Prime News, National, Karnataka, Bengaluru, December 30:- The ‘Brindavana’ final rites of Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji of Udupi Pejawar Mutt were held according to traditional rituals at the Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha in Bengaluru on Sunday evening.
Full state honours were accorded to Pejawar seer at the Vidyapeetha in the presence of thousands of mourners.
Pejawar Swamiji’s body was interned in a sitting posture at the Vidyapeetha premises as per his wish, amid chanting of Vedic hymns by scores of priests.
The mortal remains were kept for public viewing from 4 pm at the National College Grounds at Basavanagudi in the city. The Karnataka government has declared a three-day state mourning till December 31 as a mark of respect to Seer Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji.
The Pejawar Swamiji who was suffering from a brief illness, passed away on Sunday morning. He was 88. One of the eight mutts in Udupi, Pejawar Mutt is an influential religious centres in South India.
Several national and state leaders paid their last respects to the Pejawar Swamiji.
A host of leaders, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, condoled the death of Pejawar Mutt head Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji on Sunday, recalling his service to society and hailing him as an epitome of humanity and kindness.
Condoling the seer’s death Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Sri Vishvesha Teertha Swamiji of Sri Pejawara Matha, Udupi will remain in the hearts and minds of lakhs of people for whom he was always a guiding light. A powerhouse of service and spirituality, he continuously worked for a more just and compassionate society. Om Shanti.”
Finance Minister Nirmala Seetharaman tweeted that she placed a wreath on the mortal remains on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. “A saint who guided all is no more among us,” she said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi and Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa were among the other prominent leaders who mourned the demise of the seer
“Deeply pained to learn about the demise of Sri Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swami ji of the Pejawar mutt, Udupi. He was an epitome of humanity, kindness and knowledge. His selfless contribution towards the welfare of people and society has no parallels,” Amit Shah tweeted.
Rahul Gandhi tweeted, “Im sorry to hear of the passing of Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji of Pejawara Matha, Udupi. My condolences to all his followers around the world. Om Shanti.”
In his message, Yediyurappa said: “The ancient Indian culture has suffered an irreparable loss in the passing away of Udupi Pejawar Math seer Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji. His life and his contribution to our society will remain etched in memory forever. May Lord Sri Krishna give strength to the lakhs of his followers to bear the loss.”
Former chief minister Siddaramaiah said the seer had won the hearts of many people with his philosophy and honest speeches. In his tweet, the Congress leader hailed contributions of the seer to the elimination of social evils such as untouchability.
Former prime minister H D Deve Gowda too joined the mourners and said the seer was the voice of the poor and deprived and his thoughts acted as a guide for all. Janata Dal (Secular) leader and former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, in a tweet, described Vishwesha Tirtha Swami seer as “an extraordinary saint” who was lively and socially progressive.
Bharatiya Janata Party state president Nalin Kumar Kateel said the seer was a conscience-keeper of society and a champion of unity among Hindus. “His death has caused a huge void that will be difficult to fill,” he said.
Senior Congress leader M Mallikarjuna Kharge, Dinesh Gundu Rao and R V Deshpande also recalled the contributions of the seer and condoled his death.
Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji was a powerful pontiff revered by a large number of devotees that included top political leaders irrespective of the party affiliation. Most of the national leaders would make Udupi part of their itinerary to take blessings of the seer, during their visits to Karnataka.
Pejawar seer was an influential figure who was known for making public and political comments on important issues. He was closely associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Ram Mandir movement. Expressing happiness over the recent Ayodhya verdict, he had said that to see Ram Mandir built at Ayodhya was his last wish.
The Swamiji drew flak as well as appreciation for some of his initiatives like organising Iftar parties to Muslim community members and visiting Dalit colonies which he said was to end discrimination. (Inputs: Agencies, NGB)