Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Mutt passes away at 88

Pejawar seer Vishwesha Tirtha Swami | File

Pejawar seer Vishwesha Tirtha Swami | File  

Vishwesha Tirtha Swami would be laid to rest at Poornaprajna Vidyapeeth in Bengaluru around 7 p.m. as per his wishes

Vishwesha Tirtha Swami, the 88-year-old pontiff of Pejawar Mutt, passed away in Udupi on Sunday.

He was admitted to the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal for the treatment of extensive pneumonia on December 20 and was shifted to the Pejawar Mutt in Udupi on Sunday morning on ventilator after his health condition worsened. He passed away hours after being shifted.

Karnataka Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa who visited the Pejawar Mutt said that there would be a three-day State mourning and the seer would be laid to rest with full state honours.

Vishwaprasanna Tirtha, junior seer of Pejawar Mutt, Vidyasagar Tirtha of Krishnapur Mutt, Sugunendra Tirtha Swami of Puttige Mutt, Vidyavallabha Tirtha Swami of Kaniyur Mutt, Vishwavallabha Tirtha of Sode Mutt, performed “aarti” to the Pejawar seer’s body. It was then lowered in a basket tied to bamboo pole and was held by the devotees. The body was taken in a procession from the Pejawar Mutt to the ‘Kananka Kindi’ at the Sri Krishna Mutt at 10.25 a.m.

It was then taken to the Madhwa Sarowar pond for three holy dips amidst chanting of ‘Vishnu Sahasranama’ and ‘Govinda Sankeertana.’

Thereafter, the seer’s mortal remains were taken to the Thirtha Mantapa in front of the sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Krishna Mutt. Various ‘mantras’ were chanted there.

The procession then left the Sri Krishna Mutt and stopped in front of the Sri Chandramouleeshwara and Sri Anantheshwara temples. The basket containing the body was placed in a decorated open vehicle and taken in a procession from the Sode Mutt. The procession passed through Kalsanka, Bannanje, Brahmagiri, Govinda Kalyana Mantapa and culminated at the Mahatma Gandhi District Stadium at 12.15 p.m.

A funeral guard of honour was given to the seer. Mr. Yediyurappa, Basavaraj Bommai, Home Minister, Kota Srinivas Poojary, Ports and Fisheries Minister, Nalin Kumar Kateel, President of State BJP, Shobha Karandlaje, MP, Raghupati Bhat, Lalaji Mendon, Sukumar Shetty, Halady Srinivas Shetty, MLAs, were present.

The mortal remains of the seer were kept for public viewing, where thousands paid their last respects. The body was taken in an ambulance to the Adiudupi helipad and was airlifted to Bengaluru. It was the Pejawar seer’s wish to be laid at rest at the Poornaprajna Vidyapeetha, founded by him, in Bengaluru.


The body of Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Mutt being taken in a procession at Udupi on Sunday. Photo: Special Arrangement

The body of Vishwesha Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Mutt being taken in a procession at Udupi on Sunday. Photo: Special Arrangement  


The seer was born to M. Narayanacharya and Kamalamma in at Ramakujna in Dakshina Kannada district on April 27, 1931. He was ordained as a monk at the age of eight in 1938, as the 33rd seer in the linage or ‘guru parampara’ of the Pejawar Mutt. He had his spiritual education under late Vidyamanya Tirtha Swami of Palimar and Bhandarkeri Mutts.

Record Paryayas

Vishwesha Tirtha Swami had made history by becoming the only seer among the seers of the Ashta Mutts (eight mutts) of Udupi, which propagate the Dwaita philosophy, to have performed five biennial Paryayas.

A Paryaya denotes the handing over of the responsibility of running of the 800-year-old Sri Krishna Mutt/Temple and exclusive rights to worship Lord Krishna in turns of two years each among the seers of the eight mutts. The seer ascended the ‘Paryaya peetha’ here for the first time on January 18, 1952. He has performed five Paryayas — 1952-54, 1968-70, 1984-86, 2000-02, and 2016-18.

Ayodhya agitation

He was among the religious heads to be in the forefront of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement and was a vocal proponent for the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. He was present at the disputed site during the Babri Mosque demolition on December 6, 1992.

Seen as a “reformist seer” by many, he visited the Dalit colonies at a time when it was considered a taboo. His solutions to problems within the Hindu faith, such as caste system, were reforms without fully abandoning traditions. His views on faith and politics sometimes sparked controversies.

Hindu religion has lost a guide: Yediyurappa

In his condolence message, Mr. Yediyurappa said: “In the death of the seer Hindu religion had lost a guide. The seer who took ‘sanyasa deeksha’ at a young age, became the pontiff of Pejawar Mutt. He lead the Udupi ‘Paryaya’ of the ‘Astamatha’ tradition for the highest number of times. The seer was involved in social activities in addition to his spiritual ‘sadhana’. He held ‘sahabhojana’ with Dalits, which was a step to lower the voice of inequality in Hindu religion. His contribution to the upliftment of Hindu dharma is immortal. It is saddening that he would not witness the construction of a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.”

“May his soul attain ‘moksha’. I pray to Lord Krishna to give his disciples and his followers the strength to bear the loss,” the Chief Minister said in his message.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:00:49 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/88-year-old-pejawar-seer-passes-away-in-udupi/article30424416.ece

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