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Pandurang Shastri Athavale cremated
October 26, 2003 21:29 IST
The mortal remains of renowned social reformer and Magsaysay award winner, Pandurang Shastri Athavale were consigned to flames at Tatwajnana Vidyapeeth, Ghodbunder in Thane district on Sunday evening.
The last rites of the 84-year old spiritual leader were attended by Lok Sabha Speaker Manohar Joshi, Maharashtra Chief Minister Sushilkumar Shinde, Gujarat Chief Minister
Narendra Modi, Maharahstra Assembly Speaker Arun Gujrathi and scores of Swadyhyaya movement followers.
About 2,000 people attended the cremation inside the Vidyapeeth while it was relayed live on a big screen outside to enable about 10,000 people to view the last rites of their beloved leader.
Others who attended the cremation included Maharashta state ministers Sunil Tatkare and Madhukar Pichad and social worker Mohan Dharia.
The followers of the spiritual leader all over the world also chanted the 15th chapter of Bhagwat Gita when the cremation took place, one of his disciples Amod Datar told PTI.
Athavale passed away at his residence in Mumbai on Saturday following a heart attack after a prolonged illness.
Nearly 150,000 followers of Athavale paid their last respects to the departed spiritual leader since Saturday at his residence and later at the Vidyapeeth premises.
Athavale was founder of the Swadhyaya movement and had strived for reformation of the fishermen community in Maharashtra and Gujarat.
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