(S.N.Nagar, Shivaji Nagar, Subhash Nagar)
- Sion, Koliwada, Antop Hill, Matunga, Dadar, Parel, Sewri, Lalbaug, Byculla
- Anushakti Nagar, Trombay, Gavanpada
- Fort, Colaba, Mumbai Central, Malabar Hill, Worli, Mahim, Bandra, Khar
- Vile Parle(W), Andheri(W), Jogeshwari, Goregaon
- Malad(W), Kandivli(W), Borivli(W)
- Malad(E), Khurar Village, Kandivli(E), Borivli(E)
- Mira Road, Dahisar, Bhayandar
- Vasai, Naigaon
- Virar, Nalasopara
- Airoli, Ghansoli, Pauna, Rabale
- Vashi, Turbhe, Sanpada, Koparkhairane
- Nerul, Jui Nagar, Seawood
- CBD-Belapur, Kharghar, Khamothe
- Kalamboli, Panvel, Taloja, Dronagiri(Uran)
Formation of Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti
Shri P. Sucheendran, an engineer working in a private company at Chembur, was the significant and noteworthy one responsible for the formation of Sree Narayana Mandira samiti. In the absence of his wife and child, who were in Kerala, Sucheendran who was having a forced-hermit-like life at his bungalow at Prabhakar Nivas, 9th Road, Chembur invariably entertained his friends in the evenings and on holidays for playing cards and keeping himself busy. Shri A.K. Rahulan of New India Assurance, Shri M.A. Karthikeyan, of ITC Ltd, Shri Bahuleyan, who was working in an oil mill in Vadala and Shri. N. Rameshan an officer with Mercantile Bank, Flora Fountain were regular visitors.
One day Shri C.K.Bhaskaran, an Air India employee and an ardent devotee of Sree Narayana Guru, visited him with the sole purpose of selling books on Sree Narayana Guru and explaining Guru’s teachings. Shri Bhaskaran visualised a nice opportunity there to propagate the ideals of Guru. He presented before Shri Sucheendran and friends his idea of utilising the great potential to benefit them and others. He suggested doing something to propagate the ideals of Guru. The thought was appreciated and well received by Shri Sucheendran who invited Bhaskaran for discussion and to chalk out a workable program.
The following Sunday they all convened, conversed and decided to do something to perpetuate the memory of Sree Narayana Guru and Guru’s teachings. As an initial step, it was decided to collect the details of Ezhavas/Thiyas staying in and around Bombay and every effort was set off towards this end. Sucheendran was truly committed and his car was invariably used for the purpose. Collection of details and conducting discussions on the things to be done to perpetuate the memory of Sree Narayana Guru went on simultaneously. Initially it was planned to purchase a plot of land at least 5 cents in a prominent location in Bombay and install a statue of the Guru. Shri Sucheendran worked on this idea and desired to do it under the banner of a branch of S.N.D.P.Yogam in Mumbai.
During one of such meetings held at Sucheendran’s house Shri N. Rameshan suggested the name of Dr. K. K. Damodaran, a scientist in B.A.R.C as the one who could influence Shri. R. Shankar to get permission to establish a branch of SNDP Yogam in Bombay. Shri R. Shankar, then was a prominent politician and an influential disciple of Sree Narayana Guru. They entrusted Shri. N.Rameshan, the college mate of Dr. K. K. Damodaran at St.Joseph’s College, Trichy, the task of requesting Dr. K. K. Damodaran to approach Shri.R.Shankar. The idea was not appreciated by Dr. K. K. Damodaran who, however, suggested that Bombay being a cosmopolitan city it would be better starting a cosmopolitan organisation in the name of Guru rather than opening a branch of S.N.D.P Yogam. He also expressed his reservations on involving activities of an organisation which has been attributed with communal colour by others. A fresh organisation with a cosmopolitan structure appeared to be the best suited to Bombay to avoid controversies.
Shri Rameshan conveyed the proposition to Sucheendran and friends who accepted it and decided to shape an organisation. Accordingly a committee was formed to put the dreams into practice. Collection of the details of Ezhavas/Thiyas in Bombay still continued. The newly formed committee requested Dr. Damodaran to lead the organisation who, however, declined the offer for the reasons that he being a government employee the code of conduct may not allow him for such activities. Nevertheless he suggested approaching Sree Narayana Dharma Seva Samaj, an organisation already existing in Bombay, under the presidentship of Shri M. Karuven, known as Karuven Engineer, for necessary help and requesting Shri Karuven to be the President of the proposed organisation. The activity of their organisation was limited to celebrating “Chatayam” and conducting an Ayurvedic Dispensary at Shri Karuven’s garage at Matunga.
