20 July 2006

The Sankaracharya

Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, the 68th Sankaracharya of Kanchi, used to be referred to as 'Periyaval', the great one. He is remembered as one of the foremost religious teachers of the 20th Century and for his work towards upholding the Eternal Dharma, revitalising the study of the Vedas and for unifying Hinduism. The Sankaracharya always had a great love for Arunachala and in December 1929, visited Tiruvannamalai and attended the Deepam festival. He stayed for more than a month, and whilst at Arunachala, performed regular giripradakshina, attended pujas and ceremonies at Arunachaleswarar Temple and also gave spiritual discourses.

It was in 1931 whilst staying at Chingleput (Tamil Nadu), that a famous meeting with Paul Brunton occurred. The details of the meeting are mentioned in Bruntons, 'A Search in Secret India', a book which has been responsible for bringing many pilgrims and seekers to Arunachala. It was during that meeting the Sankaracharya advised the Englishman to go to Arunachala, as it was there he would meet his spiritual master and Guru, Sri Ramana Maharshi.

No comments: