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Hindu Ashrams and Hindu Organizations

Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

Website:  http://www.kamakoti.org                                              History of Shri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham

More than 2500 years ago, an avalanche of heretic and non-Vedic sects, with horrible religious practices threatened to wipe away the ancient Veda-Dharma. In the Bhagavad Geeta, Lord Krishna has told Arjuna that, whenever there arises danger to Dharma, He (Krishna) will incarnate in this world to eradicate adharma and re-establish Dharma. In consonance with his words, the Lord has made partial incarnations during the course of the present Kali Age. And such an incarnation is the partial incarnation of Siva as Sankara Bhagavatpada, which happened some twenty-five centuries ago, on the prayer of celestials to Lord Siva to redeem Bharata-desa from the clutches of non-Vedic heretic sects. Several sources of authentic information lead to the conclusion that Sri Adi Sankara was born at Kaladi on the fifth day of the bright fortnight of the Vaisaka month of the cyclic year Nandana in cyclic year Nandana - Kali 2593 corresponding to 509 B.C.

Sri Sankara Bhagavadpadacharya was one of the greatest philosophers and spiritualists of the world. He was a discerning dialectician, a consummate commentator and celebrated poet. His miraculous achievements, within a short span of life of thirty-two years, speak of his super-human aspect. Sages and scholars, who have shone through the centuries after his time, have regarded Him as an incarnation of the Divine. Many a thinker and many a scholar of different climes and times has been attracted by the philosophic discipline of Advaita (Monism) effectively propagated by Sankara. Even modern thinkers and scholars have paid eulogistic tributes to Sankara's genius.

Sankara's yatra to Kailasa, the abode of Lord Siva, is one of the most notable events in the history of the Acharya. During the course of his peregrination in the Himalayan region, Sankaracharya desired to have darshan of Sri Paramesvara having his abode in Kailas. Sankara managed to reach Kailas quickly because of His yogic power. He had darshan of Lord Paramesvara and Devi Parvati. According to tradition, Sankara adored Paramesvara by singing two hymns, known as "Sivapadadi-kesanta stotram" and "Sivakesadi-padanta stotram". Immensely pleased with Sankara's prayers, Paramesvara blessed Sankara, presented him with five sphatika (crystal) lingas and instructed him to arrange for the worship of the lingas for the sake of the welfare of the universe, indicating also the mode of worship. Paramesvara also handed over to Sankara the palm-leaf manuscript of Soundarya Lahari, which is noted as Siva's own hymn in praise of the Parasakti.

From available biographical information, it is learnt that Sankaracharya placed one of the five sphatika lingas got at Kailas and kept the Yoga Linga for his own personal worship and that of his successors at Kanchi.

Bhagavatpada Sankara got Kanchi city remodeled and also caused the reconstruction of the three principal temples of Kanchi, viz., the temples of Sri Ekamranatha, Devi Kamakshi and Sri Varadaraja with the assistance of Rajasena, ruler of Kanchi. Sankara consecrated the Srichakra before Devi Kamakshi and thereby secured Her bounteous grace for devotees having Her darshan.

A significant event in the history of Sankaracharya is his occupying the Sarvajnapeetha - the Throne of Omniscience at Kanchi. A great ascetic one of the early Acharyas of the Kanchi Sankaracharya Math - by name Jnanottama - has written a commentary entitled "Chandrika", on Sureswaracharya's "Naishkarmyasiddhi". The second sloka (at the end of the commentary) alludes to the author of the Chandrika as the glory of the Sarvajnasrama by which term we have to understand the Sarvajna Pitha or the Pontifical seat the Advaita Matha in Kancheepuram.

Sankara Bhagavapadacharya retired to Kanchi, the Southern Mokshapuri, towards the end of his earthly career and shook off his mortal coils in that sacred city. A number of works state these facts. Verse 46 of the sixteenth chapter of the ninth section of the voluminous Sanskrit work "Sivarahasya" (in the printed Canareese edition No. 32), Jayachamarajendra Series of the Mysore Palace, refers to Sankaracharya's worship of the Yoga, Bhoga, Vara, Mukti and Moksha lingas, to his success over scholars of other faiths and to his attaining siddhi (eternal bliss) at his own ashrama in Kanchi.

Markandeya Samhita, an ancient puranic treatise, consists of 100 khandas, each having sub-sections called parispandas, Sub-section 7 and 8 of the 72nd khanda of this work narrate briefly the history of Sankara. "Sankaracaritam". A verse, in the seventh parispanda of the 72nd khanda of this work, relates that the Mahatma Sankara, attained the cit-svarupa, i.e. attained eternal bliss at Kanchi, after having consecrated Kamakshi.

Anantanandagiri's biography of Sankara (12th century A.D.) - all versions printed and manuscripts, including the Madras University edition - says "The World Preceptor (Sankara) desiring to leave for his own abode, sitting once in the Moskhapuri of Kanchi, absorbed his gross body into the subtle one and getting reduced into the size of a thumb, attained eternal bliss and remains as the all-pervading "Cit" to this day".

Coming to modern times, there is quite a large number of works, in different languages, written by erudite scholars mentioning Kanchi as the last resort of Sankara.

Apart from all the citations made above, it needs mention that, in the Srimukha-Birudavali (the string of honorific epithets) of the Sankaracharya Math at Kanchi (existing without change from very ancient times), the following epithet is found:

"Srimacchankara Bhagavatpadacharyanam adhisthane Simhasanabhishiktanam"

The word "adhisthane" points to Sankara's siddhi at Kanchi.

It may be noted that the name of Sri Sankaracharya is found only in the official seal of Kanchi Kamakoti Matha. The word "Kanci-divya kshetre and the phrase "Srimacchankara-Bhagavatpadacaryanam adhisthane" in the birudavali indicate Sankara's siddhi at Kanchi.

Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada was not merely a great philosopher and preceptor, but an adept in organising and a conspicuous national integrator of a very early period of India's history. For safeguarding the Veda-Dharma and restoring it to its pristine glory and for propagating the Advaita discipline, the Great Acharya established monastic institutions at many of the sacred and important places of the country that he had visited during his digvijaya-yatra..

From Anantanandagiri (1119 - 1199 A.D.) whose work is the earliest biography of Sankara, down to Mahamahopadhyaya Lakshmana Suri (Author of "Bhagavatpadabhyudayam" - 1917) of the last century, a number of reputed historians, distinguished scholars and researchers have candidly stated, in their works, that the Great Sankara established monastic institutions (mathas) at many an important and sacred places that he visited, during his digvijaya tours.

Guhya-Sahasranama (Sanskrit) refers to five Sankaracharya Peethas (Maths), -Kamakoti Peetha as presided over by Sankara himself, to four disciples, Suresvara, Padmapada, Totaka and Hastamalaka, to the places of the four other peethas and to five Sphatika lingas.

It may be interesting to read about a Sankara Math at the sacred city of Kasi. This is known as Sumeru Math and as Paduka Math. It is presided over by an Advaita Dandi Sanyasi. In some authentic works, only one monastic institution is spoken of. In the Sankaracharya Charita by Govindanatha, and the Sankarabhydaya of Rajachudamani Deekshita, there is no mention about any Matha or Peetha except the Sarvagna Peetha at Kanchi.

Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada settled down at Kancheepuram (Kanchi) at the end of his peregrinations and spent the evening years of his life in the Math at Kanchi, established on Vaisakha Sukla Purnima of the year Sidharthi - Kali 2620 (482 B.C.) He initiated a very young boy into the ascetic order, nominated him as his successor in his Kanchi Matha, and placed him under the care of Sri Suresvara, the most aged and the most erudite of His disciples. Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada attained Videha mukti in his 32nd year - Cyclic year Raktakshi, Adhika Rishabha Maasa, Sukla Ekadasi - Kali 2625 (477 B.C.)

After the Great Acharya, Sri Adi Sankara, a long line of successor Acharyas distinguished for their learning, discipline and penance has adorned the Acharya Peetham at Kanchi Sankara Math. Sarvajnatman, the immediate successor of the Bhagavartpada was the author of the masterly "Samkkshepa-Sareeraka" and of the "Sarvajna-Villasa". Jnananda, the grand-disciple of Sri Sarvajnatman wrote a commentary by name Chandrika on Sri Sureswara's Naishkarmya-Siddhi (This has been published as No. 33 of the Bombay Sanskrit and Prakrit Series in 1925 A.D.) Sri Krpa Sankara, the ninth pontifical head of the Kanchi Math, chose to continue and perfect the noble work inaugurated by the Bhagavatpada. He is credited with the re-consecration of the Srichakra in the temple of Devi Kamakshi at Kanchi and of Tatankas (ear-ornaments) of Sri Akilandesvari at Tiruvanaikoil (near Tiruchirapalli, in Tamil Nadu). Sri Muka Sankara, a deaf-mute of Kanchi, gained the power of speech by the grace of Sri Kamakshi. He became the twentieth Acharya of the Kanchi Math. Sri Muka Sankara has written "MukaPancasati" (Sanskrit) which contains five hundred verses. It is a lyrical outburst of poetry on Devi Kamakshi of Kanchi. It is said that, the beauty of diction and mellifluence of the work is rivaled only by the Krishna-Karnamrta of Leela Suka.

Among the Acharyas of the medieval age, the name of Abhinava Sankara stands preeminent. He was so great that he was confounded with the timings and deeds of the Great Adi Sankara. He was the disciple of Sri Vidyaghana (37th Acharya). Abhinava Sankara made extensive tours in North India. He defeated (in debate) the famous Vakpati Bhatta, a reputed scholar of the court of the King of Kashmir. He ascended the Sarvjna Peetha, in Kashsmir (Srinagar) after winning over many great scholars.

Another famous Acharya of the Kanchi Peetha was the 47th - Sri Chandracuda Sarasvati (1098 -1166 A.D.) He traveled widely all over the country. This Acharya was held in great esteem by erudite scholars such as Manka, author of Srikantha Charita, by Krishna Misra, author of "Prabhoda Chandrodaya" and by Jayadeva, author of "Prasanna Raghava", "Chandraaloka" and "Bhakti Kalpa-Latika". Jayasimha, ruler of Kashmir, was a staunch devotee of this Acharya. The 51st preceptor, Sri Vidyateertha (1247 - 1297 A.D) was an erudite scholar. Saayana, commentator of the Vedas, Madhavacharya (Vidyaranya after becoming an ascetic), Bharati Krishna Teertha (of Sringeri Math), Vedanta Desika and Sankarananda of Kanchi Sankara Math were prominent among Vidya Teeertha's disciples. Sri Sankarananda, the next Acharya, has written commentaries (called Deepikas) on four of the principal Upanishads and also a gloss on the Bhagavat Geeta.

Sri Vyasachala Mahadevendra Sarasvati, the 54th preceptor wrote a biography of Adi Sankara. (This work has been published by the Government Oriental Manuscripts Library at Madras). Sri Paramasivendra Sarasvati (57th Acharya) was author of "Dahara-Vidya-Prakasika" and a commentary on Siva Geeta. The 58th Acharya of the Peetha was Atma Bodhendra, also known as Visvadhikendra, went on a tour to Varaanasi where he stayed for some years. Sri Bhagavannama Bodhendra, disciple and successor of Sri Atma Bodha, propagated the path of devotion as means of salvation. He wrote two works on the efficacy of chanting the names of Bhagavan, viz. Namamrta Rasayana and Namamrta Rasodaya.

Among the later Acharyas, Sri Chandrasekharendra (1746 - 1783 A.D.), the 62nd Acharya of Kanchi, had to migrate to the southern districts of the Tamil region due to the uncertain political atmosphere that prevailed in the area around Kancheepuram, during the period of the Carnatic Wars. After prolonged camps at Ramanathapuram, Trivandrum, Pudukkottai, etc., this Acharya stayed for long at Udayarpalayam on the request of the Zamindar of Udayarpalayam. Later in about 1760 A.D., the Acharya moved to Thanjavur complying with the request of Raja Pratapa Simha, ruler of the Maratha Kingdom of Thanjavur. About a year later, this Acharya began to reside in the new Math built on the bank of the river Kaveri at Kumbhakonam, by Dabir Panth, Minister of Thajavur, under the direction of Raja Pratapa Simha.

The 63rd Acharya was a great yogi. The next preceptor, Sri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati was an adept in Mantra-sastra. He got the temple of Sri Kamakshi at Kanchi, repaired and performed Kumbhabhishekham to it in 1840 A.D. He also caused repairing of the Tatanka (ear-ornaments) of Goddess Sri Akilandesvari, in the Jambunatha temple at Tiruvanaikoil (near Tiruchirapalli, and reconsecrated them on the ears of the Devi in 1848 A.D. It is to be noted that the three Acharyas (62nd, 63rd, and 64th) attained external bliss at Kumbhakonam and that their Brindavans (place where mortal remains of an ascetic are interred) are in the backyard of the Sankara Math at Kumbhakonam.

The 65th Acharya of Kanchi Sankara Math was Sri Mahadevendra Sarasvati (1851 1891 A.D.) who toured widely throughout South India. He attained siddhi at the village of Elayathankudi, in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. The Brindavans of the next two Acharyas, (66th and 67th) are at Kalavai about 20 miles away from Kancheepuram.

The 68th Acharya of Kanchi, the world-renowned Sri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati Swami, became pontiff in 1907 when he was barely thirteen years of age. He shone as Acharya for nearly 87 years. In 1908, He performed kumbhabhishekam of the Jambunatha and Akilandesvari shrines at Tiruvanaikoil, near Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu. In 1923, He caused the repairs to be made for the Tatanka of Sri Akilandesvari and had them reconsecrated them on the ears of the Devi. In 1934 He reached Allahabad and deposited in the Triveni-Sangamam, the sacred sand taken from Rameswaram. Later He was at Banares for about six months. He was held in great esteem by the Maharaja of Kasi, Pandit Madan Mohan Malavya, Vice Chancellor of Banares Hindu University, and a host of reputed scholars and ardent devotees. Later He returned to the south and established several organisations for the study of the Veda, Sastra, etc., and some social welfare institutions also.

