Thursday, December 7, 2023

Muslims too paid homage to Kanchi Sankaracharya


Kanchi, March 2, (PTI): A group of Muslims paid homage to the Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi of Kanchi by observing a minute’s silence, underlining the pan-religious ties maintained by the Sankara mutt’s seers.

The group, led by the head of local Jummah Masjid, the largest in this town, visited the mutt and stood in silence in front of the mortal remains of the seer.

After paying their last respects, they met Vijayendra Saraswathi, the junior pontiff, and expressed their condolences on the senior Acharya’s death. Earlier, they were received by the mutt officials.


Speaking to PTI, J Mohammed, head of the mosque said, “We have cordial relations with the mutt since the times of Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi (predecessor of Jayendra Saraswathi).

When some radical Hindus objected to the existence of a mosque near the mutt, Sri Chandrasekharendra Sarawathi had said that the mosque is also a place of worship and therefore it should not be moved out.

Traditionally Muslim artisans and artistes have had a role to play in Hindu temples. They supply decorated cloth and in some temples in North India they play the Shehnai a wind instrument.

Kanchi mutt head Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati was interred on March 1 right next to the previous Shankaracharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, the 68th head of the Kamakoti Peetham.

Maulala Khalid Rasheed of Lucknow with the Kanchi Sankaracharya in October 2014

The 82 year old  pontiff of the mutt established by Adi Shankaracharya in the 8th century, died of a cardiac arrest on February 28.

Since the Sankaracharya was a sanyasi, he was not be cremated but was interred in a samadhi and a Shiva lingam will was consecrated on top. His body is placed in the hall of the Kanchi math in a seated position and will be taken to the annexe and lowered into a 7×7 feet burial pit. The pit will be filled with herbs, including Vasambu, salt and sandalwood, reported news agency PTI. The process of interment is called ‘Brindavana Pravesha Karyakramam’.

Jayendra Saraswathi was admitted to a private hospital early on Wednesday after he complained of breathlessness. Doctors said he died following cardiac arrest. According to a mutt official, two renowned sthapathis, Nandakumar and Shiva have been deployed to construct the mausoleum. A Tulasi pot will be placed over the burial chamber, allowing sufficient place for devotees to go around it and pay their respects. The burial is expected to end by 11 AM, he added.

Born Subramaniyam Mahadevan on July 18, 1935, in Irulneekki in erstwhile Thanjavur district, Jayendra Saraswathi was anointed the successor to the Mutt by Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswati Swamigal and was given the title Sri Jayendra Saraswati on March 22, 1954.

(The featured image at the top shows Muslims fronm the neighborhood of the Kanchi Mutt paying homage to the body of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, Sankaracharya of Kanchi who died at 82 on March 28) 

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