SRF and Shankaracharya Krishna Tirtha, head of the Swami Order of India

Shankaracharya Daya Ma Master text_Fotor

(YSite SummarySri Shankaracharya Krishna Tirtha was head of the ancient Swami Order of India to which Paramahansaji and the Self-Realization Order of monastics belong.  Recognized as a great saint, the Shankaracharya was also a renowned Sanskrit scholar.  In  Sanskrit texts he rediscovered the ancient system of Vedic Mathematics said to be nonexistent by others.  The Shankaracharya was also said to be influential in the change of the spelling of Paramahansaji’s title to the Sanskrit spelling 

The Shankaracharya was supremely supportive of Paramahansa Yogananda’s work through SRF/YSS, and it was he who made possible  Daya Mataji’s visit to the Jagannath temple of Puri where westerners are not generally allowed.  On an occasion he initiated monks of the Yogoda Satsanga Society at the request of Daya Mataji.

In 1958, sponsored by Self-Realization Fellowship, the Shankaracharya made an historic visit to America where he traveled the country speaking at many universities and other organizations, and reached millions through his talks on radio and television.

On many occasions the great Jagadguru voiced his loving spiritual support of the work of Paramahansa Yogananda: “I have found in Self-Realization Fellowship the highest spirituality, service and love.  Not only do their representatives preach his principles, but they live according to them.” 

See also~  “Shankaracharya (Shankara), India’s greatest philosopher…” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

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PARAMAHANSA YOGANANDA on his SRF/YSS Order of monastics in the Shankara Order: “I have perpetuated in the monastic order of Self-Realization Fellowship/Yogoda Satsanga Society of India the line of Sannyas in the Shankara Order, which I entered when I received the holy vows of a swami from my Guru.  The organizational work that God and my Guru and Paramgurus have started through me is carried on not by worldly hired employees, but by those who have dedicated their lives to the highest objectives of renunciation and love for God.”   God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita

“Every swami belongs to the ancient monastic order that has been honored in India since time immemorial.  Reorganized in its present form centuries ago by Shankaracharya, it has since been headed by an unbroken line of venerable teachers (each of whom successively bears the title of Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya)…  All monks of the swami order thus trace their spiritual lineage to a common guru, Adi (“the first”)  Shankaracharya.  They take vows of poverty (nonattachment to possessions), chastity and obedience to the head or spiritual authority.  In many ways the Catholic Christian monastic orders resemble the more ancient Order of Swamis.”  from “I Become A Monk Of The Swami Order,” Autobiography of  Yogi


THE ADVANCED REALIZATION OF THE SHANKARACHARYA ~ Having a “burning desire for spiritual knowledge, practice and attainment” [the Shankaracharya]…spent many years at the most advanced studies with the Shankaracharya at Sringeri in Mysore and was given the name Bharati Krsna Tirtha when he was initiated into the order of Sannyasa at Benares in 1919. He later, in 1925, became a Shankaracharya (the highest religious title in India). He believed in the ancient Vedic tradition of all-round spiritual and cultural harmony, and his ambition for humanity was a world-wide cultural and spiritual renewal. People flocked to him in crowds and waited at his doors for hours. Granted an interview with him people felt that he immediately knew their need. Even when suffering from excessive strain he refused to take rest, continuing with his studies, talks, lectures and writings with unabated and youth-like vigour and enthusiasm.  The Life of Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji

Shankaracharya Daya

DAYA MATAJI ~~It has been said that man cannot fully understand the principles of truth expressed in the scriptures until he sees them manifested in the life of an enlightened teacher.  Such a teacher was His Holiness Jagadguru Sankaracarya of Puri. His Holiness was founder-president of the World Reconstruction Association…whose aim is the furtherance of world peace and universal brotherhood, an ideal dear to the heart of my own Guru, Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda. 

When his Holiness, the Jagadguru, arrived at our International Headquarters in Los Angeles, California in 1958, it was with a special sense of awe and respect that I greeted him.  For he was 82 years of age, and he was a living example of the highest principles taught in the scriptures of India…His Holiness was a saintly personage of vast learning, and a gifted speaker.  He was also an outstanding mathematician…

As a sage, His Holiness felt profoundly that a great spiritual awakening is vital and urgent in order to preserve world peace.  By “spiritual awakening” the Sancaracarya meant the Self-realization of every human being, each according to his chosen path or religion. 

