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Swami Swaroopanand laid to rest in MP ashram; New heads for Dwarka, Jyotir

Swami Swaroopanand breathed his last at his ashram in Narsinghpur district at around 3:30 pm on Sunday. He was outspoken on various issues of national life and had a host of Congress leaders as his followers. He was laid to rest on Monday.

BHOPAL, Sept 12: The head of the Dwarka and Jyotir mutts, Sri Sankaracharya Swaroopanand Saraswathi Swamigal, who died of cardiac arrest at his ashram in Madhya Pradesh on Sunday, was laid to rest on Monday. He was 99.

He breathed his last at his ashram in Narsinghpur district at around 3:30 pm on Sunday. A diabetic, he had been ailing for a long time. He was also on dialysis for a couple of months.

Swami Sadanand Saraswati and Swami Avimukteshwaranand Saraswati will be the new Sankaracharyas of the Dwarka–Sharada peeth and Jyotish peeth, respectively, it has been declared by an aide of Sankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand, Subodhanand Maharaj.

“His bhoo Samadhi in sitting position which is given to ‘sanyasis’ will take place around 3-4 pm at his Paramhansi Ganga Ashram, Jyoteshwar, in Gotegaon in Narsinghpur on Monday,” an ashram release had said earlier.

Sri Swaroopanand Saraswati was born as Pothiram Upadhyay in Dighori village near Jabalpur in Seoni district of Madhya Pradesh in 1924.

He had left his home on sanyas at the age of 9. He also took part in the Quit India movement in 1942 and was nicknamed “Revolutionary Sadhu”. He was jailed twice for participating in the freedom struggle.

He became the head of the Dwarka peeth in 1981 and took the title of Sankaracharya. He also contributed to the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

He was outspoken on various issues of national life and had several of Congress leaders as his followers. He once questioned the status of Sai Baba of Shridhi as there is no mention of the Baba in the Sastras.

“The news about the death of Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, revered Shankaracharya of Paschim Amnaya Shri Sharada Peeth, established by Adi Shankrachayra, is very saddening. Revered Swamiji was among the tallest figures of Sanatan Dharma and ascetic tradition,” Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan tweeted.

Sankaracharya and Sharada Peeth

Sankaracharya is originally a title bestowed on the seers of the five mutts (maths or monasteries) established by Adi Sankara, the propounder of Advaita Vedanta, the doctrine of non-dualism, in various directions of the Indian subcontinent in order to propagate Sanatana Dharma. The five mutts are Badrikashram Jyotir peeth in the north (near Badrinath in Uttarakhand), Dwarka Sharada peeth in the west (Gujarat), Govardhan peetha in Puri in the east (Odisha), Sringeri Sharada peetham near Tala Kaveri in Chikkamagalur district (Karnataka) and Kanchi peetham in Kanchipuram near Chennai in Tamil Nadu.

Adi Sankara who established the Sankaracharya tradition had attained the title of Jnana Peeth at Sharada peeth, established in Neelum Valley in 273 BC. It is situated in occupied Kashmir, 10 km from the Line of Control or 130 km from Srinagar. The deity comprises of three aspects of goddess Shakti: Sharada (goddess of learning), Saraswati (goddess of knowledge) and Vagdevi (goddess of speech). South Indian Brahmins recite the Sharada stotram in their morning prayers: Namaste Sarada Devi Kashmira mandala vasini.

Sharada peeth (the seat of Sharada, the Kashmiri name for the Hindu goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning) was both a temple and centre of learning or university. By the 8th century it was one of the most famous temples and pilgrim centres of the subcontinent. It is described in Al-Biruni's chronicle.

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