"He has provided free education to thousands of poor children and has provided free meals to thousands of people for as long as he lived," the CM said.

The walking god is no more Karnataka leaders mourn Siddaganga seers death
news Death Monday, January 21, 2019 - 14:23

The demise of the revered 111-year-old seer of the Siddaganga Mutt in Karnataka’s Tumakuru, Shivakumara Swamiji on Monday has left a huge void in public life in Karnataka. Apart from thousands of his followers who have been left grief-stricken, the seer’s death has evoked reactions from the political leaders cutting across party lines within and outside the state. A one-day state holiday has been issued on account of his death.

Karnataka CM HD Kumaraswamy who had cancelled all his commitments for the day and reached the mutt on Monday afternoon, said, “The walking god is no longer with us. The doctors treating him have informed us of his demise. The seer's body will be kept for public viewing tomorrow at 3 pm. He has contributed a lot to the society. He has provided free education to thousands of poor children and has provided free meals to thousands of people for as long as he lived. I am extremely saddened by his demise.”

He added, "His services of providing food, shelter and education to the needy and poor was a model for everyone beyond the borders of region, language, caste and religion."

He remembered the occasion when Swamiji was conferred with Karnataka Ratna award during his previous tenure as Chief Minister and said that “I was fortunate to do so and will cherish that memory forever”.

Recalling that his Government had recommended the Union Government to confer Bharath Ratna to Siddaganga swamiji, Chief Minister opined that, Swamiji’s selfless serices to mankind are replicable. Hence once again Government will urge Union Government to confer him Bharat Ratna posthumously.His services of providing food, shelter and education to the needy and poor was a model for everyone beyond the borders of region, language, caste and religion, he said.

He remembered the occasion when Swamiji was conferred with Karnataka Ratna award during his previous tenure as Chief Minister and said that “I was fortunate to do so and will cherish that memory forever”.

Recalling that his government had recommended the Union Government to confer Bharath Ratna to Siddaganga Swamiji, Chief Minister opined that, Swamiji’s selfless services to mankind are irreplicable. Hence, once again the state government will urge Union Government to confer him Bharat Ratna posthumously.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also tweeted, saying, "I have had the privilege to visit the Sree Siddaganga Mutt and receive the blessings of His Holiness Dr. Sree Sree Sree Sivakumara Swamigalu. The wide range of community service initiatives being done there are outstanding and are at an unimaginably large scale."

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 & revered by millions of Indians, from all religions & communities. His passing leaves behind a deep spiritual void. My condolences to all his followers.

Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda said, "I am deeply saddened by the demise of Sri Sri Sri Dr Shivakumata Swami. As a person who walked the talk, he proved it to by irking to uplift the downtrodden. We must be grateful to walk on the land he lived in and we must ensure that the values and lessons he taught us must be passed on to future generations. We call him the walking god of Kaliyuga. His presence will always be felt and he will be remembered forever.

G Parameshwara, Deputy Chief Minister of Karnataka, said, "The state is at a loss today. As I recall my long-term association with Shri Shri Siddaganga Swamiji, I realise we were blessed to be around & guided by the great humanitarian seer who cared for all, irrespective of status, caste or religion. Shri Shri #ShivakumaraSwamiji's yeoman service to the society has been exemplary — he enabled children across the boundaries of caste, creed & religion with free food, shelter & education. He was the guiding light to many & lived what he taught. May he rest in peace.

Former CM Siddaramaiah who was on the way to the mutt, tweeted, saying, “I am deeply saddened by the demise of Dr. Shri. Shivakumara Swamiji. We were all anxious about his health condition declining & unfortunately we have lost him today. I request all his followers to maintain peace & show your respect in a way that befits the great soul..”

He added, "We have not seen Basavanna through our eyes in our lifetime but I was seeing Basavanna in Sri. Dr. Shivakumara Swamiji. He was 'Walking God' for everyone but for me he was a 'Walking Basavanna'."

Dinesh Gundu Rao, President of Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee, tweeted, "The world has become poorer with the demise of Sri #ShivakumaraSwami of Siddaganga Mutt, popularly called the Walking God, at the age of 111 yrs. Swamiji dedicated his entire life in the service of the people, especially the downtrodden. He will inspire us for all times to come."

The Swamiji had a following of not only of people of the Lingayat sect but was also referred to as a “walking god” by many of his followers. His death comes as he was suffering from age-related ailments. He was flown to Chennai in December where had recently undergone a successful liver operation at a private hospital after he was diagnosed with liver and bile duct infection.

Prior to this, in early December, he was admitted in the BGS Hospital in Kengeri after doctors found that three of his stents had come off.

A Padma Bhushan awardee, he’s worshipped as a reincarnation of 12th-century renowned social reformer Basavanana. The swami heads the Sree Siddaganga Education Society, which runs about 125 educational institutions ranging from engineering to business schools/colleges in the state.

Born on April 1, 1907, in Veerapura village of Ramanagara district in Karnataka, the seer is involved in philanthropic activities and was awarded the Padma Bhushan by the Union government in 2015.

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