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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Jagadguru Shankaracharya Mahasamsthanam, Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham at Sringeri

In the 14th century, royal patronage to the Peetham began with the founding of the famous Vijayanagar empire under the divine guidance of the 12th Acharya, Jagadguru Sri Vidyaranya. The austerity of the Acharya influenced the rulers to such an extent that they began ruling in the name of the Acharya and granted the Peetham the rights over secular administration of the land. 

At the rulers' request, the Acharya began conducting a Durbar during the Navaratri festival - an occasion deemed by the rulers to honour their Guru. Subsequently, the Acharya came to be known as the Karnataka Simhasana Prathisthapanacharya and the Peetham became a mighty institution - a Samsthanam and is known to this day as the Jagadguru Shankaracharya Mahasamsthanam, Dakshinamnaya Sri Sharada Peetham at Sringeri. 

Over the succeeding centuries, a number of empires and rulers including the Mysore Maharajahs including Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, the Nizam of Hyderabad, the Peshwas and the Keladi rulers were drawn towards the Peetham and respected the Acharya as their Guru

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