Elder brother recalls memories of Late Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji

He says the seer was completely detached from family after ascending the Peetha. Varanga, his birthplace in Udupi district, and nearby Muniyalu in deep grief

March 23, 2023 08:49 pm | Updated March 24, 2023 12:05 pm IST - MANGALURU

The Poorvashrama house of Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji of Shravanabelagola who passed away on March 23 at Varanga village in Hebri Taluk of Udupi district.

The Poorvashrama house of Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji of Shravanabelagola who passed away on March 23 at Varanga village in Hebri Taluk of Udupi district. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Sri Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji of Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt did not visit his Poorvashrama house though he visited Varanga, now in Hebri taluk of Udupi district, thrice. Such was his detachment with the family, recalled his elder brother Dharanendra Indra.

A veil of sorrow surrounded Varanga, the birth place of Sri Charukeerthi and adjacent Muniyalu village after hearing the demise of the seer on Thursday, March 23, while absolute silence prevailed at his Poorvashrama house, Chandramma Nilaya, near Varanga Jain Mutt. Born on May 3, 1949, to teacher Purohith Rathnachandra Raja Indra and Shreekanthamma as the third child among six, he was named as Rathnavarma.

While elder sister Vijaya resides in Saligrama, Mr. Dharanendra and younger brother Yuvaraja undertake pooja at the Varanga Mutt. Younger sister Vani resides in Adagooru near Belur while younger brother Shanthiraja is in Bengaluru and another younger sister Indira stays in Shravanabelagola.

Having his primary education at the Padmambika Primary School in Varanga, Sri Charukeerthi had his high school education in Karkala where he stayed at Bhujabali Ashrama. He had religious education from the then Hombuja Mutt seer Arahaddas Devendra Keerthi Swamiji gaining command over Prakrith and Sanskrit languages. The then Nationalist leader Mudradi Dharmaraja Adhikari encouraged him to head the Shravanabelagola Mutt at the age of 19, according to family sources.

Recalling their childhood days, Mr. Dharanendra said all the siblings used to get up at 5 a.m. and learn Mantras from their father at the Varanga Mutt. Those who successfully memorised the mantras were awarded almond and dry grapes by their father. The siblings used to interact with Sri Charukeerthi at the Varanga Mutt itself after he became the seer and visited Varanga.

In his condolence message, Dharmasthala Pattadhikari D. Veerendra Heggade said the 1,000th year Mahamastakabhisheka of lord Bahubali, organised under the leadership of Sri Charukeerthi in 1981, was a memorable one. Lakhs of devotees from across the world attended the programme.

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