Monday, September 15, 2008

Nitya Chaitanya Yati

Nitya Chaitanya Yati (Nithya Chaithanya Yati) (2 November 1923 - May 14, 1999) was an Indian philosopher.

He was born in vakayar, near Konni, Pathanamthitta (district),Kerala, India, as the first son to Pandalam Raghava Panicker, a poet & Vamakshi Amma. His original name was Jayachandran Panicker. He has one brother late Mr.Balacnhadra Panicker and 3 sisters Mrs.Subhashini Amma, Late Enakshi Amma (passed before completing 1 yr old) and Dr. Sumangala Amma.

After completing matriculation (the equivalent of today's high school education), Yati toured exstensively over what is now India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, befriending and subjecting himself to different religious figures. He met all the great people of the subcontinent including great leaders like Mohandas Gandhi and poets of high repute. He sat at the feet of several spiritual masters, including Sufi fakirs, Jain munis and Buddhist monks, and Hindu teachers such as Ramana Maharshi and Nityananda.

He returned to Kerala in 1947 and joined Union Christian (UC) College, Aluva to study Philosophy and Psychology. He later taught these subjects in different universities.

In 1951, he accepted Nataraja Guru as his spiritual preceptor and after Nataraja Guru died, Yati became the Head of Narayana Gurukula. As Narayana Gurukula is a world community, Yati had to liaison between all members of the Gurukula at an interpersonal level in the teacher-student context and to make the Gurukula work in unison.

Nitya Chaitanya Yati published over 120 books in Malayalam and 80 books in English, as well as a number of articles on philosophy, psychology, social ethics and aesthetics. He was the founder-chairperson of the East-West University of Brahmavidya. He also worked as the Commissioner for World Education and as a sponsor of the World Government of World Citizens. World citizenship is a unique concept that Yati tried to give life to, in his own words:

"The term 'world citizen' can be better understood with a negative definition than with a positive one. If a citizen of a state with political frontiers is expected to pay allegiance to the government of the state to which he or she belongs and is expected to take arms against aliens who might invade the territory of the state, a world citizen recognizes the entire world as one's state and in principle does not recognize any member of one's own species as an alien to the world community to which oneself belongs. Such a person recognizes the earth as one's sustaining mother, the innate inviolable laws of nature as one's protecting father, all sentient beings as one's homes. The world citizen's allegiance is to the foundation of truth, the universality of knowledge and the fundamental ground of all values." In later days, he spent his time in Fernhill 'Ashram' (hermitage) in Ooty, in Tamil Nadu, India.His relative Yogarshi Guru Dileepji hails from a South Indian family (kavil)with a lineage of yogis, ayurvedic vaidyas, kalari (martial arts) experts, and spiritual leaders. He is the head of International Gurukulam, an organization celebrating fifty years of dedication to promoting peace and happiness through yoga, interfaith dialogues, universal family values, alternative healing methods, and caring for the environment. He travels often giving lectures, satsangs, and workshops at international conferences and interfaith programs. He is a life member of the World Yoga Council, IYF delegate to the United Nations, and International Ambassador for World Yoga Community and Parliament

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