Lingayat seer Shivakumara Swami dies at 111, Karnataka declares 3-day state mourning

Shivakumara Swami dead

Shivakumara Swami, a much revered seer in Karnataka, died today. Shivakumara Swami, who was a seer at the Siddaganga Mutt, was on life support at the mutt, which is located in Tumakuru. He was said to be suffering from a lung infection. He was 111 years old.

Following Shivakumara Swami’s death, the Karnataka government declared a three-day state mourning. CM HD Kumaraswamy said that also announced a one-day holiday for all schools, colleges and government offices in Karnataka.

Shivakumara Swami was a renowned Lingayat seet who was known as a “walking god” among his followers. He headed the an education society that runs more than 100 educational institutions in Karnataka.

Shivakumara Swami joined the Siddaganga Mutt in 1930. He became the mutt’s seer in 1941 after the death of his ‘guru’ Uddana Swami.

In April 2008 then President APJ Abdul Kalam visited the mutt to open the 100th birthday celebrations Shivakumara Swami. There, Kalam praised Shivakumara Swami for being on a “tireless mission of socio-economic development and eradication of inequalities in education”.

Last moments of Shivakumar Swami. (Photo: India Today)


Reactions to Shivakumara Swami’s death poured in from different quarters of the country.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi remembered Shivakumara Swami for being 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,” PM Modi said in a tweet.

In another tweet, PM Narendra Modi said that he had 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,” PM Modi said.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi also tweeted his condolences. “I am sorry to hear about the passing of Shivakumar Swami Ji, Pontiff of the Siddaganga Mutt,” Rahul Gandhi said.

Shivakumara Swami was “respected and revered by millions of Indians, from all religions & communities,” Rahul Gandhi Said. “His passing leaves behind a deep spiritual void. My condolences to all his followers.”

Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy said that he was “deeply saddened” to hear about Shivakumara Swami’s death.

Former Karnataka Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa said that with the death of Shivakumara Swami, the country “has lost a great personality”.

“His passing away is a great loss… He lived a full life that is unparalleled in history,” Yeddyurappa said.