The life and times of Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi

File photo: Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION Web Team Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India Feb 28, 2018, 06.58 AM (IST)

Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal was the 69th Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham. He was the guru and peetadhipathi of the Peetham. He was born on 18th July 1935. His original name was Subramanyam Mahadeva Iyer.

Born in Tamil Nadu's Thiruvarur district, Jayendra Saraswathi was chosen as the successor to Parmacharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi when he was only 19.

He was appointed as the Peedathipathi by his predecessor Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Swamigal. It was he who gave him the title of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi on 22nd March 1954. 

He had profound knowledge and his sacerdotal office had won him wide respect all over India.

He had mastered the Rig Veda, the Dharma Shastras, the Upanishads, Vyakarana, Vedanta, Nyaya, Tarka Shastras and all Hindu scriptures.

He had an important role in shaping Kanchi Math as the strong organization. 

There are many schools, clinics and hospitals run by Kanchi Mutt. This has established Shankara Nethralaya in Chennai and in Guwahati in Assam. Also, it runs the Children's Hospital, Hindu Mission Hospital and Tamil Nadu Hospital.

Jayendra Saraswathi was credited to have opened more than dozens of schools, colleges, hospitals and child care centres across the country. The Kanchi Mutt provides free or subsidised services in these institutions.

In 2004, Jayendra Saraswathi was arrested in connection with the murder of a Sankararaman, manager of a temple in Kanchipuram. Nine years later, he was cleared of the charges. The trial court found "no incriminating evidence" after the family of the deceased "failed to identify the accused".

Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi had already been chosen by Sri Jayendra Saraswathi as his successor, who will be anointed as the 70th head of the Mutt.