A pall of gloom descended on Siddaganga Mutt on Monday after Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy made an official announcement of the seer’s demise at 2 pm.
“The seer, known as ‘Nadedaduva Devaru’ (god in human form) helped lakhs of people with his social service. In his passing, he has left behind great ideals and institutions,” Kumaraswamy said.
Accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara and Home Minister M B Patil, Kumaraswamy said arrangements will be made for devotees to pay last respects to the seer till 3.30 pm on Tuesday. “The last rites of the seer will be conducted at 4 pm on Tuesday with state honours. An order will be issued declaring state holiday on Tuesday and three-day mourning,” he said.
There was a steady flow of people from the morning with thousands of standing outside both the main entrance as well as the Bandemath gate. The police were not ready to let them in till the arrangements inside were complete and had a tough time controlling the emotional and distraught devotees.
As the body of the seer was brought to his seat at Prasada Nilaya at 3.30 pm, a wave of wail swept through the crowd with children and old men alike bidding adieu to their ‘Buddhi’ (the wise one). Many had a look of disbelief and called their close ones on phone to convey the news as tears rolled down their eyes.
As the body passed the Atavi Shivayogi temple, a priest who was conducting puja left the ‘garbha gruha’ (sanctum sanctorum) and ran to the window to perform puja to the mortal remains of the Swami. Many in the temple turned to the window with folded hands.
Three long queues separated by railings led to the stage at the exhibition ground where the seer’s body in seated posture was placed on top of a stage.
Many who came near the stage broke down but moved along to make space for others. Officials at the administrative office of the mutt said nearly 2 lakh people stood in queues for a last glimpse of the seer.