Jagadguru Rambhadracharya
Jagadguru Rambhadracharya.jpg
Jagadguru Rambhadracharya delivering a sermon on 25 October 2009 in Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
Giridhar Mishra

(1950-01-14) 14 January 1950 (age 70)
Shandikhurd, Jaunpur district, Uttar Pradesh, India
SectRamanandi sect
SignatureThumb impression of Rambhadracharya
Founder of
PhilosophyVishishtadvaita Vedanta
Religious career
  • Ishvardas (Mantra)
  • Ramprasad Tripathi (Sanskrit)
  • Ramcharandas (Sampradaya)
Literary worksŚrīrāghavakṛpābhāṣyam on Prasthanatrayi, Śrībhārgavarāghavīyam, Bhṛṅgadūtam, Gītarāmāyaṇam, Śrīsītārāmasuprabhātam, Śrīsītārāmakelikaumudi, Aṣṭāvakra, and others
HonoursDharmacakravartī, Mahāmahopādhyāya, Śrīcitrakūṭatulasīpīṭhādhīśvara, Jagadguru Rāmānandācārya, Mahākavi, Prasthānatrayībhāṣyakāra, and others
Humanity is my temple, and I am its worshiper. The disabled are my supreme God, and I am their grace seeker.[3]
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Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Swami Rambhadracharya[α][4] (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.[5] He is one of four incumbent Jagadguru Ramanandacharya,[γ] and has held this title since 1988.[6][7][8]

Rambhadracharya is the founder and head of Tulsi Peeth, a religious and social service institution in Chitrakoot named after Saint Tulsidas.[9][10] 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.[5][11][12][13][14] 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.[15]

Rambhadracharya can speak 22 languages and is a spontaneous poet[δ] and writer in Sanskrit, Hindi, Awadhi, Maithili, and several other languages.[16][17] He has authored more than 100 books and 50 papers,[11][18][19] including four epic poems,[ε] Hindi commentaries on Tulsidas' Ramcharitmanas and Hanuman Chalisa, a Sanskrit commentary in verse on the Ashtadhyayi, and Sanskrit commentaries on the Prasthanatrayi scriptures.[20][21] He is acknowledged for his knowledge in diverse fields including Sanskrit grammar, Nyaya and Vedanta.[22] He is regarded as one of the greatest authorities on Tulsidas in India,[23] and is the editor of a critical edition of the Ramcharitmanas.[24] He is a Katha artist for the Ramayana and the Bhagavata. His Katha programmes are held regularly in different cities in India and other countries, and are telecast on television channels like Shubh TV, Sanskar TV and Sanatan TV.[25][26] He is also a leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP).[27]

Birth and early life

Shachidevi Mishra
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 Vasishtha Gotra (lineage of the sage Vasishtha) in Shandikhurd village in the Jaunpur district, Uttar Pradesh, India.[28] He was born on Makara Sankranti day, 14 January 1950.[11][14][29][30] 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.[16][31]

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