Jagadguru Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya is no more. He died on February 28. Jayendra Saraswathi succeeded Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi as the 69th Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in 1994. Jayendra Saraswathi was born as Subramanyam to Mahadeva Iyer and Saraswathi Ammal on July 18, 1935. He completed schooling at Irulneeki primary school and at a middle school at nearby Aathichapuram village. Then he shifted to a vedha padasala at Thiruvanaikoil in Trichy. He visited the village on holidays and used to play normal games marble and ‘killi-thandu’ like other children of his age.Chandrashekarendra Saraswathi selected him as his successor, when Jayendra was just 19.
Saraswathi was head of the mutt established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 5th Century AD. He had his spiritual tutelage from ‘Maha Periyava’ and travelled the length and breadth of the country with his guru. He delivered religious discourse besides involving himself in various spiritual and social activities as well. Under his guidance, the mutt started several schools and hospitals.Jayendra Saraswathi ensured that the Mutt involved itself in various social activities. Thanks to his efforts, the mutt today runs several schools, eye clinics and hospitals. He also managed to establish a direct connect with the people.
Although the mutt is primarily a religious organisation, Jayendrar, whose character was underpinned by a strident social consciousness, had both the conviction and courage to steer the mutt into territories into which it had not ventured before. Jayendrar found strength from his own inner conviction and the need for both the mutt and the Hindu religion to reach out to the poor and downtrodden. He was still strong on religious practices and their understanding — it was one of the reasons he was handpicked as the 69th pontiff of Kanchi mutt when he was just 19 years of age. It took enormous amount of courage for Jayendra Saraswathi to renounce the world including his parents at the age of 19 in order to become true spiritual guru.He travelled with his senior across India barefoot to spread awareness on Hindu culture.
But he could make the two unlike poles reside comfortably within him. And that is because he was also a man of vision, who had a grasp of his own destiny.
“Deeply anguished by the passing away of Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Jagadguru Pujyashri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya. He will live on in the hearts and minds of lakhs of devotees due to his exemplary service and noblest thoughts. Om Shanti to the departed soul.”
Anguished to learn about the sad demise of Shankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi ji of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. Generations will remember him for his teachings, wisdom and exemplary work towards educating the poor. Shankaracharya Sri Jayendra Saraswathi ji was a spiritual beacon, who contributed immensely to the society and served mankind. My deepest condolences to his followers across the world. Om Shanti Shanti Shanti”.