The head of one of India’s leading Hindu monastic institutions, Jayendra Saraswathi of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham, was admitted to the Andhra Hospital in Vijayawada on Tuesday after falling unconscious due to high blood pressure.
The 80-year-old seer was brought to the hospital by his devotees, who are now gathered in front of the hospital, and was immediately placed on a ventilator system. Doctors said he is in a critical condition.
Saraswathi had complained about a general feeling of uneasiness before falling unconscious, one of the devotees who brought him to the hospital, said.
The Kanchi Seer was named by Chadrasekharendra Saraswati Swamigal as his successor on March 22, 1954.
In 2002, the holy man was accused of hiring men to assault an auditor, Radhakrishnan, who questioned the disappearance of 83 kgs of gold meant for the Kamakshi temple in Tamil Nadu as well as alleged financial irregularities in the Kanchi mutt.
He was also accused of ordering the murder of former Kanchi mutt devotee Shankararaman in 2004.
Though Saraswati was cleared of all charges in April by a sessions court in Chennai, the state government filed an appeal with the Madras high court challenging his acquittal in July.