Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi died at the age of 82 in Kancheepuram from Cardiac arrest. He had a chequered career as a pontiff. Handpicked by His Holiness Mahaperiyava, he was selected as the 69th pontiff. He took up the charge of Kanchi Mutt in 1994 after the demise of His Holiness Mahaperiyava.
His Samadhi will be placed close to Chandrashekarendra Saraswati, his predecessor and guide. The Mutt announced the news of demise on their website.
“The 69th Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Jagadguru Pujyashri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal attained Siddhi at 9 am today – Shukla Trayodashi – 28 Feb 2018 at Sri Kanchi Kamakotii Peetam Sankara Matam, Kanchipuram.”
The Kanchi Mutt further tweeted:
The 69th Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Jagadguru Pujyashri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya Swamigal attained Siddhi at 9.00 am today – Shukla Trayodashi – 28 Feb. 2018 at Sri Kanchi Kamakotii Peetam Sankara Matam, Kanchipuram.
— KanchiMutt (@KanchiMatham) February 28, 2018
Respectable political figures, celebrities, and reputed personalities from all walks of life have extended their condolences.
Here are some of the tweets:
Deeply anguished by the passing away of Acharya of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam Jagadguru Pujyashri Jayendra Saraswathi Shankaracharya. He will live on in the hearts and minds of lakhs of devotees due to his exemplary service and noblest thoughts. Om Shanti to the departed soul. pic.twitter.com/pXqDPxS1Ki
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) February 28, 2018
I pay my respects to Kanchi peethadhipathi Shri Jayendra Saraswati who attained moksha. His contribution for the welfare of mankind and in promoting spirituality will always be an inspiration for others. #JayendraSaraswathi pic.twitter.com/2gcjDFgJmV
— VicePresidentOfIndia (@VPSecretariat) February 28, 2018
Deeply saddened by the demise of Jayendra Saraswati ji, the Shankaracharya of the Kanchipuram Kamakoti Peetam math. With his demise we have lost a great saint of present times, who has been a guiding force for the millions. My prayers for the liberated soul.
— Arun Jaitley (@arunjaitley) February 28, 2018
We regret to hear about the passing away of Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi. May his soul rest in peace. Our thoughts go out to his close associates and millions of his followers around the world.Advertisement
— Congress (@INCIndia) February 28, 2018
Due to the demise of respected Jagadguru Poojyashri Jayaendra Saraswati Shankaracharya, as a mark of respect Kaala teaser will be released on 2nd March. Apologies to all the fans who were eagerly waiting for the teaser.
— Dhanush (@dhanushkraja) February 28, 2018
Jayendra was different in many aspects from the other Shankaracharyas. Here are some of the facts:
1. His birth name
The birth name of Kanchi Peetadhipathi Shri Jayendra Saraswati was Subramaniam Mahadeva Iyer. He was born on 18th July 1935.
2. Selection and tenure
At the age of 19, he was selected as the successor to Chandrashekarendra Saraswati. He was considered as one of the most influential spiritual leaders of his time. Not only that, he also created a sound financial platform for the Kanchi Mutt.
3. Expansion of Mutt
The institution of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam expanded its horizon far and wide during his tenure. They entered and explored the education and healthcare sector. Alongside, he also exhorted the Hindus to maintain their existing temples instead of building more.
4. Controversy over murder
In 2004, he was arrested in connection with the murder of Sankararaman. Sankararaman was a manager at the temple who raised many accusations against the Kanchi seers and the Mutt. He was in jail till 2005 before being released on bail. However, in 2013 he was acquitted of the charges by Pondicherry trial court along with 22 others.
5. The Ayodhya dispute
In 2002, he decided to act as a mediator for the Ayodhya dispute. He raised the expectation that a solution is possible that is acceptable to both Hindu and Muslim communities. However, after trying for few years he withdrew himself from the process.
6. The act of disappearance
He disappeared from the Mutt in 1987 for three days leaving behind all his books and sacred pieces. He was traced in Karnataka. However, the reason for his disappearance is still unknown.
7. His successor
Vijayendra Saraswathi, a junior pontiff succeeded Jayendra Saraswathi. He is appointed as the 70th pontiff of the Mutt.