Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman joined a sea of mourners at the National College grounds here in paying their last respects to Pejawar Math head Vishwesha Theertha Swamiji, who passed away on Sunday. The Finance Minister is a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka.
Karnataka Chief Minister B S Yediyurappa, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, deputy chief minister Govind Karjol and Karnataka revenue minister R Ashoka also paid their homage. The body of the 88-year-old seer, who passed away in Udupi earlier in the day, was flown to Bengaluru in a special Indian Air Force helicopter.
The body was then taken to the National College Grounds, the same venue where the seer had addressed gatherings on several occasions in the past, in a flower beddecked vehicle. A stage was set up under the marquee where the body of the seer, decked in a saffron cloth with golden border, was placed in a Padmasana posture inside a basket-like palanquin.
Seers of various prominents Maths in the state, Shivaratri Deshikendra Swamiji of Suttur Math, Charukeerthi Bhattaraka Swamiji of Sravana Belagola Jain Math were among those who paid their last respects. The last rites will be performed at Poorna Prajna Vidyapeetha, which the seer had established. Elaborate security arrangements were made at the National College to manage the crowds.