Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Columnist, Sanskrit scholar and astrologer Pandit K. B. Parsai passed away here early on Thursday morning. He was 87.

He is survived by four children -- Vidyashankar, Aparajita, Divyanshu Parsai and Gargi Parsai, who is a Deputy Editor with The Hindu.

He was cremated at the Lodhi Road crematorium.

A recipient of Sahitya Ratna, Pandit Parsai had on Indira Gandhi’s request recited non-stop for 18 hours “Gita-paath” beside Jawaharlal Nehru’s body while it was kept in state.

He had retired as Director in the Cabinet Secretariat.

Author of six books on astrology, Pandit Parsai, who was born in Madhya Pradesh, had just finished his seventh book on ‘Saturn’.