Karnataka mutt head Balagangadhara Swamiji passes away

Bangalore, jan 13: The head of Adichunchunageri Mutt Balagangadhara Swamiji, an influential spiritual leader of Karnataka, died at a hospital here on Sunday following a brief illness.

The 67-year old swamiji was admitted to BGS Global Hospital on Saturday with complaints of severe chest pain and low blood pressure and his condition deteriorated today. He was put on ventilator and breathed his last this evening, hospital sources said.

Hospital Spokesperson Dr Venkataramana Gowda said the seer was suffering from heart disease and chronic kidney failure and had been on dialysis for last four years.

Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister R Ashok, his cabinet colleague V Somanna, former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda, Union Minister Veerappa Moily, actor Amabreesh, BJP leader Ananth Kumar and Art of Living Seer Sri Sri Ravi Shankar condoled the death of the Swamiji.

Ashok said the final rites of the Swamiji will be performed on Monday evening with full state honours at the mutt premises in Mandya district.

The Swamiji, anointed the 71st Pontiff of the mutt on September 24, 1974, was an influential and powerful religious leader of Vokkaliga community, the second largest community in the state.

He was instrumental in opening more than hundred educational institutions and hospitals across Karnataka and had worked for the welfare of farmers and oppressed classes.

He had strongly opposed forced religious conversions and participated in dharnas against cow slaughter along with Shankaracharya of Puri Swami Nischalananda Saraswati.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi also condoled the demise of the spiritual leader.

On Sunday evening, there was a skirmish between the supporters of former Prime Minister HD Devegowda and Managing Director of Nandi Infrastructure Corridor Enterprises Ashok Kheni at the hospital where Swamiji passed away.


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