As Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for Ram Mandir at Ayodhya on Wednesday, the temple town of Udupi in southern Karnataka is missing its most beloved seer, Swami Vishwesha Teertha of Pejawar mutt, who was in the forefront of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
Swami Vishwesha Teertha, who passed away on Decemeber 29 last year, would have been the happiest man at the time of the Bhoomi Poojan on this day if he were alive.
Vishwesha Teertha, who presided over the Udupi Sri Krishna temple for five Paryaya periods, had been the strongest votary of the Ayodhya Ram Janmabhoomi movement, while being one of the liberals among the seers of the Ashta mutts of Udupi who worked for social reforms including his
fight against untouchability.
BJP veteran and former deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, who spearheaded the Rath Yatra which culminated into Ayodhya movement, was a staunch disciple of Swami Vishwesha Teertha and took his blessings before launching his Yatra.
The Swami was an active member of the Vishwa Hindu Parishads panel for the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
He also played an active role in urging the leaders of the movement to take the Muslim community into confidence to achieve its goal.
In fond memory of the late seer, the present chief of the Pejawar mutt Swami Vishwaprasanna Teertha, who is also member of the Sri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust, called upon each one to celebrate the foundation day of the Ram Mandir as a feast day.
It is a dream come true for the entire Hindu society, he said in a message. The Swami said there is an intimate bonding between Udupi in Karnataka and Ayodhya. Senior seer late Sri Vishwesha Teertha Swamiji led the movement till the end, he said.
Special poojas are being conducted at the Pejawar mutt at Udupi on the occasion of the Ayodhya Bhoomi Poojan.
Swami Vishwaprasanna Teertha is not participating in the Ayodhya ceremony as he is practising Chathurmasa Vrutha, mutt sources said.