In the meantime they came to know about Shri.N.A.Bharathan, who was working in Elephant Oil Mills and staying at Bhandup(west). Shri.Bharathan was very popular at that time in Bhandup. He was a good organizer . He was associated with several socio, cultural organizations. They contacted Shri.Bharathan . This resulted in a meeting on 23rd August 1963 at Chembur. A meeting with the participation of some prominent personalities was held on 23rd August 1963 at Chembur and it was resolved to undertake the task of fulfillment of a long cherished aspiration of constructing a befitting memorial for Guru in Bombay. Shri N. A. Bharathan, who was also an active worker of Indian Socialist party, played a significant role in the meeting. Shri. N.A.Bharathan prepared a complete blue print for the organization including the name for the organization . The proposals brought forward by Shr.Bharathan was approved by the eleven members who had attended the meeting. A committee of three persons viz.S/Shri.P.Sucheendran,N.A.Bharathan and O.K.Madhavan were constituted for further action. Then things went very fast. Further meetings were held on 22.09.1963, 06.10.1963 and 03.11.1963. In the meeting held on 03.11.1963 It was decided to draft a suitable constitution for the organisation and to hold a meeting involving more people as early as possible. The organisation was tentatively named as Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti. It was decided to call a public meeting at Podar college on 17.11.1963. Notices were dispatched to about 1700 people.
Shri Karuven was approached and he agreed to be the President. Shri.Sucheendran agreed to be the Treasurer and Shri.N.A.Bharathan agreed to be the General Secretary.As suggested by Shri.Bharathan, Sucheendran,Advocate Bahuleyan and Rameshan again met Dr. Damodaran requesting him to be the Chairman of the organisation. Once again he politely declined. However, when they pressed and persisted did not take no for an answer he told them to confer with his wife as accepting such responsible position would mean devoting a lot of time at the expense of family matters. Not only Mrs. Damodaran, a fervent follower of Guru, wholeheartedly acceded to Dr. Damodaran accepting the post but also expected him to do something to perpetuate the memory of Guru. Whenever Sree Narayana Guru visited Kollam he used to stay in her uncle Shri Achutha Panicker’s house and her mother used to prepare food for Guru. The entire family had avid reverence to Guru. She, therefore, considered it as a great opportunity in serving the Guru. Thus it was tentatively decided that the following persons would be the office bearers of the proposed organization.
1. Shri.Muliyil Karuven, President
2. Dr. K. K. Damodaran, Chairman
3. Shri N. A. Bharathan, General Secretary
4. Shri P. Sucheendran, Treasurer
5. Shri C. K. Bhaskaran,Vice Chairman
A public meeting was held on 17.11.1963 at Podar College Hall, Matunga. Swamy Vimalananda of Madhavananda Ashram Mehammadabad, near Ahmedabad presided over the meeting. More than 600 people attended the meeting where the formation of Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti was officially announced. Apart from the above office bearers, 5 joint secretaries (one from each Zone), and 20 Members in-charge from 20 units were also selected at the meeting. The area covered by the Bombay city, suburbs and the adjoining Thane district were divided into 20 units for the operational convenience. Each unit was put under the charge of one Member in-charge and 4 or 5 council members. Four units in each area were made into a zone and each zone was put under the charge of a joint secretary. Board of management and General council were also constituted. Board consisted of 10 office bearers Viz President, Chairman, Vice-Chairman, General Secretary, Treasurer, five Joint Secretaries and twenty members in-charge of units. The General Council consisted of ten office bearers, twenty members in-charge of units and the council members from each of the 20 units. The constitution containing aims and objectives were also approved and meeting of the Board of Management every month and the General Council once in two months was also decided.
Enrollment of members and registration
Functioning of the Samiti started with enrollment of life members as well as fund collection from January 1964. The initial expenses of printing and stationery, postages, meetings etc. were met by the contributions made by the president, chairman, treasurer and the General Secretary. Though the life membership fee was fixed at Rs.5 or more the prospective life members were requested to contribute 5% of their monthly salary as membership fee and many were wholeheartedly willing to make it good – some in lump sum and some in installments.
