Modi mourns Dayananda Saraswati’s death

New Delhi, Sep 24 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday condoled the death of spiritual leader and his guru Swami Dayananda Saraswati, calling it a “personal loss”.

“Swami Dayananda Saraswatiji’s demise is a personal loss. I pray that his soul attains eternal peace,” the prime minister tweeted from the US.

“My thoughts are with the countless people inspired by Dayananda Saraswatiji. He was a powerhouse of knowledge, spirituality and service,” Modi added.

Dayananda Saraswati died in Rishikesh in Uttarakhand late Wednesday. The 87-year-old seer was not keeping well for over a month.

According to his disciples, he expressed a desire to breath his last on the banks of the river Ganga, after which he was driven back to his ashram from the hospital where he was being treated.

Although doctors asked him to remain in sanitized conditions, he chose to meet all his disciples and well-wishers, a close associate told IANS.

Modi had earlier this month paid him a visit and spent over two hours with him.

Born on August 15, 1930 in Tamil Nadu as Natarajan, he dabbled in journalism for a while before joining the Indian Air Force, which he quit in just six months.

He got drawn to spirituality, and eventually became a renowned teacher of Advaita Vedanta philosophy and founder of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam.

He got ‘sanyas’ in 1962 from his guru, Swami Chinmayananda, who gave him the spiritual name Swami Dayananda Saraswati.

He authored more than 70 books and lectured extensively in India and other countries, counting many well-known people as his devotees, one of them being Narendra Modi.

In Haridwar, the Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya and spiritual group Shantikunj mourned his death.

The Vishwavidyalaya’s head, Pranav Pandya, said: “Personally he was like my guardian. Such souls always remain immortal.”

Swami Dayananda Saraswati visited Shantikunj and Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidhyalaya many times.

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