KASI YATRA – 1934 .. 1

I have recorded in these pages the facts as I observed them, out of a real desire for the search after the truth. I will be highly obliged if my readers communicate to me their kind criticism or correct any errors or send me additional valuable information.

– K. KUPPUSWAMIAH, Retired Deputy Collector.

Upanishad Ashrama, Nungambakkam, Madras.

Samvat 1993 (1936 A.D)

Kasi Vijaya Yatra of His Holiness Jagadguru Pujyasri Sankaracharya Swamiji of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam

” In the last quarter of year 1934, I happened to be at Benares. My stay there synchronised with the historic visit of His Holiness Jagadguru Shri Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha, to the holy city.

His Highness the Maharaja of Benares, who was at the head of the Reception Committee formed to welcome His Holiness, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, all the Mahamahopadhyayas, other eminent scholars and indeed the entire public of that spiritual capital of our country, filled with joy, took every possible step to make the visit of the Acharya, hailing from distant Kanchi on foot, spiritually beneficial and advantageous to the Benares publlic.

Prior to the arrival of the Swamiji at Benares, the Maharaja took the opportunity to consult his court pandits and his palace library where a manuscript of the voluminous Shivarahasya was found, the 16th adhyaya of the 9th amsha of which deals with the Avatara of Shri Shankaracharya, as an amsha of Lord Shiva.

This Arsha Grantha referred to in the well known Smriti, ‘Nirnaya Sindhu’ as pramana, mentions the village ‘Shashala’, as the birthplace of Shri Shankaracharya.

Further it describes the origin and distribution of the five Sphatika Lingas and their pooja; and the Adhyaya ends with the Shloka:-

तद्योगभोगवरमुक्तिसुमोक्षयोगलिङ्गार्चनात्प्राप्तजयः स्वकाश्रमे । तान्वै विजित्य तरसाऽक्षतशास्त्रवादैर्मिश्रान् स काञ्च्यामथ सिद्धिमाप II

denoting Kanchi as to the Acharya’s Ashram and place of siddhi. The Maharaja perused also the past records relating to the institutions of Adi-Shankaracharya.

As a result he prepared a document with his seal and signature, as to what he felt, and placed it with his own hands at the feet of the Acharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetha on 1991 Tama Vikrama Samvat Magha Shukla Trayodashi at the annual Convocation of the Sanga Veda Vidyalaya, when all the pandits and leading citizens of Benares had assembled.

A portion of the Abhinandana Patra of the Maharaja is extracted below :-