The Board and its functionaries maintained a very strict financial discipline right from the beginning and opened an account with SBI branch at Dadar (East). During those days the meetings were held in the garage of Shri Karuven at Belle Ville, Adenwala Road, Matunga.
The Founder Members of Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti were:
1.Shri Muliyil Karuven
Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti was registered under the Societies Registration Act 1860 on 8th April 1964 under Maharashtra State Registration No. Bom44/1964 and also under Bombay Public Trust Act 1950 on 13th July 1964 vide Registration No.1185 (BOM).
Shri M. Karuven, the first President of Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti, was born in Cannanore, Kerala on 30th March 1889. He did his higher studies in Engineering in U.K. After returning from U.K. he joined Tata Hydro Electric Companies in 1920. He held very important positions in the company for 38 years until he retired. He was also associated with Bombay Keraleeya Samaj and Sree Narayana Dharma Seva Samaj in the capacity as President for many years before he became the President of Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti. He expired on 2nd December 1964.
The vacuum created by the demise of Shri Karuven was filled in by the nomination of Shri Bankey Agrawal. Shri Agrawal was the son of Shri Harkishandas Agrawal who was a devotee of Sree Narayana Guru through the influence of Dr. Nataraja Guru, Guru Nitya Chaitanya Yati and other disciples of Dr. Nataraja Guru. Dr. Nataraja Guru used to stay in his house at Marine Drive whenever he happened to be in Bombay.
After the death of Shri Karuven, the meetings of the Board of Management and General Council were held in the house of Dr. K. K. Damodaran at 20, Shefalee, Makarand Society, Cadell Road, Mahim, Bombay-400016. The responsibility of hospitality fell on Mrs. Damodaran. In spite of the family responsibilities and the burden of looking after small children, Mrs. Saraswathi Damodaran gladly looked after the comforts of the participants of the meeting and provided them with tea and refreshments.
Shri Sucheendran’s bungalow continued to be the regular and main meeting place for the office bearers and other active members. His car was lavishly used for visiting various units for enroling the life members. Since Dr. Damodaran had obtained permission to use the official vehicle for private use by paying the prescribed fee, he could also use it for visiting the prospective life members. Dr.Damodaran made it a point to visit Shri. Sucheendran’s house every Sunday morning and they used to go to the units for enlisting the members. Other office bearers were also visiting the prospective members in their respective neighbourhood. Strict financial discipline was maintained from the beginning in as much as no expenses were debited from Samiti’s account for visiting the prospective members. The accounts for 1964-65 were audited by the chartered accountant of the samiti and the first Annual General Body meeting was held at Podar college hall, Matunga after sending printed annual report and accounts to all the life members enlisted up to 31.3.1965. In the said meeting new office bearers, members in charge and council members were elected. Following are the details of the new office bearers:
Dr.K. K. Damodaran, President.
Shr N.K.Raman, Chairman
Shri N.A.Bharathan, General Secretary.
Shri P. Sucheendran,Treasurer( expired on 15.03.1984)
Shri N. Rameshan, Vice Chairman.
Shri P. Bhaskaran, Joint Secretary.
Shri A. S. Kumaran, Joint Secretary.
Shri K.K.Bhasi, Joint Secretary.
Shri K.P.Balan, Joint Secretary.
Shri V. K. Rajagopal, Joint Secretary.
A new Twist in Samiti’s objects
Samiti revised the initial idea of installing the statue of Guru to a larger plan of starting an English medium high school, a community hall, and a guru mandiram. This needed a lot of money. The fund collection by way of membership donation alone was not enough for achieving the ambitious plan in its finality.
It was during this period once when Shri R. Shankar visited Bombay, Dr. Damodaran met him and expressed the difficulties of the Samiti in raising the funds. Shri R. Shankar was a regular visitor to Bombay in view of political reasons. Dr. Damodaran made it a point to invariably meet Shri Shankar whenever possible and seek his advice and guidance for the progress of Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti. Shri R. Shankar advised to identify and contact affluent people of the community to raise funds and enroll them as patrons by fixing the patronship donation as Rs.5000 or more.
