Sri Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal, the 69th Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham passed away today in Chennai. The spiritual leader was admitted to hospital after a cardiac arrested but he could not be brought back, reports suggested. He was 82 years old. The Spiritual leader of one of the highest religious institutions in India was the Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Peetham for more than two decades. Even though he faced controversies and criminal proceedings, but his tenure as the head of the peetham is known for the expansion of the institutions in terms of educational institutes.
His original name was Subramanyam Mahadev Iyer and he assumed the head post of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham on March 22, 1994. After the demise of the then Peethathipathi Sri Chandrasekhara Saraswathi Swamigal, he assumed the charge as the Peethathaipathi. His rapport with Brahmin Community and the mainstream politicians of the country have been frequently reported. He held huge respect as the Shankaracharya and was very popular among the devotees.
His name came into controversy and he was arrested in 2004 for the involvement in the conspiracy of murdering the manager of the famous Kanchi Varadaraja Perumal temple. The trial went for a long time and the court decided to acquit him from the charges later on.
After his sad demise, the Peethathipathi post of the Kanchi Peetham has become vacant again. The Peetham may decide the next head in the due course. Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu joined many to offer their respect for the departed soul.
Vijayendra Saraswathi to be the next Shankaracharya.