KASARAGOD: Sachidananda Bharati (52), the nephew of Kesavananda Bharati, was anointed as the pontiff of the 400-year-old Edneer Math in Kasaragod on Wednesday.
Sixteen seers and representatives from various maths and temples attended the Peetharohanam ceremony, said an official of Edneer Math.
Sachidananda Bharati -- formerly known as Jayarama Manjathaya -- was initiated into Sannyasa by Kanchi math pontiff Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi in Kanchipuram on Monday. The Kanchi seer christened Jayarama as Sachidananda Bharati.
Sachidananda Bharati will be the last seer from the Manjathaya family to head the family-run Edneer Math in Kasaragod.
Before Kesavananda Bharati, his father's elder brother Sri Ishwarananda Bharati Swami was the head of the Math.
After he died in 1968, Kesavananda Bharati became the pontiff of the Math at the age of 19 years. Kesavananda, who remained the pontiff of the math for 52 years, died on September 6.
Before his death, the much-revered seer had named his sister's son Jayarama as his successor. Jayarama, now Sachidananda Bharati, was born as Jayarama Kedilaya to Kesavananda Bharati's sister Savithri and Narayana Kedilaya.
Since the Manjathaya family did not have an heir, Kesavananda Bharati's mother adopted Jayarama in 1982 and named him Jayarama Manjathaya.
"He is the last Manjathaya alive. The next seer will be from outside the family," said the Math's former legal advisor.
The Edneer Math was catapulted to the firmament of law when in 1968 its previous seer, Kesavananda Bharati, moved the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the Kerala government's Land Reforms Act. He was only 19 then.
The seer lost the case, but his writ petition led to the adoption of the landmark Basic Structure Doctrine, which established the supremacy of the Constitution over Parliament. In other words, the Supreme Court ruled that Parliament cannot alter the fundamental structure of the Constitution. The verdict became a part of the law school syllabus.