In the illustrious lineage of Adi Shankara Bhagavatpadal, comes the 69th Shankaracharya of Kanchi, Jagadguru Shri Jayendra Saraswati. As a boy of phenomenal erudition, he impressed the 68th Acharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, the world-renowned Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi (also called Paramacharya), with his divine knowledge and service. The day Monday, 22nd March 1954 (Vijaya Year, Panguni 9th) proved to be a special day in the history of the Sri Matham; a day when another “rathnam” was added to the garland of the Universal Mother Kamakshi. Being fondly called as “Pudhu Periyava (New Chief)”, by millions of devotees, the world witnessed the great Paramacharya with his new Sishya. Paramacharya has told that Jayendra Saraswathi is the abode of the Divine Mother, Sri Mahalakshmi, and encouraged him to go on several yatras, spanning the whole of Bharath.
He did Thirteen Vijaya Yatras in total from Rameshwaram in the south to Nepal in the north, on foot. His contributions in opening Ghatikastanams, Hospitals and Educational Institutions all over India is highly revered. Education and medical treatments for free to people of all religions without discriminations are offered in the institutions. Veda Paripalana Sabhas are also opened all over India and Veda Pandits are honored for their knowledge. Several Christian missionaries and media supported by politicians have for pernicious pursuits tried to portray the Acharya’s efforts in a bad light. However, he has withstood all of them with grace and has always been a great embodiment of compassion.
He merged with the Brahman on 28th February 2018 near a hospital close to the Kanchi Kamakshi Ambal Temple at Kanchipuram. There is a great work by Shri Adi Shankara’s Disciple called Thotakacharya, called Thotakashtakam. There is a verse which says “Jagatimavitu Kalitakritayo vicharanti mahaamahasachalata:” This means that every acharya after Adi Shankara who walk this earth is none other than Shankara himself. Although the Shankaracharya has left his “sthoola shariram” (physical body) he will incarnate as the next Acharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam and will always remain in our hearts.
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