Jayendra Saraswathi, the 69th pontiff of the Kanchi Mutt, was on Thursday buried in the Brindhavan annexe in the premises of the religious establishment in Kancheepuram with vedic honours.
Amid chants, the body of the 82-year-old was lowered in the sitting posture into a large bamboo basket that had been placed inside the 7 ft x 7 ft burial pit in the annexe.
The pit was filled with herbs like 'Vasambu,' salt, sandalwood and sand.
Marking the conclusion of the ceremony which lasted for about three and a half hours beginning 7.45 am, a grand aarti was performed, with Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit also in attendance.
The ceremony began with the performance of 'abishekam' on the body of Jayendra Saraswathi that was seated with folded hands in a chair.
The mutt hall reverberated with hymns with emotional devotees bidding farewell to the revered saint.
The body was earlier brought from the main hall in a chair to the Brindhavanam annexe housing the mausoleum of Sri Chandrasekarendra Saraswathi, his predecessor.
The mortal remains of the seer had been kept for public homage in the main hall of the Mutt premises since Wednesday.
Devotees were teary eyed during the burial ceremony when the 'Kailaya Vadhyam,' was played (a form of Tamil music involving use of traditional drums and trumpets).
Such music is performed usually in Shiva temples during worship.
The burial ceremony was performed in the presence of Sri Vijayendra Saraswathi, the junior pontiff of the Mutt and some close family relatives of the late seer.
Union ministers Pon Radhakrishnan and Sadananda Gowda, Bharatiya Janata Party Tamil Nadu unit president Tamilisai Soundararajan were among the dignitaries present during the last rites ceremony.
Chaotic scenes were witnessed in and around the Brindhavanam annexe during the end of the burial ceremony when a section of devotees tried to gain entry inside to take a final glimpse of the late seer.
Those trying to force their way in were allegedly pushed out by some of the volunteers manning the burial ceremony.
A devotee, K Santhanam, claimed he was pushed away by some who stood close to the main entrance of the burial site -- Brindhavanam annexe -- which is a small enclosure.
Soon after the body was brought into the annexe, a curtain was dropped in front of that building cutting the visibility for the devotees waiting outside.
LED screens in and around the venue which till then beamed live visuals of the ceremony like Abishekam, halted the screening when the rituals shifted to the annexe, leading to resentment among some devotees.
As several of the followers tried to gradually move forward to take a glimpse through the various entrances to the annexe, it led to a near stampede like situation.
All the three entrances to the annexe were closed by Mutt officials during the final stage of the ceremony.
Photograph: PTI Photo