Mumbai, May 12 : Renowned religious personality Swami Tapasyananda Saraswathi of Kerala has become the first-ever South Indian to be named as the Chief Vedic Acharya of the Sanyasi Mahasabha, based in Ahmedabad, an official said here on Wednesday.

Swami Tapasyananda's appointment to the prestigious position was made by Swami Jagadananda Saraswati, the Spiritual Head of the 6,000-strong Sanyasi Mahasabha, said his official spokesperson in Mumbai.

"My duties as Chief Vedic Acharya shall be to promote and propagate the ancient Vedic knowledge and other scriptures among the people, perform various rituals including special Yagnas and other religious ceremonies for the benefit of humankind," Swami Tapasyananda told IANS.

Hailing from a prosperous family in Central Travancore, Kerala, Swami Tapasyananda is the founder and Dharmadhikari of the Vedashila Charitable Trust, Mysore (Karnataka).

His spokerperson Pradeep Menon said that Swamiji exhibited a strong spirit of curiosity from early childhood, not satisfied with the routine formal education and hit the roads all over India in pursuit of higher and spiritual knowledge.

He studied at the Swami Bhoomananda Thirtha, Trichur, to master the fundamentals of Vedas and Puranas, and acquired his 'Brahmacharya Deeksha' from his Guru Sudarshana Swaroopa and other qualifying honours.

After years of unconventional but comprehensive studies to acquire the wisdom and compassion of the ancients, Swami Tapasyananda returned to his home-state, actively participated in and contributed to social reformations, all-religious meetings, social, academic and charitable initiatives, said Menon.

In the 12th year of his sanyas, Swami Tapasyananda married Uma - a Mohiniattam exponent, author and choreographer from Udupi - and the couple has a daughter Vedasmrithi.

Besides the trust in Mysore, in Kanyakumari, Tamil Nadu, Swami Tapasyananda has set up an ashram in Maruthwamala, a shelter for aged cows and a Vedashila centre for spiritual and astrological guidance to the seekers,

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