Puttur: Shri Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji of Pejawar who is set to occupy the Paryaya seat for the record fifth time, was felicitated on behalf of all Christian communities in town here.
The function was held in the auditorium of Mai de Deus church. Bishop Geevarghese Divannasios Ottathengil of the Syro-Malankara Eparchy of Puttur adorned the Swamiji with a shawl and felicitated him.
In his felicitation speech, the Bishop said that the Swamiji, who would be taking over rotational Paryaya position for the fifth time, thus creating a record, was an asset to the country.
Recalling that the Swamiji by taking up the life as an ascetic life at a tender age of eight had done the region proud. He always believed that serving the people was like serving God.
He had dedicated his life for the promotion of public health and education as also towards eradication of social evils. This had kept him active even at the age of 86 years.
The Bishop said that the Swamiji personified love, kindness and sympathy. Treating different castes and faiths equally and dealing with everyone with patience and affection being salient traits of his persona, his patriotic spirit was fervent, added the Bishop.
Since the place of birth of the Swamiji is Ramakunja in the taluk, the Bishop said that it was right and proper that he was being felicitated in his native area. He wished the Swamiji many more years in the service of the public and good health and long life.
Responding to the honour, the Swamiji gave a call to all communities and faiths to adhere and remain dedicated to their beliefs and a spirit of common good. India being a country of multiple faiths and communities, the ethos of unity in diversity had to be followed.
All faiths had to co-exist without conflicts. Meditation alone did not represent any faith but service-oriented dedication too formed part of it, he added. The Swamiji further said that service was kind of a tax paid to God. Christians had always been known for service of the people.
Besides inviting Bishop Geevarghese to visit Shri Krishna Math in Udupi, he also honoured him and parish priest Fr Alfred Pinto of Mai de Deus church with shawls.
Those who were on the dais included junior Swamiji Shri Vishwaprasanna Tirtha, reception committee president and correspondent of Vidyarashmi institutions Savanoor Seetaram Rai, state Dharmika Parishat member N K Jagannivas Rao and others.
Fr Alfred Pinto welcomed the gathering. Parish council vice president Joe D’Souza thanked everyone for ensuring the success of the programme. Rajashekhar compered the programme.