Rameswaram: May 16-18, 2017

Jagadgurus in Rameswaram


Jagadguru Shankaracharya Sri Sri Bharati Tirtha Mahasannidhanam along with His Uttaradhikari Shishya, Jagadguru Sri Sri Vidhushekhara Bharati Sannidhanam arrived at the holy Kshetram of Rameswaram in the evening of May 16, 2017. The Jagadgurus were received at the entrance of Rameswaram by the Mahajanas of this holy city. Priests and temple authorities, led by Raja N Kumaran Sethupathy (temple thakkar), Sri S Selvaraj (Joint Commissioner of the temple) and Sri   Mayilvahanan (assistant divisional engineer of the temple) received the Acharyas with poornakumbha as they entered the island town. The Jagadgurus had Darshan at the Kattu Pillaiyar temple. Sri Sannidhanam was led in a grand procession through the Agrahara of Rameswaram that surrounds the Ramanathaswamy temple. Families of Archakas (hailing from Maharashtra) and devotees heartily welcomed the Jagadguru and offered their Pranams during the procession. At the Sringeri Shankara Math located adjacent to the temple, the Jagadgurus first had Darshan at the shrine of Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada.

The Jagadgurus then graced a public function at the Sringeri Shankara Math in Rameswaram. Dhuli Pada Puja was performed followed by a Samooha Pada Puja. This Samooha Pada Puja was perfomed in accordance to tradition that stretches back over a millenium and was done by 6 families representing the three Tamil Brahmana communities of Brihaccharanam, Vadama, Ashtasahasram; the Brahmana communities hailing from Maharashtra and Andhra and the Madhva community. Local leaders of the Hindu as well as Muslim communities then offered their Pranams to the Jagadguru. Sri Mahasannidhanam in His Anugraha Bhashanam spoke about the association between Rameswaram and Sringeri and blessed the devotees. He mentioned that He had come to Rameswaram accompanying His Guru in early 1975 about two months after His Sannyasa Sweekara. Now He had come to Rameswaram to offer worship along with His Shishya (Sri Sannidhanam) two years after the Shishya Sweekara.  

Later that evening, Sri Sannidhanam was led in a procession into the Ramanathaswamy temple and entered the Southern corridor of the third Praakaara of the temple. Sri Sannidhanam then performed  the Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja at the end of the long and beautiful Southern corridor of the third Praakaara of the temple.



On May 17, the Jagadgurus arrived at the the Ramanathaswamy temple at around 8:30 AM. The Jagadgurus then proceeded for Snanam, then had Darshan of Lord Viswanathar adjacent to the main Garbha Griha and then entered the Garbha Griha of Lord Ramanathaswamy. After elaborate Abhishekas to the chants of Vedic mantras, Sri Mahasannidhanam performed the Mangalarati to Lord Ramanathaswamy. The Jagadgurus then offered worship to Goddess Parvata Vardhani. The Jagadgurus then came out of the temple premises via the granite Mangala Gopuram in front of the temple of the Goddess. The Gopuram, along with the Southern Rajagopuram, had been built and offered by the Sringeri Math recently.

Thereafter, the Jagadgurus gave Darshan at the Sringeri Shankara Math. Families of Archakas (who in accordance to centuries old tradition first receive Diksha from the Sringeri Jagadguru before being able to worship Sri Ramanathaswamy).  Devotees in Rameswaram offered Bhiksha Vandana and Pada Puja.



In the evening, a Guru Vandana function was organized where Swagata Patrikas in Sanskrit and Tamil were read out and offered to the Jagadgurus. The Jagadgurus blessed the devotees with Anugraha Bhashanams.

