Kanchipuram (TN): The final rituals for burying the mortal remains of Sri Jayendra Saraswathi in the premises of the Kanchi Sankara Mutt here began this morning in the presence of some of his family members.
Jayendra Saraswathi, regarded as one of the most influential spiritual leaders of his time but whose shock arrest in a murder case robbed the spiritual shine of the Kanchi mutt, died here yesterday.
The final rituals for burying the mortal remains, called ‘Brindhavana Pravesam,’ began with an ‘abishekam’ or bath. Milk and honey were the ingredients used in the abishekam.
The ‘abishekam’, held in the main hall of the mutt, was followed by a recital of Vedic hymns by priests in the presence of Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi, the junior pontiff of the Mutt and some close family members.
A Mutt official said the body of Jayendra Saraswathi will be carried later to the adjacent ‘Brindavan Annexe,’ where the mortal remains of his predecessor Sri Chandrasekerendra Saraswathi were interred in 1993.
Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit participated in the burial ceremony by offering flowers.
A large number of devotees have gathered here for the burial ceremony amid tight security.
Jayendra Saraswati, anointed the 69th pontiff of the mutt in 1994 succeeding Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal, was considered a transformative force who reached out to all sections of people, including Dalits, and undertook social service.
He also strived to reach out to the underprivileged sections of the society and founded two outfits — ‘Jan Kalyan’ and ‘Jan Jagran’ — with the objective of carrying out service-oriented activities.
The bodies supported the renovation of temples in Dalit neighbourhoods besides setting up new ones.
The mutt, under his charge, focused on welfare assistance for the destitute women and free tuition for underprivileged students.
He was instrumental in establishing a string of (Shankara) schools under the aegis of Shankara Educational Trust.
A deemed university for Ayurveda was also being run by the mutt, VRV Ramanujan, closely associated with ‘Jan Kalyan’ movement, said.
TG Ganesan, a spiritual activist associated with the mutt said, “He (Jayendrar) was the first pontiff from Kanchi mutt to make it a regular practice to meet the common people, especially Dalits in their dwellings.”
“In 1982, when a section of people decided to quit Hinduism and embrace another religion in (Meenakshipuram) Tirunelveli district, the pontiff reached out to them and took conciliatory efforts to settle the caste related issues and promote peace,” he said.
He also established hospitals, including in Assam (Shankara Devanetralaya) and Andhra Pradesh.
In, Meghalaya and Andaman and Nicobar islands the mutt were engaged in community service currently.
An ‘Aagamapaadasala’ (school for grooming priests) in Seerkazhi and a ‘Tamil Paadasala’ in Chetpet, Chennai, were established, mutt manager Sundaresa Iyer said.