The incumbent pontiff of the Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt, Swasthishri Jagadguru Charukeerthi Swamiji has remained as head of the Mutt for 5 decades since he was appointed on April 19, 1970. He is the guiding force of the Mutt in conducting religious, cultural and educational activities. His great ability in converting religious programmes into welfare programmes meant for people who live in surrounding areas of Shravanabelagola has earned him accolades.
Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji’s “poorvashrama” (pre-ordainment) home is situated at Varanga in Dakshina Kannada. He was born in a school’s teacher’s family on May 3, 1949 and is a scholar in Kannada, Sanskrit and Prakrit. He is a holder of post-graduate degrees in history and philosophy from Mysuru and Bengaluru Universities.
Austere and polite, the Swamiji has strived for the development of Shravanabelagola alongside religious activities. As many as 30 temples have been restored and daily pujas have been revived at these temples.
Since, 1970, the Swamiji has successfully conducted Mahamastakabhisheka of 1981, 1993, 2006 and 2018. In 1981, he was honoured with the title of “Karmayogi” by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi who was at Shravanabelagola to attend the event. A good orator, the Swamiji is fluent in Kannada, English and Hindi. He guided the consecration of the Jain basadi at Leicestershire, England in 1988.
The Swamiji’s long cherished dream of establishing a Prakrit University at Shravanabelagola has been realized with the state government agreeing to set up the Prakrit University and deciding to allot 32 acres of land besides earmarking Rs 21-crore for the purpose in the 2016-17 budget.
To live up to the title of ‘Karmayogi’ bestowed upon him, the Swamiji has adopted several villages around Shravanabelagola for the purpose of promoting education. Through the Mutt, free eye check-up/treatment camps, a mobile hospital, building of tanks and community centres have been initiated. An engineering college has been set up at Shravanabelagola where no donations or capitation fee is collected from students. An ayurvedic college, pharmacy college and polytechnic are functioning under the Jain Mutt.
Note from Kannada.Club :
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