As there was no provision in the constitution to enroll patrons, the constitution of the Samiti had to be amended. In order to attract the donors, Samiti decided to secure exemption certificate from the income tax department enabling the donors to avail tax exemption. Certain objects pertaining to spirituality in the constitution were coming in the way of securing such certificate and these clauses had to be dropped from the constitution. Dr. Damodaran with the help of Shri M. R. Narayanan, a law graduate as well as the Board Member and working in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal, therefore, redrafted a new constitution which was adopted by the Board of Management and General Council by the end of 1965. The dropping of the spiritual objects from the constitution of the Samiti were objected to by few members like C.K.Bhaskaran, and M. P. Madhavan etc.According to them the very purpose of starting the organisation was defeated by the amendment of the constitution. The concern of the said members was comprehensible. But no alternative was in sight for collecting funds other than amending the constitution to comply with the statutory requirements for tax exemption. The majority was in favour of amendments to accelerate the efforts for achieving the purpose of starting the organisation.
Samiti was in the process of celebrating its first anniversary in March 1966. This was an occasion to release a souvenir and to raise some funds through advertisements and donations. Those objected to the amendment of the constitution verily found this an occasion to project their protest by blocking the anniversary programme by bringing stay from the court on the ground that the amendment brought out through the adoption in Board of Management and General Council was illegal and that it would have been adopted in the Special General Body meeting called for that purpose and further reconfirmed in the next Special General Body meeting. They went to court and pleaded for stay. Conflict was in the perception of how to proceed for the achievement of the goal. Spirituality and materialism had to be carried together and both had to co-exist. One cannot succeed exclusively at the expense of the other. Samiti appointed a good lawyer to defend its case. During the arguments the judge suggested to regularise the amendment as provided in the law. Samiti accepted the suggestion made by the judge and the order was passed accordingly. Stay application was dismissed.
Samiti crosses first mile stone
First anniversary was held on 6th March 1966 as scheduled at Shanmughananda Hall, Matunga. Samiti, thereafter, approved the amended constitution as required under the law. As the activities increased, Samiti felt the need to purchase an independent office in central place in Bombay so as to provide an easily accessible meeting point for the active workers from different places in Bombay and suburbs. Samiti was fortunate to find one such place in a new building at Dadar. A shop with 300 sq.feet carpet area at Shop No.1 in Navin-Asha building, 126, Dadasaheb Phalke Road, Dadar(East), Bombay-400014 was thus purchased by the Samiti for Rs.33000 in October1966. Shri Harikishandas T. Agrawal, Chairman of Devidayal Cable Industries Ltd and a devotee of Dr. Nataraja Guru inaugurated the new office of the Samiti on 23.10.1966. A large portrait of Sree Narayana Guru donated by M/s. Eastern Art Studio, Fort, Bombay was also installed during the occasion and regular Guru pooja commenced everyday evening at 7.00 pm and special pooja on Sundays and on “Chatayam” day. A reading room was inaugurated in the premises initially with 35 news papers and periodicals in various languages like English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarathi, and Malayalam by Dr. K.K.Damodaran on 01.01.1967. Many were benefited of this. In 1968 Samiti purchased the adjoining shop (Shop No.2 with the same area as that of Shop No.1) along with a garage of 150 sq. feet behind the shop for Rs.31000.00. These shops were later combined together to make it more spacious. The premises were also used for conducting meetings and marriage functions.
Samiti climb first step on the ladder of progress.
In order to accomplish the revised plan of establishing a school, multi-purpose hall and Guru Mandiram, Samiti started searching for a plot of land. Several plots belonging to government and municipality were seen but with no avail. Advertisements were given during 1970-71 in the news papers which resulted in one Shri J.F.D’souza staying in Clark House, Woodhouse Road, Near Regal Cinema, Colaba, Bombay responding with details of his land near railway station, Chembur.Dr.K.K.Damodaran, Shri.K.P.Balan and Vyomakesan visited the land and recommended for purchase. But decision could not be taken for the reason that the people from Goregaon and Bhandup insisted that the land should be purchased in their respective areas first. However Shri.Vyomakesan attended one of the council meetings and explained about the development potentialities of the land at Chembur. He explained the Municipal plan also. Having convinced, the Council gave the approval. Dr. Damodaran along with S/Shri V.R.Sadasivan, K.P.Balan, A.S.Kumaran and D’souza visited the plot which was an undeveloped marshy land lying seven feet deep. The only advantage was its accessibility to the railway station. Samiti purchased that land of 14300 sq. yard on 19.10.1972 at a cost of Rs.2,75,000 including stamp duty and registration charges. This exhausted the entire fund lying in the bank account of the Samiti.