Sri Mahasannidhanam in His Anugraha Bhashanam that the Lord who is Nirguna (attributeless) and Nirakara (formless) takes many forms in order to grace devotees. Bhagavan says in the Gita that despite being the unborn and unchanging Ishwara, He keeps His Maya under control and takes many forms  –

अजोपि सन्नव्ययात्मा भूतानामीश्वरोपि सन् ।
प्रकृतिं स्वामधिष्ठाय सम्भवाम्यात्ममायया ॥

Discussing which form is greater than which others amounts to indulging in useless prattle. Some even go to the extent of penning books to prove that one deity is higher than all others. It must be understood that the divine consciousness behind the forms of Shiva, Vishnu, Devi, Ganesha, Subrahmanya is the same. Some question as to how Bhagavad Veda Vyasa in His Puranas extols different deities in different Puranas as the Supreme. Firstly, extolling one deity is extolling the other, given that there is no difference in the essence of all the deities. Secondly, if one were to ask that when extolling one deity in one Purana, the other deities seem to be described as inferior, one has to understand “न हि निन्दा न्यायः” – न हि निन्दा निन्दितुं प्रवृत्ता, अपि तु स्तुत्यं स्तोतुम् – the inferiority ascribed here is only to show the greatness of the deity being praised.

Sri Mahasannidhanam further explained the bond between Lord Shiva and Lord Vishnu as depicted in the Puranas. In Rameswaram, Sri Rama worshipped Lord Shiva. In Varanasi, Lord Shiva as Vishweshwara constantly performs Rama Nama Japa. Lord Shiva also utters the holy name of Sri Rama in the ears of those who are about to shed their mortal coil in Varanasi. Lord Shiva even states that He regards as His enemy the one who speaks lowly of Lord Vishnu. Lord Vishnu likewise states that He regards as His enemy the one who speaks lowly of Lord Shiva. Hence anyone who resorts to framing one deity as superior and others as inferior does not know the Tattva, has no knowledge of the Puranas and is completely unaware of the import of Bhagavad Veda Vyasa who propounds non-difference.

It is because of this non-difference that we as followers of Sanatana Dharma celebrate with equal fervour and devotion Sri Rama’s birth on Chaitra Shukla Navami, Sri Krishna’s birth on Shravana Krishna Ashtami, Mahashivaratri on Magha Krishna Chaturdashi, Vinayaka Chaturthi in the Bhadrapada Shukla Paksha etc. This is also why Sri Adi Shankara Bhagavatpada wrote Stotras on all deities.

Sri Mahasannidhanam stated that the residents of Rameswaram are fortunate to be living in the Kshetram, praised them for their devotion to the Sringeri Jagadgurus and blessed them.

Sri Sannidhanam in His Anugraha Bhashanam stated that the Avatara of Sri Rama is unique for the life of Sri Rama is itself the Upadesha. After the battle with Sri Ravana, Sri Rama was offered a boon by Lord Indra. Sri Rama then asked for the injured Vanaras to be restored back to good health and those Vanaras who died in the battle to be restored back to life. Such was Sri Rama’s association that he exemplified leadership. This incident is in itself an Upadesha.

Sri Sannidhanam then recounted the story of how Sri Rama was born after the performance of Dasharatha’s Putrakameshti Yaga. The Yaga was officiated by Sage Rishyashringa whose Tapobhoomi was Sringeri. Sri Rama later consecrated Sri Ramanathaswamy at Rameswaram. When Lord Parameshwara incarnated as Jagadguru Sri Adi Shankaracharya, He ordained Rameswaram as the Kshetram for the Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham at Sringeri. Such is the beautiful bond between Sringeri and Rameswaram.

Later in the evening, Sri Mahasannidhanam performed the Sharada Chandramoulishwara Puja at the end of the Southern corridor of the third Praakaara of the temple.



On May 18, Sri Sannidhanam proceeded to Dhanushkodi and offered worship on the shores of the ocean – the meeting point of the two seas, the Mahodadhi and Ratnakara. Sri Sannidhanam performed the Puja and then undertook Samudra Snanam. Sri Sannidhanam returned to Rameswaram after blessing devotees. Later that morning, the Jagadgurus gave Darshan to the devotees and blessed them with Mantrakshata.