In Sacred Service
Since the time of Adi Sankara, a galaxy of 36 Acharyas, including the reigning Peethadhipati, Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal, have adorned the Dakshnamnaya Sharada Peetham, Sringeri, Karnataka, and each has rendered exemplary service for the cause of Sanatana Dharma.
Accounts of their lives and teachings and anecdotes connected with them are sure to inspire us to walk always along the right path. The present volume is a compilation of the life sketches of the four resplendent gurus in living memory - the 33rd, 34th, 35th and the 36th peethadhipatis who have adorned the transcendental throne at Sringeri. These special sketches, which have appeared in various issues of Tattvaloka, are being brought out in a single book form to provide a comprehensive coverage of the noble mission of these Acharyas.
This book is being released on the occasion of T attvaloka' s relocation to its own building and expansion of its activities to newer realms.
One cannot but admire the wisdom of these great gurus, their meticulous grooming of their successors in the Sastras and the Vedanta and their interaction with, and compassion for, the devotees.
The present peethadhipati, Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamigal (from 1989), has covered himself with glory in the 15 years of his reign. His passion for dharma, amazing guru bhakti, unshakable faith in God, unbounded compassion, admirable readership qualities, unmatched scholarship and oratory are awe-inspiring. He is a walking encyclopaedia on the Sastras and the Vedas. His proficiency in Sanskrit and other languages and thorough knowledge of the Sastras add lustre to the sanctity of the Peetham.
Sri Suresh Chandar, an ardent devotee and author of the book, Inspiring Saint, has spared no pains to research, collect and collate information on Sri Sannidhanam's life, authenticated by personal interviews with the sage, his poorvasrama parents and a host of devotees.
The book traces the experiences of the present J agadguru from his childhood, his momentous meetings, as a brahmachari, with Sri Mahasannidhanam and his initiation into sannyasa. It was published by Sri Vidyateertha Foundation, Chennai, in 1995.
Sri Abhinava Vidyatirtha Mahaswamigal (1954-1989), the 35th Jagadguru and predecessor of the present Holiness, was popularly known as Mahasannidhanam. He had very deservedly earned the encomium, "Personification of Perfection." He had vast erudition and yogic attainments. Above all, he was very compassionate. He travelled widely to bless devotees.
Sri V. Jayasankar, who has written the book Personification of Perfection, on the life of Sri Mahasannidhanam, is an engineer who has been awarded Doctor of Philosophy for his research in his field. He is known for his simplicity, good nature and silent devotion to Guru and God.
The book narrates the life story of this eminent Acharya in a simple language understandable to the younger generation. It describes how even as a poor middle-class boy, he attached importance to noble qualities, such as truthfulness, simplicity and kindness and valued the sacred scriptures more than anything else.
A. R. Natarajan, author of the book Jagadguru Chandrasekhar Bharati Mahaswami--Mystic and Seer, brings alive to the reader the J agadguru with all the fascination of his inner life. Sri N atarajan has been associated with the Sringeri Sharada Peetham for over three decades. From the time he saw the photograph of the sage at the old guest house at Sringeri in 1956, the pull was magnetic. The author thinks that perhaps this divine link gave him the opportunity of being the biographer of the Mahaswami.
The author says that at every stage, while gathering the material, sifting, absorbing and presenting it, he felt an intimate contact with Sri Chandrasekara Bharati Mahaswami-one born for the welfare of the world, rooted in the Self.
The book, conceived on the occasion of the birth centenary of the Mahaswami (October 16, 1992), was published in 1994 by the author, who is President of the Ramana Maharshi Centre for Learning, Bangalore.
It is thrilling to read that it was Sri Sacchidananda Sivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati Mahaswamigal (1879-1912), the 33rd Jagadguru, who identified the birth place of Adi Sankara at Kalady, now in Kerala, and built temples there for Sharadamba and the Bhagavatpada, surmounting all technical, legal and physical problems. It was he who established the Bharatiya Girvana Prauda Vidya Abhivardhani (Sanskrit College) in Bangalore. He also founded the Sadvidya Sanjivini Sanskrit Mahapathasala at Sringeri.
The book The Life Sketch of Sri Sacchidananda Sivabhinava Nrisimha Bharati is based on the Kannada original written by N. Srikantha Sastri, who was Agent of the Sringeri Matha then, and is adapted into English from the Tamil translation of the book. Here, an abridged English version is presented with some rare photographs of the sage.
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