The head priest of Maninagar Shree Swaminarayan Gadi Sansthan, Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj, 78, succumbed to COVID-19 on Thursday.
The cremation will be held in the afternoon and the temple authorities have made arrangements for a live telecast of the funeral for his followers. Earlier the trust had appointed Jitendriyapriyadasji Swami as his successor. The trust has said that in view of COVID-19, neither the temple will be open for devotees nor will the funeral of the head priest.
The head priest had tested positive for COVID-19 on June 28 and was under treatment at CIMS hospital. He had been put on a ventilator after his condition deteriorated. His condition had continued to remain critical. Apart from the head priest around 10 others had tested positive for COVID-19 . The temple in a statement said that as part of mourning no festivities or dhols and nagaras (musical instruments) will be played for 11 days in any of the sect’s temples.
Earlier a statement from the trust had said that Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj had not appointed any successor and so after following the due process the Senior Sants unanimously appointed Sadguru Shastri Shree Jitendriyapriyadasji Swami as the spiritual heir of Shree Swaminarayan Gadi, and successor to Acharya Shree Purushottampriyadasji Swamishree Maharaj.