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Upendra Bharti | HENB | Chennai | March 1, 2018:: Most revered Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi, the 69th pontiff of the Kanchi Shankara Mutt, passed to heavenly abode on Wednesday in Tamil Nadu’s Kanchipuram. He was 82.
He had been admitted to a hospital this morning after he complained of breathing problems. He suffered a cardiac arrest, news agency PTI reported. He had been in poor health for much of last year.
Born Sri Subramaniyam on July 18, 1935, Jayendra Saraswathi was head of the Kanchi Mutt or Hindu monastery established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century and had a huge following in South India. The Mutt runs several schools, eye clinics and hospitals. The junior pontiff Vijayendra Saraswathi will succeed Jayendra Saraswathi.
The rites of the guru, described as ‘Brindavana Pravesha Karyakramam’ in vedic parlance, will commence from tomorrow, according to the mutt.
His body was kept at the Kamakoti Peetam for his followers to pay last respects. Many of the devotees who visited the mutt were in tears and described him as a ‘jagathguru‘ (world teacher).
He had been named as the successor to the Mutt by Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Swamigal and was given the title Sri Jayendra Saraswathi on March 22, 1954.
Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi were among those who expressed their condolences.
The final rituals for burying the mortal remains, called ‘Brindhavana Pravesam,’ began on Thrusday morning with an ‘abishekam’ or bath. Milk and honey were the ingredients used in the abishekam.
The ‘abishekam’, held in the main hall of the mutt, was followed by recital of Vedic hymns by priests in the presence of Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi, the junior pontiff of the Mutt.
A Mutt official said the body of Jayendra Saraswathi was carried later to the adjacent ‘Brindavan Annexe,’ where the mortal remains of his predecessor Sri Chandrasekerendra Saraswathi were interred in 1993.
The rituals for lowering his body in the 7×7 feet burial pit in the Brindhavanam Annexe was completed to inter the divine mortal remains of Sri Jayaendra Saraswathi.
Under the filthy politics of most perverted and corrupted politician of the age and the crooked lady and the the then CM of Tamil Nadu, Jayaram Jayalalithaa, the Kanchi Seer was named in Shankar Raman Murder Case. The Shankaracharya was among those charged in a 2004 murder of a Kanchipuram temple employee. Sankara Raman was found murdered within the Kanchi temple premises in September 2003. On November 11, 2003, on Diwali day, Jayendra Saraswathi was arrested from Mahbubnagar in Andhra Pradesh when he was performing his Chaturmasya Vrata Palaniyam. After two months in jail he got bail. In 2013, he and 22 others were cleared of the charges and the conspiracy against the most revered seer of Hindus was exposed well.
During his time as the Kanchi head seer, Jayendra Saraswathi launched several charity initiatives such as the ‘Jana Kalyan, Jana Jagaran,’ a movement to “serve the people and awaken the masses”.
The charity programme aimed to establish temples in Dalit colonies and engage Dalits in temple rituals to expand the Hindu collective beyond the Dravidian polity’s anti-upper caste stance, and equating Hinduism with an inherent suspicion of Brahminism. He also appointed Dalit trustees in temples such as Mylapore Kapaleeshwarar.
Kanchi Seer Jayendra Saraswathi also played a key role in the Ram Janmabjoomi Temple Movement around the years and to vanish the disputed Babri Structure in 1992. He also promoted anti-conversion movement in the south and reconverted many Hindus who were converted to Islam in Meenakshipuram in the year 1981.
Jayendra Saraswathi is regarded as one of the most influential spiritual leaders of his time. He had close connection with Vishwa Hindu Parishad and many other Hindu bodies.
__Inputs from PTI/ Courtesy: The TOI links used above.