Dr Shivakumara Swami, the chief of Tumakuru’s Siddaganga Mutt, is being treated for respiratory problems.

Thousands of devotees flock to glimpse 111-year-old ailing Siddaganga seer at Tumakuru
news Faith Friday, January 18, 2019 - 16:40

Thousands of devotees of Dr Shivakumara Swami, the chief of Tumakuru’s Siddaganga Mutt, lined up on Friday to catch a glimpse of the ailing Lingayat seer. A single queue stretched all the way to the back of the mutt as crowds waited patiently to see the 111-year-old revered seer.

"He will live. They call him the walking god, and rightly so. I am not worried that something bad will happen," says Veeralakshmi Basavapur, a 32-year-old woman from Shivamogga, who was waiting in line.

Men, women and children from across the state have been visiting the seer and praying for his recovery. Dr Shivakumara Swami is being treated for respiratory problems on the mutt's premises by a team of doctors from the Siddaganga Hospital.

"When someone in your family is ill, you pay them a visit. He has been a spiritual guide for people from all religions and all walks of life for so many years. Even my father and grandfather have come to the mutt to visit him. We have done so many time in the past," says Mudabir Ul-Hassan, a 37-year-old carpenter and resident of Tumakuru Town.

Devotees waited for hours in the queue, standing with their families and praying for the seer's recovery. 28-year-old Bhavana Ainapur and her husband Basavaraj came to Tumakuru from Belagavi's Athani on Wednesday. Bhavana, an ardent devotee of the seer, has said she would keep visiting the seer once a day. "I know he will recover. We have to pray for him. I am eight months pregnant. I want to bring my daughter or son to Siddaganga Mutt and tell my child that this is the person we call the walking god. He will make it. He has strong will power. Everyone says he performs miracles. I think it is true," Bhavana says.

Children studying at the mutt’s school sat outside the building and waited for their turn to see the seer.

"We see the Swamiji once in a week. He is not well and now we are waiting to see him. Some of us are waiting until the queues are not so long to visit him. Some of us wanted to help out with the security arrangements. Hence the NCC cadres are manning the queues since the morning. We only want to help people who want to see the Swamiji," says KP Dinesh, an NCC cadre and Class 9 student at the school.

Devotees walking out of the mutt after visiting the seer sit outside the giant peepal tree within the mutt's premises, praying for the seer and waiting for news about his condition.

Speaking to TNM, Dr Paramesh, who is treating the seer, says that he is currently stable but critical.

"The infection in his blood has reduced and the albumin has not increased. The water in his lungs has reduced. He is able to breathe without the ventilator in one-hour intervals. He is stable but critical. His vital organs are functioning properly. It's a miracle for someone aged 111 years," Dr Paramesh said.

Several ministers and MLAs have visited Dr Shivakumata Swamiji since news broke of his current health condition. Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy who visit the seer late on Friday spoke to the media.

He said, “The doctors who are treating Shivakumar Swamiji believe that some kind of medical miracle is helping him recover. I believe that a godly and miraculous force is helping the Swamiji. He is recovering and I request all his devotees to not be afraid. Your prayers and his speedy recovery and his miraculous powers will keep him alive. This is not the first time that I have requested that the President of India to bestow him with the Bharat Ratna. 12 years ago in 2006, when APJ Abdul Kalam was the President, I had made the same request. If need be I will visit the President myself and request him personally."