Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kanchi Maha Swamy Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal

Jagadguru Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal (Tamil: சந்திரசேகரேந்திர சரஸ்வதி சுவாமிகள்) (May 20, 1894 – January 8, 1994) or the Sage of Kanchi was the 68th Jagadguru in the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.

He is usually referred to as Paramacharya, Mahaswami or Maha Periyavaal. Mahaswami was born on 20 May 1894, under Anuradha nakshatra according to the Hindu calendar, into a Kannadiga Smartha Hoysala Karnataka Brahmin family in Viluppuram, South Arcot District, Tamil Nadu as Swaminatha.

He was the second son of Subramanya Sastri, a District Education Officer. The child was named Swaminatha, after the family deity, Lord Swaminatha of Swamimalai, near Kumbakonam.

Swaminatha began his early education at the Arcot American Mission High School at Tindivanam, where his father was working. He was an exceptional student and excelled in several subjects. In 1905, his parents performed his Upanayanam, a Vedic ceremony which qualifies a Brahmin boy to begin his Vedic studies under an accomplished teacher.

His brother was Sadasiva shastrigal, popularly known as Sivan Sir. Sadasiva Sastri was born on 3.10.1903 in Viluppuram, South Arcot District, Tamil Nadu.He has written a magnum opus based on Hindu philosophy in a Tamil book titled "Yeni Padigalil Mandargal". He attained videha mukthi in 1994. 

An embodiment of simplicity, Śrī Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Mahāswāmiji, 68th pontiff of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, adorned the Peetam for 87 years from February 1907, when he was just 13. 

He travelled across the country mostly on foot, in keeping with the Math's tradition, meeting people and showering his blessings. His erudition and compassion endeared him to everyone, irrespective of class, creed and nationality. His foremost vision was the preservation of the Vedas, tradition and Dharma.

Taking one meal a day and sleeping in makeshift rooms, cowsheds and withered palanquins, he advocated simplicity and shunned extravagance. His exposition of the Vedanta, our sastras, agamas, puranas and epics appealed to scholars and laymen alike. They were very simple in language but rich in appeal and content. He was a great humanitarian, deep in his heart. He attained mahasamadhi in January 1994 at Kanchipuram. 

The renowned Muruga bhaktar Kripānanda Variar composed this eulogy of the late Maha Swamiji.

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