From his Holiness emanated the peace of a man of God.  He exemplified the virtues written about in the great scriptures of East and West.  He was truly a universal man.  Yet he was humble; the words of Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda better describe what I felt about the Jagadguru:  “Humbleness is a fertile valley consciousness where the rain of God’s wisdom falls fruitfully.  Humbleness is a manifestation of an understanding heart and sets an example of greatness for others to follow.”

Self-Realization Fellowship (Yogoda Satsanga Society of India) was chosen by his Holiness as his official sponsor in the United States… His Holiness traveled from coast to coast to speak at centers of learning in America…The Jagadguru also spoke on radio and television programs, and before numerous religious, cultural and educational groups…millions heard his talks on radio and television.  Always his speech centered on Truth; on the goal of life and the furtherance of world peace and universal brotherhood.

from preface to the Shankaracharya’s book, Vedic Metaphysics

Swami Shankarachara, 1959 tour, doing math


“The renowned Shankaracharya of Puri, His Holiness Jagadguru Swami Sri Bharati Krishna Tirtha, found in sixteen stokas of the [Sanskrit] Atharva Veda, the “Ganita Sutras”—which have been dismissed by many Western scholars as “unintelligible nonsense”—unique formulas applicable to mathematics in all its branches from simple arithmetic to calculus and physics and all forms of applied mathematics.  (See Vedic Mathematics written by His Holiness, published by Motilal Banarsidas, Varanasi, 1965.) 

Publisher’s Note, God Talks With Arjuna: The Bhagavad Gita, Paramahansa Yogananda


…[The Shankaracharya], in his early days, was an exceptionally brilliant student and invariably won the first place in all subjects in all the classes throughout his educational career. . . at the age of just twenty he passed M.A. Examination in further seven subjects simultaneously securing the highest honours in all, which is perhaps the all-time record of academic brilliance. His subjects included Sanskrit, Philosophy, English, Mathematics, History and Science”…

In July 1899 he was awarded the title of “Saraswati” for all round proficiency and gifted oratory in Sanskrit by the Sanskrit Association of Madras. He had a brilliant academic record with a Masters (MA) degree in six subjects – Sanskrit, English, History, Philosophy, Mathematics and Science … (from his book Vedic Metaphysics)

Tirthaji and the Rediscovery of Vedic Mathematics  The ancient system of Vedic Mathematics was rediscovered from the Indian Sanskrit texts known as the Vedas, between 1911 and 1918 by Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji (1884-1960).

At the beginning of the twentieth century, when there was a great interest in the Sanskrit texts in Europe, Bharati Krsna tells us some scholars ridiculed certain texts which were headed ‘Ganita Sutras’- which means mathematics. They could find no mathematics in the translation and dismissed the texts as rubbish.

Bharati Krsna, who was himself a scholar of Sanskrit, Mathematics, History and Philosophy, studied these texts and after lengthy and careful investigation was able to reconstruct the mathematics of the Vedas. According to his research all of mathematics is based on sixteen Sutras, or word-formulae.… in his final years he wrote a single book: Vedic Mathematics, currently available. It was published in 1965, five years after his death.

Between 1981 and 1987 Andrew Nicholas made four trips to India initially to find out what further was known about it. Following these journeys a renewed interest was taken by scholars and teachers in India. It seems that once they saw that some people in the West took Vedic Mathematics seriously they realized they had something special….

Today Vedic Mathematics is taught widely in schools in India and a great deal of research is being done. Three further books appeared in 1984, the year of the centenary of the birth of Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji. These were published by The Vedic Mathematics Research Group.

The Life of Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji

See also ~

Paramahansaji on the Importance of his SRF/YSS Monastic Order

“Shankaracharya (Shankara), India’s greatest philosopher…” ~ Paramahansa Yogananda

The Meaning and Spelling of the Title “Paramahansa”



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