Last rites conducted on Adichunchanagiri Math premises

The mortal remains of Balagangadharanatha Swami of Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math was laid to rest amidst chanting of mantras and full State honours on the premises of the Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana at Adichunchanagiri, about 7 km from Bellur Cross in Nagamangala taluk on Monday evening.

The last rites of the seer, the 71st Mathadhipathi of the Mahasamsthana Math, was performed near Sri Kalabhyraveshwara Swami temple on the math premises in accordance with Vedic customs.

A host of politicians, officials from the Mandya district administration and nearly 60,000 devotees had gathered there.

Balagangadharanatha Swami died in a private hospital near Kengeri in Bangalore on Sunday evening.

The body of Balagangadharanatha Swami, which left Bangalore in a procession at around 9 a.m., reached Adichunchanagiri Mahasamsthana Math at 3.55 p.m. Soon after, the body was placed at BGS Sabha Bhavan at the math for devotees to pay their last respects.

Successor

After the completion of a few rituals, at 4.20 p.m. Ramakrishne Gowda, administrative officer of the math, read out the will in which the Swami named the math’s in-charge secretary Nirmalanandanatha Swami as his successor.

Announcement

Mandya Deputy Commissioner B.N. Krishnaiah and others were present when Mr. Gowda announced that Nirmalanandanatha would be the 72nd Mathadhipathi of the Mahasamsthana Math.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashok, the former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, Bharatiya Janata Party national general secretary Ananth Kumar, Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Siddaramaiah, Suttur Math seer Shivaratri Deshikendra Swami, founder of Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravishankar, Union Ministers M. Veerappa Moily, M. Mallikarjun Kharge and K.H. Muniyappa, Members of Parliament A.H. Vishwanath and N. Cheluvaraya Swamy, Ministers C.P. Yogeshwar, Shobha Karandlaje, Basavaraj Bommai, V. Somanna and Varthur Prakash, the former Union Minister S.M. Krishna, the former Chief Ministers B.S. Yeddyurappa and H.D. Kumaraswamy, the former MP G. Made Gowda, and others paid their last respects.

Thousands of devotees queued up at the math to bid the seer goodbye.

Commotion

The authorities closed the gates of the math at 4.45 p.m. as the body had to be buried at Godhuli Lagna, between 4.45 p.m. and 6.15 p.m. Commotion prevailed for a while near the gates, with the devotees attempting to enter the math by overpowering the police.

Barricades

The police had to erect barricades around the math, besides deploying additional police personnel to control the situation.

Nirmalanandanatha Swami performed the ‘mangalarati’ at 5.57 p.m. Later, he took over charge as the 72nd Mathadhipathi of the Mahasamsthana Math with the swamis placing a crown on his head.

Bus services

Earlier, thousands of devotees from different parts of the State flocked to the math to participate in the funeral. The KSRTC ran special bus services from Mandya and other places catering to the steady stream of devotees.

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