Jagadguru Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamiji was the 33rd Shankaracharya of Dakshinamaya Sringeri Sharada Peetham the foremost of the Maths established by Sri Adi Shankaracharya a jivanmukta a paragon of the shastras the Jagadguru adorned the sacred Peetham from 1879 to 1912. He was a great yogin and a siddha of a very high order. His devotion towards his guru and the gods was exemplary. The highest truths of philosophy he would unravel in a marvelously easy way for his audience. Despite his manifold duties as the head of the hallowed Sri Sharada Peetham he led an extraordinary life of renunciation.
History will gratefully remember the Jagadguru as the re discover of Kalady in Kerala the birth place of Sri Adi Shankaracharya and as the one instrumental in the consecration of the temples for Sri Shankara and Goddess Sharadamba there. It was the Mahaswamiji who instituted the celebration of Shankara Jayanti festival in the country. His Holiness also instrumental in bringing out the collected works of Adi Shankaracharya in print form. Himself a great poet the Jagadguru composed hundreds of verses in praise of Gods and Guru in Sanskrit they were spontaneous outpourings emerging out of his intense devotion. A collection of his works has been published under the title Bhakti sudha tarangini. He established many schools and colleges for the spread of Sanskrit and the shastras. He motivated maharajas and statemen of his time to contribute their might towards the protection of Santana dharma. This book walks the reader through the sacred life of the Mahaswamiji right from his childhood his renunciation his tours his re discovering Kalady consecrating the temples there and up to his videhamukti.
Twelve centuries back, Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya established His first and foremost Peetham, the Dakshinamnaya Sringeri Sri Sharada Peetham for the sustenance and propagation of5anatana—Dharma. Since then, the Peetham has been adorned by an unbroken chain of Acharyas who have been erudite scholars and dispassionate saints. Out of their innate compassion, the Jagadgurus have been` incessantly teaching the path of Dharma to the multitude of Their disciples, through Their very lives, Their teachings and by the establishment of temples, Pathashalas and other charitable institutions.
The 33rd Acharya of the Peetham, Jagadguru Sri Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamaiji was a great yogi, a repository of Shastratic knowledge, an expert in Mantra-Shastra and an epitome of compassion. A life sketch of the Mahaswamiji was first published in Kannada by the Peetham in 1924. It was penned by Gara Seva Praveena Sri Srikantha Shastri, the then Sarvadhikari (agent) of the Math who had the fortune of serving the Mahaswamiji for many years. It is this work that forms the primary source of this book. While compiling this book excerpts form an abridged English translation of the Tamil version of the aforesaid Kannada book by Sri B V Kameshwara Iyer titled the Life of Sri Jagadguru Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Swami of Sringeri have been included.
One is able to see several striking similarities between the great master the Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya and the Mahaswamiji when one reads about their respective lives and accomplishments. No wonder the mahaswmiji was extolled as Abhinava Shankara a reincarnation of the great master Sri Adi Shankaracharya.
It was the Mahaswamiji who rediscovered the birthplace of Sri Adi Shakaracharya at Kalady. Ever since the rediscovery a perennial stream of spiritual influence stemming from Kalady has been flowing and flooding out land. If India and the world today celebrate Shankara jayanti Commemorating the birth of Sri Adi Shankaracharya it is solely due to the Mahaswamiji who instituted this celebration way back in the late 19th century. It is again due to the Mahaswamiji efforts that we have with us the complete works of Sri Adi Shankaracharya.
This book also contains a brief life sketch of the Mahaswamiji’s Guru, Jagadguru Sri Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamiji (32nd Acharya of the Peetham) in the beginning. It was this revered Acharya who initiated the Mahaswamiji into Sannyasa at a tender age of 8 and groomed him.
This book also comprises a section in which the hymn Gurudvaya Abbeda Anusandhanam composed by the present Acharya of Sri Sringeri Sharada Peetham Jagadguru Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji has been presented. The hymn beautifully portrays the non difference between Sri Adi Shankaracharya and Sir Sacchidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharati Mahaswamiji.
It is very apt that this book is getting released on the special occasion of the centenary celebrations (23rd May 2010) of the rediscovery of Kalady and the kumbhabhisketam of the temple of Adi Shankaracharya and Goddess Sharadamba. Thanks to each one of the team members of Shankara Advaita Research Centre Sringeri who had worked in the publication of the book special thanks to a disciple for his tireless efforts while editing the contents of this book.
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