A spiritual journey that turned red in course - The New Indian Express

A spiritual journey that turned red in course

Published: 19th September 2013 07:57 AM

Last Updated: 19th September 2013 07:59 AM

It was during the late 40s that Veliyam Bhargavan, a youth in his early 20s, set out for a journey from the sleepy village of Veliyam near Kottarakkara. His spiritually-inclined mind was looking for a guru.

As it was a time when the nation was witnessing uprising against the oppression of the invaders, most of the youth wanted to identify themselves with the nationalist movement. They had a dream to be realised. But, the youth from Veliyam was a little confused.

While he had a strong urge to lead a reclusive life, at times he had a strong feeling for the downtrodden and the oppressed.

Illustration: Vineeth S Pillai
In his spiritual sojourn, the first stop was at the Avadhootha Ashram at Sadanandapuram near Kottarakkara. There he found that the sanyasins were in their own world with little angst for what was taking place outside the boundaries of the Ashram. The young Bhargavan, though had Sanskrit education and lot of adoration for the reclusive life, couldn’t stay aloof from the deafening calls of a country craving for freedom.

“They were confined to their reclusive life, lacking real concern for the oppressed. Within a short time, I could realise that I could not find my spiritual guru there and I left the place in frustration,’’ Veliyam later recollected in a friendly chat with this reporter in 2001. His next halt was Sivagiri Matt.

 ‘’It was by noon that I reached there. After having my prayers at the Maha Samadhi of Guru, I remained there for a while. The unfriendly behavior of the sanyasins astonished me. When I revealed that I wanted to stay there and, if possible, would like to continue the search for spiritual truth and knowledge, to my embarrassment one of the sanyasins asked me to which caste I belonged,’’ he recollected.

‘’I looked in his eyes and asked him whether he was a disciple of the great saint? I could not see the visionary gleam of Guru in their eyes. It was already lunch time and they invited me to have lunch. But I did not want to stay there anymore,’’ Veliyam said.

Despite his breakup with the institutions of spirituality and religion, in his heart he had great regard for the darshans of Sree Narayana Guru and other reformists spiritual leaders till the very last days. 

Charged with the spirit of freedom struggle, he walked all the way through the path of fire. Braving the police brutality during the ‘transport stir’ of 1954 and ‘Prakkulam stir’, he proved his commitment to the toiling masses. The fighter in him had never minced words when it came to questioning injustice. The party meetings often reverberated with his strong protests against what he called ‘’marriage of convenience.’’ Since 1998, when he became the state secretary of the party, he had crossed swords with the big brother CPM on many occasions to uphold the prestige of his party.

His ideological conviction, his strong urge to do what is right and his deep hearted compassion for the hapless and, above all, a sublime vision about what is just and principled made him an uncompromising Communist.

His strong opposition to the induction of K Karunakaran’s DIC into the LDF fold and his strong apprehension over the proposal for associating with Abdul Nasser Madhani’s PDP during the elections were part of the recent political history of the state.

The fact that he could get elected only twice to the Assembly and never became a minister, it is not going to affect his glory in any way. In spite of having taken a deviation from the path of spirituality, he has been leading a spiritual life only Veliyam Bhargavan can lead while upholding his Communist faith with fervour.

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