Senior Maha Sabha Pundit dies
By Nalinee Seelal Tuesday, January 22 2013
One of the most senior pundits of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, Pundit Hardath Maharaj died early yesterday at his home in Caratal Village, Cumuto.
The 81-year-old father of four was one of the few “Dhama Ratna” (Senior Pundits) of the SDMS.
Yesterday his son Keshwar Maharaj who is also the chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation told Newsday that his father died from heart failure at 8 am yesterday while at his Caratal Village home. He had been ailing for more than one month.
He said, his father never woke up yesterday and when checks were made it was discovered that he was dead.
He noted that Minister of Transport, Chandresh Sharma, is one of the many god-children of Pundit Hardath, and he has hundreds of god-children from all parts of the world.
According to Keshwar the eldest son of the late pundit, his father was also the brother of deceased Dharmachariya of the Maha Sabha, Pundit Krishna Maharaj.
Pundit Krishna Maharaj was the recipient of the Trinity Cross in 1995 which he refused on the grounds that the Trinity Cross did not represent all religions in Trinidad and Tobago.
His refusal to accept the Trinity Cross prompted a name change to the Order of Trinidad and Tobago for the country’s highest award.
However, Pundit Hardath was himself the recipient of a national award – the Chaconia Gold medal for community service and religion in 2011, which he accepted from President George Maxwell Richards. Pundit Maharaj will be cremated on the banks of the Caroni river at 11 am tomorrow following a funeral service at his home in Caratal, Cumuto.
Yesterday, his home was visited by several pundits, relatives and god-children who offered condolences and prayers to members of his bereaved family.
The new Dharmachariya of the Maha Sabha, Pundit Utam Maharaj described the passing of Pundit Hardath as a big loss to the Hindu community.
Yesterday several callers to Radio Jagriti which is owned by the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha flooded the station with calls to express condolences to the late pundit’s family.