Manas Ranjan Mahapatra

Shankaracharya is considered as the decision maker of Hindu Religion. But Puri Shankaracharya goes a bit far. Recent headline in the newspapers is, Puri Shankaracharya opposed the government decision to have a new airport at Puri as it will kill the grasslands. This takes me back to my visit to the Kanchi Kamakoti Shankar ashram at the Sangam City two years ago.

The Shankaracharya of Puri

Allahabad is a Relaxed City. Lord Hanuman came here and started relaxing at Ganga Ghat near the fort. It is said that Mother Ganges comes every rainy season to embrace her daughter and wash him with her water. My friend Prof Susheel Kumar Sharma insisted and I visited the temple of Bade Hanuman Ji, Allahabad.

Once we visited the temple, Prof Sharma revealed that he made a Darshan of Lord Hanuman when he came to Allahabad for his interview at the University and so influential is the Lord that he got the post! He further added that his house is a Prasad of the Lord.‘But where is the Dakshina of the Pandit?’‘Come, let us go to Kanchi Kamakoti Ashram nearby and you will get some new information in addition to the Dakshina,’ Prof Sharma said and we moved to the Ashram.

Kanchi Kamakoti Shankara Ashram, Allahabad

The chronological list of Guru Paramapara of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham Math at Allahabad is as follows:1. Adi Sankara Bhagavatpada (482 BC–477 BC)/ 509 BC-477 BC2. Suresvaracharya (477 BC–407 BC) (one of the four disciples who is the first guru of Sringeri mutt. Kanchi mutt was reportedly not one of the four mutts established by Adi Sankara)3. Sarvajnatman (407 BC–367 BC)[15]Followed by Saraswatis;4. Sathyabodhendra Saraswati (367 BC–268 BC)5. Jnanandendra Saraswati (268 BC–205 BC)6. Suddhanandendra Saraswati (205 BC–124 BC)7. Aanandaghanendra Saraswati (124 BC–55 BC)8. Kaivalyanandayogendra Saraswati (55 BC–28 AD)9. Krpa Sankarendra Saraswati (28 AD–69 AD)10. Sureswara Saraswati (69 AD–127 AD)11. Sivananda Chidghanendra Saraswati (127 AD–172 AD)12. Chandrasekharendra Saraswati (172–235)13. Satchidghanendra Saraswati (235–272)14. Vidyaghanendra Saraswati (272–317)15. Gangadharendra Saraswati (317–329)16. Ujjvala Sankarendra Saraswati (329–367)17. Sadasivendra Saraswati (367–375)18. Shankarananda Saraswati (375–385)19. Martanda Vidyaghanendra Saraswati (385–398)20. Muka Sankarendra Saraswati (398–437)21. Chandrasekharendra Saraswati II (437–447)22. Bodhendra Saraswati (447–481)23. Satchisukhendra Saraswati (481–512)24. Chitsukhendra Saraswati (512–527)25. Satchidanandaghanendra Saraswati (527–548)26. Prajnaghanendra Saraswati (548–565)27. Chidvilasendra Saraswati (565–577)28. Mahadevendra Saraswati I (577–601)29. Purnabhodhendra Saraswati (601–618)30. Bhodhendra Saraswati II (618–655)31. Brahmanandaghanendra Saraswati (655–668)32. Chidanandaghanendra Saraswati (668–672)33. Satchidananda Saraswati (672–692)34. Chandrasekharendra Saraswati III (692–710)35. Chitsukhendra Saraswati (710–737)36. Chitsukhanandendra Saraswati (737–758)37. Vidyaghanendra Saraswati III (758–788)38. Abhinava Sankarendra Saraswati (788–840)39. Satchidvilaasendra Saraswati (840–873)40. Mahadevendra Saraswati II (873–915)41. Gangadharendra Saraswati II (915–950)42. Brahmanandaghanendra Saraswati (950–978)43. Anandaghanendra Saraswati (978–1014)44. Purnabhodhendra Saraswati II (1014–1040)45. Paramasivendra Saraswati I (1040–1061)46. Sandranandabhodhendra Saraswati (1061–1098)47. Chandrasekharendra Saraswati IV (1098–1166)48. Advaitanandabodhendra Saraswati (1166–1200)49. Mahadevendra Saraswati III (1200–1247)50. Chandrachudendra Saraswati I (1247–1297)51. Vidyateerthendra Saraswati (1297–1385)52. Sankaranandendra Saraswati (1385–1417)53. Purnananda Sadasivendra Saraswati (1417–1498)54. Vyasachala Mahadevendra Saraswati (1498–1507)55. Chandrachudhendra Saraswati II (1507–1524)56. Sarvajna Sadasiva Bhodhendra Saraswati (1524–1539)57. Paramasivendra Saraswati II (1539–1586)58. Atma Bodhendra Saraswati (1586–1638)59. Bodhendra Saraswathi (1638–1692)60. Advaitatma Prakasendra Saraswati (1692–1704)61. Mahadevendra Saraswati IV (1704–1746)62. ChandrasekharendraSaraswati V (1746–1783)63. Mahadevendra Saraswati V (1783–1813)64. Chandrasekharendra Saraswati VI (1813–1851)65. Sudarsana Mahadevendra Saraswati (1851–1891)66. Chandrasekharendra Saraswati VII (1891 – 7 February 1907)67. Mahadevendra Saraswathi V (7 February 1907 – 13 February 1907)68. Chandrashekarendra Saraswati (13 February 1907 – 8 January 1994)69. Jayendra Saraswathi (3 January 1994 – 28 February 2018)70. Shankara Vijayendra Saraswati (28 February 2018 – Present)My mind was moving around one incidence in Odisha in 2008 in which Swami Laxmanananda was killed in 2008. He was a learned saint like Sankaracharya. The present Sankaracharyas are just political tools.“Come, we are getting late to go to Netram for our lunch”, Prof Sharma reminded that my Daan and Dakshina are well on track.

(The Author is a former editor of National Book Trust, New Delhi. Views are personal)