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Swamiji was born on 15th June 1947 at Shirali (Karnataka). Shirali is a place of worship a "tirtha kshetra". It is an abode of Lord Bhavani Shankar and has in its precincts the glorious "Shree Chitrapur Math and six Samadhis of our illustrious holy Guru Parampara started nearly 300 years ago by Adi Parijnanashram Swamiji". His parents Smt. Shantabai & Shri Shankarnarayan Shukla named Him "Ravindra". When Smt. Shantabai was pregnant she had experienced varied indications of Divinity like the sight of 7 hooded serpent, the impulse to offer her offspring to Lord Bhavani Shankar during the arati and so on. He was broughtup in Shirali until the age of six. Ravindra had the privilege to imbibe not only the holy vibrations of Shree Chitrapur Math but to be under the watchful and loving gaze of none other than Shrimad Anandashram Swamiji - our ninth Guru of the holy Guru Parampara. Shrimad Anandashram Swamiji was an embodiment of peace (Shantamoorti), love and kindness.

Young Ravindra came to Mumbai along with his parents in 1953 and had his early schooling in Poddar High School - Santacruz. He used to leave his elders flabbergasted by his witty replies which gave evidence of his luminous wisdom, praiseworthy for that tender age. He had another younger brother and sister too. Shrimad Anandashram Swamiji selected Ravindra as befitting shishya who could adore the "Peetha" and thus vouchsafed the continuance of the sacred Guru Parampara. He was ordained and given sanyas-deeksha by His Guru Shrimad Anandashram Swamiji at his tender age of 11 years on 1st March 1959 at Shivaji Park Mumbai attended by thousands of devotees in a great grand ceremony. The religious heads of other Saraswat Maths were also present to bless the Shishya. Young Ravindra was named as "Parijnanashram" by his Guru Swami Anandashram.

Swami Parijnanashram III was our 10th Guru in the holy Guru Parampara . He was the Mathadhipati of Chitrapur Saraswats for 15 years. During his short regime as a Mathadhipati he revived the Rathotsava in the year 1973 within the limited resources of manpower and material only to fulfill the wishes of His Guru Shrimad Anandashram Swamiji and also to bring about a religious and social awareness in the people. He was a great visionary and was instrumental in developing the Kembre and Bengre farms which were neglected over a period of time. The produce from these farms have succeeded in making Shree Chitrapur Math self sufficient in terms of rice, vegetables and coconuts even today.

He established an archaeological museum in spite of all opposition and humiliation in the year 1974 at Shirali wherein He had collected very many rare and priceless icons. His work was recognised and applauded by the Directorate of Archaeology and Museum Dharwad (Karnataka) and many other scholars. During his visit to the famous "Raja Kelkar Muesum" of Pune Swamijis deep study in archaeology helped to rectify the origin of one of the icons exhibited in the museum. He also vouchsafed the financial stability of Shree Chitrapur Math Shirali by developing a commercial complex in Bangalore which is yielding a sizable income even today. He had setup a deer park and a bird sanctuary on the spacious grounds of Govardhan hillock at Shirali. His love for the animals impelled Swamiji to snatch a very poisonous snake at "Whitekar Snake Park" in Chennai and put around His own neck. "He is my colleague" He said and fondled with him. He used to operate wireless radio and talk with many people throughout the world. This helped in times where other modes of communications were out of order. He was the only sanyasi to become a HAM. Swamiji not only showed keen interest in various fields but actively nurtured them. Collecting stamps, coins and arranging seminars, inviting persons from various walks of life was one of His passions. He violated all the barricades and embraced all the nuances of life.

Swamiji would mix and interact with anyone as if He knew them for ages. Rushing to the calls of His devotees many a times He had pulled them out from the jaws of death. Swamiji started a home for the aged named as "Anandashraya" on 30th March 1980. He had envisaged this activity befitting the need of the times. He had generated the expenses from His own personal belongings and single handedly strove to create an abode of happiness - Anandashraya.

In the lives of every saint they had to face onslaught of humiliation and torture. Swamiji too had no escape from it. Just as an axe which had been used to cut down a sandalwood tree would be blessed with the fragrance of sandalwood, Swamiji emanated love and kindness to the very persons who came to sting him with their poisonous fangs of cruelty, humiliation and torture. He relinquished Mathadhipatya in the year 1979, traveled all over India & abroad and finally settled in His Ashram "Jnananand" at Karla - 8 Kms from Lonavala in the year 1986. He opted not to take any Shishya for the continuity of the Guru Parampara in spite of many pressures from the community. "I am for all who come to me" - He would say irrespective of cast, creed, status and gender.

Having fulfilled all the wishes of His Guru Shrimad Anandashram Swamiji, having gained all the knowledge of the Vedas, Upanishads, Shastras, Sanskrit, grammar, Astrology, Science of debating, Poetry, Literature etc. which is required of a Mathadhipati. Swamiji took Sanjeevani Mahasamadhi on 28th August 1991 at a young age of 44 years. He had assured again and again that "I am still here all the time and whenever you invoke and implore me, I shall always and immediately be with you". This assurance is experienced by many persons even today. To prove this statement thousands of devotees had witnessed an amazing fact during the Pratishta Mahotsava held in February/March 1993 about 18 months from the date of His taking Sanjeevani Samadhi. When the Samadhi was opened for installing the Shivalinga, Swamijis scalp and hair were intact, the marigold flowers and tulsi leaves were also fresh as if they were offered just now. Swamiji lived to what He had said "I am still here all the time ......". "Shree Durga Homa" and "Shree Chandika Homa" are performed during the Navaratri festivals in the month of Ashwin and Magh. For the last 2 years successively devotees could actually see Devi Durga Parameshwari in the flames during poornahuti. This was their subjective experience which could not be shared by all. On the occasion of "Shree Durga Homa" performed on 28th January 2001 "Shree Devi Durga Parameshwari" and "Shree Shankara" appeared in the flames during poornahuti. All can see this in the photograph taken at that time. This incidence has been once again enacted to prove Their presence.

"Swamiji, you should have built a hospital instead of this temple" a devotee had once asked to which Swamiji replied "This is a hospital indeed wherein you leave all your troubles, worries, pains and pangs at the lotus feet of Shree Devi Durga Parameshwari - (Amma which he used to call) and go out with all energies, health and peace to the full".

(Source: www.karlamath.org)

 

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