Sri Satchidanandendra Saraswati Swamiji (5 January 1880 – 5 August 1975) was the founder of the Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya in Holenarasipura, Hassan district, Karnataka, India. He was a great Vedantin of Advaitha Philosophy.
Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati (1880-1975) is without doubt one of the greatest exponents of traditional Advaita Vedanta in modern times. Born as Sri Yellambalase Subbarao, he worked as a school teacher in the Indian state of Karnataka. He gave many lectures and wrote many articles on the Vedanta in English, Kannada and Sanskrit. His books, articles and lectures have made an important impact on disciples, pandits, sadhus and also scholars in the field of classical Indian philosophy. Satchidanandendra Swamiji authored some 200 works, and he dedicated his life to teaching about the pristine pure Advaita Vedanta philosophy of Shankara.
Satchidanandendra Saraswati was a philosopher who dedicated all his life for the Vedanta sadhana and attained Brahma-jnana. He was known as a Jivanmukta sage. He was the best example of a Sanskrit saying, "One should spend one's life until sleep and until death only in Vedantic contemplation".
Having grown up in an orthodox South Indian Brahmin family, young Y. Subbaraya Sharma (as was his name prior to sannyasa) became attached to Vedanta and Hindu philosophy. In 1910 he was initiated into the study of Shankara´s scriptures by the Jagadguru Shankaracharya of Sringeri Peetham. He learnt Vedanta from Virupaksha Shastri (the guru of Swami Chandrasekhara Bharati) and K.A. Krishnaswamy Iyer. Swami Satchidanandendra Saraswati soon became well known for having shown that the later Vedantic tradition had in fact deviated from the teachings of the classical acharyas Gaudapada, Shankara and Sureshvara. This led to many fascinating discussions with learned pandits. In 1920 he founded the organisation Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya, which is still very active today. He was initiated into sannyasa in 1948. As a sannyasi, Satchidanandendra Swamiji lived a very simple and secluded life at his small ashram in Holenarsipur.
His Holiness Paramahamsa Sri Sri Satchidaanandendra Saraswathi Swamiji, the founder of Adhyaatma Prakaasha Kaaryaalaya at Holenarasipur (Hassan Dist., Karnataka State ) and its branches in Bangalore the author of over 250 reputed works on advaita philosophy in English, Sanskrit & Kannada, blessed the earth with his presence for ninety six useful years ( 1880 – 1975 ).
In the year 1915 when he was only thirty five years of age he noticed the accretions that had crept into Shankara Siddhantha, by the commentators and he felt the need to rediscover the real Shankara free from these accretions. He strove single handedly to propagate and popularize parishuddha shankara vEdanta siddhAnta. Age and ailments did not deter him. His works born out of intuitive experience are characterized by vast and deep scholarship, clear and precise perception. His authentic interpretation of Shankara has been greatly recognized in the East and the West. He was not just a rare and accomplished individual but a mighty and magnificent institution.
His sayings based on real Shankara are universal in appeal. For example -
1. VedAnta is a Science of Reality.
2. Anyone who is eager to know the true nature of the self can understand the teachings of Vedaanta.
3. VedAnta is a positive science founded on reason, intuition and universal experience, etc..
He was initiated in to Vedaanta by the then pontiff of ShringEri Sri Shivaabhinava Nrisimha Bharathi Swamiji, at Kaaladi and he had come under the influence of
saintly scholars such as Brahma Chaitanya Maharaj of Gondavali and Kurthukoti Mahabhagavatar. He received Rama-mantra initiation from the former and thus became his disciple.
The Karyaalaya founded by revered Swamiji in his former Ashrama is a registered public charitable institution. His Highness Sri Jayachamarajendra Odeyar,
the King of Mysore was the Paripalaka of the Karyalaya. Their Holinesses The Shankaracharyas of ShringEri, Dwaraka and Kanchi encouraged the institution by graciously granting some monetary help as a token of their recognition of the activities of the Karyalaya. More about the Karyalaya may be from a website,www.adhyatmaprakasha.org
Giving the Vedantic classes and lectures on prasthAnatrayee has been the regular and daily routine there. Swamiji has constructed a Digvijaya Rama Temple
at Holenarasipur Ashram to which daily services are rendered even today. Thus the institution is spreading the essence of Vedanta to all human beings which is everyone's birthright to know the real self or mOksha as stated by the great Shankara- anubhavaavasThaanatvaat bhUtavastu viShayatvaaachcha Brahmajnaanasya- (Br.Su. Bha.1-1-2)
The sole purpose of his life was to spread the real tradition - Shaankara Sampradaaya – of Vedanta i.e. AdhyArOpa apavAda prakriya as referred
by Shankara in Bhagavadgeeta Bhaasya and used throughout in his writings. Swamiji is the first person to notice & discover this in the Shaankara Bhaashya. He explained its significance and importance in understanding the message of prasthAnatrayee. His approach to the subject is analytical. He made a comprehensive and comparative study of all the Vedantic thinkers who lived prior to as well as later than Shankara.Some of his Magnum opuses are Prakriya Pratyabhijna, Mandukya Rahasya Vivrti, Sugama ( A commentary on Shankara's Adhyasa Bhasya) and Mulavidya-nirasa. Swamiji become internationally known even when he was alive.
Swamiji lived a full life engrossed always in Vedantic thoughts right from morning till he slept and till he left his mortal coil,
in accordance with the saying AsupterAmruteh kAlam nayed vEdanta chintayA quoted by H.H. Paramaachaarya of Kaanchi mutt in appreciation of him. His disciples and grand disciples, who are renunciates as well as house-holders, are continuing his tradition.
- mufirstrthy, Laksminarasimha (1973). Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalayada Itihasa (in Kannada). Holenarasipura: Adhyatma Prakasha Karyalaya.