Maate Mahadevi, Basava Dharma Peetha President & Top Lingayat Pontiff Dies in Bengaluru

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The Lingayat leader, 73-year-old, was admitted to the hospital on March 9, said Dr Sudarshan Ballal, director of Manipal Institute, adding that she was being treated in the ICU.

Bengaluru, March 14: Top Lingayat pontiff and Basava Dharma Peetha president Maate Mahadevi died on Thursday, after suffering from multiple organ failures. The 73-year-old breathed her last at the Manipal Institute of Nephrology in Karnataka's Bengaluru. Doctors treating Mahadevi have confirmed her death.

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The Lingayat leader, 73-year-old, was admitted to the hospital on March 9, said Dr Sudarshan Ballal, director of Manipal Institute, adding that she was being treated in the ICU over the last four days for kidney and lung-related ailments. Shivakumara Swamiji, Top Lingayat Pontiff, Died in January.

Similar symptoms were showed by Mahadevi five months ago, but she had then recovered and was discharged.

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Mahadevi's death is expected to evoke sense of grief across the state, with leaders cutting across political spectrum likely to pay homage to her. Not only was she leading the Basava Dharma Peetha - an organisation devoted to spread the teachings of 12th century saint Basava - was also the first-ever female jagadguru in the Lingayat community. The position was accorded to her in 1970.

Apart from being a pontiff, Mahadevi was also a scholar, mystic and a writer. She strove towards spreading spiritual education across the state. In terms of her own educational background, she had completed B. SC and M.A. Incidentally, the the late pontiff's birth anniversary falls on March 13 -- a day before her demise.