The 23rd Jagadguru Dr. Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Mahaswamiji

Sri Mallikarjunaswami and Shrimathi Marammanni who were the residents of Srikshetra are the blessed parents of Poojya Rajendra Sri. Born on 29.8.1916, Poojya Sri did his primary education at Suttur itself with his previous name as Sri Puttaswamy. Sri Shivarathreeshwara took the blessed one into his fold and officially named him as Sri Shivarathri Rajendraswamy. Poojya Sri Swamiji took to studying Sanskrit at the tender age of 8 in Mysuru as a disciple of the great Sanskrit scholar Basavaraja Shastri. At this time, Poojya Sri Swamiji used to engage in long spiritual and academic discussions with Pandit Somashekharaswamy and had heard about Palace Panchagavi Math Sri Gowrishankaraswamy and was curious to meet him. Gowrishankaraswamy was in Kashi and had studied Sanskrit, literature, alankara, grammar, Pali, Prakrit, French, English, history, and psychology and had acquired fame as a scholar.

Sri Rajendraswamy went to Kashi and met Sri Gowrishankaraswamy and expressed his desire to study under his guidance. Sri Gowrishankaraswmy told Swamiji, ’It is not enough if you get educated. You should go back and support education of poor children.‘In the meanwhile, when Swamiji was not to be seen in Mysuru, Sri Shivarathreshwara guessed rightly and reached Kashi and brought back Sri Rajendra Swamiji to Mysuru. On 24.2.1928 when Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Swamy was only twelve years old, he was anointed with the responsibilities of the Sri Math.

After taking on the responsibilities of the Sri Math, Sri Rajendraswamy got engaged in social service and continuous reflection. With the intention of supporting poor students who would otherwise drop out from education, Poojya Swamiji started free hostels. With the blessings and encouragement of the Senior Swamiji, a building on Vanivilas Road was bought and the free hostel was started. That was the grand beginning of the students hostels.