Shivakumara Swami, the head of Sree Siddaganga Mutt in Karnataka, died today.
Shivakumara Swami, the head of Sree Siddaganga Mutt in Tumakuru, has died at 111 after two weeks on ventilator. Dr Shivakumar Swamiji had been unwell for a while and was briefly treated in Chennai before being brought back to the Mutt where he was placed on life support. Senior political leaders including chief minister, HD Kumaraswamy and former chief minister, BS Yeddyurappa have expressed grief. Security arrangements are in place as hundred of devotees have travelled to the Mutt hoping to catch a glimpse of their spiritual leader.
Here are the updates and reactions after Shivakumar Swami’s death:
President Ram Nath Kovind took to Twitter today to express his grief after the death of the head of Sree Siddaganga Mutt Shivakumara Swami. “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,” President Kovind said.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi today said that Shivakumara Swami’s death has left a “deep spiritual void”. “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,” Mr Gandhi tweeted.
Shivakumara Swami, the Lingayat leader, was worshipped by millions, and was awarded the Padma Bhushan. Both Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa had said Shivakumara Swami should be awarded the Bharat Ratna, the country’s highest civilian award.
Both Karnataka Chief Minister Kumaraswamy and former chief minister BS Yeddyurappa were united in mourning the death of Shivakumara Swami, known as “the walking god”.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his grief today over Lingayat leader Shivakumara Swami’s death, remembering how the seer “lived for the people”. PM Modi said on Twitter, “He devoted himself towards alleviating ills like poverty, hunger and social injustice. Prayers and solidarity with his countless devotees spread all across the world.”
“He (Shivakumara Swami) represents the best of our traditions of compassionate service, spirituality and protecting the rights of the underprivileged,” PM Modi added.
After Shivakumara Swami’s death, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh expressed his grief on Twitter. “Swamiji inspired people to serve the society and bring positive change. His focus on spreading education and learning transformed many lives. His demise is a great loss for society,” Mr Singh said.
Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister G Parameshwara expressed his grief after Shivakumara Swami’s death. “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 and guided by the great humanitarian seer who cared for all, irrespective of status, caste or religion,” he said. Mr Parameshwara also called Shivakumara Swami’s contribution to the society as “exemplary”. “…he (Shivakumara Swami) enabled children across the boundaries of caste, creed and religion with free food, shelter and education. He was the guiding light to many and lived what he taught,” Mr Parameshwara tweeted.
Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy has announced a one-day holiday tomorrow for all schools, colleges and government offices in the state and a three-day state mourning after the death of Shivakumara Swami.
Shivakumara Swami’s cremation will be held on January 22 at 4.30 pm, Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said today.
Shivakumara Swami, the 111-year old pontiff, died today. He was undergoing treatment for a lung infection and was on ventilator support.