His successor, on the Kanchi seat of the Bhagavatpada, is Sri Jayendra Sarasvati Swami who was initiated and nominated successor in 1954. In 1983, this 69th Preceptor gave sanyasa-deeksha to a boy in his early teens, gave him the name Sankara Vijayendra Sarasvati and nominated him as successor Acharya. The 69th Acharya and his Disciple Acharya are adorning the Kanchi Sankara Matha at present.

Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham has the distinction of an unbroken line of 70 Acharyas till now. The Acharyas have taken measures for the protection of Veda Dharma, for propagating the Advaita discipline, and alleviating the sufferings of the people.

A Keerti Sthamba (Pillar of Fame) has been erected in the year 1978 at Kaladi, the birth place of Sri Adi Sankara on Sankara Jayanthi day (May).

During the time of the 68th Acharya and later, suitable memorials have been erected in commemoration of the Bhagavatpad's visit to important places of Bharat such as Allahabad, Tiruvidaimarudur, Rameswaram, Puri-Jagannatha, Srisailam, Tryambaka, etc.

Renovation of ancient temples which are in need of repairs is one of the important activities of the Math. During His life time, Sri Chandrasekharendra Sarasvati Swamigal (68TH Acharya) on the occasion of Bhoomi Pooja in 1981, blessed the leading citizens of Sattara for construction of a new temple on the model of the famous Sri Nataraja temple at Chidambaram in Tamil Nadu. The kumbabhishekam of this temple known as Uttara Chidambaram was performed in the immediate presence of His Holiness Sri Jayendra Sarasvati Swamigal in 1984.

New temples have been erected for Kamakshi and Subramanya at Delhi, Kamakshi temples at Coimbatore and Salem, Subramanya temple at Secunderabad.

One of the temples that have come up is the Ekkavan Sakthi Peet in Ambaji (Gujarat) where all the 51 Sakti Peetams have been represented.

At Guwahati (Assam), Sri Purva Tiruapati Balaji Mandir has come up. The main deity, Sri Venkateswara, is an eleven feet high icon - a replica of the Venkateswara at Tirumala (Tirupati) in Andhra Pradesh. Similarly, a temple for Sri Balaji was constructed at Ponda, Goa and Maha Kumbhabhishekam was performed on April 24, 2000 in the presence of the Acharyas of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.

Exquisite sculptures depicting history and legend adorn the temples of Goddess Kamakshi, Lord Balaji and Sahasra Linga at Prayag (Allahabad) near the confluence of Ganga, Yamuna and invisible Saraswati.

The famous temple car of Sri Varadaraja Perumal at Kanchi was completely redone at considerable cost and was inaugurated in May 2000. Rajagopurams at the northern and southern side of Sri Ramanathaswamy temple at Rameswaram are being constructed with the blessings of the Acharyas.

While activities of a religious nature are undoubtedly within the realm of the Peetham, the social side has not been neglected.

A good number of Veda Patasalas have been established wherein different sakhas of Veda are being taught.

Apart from Veda Patasalas, seventeen Oriental schools and thirty-eight Sankara Schools are functioning in different parts of the country under the guidance of the Math.

Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam runs hospitals at different places, which includes the Kamakoti Child Trust Hospital in Madras, Eye Hospitals at Coimbatore and Guwahati, hospitals at Madhubani (Bihar), Rathura for tribals (Uttranchal), Berhampur (Orissa) Hindu Mission Hospitals in many places in Tamil Nadu.

The Acharyas sympathy for the poor and the lower classes of society is too well known to be mentioned here.

Charitable trusts, established with the blessings of the Acharyas come to the aid of poor families to enable them to perform marriages of their daughters, Homes for the Aged and uncured for are functioning with a considerable number of inmates in each. Also, at Kalavai (Tamil Nadu), a home for the disabled is also functioning. Handicapped persons are provided with tricycles, artificial limbs, etc.

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Rural Development Trust and several such other organisations take care of the rural and neglected areas. Unemployed youths are provided with means for starting some craft to earn their livelihood. Likewise women are given sewing machines as a self-employment measure.

Nithya Annadhanam (free food) is provided to all devotees visiting Kanchi and the Math. The "Pidi Arisi Thittam" (Handful of Rice) scheme is running successfully at many places. Under this scheme, every household sets apart just a handful of rice every day and this will be collected by a central agency once a week, cooked in some temples and offered as neivedya to the deity and then distributed to the poor and needy.

Prasadam, blessed by the Acharyas are distributed to the patients in hospitals, inmates of jails, orphanages, etc.

The Math runs go-salas (shelter for the cows).

Victims of flood, famine, earthquake and other natural calamities are being helped in various ways under the orders of the Acharyas.

"Dharmo Rakshati Rakshita".

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History of Shri kanchi kamakoti Peetham

Appendix I

Sri Kota Venkatachalam in his "Chronology of Nepal History", reconstructed, assigns the following events of the life of Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada :

  Kali B.C.
Birth of Sri Sankara (Cyclic year Nandana) 2593 509
Upanayana of Sankara 2598 504
Completed study of the Veda 2601 501
Got his mother's permission to enter the Holy Order of Sanyasa (Kartika Sukla Ekadasi, Cyclic year Plava) 2603 499
Philosophical study under Govinda Bhaghavatpadacharya 2603-2605 499-497
Sankara, in his 16th year, met Kumarila Bhatta for the first and the last time in Rudhapura near Prayaga at the time of self-immolation by Kumarila Bhatta (Kumarila was older than Sankara by 48 years (Cyclic year Kilaka) 2609 493
Sri Sankara founded the Dwaraka Math (Magha SuklaSapthami of the cyclic year Sadharana with Hastamalaka as its first Acharya) 2611 491
Sri Sankara founded the Jyotir Math on Pusya Suddha Poumima of the cyclic year Raksasa with Totakacharya as its first Acharya 2616 486
Sri Sankara founded the Govardhan Math of Purl (Jagannath) on Vaisakha Sukla Navami of the cyclic year Nala with Padmapadacharya as its first Acharya 2617 485
The Sarada Peetha at Sringeri was founded by Sri Sankara in Pusya Purnima of the year Pingala with Sureswaracharya , as its first Pitadhipati 2618 484
The Kamakoti Pieetha at Kanchi was founded in Vaisakha Sukla Purnima of the year Siddharthi with Adi Sankara himself as the first Acharya 2620 482
Niryana of Sankara in his 32nd year on Sukla Ekadasi of the month of Adhika Rishobha in the Cyclic Year Raktakshi 2625 477

 

