Jagadguru Sankaracharya Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji, chief of Sringeri Math, on Thursday, called upon people to abjure hatred and to love one another to achieve peace.

The swami is in Kalady to attend the Jagadguru Adi Sankara Jayanthi celebrations and centenary celebrations of Sree Adi Sankara Janmabhoomi Kshethram, a temple complex built on the banks of the Periyar at Kalady, the birthplace of Adi Sankara.

He told The Hindu that he did not believe spiritualism was on the wane. On other hand, the number of people seeking spiritual solace had gone up. Spiritual seekers from abroad were flocking to the country.

The swami said that he was “doubly happy” to be in the birthplace of Adi Sankara, especially since he was visiting the temple after 15 years.

The swami is a State guest and will stay at Kalady till the celebrations are over. The State government observes Vaishakha Shukla Panchami, the day Adi Sankara was born, as philosophers' day. It falls on May 18 this year.

The swami arrived at Kalady on May 7. He was received by Transport Minister Jose Thettayil, Devaswom Minister Ramachandran Kadannapally and Uthradom Tirunal Marthanda Varma, head of the ruling family of the erstwhile Travancore.

The swami inaugurated the eastern entrance to the temple complex of Adi Sankara and Sharadamba, which was recently rebuilt in traditional Kerala style. After having darshan at the temples of Sankara and Sharadamba, he delivered a discourse highlighting the importance of Kalady as a Tirtha Kshetra and its relation to Sringeri and the Jagadgurus.

P.N. Gopalakrishnan, chief coordinator of the visits of the swami in the State and representative of the Sringeri Math, said that till the commencement of the 20th century, the birthplace of Sankara remained obscure. It was the then Jagadguru Sri Schidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharathi Swami, the 33rd chief of Sringeri, with the assistance of Sree Moolam Tirunal Ramavarma, Maharaja of Travancore, who traced the birthplace to Kalady. The temple complex was built at the instance of the former Sringeri Chief. The Kumbhabhishekam for the two temples were performed on Magha Shukla Dwadasi in 1910.

The jayanthi celebrations will begin on May 14 and end on May 31 with the Poornahuti of Ati Rudra Mahayaga in the presence of the Sringeri Math chief. Recitation of the Vedas and Vidwat Sabhas will mark the celebrations. A special Puja will be performed by the swami on May 18 at the temple. Scholars will be honoured and successful candidates in Vedic examinations presented awards and certificates.