The nation Mourns the Death of walking god of Karnataka.
The nation Mourns the Death of walking god of Karnataka. | Credit: The Week

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The nation Mourns the Death of walking god of Karnataka.

Jan 22, 2019

Siddaganga Swamiji, fondly known as Nadedaduva devaru (walking God) by the people of Karnataka has passed away, creating a void in the hearts of millions of his followers.

The supercentenarian was hospitalized for lung infection and other health issues for a period of time and left his mortal shell in Tumakuru, at 11:44 am on Monday. The Chief Minister of Karnataka announced the death of the 111- year old seer and announced a three-day mourning in the state. Schools, colleges and government institutions will remain closed on Tuesday to honour the death of one of the most influential religious heads of India.

The state's top political leaders including the former chief minister Yeddyurappa expressed their grief over his death. The Congress President Rahul Gandhi took to Twitter to share his condolences to the followers. He stated that the seer has created a spiritual void not just in Karnataka but in the entire country.

The Prime Minister 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." 

Thousands of devotees have started to throng around the Lingayat Mutt in Tumakuru to get a glimpse of the leader's final rites. The officials tightened the security to avoid chaos and stampede. 

For all those who have heard less about him.....

Shivakumara Swamiji (a.k.a Shivaganga swami) is one of the most revered Indian spiritual leaders and the head of Tumakuru based Lingayat Mutt. The leader is an austere practitioner of Veerashaiva faith of Lingayatism. Born in a humble village in Mysore, the seer had his education in the University of Mysore and is proficient in Sanskrit, Kannada and English languages. He is the founder of Sri Siddaganaga educational society and has been instrumental in taking traditional and modern education to thousands of people. The humanitarian has also paved way for providing shelter and dasoha (food) to the desperate and the needy. The gurukul or the religious mutt under Swamiji has accommodated more than 10,000 children irrespective of their caste, race or origin. They are provided not with just education but a positive livelihood. Apart from serving the young community of the country, the mutt also serves the pilgrims with free meals and accommodation.

The management has conducted agricultural fares to support the rural population and encourages the youth to indulge in agriculture.

To honour his philanthropist activities, he was awarded with India's third civilian award, the Padma Bhushan. The Political leaders of Karnataka have requested to pay respect to the seer with Bharat Ratna, the country's first civilian award.

In 2016, the veteran Lingayat leader was hospitalised for Jaundice and had completely recovered from the infection. Unfortunately, he was stuck with multiple infections the next year and was kept under vigilant medical care. On 29th December, he was diagnosed with lung infection and was kept under life support. Later in January 2019, his conditions deteriorated and reached the heavenly abode on 21st January 2019.

His successor

Siddalinga Mahaswami, a home-grown seer and a strict follower of Shivakumara Swami is officially taking over the administration of the Lingayat Mutt. The 55- year old portage of the "walking God" of Karnataka has gradually become the access for all the political leaders who come to seek the blessings of the older seer. Born as Vishwanatha, he has completed his formal education in Shivaganga educational institutions. Owing to the ill-health of Shivakumara Swami, he has taken over the administrative functionalities of the Siddaganaga institutions.

Millions of lives visit the mortal world. Only a handful of people stay immortal even after leaving the temporary body. Shivaganga Swamiji is one such personality. Despite not being with us physically, his eternal presence and the humanitarian values that he has left will continue to stay in our hearts forever.