Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati, the pontiff of the Kanchi mutt in Tamil Nadu, has died at the age of 82, The Hindu reported on Wednesday. The cause of death is not yet known.
The pontiff had been admitted to a private hospital in Porur area of Chennai in January with breathing problems, and was diagnosed with low blood sugar, the Deccan Chronicle reported. However, he was discharged soon.
The 82-year-old senior pontiff succeeded Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi Swamigal as the 69th Shankaracharya of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam in 1994.
The former pontiff was arrested in 2004 and charged in connection with the murder of a former temple manager named Sankararaman. Sankararaman had levelled several accusations against the Kanchi seers and the Kanchi Mutt about alleged malpractice and misuse of funds. In 2013, he and his junior pontiff Vijayendra Saraswathi were acquitted in the case, along with 22 others.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and many other public figures expressed their grief at the death. Here are some of the reactions.