The land purchased at Chembur had in fact been reserved by the municipality in its development plan for housing for low income and middle income group of families. With the efforts of Shri M. V. Vyomakeshan of M/s. Studiarch, the architect of Samiti, municipality gave permission to use 6300 sq.yards of land for the purpose of school, community hall and outhouse. Samiti decided to go ahead with the construction despite there was no fund. For the first phase of construction of ground and first floor of the school building, upto plinth of the community hall and the outhouse, earth filling and compound wall an estimated amount of Rs.10,00,000 needed. So as to raise funds, the Samiti decided to sell part of the land reserved for housing, keeping the land required for school, community hall and the outhouse. However it was generally felt that selling the plot to outsiders would not be in the interest of the Samiti. Dr. Damodaran, therefore, persuaded some of his colleagues at B.A.R.C to form a co-operative housing society and buy the land. He rendered them all the help and M/s.Atomica co-operative Housing Society was formed. In the meantime Samiti approached the charity commissioner for permission to sell the land admeasuring 8000 sq.yards. As per the conditions stipulated by the charity commissioner advertisement was given in the news paper for the sale of the plot. Samiti received three offers, one from M/s. Atomica co-operative housing society limited for Rs.400000 and from two builders which were less than Rs.300000. Atomica co-operative housing society was having 50 members mostly from B.A.R.C. Highest offer was accepted and the property was sold to M/s. Atomica Co-operative Housing Society Ltd.
The land surrounding the plot purchased by the Samiti was also belonging to Shri. J.F.D’souza. The samiti office bearers felt the need for developing housing societies around the school complex with the people loyal to Samiti so that encroachment could be avoided. Therefore, Narayana Guru co-operative society with 88 members was formed at the initiative of Dr.Damodaran. Shri.T.K.Baburajan was made the chief promoter. He took an active part in negotiating with the owner of the land and with his influence 14000 sq.yards of land lying just in front of the proposed school complex was purchased by the said society from Shri D’souza at a relatively concessional price. Shri.V.R.Sadasivan, Shri.K.P.Balan and Shri. E.B.Nair were also the promoters of the housing society.
Samiti invited tenders for the construction of two floors of the school building, plinth of the community hall and the outhouse. The tender submitted by M/s.Hill Rock Construction being the lowest and the best, was accepted. Foundation stone for High School Building was laid on 07.10.1973 by Shri N.K.Somani of Shree Niwas Group of Industries and the construction started in January 1974. At that time Samiti had a bank balance of Rs.20,000 only. Initial payment to the contractor M/s.Hill Rock Construction was met from the advance of Rs.1,00,000 received from M/s.Atomica co-op housing society Ltd against the sale of plot as mentioned above. The earth filling and making the approach road was also undertaken simultaneously by the Samiti.
Narayana Guru Co-op Housing Society Ltd also invited tenders for the construction of 88 flats in four buildings, where also the lowest and the best offer was that of M/s.Hill Rock Construction for Rs.21,00,000. The work of the school building of the samiti and the buildings in the Narayana Guru co-op Housing Society progressed simultaneously.
The Samiti received the balance amount of Rs.300000 from Atomica Co-op.Housing Society Ltd towards the sale of land. Dr.Damodaran enrolled many patrons and collected a lot of money.
Construction of the ground floor and the first floor of the building was completed in June 1975. The construction of the outhouse, wherein the Guru Mandiram and prayer hall is located, was also taken up for construction. In order to make payment to the contractor Samiti approached Dena Bank, Dadar for a loan of Rs.3,00,000 which was rejected on the ground of inadequate security. With the help of some affluent members of the samiti some fixed deposits were arranged in the bank and the loan application was pursued again. The loan was finally sanctioned which was used to clear the bills of M/s.Hill Rock Construction. The balance of Rs.2,00,000 was paid later in installments in two years time by way of fund collection from patrons and class room donors. Dr. Damodaran by this time learned the art of identifying the prospective donors and making them to contribute to the noble cause.
