Jagadguru Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Swamy did his primary education at Suttur itself with his previous name as Sri Puttaswamy. Sri Shivarathreeshwara took the blessed one into his fold and officially named him as Sri Shivarathri Rajendraswamy. Poojya Sri Swamiji took to studying Sanskrit at the tender age of 8 in Mysuru as a disciple of the great Sanskrit scholar Basavaraja Shastri. Sri Rajendraswamy went to Kashi and met Sri Gowrishankaraswamy and expressed his desire to study under his guidance. Sri Gowrishankaraswmy told Swamiji, “It is not enough if you get educated. You should go back and support education of poor children.” In the meanwhile, when Swamiji was not to be seen in Mysuru, Sri Shivarathreshwara guessed rightly and reached Kashi and brought back Sri Rajendra Swamiji to Mysuru. On 24.2.1928 when Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Swamy was only twelve years old, he was anointed with the responsibilities of the Sri Math.
After taking on the responsibilities of the Sri Math, Sri Rajendraswamy got engaged in social service and continuous reflection. With the intention of supporting poor students who would otherwise drop out from education, Poojya Swamiji started free hostels. With the blessings and encouragement of the Senior Swamiji, a building on Vanivilas Road was bought and the free hostel was started. That was the grand beginning of the students’ hostels.
Several stalwarts have studied in the hostels that began in the 40s. They included Sri M. Rajashekharamurthy, Sri M.S. Gurupadaswamy, Sri H. Veerabhadraiah, Sri M.S. Parasivamurthy and others. In the later decades, Dr. D.M. Nanjundappa, Prof. G.S. Shivarudrappa, Dr. UR Ananthamurthy, Dr. H. M. Marulasiddaiah and others stayed and studied in these hostels. The hostels were started in 1945 at Chamarajanagara and in 1948 at Mysuru ‘Gourishankara Nilaya’. Thus, the student hostels have grown in number in several places and have provided boarding and lodging facility to thousands of children and have supported in their education.
Sri Rajendra Swamiji who succeeded the Math with a great religious legacy, did not limit himself only to religious activities, but responded to the inequality, poverty and misery in the society. The services of the Math were extended very appropriately to the society. Much before India attained independence, the seer had identified that it is lack of education which was the root cause of problems faced by the masses and started the JSS Mahavidyapeetha in 1954 for providing education. Under the aegis of JSS Mahavidyapeetha, he started schools and colleges for Akshara Dasoha (education), hostels for Anna Dasoha (boarding and lodging) and hospitals for Arogya Seva (health services) that led to social development. The Seer who had a big heart to support the poor and the downtrodden, provided opportunities to thousands who needed shelter.
Poojya Swamiji initiated several institutions and movements to keep the Vachana movement’s hopes and objectives alive in the minds of this generation, All India Sharana Sahithya Parishath; for publications on literature, religion, enlightenment, education, art, etc., Sri Shivarathreeshwara Granthamala (series of literary works) and Sri Shivarathreewhwara Trust; for encouraging music, JSS Sangeetha Sabha and JSS Kala Mantapa; for rural development, JSS Rural Trust; for vocational training Janashikshana Trust and for rural health care JSS Medical Trust. The Health Centre started in 1963 is now an 1800-bed big hospital with several modern multi specialty services. Currently under the Mahavidyapeeta, more than 300 institutions are working facilitating education services to more than 50,000 students. More than 1,000 employees are working with various institutions. The Sri Math is working not just in Karnataka, but also has extended its services in Tamilnadu, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and also overseas – in Dubai, Mauritius and The USA. In Suttur Srikshetra, more than 4,000 poor students are getting free education, hostel and boarding facilities. Today, His Holiness Jagadguru Sri Shivarathri Rajendra Mahaswamiji’s vision, dedication, sacrifice, generosity and meditation have led to the development of JSS Institutions into a huge organization.