Pejawar Mutt seer Vishwesha Theertha Swami passed away at 88 on Sunday after a brief illness. He suffered multiple-organ failure on Saturday night following which he was shifted to the Pejwar Mutt in Udupi as per his wish expressed earlier, sources said.
The Pejawar seer's mortal remains will be kept at Mahatma Gandhi ground in Ajjarakadu in Udupi for public darshan at 10 am and later National College grounds in Bengaluru.
CM Yediyurappa announced three days of state mourning and all honours to be paid to the seer. He said that he has had the luck to receive his blessings for many years and has taken his advice regularly. "The country and state have lost a great soul. He consecrated the Ram Mandir and wanted to see the temple being built in Ayodhya, the Supreme Court also decided that the temple is to be built but he, unfortunately, won't be able to witness the temple being built now," the Chief Minister said. Vishwesha Theertha Swami was closely associated with the VHP's Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
"Hindu religion has lost a major guide in the passing away of the seer," Yediyurappa added. "He had held 'sahabhojana' with Dalits, which was a step to lower the voice of inequality in the Hindu religion. His contribution to the upliftment of Hindu dharma is immortal," the chief minister said.
MLA Raghupathi Bhat said that the body will be kept for public viewing at Mahatma Gandhi ground from 10 am to 1 pm. Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa will pay homage to the seer at the Ajjarakadu ground. Rituals related to bathing the seer and offering aarathi will be performed at the mutt. After 1 pm, the body will be airlifted to Bengaluru.
The mortal remains of the seer will be interred in Brindavana on the premises of Vidyapeetha in Bengaluru, which was founded by him, as per seer's last wish by late evening, said MLA Bhat.
"After doctors from KMC, AIIMS tried hard to save the seer but Krishna had different plans and took him away from us. He wished to see the Ram Mandir being built. Crores of devotees are sad about his passing away. He has served the society for several decades now," said BJP MP Shobha Karandlaje.
Born on April 27, 1931 at Ramakunja as Venkatarama, Vishwesha Theertha Swami was initiated into asceticism on December 3, 1938, after undergoing practices to renounce worldly pleasures and to tread the path of religion. The 33rd Swamiji in the lineage of the Pejawar Mutt heads, Vishwesha Theertha Swami was hailed for his social initiatives, including visiting Dalit colonies decades ago.
(With inputs from PTI)