Seers pledge body for medical purposes

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‘Decision may motivate several followers to do the same’

Going against the religious belief that one should have proper last rites after one’s death, seers from two different mutts in north Karnataka have taken a pledge to donate their bodies for medical purposes and have set an example for others to follow.

Sri Gurusiddheshwara Swami of Karanji Mutt in Belagavi and Sri Basavaraja Pattadarya Swami of Gurusiddheshwar Brihan Mutt, Guledagudda in Bagalkot district, have pledged their bodies.

While Sri Basavaraja Pattadarya Swami pledged in December 2016 that his body should be donated to BLDE Society’s B.M. Patil Medical College in Vijayapura, Sri Gurusiddheshwara Swami pledged his eyes and body on his birthday on April 8 in Belagavi.

The latter seer has pledged his body to KLE University’s BMK Ayurvedic Medical College and eyes to the eye bank at KLE Dr. Prabhakar Kore Hospital, through Dr. Ramannavar Foundation, Bailhongal.

When the head of a Lingayat mutt breathes his last and is buried, a gadduge (tomb-like structure) is constructed and this latter becomes a place for worship for his devotees.

“Instead, I would be happy if my body or organs could be of use after my death,” he said.

Professor and Head of the Department of Anatomy of BMK Ayurvedic Medical College and secretary of Dr. Ramnnavar Charitable Trust, Bailhongal, Mahantesh Ramannavar, told The Hindu that the swami’s decision would have a great impact on his followers and may motivate several of them to follow suit.

Dr. Ramannavar has been creating awareness on body donation since several years and made news when he dissected the body of his father Basavanneppa Ramannavar, a doctor, who had pledged his body for medical purposes.

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