The head of Pejavara Mutt Vishwesha Teertha Swami died at 9:21 am on Sunday after battling age related illness. The Pejavara mutt is one among the “Ashta” Mutts of Udupi in Karnataka. He was given a state funeral.
“Sri Vishvesha Teertha Swamiji of the 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,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted his condolences.
“I consider myself blessed to have got many opportunities to learn from Sri Vishvesha Teertha Swamiji. Our recent meeting, on the pious day of Guru Purnima was also a memorable one. His impeccable knowledge always stood out. My thoughts are with his countless followers,” PM Modi said.
“May Lord Krishna grant salvation to his soul. I would pray for the devotees to give them the strength to overcome their pain,” Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said.
Mutt officials and the junior pontiff Vishwaprasanna Teertha Swamiji on Saturday said they decided to shift the seer from the hospital to the mutt on Sunday as per his wishes.
The 88-year-old pontiff had been in the intensive care unit since he was hospitalised on December 20 after developing breathing difficulties. Doctors had earlier said the pontiff was being treated for extensive pneumonia.
Earlier on Saturday evening, doctors at Kasturba Hospital in Manipal had in a bulletin stated that the seer “remains unconscious and continues to be on life support systems. Tests done showed severe brain dysfunction”.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, who was touring the coastal region, rushed to the hospital on Saturday. Former Union Minister Uma Bharti came to the Udupi Sri Krishna Mutt this morning.
Bharti called him a “rarest of rare” saint, revered by people from across sections of the society.
“My guru is a karma yogi and he taught all of us to become karma yogis,” she said, news agency PTI reported.
Bharti had taken the Sanyasa Deeksha from the seer in 1992.
The seer’s remains were laid rest at the Vidyapeetha in Basavangudi after 9 pm, where the last rites were conducted.
Vishwesha Theertha swami was considered one of the most liberal seers in the Ashta mutts of the Udupi temple. He was also a member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s steering committee constituted to pursue the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. He had also shot off a letter during Emergency in India in 1975.