Jagadguru Karmayogi Charukeerty Bhattarak Swamiji
His Holiness Jagadguru Karmayogi Charukeerty Bhattarak
Swamiji, a renowned personality, is the present pontiff of the world
renowned Shravanabelagola Math. Born on 3rd May 1949 at Varang
in Karnataka as Ratnavarma, H.H.Swamiji has not only studied Jain
Philosophy in Prakrit, Sanskrit and Kannada but is also an M.A. in History
(Mysore University) and an M.A.in Philosophy (Bangalore University).
H.H.Swamiji became a Monk on 12th December, 1969 and ascended
the Dharmacharya Peetha at Shravanabelagola Math on 19th April,
1970. He moved on to become the Chairman of S.D.J.M.I. Managing Committee
(The Managing Committee of Shravanabelagola Shrine). The title
‘Charukeerty Swamiji’ was conferred upon Acharya Muni Shubhachandra during
the reign of the Hoysala Dynasty, by the king, for his able guidance
during a turbulent period. Since then the succeeding Acharyas have
continued to take over the title.
As the Pontiff of the Shravanabelagola Math, H.H.Swamiji
not only toils hard to treasure the valuable heritage of the Math, but is
in constant attempt to improve and enhance its worth. It is at
Shravanabelagola, that Shrutakevali Bhadrababhu Muni and his disciple
Emperor Chandragupta Maurya attained samadhi in the year 300 B.C.. The
Dharmacharya Peetha was established then and Shravanabelagola has since
been recognised as an important centre of learning Jain philosophy,
religion and practice.
It is a well known fact that H.H.Swamiji is a dedicated
task master. In appreciation of his dedication to selfless service, he was
honoured with the title 'Karmayogi' by the late Prime Minister Smt.Indira
Gandhi. His active role in organising the highly successful holy journey
of the 'Dharmachakra' across the length and breadth of Southern India in
commemoration of the '2500th anniversary of Bhagwan Mahaveer's
Nirvana', the very well organised '1000th year consecration and
Head Anointing (Mahamastakabhisheka)' ceremonies of Bhagwan Bahubali and
the Free Eye Camp organised at Shravanabelagola in which a 1000 people
benefitted speak volume about Swamiji's acumen.
H.H.Swamiji is an enlightening torch in the field of
education. He has established Pre-Primary, Primary and High Schools, a
College of Pharmacy, P.U.C. College (Science), an Engineering College, a
Polytechnic and a National Institute for Prakrit Studies and Research
Centre. Gommateshwar Vidyapeetha is instrumental in producing scholars in
religious studies. In order to make the treasure of knowledge in Prakrit
available to the common man, Swamiji has established the 'Prakrit
Jnanabharathi Education Trust' at Bangalore. Under the auspices of this
trust, National Prakrit Conferences are held once in every two years. 'Prakrit
Jnanabharathi Awards' are also presented every year, to ten scholars
selected for their notable contribution in the field of Prakrit.
H.H.Swamiji is also deeply involved in various
developmental Projects. Under his able guidance numerous Dharmashalas and
Guest Houses providing all amenities to the large number of tourists and
pilgrims have been constructed. An Ayurvedic Hospital, an Eye Hospital and
a Clinical Lab are in service. A mobile hospital which was launched to
benefit the rural areas is serving the purpose. In addition, the ten
villages in the vicinity of Shravanabelagola which was taken up for
development is now provided with school buildings, drinking water, new
tanks, community centres, roads and street lights.
Being an academic, H.H.Swamiji is also an articulate
orator. He has a strong command over Hindi, English and Kannada languages
and his discourses are simple and lucid. Therefore its but inevitable that
he is often invited by several social organisations like Vishwa Dharma
Shanti Sammelan Samiti (World Religion & Peace Conference Committee), to
deliver his spell bounding lectures. He has toured Singapore, U.S.A.,
Kenya, U.K. and Europe towards the same. He performed the consecration of
the Jain Temple of Leicester, England in 1988.
Through his notable accomplishments H.H.Swamiji has
simplified religion for the layman and opened several avenues where the
preachings of the Tirthankars can be practiced.