The construction of seven buildings of M/s Atomica Co-operative Housing Society with 50 members was also started immediately.
Samiti starts it’s school
Sree Narayana Guru High school was started in July 1975 with two divisions of Sr.K.G classes with 60 students each. By natural growth school became full fledged High School in 1985. Qualified teachers were appointed from time to time purely on merit. First batch of students for SSC examination was presented in March1986.
Gurumandiram came into existence.
The construction of the outhouse consisting of the prayer hall which is the Guru Mandiram, two office rooms, one visitors’ room, kitchen, and two toilets was completed in 1981. Guru Mandiram with a large portrait of Sree Narayana Guru started functioning from the middle of 1981 with regular daily Guru Pooja. It was decided to install a full size marble statue of Sree Narayana Guru in the Mandiram. Contract for making the statue was given to M/s.Talim Art Studio, near Opera House, Bombay. On the basis of the album with different photos of Guru provided by the Samiti they prepared a clay model of the statue. Swami Geethananda, President of Sree Narayana Dharma Sangam Trust, Sivagiri Mutt,Varkala and Swami Nijananda and approved the model with certain suggestions for modification. Considering the valuable suggestions made by Swami Geethananda and Swami Nijananda necessary rectifications were carried out in the clay model and a plaster of Paris model was made by the studio. It was approved by the office bearers and the marble statue was made on the basis of the plaster of paris model. The statue was ready by the end of August 1982. The cost of the statue of Rs. 40,000 was donated by Shri. K.P.Balan of M/s.Capital Tyres at Byculla. Swami Geethananda with the assistance of four tantries from Kerala performed the poojas and havanams and consecrated the installation ceremony in the Guru Mandiram and the statue was installed on the Chathayam day on 3rd September 1982. Since then regular Guru Poojas are being performed daily at 7 am in the morning and at 7 pm in the evening. Special poojas are being performed on Sundays and on Chathayam days.
Brahmachari Prakash who later became Swami Avyayananda looked after the mandiram for 6 years. Then Brahmachari Vijaya Vyas who later became Swami Atmaprasad took the charge the Guru Mandiram for next 14 years. Since then, Swami Satyananda Teertha is looking after the mandiram.
Construction of Sree Narayana Guru Community hall with a capacity of 1000 people was completed in 1984. The community hall is being used for the daily assembly of the School children, marriages and other functions.
Samiti starts it’s college
Samiti decided to start Sree Narayana Guru College of commerce (Junior college and Degree College) and necessary applications were submitted to the University of Bombay, Government of Maharashtra, and the Department of education of Government of Maharashtra. For accommodating the college, construction of the 2nd and 3rd floor of the school building was taken up in 1985 with the help of a loan of Rs.9,00,000 from Abhyudaya Co-operative Bank Ltd. Second floor was ready in June 1986. College was started in July 1986 with one division of FYJC and one division of F.Y.Bcom. Third floor was ready in 1987. The first batch of the HSC students was presented for examination in March 1988. First batch of the B Com degree students was presented for examination in March 1989. The entire amount of loan was paid within two years. The college got the accreditation from NAAC in the year 2004.
While the educational activities at Chembur were being pursued, the Samiti it did not forget the establishments of infrastructure at various places for the convenience of the life members and patrons staying at various units. It was decided to take the activities of the samiti as near as possible to them. For this purpose Samiti decided to open Guru Centres at various units. Thus Guru centres were established at Goregaon (west), Bhandup, Kalyan, Ambernath, Thane, Dombivili, Vasai, Powai, Sakinaka, Anushakti Nagar, Tarapur,Vashi, Airoli, etc.
International Centre for Sree Narayana Guru Studies
Another important contribution of Samiti to the public is the building complex at Gurudevagiri, Nerul. It is named as International Centre for Sree Narayana Guru Studies. International Center for Sree Narayana Guru Studies is a prestigious institution established by Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti, Bombay. It has been constructed on a plot of 2800 sq.mtrs purchased from CIDCO in the year 1994. It is situated on a small hill reserved for religious institutions. Balaji Temple, Swamy Narayan Temple, Mata Amritanandamayi Ashram and a Catholic Church are the other institutions on the hill top and thousands of devotees are visiting these every day.
