Shravanabelagola: Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt Seer Sri Charukeerti Bhattaraka Swamiji (73) passed away at Adichunchanagiri Hospital in Bellur, Nagamangala taluk, early this morning following illness.
On hearing about the Seer’s demise, Adichunchanagiri Mutt Seer Sri Nirmalanandanatha Swamiji has rushed to Bellur.
It is learnt that Bhattaraka Swamiji was facing serious health issues for last three months and had also sustained a fracture.
Bhattaraka Swamiji headed the renowned Shravanabelagola Jain Mutt, which is famous for the 57 feet tall statue of Bhagawan Bahubali, also referred to as Gommateshwara, which was built on a hill in 981 AD.
Born on May 3, 1949 as Ratnavarma, Sri Charukeerti Bhattaraka Swamiji was a scholar in Sanskrit and Kannada besides being erudite in Jain philosophy. He obtained his MA in History from University of Mysore and MA in Philosophy from Bangalore University. He had ascended the Jain peetha at Shravanabelagola in 1970.
The Swamiji had received the title ‘Karma Yogi’ from former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the four Mahamastakabhisheka to Lord Gommateshwara at Shravanabelagola was held under his supervision.
Sri Charukeerti Bhattaraka Swamiji has immensely contributed towards education by establishing pre-Primary, Primary and High Schools, a Pharmacy College, PU College (Science), an Engineering College, a Polytechnic and a National Institute for Prakrit Studies and Research Centre.
With an intention to take the treasures of Prakrit knowledge to common man, he set up ‘Prakrit Jnanabharathi Education Trust’ at Bengaluru. Under the auspices of this Trust, National Prakrit Conferences are held once in two years and ‘Prakrit Jnanabharathi Awards’ are presented every year to ten scholars selected for their notable contribution in the field of Prakrit.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Opposition Leader Siddharamaiah and JD(S) Supremo H.D. Deve Gowda have condoled the Seer’s demise.
The mortal remains of the Seer was shifted from the Hospital to Shravanabelagola at about 11.30 am and will be kept at Chavundarama Mantap for public to pay their last respects.
Last rites will be held today, according to sources.