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Maharishi body to be brought to Allahabad
Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow | February 08, 2008 20:33 IST
The body of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi will be brought to his ancestral home in Allahabad on Saturday.
The last rites will be performed at the ashram on the banks of the Ganga on Monday, to coincide with 'Basant Panchami', regarded by Hindus as a highly auspicious day
Bigwigs of Allahabad have thrown their weight behind Maharishi Ved Vidyapeeth � an institution created by the Maharishi to promote Vedic education and knowledge -- to make the funeral a "mega event".
An entourage of more than 500 disciples is slated to accompany the body of the one-time Beatles 'Guru', that was being flown in by a chartered plane from his transcendental Meditation headquarters in Holland , Saturday .
"Since the Allahabad airport does not have Customs facility, the aircraft would first land at the international air terminal in Varanasi, from where it would arrive here around 9.30 am.", a spokesman of the Maharishi Ved Vidyapeeth told rediff.com..
From the Bamrauli airport in Allahabad on Saturday morning, his body would be taken through the city streets in a procession to Swami Vasudevanand Ashram in Alopi Bagh locality to enable local people to pay their last homage.
On Sunday, the body would be placed at the Vidyapeeth for another 'janata darshan" , before the funeral at 11 a.m. on Monday.
Meanwhile, Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief Ashok Singhal , former High Court Judge Shambhu Nath Srivastava and the Allahabad Mayor have jointly urged President Pratibha Patil [Images] to accord a state funeral to the Maharishi .
"Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's contribution to promotion of Vedic knowledge and Hindu culture is unparalleled , so it would be in the fitness of things to grant him state honours at least now", Singhal told mediapersons in Allahabad.
He said, "Thousands of sadhus from different parts of the country will converge in Allahabad to participate in the funeral of the Maharishi."
Many sadhus are already in the city as a part of their religious ritual to participate in the on-going Magh Mela.
He, however, declined to divulge the names of any religious dignitary or celebrity other than Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
The Vidyapeeth was created by the Maharishi as a part of his mission to promote Vedic teachings. Spread across a huge campus in Arail area on the outer bank of the Ganga in Allahabad , the Vidyapeeth has as many as about 2500 students pursuing a 'gurukul' type of education.
It was regarded as a gift to his native town where he studied at the K.P.Intermediate College and later completed his M.Sc in Physics from Allahabad University.