Shivakumara Swami
Shivakumara Swami

Siddaganga seer Shivakumara Swami passes away at 111

ANI | Updated: Jan 21, 2019 18:58 IST

Tumkur (Karnataka) [India], Jan 21 (ANI): Shivakumara Swami, a highly revered seer and practitioner of the Lingayat-Veerashaiva faith of Lingayatism, passed away here on Monday at the age of 111.
The pontiff of Sree Siddaganga Matha was being treated for a lung infection which he developed after an operation on December 8. The operation was carried out to treat his liver and bile duct infection.
Shivakumara Swami breathed his last at 11.44 am, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy told media.
His last rites will be performed on Tuesday at 4.30 pm.
The state government has declared a three-day state mourning and all schools, colleges and government offices will remain closed owing to Swami's demise.  
Born in Veerapura in Karnataka's Ramanagara district on April 1, 1907, Swami founded the Sri Siddaganga Education Society and was affectionately referred to as Nadedaduva Devaru (walking God) in Karnataka by his followers. He was proficient in Kannada and Sanskrit. Under his guidance, an annual agricultural fair is held for the benefit of the local population.
The demise was condoled by President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and a host of other leaders, who hailed him as a saint who worked for the upliftment of the poor and vulnerable.
"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," said the President of India in a tweet.
"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," the Prime Minister tweeted.
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."
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah also condoled 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.
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."
Senior Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, while condoling the death, requested the central government to confer Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honour, on Shivakumara Swami.
“He was very much committed to improving the level of education among poor and downtrodden people. He used to feed thousands of boys every year. I request the Government of India to honour him with the Bharat Ratna, which he truly deserves,” Kharge told ANI.
“His loss has created a great void in the field of education. All Prime Ministers have themselves seen his work, particularly in the field of education. Even he taught Sanskrit to the downtrodden sections of the society. He had come from a very poor background, but he left a great service behind him,” said Kharge. (ANI)