Know Yourself
Himalayan Institute
Swami Rama Links



Shankaracharya Swami Vidya Shankar Bharati (Dr. Kurtkoti)

1888 - 1967

Shankaracharya Swami Vidya Shankar Bharati (Dr. Kurtkoti) was Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham, a branch of Sringeri Math in South India. He was a leading reformer in social and spiritual areas, and was far ahead of his time.

Because of his focus on serving all classes of people equally, he fell out of favor with the royalty which was then in power, and with certain religious leaders.

In the early 1930's efforts were made to strip the Shankaracharya of his position and therefore of his social influence. While away on a trip, a replacement was installed as Shankaracharya of Karvirpitham.  

Dr. Kurtkoti did not accept the action, but no longer having access to the Pitham, moved from that area to Nashik, a couple hundred kilometers to the north. From there he unsuccessfully fought the action in the courts for several decades.  

Dr. Kurtkoti continued his work of service to others in Nashik for some 35 years, until leaving his body in 1967. 

In 1950 Shankaracharya Swami Vidya Shankar Bharati (Dr. Kurtkoti) initiated a young sage known as Bhole Baba into the Dandi order of Swamis, one of the highest initiations in the tradition of Adi Shankaracharya.

Bhole Baba was given the name Dandi Swami Sadashiva Bharati.

Written and oral history varies as to whether Dandi Swami Sadashiva Bharati was also initiated as a Shankaracharya at that time, or whether his initiation as Dandi Swami was in preparation for him to later be installed as successor to Dr. Kurtkoti.

Dandi Swami Sadashiva Bharati was later to be known simply as Swami Rama.

Both before and after this phase of Swami Rama's journey, his main teacher was Bengali Baba, a great sage of the Himalayas, himself a student of the mystical Mahavatar Baba, known as "Babaji," with whom Swami Rama also directly studied and practiced.

[Top] Back ] Home ] Next ]