<< Ashram << Parnasala << History

The significance of the Parnasala flows from Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru's Life and Realization for the world. The original Parnasala of Guru, built during the initial days of Santhigiri Ashram in the 1960s, was a thatched hut, reflecting the inherent simplicity and austerity with which Guru lived. Guru stayed in this simple structure, consisting of a thatched roof supported by four poles, and interacted with the visitors coming to see Him. It was here that Guru attained spiritual completion in 1973. Thousands were initiated to the spiritual path at its doorstep. Later, the thatched hut was converted into a one-room tenement with a tiled roof. After the Guru’s merger with the Adi Sankalpam in May, 1999, His body was placed inside a marble casket and kept in the sanctum sanctorum of the Parnasala, which has now been raised as a magnificent building, in keeping with its Divine significance. The structure, standing 91 feet tall and 84 feet wide, is the largest of its kind in the world. The monument, in the shape of a lotus in full bloom, has been constructed using the best quality ‘Makrana’ Marble in the world. The lotus structure consists of 21 petals - 12 unfurling in the top layer and 9 towards the base. Each petal on the top extends to 41 feet height while the bottom petals are 31 feet long, exhibiting an exceptional architectural skill not seen in contemporary buildings.

The Guru’s body is laid to rest in the sanctum of the Parnasala which is shaped like a lotus bud carved out of wood. The entire interior of 27 feet height and 21 feet diametre is encased with brass. In front of the sanctum (Sarakoodam) is a carved wooden mandapam (platform) called the Balalayam. The Balalayam is guarded by two majestic tuskers carved in rosewood. The entire floor of the Sarakoodam is paved with ‘Krishnashila’ (black granite) brought from Chamrajnagar district of Kanataka.

The foundation stone of the new Parnasala was laid by the Gurusthaneeya (present Spiritual Head) of the Ashram, Sishyapoojitha Amritha Jnana Thapaswini, in 2001. Since then, the construction work has been continuing uninterrupted. The entrance to the Parnasala is through a gorgeous garden. It is noteworthy that such an imposing monument was constructed without disturbing the existing greenery of the environs. Seen from the sky, the Parnasala rises like a dazzling symbol of pristine purity amidst a sea of green, formed by the dense vegetation of the Ashram.

There are 12 rooms on the upper floor of the Parnasala intended to store the Guru’s belongings. LCD lamps fitted strategically will light up the insides of the Parnasala. The architectural uniqueness of the Parnasala lies in the fact that it has been constructed as per the Vaasthu Shastra and architectural patterns received by Sishyapoojitha Amritha Jnana Thapaswini from the Guru Prakasham (the Radiant Spiritual Effulgence of Guru).

This epitome of world peace and religious harmony will be dedicated to the world on September 12, 2010.