Shiroor Mutt seer Lakshmivara Theertha dies suspiciously
Lakshmivar Theertha, 55, the chief of Shiroor Mutt died under mysterious circumstances – reportedly due to multiple organ failure – on July 19. Doctors who treated the seer suspect poisoning to be the cause.
Sources from the Mutt said that he complained of severe stomach ache after returning from a Vanamahotsava programme at Shiroor village on July 16.
Kasturba Hospital, where the swami was treated, revealed in a press release that there were indications of poisoning, although nothing could be concluded until the toxicological report arrived. “He had internal bleeding and low blood pressure. He passed away at 8:30 a.m. There are doubts of poisoning. We have informed the police,” said Dr Avinash S, Medical Superintendent of Kasturba Hospital, speaking to The News Minute. The body of the seer was then sent for post mortem.
The news gave rise to many allegations of it being a murder, and the swami’s brother Latavya Acharya filed a case at the Hiriyadka police station demanding a thorough investigation.
The seer, born Harish Acharya, was surrounded by controversies after a video recording of him making derogatory comments on the other seers of the famous Ashta Mutts, was telecasted in a Kannada television channel on March 13. The seer discredited it and claimed that it was a morphed video, emphasising that he had not made such statements. He had also decided to contest in the Karnataka Legislative Assembly election of 2018, but later withdrew his candidature.
Following these events, the other seers of the Ashta Mutts had decided not to hand over the Pattada Devaru (presiding deities) of Shiroor Mutt back, which the seer had left in the sanctum sanctorum on account of ill health.
After disapproving the handing back of the deities, the seer decided to file a caveat at the Senior Civil Judge and Civil Judge Courts against many of the other seers of the Ashta Mutt. Ravikiran Murdeshwar, the advocate of the Shiroor seer said that the seer had reported a threat to his life. “When scientific tools are available, they should be used to clear doubts regarding the seer’s death,” he added.
The Pejawar pontiff Vishesha Theertha, has ruled out the murder angle to his death. “No seer wants to be canonised of murdering someone. It is unfair to make allegations against anyone without a valid reason. His is a natural death,” he said speaking to Times of India. He also clarified that none of the seers of the Ashta Mutts attended the funeral for ‘moral and religious’ reasons.
The seer was hailed as the ‘poor people’s swami’, and happened to be a talented keyboardist and drummer.
Featured Image Courtesy: Twitter/Times of India
Edited by: Karthika Venugopal