Swami Nischalanand Saraswati Maharaj
145th Srimad Jagadguru Sankaracharya
Govardhan muth- Puri Peeth, Odisha
His Holiness Swami Nischalananda Saraswati Maharaj , the hundred forty fifth pontiff of this monastery ( Puri) has been carrying on his shoulders these very pious obligations with exemplary dynamism since 1992. A highly deserving recipient of the profuse and sublime grace of His Holiness Shri Swami Karapatri ji Maharaj, widely adored as Dharm Samrat , and appointed by his predecessor Acharya His Holiness Swami Niranjan Devatirtha Maharaj, Swami Nischalanand Saraswati Maharaj has been focusing his whole attention on certain vitally significant areas of interest purely in the interest of world welfare and of the nation. Chief among them are a sound overhaul of the Vyasa Peetha, the center of learning , of the administrative machinery , and above all a dissemination with all sanctity of duly purged knowledge wisdom( Jnana- Vijnana) that has passed through several deplorable phases of decay, malformation and decadence. It is precisely with a view to meeting these objectives that the revered Swamiji brought into being institutes like “ Aditya Vahinee” and “ Ananda Vahinee”.
Even a cursory review of the highly venerable sage should suffice to reveal that each one of his multifarious activities stands as a living , irrefutable proof of his unique and matchless patriotic fervor. There are proofs galore of how this pontiff has been realizing Bhagavatpada Adi Sankaracharya’s objective of founding an exploitation – free, welfare state administering universal, all – round welfare of its citizens without partisanship and discrimination.
Around 507 B.C. there descended on the sacred, deeply adorable soil of this holy land a personality extraordinary who by the sheer force of his matchless erudition, enlightened the whole world. He was none other than Acharya Adi Shankara, a very embodiment of Lord Shiva, tenth in the line of Guru traceable back to Sriman Narayana himself. He had dispelled one for all the thousand and one dark force that were hitting hard at the very foundation of Sanatana Dharma and flew aloft unshakably the banner of Sanatana Dharma, thus establishing its invulnerability once for all. As is anybody’s guess, all this he accomplished solely by his all-too-rare spiritual wisdom, luster and strength, in short, his spiritual process.
His holiness Adi Shankaracharya was born in Kaladi villege of Kerala.His father’s name was Shivaguru and mother’s name was Sati Aryamba. He was by cast Nambudaripad Brahmin. He was born on Yudhisthir Sambat 2631 in 507 B.C. on Vaishakha Sukla Panchami on Sunday. His thread ceremony took place at the age of 5 years. Taking his mother’s blessings, he left hearth and home as a body to take a life of Sanyasa initiated by Shree Govindapadacharya on the auspicious day in the Kartik month on Devothana Ekadashi. From the age of 5 to 8 years Acharya Shankara learnt deep studies on the Vedas, Vedanga, Dharma Shastra, Purana, History and Budhagama etc. According to Sanatana Dharma and Shiva Purana, Hindus call Adi Shankaracharya as reincarnation of Lord Shiva. According to Adi Shankaracharya philosophy all the four Peeth’s Acharya are known as Shankaracharya.
Acharya Shankara within a short span of sixteen years re-established Sanatana Dharma after overcoming not only Budhism and other directionless religions but also climes and languages and incarnation (Tantra Mantra). His holy body left in demise at the age of 32 years in the year 2663 says 475 B.C. on the holy day of Kartika Poornima.
Bhagvatpada Adi Shankaracharya established four monasteries in the four corners of India. 2500 years ago, on the auspicious tenth day of the bright fortnight of the month of vasisakh, Bhagvatpada Adi Shankaracharya established the eastern monastery associated with Rigved called as “Poorvamnaya Sri Govardhan Math- Bhogavardhan Peetham”. Acharya Padmapada was ceremoniously installed as the first Sankaracharya of Govardhan Math, . That very day- which goes down as a doubly significant day in the annually of this math for that had been hurried underground for fear of vandalisation by iconoclasts, got fresh bodies made for them and consummated the process by installing them on the highly sacred Ratna simhasan ( a throne bedecked with precious jewels). He also ruled authoritatively that Shri Jagannath Mahaprabhu and Goddess Vimala Devi be the male and female presiding deities of Govardhan math respectively. More importantly, he revives the age old rituals and modes of worship that had long ceased to be. Not merely that, he also put in place a Bhoga mandapa right within the Jagannath temple to ensure easy access of devotees to Mahaprasad. Since that day right down to this day, the Shankarcharya of Govardhan math, Puri have been religiously handling their onerous responsibilities in respect of the unbroken maintenance of this great tradition.
The whole of the Eastern India viz. Bihar, Jharkhand, Chittasgarh, Andhra till Rajmahendri, Orissa, Bengal, Nepal, Bangladesh (Undivided India), Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Sikkim, Bhutan, Meghalaya, Tripura, Mizoram, Uttarapradesh till Prayaga including Gaya and Varanasi are considered as the territory of Sri Govardhan Peetham.
This math is situated in the region called Swargadwar, which is one of the main attractions of the town of Puri.