Adichunchanagiri (Mandya), Jan 14, 2013: Seer Nirmalanandanatha, an MTech from IIT-Madras, heading the Chikkaballapur branch of Adichunchanagiri mutt, was anointed the 72nd head of the mutt and successor of seer Balagangadharanatha, on Monday.
Balagangadharanatha Swami, who had a large following mainly from the Vokkaliga community, died in Bangalore on Sunday. As the new seer had to perform the last rites of his predecessor, he was sworn into office in the presence of seers of other mutts from across the state, and followers.
Nirmalanandanatha, named Nagaraju before he assumed the ascetic order, is the second son of Narasegowda and Nanjamma of Cheernahalli, C S Pura hobli, in the Gubbi taluk of Tumkur district. Born on July 20, 1969, he has three brothers and two sisters.
After completing his diploma at Tumkur Government Polytechnic, the seer did his BE (civil engineering) at National Institute of Engineering, Mysore. He completed M Tech from IIT-Madras in 1996 after joining the mutt.
A seventh rank holder in diploma, the seer had secured a scholarship from Jindal Foundation. He was staying in the BCM hostel in Mysore while studying at NIE. Even though selected as a scientist at Central Water and Power Research Station, Pune, he was inclined towards spirituality and joined the Sanskrit Vedagama College at Adichunchanagiri.
He did Vidvathuthama course in Advaitha Vedantha and MA in Shaivagama. The seer was rechristened Nirmalanandanatha after being anointed as the head of Chikkaballapur branch of Adichunchanagiri mutt.
The junior seer was staying at the main mutt for the past three years as the senior pontiff was ill. Well-travelled and tech-savvy, he was taking care of his senior besides supervising the mutt affairs and temple.