Jayendra Saraswathi

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Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal
Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal
Sri Jayendra Saraswati Swamigal
Born M.Subrahmanyam
(1935-07-18) 18 July 1935 (age 80)
Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu
Nationality Indian

Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal (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 divinely ordained pontifical title Sri Jayendra Saraswathi on March 22, 1954. He is one of the leading religious figures in Hinduism today.[2]


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 established by his holiness, as well as the Children's Hospital, Hindu Mission Hospital and Tamil Nadu Hospital and countless other public welfare institutions.


Sri Jayendra Saraswathi swamigal was caught in controversies when the mutth could not have his darshan in 1987 during Chaturmasya vrata for a few weeks.[3] VIPs like R Venkataraman, former President of India and others showed their concern till Swamigal gave darshan finally at Talacauvery[4] and then Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal welcomed him back.

In 2002 and 2004, in a quirktwist of fate, two different cases were filed against Sri Jayendra Saraswathi (first accused), Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi (second accused) and others; the trial proceedings are still going on in the courts. 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 missing gold of 83 kg that was meant for Kamakshi temple. The cases are still under trial.[6]

Final verdict on Sankararaman murder case was given 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.


The Jayalalithaa government in Tamil Nadu enacted a law to ban religious conversion, in keeping with the Shankaracharya's oft-expressed concerns.[8] The Tamil Nadu government also started to enforce a pre-existing ban on animal sacrifice in temples,[9][dead link] echoing concerns raised by the pontiff.


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Religious titles
Preceded by
Sri Chandrashekarendra Saraswati Swamigal
Kanchi Kāmakoti Pīṭādipati
Elected on: 22 March 1954
Succeeded on: 9 January 1995
Vijayendra Saraswati Swamigal