Staff Reporter

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Swami Sathyananda Saraswathi, head of the Sree Ramadasa Ashramam at Chengottukonam, near here, passed away on Friday. He was 74.

The swami had been ailing for the past few days. The end came at 11.15 a.m. The body will be kept at the ashramam for `darshan' till Saturday.

The swami was born on September 25, 1933, at Andoorkonam village in Thiruvananthapuram. Shekaran Pillai as the swami was called in his `poorvashramam' was a teacher at the Madhavavilasom High School at Thundathil. In 1965, he became the head of the Ramadasa Ashramam. Founder of more than 13 institutions in and outside the country, the Swami was a fiery orator. He was also the founder of the `Punyabhoomi' newspaper.

In his condolence message, State organising secretary of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad Kummanam Rajashekaran described the swami as a `nishkama karma yogi'. The swami worked zealously for the cause of Hindu unity, the message said.

The former Union mMnister O. Rajagopal in his condolence message termed the swami as a brave `acharya' who fought all his life for Hindu renaissance and Hindu unity.

BJP State president P.K. Krishnadas, party leaders P.P. Mukundan and C.K. Padmanabhan also condoled the death of the swami.