|Sri Raghaveshwara Bharathi|
|Guru||Shree Shree Raghavendra Bharati Swamiji, the 35th Pontiff Shri Ramachandrapura Mutt|
Raghaveshwara Bharathi (officially, Shree Shree Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya Srimad Raghaveshwara Bharathi Swamiji), is the present pontiff (Guru) of Shri Ramachandrapura Mutt, Hosanagara in Shimoga district in the Indian state of Karnataka. He is the 36th pontiff of the mutt. He took sannyasa from Raghavendra Bharati, the previous pontiff, in April 1994. He is a follower of Advaita Vedanta.
Birth and childhood
Sannyasa and after
On 28 April 1999, Bharathi was made seer following the death of Raghavendra Bharathi.
He stresses the need to protect Vedic culture, and its activities along with other social activities. He started and his matha maintains many educational institutions  including Shri Bharathi Vidyalaya in Bangalore, Shri Bharathi College at Mangalore, Shri Bharathi Vidyapeetha in Badiyadka, many other institutions, temples and Mutts including Ramashrama in Girinagar-Bangalore. Ramakrishna Kalika Mutt in Ambagiri, Sirsi and Sri Rama Temple in Chokadi-Bellare-Sullia were later merged with his Mutt as they were impressed by his work and ability.
Under his leadership, the mutt also runs Shree Bharathi Gurukula Vishwa Vidyalaya a residential University on the lines of Takshashila, on the banks of Sharavathi in Hosanagara (in the campus of main mutt) for Vedic and Sanskrit studies along with Shree Bharathi Gurukula, a Vedic school.
One of the plans instituted by him in the Mutts is Musti Bikshe Yojana wherein each devotee keeps a fist full of rice daily as gift to the Mutt, and collectively later feeds the needy and hunger, as old age orphans, hostels for homeless or at the time of natural calamity, etc. He had good momentum and was able to bring in a good relationship among different Mutts and sages. As result of this, in most of events organised by the Mutt a good number of different religious leaders, sanyasis, peetadipathis, joined in.
He frequently conducts Rama Katha (Story of Rama) for the general public — a blend of discourse, dance, music and drawing — all that depict various incidents of Ramayana at various places.
Bharathi has shown his concern to protect greenery and environment of Western Ghats by leading a protest march against mining in and around Kodachadri. For opposing mining activities, he has to face the ire of mining agencies. Under his Project Vanajeevana Yajna traditional and medicinal plants have been planted.
Preservation of indigenous cows
Bharathi has campaigned for the preservation of indigenous cow breeds through a programme called "Kamadugha". On 22 April 2007, he led a nine-day Vishwa Go-Sammelan (World Cow Conference).
Projects are on to start 108 goshalas, of which few are already started in Karnataka, Maharastra, Kerala, Tamil Nadu. In fact, this work is highly noted, as so far no institutions in India, govt or NGO's, had started the work. The Mutt has many breeds in its collection. Work is being done to preserve the same for future. Some rare breeds as Amrithmahal, Vechur, which count less than 100 in numbers, are protected here . He has been working stressing the need to promote products other than milk products, as Go-ark, medicines from cow, Doopa, etc.
He also led and inspired the 108-day-long (30 September 2009 – 17 January 2010 ) 'Vishwa Mangala Gou Grama Yathra’ with the support of various saints and right-wing Hindu political organizations, such as Vishva Hindu Parishad and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The yathra covered the whole of India to highlight the importance of preservation and protection of cow with the main demands being 1) to declare cow as the national animal of India 2) to formulate laws to preserve various breeds of Indian cows. It ended with the one of the biggest mass signature campaign signed by over 83 million people across India calling for the end of cruelty to cow and to declare cow a national animal which is then submitted to President of India on 31 January 2010. A 18-member delegation which visited the President of India was led by Bharathi including yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, Pejavara Vishvesha Tirtha, many other senior saints and Shankaracharyas, religious leaders from Islam and Christianity, cow scientists, experts, organic farmers and leaders belonging to various organisations of the country .
In the year 2010, there was an attempt to defame him by making a fake CD using a look-like of Raghaveshwara Bharathi. The local police have arrested four people in this connection. There was also a controversy over his organization taking charge of the Mahabaleshwara Temple in Gokarna, in Uttara Kannada district. The Government of Karnataka is accused of transferring 'public property' to a 'private' player. There were reports of apparent rift between the former administrative powers and Sri Raghaveshwara. The High Court of Karnataka has dismissed the petition objecting the temple transfer paving the way for legal ownership. Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat visited ashram and laid foundation stone for a Hanuman temple and swamiji called her "a pure soul" which drew attention of media. The mutt is said to have conducted Puja (Hinduism) in her name and the Mutt has clarified that it regularly conducts Puja in the name of devotees and does not discriminate devotees based on profession, caste or gender.
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