[Advaita-l] Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamiji

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Wed Nov 3 11:53:51 EDT 2021

Today, on His Jayanthi, we reverentially remember the exalted Acharya

Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamiji

Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha Mahaswamiji, the 35th Pontiff of Dakshinamnaya
Sringeri Sri Sharada Peetham, was a multifaceted Jivanmukta, one liberated
even when alive. His pre-monastic name was Sri Srinivasa. Born on 13
November, 1917, deepavali, the day of celebrations, of light dispelling
darkness, He would go on to compassionately dispel the darkness of
countless hearts. Sri Srinivasa studied till the eighth grade in Bengaluru.
Barely twelve, He was ardently pious, exceptionally wise and farsighted,
and yearned to renounce the world and realise God. Post His upanayana –
investiture with the sacred thread including initiation into the
Gayatri-mantra – in Sringeri on the 4 May, 1930, He stayed back in Sringeri
to study the veda and Sanskrit. The then Jagadguru of Sri Sharada Peetham,
Sri Chandrasekhara Bharati Mahaswamiji bestowed Him with samnyasa on 22
May, 1931, gave Him the monastic name Abhinava Vidyatheertha and made Him
His successor-designate to the Peetham. Lord Shiva appeared in the young
ascetic’s dream for six succeeding nights and taught Him pranayama,
hatha-yoga and nadanusandhana. When the guru initiated Him into the sacred
Narasimha-mantra, He was surprised to behold the form of Lord Narasimha in
the place of His disciple. In a vision, His Holiness received instructions
from Goddess Sharada on Kundalini-yoga. His Holiness promptly commenced the
practice of karma-yoga. Next, His guru initiated him into contemplation on
the Atman, the Self. Subsequently, His Holiness commenced deep meditation
on divine forms – Shiva, Bala and Krishna, etc. Months before He had
completed eighteen, He experienced his first savikalpa-samadhi. Having
received, from Lord Shiva, a directive to focus on Brahman sans attributes,
He soon attained savikalpa-samadhi and nirvikalpa-samadhi – the acme of
Yoga – on Brahman in quick succession. In culmination of His spiritual
practices, He attained the direct realization of and establishment in
Brahman, and jivanmukti on 12th December 1935, just a few days after He had
completed eighteen. Incredulous as it may seem, only thereafter did His
guru expound Bhagavatpada’s bhashyas on Bhagavad-gita, upanishads and
Brahma-sutras. These lessons served only to confirm what He had directly
realised by then. He went on to become an unparalleled master in tarka and
vedanta sastras and taught them to multiple batches of students. After His
guru’s videha-mukti in September, 1954, He was coronated as the 35th
pontiff of Sringeri Sri Sharada Peetham on 16 October, 1954. During his
pontificate of 35 years, He undertook 35 tours, long and short, for over 17
years, touching cities, towns and even remote villages pan India. After Adi
Shankara, He was the first Jagadguru Shankaracharya to have visited Nepal.
A polyglot conversant with Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Sanskrit, He
reached out to millions through His lucid discourses, exhorting them to
follow Sanatana Dharma and imparting to them the knowledge of advaita, the
Truth enshrined in the upanishads. He invariably accorded top priority to
spiritual aspirants and often went out of His way to guide and bless them.
He was instrumental in the establishment of Math branches, renovation and
consecration of temples, setting up of veda and sastra pathashalas,
construction of guest houses for devotees and pilgrims, institution of
several religious, educational and cultural centres, etc. To cater to the
medical needs of people in and around Sringeri, His Holiness started Sri
Sharada Dhanvantari Charitable Hospital. Veda-Poshaka-Sabha to promote
vedic learning and Sura-sarasvati-sabha to promote Sanskrit were His
initiatives. His Holiness was instrumental in the first ever historic
summit meet, since the days of Adi Shankara, of the Jagadguru
Shankaracharyas of the four – Sringeri, Puri, Dvaraka and Badri – Amnaya
Peethas at Sringeri on 1 May, 1979. He was freely accessible to common
folk. Royals, Presidents, Prime Ministers, Governors, Ministers of the
Central and State Governments, social leaders, scholars, scientists,
artists and many others, besides leaders and representatives of different
faiths and religions, had his darshan, blessings and guidance. He initiated
His disciple Sri Sitarama Anjaneyulu into samnyasa on 11 November, 1974 and
made him His successor-designate to the peetham. His Holiness shed His
mortal coil on 21 September, 1989 at Sringeri. Sri Abhinava Vidyatheertha
Mahaswamiji was firmly established in Brahman, was innately full of
compassion, had a deep understanding of people and was competent to confer
unfailing blessings. He was well and truly a consummate Guru.
In this link one can access a number of books on the Acharya in English and
Tamil. There are also videos and audios:
There is an impressive collection of photos and Bhajans too.


One can explore the above site for copious resources on the other Acharyas
of the parampara, core Advaita, audios of classes on the Upanishad and
Brahmasutra Bhashyam in Tamil by eminent Vidwan Sri Mani Dravid Sastrigal.

Here too there are books, for free download too, in English, Tamil and


Om Tat Sat

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