President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi
President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi

President, PM condole Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swami's demise

ANI | Updated: Jan 21, 2019 17:42 IST

New Delhi [India], Jan 21 (ANI): President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday expressed grief over the demise of the pontiff of Sree Siddaganga Matha, Shivakumara Swami, who passed away at the age of 111 after a prolonged illness.
"Extremely sad to learn of the passing of spiritual leader Dr Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu Ji. He contributed immensely to society particularly towards healthcare and education. My condolences to his countless followers," read a post from the official Twitter handle of Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi also took to the micro-blogging site and tweeted, "His Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu lived for the people, especially the poor and vulnerable.  He devoted himself towards alleviating ills like poverty, hunger and social injustice. Prayers and solidarity with his countless devotees spread all across the world."
In another post, he added: "HH Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu remained at the forefront of ensuring better healthcare and education facilities for the marginalised. He represents the best of our traditions of compassionate service, spirituality and protecting the rights of the underprivileged. The wide range of community service initiatives being done there are outstanding and are at an unimaginably large scale."
The 111-year-old Lingayat pontiff was being treated for a lung infection which he developed after an operation on December 8 following a treatment carried out for liver and bile duct infection.
Shivakumara Swami is considered to be one of the most esteemed religious and social practitioners of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith of Lingayatism. 
The state government has declared three-day state mourning. All schools, colleges and government offices will also remain closed for a day owing to Swami's demise. 
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah also condoled Shivakumara Swami's demise. "Deeply pained to learn about the demise of Nadedaduva Devaru, Sri Sri Sri Shivakumara Swamiji of Siddhaganga Mutt. Swamiji has transformed millions of lives with his immense knowledge and positivity. I was fortunate to have received his blessings," Shah tweeted.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said, "I am sorry to hear about the passing of Shivakumar Swami Ji, Pontiff of the Siddaganga Mutt. Swami Ji was respected and revered by millions of Indians, from all religions and communities. His passing leaves behind a deep spiritual void. My condolences to all his followers."
Addressing a press conference in the national capital, Union Minister Piyush Goyal said, "From the entire party, I pay tribute to him, my condolences to his holiness. He was often referred to as the ‘Walking God’ and was one of the most respected religious and social practitioners, not just of the Lingayat community, but of all of humanity.” (ANI)