Appendix II

History of the Kanchi Sankaracharya Math and Acharaparampara

1 Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada : On reaching Kanchi, after the digvijaya tours, Sri Sankaracharya settled down at Kanchi, established a Math for his own residence in that city, gave sanyasa deeksha to a very young boy of Thambaravarni valley, gave him the name Sarvajnatman, nominated him as successor Acharya of the Kanchi Sankaracharya Math and put him under the care of Sri Suresvaracharya. A long line of unbroken erudite and pious Acharyas have adorned the Kamakoti Peetham. Some of the most famous in this line of Acharyas are Sri Krpa Sankara, Sri Muka Sankara, Sri Abhinava Sankara, Sri Paramasivendra Saraswati, Sri Bhodhendra Saraswati and the world renowned 68th Acharya, Pujyasri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal (Maha Periyaval), a benign soul who illustrated to us, through His universal tolerance, lofty nobility, profound erudition, towering spirituality and child like simplicity, like what the great Bhagavatpada Himself
Adi Sankara took to sanyasa directly from Brahmacharya asrama. The same order is being followed till now where the Head of the Matham is selected from Brahmacharis only. The Acharyas of Kamakoti Peetham have the title "lndra-Saraswati". The Acharyas themselves perform daily tri-kala pooja to Sri Chandramauleesvara.
2 Sri Suresvaracharya : Sri Sureswaracharya was the most learned and aged of Sri Bhagavatpada's disciples. He was a native of Mahishmati. He was known as Mandana Mishra before He was initiated into the ascetic order by Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada. History of how Sri Sankara had a long debate with Sri Mandanat Mishra on various topics in the poorva mimamsa and in Advaita Vedanta, and how Sri Mandana Mishra was defeated in arguments and how he was given sanyasai and taken along with Him by the great Acharya, is recorded in most biographies of Sankara. After a long and eventful career and having been the author of the Vaathika on Sankara's Brhadaranyopanishad Bhashya and having authored the famous philosophical treatise known as Naishkarmya-Sidhi, Sri Sureswaracharya shook off his mortal remains at Kanchi, the southern Mokshapuri, on Sukla Ekadasi of Jyestha in the Cyclic Year Bhava (407 B.C). The presence of a street till recently under the name of Mandana Misra Agraharam, and the presence of a stone icon of Sri Sureswaracharya inside the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Sankaracharya Math (which is in daily worship) confirm the connection of Sri Sureswaracharya with Kanchi Sankar Math and his videha mukthi at Kanchi.
3 Sri Sarvajnatman : After having conquered the leaders of many heretic sects prevalent in many parts of India, Sri Sankara Bhagavatpada reached Kanchi, the southern Mokshapuri to spend the evening years of His life in that holy city. One of the famous incidents of Sri Sankara's stay at Kanchi is his Sarvajna Peethahoranam or ascending the seat of Omniscience. On knowing about this, scholars from various parts of the Tamil regions gathered at Kanchi to witness the grand event. Among those, a band of scholars from Brahmadesam and its neighbourhood had a debate with the Acharya on Deva bedha, Moorthybedha, etc. By his clear exposition of the Advaita doctrine, the Acharya silenced their arguments. After the successful ascending of the Sarvajna Peetha, Sri Sankara was attracted by a boy of 7 summers to be very precious. He sent word for the parents of the boy. They came with their son and bowed before Sri Sankara. Then the great Acharya expressed His wish to nominate the little boy as his successor to the Kanchi Peetha. The parents greatly rejoiced and agreed to the Acharya's proposal. Thereafter the Acharya initiated the boy Into sanyasa asrama, gave him the deeksha name of Sarvajnatman. The Bala Sanyasi was put under the care of Sri Sureveswaracharya. Sri Sarvajnatman presided over the Sri Kanchi Sankaracharya Math for a long number of years. He wrote a lucid summary or rather a further commentary on Sri Sankara's Sutra Bashya. Sri Sarvajnatman's commentary is known as The Samkshepa Sareeraka. It is also said that He is the author of a poetical thesis called Sarvajna Vilasa. The Samkshapa Sareeraka of Sri Sarvajnatman contains 1267 verses couched in verses of elegance and easy style. After an eventful and glorious career Sri Sarvajnatman attained videha mukthi in Kanchi on the 14th day of the dark fortnight (Vaishaka Krishna Chaturdasi) of the cyclic year Nala (364 BC).
4 Sri Sathyabodhendra Saraswati : He is a native of Amaravatitheera in Chera country, and was known as Phalinisa in his poorvasrama. He was the son of one Thalinesa Sharma. He was a great fighter of Samkhyas, Bauddhas and Jainas. He was the author of Padaka-Sata (explanatory treatise on Sankara Bhashya). Sri Sathyabodhendra Saraswati attained mukti at Kanchi on Krishna astami in the month of Vaishaka of the cyclic year Nandana (268 BC ).
5 Sri Jnanandendra Saraswati : He was known as Jnanottama before Sanyasa. He was the son of Nagesa, a Dravida Brahman. He was a great tarkika and wrote a commentary called Chandrika, on Sri Sureswaracharya's Naishkarmya Siddhi. He, in his Chandrika commentary, has spoken of his guru Sri Satyabodha and Parama Guru Sri Sarvajnatman. This Chandrika commentary was edited and published by Prof. Hiranayya of the Mysore University. In the preface to this commentary, Sri Jnaanandendra Saraswati has spoken of himself as the glory of the Sarvajasrama at Kanchi. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Saptami in the month of Mrigaseersha of the cyclic year Manmatha (205 BC).
6 Sri Suddhanandendra Saraswati : He was the son of Bharvu Pandita and a native of Vedaranyam. His former name was Viswanatha. He was a Dravida Brahmin. Sri Suddhanandendra Saraswati attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Shashti in the month of Jyestha of the cyclic year Nala (124 BC).
7 Sri Aanandaghanendra Saraswati : He was known as Chinnayya before Sanyasa. He was the son of Suryanarayana Makhi. He hailed from Chera country. A great votary of Gauri, through divine grace of God, he obtained extraordinary literary powers. He wrote commentaries on the Sankara Bhashyas and Sureswaracharya's Vartikas. He attained mukti at Srisail on KrishnaNavami in the month of Vaisakha of the cyclic year Krodhana (55 BC).
8 Sri Kaivalyanandayogendra Saraswati : Before Sanyasa, he was known as Manganna and a native of Tirupati in Andhra. He was the son of Trailinga Sivayya , He attained mukti at Kanchi on first day of Makara of the, cyclic year Sarvadhari (28 AD),
9 Sri Krpa Sankarendra Saraswati : An Andhra Brahmin by birth, his former name was Gangesopadyaya. He devoted himself, heart and soul, to the eradication of degenerate, obscene practices that had once again crept into religion after the Bhagavatpada's time, and restored purity. It fell to the lot of Krpa Sankara to continue and perfect the noble work that Sri Adi Sankara had inaugurated. Krpa Sankara pursued with great vigour, the work of the Master and enhanced the greatness of Shanmatas introducing a chastened mode of worshiping Siva, Vishnu, Ambika, Surya, Ganapati and Skanda. In short, he prepared the ground for the growth of the devotional path to be attempted in the future by Saiva Nayanars, These later Saiva and Vaishnava religious reformers owe it to both Adi Sankara and Krpa Sankara so that their work was rendered easier by the preliminary religious reforms effected by the two great luminaries. He is said to have attained mukti at a place near Vindhya region on Krishna Tritiya in the month of Kartika of the cyclic year Vibhava (69 AD).
