Kolkata, June 19 (IANS) Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission President Swami Atmasthanandaji Maharaj was on Monday cremated with full state honours as devotees and eminent personalities paid their last respects.
Police personnel reversed arms and gave a gun salute with the bugle sounding the Last Post as others monks lit the funeral pyre.
The pyre was set up beside the river Hooghly inside the Math complex. Ignoring the continuous downpour, hundreds of people congregated at the crematorium to bid a tearful adieu to the monk.
Since last night, thousands of devotees with wreaths, garlands, and flowers thronged the Math’s headquarters at Belur in Howrah district to pay their last respect to the monk who died on Sunday after a prolonged illness.
The Howrah District Magistrate placed a wreath on the monk’s body on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee also paid her last respects.
Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy, West Bengal ministers Arup Roy, Firhad Hakim, Rajib Banerjee Lakshmi Ratan Shukla, Trinamool Congress MP Prasun Banerjee and party’s leader Mukul Roy, BJP leader Locket Chatterjee paid their last respect to the monk, who was President of the Ramakrishna Math and Ramakrishna Mission since December 3, 2007.