> The cook was Shantanand, I beleive, who was first on the list, and
> became Shankarachara --  so it was a bit more interesting, with a
> thicker plot --  than your account suggests.
If the cook was Shantanand and he was suspected of murder why did the
Swami Svarupanand invite him to the birthday celebration reported by

> ...I think that Shantanand was GD's cook is the best
> established of the facts. 
Guru Dev didn't have a cook - Sannyasins of the Shankaracharya order
don't eat food cooked by others.

> And MMY was his clerk, aka secretary.  
MMY was a devotee who performed office duty, probably because he could
read and write English.
> And it appears from some testimony regarding the will, that GD was
> not very lucid in his last days. 

> Plausibly the effect of sudden poisons introduced. 
According to the coroners report Guru Dev died of natural causes - no
mention of poisons in the Indian press at the time. Shantanand was at
Allahabad at the Shankar Math at the time, not in Calcutta with Guru

> But hypothetically, if a signed "list" appeared, it would give
> enough nominal clearance during the chaos of GD's passing, to enable
> a new shankaracharaya to be rushed into GD's quarters. Which is what
> happened. 
According to the Times of India Shantanand was installed as the new
Shankaracharya with all due pomp and ceremony in a public coronation
that lasted for days.

> Then it became a game of "possession is 9/10s of the law". 
Shantanand, as Guru Dev's succussor, inherited the Shankaracharya
title, the Jyotirmath, the property, and all the accoutrements of the
office. Swami Vasudevananda Saraswati is the current Shankaracharya at
> And GD's clerk or secretary would be the person to prepare such a
> list. And could have had GD sign it, at GD's request, or in the
> confusion of his non-lucidity, if that occurred.
Apparently Guru Dev's last will and command was written in Hindi by
Guru Dev himself. The will has never been contested, according to
published reports.

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