Jayendra Saraswathi

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Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal

Jayendra Saraswathi (born July 18, 1935 as Subramanyam Mahadeva Iyer) is the 69th Shankaracharya Guru and head or pontiff (Pïțhādhipati) of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham.[1]

Subramanyam Mahadeva Iyer was nominated by his predecessor, Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal, as his successor and was given the title Jayendra Saraswathi on March 22, 1954. He is one of the leading religious figures in Hinduism today.[2]

Foundations[edit]

On account of his sacerdotal office and his profound knowledge of the Hindu religion, he remains widely respected. The Kanchi Math has grown into a strong organization under him. Further, the Kanchi Mutth is also widely patronised by many NRIs, particularly from United States.

The Kanchi Mutth runs many schools, eye clinics and hospitals. Sankara Nethralaya in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and Sankardeva Netralay in Guwahati, Assam are formed by him, as well as the Children's Hospital, Hindu Mission Hospital and Tamil Nadu Hospital.

Activism[edit]

The Jayalalithaa government in Tamil Nadu enacted a law to ban religious conversion, in keeping with the Shankaracharya's oft-expressed concerns.[3] The Tamil Nadu government also started to enforce a pre-existing ban on animal sacrifice in temples,[4][dead link] echoing concerns raised by the pontiff.

Controversies[edit]

In 2002 and 2004, two different cases were filed against Sri Jayendra Saraswathi (first accused), Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi (second accused) and others; the trial proceedings of the Sankararaman murder case. The cases are: 1. (2004) For allegedly ordering the murder of Sankararaman, a temple manager and a former devotee of Kanchi mutth in 2004.;[5] 2. (2002) For allegedly ordering murderous assault (by hiring thugs) on auditor Radhakrishnan who questioned the gold that was meant for Kamakshi temple. Only the second case is still under trial.[6]

Principal Sessions court at Puducherry gave verdict on the first case Sankararaman murder case on 27-Nov-2013 and all 23 accused were acquitted by the court.[7] The judge held that the witnesses failed to support the prosecution case that the two Sankaracharyas were part of a conspiracy to eliminate the temple official in September 2004. He also said the witnesses, including Sankararaman's daughter, failed to identify the accused in the court. None of them identified any accused in the court and no incriminating evidence was made out against the accused, the judge noted.

Anuradha Ramanan, a Tamil writer and novelist, complained and filed a suit against Sri Jayendra Saraswathi on 2004 for allegedly asking her for sexual favors. The case was closed on account of her death in 2010.[8]

During 2012, Ranjitha, a South Indian actor, filed a defamation case against Sri Jayendra for making scandalous comments against her linking her with Nityananda, another monk. The court case is yet to be completed.[9]

References[edit]

External links[edit]