The final rites of Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati have been completed and he has been interred at the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, which he has headed since 1994. The 69th head of the math died of a cardiac arrest on Wednesday morning. He was 82.
Here are 10 developments:
1. As a sanyasi, Jayendra Saraswati was not cremated. He was instead interred in a samadhi, that is referred to as an 'adhishthanam'. A Shiva lingam will be consecrated on top. It will then become a permanent shrine.
2. The process of interment is called 'Brindavana Pravesha Karyakramam'. It is began around 8 am on Thursday.
3. Jayendra Saraswati has been interred right next to the previous Shankaracharya Chandrasekharendra Saraswati, the 68th head of the Kamakoti Peetham.
4. Vijayendra Saraswati, who succeeded as the head of the math, it is learnt, insisted that his guru be interred next to Chandrasekarendra Saraswati, who is referred to by followers as the 'Mahaswami of Kanchi'.
5. Among the dignitaries on the protocol list to attend the final rites are President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, various Union Ministers, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam and various state ministers, among others. However, not all of these dignitaries attended. Both President Kovind and PM Modi, for instance, were in New Delhi for their roles in welcoming Jordan's King Abdullah.
6. Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit was seen standing close to the pontiff's body. He happens to be among the last people to have met Jayendra Saraswati. He had visited the seer on Tuesday night.
7. Jayendra Saraswati's body was placed in the hall of the Kanchi math in a seated position, for devotees to catch a final glimpse.
8. The math remained open all night for visitors to pay their respects.
9. More than a lakh people have visited the math to pay their respects since Wednesday morning, said the manager of the Kanchi math.
10. Most shops in Kanchipuram remained shut as a mark of respect.