Thousands pay last respects as mahant Giri given Bhu Samadhi
PRAYAGRAJ Mahant Narendra Giri, president of the Akhil Bharatiya Akhada Parishad (ABAP), was given a ‘Bhu Samadhi’ in a huge pit near a lemon tree in the open garden of his Bagambari Gaddi Math here on Wednesday in accordance with his wishes conveyed in his purported suicide note.
His body was kept in a sitting posture in a square-shaped cave, which was prepared on one side of the pit. And all the offerings – flowers, honey, milk, sugar, salt and gems – were showered on the body before being covered.
Members of the Niranjani Akhada of Prayagraj and his disciples including his close aid Balbeer Giri (whom the mahant had named as his successor in his purported suicide note), placed his mortal remains in the cave portion of the pit. The entire area was veiled by a large saffron cloth, which was later removed.
The 30-minute ceremony was held amidst chanting of Vedic mantras by seers, keeping with the traditions of the akhada. Seers paid homage by offering a handful of soil each on the mortal remains of the mahant.
Earlier in the day, Giri’s mortal remains were handed over to the office-bearers of the Niranjani Akhada after the post-mortem examination of the mahant’s body at the SRN hospital by a team of five experts. From here, the mortal remains were kept in an open vehicle, decorated with flowers. Thereafter, the Nagar Yatra (procession) was taken to the Sangam, the holy confluence of the Ganga, Yamuna and the Saraswati.
A huge number of the Giri’s followers, disciples, seers and locals along with political leaders including deputy chief minister Keshav Prasad Maurya participated in the large procession taken to the Sangam where his body was given a holy dip in the Ganga before the yatra culminated at the math. On the way, the procession took a brief halt at the Bade Hanuman temple where Giri served as chief priest right for years till his last breath.
In the morning, seers had reached the Sangam city from various corners of the country for the last darshan of Mahant Narendra Giri.
Schools up to Class 12 were closed in Prayagraj on Wednesday in view of the huge turnout of people for Giri’s last rites.
Secretary of the Shri Panchayati Akhada Niranjani, Shri Mahant Ravindra Puri said, “A saint can be given samadhi in two forms, either Jal (water) Samadhi or Bhu (land) Samadhi. As it is our moral duty to protect the river from any pollution and respect the wishes of Mahant Narendra Giri, we had decided that Narendra Giriji would be given Bhu Samadhi.”