Chief priest of Ram temple consecration ceremony dies at 82

Family members said Dixit, 82, was not well for the last few days. His last rites will be conducted at Manikarnika Ghat.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Ram Mandir after the 'Pran Pratishtha' rituals, in Ayodhya, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Ram Mandir after the 'Pran Pratishtha' rituals, in Ayodhya, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. PTI

LUCKNOW: Acharya Laxmikant Dixit, the chief priest who performed the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, passed away Saturday morning at the age of 82.

The priest had not been keeping well for quite some time. His last rites were conducted at Manikarnika Ghat in Varanasi.

According to family sources, Dixit had woken up fine in the morning. While performing his routine chores, he suddenly fell on the ground and died.

“My father breathed his last at around 6:45 am,” said his bereaved son Arun Dixit.

Acharya Dixit was born in Moradabad in western UP in 1942. He was an expert ritualist who used to visit Nepal and numerous cities across the country to conduct Vedic rituals and special pujas. He was conferred with numerous honours and awards like Ved Samrat, Vedi Ratna, and the Devi Ahilya Bai National Award.

Both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UP CM Yogi Adityanath took to the microblogging site 'X' formerly Twitter, to express grief over the demise of the priest.

Laxmikant Dixit, along with astrology scholar Ganeshwar Shastri Dravid, had led the team of 121 priests who performed the rituals for the consecration of the Ram temple in the sanctum sanctorum of the upcoming Ram temple from January 16-22 this year.

Expressing grief over the loss, PM Modi posted on X: “I received the sad news of the demise of the country’s eminent scholar and Yajurveda teacher in Sangveda Vidyalaya, Lakshmikant Dixit ji. He was a renowned man of the scholarly tradition of Kashi. I got his company on the inauguration day of Kashi Vishwanath Dham and Ram temple. His demise is an irreparable loss for society.”

UP CM Yogi Adityanath, in his X post, said: “The departure of Acharya Shri Lakshmikant Dixit, a great scholar of Kashi and the chief priest of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Prana Pratishthha, is an irreparable loss to the literary and spiritual world.”

The CM added “Acharya Dixit will always be remembered for his contribution to the language of Sanskrit and Indian culture. I pray to Lord Shri Ram to give the departed soul a place to be at His feet and the courage to the bereaved family to bear the loss.”

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