Thousands throng Kalady

The teachings of Sri Adi Sankara continue to hold much significance in present-day society, Jagadguru Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji, Peetadhipathi of Sringeri Sharada Peetom, has said.

Delivering the anugraha bhashanam (speech) at the Sankara jayanthi held at the Sri Adi Sankara Janmabhoomi temple at Kalady near here on Tuesday, he said Adi Sankara worked for the welfare of society right from his childhood days. The great philosopher also won respect for helping the needy.

“Moving library”

Describing Adi Sankara as a “moving library,” Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji said his writings mapped the various philosophical aspects of human life, even as many of his observations remain uninterpreted.

“Adi Sankara also showed a lot of courage in life and his knowledge was fathomless,” he said.

Earlier, thousands of devotees converged on the banks of the Periyar river to participate in the Sri Sankara jayanthi. The celebrations, which began on the first day of the bright fortnight of the Vaishakha month (Vaishakha Shukla Prathama), concluded on Sankara jayanthi (Vaishakha Shukla Panchami).

The day is also being observed as ‘Philosopher's Day' by the Kerala government in memory of the immense and valuable contributions made by Sri Adi Sankara to the country through his doctrine of Advaita (non-dualism).

Kalady, which is considered the birthplace of Sri Adi Sankara, wore a festive look on Tuesday as devotees from various parts of the country arrived to celebrate the historic occasion.

More than 100 vedic pandits from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat participated in the chanting of the four Vedas in the morning.

A large number of devotees, including women and children, waited for their turn in the winding queues to get the Jagadguru's ‘darshan.'

Tradition recalled

Recalling the tradition of conducting the Sri Sankara jayanthi celebrations at Kalady, V. R. Gowrishankar, Chief Executive Officer and Administrator of the Sri Sringeri Math, said the birthplace of Sri Sankara remained obscure till the commencement of the 20th century.

Jagadguru Sri Sachidananda Shivabhinava Narasimha Bharathi Swamiji, the 33{+r}{+d} peetadhipathi of the Sringeri Guru tradition, traced the birthplace of Sri Sankara to Kalady with the assistance of Sri Moolam Thirunal Ramavarma Maharaja of Travancore. Two temples (one for goddess Sharadamba and the other for Sri Sankara) were later built at the place.

Kumbhabishekams

Mr. Gowrishankar said the kumbhabhishekams for the two temples were performed on the auspicious Magha Shukla Dwadasi in 1910.

Kalady later grew into an international pilgrim centre, and the practice of conducting the Sri Sankara jayanthi and Navaratri celebrations began at the place from then on.

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