10 Sri Sureswara: Who succeeded Sri Krpa Sankara was a Maharashtra Brahmin and his poorvasrama name was Maheswara. He was the son of Iswara Pandita. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Purnima in the month of Ashada of the cyclic year Akshaya (127 AD).
11 Sri Sivananda Chidghanendra Saraswati : He was a Karnataka Brahmin and the son of one Ujjvala Bhatta. His poorvasrama name was Iswara Vatu. His predilections were towards Sivaadvaita. He attained mukti at Vrjddhachala on Sukla Dasami in the month of Jyestha of the cyclic year Virodhikrit (172 AD).
12 Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati : He was a native of a village near River Palar and was the son of Vatsa Bhatta. His former name was Hari. He entrusted the affairs of the Matha in the hands of one of his sishyas and engaged himself in a special type of Yoga. After a reign of sixty-three years, he disappeared into a cave in Seshachala on Sukla Navami in the month of Ashada of the cyclic year Ananda (235 AD).
13 Sri Satchidghanendra Saraswati : Known as Seshaya in his poorvasrama, he belonged to a village on the bank of the Gadilam river. He was the son of Sridhar Pandlta. Like his predecessor, he relinquished his pontificate to his successor and wandered about the environs of Kanchi as an "Avadhuta". After wandering for over thirty-two years, he disappeared into a. temple in Kanchi and it is said that his mortal frame got transformed into a Linga, now identified with Kayarohaneswara at Kanchi on Sukla Prathama in the month of Margasirsha of thecyclic the cyclic year Khara (272 AD).
14 Sri Vidyaghanendra Saraswati .He was Andhra by birth. His name before Sanyasa was Nayanai A great adept in Mantra Sastra, He is said to have mollified Ugra Bhairava. He attained mukti at a place near Agastya Hill on Amavasya in the month of Margasirsha d the cyclic year Dhatu (317 AD)
15 Sri Gangadharendra Saraswati : Hailing from Andhra, he was the son of Bhadragiri of Kanchi. His former name was Subhadra. Gangadhara was renowned for his great erudition. He attained mukti near the Agastyq Hill on Sukla Prathama in the month of Chaitra of the cyclic year Sarvadhari (329 AD).
16 Sri Ujjvala Sankarendra Saraswati : Before Sanyasa, he was known as Achyuta Kesava. He was son of Kesava Sankara. He was a Maharasthra Brahmin by birth. He was a great fighter of heretics. He went on Digvijaya and during his tours he drove the followers of Jainism beyond the Sindhu. He visited Kashmir and attained mukti at Kalapuri. Since then the place came to be known as Ujjvala Maha Yatipura on Sukla Ashtamj in the month of Valsakha of the cyclic year Akshaya (367 AD).
17 Sri Sadasivendra Saraswati :He was the son of Deva Misra, a Brahmana Minister of Kashmir. He showed a leaning towards Vedanta in his early years. He was ordained in Sanyasa by Sri Ujjvala Sankara. Wherever he went, he fed a number of Brahmanas every day. He attained mukti at Tryambaka (near Nasik) on Sukla Dasami in the month of Jyestha of the cyclic year Bhava (375 AD).
18 Sri Yogafilaka Surendra Saraswati : He was a native of Maharasahtra and the son of one Madhava. He vanquished the notorious Charwivaka Durdivi by argument. He attained mukti near Ujjain on Sukla Prathama in the month of Margasirsha of the cyclic year Taruna (385 AD).
19 Sri Martanda Vidyaghanendra Saraswati : Also known as Suryadasa, he was the son of one Umesa Sankara, His former name was Srikanta. Early in life, he was afflicted by Leuco-derma. But he got completely cured of the disease by offering 1008 prostrations to Bhagavan Surya every day. He was ordained in his eighteenth year and after a reign of 13 years, he attained mukti at a village on the bank of the Godavari on Krishna Navami in the month of Bhadrapada of the cyclic year Hevilambi (398 AD).
20 Sri Muka Sankarendra Saraswati : He was the son of one Vidyavati, an astrologer and astronomer. He was a congenital deaf-mute. But through the grace of Goddess Kamakshi he gained the power of speech. On knowing this attainment of speech by Mooka because of the grace of Devi, the then Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Vidyaghana, sent for the boy's parents and told them of his intention of giving sanyasa to the boy and, with their consent, gave sanyasa to the boy and ordained him as his successor in the Kamakoti Math. Vikramaditya Sakari of Ujjain, Matrugupta, some time king of Kashmir, and Pravarasena, who succeeded Matrugupta on the throne, all considered it a rare privilege to serve at the feet of this great Acharya. Muka Sankara is the author of Muka Panchasati, a lyrical outburst of poetry on Kamakshi, The mellifluence of the work is said to be rivaled only by Lila Suka's Krishna Karnamrta. He attained mukti at a village near Godavari on full moon day in the month of Sravana of the cyclic year Dhatu (437 AD).
21 Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati II : He was a native of Konkan and the son of Achyuta. He succeeded Muka Sankara as the Pontiff of the Kamakoti Peetha and attained mukti at Banares on Krishna Astami in the month of Sravana of the cyclic year Vyaya (447 AD).
22 Sri Bodhendra Saraswati : He was the son of one Ramanatha, a native of Ratnagiri in Maharashtra. His name prior to sanyasa was Madhura. He was a great physician and yogi. He attained mukti near Jagannatha Kshetra on Sukla Navami in the month of Kartika of the cyclic year Raudri (481 AD).
23 Sri Satchisukhendra Saraswati : He was a native of Srikakulam in Andhra and son of Somanarayan. His former name was Girisa. He was a great votary of Subramanya. He attained mukti near Jagannatha Kshetra on Sukla Saptami in the month of Vaisaka of the cyclic year Khara (512 AD).
24 Sri Chitsukhendra Saraswati : He was a native of Konkan and was known as Siva Sarma before sanyasa. All through his pontificate, he remained in Konkan and attained mukti near Ratnagiri on Bahula Navami in the month of Sravana of the cyclic year Prabhava (527 AD).
25 Sri Satchidanandaghanendra Saraswati : He was the son of Krishna, a native of Srimushnam. He was a Dravida Brahrnana. Thrice he toured extensively all over India. He Was a great Yogi, and by his yogic powers, he is said to have turned Into a Linga at Gokarna on Sukla prathama in the month of Ashada of the cyclic year Prabhava (548 AD).
26 Sri Prajnaghanendra Saraswati .He was the son of Prabhakara, a native of a village on the bank of the Pinakini. His former name was Sonagiri. He attained mukti at Kanchi , on Sukla Ashtami in the month of Vaishaka of the cyclic year Svabhanu (546 AD).
27 Sri Chidvilasendra Saraswati : He was the son of Madhusudhana, a native of Hastagiri. His former name was Hari Kesava and he was an Andhra by nationality. He attained mukti at Kanchi on the First day in the month of Chaithra of the cyclic year Durmukhi (577 AD).
