IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


14th March, 2023 Culture

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Context: The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi today paid to Sri Ayya Vaikunda Swamikal on his birth anniversary.


Teachings and Social Reforms:

  • Ayya Vaikundar appeared as the incarnation of Lord Narayana on earth to destroy the Kali and protect Dharma
  • Ayya Vaikundar was a pioneer of Indian society reform.
  • Ayya Vaikundar was the first person to lead religious and social reform as a people's movement.
  • He did not engage in any religious conversion. He spearheaded the reform without distorting the culture and culture of the communities.


  • The teachings of Ayya Vaikundar are described in Akilath thirattu Ammanai and Arulnool which is the holy books of Ayya vazhi followers.
  • Ayya Vaikundar sermon the text of these holy books and his disciple Hari Gopalar wrote that.
  • Vaikundar labored for a lifetime of maintaining patience and charity.
  • He told that tolerance claims to rule the earth.
  • Vaikundar says that if you can be patient, you can rule the earth. Patience and charity are the greatest of all. All good people should come together and worship the same God. Respond patiently to the wicked as much as you can.
  • Ayya's Dharma Earth (Dharma Yuga) is a peaceful earth free from wars and quarrels.
  • Ayya Vaikundar's teachings created a sense of self respect among the enslaved people in Travancore.
  • Ayya Vazhi, a religion introduced by Vaikundar, taught the virtue of non-violence, charity, tolerance and love among the people.

Social reforms:

  • At the period of the birth of Ayya Vaikundar, atrocities were held in Travancore in the name of caste and religion.
  • Eighteen Category castes including Shanar, Ezhava, Paraiyar, Pulaiyar the ancient inhabitants of Travancore were treated as untouchable.
  • The Travancore government also entertained the slavery of selling human beings like cattle.
  • The people were very poor because of the bad policies of the state.
  • Their hard work was exploited.
  • The lower caste people were refused permission to enter the temple and courts.
  • Many taxes were imposed on the people.
  • He dispelled the mistrust and fear that prevailed among the oppressed people.
  • He insisted on abandoning the superstitions that prevailed in the name of religion.
  • Ayya Vaikundar created a new sect Ayya vazhi(The way of Father) for the suppressed people.
  • He created new temples (Pathis and Nizhal Thankals) for those who were denied permission to enter the temple.
  • Vaikundar introduced the people to a simple religious way called “Ayya vazhi”. His followers affectionately called him Ayya. Thus the religious way established by Vaikundar is given as “Ayya vazhi”.


Q) Discuss the significance of the teachings of Vaikundar in contemporary times. (250 words)