Chandrashekarendra Saraswati
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Chandrashekarendra Saraswati or the Sage of Kanchi, was considered my many to be one of the greatest modern day saints of India. For over eight-seven years he lead the ascetic order of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, developing and rejuvenating the monastery. He held regular discussions amongst scholars, leading to a renewed interest in Vedic teachings. He held the respect and reverence of millions of devotees who recognized him as a great soul. Although he acknowledged the importance of a guru in one’s life, he preached that one should be responsible for all their actions and follow a path of proper conduct.


Chandrashekarendra Saraswati was born on May 20th, 1894, in Villupuram, a small town in Tamil Nadu. During his early years he was homeschooled by his father. At the age of eleven, he started to attend Arcot American Mission School at Tindivanam. In 1906, his father took him to visit a local monastery called Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. During his visit he met Acharya, the 66th head of the monastery who was deeply impressed by the then young Chandrashkarendra. This was the first of many visits to the monastery. A year later, things took an unexpected turn. The 66th Acharya died and Chandrashkarendra’s cousin became the 67th Acharya. Within seven days as head of the monastery, he also died. It was decided that the then thirteen year old Chandrashkarendra, should become head of the monastery. He officially became the 68th Acharya on February 13th, 1907. Over the next few years, he studied hard, learning scriptures and how to perform regular spiritual practice. He also learned what was expected of him as head of the monastery. Over time, his reputation grew and he gained the respect and reverence of millions of devotees. He led the monastery for over eighty-seven years. During this time he developed, rejuvenated, and reformed the monastery. He also undertook two pilgrimages that started from the south of India to the north of India. He died in 1994.


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