28 Sri Mahadeve11dra Saraswati I : He was the son of Bhanu Misra, a native of Bhadrachala. His pre- sanyasa name was Sesanarayana. He was a Maithila Brahmana domiciled in Andhradesa. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Krishna Dasami in the month of Asvina of the cyclic year Raudri (601 AD).
29 Sri Purnabhodhendra Saraswati : He was the son of Sripati. His former name was Krishna. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Ekadasi in the month of Sravana of the cyclic year Eswara (618 AD)
30 Sri Bhodhendra Saraswati II: He was the son of one Kajahasti . His Poorvasrama name was Balayya. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Krishna Chaturti in the month of Vaisaka of the cyclic year Ananda (655 AD).
31 Sri Brahmanandaghanendra Saraswati : He was the son of one Ananta, a native of a village on the bank of the river Gadilam. A Dravida Brahmana by birth, his former name was Jyestha Rudra. He was an authority in the six Darsanas. He was held in high veneration by King Lalitadiya Muktapida of Kashmir and by the great dramatist Bhavabhuti. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Dwadasi in the month of Jyeshta of the cyclic year Prabhava (668 AD).
32 Sri Chidanandaghanendra Saraswati : He was the son of one Kanva Sankara. His former name was Padmanabha. He was a great yogi and he subsisted on dry leaves only. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Shashti in the month of Margasirsha of the cyclic year Prajotpatti (672 AD).
33 Sri Satchidananda Saraswati : Otherwise known as Bhaskara Paramesthi. He was the son of one Praudha Ramanna, a native of a village on the bank of the Chandrabhaga. His former name was Timmanna, and he was a versatile linguist. He carried out extensive repairs to the Math buildings at Kanchi and attained mukti on Krishna Shashti in the month of Prostapada of the cyclic year Khara (692 AD).
34 Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati III : was the son of Mahadeva, a native of a village adjoining the river Vegavati. His former name was Sambhu and he made extensive tours. On one occasion, he heroically saved a child that had been caught in the midst of wild fire in a forest. He attained mukti at Kanchi on New Moon day in the month of Margasirsha of the cyclic year Saumya (710 AD).
35 Sri Chitsukhendra Saraswati : He was the son of Vimalaksha, a native of Vedachala. His pre-sanyas name was Susila Kamalaksha. He attained mukti in the Sahya mountain area on Sukla Shashti in the month Ashada of the cyclic year Dhatu (737 AD).
36 Sri Chitsukhanandendra Saraswati : He was the son of Somagiri, a native of a village adjoining Palar. He was a Dravida by nationality and his former name was Suresa. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Purnima in the month of Asvina of the cyclic year Hevilambi (758 AD).
37 Sri Vidyaghanendra Saraswati III: He was the son of Balachandra. His former name was Suryanarayana. He attained mukti at Chidambaram, where he had gone on a pilgrimage on Krishna Dwitiya in the month of Pushya of the cyclic year Prabhava (795 AD).
38 Sri Abhinava Sankarendra Saraswati : He was one of the greatest among the successors of Adi Sankara, so great indeed that he and his deeds are often confounded with those of the Great Bhagavatpada and his deeds. His life story has been described in detail in a work entitled the "Sankara Vilasa" by Vakpati Bhatta. His father was one Visvajit of Chindambaram. He was invested with Yajnopavita at the age of five and taught Vedas. He showed an extraordinary promise in dialectics and soon he became a formidable disputant on intricate questions in philosophy. He defeated Vakpati Bhatta, a great scholar of that time, in argument. He ascended the Savajna Pitha in Kashmir. It is said that he entered the Dattatreya cave in the Atreya Mountains in the Himalayas on Amavasya in the month of Ashada of the cyclic year Slddharti (840 AD) and that it was the end of his mortal career.
39 Sri Satchidvilaasendra Saraswati : He was the son of Kamaleswara of Kanyakubja and was known by the name Sripati before Sanyasa. For a long time, He lived in Padmapura. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Purnima in the month of Vaishaka of the cyclic year Nandana (873 AD).
40 Sri Mahadevendra Saraswati II: He was the son of one Kannayya, a native of Karnataka. His poorvasrama name was Sivaramabhatta. He was of a very handsome appearance and hence styled Sobhana and Ujjvala. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Shashti in the month of Vaisakha of the cyclic year Bhava (915 AD).
41 Sri Gangadharendra Saraswati II: He was the successor of Sri Mahadevendra and he was the son of Umesabhatta, a native of a village on the bank of the Bhima river. His former name was Appanna, and he was a Karnataka by nationality. He is said to have restored vision to the poet Rajasekhara, who had become blind, He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Prathama in the month of Sravana of the cyclic year Saumya (950 AD).
42 Sri Brahmanandaghanendra Saraswati : He was the son of one Subramanya. He was known by the name Narasambhatta prior to sanyasa. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Prathama in the month of Sravana of the cyclic year Eswara (978 AD).
43 Sri Anandaghanendra Saraswati : He was the son of Sudeva Bhatta, a native of a village in the Tungabhadra valley. His name before initiation into the ascetic order was Sankara Pandita. He attained external bliss at Kanchi on Sukla Navami in the month of Chaitra of the cyclic year Pramadi (1014 AD).
44 Sri Purnabhodhendra Saraswati II : His father was Siva, native of Karnataka region. His name in the former ashrama was Hari. He attained videha mukti at Kanchi on Krishna Trayodasi in the month of Proshtapada of the cyclic year Pramadi (1040 BC).
45 Sri Paramasivendra Saraswati I: He was the son of Sivasamba Panditar. His name before he became an ascetic was Srikanta. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Saptami in the month of Asvina of the cyclic year Sarvari (1061 AD).
46 Sri Sandranandabhodhendra Saraswati : He was the son of Surya. His former name was Somadeva and he spent a great part of his early life in attending on his Guru and predecessor Paramasiva I. He was the author of Katha-Sarit Sagara. He was presented with a palanquin wrought with pearls by King Bhoja of Dhara. He attained mukti at Arunachala Kshetra on Arriavasya in the month of Ashada of the cyclic year Esvara (1098 AD).
47 Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati IV: otherwise known as Chandrachuda. He was the son of Suka Deva, a native of Kundini riverside. He was a Dravida by nationality and his pre-sanyasa name was Srikantha. He went on tours of digvijaya and defeated in argument Hemacharya, a great Jain teacher in the court of Vidyalola Kumarapala, and author of Kumarapala Charita. This Acharya was also held in considerable veneration by Mankha, the author of Srikantha Charita,by Krishna Misra, the author of Prabhoda Chadrodaya and Guruvijaya and Jayadeva, author of Prasanna Raghavan, Chandraloka and Bhakti Kalpa Latika, and Suhala, and also by a physician of Kashmir and author of a medical lexicon, known as Vaidyabhidhana Chintamani, Jayadeva has celebrated the victory of Chandrasekhara over Hemacharya in his Bhakti Kalpalatika. Jayasimha, king of Kashmir, considered himself blessed in the service of this great Acharya. He attained mukti at Arunachala Kshetra on Amavasya in the month of Chaitra of the cyclic year Parthiva (1166 AD).
