FAQs – Karnataka Matha Tour

Q: In which year did an Acharya of an Advaita Matha belonging to Karnataka region attempt to tour the South for the first time?

A: The Karnataka region was divided into a number of diocese for purposes of spiritual as also fiscal administration of the Matha benefices.

The West Karnataka was under the jurisdiction of Kudali Sringeri Matha and East Karnataka, under the sway of Puspagiri Sringeri Matha, South Karnataka, comprising modern Kolar under the jurisdiction of the Amani (Avani) Sringeri Matha and North Karnataka under Sankheswara Sringeri Matha.

South India, including Chola, Pandya, Chera countries and Tondaimandalam has always been under the jurisdiction of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Pitha. In 1816, Babu Rao, the agent of Col. Mackenzie was informed by the then Sri Sankaracharya of the Kamakoti Pitha that Their jurisdiction extended over the districts enumerated above.

About 1792, when Tippu Sultan had annexed Coimbatore and Salem districts, the Acharya of Amani Sringeri toured these districts and recruited Sishyas. But, when He attempted to recruit disciples in the Akhanda Caveri region of Karur and Trichinopoly region, such attempts were firmly resisted. He was firmly told that, that region was not under His spiritual jurisdiction, and that, if at all he wanted to tour the districts, it should be on the distinct undertaking that He would not attempt recruiting any Sishyas. He gave the undertaking that He would thereafter desist from recruiting disciples. This original document of undertaking given by the Amani Acharya evidencing the spiritual authority of the Kanchi matha in the region was also filed as an evidence in the 1844 Tatanka Pratishta case.

This was the first occasion when an Acharya of an Advaita Matha belonging to the Karnataka region attempted to tour the South.

(Source: The Traditional Age of Sri Sankaracharya and His Mathas By A.Nataraja Aiyer and S.Lakshmi narasimha Sastri, M.A.L.T.)

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