Shri.K.S.Bahuleyan and Shri.T.P.Vamanan played an important role for the allotment of CIDCO plot to the Samiti as per the suggestion of Shri.Harilal Pottath who was the Chairman of the Samiti at that time.
Foundation stone for the center was layed by late Swamy Saswathikananda, President of Sree Narayana Dharma Sanghom Trust, Sivagiri Mutt, on 05.02.1995. Swamiji named it “Gurudevagiri”. A seminar on the teachings of Guru was held on the occasion. Eminent personalities like Prof. M.K. Sanoo, Justice K.Sukumaran, and Dr. K.K. Damodaran participated in the seminar. The building complex with stilt area and three upper floors having facilities for multi purpose hall, Conference Hall, study rooms, library, guest rooms was completed in the year 2001. At the entrance of the building there are two beautiful Mandirams dedicated for Sree Narayana Guru and Lord Siva. Pratishta in the Mandirams were performed by Swamy Sachidananda on 11.02.2001. On this date every year large number of devotees gather here for ‘theerthadanam’(pilgrimage).
The project worth Rs.2 crores could be completed in February 2001 by the exemplary skill and leadership displayed by Dr.K.K.Damodaran and his dedicated team for mobilizing donations from various philanthropic people. The first donation of Rs.5000 for the International Centre was offered and paid by Shri.V.V.Chandran. Shri. P.N.Bhaskaran, Shri.M.I.Damodaran, Shri.Sasi Damodaran and Shri. Shyamaprakash had made significant contributions for the project.
The main purpose of the International Centre for Sree Narayana Guru studies is to spread the messages, teachings and philosophy of Sree Narayana Guru throughout India and the world. Samiti has the plan to organize seminars, symposia,conferences, study classes etc. on the messages, teachings and philosophy of Sree Narayana Guru in the International Centre. A world class library has been set up at the third floor of the Centre. The books written by Sree Narayana Guru, books written on Sree Narayana Guru, books written based on the books of Sree Narayana Guru, Vedic books, books on various religions, Indian philosophy, world philosophy, History etc. are stored here at the moment. Books on other subjects will be added as per the requirement of the users. Research facilities are provided here for students to do Ph.D Degree with particular emphasis on the philosophy of Sree narayana Guru. Shri. K.R.Narayanan, former President of India, has agreed to inaugurate the International Centre for Sree Narayana guru studies on 12th February, 2005.
Shri.V.R.Sadasivan, Shri.K.P.Balan, and Shri.A.S.Kumaran with the assistance of Dr. Damodaran promoted the third housing society by name M/s. Chempazhanthi Co-operative Housing Society Ltd with 81 members at Chembur. They purchased a plot of 12000 sq.yards from Shri. J.F.D’souza. Due to the influence of Dr. Damodaran they could get the land at concessional rate. The area covered by Sree Narayana Guru School complex, Narayana Guru Co-operative Housing Society Ltd, Atomica Co-operative Housing Society Ltd, Chempazhanti Co-operative Housing Society Ltd has been named as Sree Narayana Nagar. The government land adjoining the School complex of 6500 sq mtrs and lying between the land of school complex on one side and the nullah on the other side was obtained by the samiti from the government on lease for fifteen years. It was obtained in the year 1983 at a lease rent of Rs.6582 per year for use as play ground by the students of Sree Narayana Guru High School. The lease agreement has since been renewed in the year 2004 for a further period of thirty years.Samiti receive Teeth of Gurudev.Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti received the holy teeth of Sree Narayana Guru on 11.01.2004 in a function organised for this purpose at Gurudevagiri, Nerul, Navi Mumbai. The teeth were in the custody of Guru’s Dentist Dr. G.O. Pal of Tiruvananthapuram. After his demise it went to the custody of Dr. Shivaraj Pal, Son of Dr. G.O Pal. Dr.Shivaraj Pal presented the teeth to his friend Shri Shivadasan Madhavan who handed over it to Shri R.K.Krihsnakumar at the function. Shri Krishnakumar in turn handed it over to Dr.K.K.Damodaran, President of Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti. It has been kept in the Samiti with due respect and is being displayed to the public during the Gurudevagiri Theerthadanam in the month of February every year.Shri. R.K.Krishnakumar donated a gold casket for keeping the holy teeth.
Sree Narayana Mandira Samiti,
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