Sri Bharati Theertha Swamier
In the present age of complacence of Vedic culture, there still exists a good home of fame for Vedas and Sanskrit knowledge. This is because of the present Acharya Sri Bharathi Tirtha. His methodology of spreading the Vedas, inspiring the people to learn the Sanskrit language has been accepted by one and all. Even now the Sringeri Mutt stands first and foremost among the four Mutts in Vedic preaching and the credit goes to the present Acharya, Sri Bharathi Tirtha, the 36th Jagadguru in the resplendent unbroken Guru parampara of Sri Sharada Peetham. He is very scholarly with extraordinary knowledge and proficiency in Vedanta (Upanishads), Shastras and Sanskrit literature. He knows several Indian languages and English. He is a persuasive orator and a powerful conversationist. He is a sannyasin of the highest Paramahamsa order.
He was born in Narsaraopet in Guntur District in Andhra Pradesh on April 11, 1951. His name in his poorvashrama was Sitarama Anjaneyulu. His father's name was Venkateswara Avadhani and mother's name Smt. Ananthalakshmamma. The pious couple desired very much to have a son after begetting four daughters. Avadhani used to wake up early in the morning, bathe in the river and worship Lord Bhavani Shankara, the local deity, with Rudrabhishekha. This he did for a year. He also used to perform Sri Rama Navaratrotsava. He took a vow to name his child after Sita and Rama if his wish was fulfilled. The Lords Shankara and Rama were kind to him. He was blessed with a son. The child was name Sitarama Anjaneyulu. Sitarama Anjaneyulu was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Worship of Lord Chandramouliswara has been His keen desire. Even during His boyhood days, He used to forget Himself worshipping the Lord.
After school hours, He always devoted His time for Sanskrit studies. He won a number of prizes and was invited by All India Radio, Vijayawada to participate in Sanskrit programmes. He learnt the Vedas from His father. He studied Samhita, Brahmana and Aranyaka so well that He could take part in the Guntur District Vedapraverdhaka Vidwat Pariksha. He passed the examination with honours.He came to Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha as a brahmachari at the age of 15 seeking His blessings and instruction in the Shastras. The Acharya was then observing Chaturmasya at Ujjain. Sitarama Anjaneyulu had come with great vairagya growing in Him. As Sri Abhinava Vidya Tirtha was returning after His bath in the river Kshipra, Sitarama Anajneyulu prostrated before Him and sought His refuge, which was granted. The very next day, the Acharya started teaching Him. He soon became a gem of a scholar and a devout disciple.
Sitarama Anjaneyulu did not leave the lotus feet of His Guru. He accompanied His Guru during all His tours. Sitarama Anjaneyulu was seen more often talking in Sanskrit than in Telugu, his mother tongue. Quite early in life, He completed His study of grammar, literature, logic and philosophy. With an inborn love for Sanskrit, He composed poetry at a very early age. Even at games, He would talk in verse. Rules of prosody were never violated. Rhyme, rhythm, suggestion and poetic beauty came naturally to Him. Even ordinary things of life found expression in His poetry. The mastery of His Holiness over Indian languages is well known to devotees. The Sringeri Mutt has a tradition of close connection with Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. People of these areas visit Him to pay their obeisance and are naturally drawn by His amazing versatility in the languages together with a command over the local idiom.
Sri Abhinava Vidya Thirtha granted Sanyasaashram to the young brahmachari Sitarama Anjaenyulu on November 11, 1974. Sri Bharathi Tirtha was the sanctified name given to the Sannyasin. His Guru declared that Sri Bharathi Tirtha would be His successor. He had unswerving devotion to His Guru. He accompanied his Guru in all His tours. At Sringeri, Sri Bharathi Tirtha, not only supervises the schools, but also teaches the senior students. He would personally conduct tests, encourage deserving students to help the slow learners and encourage even the teachers through some programmes. The Mutt has undergone many changes due to His initiative. Now, one can write official letters in any of the Indian Languages, or in English.
After His Guru attained Mahasamadhi, on October 19, 1989, Sri Bharathi Tirtha formally took over as the 36th Jagadguru of Sringeri Mutt. In many parts of the country He established branches. In many places, He consecrated the idols of Sri Sharada and Sri Adi Shankara. Recently while celebrating the 25th year of Sanyasa of Sri Bharathi Tirtha, a Golden Chariot was built, with excellent workmanship and sculptural beauty. The Goddess Sri Sharada is taken in procession in this Golden Chariot. He also constructed a huge Bhojana Sala in Sringeri called `Bharati Tirtha Prasad', in which about 3500-4000 pilgrims can be fed at a time.