48 Sri Advaitanandabodhendra Saraswati : Also called Chidvilasa. He was the son of Premesa, who was a native of a village on the bank of the Pinakini. His poorvasrama name was Sitapati. He defeated in argument Sriharsha, author of Khandana Khanda Khadya and Naishada, as also Abhinava Gupta, a tantrik writer. He was the author of Brahmavidyabharana, Santi Vivarana and Gurupradipa. He attained mukti at Chidambaram on Sukla Dasami in the month of Jyeshta of the cyclic year Sidharthi (1200 AD).
49 Sri Mahadevendra Saraswati III : He was the son of Achyuta of Chhayavanam in the Tanjore District. His former name was Gurumurthi. He was a devout worshipper of Parasakti but not a tantrika. He attained mukti on the banks of the Gadilam River on Krishna Ashtami in the month of Sravana of the cyclic year Parabhava (1247 AD).
50 Sri Chandrachudendra Saraswati I: He was the son of Arunagiri and was known as Gangesa before sanyasa. Like his Guru Mahadeva, he was also an ardent devotee of Parasakti and offered one crore of oblations in a homa performed to propitiate Paradevata. He attained mukti on the banks of the Gadilam river on Sukla Shashti in the month of Jyesta of the cyclic year Durmukhi (1297 AD).
51 Sri Vidyateerthendra Saraswati : He was the son of one Sarangapani, a native of Bilvaranya. His pre-sanyasa name was Sarvajna Vishnu. Sayana, commentator of the Vedas, Madhava (later Vidyaranyaswami), Vedanta Desika, the Vaisnava scholar, and Bharati Krisna Tirtha, were all pupils of Vidya Tirtha. After reigning at the Kanchi Math for 73 years, he went to the Himalayas to perform tapas. After spending 15 years in tapas, he attained videha mukti there on Sukla Prathama in the month of Magha of the cyclic year Raktakshi (1385 AD).
52 Sri Sankaranandendra Saraswati : He was the son of Balachandra, a native of Madhyarjuna or Tiruvidaimarudur. His former name was Mahesa. Before succeeding to the pontifical throne, he had accompanied Vidya Tirtha to the Himalayas. It was Sankarananda who was largely instrumental in the founding of eight new Advaita Mathas in Karnataka. He was the author of Dipikas on Isa, Kena, Prasna and Brhadaranyaka Upanishads. He was the author of Atma Purana and a commentary on the Bhagavat Gita. He vigorously combated the aggressive propaganda carried on by Vaisnava and Madwa sectarians. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Prathama in the month of Vaisakha of the cyclic year Durmukhi (1417 AD).
53 Sri Purnananda Sadasivendra Saraswati: He was a native of Nagaranya. He was the son of one Naganatha. He went on a tour to Nepal and was accorded royal honours by the King of Nepal. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Dasami in the month of Jyesta of the cyclic year Pingala (1498 A.D).
54 Sri Vyasachala Mahadevendra Saraswati : He was the son of Kamesvara and Kamalamba who belonged to Kanchi. His pre-sanyasa name was Kuppanna. He is the author of a Sankara Vijaya. He attained mukti at Vyasachala on the first day of the cark fortnight of Ashada in the cyclic year Akshaya (1507 AD).
55 Sri Chandrachudhendra Saraswati II : He was a native of Asmachala, near Manimuktar river in South Arcot District. He was the son of Purari and Srimati. His former name was Arunagiri. He was a Dravida Brahmana. He attained mukti at Kanchi on Sukla Ekadasi in the month of Meena of the cyclic year Swabhanu (1524 AD).
56 Sri Sarvajna Sadasiva Bhodhendra Saraswati : He was the son of Chiruta Chikkanna, a native of a village on the banks of the north Pennar. He was the Guru of Pravira Setupati Raja of Ramnad. It is said that he was the author of Svatma Nirupana. He attained mukti at Rameswaram on Sukla Ashtami in the month of Chaitra of the cyclic year Vilambi (1539 AD).
57 Sri Paramasivendra Saraswati II : He was the son of Parameswara, native of a village on the bank of the river Pampa. He was known as Sivaramakrishna before Sanyasa. He was the Guru of the great Sadasiva Brahmendra, the author of the Gururatna malika and the great Brahma Jnani. The greatness of Paramasivendra may be gauged from the fact that Sadasiva Brahmendra used to carry the sandals of the Acharya always on his head. And the greatness of Sadasiva Brahmendra may also be understood by an incident, which is recounted in popular tradition, Sadasiva steeped in the bliss of Brahman, was wandering about as an Avadhuta, to all appearances like a mad man. Some one reported to Paramasivendra that Sadasiva had gone mad. The Acharya is reported to have answered "I wish I had but a touch of that madness". So great indeed was Paramasivendra that Sadasiva Brahmendra has immortalised immortalised him in his Atma Vjdya Vilasa. This Acharya wrote a commentary on Siva Gita. He attained mukti at Svetaranya (Tiruvenkadu) in Tanjore District on Sukla Dasami in the month of Sravana of the cyclic year Parthiva (1586 AD).
58 Sri Atma Bodhendra Saraswati : He was a native of Vruddhachala, and son of one Viswamakhi. His pre-sanyasa name was Visvesvara. He toured extensively and stayed at Benares for a long time. He wrote a Bhasya on the Sri Rudram. It was Atma Bodha that directed Sadasiva Brahmendra to write the Gururatna Malika. He attained mukti on the banks of the river South Pinakini, known in Tamil as Then Pennai on Krishna Ashtami in the month of Tula of the cyclic year Eswara (1638 AD).
59 Sri Bhagavannama Bodhendra Saraswati : He was born in Mandana Misra Agraharam at Kanchi as the son of one Kesava Panduranga. Bhoddendra's former name was Purushottama. It was he who stressed the efficacy of devotion as a means to liberation in Kali. He therefore undertook the great task of Nama Siddhanta, or establishing the supreme efficacy of reciting the names of Bhagavan in many of his writings, chiefly in Namamrta Rasayana and Namamrta Rasodaya. His mission of Nama Siddhanta was pursued with equal vigor by Sridhara Venkatesa, or Ayyaval of Tiruvisainallur and by Sadguru Swami of Marudanallur. It was the Nama Siddhanta of Bodhendra that was ultimately responsible for the evolution of Bhajana Sampradaya as an institution in the religious life of the Hindu community in South India.
Bodhendra performed Tatanka Pratistha at Jambukeswaram and while returning to Kanchi he attained videha mukti at Govindapuram on Full Moon day in the month of Proshtapada of the cyclic year Prajotpatti (1692 AD). It is said the spiritual presence of Bodhendra still abides at his Adhisthana at Govindapuram. It is said that in the calm silence of the night a melodious voice uttering Rama Nama is heard rising from subdued tones to a crescendo, and then fading into silence again.
60 Sri Advaitatma Prakasendra Saraswati : He was also known as Govinda. He was the son of Parasurama, a native of a village adjoining the river Vasistha. His former name was Sruti-Pandita. For some time, he lived in Govindapuram where his predecessor had attained mukti. He was held in very great veneration by Sahaji, , the King of Tanjore. He attained mukti at the village Ambi, near Kanchi on Krishna Dwitiya in the month of Chaitra of the cyclic year Svabhanu (1704 AD). His brindavan at Ambi is in daily worship.
