Very few historical persons have exercised as deep an influence on Indian thought and spiritual life as Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya (A.D. 788 to 820).
In a short span of 32 years, He left an indelible impact of His impassioned intellect and universality on Indian philosophy, poetry, science ethics and humanism.
Sri Shankaracharya established a living tradition at Sringeri, Karnataka by setting up the Dakshinamnaya Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham with Sri Sureshwaracharya as His immediate successor. By the strength of His resolve, the Sringeri Peetham, to this day, shines as a beaconlight to seekers of spiritual knowledge.
The Peetham has produced over the centuries, a galaxy of Acharyas in an unbroken guru—sishya parampara. They have kept vibrant the unique heritage of India’s ancient wisdom and learning. The place still retains the air of a tapovan, where a visitor could seek and attain peace.
This book, The Greatness of Sringeri, deals with the life and achievements of Sringeri sages, their spiritual attainments, personal sacrifices, services to mankind, and above all, a total dedication to the dissemination of Sri Adi Shankara’s ideals and philosophy.
Each life is a saga of inspiration to the spiritual seeker-whether it is in the form of an ideal to follow, or an example to emulate, or simply a Guru, easy to approach and honour.
Each Acharya during His lifetime has fulfilled an important role in spiritual advancement of thousands of devotees, who have implicitly followed His guidance, or carried out duties at His behest.
This book is a compendium of various sources on the subject. The title itself, with the major portion of the contents, has been taken from the publication, entitled Greatness of Sringeri (now out of print), authored by Sri Gnanananda Bharati Swamiji (Ft. Krishnaswamy lyer in His poorvasrama).
Other portions have been derived from various publication of Sringeri issued from time to time.
This is a revised edition of "Greatness of Sringeri" which was earlier published by Tattvaloka. Effort has been made to include many latest photographs and update other relevent information.
We have opened a new section in this book on the recent Acharyas of living memory, with a chapter devoted to each of the four Gurus preceding the present Acharya.
There is a two-part chapter on the reigning Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji, with aspects of His inspiring life and coverage of His spectacular coronation. His Holiness shines in His own right with great erudition and realisation, upholding the splendour and tradition of the historic math that Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada established.
Readers will find this book worth possessing for the wealth of personal and historical information with colour and black and white illustrations. We are certain that the positive influence of the lives of the great saints on the reader will be incalculable. May the pursuit of spiritual ideals become in this way more worthwhile and meaningful to the reader!
When peace eludes you, when the world is too much for you, when the fever of life torments you, come to Sringeri.
That is not all. When all is well with you, when fortune smiles on you, come to Sringeri. You will realise that you always belonged to Sringeri. You will feel at home. The sacred vibrations of the place will awaken your dormant spiritual nature.
Sringeri, a holy, scenic, hilly place in Karnataka, is where peace is palpable, tangible! Enchanted by the sacred spot, of matchless serenity, Sri Adi Shankaracharya founded here the first and foremost of His maths, the Sringeri math, also known as the Sringeri Sharada Peetham.
Sringeri is where time has stood still; the Sringeri of legend, the Sringeri of mythology, the Sringeri of history, ancient and modern, the Sringeri where the successive Shankaracharyas have performed penance and attained samadhi, the Sringeri where there has always been a living Acharya, in the authentic tradition of Sri Adi Shankara to bless and guide mankind.
Right from Sri Adi Shankaracharya to the present Acharya, who is the 36th in the line of Parampara and who ascended the throne of transcendental wisdom on October 19 1989, the Sringeri math, also famed as the Dakshinamnaya Peetham, has had an unbroken succession of spiritual luminaries.
The difference between a trip to Sringeri and any other similar spot is that, when you are back from Sringeri, you will come back renewed spiritually and physically.
Nature is bounteous in Sringeri. Its river Tunga is sacred and perennial. The air is rich with the aroma of medicinal herbs. The climate is salubrious even in the peak of summer. This much for physical vigour.
The spiritual renewal is a subjective one, better experienced by yourself. Enough to say there is everything to elevate you mentally and spiritually.
The social impact of the Sringeri math is tremendous. It helps to spread Vedic and Sanskrit knowledge throughout the world, along with our great heritage and tradition. The present Acharya His Holiness J agadguru Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji is a shining example of love and compassion, as was the case in all the distinguished Acharyas who presided over the math in the past.
The concern for the well-being of humanity continues to guide the endeavours of the Acharya and all the devotees associated with the math.
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