Author Topic: Vijayendra Saraswati Swamigal (70th Pontiff Of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam)  (Read 7001 times)


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Sri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi Sankaracharya Swamiji is the 70th Pontiff of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Kanchipuram. He is one of the leading religious figures in Hinduism today.

Sri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi (born March 13, 1969 as Sankaranarayanan in a village called Thandalam, Tiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu) is the 70th Shankaracharya (guru and head or pontiff, Peetadhipathi) of the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, a Hindu religious institution.

He was nominated by his predecessor, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, as his successor and was given the title Sri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi on May 29, 1983 at the early age of 13 years.

He first attended a village school in his native village of Thandalam. After school hours, he learnt Sanskrit. His father Sri Krishnamurthy Sastri, a Vedic scholar of high repute, taught Rig Veda in the Sri Sankara Kainkarya Sabha Patashala in Polur. After studying in the regular system up to the sixth standard, Shri Shankaranarayanan (the boy) joined the Patashala as an ardent student of his own father and became very proficient in the Vedas. He also studied and mastered various shastra-s.

He had his first darshana of (i.e. saw) the 69th Kanchi Shankaracharya Shri Jayendra Sarasvati when he was about eight years old. Thereafter He visited Kanchipuram from time to time and would go wherever the Navaratri pujas were performed by His Holiness Shri Jayendra Sarasvati. When He was eleven years old, he had his first darshana of the Mahaswami Shri Chandrashekharendra Sarasvati at Satara for the first time. When He met the Mahaswami once more a year later, the Mahaswami conversed with Him for a long time.

His brilliance in studies and pious nature were noticed by Shri Jayendra Sarasvati who decided that He would be an able successor. Shri Jayendra Sarasvati initiated Shankaranarayanan (the boy) to the holy order of sannyasa on May 29, 1983. His sannyasa name is Shankara Vijayendra Sarasvati. In Tamil Nadu, His followers call Him "Bala Periyavaal", which means "the young elderly person" in Tamil language.

Shri Shankara Vijayendra Sarasvati Swami has toured to many parts of the country. He has visited places like Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Orissa, West Bengal and all other parts of southern India. He also Visited Nepal in the year 1998 with His Guru Shri Jayendra Sarasvati Swami.

He is very particular about the preservation of native Indian dharma and culture and has initiated, under the guidance of His Guru Shri Jayendra Sarasvati, several measures towards these goals. He has organised Shilpa Kendras or schools for the art of temple architecture to preserve that thinning yet vital art. He has also been instrumental in establishing Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati International Library and Research Centre at Enathur, Kanchipuram which houses books in many languages and on various subjects, with a focus on Indian heritage and philosophy. This library also preserves many ancient palm-leaf manuscripts.