The concept of ‘Sishyapoojita’ is an original contribution of Santhigiri Guruparampara to the spiritual fraternity. Sishyapoojita, meaning the worshipful among disciples is the highest accolade bestowed by Navajyoti Sri Karunakara Guru, the founder Guru of Santhigiri Ashram to the chain of spiritual authorities in Santhigiri Guruparamapara, Sishyapoojita Amrita Jnana Tapaswini being the foremost after the physical departure of the Founder Guru.
Sishyapoojitha Amritha Jnana Thapaswini wrote about her early days in the Ashram and the plethora of spiritual experiences and vision she experienced:
“I was able to meet Guru for the first time when I was nine years old. I was much inclined towards the worship of God right from childhood. I had a secular outlook and used to go to mosques, churches, temples and ashrams to pray. At the very first meeting with the Guru, my mind was brimful with reverence. "A tranquility not born out of any emotion" may be the right thing to say. I could even think of Guru at par with God. This Divine Form, clad in immaculate white, appeared in all mortal and immortal dimensions, affluent with great kindness and compassion. This form filled my mind always, never fading away.
Guru guided and rectified my spiritual experiences. But both physically and mentally, I was unable to bear the strain or the after-effects of these visions. This made me to think about living in the presence of Guru in the Ashram, because I knew that through His Prakasham - Spiritual Light - the adverse after-effects of the visions could be annihilated. Thus my life as an inmate of Santhigiri Ashram commenced in 1972. Those were the days when the Ashram was a bee hive of activities like the reception of asareeri (Divine Revelations); prayers extending to weeks non-stop in accordance with revelations; culmination of tasks of divine dicta as per Divine Will, known as Poortheekaranam, always marked by non-stop chanting of prayers for days, etc.
Once, a declaration came forth from the Absolute that all were to bathe and pray and the manifestations would be at 5 p.m. The Supreme Power, with all compassion, came and declared that the thing of its aspiration for so many Yugas had fructified. Also that Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru’s Parampara would be perennial. The Guru was endorsed to be the Soul that has accomplished every known task for Yugas and is saturated with the essence of all types of karmas. This lineage had been favoured with the right to ask and understand anything from the Almighty, unlike the others. So saying it, all were blessed…..”
In the history of avatars and prophets nowhere one could find the continuity of the stream of clairvoyance, leadership and guidance among the disciples after the lifetime of the masters. Secondly, a woman has never been able to climb the heights of spiritual hierarchies as in the case of Sishyapoojita Amrita Jnana Tapaswini, beyond certain celestial stages in conventional religious traditions, for example the trinity tradition. This twin contribution of Santhigiri to the ancient Indian Guru-Disciple order is one of the uniqueness of Santhigiri’s spiritual movement.
Santhigiri Ashram will be celebrating Poojitha Peedom Samarpanam-10 from 13th February to 22nd February, 2011 in commemoration of the great spiritual elevation of Her Holiness Sishyapoojita Amrita Jnana Tapaswini, the present spiritual head of Santhigiri Ashram.