(Last Updated on : 25/06/2014)
Swami Parijnanashram III, the tenth guru of the Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin community succeeded the guru Swami Anandashram
in 1966. He had a keen thirst for knowledge-be it Vedic or technical and this progressive outlook with compassion of his resulted in large scale development within the community and the Chitrapur Math
Several health-care facilities were developed under his regime. Swami Parijnanashram III owned a first grade radio license, which made him plausibly the first religious saint to possess such a license in India. A wireless station and an observatory post, under his regime, were established near Shirali. With his keen interest in archaeology he constituted an Archaeology museum at Chitrapur. Irrespective of status or wealth, he would visit devotees in hospitals on a regular basis.
He formally resigned and renounced the powers from the post of the Head of Chitrapur Math (Mathadhipati) in the year 1979. By 1981, he abandoned the title of the Head of the Community fully. After this incident, he travelled all across India, and even went abroad, which is noteworthy in the regard that he was the first guru of the community to do so. After that he settled down in a matha at Karla, constructed under his regime. Even though he was not Mathadhipati of the community, he continued his service for the welfare of the people. And his welfare programs broadened to the down-trodden people irrespective of community, caste, creed or status.
Personal Life of Swami Parijnanashram III
On June 15, 1947, Swami Parijnanashram was born to Shantabai and Shankarnarayan Laxman Shukla (Bhat) at Shirali in Karnataka
. At birth, he was named Ravindra Shankarnarayan Shukla (Bhat). He did his primary schooling under the watchful eyes of the functionary Head of the community Swami Anandashram. His mother Shantabai claims to have known about the divinity of her offspring even before he was born. After the Bhat family sifted to Mumbai
, in 1953, the next level education of young Ravindra was done at Poddar High School, Santa Cruz in Mumbai. Till the time he was ordained to be the shishya of Anandashram Swami, he studied there. He was an esurient collector of stamps and coins from his childhood. It was a hobby he pursued even after becoming the Head of the Community.
On March 1, 1959, at the tender age of 12, he was ordained by the incumbent guru Swami Anandashram to be his shishya (disciple) and the successor to Him at Shivaji Park, Mumbai. He was named Parijnanashram by His guru at this ceremony. For a long period of 7 years He studied under His guru. This period of tutelage allowed Parijnanashram to accomplish a great command over the Sanskrit scriptures. On September 16, 1966, after the Maha-samadhi of His guru, He took over as the official head of the community of Saraswats. As He used to tour with His guru everywhere and thus could attain hands-on experience in the matters of spirituality as well as administration.
Life as a Swami for Swami Parijnanashram III
After appointment of Swami Parijnanashram III, he took charge of the finances of the matha and used it for large scale developmental projects. These projects aimed at social as well as technical improvements. His ultimate aim was to make the various institutions under the community self-sufficient. Under the aegis of Swamiji there a number of social development schemes were executed. They are:
* Reviving the Rathotsav: The Rathotsav was revived Under Swamiji's reign in 1973 as the financial position of the matha became strong.
* Anandashraya: a shelter for the aged built at Shirali close to the Chitrapur Math, as it was a promise that Swamiji had given to his guru in the year 1980. Anandashraya provided these "orphaned" elders a place to stay and enjoy the last days of their lives with love, dignity and self-respect.'
* Swami Parijnanashram Educational and Vocational Centre for the Handicapped: a vocational training cum school for children was established in Bolinj, in the suburb of Virar
, Mumbai who were physically and mentally challenged. In theorization with the State Government and Government of India
this institute was a revolutionary project and it has been completed on October 31, 1985.
* Development at Karla: In the town of Karla in Maharashtra an ashram by name Jnananand was built up. A temple for goddess Durga
also constructed by him called the Sri Durga Parameshwari Mata Mandir.
* Shantisukhada: an organization aimed at woman empowerment.
* Swami Parijnanashram: the Kanara Saraswat Association at the Panchavati hills nearby built a housing colony of cottages namely Parijnanashraya.
* Renovation of Panchavati temple: Near Shirali, Panchavati Dhyan Mandir was constructed by Swami Pandurangashram on the Panchavati hills and was renovated under the aeigis of Swami Parijnanashram III.
* Establishment of Deer Park at Govardhan Hillock: being an animal lover, Swamiji, monitored the formation of a deer park atop the Govardhan hillock.
Other projects aimed at commercial, industrial and technical progress initiated by Swamiji were:
* Chitrapur Gram Vikas Yojana (Chitrapur Village Development Scheme): a project aimed at making Chitrapur Village a self sufficient viable township. Various sub-projects that resulted from this Scheme are: Development of cottage industries, Encouragement of agriculture and Improvement in Dairy farming.
* Archaeology Museum at Shirali: In 1974, this museum was opened. With many rare artifacts and idols that He had collected He personally created a museum of Archaeology.
* Wireless Station and Observatory Post at Panchavati Hills
* Commercial complex in Bengaluru: a project was established by Swamiji that would result in the building of a residential and commercial complex.
* Updating Library: The Chitrapur Math library was refurnished and updated.
On December 24th1989 at Mumbai, the Mahasabha (Grand gathering/meeting) of the Saraswats took place. Swami Parijnanashram III made His position in the sabha, conceiving becoming the mathadhipati very clear to the community. He wanted the community and the divisions to be repaired as one. The Mahasabha later arrived at the determination that the guru parampara would be continued by that person whom Swamiji had accepted as a shishya (disciple).
Death of Swami Parijnanashram III
After Swamiji's death two miracles have been observed at the temple at Karla. To complete the shrine of Swamiji with the installation of Shiva Linga, when the slab were removed to the surprise of everyone, the Marigold flowers and the tulsi
leaves was still very fresh that had been placed over the body of Swamiji. The samadhi of Swami Parijnanashram III is located next to the Durga Parameshwari Temple at Karla.
Swamiji settled down at the Jnananand after stepping down from the post of Mathadhipati. He continued His pursuits of welfare. Swamiji, all of a sudden left for Bengaluru
on August 27, 1991 to be at the Chitrapur Math, the place where His Guru Swami Anandashram had attained Maha-samadhi (died). On August 29, 1991, 2 days later, at the young age of 44, Swami Parijnanashram III attained Maha-samadhi out of the blue.
He had not accepted a shishya (disciple). As He has faced the discontentment of some people in the community so He felt that any shishya adopted by Him might not be accepted by those same people.