Ahobila Mutt Jeer counselled her on the tenets

Not many would know that Dharya, a 23-year-old Russian Jew, had embraced Vainavam and became Vasumathi Iyangar with the blessings of the 45th pontiff of Ahobila Mutt, Sri Narayana Yatheendra Mahadesikan, who died shortly after Saturday midnight, and was laid to rest in Srirangam on Sunday afternoon.

The pontiff was camping at Tirupulani, one of the 108 holy shrines of Vaishnavite faith, in July 2011 when Dharya, who came to Chennai to learn Kuchipudi, expressed the desire to embrace Vaishanavism.

The Jeeyar, without any hesitation, helped and counselled her on her spiritual mission, according to ‘LIC’ Narayanan, spokesman of the Tirupulani Mutt.

On the pontiff’s advice, she took a holy dip at Sethukarai and stayed at Mr Narayanan’s house for two days to learn more about Vaishnavism.

She returned to Russia, a changed woman named Vasumathi and was pursuing her Post Graduation there, he added. The Pontiff made his maiden visit to Tirupulani on February 9,1999. During his last visit in October 2012, he stayed there from October 29 to November 5, and took a holy dip at Sethukarai with his junior Sri Ranganatha Yatheendra Mahadesikan and more than 200 devotees.