Shiroor Mutt head Lakshmivara Tirtha Swami passes away

Lakshmivara Tirtha Swami of Shiroor Mutt. Photo: Special Arrangement   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Lakshmivara Tirtha Swami of the Shiroor Mutt in Karnataka died at the Kasturba Hospital in Manipal on Thursday. He was 55.

The seer was admitted to the hospital after he suffered from food poisoning and diarrhoea, which affected his blood pressure on Wednesday. His body is being shifted to the hospital mortuary at the hospital for post mortem, sources in the hospital said.

According to a statement from Kasturba Hospital, the swami was brought to the hospital in a "critically ill" condition with breathlessness, severe hypotension and massive gastrointestinal bleed.

The statement also stated that there is "suspicion of poisoning" and toxicological samples had been sent for testing. The swami was declared dead at 8.30 a.m. on Thursday, the statement added.

In his reaction to the death of Seer of Shiroor Mutt, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy said if there is any suspicion on the death, an inquiry would be conducted.

The Shiroor seer has been in the news recently over the issue of idols of presiding deities of his Mutt. The Shiroor seer had given the idols of the presiding deities of his Mutt to Ishapriya Tirtha Swami, junior seer of Admar Mutt, few months ago, for keeping at the sanctum sanctorum of the Sri Krishna Mutt as the former was ill.

After his recovery, he sought the idols. But the seers of the six of the Ashta Mutts refused to hand over the idols and put a condition that the Shiroor seer should appoint a junior seer. This was not acceptable to the Shiroor seer, who even threatened to file a criminal case on the issue on July 16.

Another controversy which was related to the seer was a video recording, which was telecast on a Kannada television channel on March 13, where the Shiroor seer was allegedly shown making derogatory remarks about other seers of the Ashta Mutts. But the Shiroor seer clarified that the video recording was morphed and he had not made such allegations.

But the alleged remarks in the video recording had riled the other seers of the Astha Mutts, who held a series of meetings on the issue, finally deciding not to return the idols of the presiding deities of his mutt to the Shiroor seer.

The seer had created a flutter, when he announced that he would fight for the Karnataka State Assembly elections in March, 2018. Since he did not get a ticket from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he filed his papers as an independent candidate, becoming the first among the seers of the Ashta Mutts to do so. However, he withdrew his nomination papers stating that he was doing so out of his admiration for Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He was initiated into ‘sanyasa ashrama’ at the age of eight years. He performed three Paryayas (1978-80, 1994-96) and 2010-12) at the Sri Krishna Mutt/Temple during his 47 years as head of the Shiroor Mutt. He was also known for decorating the idol of Lord Krishna at the Sri Krishna Mutt/Temple in different styles in a beautiful manner.

He also knew swimming, played drums and was trained at karate. He played drums with the noted drummer Sivamani at Shiroor just a month ago, with whom he was planning to start a music school. A foundation stone for it was laid last month.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2022 1:41:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/shiroor-mutt-seer-passes-away/article24457992.ece

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