Sri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi (born March 13, 1969 as SankaraNarayanan in a village called Thandalam, Tiruvallur District, Tamil Nadu) is the 70th Shankaracharya (guru and head or pontiff, Peetadhipathi) of the Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, a Hindu religious institution. He was nominated by his predecessor, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, as his successor and was given the title Sri Shankara Vijayendra Saraswathi on May 29, 1983 at the early age of 14 years.
He first attended a village school in his native village of Thandalam. After school hours, he learnt Sanskrit. His father Sri Krishnamurthy Sastri, a Vedic scholar of high repute, taught Rig Veda in the Sri Sankara Kainkarya Sabha Patashala in Polur. After studying in the regular system up to the sixth standard, Sankaranarayanan (the boy) joined the Patashala as an ardent student of his own father and became very proficient in the Vedas. Four ancient texts constituting the oldest layer of Sanskrit literature and the oldest scriptures of Hinduism
. He also studied and mastered various shastra-s. . Sri Dayananda Saraswathi swamigal of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam had on one occasion praised the "unabated enthusiasm" that Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi swamigal exuded while learning the vedas.
He had his first darshana of (i.e. saw) the 69th Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi when he was about eight years old. Thereafter He visited Kanchipuram from time to time and would go wherever the Navaratri pujas were performed by Jayendra Sarasvati. When He was eleven years old, he had his first darshana of Chandrashekarendra SaraswatiSaraswati
The name Saraswati is a combination of two Sanskrit words...
at Satara for the first time. When He met the Mahaswami once more a year later, the Mahaswami conversed with Him for a long time.
Jayendra Sarasvati initiated Shankaranarayanan (the boy) to the holy order of sannyasa on May 29, 1983. His sannyasa name is Shankara Vijayendra Sarasvati. In Tamil Nadu, His followers call Him "Bala Periyavaal", which means "The Young The Revered Holy One" in Tamil language.