Wednesday, Nov 17, 2004
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By V. Jayanth
BACK AT THE MUTT: The junior Acharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi, who returned to Kancheepuram on Tuesday from Andhra Pradesh appealed to the "people to pray for unity and peace." Photo: K.V. Srinivasan
KANCHEEPURAM, NOV. 16. The junior Sankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi, returned to the temple town this morning to a reverential and affectionate welcome.
The Acharya, who drove all night from Mahbubnagar in Andhra Pradesh, was received on the Tamil Nadu border at Ponpadi at the crack of dawn. A special team of the Andhra Pradesh police escorted him from Mahbubnagar. The Tamil Nadu police joined the convoy near Ponpadi. The Acharya then drove straight to Kancheepuram, where he arrived at 8.30 a.m. He was received with temple honours on the outskirts of the town and again with full honours as he alighted at the Sankara Mutt, to the chanting of "Jaya Jaya Sankara, Hara Hara Sankara."
In a brief statement to the waiting media, Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi said: "In deep sorrow, I appeal to the people to pray for unity and peace."
A visibly shaken and tired Acharya then met the waiting devotees. Without exception, the distraught men and women expressed their gratitude to him, for cutting short his stay at Mahbubnagar and returning to the headquarters. It is very unusual for the head of a mutt to undertake a 12-hour non-stop journey to shift camp.
Relief for devotees
If Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi looked exhausted and concerned, there was significant relief on the faces of the devotees. They were happy that the junior Acharya was back and that the Mutt was returning to its normal activities. The staff and volunteers got busy preparing for the forenoon puja in the main hall, while the police threw a heavy security cordon around the Mutt.
Speaking to The Hindu , Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi appealed to all devotees to offer special prayers from tomorrow. They could recite the Vishnu Sahasranama, Kanda Sashti Kavacham and Hanuman chalisa, besides performing Rudhrabhishekam.
He said that all activities of the Mutt would continue as usual and appealed to the followers and volunteers to rededicate themselves with renewed vigour to the service they were doing.
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