Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji
36th Acharya of Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham
Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahaswamiji is the presiding Acharya of the Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham at Sringeri. The Mahaswamiji is the 36th in the unbroken chain of Guru Parampara, stretching back to Sri Adi Shankaracharya. A realized sage of the highest order, the Mahaswamiji leads a life of severe penance and austerity. Considered one of the greatest scholars of Sanatana Dharma, He devotes His time to teaching the works of Sri Shankaracharya and the Holy Vedas. His unbounded compassion readily draws towards Him people from all walks of life seeking guidance and solace. The Mahaswamiji leads a life of dedication to Sri Shankaracharya and inspires every one to study the Masters great life and teachings.
His Highness Sri Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma
The Maharaja of the erstwhile State of Travancore
Sri Uthradom Thirunal Marthanda Varma, eighty-eighy years old, is the present titular Maharaja of Travancore (since 1991) and head of the Travancore Royal Family. He is a descendent of the Travancore Maharaja Sri Moolam Tirunal (1885-1924) who was instrumental in securing the land around Kalady and building the shrines to honor the memory of Sri Shankaracharya. The erstwhile state of Travancore is located in present day southern Kerala. The Travancore royal family is one of the oldest surviving royal families with a history stretching back to more than a millennium. The family has been an ardent devotee of the Sringeri Jagadgurus since the time of Sri Shankaracharya. Over the last 3 centuries, the rulers of the Travancore state have declared themselves as “Padmanabha dasas” – servants of Lord Padmanabha, the presiding deity of Thiruvanantapuram (the capital of Travancore, as well as present-day Kerala). Sri Uthradom Thirunal continues the family tradition and maintains a very close bond with the current Jagadguru of Sringeri. He is simplicity-personified despite his regality and is well-respected for his widespread knowledge.
Dr. V.R. Gowrishankar
CEO & Administrator,
Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham
Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham
Dr. V.R. Gowrishankar comes from a family that has a very strong bond with the Sharada Peetham at Sringeri. His grandfather studied the Shastras under the 33rd Acharya of Sringeri who rediscovered Kalady. His father learned Vedanta directly from the 34th Acharya of Sringeri. Both served the Peetham as profound scholars and taught certain Sanskrit texts to the then successor-designates to the Peetham. Dr. Gowrishankar has been voluntarily serving the Peetham for more than two decades. With such a deep family tradition, Dr. Gowrishankar is a repository of knowledge in the history of the Peetham.
Sri Rajan Menon
Karthyayani temple, Manikkamangalam
Sri Rajan Menon is the President of the Karthyayani Devi temple at Manikkamangalam near Kalady. This temple is an ancient and well known Goddess Durga temple in Kerala. It is believed that Sri Shankara’s father Shivaguru was a priest at this temple.. A remarkable event associated with the childhood days of Sri Adi Shankaracharya took place in this temple.
Sri Narayanan Namboodiripad
Descendant of Swarnattu Mana
Sri Narayanan Namboodiripad is a direct descendant of the family who were blessed by the young Shankara with prosperity. It is at Sri Namboodiripad’s home that the famous Kanakadhara Stotram was chanted by the young boy Shankara.
Sri M.S. Rajan
Shiva temple, Kalady
Sri M.S. Rajan is the Secretary of the Thiruvellamanthulli temple dedicated to Lord Shiva at Kalady – a few kilometres from the birth location of Sri Adi Shankaracharya. The formation of this temple can be traced to an interesting event in the life of Sri Shankaracharya’s mother, Aryamba, after the former had left Kalady to take Sannyasa.
Prof. Subramonia Iyer
Honorary Manager, Sringeri Shankara Math, Kalady
Prof. Subramonia Iyer is a retired Professor of Sanskrit having served the cause of the language all through his professional career in various capacities, including as Head of the Sanskrit Department and Principal at Sri Shankara College, Kalady. Having lived in Kalady for nearly four decades, Prof. Iyer has an intimate knowledge of the history of Kalady, the landmarks associated with Sri Adi Shankaracharya and the rediscovery of Kalady.
Sri Raman Namboodiri
Descendant of Kapilli Mana, Kalady
Sri Raman Namboodiri is the senior most member of one of the only two families surviving today who are directly related to the family of Adi Shankarcharya. His family is called the Kappilli Mana and the other family is called Talaiyattumpilli Mana. The two families continue to stay close to the home of Sri Adi Shankaracharya, which is today inside the Sringeri Shankara Math premises and houses the shrine for the philosopher-saint.
Sri Sreekumar Namboodiri
Trustee, Sri Krishna Temple, Kalady
Sri Sreekumar Namboodiri is a member of Kappilli Mana, one of the two families directly related to the family of Adi Shankaracharya. He is a trustee of the temple of Sri Krishna, the family deity of Sri Adi Shankaracharya. The existence of this temple that was being managed by the two families helped in the rediscovery of the exact birth location of Sri Adi Shankaracharya in Kalady.
Sri Sankarananda Brahmananda-Bhoothi Swamiyar
Moopil Swamiyar, Thekke Madhom
Sri Sankarananda Brahmananda Bhoothi Swamiyar is the head of the Thekke Madhom, headquartered in Thrissur. The Math traces its origin to Sri Padmapadacharya, one of Sri Adi Shankaracharya’s direct disciples. The Thekke Madhom has been associated with the lands in Kalady related to Adi Shankaracharya for a long time. The present Swamiyar is the Pushpanjali Swamiyar at the famous Anantapadmanabha Swamy temple located in Thiruvanantapuram.