Thousands of people, including Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, paid their last tributes to seer Vishwesha Tirtha Swami, head of the Pejawar Math, at the National College ground here. The finance minister is a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka.
Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa, former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, Deputy Chief Minister Govind Karjol and Karnataka Revenue Minister R Ashoka also paid tributes to the Pejawar swami.
The head of the Pejawar Math located in Udupi, Karnataka, Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swami, had left this world on in the morning of Sunday. Sources in the monastery said that he had been running ill for some time. The swami’s body was brought in by a special helicopter to the National College ground in Bengaluru. He had addressed the people from here many times. His body was placed on a platform.
Holy men of several prominent monasteries including Shivarathri Deshikendra Mahaswami of Suttur Math in the state and Charukirti Bhattarak Swami of Shravanabelagola Jain Math paid their last respects.
The Pejawar seer’s last rites were performed at the Poorna Prajna Vidyapeetha, which was founded by Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swami. Extensive security arrangements had been made in the National College in view of a large number of people gathering for the tribute.
Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Math was a Hindu saint who devoted his entire life to the propagation of Hinduism, presenting himself as a liberal face of the faith. He had a deep faith in Hinduist religious works like cow protection. He had played an active role in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. He also organised Iftar for Muslims during Ramadan until recently at the Sri Krishna Math complex of Udupi.
Swami ji, who had been ill for some time, died at the age of 88. He was socially active. Along with his spiritual activities, he reached out to Dalits in their colonies for social harmony. Due to his inclusive approach, he became the darling of thousands of devotees in his life of eight decades. He was closely associated with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The top leadership of the BJP including the late Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi used to respect him very much.
BJP leader and former Union Minister Uma Bharti took dīksha from the Pejawar Swami in 1992. His junior Vishwaprasanna Tirtha is likely to succeed him at the math.