Pejavara Mutt head Vishwesha Teertha Swami passed away early on Sunday morning after suffering multiple organ failures. The Pejavara mutt is one among the 'Ashta' Mutts of Udupi.
"I consider myself blessed to have got many opportunities to learn from Sri Vishvesha Teertha Swamiji. Our recent meeting, on the pious day of Guru Purnima was also a memorable one. His impeccable knowledge always stood out. My thoughts are with his countless followers," tweeted PM Modi after the 88-year-old pontiff's death.
The Swami had been in the intensive care unit since he was hospitalised on December 20 after developing breathing difficulties. As per his wishes, mutt officials and the junior pontiff Vishwaprasanna Teertha Swamiji on Saturday said they decided to shift to the mutt.
"May Lord Krishna grant salvation to his soul. I would pray for the devotees to give them the strength to overcome their pain," Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yediyurappa said.
Doctors had earlier said the pontiff was being treated for extensive pneumonia.
The seer's mortal remains will be kept at Ajjarakadu Mahatma Gandhi Maidan for 3 hours on Sunday, where he'll be given state honours. "CM BS Yediyurappa will be coming there," said Udupi MLA K Raghupati Bhat.
"Later today, his mortal remains will be taken to Bengaluru. Several national leaders will be coming to pay last tributes to Swami ji at the National College in Bengaluru. Last rites will be performed at around 7 pm at Vidyapeeth," he added.
Bharti called him a "rarest of rare" saint, revered by people from across sections of the society. "My guru is a karma yogi and he taught all of us to become karma yogis," she said, news agency PTI reported.
Bharti, who has been in Udupi for nearly a week now, had taken the Sanyasa Deeksha from the seer in 1992.