Sri Ranganatha Yatheendra Mahadesikan formally took charge as the 46th Azhagiyasingar of Ahobila Mutt at a simple ceremony at Dasavathara Sannidhi in Srirangam here on Thursday.

Soon after taking over, the jeer in his message said: “I appeal to all the followers of the mutt to cooperate in preserving its great heritage. I consider myself as the first servant of god as taught by elders and urge everyone to be dedicated to the tenets of Visishtadvaitha and follow the path shown by our great acharyas.”

He appointed S. Anantha Padamanbhacharya, professor of Sanskrit in Madras University and relative of the 42nd Azhagiyasingar, as ‘Srikaryam’ of the mutt.

Describing the pontiff as an erudite scholar, M.V. Ananthapadmanabhan, Vishistadvaitha scholar, who is well-known for his discourses on TV, said: “He is an ‘agnihotri’ and ‘ganapadi.’ It is rare to come across a Vedic scholar who has accomplished both. The Jeer wants to emulate the 42nd Azhagiyasingar who had groomed 75 Vedic vidwans during his lifetime. He is keen on promoting discipline and dedication among his followers. He set a fine example of unflinching loyalty to his preceptor when he was asked to take up the task of leading the mutt,” Ananthapadmanabhan said.