61 Sri Mahadevendra Saraswati IV: He was previously known as Narayana. He was a great yogi. It was during his pontificate that Atma Bodha wrote his commentary Susama on the Gururatna Malika. He attained mukti at Tiruvottiyur, now a part of Chehnai on Sukla Navami in the month of Jyesta of the cyclic year Krothana (1746 ,AD).
62 Sri ChandrasekharendraSaraswati V: Kanchi was involved in the Karnatic wars and peaceful existence there had become impossible. Hence the Acharyas of Kamakoti Peetha decided on migrating south though Kanchi still figured as the nominal headquarters. The golden image of Kamakshi (Bangaru Kamakshi) had already been carried away by the sthanikas of the temple first to Udayarpalayam, and later to Tanjore where it has been permanently installed. The Acharya Chandrasekhara himself acceded to the request of Pratapa Simha, Rajah of Tanjore (1740-63) and took up his permanent headquarters at Tanjore. But Kumbakonam, on the banks of the sacred river Kaveri, was found more suitable and shortly thereafter the Acharya shifted to Kumbakonam. Chandrasekhara attained mukti at Kumbakonam on Sukla Prathama in the month of Pushya of the cyclic year Subhakrt (1783 AD)
63 Sri Mahadevendra Saraswati V: He was a great yogi. His former name was Anna Srauti. He was a native of Kumbakonam. He attained mukti at Kumbakoriam on Sukla Dwadasi in the month of Ashada of the cyclic year Srimukha {1813 AD).
64 Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati VI: He was known as Venkatasubramanya Dikshita prior to his sanyasa and belonged to the talented family of the great Govinda Dikshita, the Brahmana minister of Tanjore, who is still lovingly remembered as "Ayyan". He was a great adept in Mantra Sastra. The Acharya caused repairs to the temple of Sri Kamakshi at Kanchi and performed kumbhabhishekham on 22nd January 1840 AD. He got the tatankas (ear-oranaments) of Devi Akilandesvari in the Tiruvanaikoil and re-consecrated them on the ear of the goddess in 1848 AD. He attained mukti at Kumbakonam on Sukla Prathama in the month of Karthika of the cyclic year Sadarana (1851 AD).
65 Sri Sudarsana Mahadevendra Saraswati : Son of Seshadri Sastri of Madhyarjuna was known as Mahalingam prior to his sanyasa. He toured extensively and attained siddhi at Ilaiyattangudi on Amavasya in the month of Phalguna of the cyclic year Virodhi (1891 AD). A Temple has been built by the Nattukottai Chettiars on his samadhi.
66 Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati VII : He was the son of Sitarama Sastri. This Acharya's poorvasrama name was Swaminatha. He was a native of Udayambakkam. He attained mukti at Kalavai in the year 1907 on Krishna Ashtami in the month of Magha of the cyclic year Parabhava (1907 AD).
67 Sri Mahadevendra Saraswati V: He was the son of Narasimha Sastri and Lakshmi and was known as Lakshmi Narasimha prior to sanyasa. He occupied the Peetha for seven days only and attained mukti at Kalavai on Sukla Prathama in the month of Phalguna of the cyclic year Parabhava (1907 AD).
68 The 68th Pontiff His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal
Sri Swaminathan (born at Villupuram on 20th May 1894 -Anuradha Star) was taken to Kalavai in his 13th year, when he was studying at Tindivanam, to be initiated into ascetic order and ordained as the 68th Acharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Math. He was given the Sanyasa name Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati. He was affectionately called "Mahaswamigal" and "Walking God". He adorned the Peetam from February 13, 1907. True to the tradition of the Peetam set by Adi Sankara, Mahaswamigal travelled throughout the country by foot or by the traditional palanquin. He also stood by the national sentiments in discarding "foreign cloth" (He immersed them in water instead of setting fire) and started wearing Khadi. He set the trend to create Trusts for achieving the objectives of the Peetham. His foremost concern was preservation of the Vedas, tradition and dharma. He advocated simplicity, shunned pomp, ostentation and extravagance. His exposition of Vedanta, sastras and the dharmic duties attracted scholars and laymen alike, from far and wide, for it has always been rich in values and simple in understanding. Great humorist he had the keen acumen to relate root words of all the languages to Sanskrit highlighting its greatness. He attained moksha at Kancheepuram on 8th January 1994 (Dhanur, Krishna Dwadasi) in his Centenary year.
69 The 69th Pontiff His Holiness Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal
Sri Subramaniyam, born on July 18, 1935 at Irulneekki in Thanjavur District had Veda Adyayanam at Tiruvidaimarudur under the direction of Mahaswamjgal and was initiated into Sanyasa on March 22, 1954 and was declared as successor Acharya and given the Sanyasa name Sri Jayendra Saraswati Sri Pada. In the footsteps of the Mahaswamigal, He too undertook yatra throughout the country. He attracted people from every nook and corner. He intensified the activities of the Matam to cover new social objectives -education, health, employment, temple renovation etc. It is due to His untiring efforts, Kamakoti Peetam established religious and social institutions in many parts of the country. Kamakoti Peetam has now become a beehive of socio- religious renaissance. The King of Nepal has erected an arch "Welcome to the only Hindu Kingdom in the world" at the instance of Sri Jayendra Saraswati, in 1988. The only Sankaracharya after the Adi Sankara to visit Manasarovar and Kailash is Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal, in 1998; there He installed the idol of Adi Sankara. He had the unique distinction in being honoured by both Nepal and Chinese Governments. In known recent history, He is the only Sankaracharya to visit Dhaka in Bangladesh in June 2000. In honouring His visit, Sri Dhakeswari Temple named the entrance to the temple as "Sankaracharya Gate". His most notable contribution yet is the founding of the Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Viswa Mahavidyalaya, a Deemed University in the name of His Guru.
70 The 7Oth Pontiff His Holiness Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswati Swamigal
Sri Sankaranarayanan, born on March 18, 1969, Periyapalayam, a village near Arani in Tiruvallore District, was taken as Acharya to the Peetham as Sri Sankara Vijayendra Saraswati, on 29th May 1983, while He was studying at Polur. Under the tutelage of His Guru and Parama Guru, the rare fortune for a Peetathipadi, He also travelled throughout the country including remote places like Megalaya. He is deeply worried about the worsening moral and ethical values of the youth and the deteriorating educational standards and vanishing cultural and artistic talents in the country. He has initiated a number of measures to draw the youth, train them in all these aspects along with modern education. His keen interest to preserve our ancient literature has brought out many publications through the Matam in Indian and foreign languages for the benefit of devotees. He has conducted a number of training centres for youth in the name of Bakti Kendra, Dharma Kendra, Karma Kendra, etc, to inculcate in them our values and traditions.

 

       

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