As the spiritual leader of the Kashi Math, Swami Sudheendra Theertha, headed the Math for 70 years as the 20th guru in succession. He attained Samadhi at Hardwar on Sunday morning after a brief illness.
Born as Sadasiva Shenoy in 1926 as the fourth son of Draupadi and Ramadas Shenoy of Kappasseri House, near T. D. Temple, the Swami took up Sanyasa as a 17-year-old at the behest of his guru Sukritheendra Swami.
His spiritual leadership in combination with a social outlook led the Swami to leave a mark in charitable acts that serve the people with a missionary zeal.
The Sudheendra Medical Mission Hospital established in 1971 here and later taking over the Royal College of Homeopathic Physicians at Chottanikkara and renaming it in the memory of the founders as Dr. Padiyar Memorial Homoepathic Memorial College, are two landmark institutions here.
He was a saint who kept in touch with the pulse of the people, remembers Bhaskara Shenoy, president of the Anugraha Charitable Trust here. His mastery in Sanskrit and many other Indian languages was well-known and he was a true follower of traditions and rituals throughout his life.
The Sukriteendra Institute for Oriental Studies at Thammanam set up in memory of his guru is a research centre for many studies.
The Swami had to take up journeys every year and even advanced age could not deter him, said Mr. Shenoy.
His two journeys every year would be from Kashi to Kanyakumari and from Kashi to Rameshwaram. The spiritual guru of the Gowda Saraswath Brahman, the Swami had brought the community together that helped the people develop a strong bond for the community.
Out of purview
It was he, who led the GSB temples to be out of the purview of the unified Devaswom, giving the GSB temples a different board.
Understanding the GSB community’s need for having their family deity nearby, the Swami established the Kuladevata temple complex in 1994 near the Balakasharam that he had set up in 1976.
Veda Vyasa, the saint who wrote the ancient Indian epic Mahabharata, is the main deity at the Kashi Math.
Swami Sudheendra Theertha had also set up a hospital in Hardwar, said Mr. Shenoy.
Mr. Shenoy said that he was on his way to attend the last rituals of the Swami.
His long stint as the spiritual guru at Kashi Math made him set up a number of Kashi Math units across the country, with a perspective of instilling people into taking up service oriented works.