Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Rambhadracharya[α] (born Giridhar Mishra on 14 January 1950)[β] is a Hindu religious leader, educator, Sanskrit scholar, polyglot, poet, author, textual commentator, philosopher, composer, singer, playwright and Katha artist based in Chitrakoot, India. He is one of four incumbent Jagadguru Ramanandacharya,[γ] and has held this title since 1988.
Rambhadracharya is the founder and head of Tulsi Peeth, a religious and social service institution in Chitrakoot named after Saint Tulsidas. He is the founder and lifelong chancellor of the Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University in Chitrakoot, which offers graduate and postgraduate courses exclusively to four types of disabled students. Rambhadracharya has been blind since the age of two months, had no formal education till the age of seventeen years, and has never used Braille or any other aid to learn or compose.
An old photograph of Shachidevi Mishra, mother of Rambhadracharya
Jagadguru Rambhadracharya was born to Pandit Rajdev Mishra and Shachidevi Mishra in a Saryupareen Brahmin family of the VasishthaGotra (lineage of the sage Vasishtha) in Shandikhurd village in the Jaunpur district, Uttar Pradesh, India. He was born on Makara Sankranti day, 14 January 1950. Born to mother Shachidevi and father Pandit Rajdev Mishra, he was named Giridhar by his great aunt, a paternal cousin of his paternal grandfather, Pandit Suryabali Mishra. The great aunt was a devotee of Mirabai, a female saint of the Bhakti era in medieval India, who used the name Giridhar to address the god Krishna in her compositions.