New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's guru Swami Dayananda Saraswati passed away at his ashram in Rishikesh on Wednesday at around 10:20 pm.
The 87-year-old seer was not keeping well for over a month. His last rites would take place on Friday.
PM Modi had visited his ashram to enquire about his health on September 11.
According to people close to the seer, he told his disciples about his wish of breathing his last on the banks of the river Ganga, after which he was driven back to the ashram from the hospital where he was undergoing treatment.
According to the Prime Minister, the spiritual guru was a powerhouse of knowledge, spirituality and service.
Swami Dayananda Saraswati was a contemporary teacher of Vedanta and a scholar in Sanskrit in the tradition of Sankara.
Dayananda Ashram Rishikesh is situated on the banks of the Holy Ganga, away from the major tourist attractions. The ashram was established during the 1960s by the spiritual guru.
Dayananda Ashram is the parent Vedanta institute of the Arsha Vidya Gurukulam group. Known as Arsha Vidya Pitham it means a centre of learning based on the teaching of the ancient rishis.
In addition to teaching, Swami Dayananda initiated and supported various philanthropic efforts. The All India Movement (AIM) for Seva, inaugurated in November, 2000, brings medical, educational, nutritional and infrastructure assistance to villagers in the remote areas of India.
In November 2001, Swami Dayananda convened the first World Congress for the Preservation of Religious Diversity in Delhi, inaugurated by the Dalai Lama and the then prime minister AB Vajpayee.